Stories published in April, 2011

Moin Akhtar: Laughter through genius

Making people laugh is serious business. Moin Akhtar taught me that when I was six-years-old. He was performing live at a family wedding I was being forced to attend (at that age you are forced to do pretty much everything). I remember being quite thrilled that the man who makes me laugh on TV was there in real life, performing on stage. Positioning myself right in front, I got to watch him transform from character to character with just a well aimed hunch of the shoulder or lilt of the accent, all with rapid fire ability. His big closer for the ...

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PCB raises: Robbed by the board

Allah be praised ! It has finally dawned upon the high and mighty at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to award much-awaited annual pay raises to their employees. But, it is the PCB after all and there is a catch. An across the board 20 per cent increase in salaries of all employees was announced. At the face it, it appears to be quite handsome and therefore Butt sahib and his courtiers must be congratulated on their act of benevolence. But, sadly every thing is not s cheery. Against policy The uniform raise defies all logic and common sense, but more importantly ...

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Earth Day: Five small steps to a billion acts of green

Today is the 41st anniversary of the Earth Day. This year’s theme is “A billion acts of green” and the goal is to generate a billion acts of environmental service and advocacy before the global Earth Summit 2012 in Rio. We can all contribute to a greener earth by doing at least one act of conservation in order to make those “billion acts of green” possible. 1. Recycle Start by recycling at home. We could encourage our kids to re-use old cans, tins and cardboard boxes to make useful things at home, like jewelry boxes and bookmarks. We can also reuse jam jars ...

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Iqbal: Beyond poetic catchphrases

Yesterday was the death anniversary of one of Pakistan’s prominent national heroes, philosopher and poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal. Dr Riffat Hassan wrote a wonderful piece on how Iqbal’s ideology and message has been excluded from national discourse. I would like to echo that sentiment; today’s generation feels no connection to Iqbal’s ideas. Every once in a while, I see a couple of his lines on someone’s Facebook status but that’s about it. Pakistanis know nothing of the man beyond a few catchphrases. His ideas are important to understand, question and reflect on, because we have all grown up in an environment ...

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Mukhtaran Mai: Waiting in vain

Let’s please not dump all our grievances about the Supreme Court’s verdict on Mukhtaran Mai’s appeal (of a Lahore High Court verdict) on our esteemed and independent judiciary. If you’re going to hate on something, you may as well spread it around – after all, the entire legal system in Pakistan is plagued with flaws to pick at and ponder. This is reflected well in the Supreme Court’s judgement on the Mukhtaran Mai issue. In it, among other things, the court sees fit to spend an inordinate amount of time on quibbles that relate to the likes of Section 354-A ...

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Let’s be hopeful this Easter

Every Sunday I see a police van parked outside the church’s main gate. On special events, the authorities have to ensure the security guards are vigilant before we begin the mass. The scouts take care of the vehicles outside (although once my hand bag and other valuables were stolen from my car while we were praying at the church). At the entrance, a metal detector is installed and every person is subjected to frisking and manual checking in case of suspicion. We have to finish the mass early so we can reach home safely, avoiding any kinds of mishaps. Churches ...

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Seven traits of the average Pakistani college girl

Disclaimer: The following is a result of the writer’s personal experiences that he gathered after seeing the sufferings of his friends. Though the writer himself is no real authority and none of this should be taken seriously, he can still argue over traits as he reminisces his days as a medical student in Lahore.  By the end of this article, you will know why the author has been single for many moons now. 1. She hates most of her friends Girls always find plenty of emotional support, and friends for dance practises for weddings which gives the impression they are friends ...

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ZAB case: Revisiting history is necessary

The government’s decision to file a judicial review reference to reopen the case of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, in which he was convicted of murder and sentenced to hang, has come under much opprobrium from various quarters. There is a view that reopening this 32-year old case is basically just a ploy to divert attention from the various follies that this government has committed, ranging from the fiasco that was the National Reconciliation Ordinance, to the botched-up restoration of the judiciary to the various corruption scandals that have dogged the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) fourth dispensation in power. However, whatever side of ...

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Five hottest gadgets for 2011

1. Blackberry Playbook Weighing less than a pound (425g) and being just 0.4 inch thick, this WiFi enabled device has already hit the market on April 19, 2011. The BlackBerry PlayBook is the world’s first professional grade tablet with its industry centric performance which includes multitasking capabilities, support for Adobe Flash 10.1, high definition multimedia, and out-of-the-box enterprise support. The device which is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions has been priced at $499, $599 and $699 respectively. The pricing is similar to its competitor, the Apple iPad 2 which is supposed to make its launch on March 2, 2011. 2. ...

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Girls just wanna… go to Risalpur

My best friend wants to be an air force pilot. She (yes, it’s a she) has wanted to be one since she first watched Top Gun. She can tell you the model number of any jet and its year of make by just looking at a picture. While everyone else our age stalks the Lahore University of Management Sciences (Lums) website, she has the Pakistan Air Force website as her ‘most visited’. Risalpur is her future home. During the past six months, I have been forced to memorise the lyrics of “Highway to the Danger Zone” and google its 1980s Pakistani ...

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