In Ramazan, the piety curtain falls and the ratings go up, but not for Mansha Pasha

Aah, Ramazan. Shaan-e-Ramazan. Ehtram-e-Ramazan. Naimat-e-Ramazan. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Hold your horses. Because in few minutes it will be, “Moti moti auntiyaan kidhar hain?”  (Where are all the fat aunties?) “Aam khaye ga aam?”  (Do you want to eat mango?) And my personal most favourite, “Who are you to question Jinnah?” Pakistani television shows during Ramazan are complete madness. And anyone who has had the displeasure of watching these shows would agree that each year they try to outdo their own madness and each year they succeed. From giving away children to planes, Aamir Liaquat is on some kind of unreal dare to prove that shock value generates money. Forget ethics or standards of ...

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Dear Rishi Kapoor, before pointing the “terrorism” finger at Pakistan, please take a look at your prime minister, army and country

Dear Rishi Kapoor, As a Pakistani, I am not ashamed to admit that I have grown up watching Bollywood movies, I have been entertained, and I have also questioned the integrity of the industry where ageing actors such as yourself would still get lead roles as heroes. Maybe it reflects the Indian mindset, maybe not. However, do you see how such a small detail can have such a lasting impression?  One of my favourite songs is ‘Dil lene Ki Rut Aye’, with you and Madhuri Dixit (an amazing actress and definitely one of a kind). Moving on, this is not about your career or acting abilities, rather it’s about ...

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What if Snow White was a little healthier and the dwarves were less perverted?

“What if Snow White was a little healthier and the dwarves were less perverted?” is perhaps what the poster for the new Snow White film should have said. Instead it said, “What if Snow White was no longer beautiful and the seven dwarfs not so short?” What if the marketing team of the South Korean children’s movie, Red Shoes & the 7 Dwarfs had more sense? The movie seems to have taken a rather strong and suggestive tone regarding breaking stereotypes, showing a version of Snow White that is a heavier girl unperturbed by the notion of “proper” behaviour that is commonly expected of ...

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Because gender equality can only be proven if women can show up to work in their underwear?

It’s 2017. Women are becoming more visible in possibly every field of work and professional capacities, proving that when they reclaim spaces, whether private or public, there is just no stopping how far they can excel. There is no one who can deny that fact. For centuries, women have been put down and pushed back with claims of natural and inherent incompetence based on their sex. Somehow, because a certain group of humans is born female with physical differences (read: different reproductive organs), they have been and still are considered not good enough to become successful or become leaders. However, the popular quote, “Time ...

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Why Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is a slap on the faces of Palestinian girls in Gaza

This past week, viewers from all across the globe flocked to their nearby cinemas to catch the first female superhero movie, Wonder Woman. People leaving the cinema published accounts of inspiration and motivation. Some even spoke of a rekindled sense of purpose and drive in their individual feminism.  Yet in the same news cycle, you could also find a piece or two decrying some ban on this blockbuster placed by Lebanon and then followed by a suspension in Tunisia and Algeria. Naturally, as every ban does, it piqued the reader’s interest. After all, what would the Lebanese, Algerians or the Tunisians have against women empowerment? It made little sense until you opened the closet and ...

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Virat Kohli chose ethics over business and we couldn’t be prouder!

Recently, Virat Kohli decided not to renew his contract worth millions with Pepsi due to his views of the product. The announcement came a few days ago in an interview where he expressed his views about Pepsi and many other products which he had endorsed before but would not be doing any longer.  He is currently ranked number one in T20 cricket and holds an impressive ranking in other formats of cricket too. Currently, he is in his fittest and healthiest form. According to Kohli, he won’t be endorsing products he doesn’t consume or consider part of a healthy lifestyle just for the sake of making money. No matter how ...

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While boys remain boys, girls become immoral and should be slut-shamed

Apart from trolling, social media also has the power of setting standards for women on the internet. By acting as moral warriors on social media, these stooges of patriarchy continue to perpetuate their misogyny by slut-shaming successful independent women; something that they can’t do at their home, workplace and/or any civilised social setting. With the rise of social media, these blabbermouths, with their prejudices concealed under the mask of culture and mannerism, mock, stigmatise and pass derogatory remarks on women. …And the worst affected are celebrities, especially Bollywood actresses. Recently, when Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Berlin, she was criticised for dressing indecently and showing her ...

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After all, Kabul is no Manchester, and the media and world’s reaction proved it

At some level, I do understand why no Facebook profile picture filters appeared or why no hashtags dominated the social media landscape after a bombing in Kabul or Baghdad. It is assumed that cities like these must be acclimatised to the reign of terror; to towering plumes of smoke; to children’s blood being spilled on the city’s pavements; and to mangled corpses strewn on the dirty streets. It is assumed that they must be used to mothers wailing in a strange cacophony; to rundown ambulances whirring past shocked onlookers, who in turn are used to their unacknowledged existence; and used to the ...

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One would think India is a progressive nation, until it makes “celibate” peacocks its national animal

It stands to reason that a nation situated in one of the least well-endowed regions in the world would have an affiliation for peacocks. Instead, a Rajasthan High Court judge must have been rather afflicted by his peacock – he claims that peacocks are lifelong celibates. The answer shocked interviewers because the question was, “Judge Mahesh Chandra Sharma, why are you a virgin?” Steve Carrel will reportedly play Judge Chandra in the movie version of this story titled, The 40-year-old Judge. Mr Chandra told the reporters, “The peacock is a lifelong brahmachari (celibate). It never has sex with the peahen. The peahen gets pregnant after swallowing the tears ...

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Before boycotting Khaadi and fruit vendors, get your consumerism habits in order

I am often left speechless when asked to name a superstar from Pakistan who is unconditionally loved by the majority. I can’t think of a name like Shah Rukh Khan, whom people from around the globe would be familiar with even if they didn’t watch Bollywood movies. Surely, Pakistan has produced some of the best musicians, artists, cricketers and authors. There is no dearth of talent in our country. Then what is it that compels us to hate on people like Malala Yousafzai when the whole world is recognising her sacrifices and bravery? We as a nation excel in providing mob justice, witch-hunting ...

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