White on Green: A reflective recollection of Pakistan’s cricket journey

‘White on Green’ is not a book about the history of cricket in Pakistan and yet it takes up the story through individuals who profoundly influenced the game. It is not a sequel and yet it is, in a way, a prologue to the ‘Wounded Tiger’ by Peter Oborne (2014). One of these fascinating cricketing characters was Prince Aslam, a scion of Juna Garh ruling family, a handy all-rounder who nearly made it to the Test team. A colourful character with partiality for finer spirits, he passed away in his early 40s on account of alcohol addiction. An impression ...

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Life: Another movie about space that wastes space

The possibility of life on Mars has been a source of endless fascination for us Earthlings. The existence of extra-terrestrial beings along with its worst case implications form the basis of the thriller Life. The movie is a sci-fi horror vehicle that pairs a talented cast with a routine plot to yield mediocre results. The action takes place on board the International Space Station, where a six member crew – portrayed by actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, and Olga Dihovichnaya – captures a capsule returning from Mars. Upon studying the Red Planet’s soil samples, the astronauts ...

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Too tired to cook? Fret not, this easy and delectable chicken handi is here to save the day!

This one is for all the working women (and men) out there! Have you ever come home too tired to cook? Or have you ever struggled your way through some very low emotional time? Recently, I have started expanding my arsenal of relatively quick dinners that can be cooked in a jiffy. Chicken is one of the easiest ingredients to work with. There are so many ways one can use it to satisfy the taste buds. Chicken handi has its roots deeply engrossed in tradition. Although this isn’t a traditional handi recipe – it is more of a desi-retro version – I ...

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Miss Sloane is a rutted political drama that doesn’t utilise its impressive acting talent

With commanding performances in movies like Take Shelter (2011), The Help (2011), The Tree of Life (2011), Zero Dark Thirty (2012), and A Most Violent Year (2014), actress Jessica Chastain has established herself as one of the most impressive leading ladies in Hollywood. Her acting talents are the main asset of the film Miss Sloane, a political thriller that benefits from Chastain’s ability to captivate the audience. However, despite her best efforts, the movie still isn’t quite as compelling as one would have hoped. The movie explores the events surrounding the senate hearing of Elizabeth Sloane (Chastain), a high-power, workaholic lobbyist who isn’t afraid of playing dirty to achieve her goals. Driven by ambition, ruthless ...

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Reflecting on Raza Rumi’s Identity, Faith, and Conflict

I arrived in the United States a few weeks ago and the first public event I attended was a bit too familiar. In 2013, I went to the launch of Raza Rumi’s book ‘Delhi by Heart’ at the Khayal Festival in Lahore. Four years later, I was in Queens Museum, New York where Rumi’s new book titled ‘Identity, Faith and Conflict: Essays on Pakistan and beyond’ was released. The book is a collection of essays that Rumi has authored over the past few years. It was strange to see that the introduction described Rumi as an “international scholar in residence at Ithaca ...

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On a quest for the ultimate brownies? Well look no further!

If given a choice between cookies and cake, it will always be brownies, any given day! The biggest concern when baking these scrumptious sweethearts is whether they will turn out to be chewy, fudgy or even dry like a cake for that matter. The secret behind getting them just right is to make sure that the batter is of the perfect consistency. My penchant for brownies led me on the ultimate quest, during which I ended up wasting a chunk of groceries and got scolded multiple times by my mother for making a mess in her kitchen, but I finally found my ...

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The Power Rangers is an utterly forgettable film

Power Rangers is the latest arrival from Hollywood’s ever-growing and seemingly endless pantheon of reboot/ remakes that are either in development, in production or hitting theatres near you. And looking back, it’s hard to even understand who this was aimed at. Kids these days don’t know about the Power Rangers and the people who watched the show, on which this film is based, back in 90’s, either watched it purely for its camp factor or were too young and stupid to realise how bad it was. Becky G., Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, Ludi Lin, and RJ Cyler in ...

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When pizza meets French toast, love transpires

During my time at LUMS, if there was one thing I looked forward to before going to those early morning classes, it was the Pepsi Dining Center (PDC) French toast with a cup of steaming illaichi chai. Another thing I remember from university was the all-nighter sessions, where pizza was our staple, our means for survival… let’s just say pizza saw us through many a tough one. We owe pizza a lot. I have already done a piece on pizza bread and one on French toast so today, I am going to be very creative and combine the two to turn ...

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Fifty Shades Darker is deeply sexist and truly reprehensible

Who would have thought that there could be another level of worse when it comes to Fifty Shades Darker? It was impossible to anticipate that the movie about Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), the uninteresting couple featured in four of E L James’ books, could touch another low. The sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker  is so pathetic that I feel it is an assault on intelligence and the sensibility of the viewers. A young billionaire, Grey, runs a highly successful company that seems to require little of his time and attention. He ...

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Kong: Skull Island’s take on the colossal gorilla is unlike anything you’ve ever seen

I have said this before and I will say it again, there are only certain movies that are made for communal watching and Kong: Skull Island, my dear friends, is one from that particular venerated company. I have been a cine snob for the longest time; bashing movies left, right and centre, at times somewhat unfairly. But every once in a while, there comes a film that transports me way back in my life; a period in time where the not-so-cynical me enjoyed his fair share of popcorn flicks. With that said, I can perfectly imagine a 14-year-old Hassan, finding this ...

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