Stories about WhatsApp

Are Pakistani dramas losing the plot?

I am a closet drama viewer. There I said it. I am even part of a WhatsApp group that discusses and disses with equal panache anything on either side of the border and beyond. I don’t exactly recollect when this love fest started, perhaps it was as a child in my hometown Jalandhar in Punjab where we would excitedly catch an erratic signal from across the border telecasting the black and white drama Sona Chandi or maybe the reception was so blurry that we couldn’t really tell any colours! Then came ‘Tanhaiyan’ followed soon after by the iconic ‘Dhoop Kinare’, which we ...

Read Full Post

I did this to my wife for eight years and today I am filled with regret

We had a baby! A little baby boy who finally arrived in our lives after nine long months of waiting. I was still exhilarated with the way his little hand had wrapped around my finger. But the joy was short lived. As we waited to get back home after the delivery, we were jolted with unknown complications my wife had developed; a blood disorder that threatened to take her life away. I had the baby in one hand and my other hand outstretched holding my wife’s. I was dumbfounded and wrecked as she was wheeled away for scans and tests. My happiness and ...

Read Full Post

Rehman Malik has left but his legacy of barring cellphone networks still lives on

My driver didn’t show up today. I could drive myself but then my other family members need the car too. None of us can call Uber or Careem because the apps are not working in the absence of mobile data services so we are stuck. My friend from college is in town for a day. I cannot reach out to her because the only way to contact her is via cell phone – I cannot expect her to check emails to figure out a plan. I had planned that she would come over; we would order something and hang out ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan, where merit takes a backseat and connections take the wheel

Growing up as the child of a journalist isn’t easy. Especially when your father was a struggling reporter in the 90s and Karachi was at its most violent. But apart from the violent riots and massive chaos during that time, journalism in the 90s was extremely different from what it is now; there were no social media connections, no online submissions and no Snapchat stories to pass off as reportage. You had to arrive at an office during the evening, start your work in the dead of the night because the ‘morning’ newspaper was where everyone got their news from. Life wasn’t easy for ...

Read Full Post

Don’t touch my bakra!

Eidul Azha is probably one of our most anticipated holidays in the yearly calendar. Depending on one’s inclination, people normally plan for this religious duty months in advance. Its popularity is also due to the high level of interest that children take in the festivities and it would not be incorrect to say that it is more of children’s Eid than ours. Personally, I am not inclined towards it – I guess the sight of animal blood, urine and faeces all over our cityscape is not very appealing to me and we have our efficient government to thank for this. We have had roughly 69 Eids ...

Read Full Post

Before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit, Pakistan had bathroom walls

Long before Pakistanis vented their frustrations out on Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp, there was another social networking platform where they would speak their minds; the walls of public bathrooms. You may have a brief sojourn at your favourite motorway stop, a loo in a college or one of those rare public rest-rooms that your rulers kindly allowed you to have. All you needed to do was have a look at the wall and there they were: the hopes and the fears, the laughs and the hatred, the good and the bad of a society constantly ruminating over their existential woes in the most ...

Read Full Post

In this day and age, can we truly survive without social media?

In a world where we so heavily rely on social media, it’s difficult to fathom a world where it would cease to exist. Until recently I was immersed in a life where social media is central to our existence. I was part of a world in which we live, eat, breathe and sleep social media. According to statistics, any given individual will check their phone on an average of 100 times a day. (I took the liberty to count one day, and it’s close enough!). We spend a mindless number of hours scrolling through our news feeds, checking the latest ...

Read Full Post

Do we deserve to ‘celebrate’ Eidul Fitr this year?

“Chand nazar agaya! Ramazan Kareem! Kal se rozay shuroo.” (We can see the moon! Ramazan Kareem! Fasting begins tomorrow) Some spend the night before in prayer. Others clink glasses and prepare for the pause in self-induced inebriation. Others stock up on Rooh Afza and pakora mix. Some can’t wait to be put in a food detox in hopes that they will lose the last few pounds during the holy month. The others are scared those extra pounds will sneak up on them. Some prepare a week in advance, cleaning out their savings account so that the banks don’t deduct zakat fees that they are liable to ...

Read Full Post

Housefull 3: Awful, painful, and anything but cheerful

How is it even possible that you go watch a movie with zero expectations, but yet walk out of it feeling utterly let down. And that my friends, is precisely the kind of feat the third instalment of the Housefull series managed to pull off. Promoted as a rib-tickling screwball comedy, the only reaction Housefull 3 got out of yours truly was that of head-scratching. It surely must be a record of some sorts making a 145 minutes long comedy where not a single joke lands. So in between all the failed attempts at humour, there is this laughably ridiculous plot ...

Read Full Post

Will the Muslim women in India find protection in the courts?

One may accuse Trupti Desai’s symbolic entry to the Haji Ali Dargah, Mumbai, and her earlier attempt to enter the Shani Shingnapur temple, as a well thought out publicity stunt highlighting her political intentions. However, one has to grant her and her organisation, Bhumata Ranrangini Brigade, due credit for their gumption to take on religious clerics and other religious organisations. Her determination resulted in the decadent old custom that prevented women from entering places of worship, into the public domain. It is indeed a sad commentary that even after 69 years of India’s independence; Indian women have to fight for their rights. Women have to constantly fight ...

Read Full Post