Noman Ansari

Noman Ansari

The author is the editor-in-chief of IGN Pakistan, and has been reviewing films and writing opinion pieces for The Express Tribune as well as Dawn for five years. He tweets as @Pugnate (twitter.com/Pugnate)

Election rigging: An inconvenient truth

It was the morning of May 11, 2013, Election Day. A day when majority of Pakistanis, having been fed a steady diet of political advertising where the various parties had promised them the world, woke up with a feeling that they had a hand in their nation’s future. That morning, my plan was simple. The day would start with a thirty minute drive to my voting area near Karachi’s National Stadium, where the booth was scheduled to open in the morning. Here, I would quickly cast my vote, and be back in time for a delicious brunch. Looking back now, I realise ...

Read Full Post

Four ways Pakistani cricket is like Argentinian football

I was barely six-years-old when Diego Maradona’s individual brilliance almost singlehandedly won the World Cup for Argentina in Mexico. For a boy watching the event with his sports crazy family, the event was electric, with the iconic images of Maradona dancing through the opposition, and eventually lifting the trophy, forever imprinted in my brain. Equally iconic were the images of Maradona crying four years later, after his side was cruelly penalised by the referee in the final against West Germany. Even later, when Maradona shed tears after struggling with substance abuse, I shared his pain, and supported my hero, ignoring the fact that he ...

Read Full Post

They can force them to convert to Islam but they can’t win their hearts!

As an expatriate boy growing up in Saudi Arabia, I dreaded attending my school’s mandatory afternoon prayer session. At the end of every long day in Manarat Al-Sharkia, all the Muslim students and teachers gathered before the final two classes to offer Zuhr (noon) prayers in the school’s stinking gym that carried a rancid air powerful enough to rival Hitler’s infamous gas chamber. By prayer time, the gym’s floor had already been saturated by the sweet-smelling sweaty socks of hundreds of young perspiring boys. Thankfully, the school management realised that the gym’s surface was probably host to a number of diseases ...

Read Full Post

Five changes Pakistan cricket needs to make to save itself

On April 1, 2014, Pakistan produced one of the most embarrassing performances in recent memory, breaking like glass under pressure. At the beginning of the 17th over, the West Indies seemed like they were out of the game, having scored only 107 runs. Then, courtesy of Sammy and Bravo, came an assault which made the Red Wedding in R R Martin’s A Storm of Shadows seem like a friendly tea party. 45 runs came off the last three overs in this knockout game. It was an assault which reminded me of Ajay Jadeja’s battering of Waqar Younis in the 1996 World Cup quarterfinal, where the Pakistani ...

Read Full Post

9 things you should know about the missing Malaysian Flight MH370

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has proven to be an absolute mystery with more questions than answers. The Boeing 777 plane, which was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, departed Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 00:41 local time on March 8. Its transponder’s signal was lost to air traffic control at 1:22 local time while still over the sea in the Gulf of Thailand; barely 40 minutes into its flight to Beijing, China. If there was one thing which was immediately clear, it was that Flight 370 had gone through a catastrophic event at 1:22 when its transponder stopped ...

Read Full Post

Ali Azmat, you crossed the line

Comic book writer and filmmaker Kevin Smith once said the following words and they are perhaps some of the most profound I have ever read, probably because they resonate on a personal level: “Remember: It costs nothing to encourage an artist, and the potential benefits are staggering. A pat on the back to an artist now could one day result in your favourite film, or the cartoon you love to get stoned watching, or the song that saves your life. Discourage an artist, you get absolutely nothing in return, ever.” As a child I loved to draw and for a ten-year-old I ...

Read Full Post

Six reasons why Misbahul Haq should not be blamed

I wouldn’t fault Pakistan’s ODI and Test match captain, Misbahul Haq, if he is just a teeny-weeny bit happy that Pakistan lost both T20s to South Africa. If I was in his place, I’d be somewhat pleased as well. “Blame it on me now!” I’d say while grinning from ear to ear. Recently, it seems that the maligned Misbah has become the Malala of Pakistan cricket; everything is his fault. When he plays defensive cricket because he knows that the rest of his team can barely qualify when under pressure, he is accused of pedestrian batting. But if he throws down ...

Read Full Post
November 2, 2013
TOPICS

6 areas where Waar missed the target

It is official. Waar is making coin! The film has shot to Rs10.5 crore within the first ten days of its release, firmly placing in its crosshairs Pakistan’s highest grossing film of all time, Bol. Waar has also bettered the Pakistani box office performance of Chennai Express, unexpectedly scoring a higher opening day than the Shahrukh Khan masala vehicle. This has been a talking point for many Pakistanis, who have taken the news as a national achievement. Unfortunately, for Waar, the film hasn’t been received as warmly by the nation’s film critics. Predictably enough, the Pakistani public has been unhappy with the negative reviews. Fans of Waar argue that although ...

Read Full Post

What if Miley Cyrus was Pakistani?

First, it was Half-Life 3. Next, it was Ben Affleck. Now, it is Miley Cyrus’ turn. Over the last few days, my social media feeds have exploded with news of Miley’s raunchy performance at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), where she shed her ‘good girl’ Hannah Montana image by performing some overly sexual dance moves while dressed in skimpy clothing. Although official sources reported that parents – especially those whose children had grown up idolising the Disney star – had filed numerous complaints, the reactions on my Facebook were packed with hilarious memes parodying the young American female singer/actress. As I scrolled through ...

Read Full Post

Even Oprah Winfrey would have made a better Batman than Ben Affleck

What is absolutely crystal clear after the controversial announcement that two time Academy Award winning filmmaker/actor, Ben Affleck, is going to be the man to don the mask and cowl for the upcoming Batman vs. Superman film, is that the internet never forgets. Yes, to say that Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting), after a bright start made some career mistakes, would be to utter an understatement larger than the $27 million rear of his former girlfriend, Jennifer Lopez. In 2001, Ben Affleck starred in the Michael Bay film Pearl Harbor, which sadly was a bigger tragedy than the actual historic event ...

Read Full Post