Stories published in May, 2012

Finally, Chelsea!

It took nine long years, eight different managers (and more than £60 million in compensation for the termination of their respective contracts), innumerable player signings worth millions and several occasions of heartbreak, but at long last, Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea have finally gotten their hands on the European Cup. A penalty shoot-out victory over Bayern Munich ensured the illustrious trophy went to Stamford Bridge (or indeed any London club) for the very first time. The talismanic touch of interim coach Roberto Di Matteo worked again as his team defied the odds to win ...

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The rise of American fanatics

Revelations that the American military has been teaching its future leaders about the necessity for a total war on Islam have shocked the world. The hypothetical war was not to be waged against the fanatical elements of the Muslim society, but a campaign against a “barbaric ideology” that should “no longer be tolerated.” Students were taught that Geneva conventions were to be thrown out the window because they were no longer relevant and that lessons of Hiroshima were to be used, wiping out whole cities and targeting “civilian population wherever necessary. “ This included potentially nuking the Holy cities of Makkah ...

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Pakistan, you are not ready to host

For years I would argue endlessly trying to defend my country, citing the actions and examples of other places to justify my point. In some cases, diverting the discussion seemed logical and changing topics the best solution. But over time, the arguments have become much more serious. The country’s inability to progress and, worst of all, no light at the end of the tunnel has made it all the more excruciating to bear. One of the rare sources of joy was sports and there was nothing better than to throng the stadiums when the national cricket team took the field for ...

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I would rather be the 99%

When my husband and I moved to the US,  we knew that it wasn’t for good. Contrary to everybody’s assumptions, we knew that we were going to return to Pakistan, at some point in the meandering, distant future. But we never imagined that it would be now, so suddenly, so unexpectedly, and under such sad circumstances. As I sit here in the study of my in-laws’ house in Lahore this sunny April afternoon, looking out on a sumptuous garden decked with purple petunias, crimson lilies, snow-white roses and bright bougainvillea, listening to the chipper of birds and the low chatter of servants in ...

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10 things I hate about TV talk shows

There was a golden time during my father’s childhood when the only available channel was Pakistan Television (PTV). This showcased enjoyable shows that were informative at the same time. Sadly, this time is long gone.   Today, even though television offers many channels, all I find when I flick the TV on is annoying talk shows. These talk shows give rise to other talk shows that are later talked about on other shows… and the cycle goes on and on. To depict my distaste for these shows, I have come up with a list of 10 things that I cannot stand about talk ...

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Can they call Palestine home?

11:oo pm Global Village, Dubai My sisters and I were running wildly to catch a bus. The bus was, apparently, the only cheap way home and it was to leave in the next 15 minutes. 11:15 pm My sister, laden with shopping bags, walked to the bus stand to get some information from two obscure figures seated under a dark shed – two young women wrapped in printed headscarves, wearing identical leather overcoats, bracing themselves against the chill in the air. Hey, do you know about the bus? Where is it headed? We are waiting ourselves. Don’t know. We are not from Dubai. Where are you from ...

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Image is nothing: Pakistan as Andre Agassi

Even before he had won anything of note, tennis player Andre Agassi became a celebrity thanks to his “Image is Everything” ads for Cannon, which capitalised on his ridiculous blonde locks and cut-off denim shorts. Although he would go on to reveal that the hair was augmented by a toupee and win a bunch of majors on his way to becoming a truly legendary player, Agassi admitted in his searing autobiography” Open” that he was never comfortable with his rockstar status, unearned that it was. The lesson is clear: image is a self-created ...

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How much killing is too much?

The Pakistani flag  is an emblem of freedom and independence for all Pakistanis. The star and the crescent symbolise light and progress respectively. The dark green represents Pakistan’s Muslim population, and since this is a majority, the green covers the greater amount of the flag. The white strip on the side represents the country’s minority groups. For a moment, dear reader, just imagine the green side overlapping and taking over the white until the entire flag is green. Bold and unimaginable isn’t it? However, this image isn’t far from the truth. It depicts what is happening right now in Pakistan, where every minority ...

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Three of everything

I knew it had been exactly three days since I had been lying under the covers exactly in the same position. I had gotten up exactly thrice to relieve myself. And for all these three days, I had woken once each day to eat three ounces of ice cream. Thrice I had checked the phone for the time.  And instead saw three missed calls from all three of my closest friends. Thrice I had changed my position to perfect the same position. Legs tightly tucked under my chest, face buried in my favourite pillow, and my back arched upwards facing ...

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I drown days in the sea

I drown days in the sea contrary to what you may think, they aren’t spat back on shore. The sea is made up of days.   I lose them, one by one, (watching them go with the sun) perhaps once, I shall see my last, perhaps I’ll be running too fast to see it flash past then.   Running; all I’ve known. I am still now, as I flick stones and bathe and lie in the sand, grateful — I am still. But it doesn’t mean I am not running. I am running still.   I am at the edge. I am a sailor, my mind delves into ancient superstitions. If I go any further I will drop off the face of the earth.   The sea ...

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