Stories published in November, 2010

Robot: Bollywood blockbuster takes on sci-fi

If you need a laugh try watching the Hindi version of Rajnikant’s Robot (2010). The film is like a plate of mixed chaat of Hollywood hits Terminator, I Robot and Universal Soldier.  The whole story is completely senseless. After watching it I want to give a suggestion to director of the movie. Please, take some time out to have your mental health checked. A very unlikely love story The leads of this film are Rajnikant and Aishwariya Rai. When I heard who the cast was I was shocked and knew I had to watch this movie. Rajnikant is plays two roles in the movie – ...

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Govt vs NGOs: Recognising good work

As most of us move on with our lives, the struggle for our country’s IDPs is far from over. With pressing issues such as which of the Muslim leagues (N or Q) are more loyal towards the incumbent government, our media has conveniently deemed the floods non-newsworthy. And the government’s attitude is no better. However, it is the non-governmental organisations (NGO) of our country that need to be lauded for their consistent efforts to reach out to the IDPs and provide them the support and counselling they require. Recently, the head of Indus Resource Centre shared how a simple statement by an ...

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In defence of the army: The question of prisoners of war

Militants usually do not comply with customs of war. They  strike civilians and thus render themselves undeserving of traditional reprieve. In the war on terror, the US government promptly refused to regard captured al Qaeda and Taliban militants as Prisoners of War and instead labelled them as ‘unlawful combatants’ at the very onset of the long-winding war on terror. Historic precedent hints that ruthless terrorists are like pirates captured on the high-seas. David Neuendorf of the Indiana Journal-Press once contended that: “Such people were subjected to military justice, administered by military commanders on the scene. That usually meant hanging from a yardarm. Today it could ...

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Model UN: Breeding pointless leadership

The plague of Model United Nations (or MUN, an abbreviation that makes the idea sound slightly more worthwhile) has gripped most institutions in the country. For those few of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, MUN is an event where students represent different countries and stage a United Nations meeting. They supposedly ‘discuss’ world issues, propose solutions and argue with each other over the share of resources – little else is achieved in this process. Some of its supporters may argue that this platform is an excellent way of making the younger generation take an interest in current affairs. But ...

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Eid was more fun in the ’90s

Back in the days when nunna, my maternal grandmother, was alive, Bakra-Eid used to be something else. Come morning all us cousins, aunts and uncles would head to her house. The older cousins were dressed to the nines, the aunts wore kitchen friendly clothes and soon the delicious aroma of a million things cooking on the stove pushed out any sadness for sacrificed animals. The fest started at breakfast. Or should I say brunch? It was served only after the sacrifice was performed. But we didn’t mind. We acted grossed out by the raw meat and put on an air of reluctance. But when ...

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Democracy: What’s school got to do with it?

Speak in favour of sustaining democracy in Pakistan and the first argument you are likely to hear in response is: “Look at the literacy rate in our country, these people don’t know what is good for them.” This is a grossly inaccurate argument and here’s why: Public franchise or elections need no explanation. This is the only facet of democracy that is so popular in Pakistan that no sooner have we had one round of elections, most TV talk show hosts and many members of the public can hardly wait for the next one. Arguably, the real process of democracy starts after this ...

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Eid in Mumbai: A celebration of tolerance

Being a secular, multi-religious country, there are a number of festivals celebrated in India and the festival season just doesn’t seem to end. If Diwali just went by, well now comes Bakra Eid. And when someone talks about unity, at least when it comes to occasions like these, what’s great is people coming together irrespective of their religious backgrounds. Yes, when it comes to the religious practises like the prayers and sacrifice, its only the Muslims who do follow it and most Muslims have to go to the slaughter house or local mosque compound for the sacrifice so as to ...

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Fashion Week: A prototype of resilience to terror

Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) Sunsilk Fashion Week has been a success. From Maria B’s clichéd yet imposing collection ‘Tribal Militants’ to Feeha Jamshed’s commendable attempt at paying homage to 40 years of the Teejays trademark, the show is a shimmering example of the surfeit of talent that exists in our fashion industry. But under the circumstances in which it was conducted, it serves to demonstrate the nation’s resilience against political violence. Ironically so, it is this very resilience that has been spurned upon. There is a section of society which believes that in the event of the suicide attacks in ...

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Can Pakistani cricket save itself from disaster?

Unpredictable is the most suitable word for the Pakistan Cricket Board, team and individuals. Nobody knows when PCB will take a U-turn on one of its decisions, when the team conquers world’s best team and kneels down to the weakest side, when a top class cricketer announces his retirement and all of a sudden, gets a chance to play at highest level without any prior preparation. In a proper system, the administration and players are both important and work within their domains to strengthen each other but they never interfere in each other’s domain. Both are answerable for their job ...

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All of us are corrupt… for a reason

Corruption screams across headlines almost daily in this land of the pure. From Pakistani cricket scandals, to dubious land allotments we’ve all become very frustrated with corruption in our daily lives. However, many times the debate about corruption in the media is highly simplistic and revolves around slogans of ‘the government should get rid of corruption!’ By highlighting some interesting perspectives, I aim to show corruption from a different lens. Corruption has two broad aspects to it: the first kind is attributed to man’s inherent evil nature. Man has impulses within him that long for power, wealth and fame. The ...

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