Stories published in January, 2012

Wasim and Waqar: the deadly duo

In recent times, cricket has undergone a fast bowling renaissance of sorts. Watching James Pattinson harass a much vaunted Indian batting line-up with speed and bounce in Melbourne and Sydney was a sight to behold. Pattinson is just 21, and he along with fellow Australian Pat Cummins (18) and the South African duo of Vernon Philander (26) and Marchant De Langle (21), represent a growing young breed of top class fast bowling prospects. There is no dearth of fast bowling talent in Pakistan either. Junaid Khan and Wahhab Riaz, two of the more recent entrants into the Pakistani bowling hall ...

Read Full Post

The value of school reunions and networking

High school is a time many students think they’d rather forget. A year or so after, once university life kicks in, it’s a time almost every person begins to reminisce about. Ten years down and one can only wish for a day of walking around the place that once was a second home. High school reunions are one of the few opportunities most students have to relive school days and reconnect with school friends. But even more so, they are a great opportunity for networking. After all, it’s not every day that you get to interact with hundreds of people ...

Read Full Post

10 things nosy ‘Pak’ers love to ask

Do you ever get riled up by busybodies asking annoying questions to ‘place’ people in their social world? Well, here are some conveniently snappy answers we wish we could respond with (you might even get away with some of them if you did; sarcasm is often lost on the unwitting). 1. Have you found anyone eligible yet? Yes (enter Mashallah), I have won the marriage lottery! She/he is, Mashallah, loaded and divorced only thrice. 2. Who is your father?  He is Mian/Chaudhry (enter name) and owns (enter name of mill/bank). 3. What does your husband do? See answer number 2 please. 4. What village are you from? It doesn’t matter if you have never seen ...

Read Full Post

Not just one horror story from FATA

When I read the article “Waiting to receive pieces of daughter’s body” published in The News yesterday, I was reminded of the horrific ordeal my family and I endured four years ago. Whether Shamsul Anwar’s story is true or not, the fact is that such incidents do take place, and the suffering is very real. In 2008, three days after my uncle took charge as the principal of Elementary College Jamrud, he informed my father about a warning letter sent by a local Taliban official. The letter warned my uncle that they would kill him unless he left Jamrud immediately. ...

Read Full Post

Privatisation can save Pakistan Railways

It seems that the damage done to the railways system by our lack of leadership and management has not crippled the institution just yet – the prime minister has just announced a business class service to be offered from February 3, 2012. This is not a novel idea, but a good one nonetheless. Why did this thought take so long to materialise? Considering that PPP supporters burnt down 130 carriages at the time of Benazir’s assassination, I am surprised that the government didn’t take notice of the situation earlier. I was recently discussing the dilapidated ...

Read Full Post

Praying, the Malaysian way

“Baba, I want to offer prayers with you,” my daughter said to me one day. I treated the words quite casually and told her that she could join me. Nevertheless, I was amazed when she started reciting ‘Surah Fateha’ and a few other Quranic verses on the prayer mat. I lost my concentration and started listening to her. Tears came to my eyes and I was grateful to the Almighty. In Malaysia, my daughter had accompanied me to the masjid (mosque) a couple of times before. I used to join the jamat (congregation) as she ran around the spacious halls. As soon as ...

Read Full Post

My quest to find Mr Right online

For the last couple of years my mother has been asking me the same questions: “Have you met someone?” “When will you start looking?” “Are you getting older each day or younger? (Umer ja rahe hai k aa rahe hai?)” The worst is when she tells me that if I don’t find someone for myself, she will do it for me. An image of Mr Kohli from Bride and Prejudice pops into my head after this declaration (shudder). You might think that I am talking about the biggest issue in Pakistan. But no, this is not about Memogate or about Zardari. This issue is ...

Read Full Post

Musharraf’s politics: A Pakistani love affair

Enough has been written on APML’s Karachi jalsa on January 8. Much has been said about the not-so-intelligent choice of venue, drawing immediate comparisons to the mammoth PTI crowd just two weeks earlier. Perhaps its time to dwell on why there were less supporters (read 8,000 – 10,000) in the ground. General (retd) Pervez Musharraf is undoubtedly among the few love affairs of the Pakistani public. At a certain time in recent history, millions of us worshipped him, liked and loved him, defended his actions and chanted his slogan ‘Sab se Pehle Pakistan’. We were proud that we were led by ...

Read Full Post

Print is dead, long live news

In case you missed the story, the media world is changing, and print news is dying. Given that I work in English print in a country where even the last English TV channel standing was forced to shut down, this should be a terrifying thought. I’m not the only one who is scared however – so is the New York Times (NYT). Watching Page One: Inside the New York Times, a documentary focusing on the NYT’s struggle to stay relevant and adapt to a rapidly changing media landscape is like a glimpse into ...

Read Full Post

Khan v Peterson: The saga continues

The drama that unfolded after Amir Khan’s controversial defeat to Lamont Peterson, which resulted in the Briton losing his WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles to the American, just refuses to die down. Over the past month we have witnessed a string of accusations ranging from biased refereeing to a ‘mystery man’ tampering with the judges’ scorecard emerging from the Khan camp. Khan had initially started out by blaming referee Joe Cooper of unfairly deducting two points off him for pushing Peterson and had immediately demanded a rematch, along with appealing against the decision to the IBA and the WBF. However, it is ...

Read Full Post