Stories published in March, 2012

Sweet victory, sour grapes: Bangladesh’s almost win

Although he is not my first Bangladeshi friend, Rohaan is definitely the first diehard Bangladeshi cricket fan I have ever met. He reminds me of how I used to be about cricket: crazy, emotional, passionate and frustrated. This March, the Bangladesh cricket team went all out to give their millions of fans, including Rohaan, a reason to cheer; something they have been longing for for a very long time. At the Asia Cup 2012, the Bangladeshi team crossed all sorts of hurdles to make it to their first big final. On the final ball of a nerve bursting over, they were just ...

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Don’t deny – defy dyslexia

The day Steve Jobs died my son came home from school and asked me: “Can I also please be dyslexic like Steve?” Dumbfounded I stared at him as he rambled on about Steve Jobs, about Mac and how “awesome” it was. Technological icon Steve Jobs left behind a silver bitten apple, a legacy of hard work and most importantly a realisation that learning differences are a gift – not a stigma. The problem Nobody truly knows the origins of learning differences. The spectrum is wide and deep, ranging from low attention span, weak memory, speech problems, auditory issues, literacy and numeracy challenges, vestibular and cognitive development and social interaction to behaviour issues ...

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Kahaani: Vidya Balan’s hit with a twist

Bollywood has evolved a lot in the last five years. Gone are the days when running around trees and dancing in the rain was the formula for success, even though actresses like Kajol did accomplish a lot that way. Kahaani is a product of the modern day Indian cinema, one that is willing to experiment, keep the output quality high and deliver more than it promises. As we know from his previous directorial and writing ventures like Jhankar Beats, Home Delivery and Aladdin, director Sujoy Ghosh is no Karan Johar. But ...

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Naming and shaming rape victims

The Pakistani media can play an important role in assisting women. Journalists have the power to reveal hidden and not-so-hidden biases that society has regarding women, especially rape victims. Unfortunately, our newspaper reports are heavily biased against women who have been raped and assaulted and reinforce the existing non-supportive attitude of society towards these women. As for television coverage of rape, it is noted with much resentment that many times these victims are put through more humiliation with extensive and unnecessary attention. 17-year-old Uzma Ayub was the rape victim in what was popularly known as the Karak rape case. After being abducted and ...

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The real lesson you learn from school teachers

It starts with a ruler. It is tapped against the black board in a repetitive, sardonic manner. The class is silent. Someone was talking before but now isn’t. We sit uncomfortably, confused about the almost mocking drumming of the ruler. There’s a scowl on the teacher’s face but it isn’t translated into an actual response. This was in the eighth grade. The teacher didn’t like us. It wasn’t because we were ‘bad’ children, or someone skipped their homework… She just didn’t care. At least that’s what we thought when we were 13 years old. Never mind that we studied about the lack ...

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Food business: Branded versus unbranded

One of the most successful CEOs in Pakistan’s corporate history once remarked that promoting corporate farming brazenly in a country like ours was ‘criminal’ because it was likely to hurt the livelihood of people associated with agriculture, dairy and livestock sectors. Of course, his opinion matters and can’t be dismissed as the rant of a so-called leftie. However, I’m not sure if protecting the source of livelihood of a select few at the expense of the overall market efficiency should be a preferred alternative either. We’re all driven by self-interest, and my interest as a consumer who lives in an ...

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Lahore from Karachi eyes

After spending seven great days in Lahore, I am convinced that Lahore, being the cultural hub of the country, is one of the most beautiful cities of Pakistan. I applaud the chief minister of Punjab, who despite having a barrage of flaws in his governance, especially with regards to health, education and law and order sectors, has successfully been able to maintain the beauty of this city. Unlike any other provincial government, the government of Punjab makes a conscious effort to give beautification the priority that it deserves by strictly adhering to a no-graffiti policy; hence we are greeted with beautiful and clean walls as seen in ...

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Jinnah had a dream, and we failed him

Hopes were high when Jinnah presided over the Constituent Assembly in 1947 and declared without doubt that freedom of religion was to be respected. It was his wish to lift up the economic and politically deprived Muslims from their backwardness that led to the support of many non-Muslim minority activists as well, notably Christians. In a time where major Muslim political groupings allied themselves with the Indian National Congress, the Christians in their legislation secured Jinnah the desired support the All India Muslim League needed. His close friends and those amongst the founding fathers of Pakistan also belonged to minority ...

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For PTI trolls: A lesson on bashing

If you are using any social media platform, you have probably come across the PTI troll. In most cases they make emotional arguments, repeating the same things posted on the PTI website or (worse still) basing arguments on the statements of their great leader. Frankly, I am quite tired of listening to the same arguments over and over again. So to escape the same buzzwords, I decided to help them out by writing a playbook for those senselessly bashing the Sharifs. I am laying out three good arguments that can be made by anyone who hates PML-N and not look like a fool ...

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Breaking News: Afridi can slap

The breaking news logo in red flashed across the screen and the news anchor continued to exaggerate the half-baked story for a good 10 minutes in a shrill, breathless manner. Autograph mangnay walay paristaron per chokkon, chakkon, dhakkon aur thapparon ki baarish  (Fours, sixes, pushes and slaps raining on autograph-seeking fans) Shahid Afridi ki Karachi airport per maar dhaar se bharpur century. (Shahid Afridi whacks a fan completing a century with a bang) Shahid Afridi jazbaat per qabu na rakh sakay, maddahon ki dhunayi kardi! (Shahid Afridi loses control over emotions, bashes fans) Shahid Afridi kay shaeqeen ko dhakkay aur thappar! (Shahid Afridi’s pushes and slaps for his fans) As usual, all our ...

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