Ema Anis

The social media editor for the web desk at The Express Tribune. She tweets as @EmaAnis (twitter.com/EmaAnis)

Breaking News: Afridi can slap

The breaking news logo in red flashed across the screen and the news anchor continued to exaggerate the half-baked story for a good 10 minutes in a shrill, breathless manner. Autograph mangnay walay paristaron per chokkon, chakkon, dhakkon aur thapparon ki baarish  (Fours, sixes, pushes and slaps raining on autograph-seeking fans) Shahid Afridi ki Karachi airport per maar dhaar se bharpur century. (Shahid Afridi whacks a fan completing a century with a bang) Shahid Afridi jazbaat per qabu na rakh sakay, maddahon ki dhunayi kardi! (Shahid Afridi loses control over emotions, bashes fans) Shahid Afridi kay shaeqeen ko dhakkay aur thappar! (Shahid Afridi’s pushes and slaps for his fans) As usual, all our ...

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In defence of graffiti

Santosh Kumar is one name I will never be able to forget all my life. This is not because he is someone special in my life; it is because I see his name painted on the walls of Karachi almost every day. He is the man with a cure for every problem: “Santosh Kumar: Jadu tonay ka mahir.” (‘Expert at casting spells’) “Santosh Kumar: Pat mangni jhat biya.” (‘Engaged in a jiffy, married in no time’) The walls in the city have been used for this cheap and effective advertising for decades. However, what people don’t know about street art is that it ...

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Why can’t women ride motorbikes?

It wasn’t long ago when I saw her. I remember how stunned people were as soon as they caught a glimpse of her. She was a fat woman, wearing a dark grey men’s kurta with sleeves half-rolled, riding a motorcycle. Yes, you read it right. She was a middle-aged woman, riding a Honda 70 on Karachi’s roads, with a man sitting behind her. This often makes me wonder; being a girl, why am I deprived of enjoying this convenient form of personal commutation without having a million eyes ogling at me? It saves time and is amazingly economical, if nothing ...

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Video blog: Why Toffee TV is awesome

I’ve always been concerned about what children watch on TV every day. The absence of quality, locally-produced cartoons in Pakistan has always been disheartening for me. I remember a teacher who went through a lot of trouble and spent a huge amount of money only to order a Spanish cartoon TV series Pocoyo for her pre-school children, because the ones that are aired here in Pakistan are not appropriate. A recent laudable effort by Rabia Garib and Talea Zafar, called ToffeeTV, was a welcome sign. The online initiative is based on promoting our ...

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Karachi Tips: Uniting people, bit by bit

One day, as I logged on to my Facebook account, I found something posted on my wall that made me smile in a way I hadn’t in a long time. It was a series of one-liners typed in as pictures; One of them said: “If a friend calls you and says “baat ker” it means you have to bail him out of a traffic police incident. Remember that.” I smiled and recalled all the times my friends and I did this. Another message said: “Never whole-heartedly believe your exam schedule. Strikes happen.” Yes, that has happened to me too. So, I opened the page from where ...

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Bhais and bureaucracy: A look at real life at KU

Karachi University has often been called a microcosm of our country -there are violent displays of political hatred, bureaucracy and of course, the moral police. One of the many political groups in our university is the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba Pakistan. Much like other religious groups in the country, students from this party enjoy guiding students to “righteousness.” My friends and I hate it when the more extreme members of the party forbid us from sitting in “co-education” groups with our male friends or stop female students from riding bicycles to get around campus. But we cannot deny that members of the same party ...

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Citizens of hypocrisy: Can a petition save Pakistan?

At the first protest I attended, Karachi Unversity students were protesting against the frequent riots by student political wings. It was grand. A large number of young people, full of energy, were screaming, excitedly holding up placards. Not a single one of them seemed to care about what was written on the placards they were holding. It was all about being at the front, holding the best placard, shouting slogans at the tops of their lungs, and most importantly, getting coverage from the media. Apart from the burning sun on my head and some tiny pushes from here and there, I admit ...

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