Stories published in April, 2011

Finding my way, from London to Karachi

I was heartbroken when I moved home. In London, I had discovered myself; I found who I was and became independent. I graduated, got a decent job and made lots of new friends. Every day my friends and I would gather in central London to have drinks with a quick meal and chat endlessly. Central London was the most exciting part of the city; beautifully lit buildings, crowded bars, restaurants, movie premiers, theatre, street festivals, unexpected fireworks. I can write page upon page about central London, but that’s all behind me now. Now, I am back in my city: Karachi. Home is a ...

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Nokia E7: Beautiful, robust…and slow

The Nokia E7 is a beautifully designed piece of hardware; one would be hard pressed to think that it has anything but metal inside it. The fantastic keyboard The QWERTY slider is the latest feature in the Nokia communicator series of phones that began with the Nokia 9000 communicator back in the mid-nineties. This device is different from most Nokia phones in that it’s QWERTY keyboard slides out horizontally and not vertically and resembles more or less a small laptop when the flipped out. The hardware seems sturdy to the touch and the hinge mechanism is so solid that if one applies ...

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Badminton, not cheap thrills

The Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) recent decision to implement a new dress code for female players has been met with much controversy, particularly in Pakistan. Conservatives in the country are predictably outraged by the demand that women have to play the sport bare-legged, in skirts. For what’s probably the first time in my life, I find myself agreeing with the religious zealots of Pakistan – albeit, for entirely different reasons. While the BWF insists that women must wear skirts, religious pundits argue that women must be covered up – both positions are unacceptable. Neither dress codes are a necessary constituents of the ...

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Gender apartheid in the Muslim world

Before we had started praying, a man came running towards us from the front rows and forced us to stop. I was out of sorts and felt really embarrassed in front of about fifty men, when they turned around with eyes gazing at us fixedly, as if we had committed an act of blasphemy. “But you are not allowed here.” He took us to a dark, dingy warehouse on the far right. “Pray here,” he said. I looked around. It was a deserted room with unwashed utensils and dirty clothes scattered everywhere. Not allowed? I kept thinking to myself. Why on earth ...

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Railways: Down and almost out

The rail service from Balochistan to the rest of the country remained suspended for a day, a few days ago, for want of fuel, mainly diesel, and this immensely inconvenienced ordinary people. As expected, the chapter was closed after headquarters dispatched enough diesel to restore the service. Balochistan covers around 44 per cent of the country’s land mass and its population is much below that in other provinces. Britain, at the time of its occupation, was not interested in carrying out socio- economic development in this region for obvious reasons but it is remembered for laying down the precious railway tracks ...

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Lush language: new words for a new generation

Time is short. Life is full. Too much to share. Let’s micro-communicate. Say it all, in a few words. The new micro-lingo seems to be a word-conservation drive, where you pack a lot of meaning into a few catchy memorable words; this language sticks in the mind like no other. It’s entertainingly expressive, creatively concise and just flows fast and runs deep. Read on to see how. It’s where the punch is “I dined out at this new restaurant. What wah wah food they had there.” “I went to this concert. What wehshee music. Uff I loved it.” For the uninitiated in the ...

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What’s a little sovereignty worth?

Our country has failed its citizens. In a world where South Korea just spent tens of billions of dollars to ensure that each citizen has high speed broadband connections, fewer than 20 per cent of Pakistanis have access to the internet. Think about this: more than 75 per cent of our population does not know what Google is. And yet, in 1947, South Korea was as poor as we were. So what do we do? The current state of affairs One would think that, like Indonesia, we should be spending as much money on education as possible (Indonesia devotes a whopping 20 ...

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Who knew life was all about making babies

If you’ve been married for a few months, you probably have been asked the same question repeatedly – ‘the baby question.’ Now, I’m not in any way opposed to people who pop little-poo-filled-bundles-of-joy nine months after their marriage. But please, I urge them to spare us. When you ask me 15 days after my wedding if I’m pregnant or not, you are not only being a tad bit intrusive, you are also being highly insensitive. Asking newly weds every month whether they have been visited by a certain ‘special aunty‘ is not only a huge pain in the behind, it is also ...

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The A to Z of the world’s sexiest women

Men dream about them and women dream of looking like them. Beauty may be skin deep, but sexiness goes a long way.This list counts down some of the world’s most attractive celebrities who are captivating, charismatic and often virtually ageless. Although many have had work done (from fillers and rhinoplasty to hair extensions), it’s not as extreme as some of their contemporaries. From starlets, thespians, royalty and models, whether Euro, Hollywood, Latina, Bollywood or Pakistani, there’s enough collective allure on this list of 50 to knock down a billion men: Amanda Seyfried, 25 – Hollywood actress who shot to fame with Mamma ...

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The defence of a “burger baby revolutionary”

I do a fair share of reading on the internet, and it both humours and angers me in equal proportions to read what the so called intellectuals have to say about the ‘urban youth’ as they like to call us. Authors seem to have used supernatural knowledge to conclude that due to our appearance and way of life, our opinions can be overlooked and that we are simply not in the same intelligence bracket as them. Stop stereotyping Our lifestyles, upbringing and appearances are ludicrously stereotyped, and our abilities to understand the world and the philosophy underlying politics in regard to the ...

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