Stories published in October, 2011

Alu Anday: sardonic schoolboys with a message

This song actually has very little to do with potatoes and eggs despite ‘Alu Anday’  being its title and part of its chorus. Beygairat Brigade’s indie music video is ideally positioned for the social media community. It’s creative, funny, and unique; ideal traits for going viral (and it has). Alu Anday starts off with quirky dork-humour: the trio transforms their geeky glasses and school uniforms to a punk-rock-meets-boy-band style complete with loosened ties, childish face paint and plenty of kooky behaviour. That is, until the urban Lahori slang-infused lyrics convey a darker socio-political reality (e.g. “Where Qadri is treated like a hero”) along ...

Read Full Post

Zionist mosquitoes and infidel viruses amongst us

I am assuming most of you have already realized what is causing the massive outbreak of dengue fever in Pakistan. According to a number of confirmed resources, the mosquitoes that are causing dengue have been deliberately engineered with the nefarious virus. After they were infected with the virus, they were inducted into Pakistani airspace where they wrecked havoc. And who, of all, could have inflicted such damage upon us? Of course the Zionists! They have long been jealous of our economic and social progress, not to mention the political stability, the unparalleled research centers and one of the highest literacy rates around the ...

Read Full Post

She’s my girl ‘friend’ not my ‘girlfriend’

I have a friend who happens to be a girl, but isn’t my girlfriend. No, the ‘scene’ is not ‘on’. Don’t give me that mischievous smile and stop calling her ‘bhabhi’. If you attempt to high-five me, I will leave you hanging.  Life is not a Bollywood movie where a man and a woman who spend enough time together will inevitably, inescapably, unequivocally fall in love with each other and enunciate their mutual affection to the world through a hilariously choreographed musical number. A platonic relationship between two individuals of opposite gender can, and does, exist. It’s not uncommon for a college boy ...

Read Full Post

Rewriting the past to ruin the future

Imran Khan’s book launch in Islamabad happened earlier in the week, and as such events go, it was mostly full of speakers praising Khan; the sporting icon, Khan, the philanthropist, and Khan, the principled politician. However, one speech during the event truly stood out, and it was regarding Pakistan’s mythical history. Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan quite accurately lambasted the fairy tales we have all been exposed to in state-approved history books. The retired air marshal ruffled feathers when he told the audience at Imran Khan’s book launch that while Pakistan has attacked India four times, India has never been the ...

Read Full Post

Shut down Wall Street

In the mid 90s I found myself in a wall street job because of a lack of really knowing what to do. It had its perks; it allowed me to live in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Par0k slope area for two years of my life, dine on sushi, and later take only the bare minimum loans for law school.  So much in the world has changed since then.   I remember a chilly October lunch date with a girl who worked at Lehman.  She was in a black suit and we both had a lunch of steamed rolls.  She wanted to ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan’s dismal Twenty20 ranking is justified

The International Cricket Council (ICC)  for the very first time, unveiled international rankings for Twenty20 cricket. The rankings came as a shock for many cricket followers particularly in Pakistan, as Pakistan was ranked at number 7 amongst Twenty20 playing countries. The cricket-crazy nation questioned the ICC’s criteria for rating their country at number seven, despite winning this format’s World Cup in 2009, qualifying for the final twice, and being the only country to play a semi final in all three ICC T20 World Cups (2007, 2009 and 2010). They also questioned the omission of Pakistan’s premier fast bowler Umar Gul from ...

Read Full Post

Death in fire: Learning from Raja Khan

Raja Khan, a father of two, ended his life after committing self-immolation in front of Parliament House on a day when the entire government machinery was focused on the funeral of former PPP chairperson Nusrat Bhutto. The day was officially declared a national holiday and the entire leadership had rushed to Garhi Khuda Bux to attend the funeral. It would be safe to assume that most of them had gone not only to express their sympathies but also to make their presence felt with the ruling party and the Bhutto family. Raja Khan, on the other hand, was a frustrated young man, ...

Read Full Post

Elections 2013: Don’t take General Musharraf lightly

Given the volatile political situation of the country, it is hard to predict who will be supporting whom and which party will be contesting for premiership in the next general elections. But one thing seems to be certain, General (retd) Pervez Musharraf is going to eventually land at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport and hundreds, if not thousands, of activists of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) will be welcoming the commando back home along with workers of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML). Why am I so sure? I am no fortune-teller but I can guess the future scenario with the help of some ...

Read Full Post

9 stupid generalizations about women who don’t wear hijab

We are a polarized society, and we are not just one set of poles. We’ve got a whole bunch of diversity that ranges from language to religious denominations and ethnicities. The kind of social exclusion that stems from this is nothing short of frightening. You would  think, wouldn’t you, that a diverse society like this would exhibit more tolerance? But surprise, surprise. On the one hand we’ve got people rallying and brandishing roses for Mumtaz Qadri, while on the other, we have those holding vigils for Salman Taseer and Steve Jobs. We’ve got one bunch that celebrates Valentine’s Day and one bunch ...

Read Full Post

The significance of Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring

It’s difficult, as a social scientist or otherwise, to recognise when history is in the making. Will the events we’re living through make it to our children’s textbooks? Here is what I mean by “the events we’re living through.” After limiting the notion of revolutions to some staple icons like Che, Lenin, and the storming of the Bastille, it’s difficult to digest that we may be living through the twenty-first century version of events which change the course of history. Before shrugging off the possibility that a ‘few’ people’ occupying’ Wall Street are going to change anything, I say reconsider. It’s ...

Read Full Post