Stories published in January, 2011

10 reasons why zodiac signs should not change

The recently announced change in zodiac signs has caught the world by storm. Interest in the news is not limited to just hardcore followers of astrology. Ever since the story broke social media has been flooded with protests against the new, thirteenth sign Ophiuchus, as people no longer know what their sign is. If you are wondering which horoscope to read in the morning’s paper check out the ‘new’ astrological signs below. What’s your (new) sign Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16. Aquarius: Feb. 16-March 11. Pisces: March 11-April 18. Aries: April 18-May 13. Taurus: May 13-June 21. Gemini: June 21-July 20. Cancer: ...

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Dedicated writers: The bright side

The days of calm and peace lie so distant in our past as to be a fading dream. What we have is chaos and anarchy, loot and extortion, theft and robbery, violence, murder and terrorism. Not many days go by without another blast killing many and causing wives to be widowed and children to be orphaned. It is natural for people in times like these not to take life for granted and for the feeling of transience to be heightened. Such are our circumstances but sometimes one comes across something that makes one wonder how it is that there are ...

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Pakistan will bring this World Cup home!

Cricket has been plagued by so much controversy of late due to the spot-fixing allegations, that most Pakistanis have no hope that we can win matches in the World Cup 2011, and most are far from assuming that we will even dream to reach the final. I strongly disagree. I am pretty confident that our team – yes, the Pakistan cricket team – will win this World Cup and bring cricket and the trophy back to Pakistan. Our players can take on the world We must not forget that we have had wins along with the losses, and what we can learn from ...

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Why should I live in Pakistan?

It’s not okay when you switch on the TV to find out that someone you know has become a victim of target killing. It’s not okay to see that because it leaves you with a hundred unanswered questions about why you are still living in this country. That’s how I felt yesterday when I heard the news that Wali Khan Babar, a fellow reporter and my senior in university, was shot dead in an incident of target killing. As the news kept flashing images of him over and over again, I was reminded of him – clad in huge sunglasses and ...

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Talking about blasphemy in English, over dessert

If you wish to have a peaceful meal always avoid broaching subjects like the blasphemy laws at the dinner table. Be extra careful if steak has been served where sharp knives are at hand. In fact it is best to remain perfectly silent until dessert is served. Once knives are replaced by small, curved silver spoons you can go ahead and exercise your freedom of speech as per your kind pleasure. (You may want to ensure your body guard is around though.) If you truly wish to remain a dominant member of the dinner-table chatter, always speak in English. Remember: 1. ...

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Countering harassment: My eyes are up here

Not long ago, at an informal get-together of friends in Karachi our conversation turned to harassment in the workplace. One of my friends mentioned a recurring problem she was having with a male colleague, who seemed to always keep his eyes at a particular location on her body instead of looking her in the eye when talking to her. She could not avoid it as their respective job roles required a lot of communication between the two. This was particularly uncomfortable yet she was unable to raise this either directly with the person in question or with anyone else at ...

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Pakistan (Studies) Zindabad!

“You know what really bothers me about India? Not their stupid ‘Incredible India’ slogan or their weird item songs or that ‘Licence to wear Black’ ad,” says a friend during Pakistan Studies class one day. “The Taj Mahal! Everybody wants to see it. It’s on every postcard. Even that stupid French guy wants to see it. It’s the first thing everyone wants to see!” When I ask why she’s bothered by the Taj Mahal, her answer is simple: “Because it’s really ours.” That is, Pakistan’s. Five years of Pakistan Studies class, hours of learning dates and battle names, of revising lists ...

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10 reasons Islamabad isn’t lame

Islamabad, although valued highly by its long-term residents, is often criticized by people who have moved here for personal or professional reasons. “It’s like a ghost town,” a recent arrival commented. While a long-time resident remarked, “Islamabad is a place for retirees. Anyone younger would go crazy there.” I have heard mixed reactions from tourists. I often hear acidic remarks like “Islamabad has a lame and depressing social scene and I prefer not to socialize here,” and “the nightlife is sleazy and full of shady old uncles.” But there is much to love in this sleepy, young town. One visitor remarked: “I was ...

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Alarming traffic situation: Donkeys in the fast lane

Time and again, the menace of child labour has been deplored by organisations, social workers, politicians and people in general, for obvious disadvantages and cruelties associated with it, but recently I came across another dimension attached to it. On a typical morning, I was rushing to a school in Defence in Karachi where I teach, and had taken the Ittehad route. Those familiar with the route would know that cars usually move at relatively higher speeds on that particular road. So here I was trying to reach school on time; I’ll be honest that I wasn’t over-speeding. At a distance, I ...

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Jose Mourinho: Truly a special one

Jose Mourinho is popularly known as “the special one”, a self-proclaimed title that was later taken up by the British media. People will argue about his coaching style (and they have a right to) but if there is one thing Jose Mourinho is, it is efficient. He has moved from Porto to Chelsea to Inter Milan and now to Real Madrid. He has won the respective leagues and has also won domestic cup competitions with three of the four teams. With Inter Milan and Porto he won the UEFA champions league and it is safe to say that he rarely loses ...

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