Stories about future

Bilawal, moulding the future politics of Pakistan: A PPP Jiyala’s analysis

By a curious exercise of logic some disgruntled man of yesterday used to have the temerity to question us that how a 19 years old Bilawal Bhutto Zardari may become the chairman? How a boy who lived his most of life in Dubai & United Kingdom may lead a party whose most of the workers are from the downtrodden class of Pakistan? How a Bilawal Bhutto Zardari may claim to be representative of the masses as he lacks command over speaking Urdu & neither he knows about the customs, traditions & taboos of a Pakistani society? These have been the ...

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Waar: Pakistan’s stark reality or hope for the future?

After the release of Waar’s trailer online I found myself being annoyingly corrected about how to pronounce the movie’s name. I’d invariably call it ‘War’ in front of Urdu lovers who would tell me it was Waar, meaning ‘to strike’. However, my friends at school would chuckle at me when I called it Waar and insisted that it was ‘War’.  As irritating as this was, there is an even more infuriating phrase I am certain you have heard when people discuss local ventures including films. Just like a worn-out bandage no longer covers or protects a scar, you’ll find this phrase invariably attached to discussions about new initiatives ...

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Does a 5-year-old rape victim have a future to look forward to?

She was just five-years-old. She still had many more years to go before she was meant to discover that the world is not a nice place and that heinous crimes are committed against innocent people. That life is unfair and some people have to bear more pain than others. That being a girl means what is between her legs would define her entire existence. It was too soon for her to know about all this. On the evening of September 12, 2013, a five-year-old girl’s right to dream was taken away from her – an evening where her usual plans would have ...

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Is a ‘science student’ smarter than an ‘arts student’?

As soon as we step into the dreaded phase of our education where we must choose which subjects we want to pursue for our higher studies, arts and science are pretty much the basic options to choose from and these practically shape our academic future. I remember when I passed the eighth grade, I was content because I had been able to achieve the target score required to be able to choose science for my matriculation; I was ecstatic, my interest in science being secondary. It wasn’t just me, all my class fellows worked hard so that they could be promoted to the ‘science’ ...

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Our heartbreaking hockey history: Do we have a future to look forward to?

The heartbreaking Friday of last week has passed with the most shocking news of the Pakistan Hockey history. The upcoming World Cup will be played without Pakistan – the country that conceived it in 1971 – for the first time in history. A lot has been said and will be said on the defeat at the hands of South Korea in the Asia Cup, which shut the door on Pakistan, but was that the only chance Pakistan had to qualify for the mega event? Absolutely not, as the team had failed to impress in the qualifiers too. The national hockey team ...

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About a time when friends were real and life was simple

One of the most vivid memories from my early teen years is of my best friend at that time and me, sitting outside his building near the pavement, drinking  Coke and eating sandwiches. I used to take a cab from my house to his and then we would sit outside on our usual spot and talk. We used to talk about nothing in particular and yet, we had so much to say; so many ambitions, dreams, goals, small and big challenges, love affairs, infatuations and yes, personal philosophies and beliefs (even at that age) to share with each other. We were ...

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Lessons for life: A letter to my beloved daughter

Dearest daughter, It seems as if only yesterday you entered this world. I remember holding you for the first time. You, my little one, were so tiny and fragile. You held my finger with your little hand and smiled up at me. The memory of that moment is, for all time to come, etched on my heart. With your birth, I learned of new relationships and the meanings they hold. First I was your aunt. Then, when your mother would be away I would replace her. And now that you are growing up, I am your friend. Dear one, there are things ...

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Education only panacea to current mess

Today, Pakistan finds itself in the quagmire of violence, uncertainty, and despair, mainly because of its shattered and obsolete education system. A recent report by the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (Sparc) states that Pakistan is number two in the world with 25 million children out of school, coupled with an astronomical dropout rate. This gloomy picture exists because of the oppressive socio-economic conditions that have fostered impoverished living circumstances, monopoly of resources and concentration of wealth in a few hands. State institutions, occupied and run by a handful of feudals, have shirked their responsibility to ...

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Man of Steel: Welcome back, Superman!

An oft-heard phrase these days amongst comic book fans is, “The Dark Knight Trilogy has ruined all future comic book adaptations”. This could mean two things, the trilogy was so amazing that all future efforts have an impossibly high bar to reach or the incredible success of the trilogy means all future efforts will be shepherded by studios into being more “real/dark/gritty”. Both are true in varying ways. Batman is a unique character. He has no superpowers, apart from fabulous wealth and slight insanity. His gadgets can all be distilled into existing or easily imaginable variants unlike the only other rich ...

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My encounter with a ghost

I was 28 when I saw this dream. My marriage had just been arranged by my parents; something, having grown up around, I didn’t give a second thought to. I went to sleep untroubled. There was pitch black darkness everywhere ─ like a heavy blanket over everything. Then the shroud lifted to illuminate me sitting on a wooden chair at a small, round, wooden table with everything around me still completely black. Across the table from me there was another chair, and another occupant; a large cloaked and hooded ghostly figure, whose hidden eyes seemed to be fixed upon me. “Who are ...

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