Stories published in May, 2012

How not to kill a crow

It was a pleasant, sunny day in Karachi and I was going about my usual everyday routine – which included thinking and fantasising about going to Amreeka. I was also expecting a few relatives to visit my place with their children. I generally enjoy people at my place. Wait, let me rephrase that. I generally enjoy people, whose children are well behaved, at my place. The relatives finally arrived and the children started playing in the backyard. It was a pleasant late afternoon and the sun was still shining, the elders sitting in the lawn enjoying chai (tea). This is when the ...

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Imran Khan is the target of your Goebbels’ vendetta!

Apropos to the excessively grandiloquent, wastefully voluble and patently frivolous attempt The Express Tribune has been part of subjecting Imran khan as prime target of its Goebbels’ vendetta. Now, what shall I say about The Express Tribune? The blog has started to give me an impression as if its raison d’etre is to have a unifocal soliloquy on publishing literally anything against Imran Khan without realising how ludicrous the writer may sound or implausible the publisher. If I were to describe The Express Tribune in a nutshell, I think I’ll marginally settle for this definition: Camelot of an erudite savant ...

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Jannat 2: True Bollywood cinema

Thrill and adventure is the concept that embodies the work of the Bhatt camp (Mahesh Bhatt and Vikram Bhatt) and this particular invention they managed to churn out is phenomenal. The Bhatts have produced many movies that have been lauded by viewers, some controversial and some with a message. One thing is for sure, they know the mindset of the audience and how to penetrate it. The story line depicted in the movie lifts the audience out of their comfort zone and helps to view a different aspect of mainstream cinema. Movies like Arth, Saraansh, Naam, Daddy, Awargi, Zakhm, Tamanna, Jism, ...

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The politics of Kashmir killings

On May 1, the Supreme Court of India asked the Ministry of Defence to take a call on whether the six army officers accused of carrying out the “cold blooded murder” of five innocent civilians in the Pathribal village in Kashmir valley should be tried by court martial or in a regular civil court. The Pathribal incident dates back to then US President Bill Clinton’s visit to India on March 20, 2000. This was when 35 Sikhs in Chattisinghpora village of Kashmir were shot dead by unknown men carrying automatic weapons, alcohol bottles and a lust for blood. The massacre was blamed on the men ...

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Our dual morality disorder

I was standing on a main road in Islamabad when I saw a big billboard depicting a woman provocatively posing in a nightgown. There, standing right below the billboard, hidden behind a face veil, was a woman who seemed to be a completely different specimen to the model above. Written on this billboard, in bold, was the word ‘Hidden.’ This might have been a brand name – I really don’t know what it stood for. However, to me it highlighted the hidden dual-morality disorder of the virtual and real world that is currently sweeping through our society. Let me explain what I mean ...

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The devil of miscommunication

You’re talking to your best friend and despite the fact that he’s taking out the time to be with you, he’s constantly alert when that familiar red light blinks on his smartphone. You get annoyed and refuse to go on and an altercation ensues. The time you expected to spend catching up and having fun invariably becomes about how he’s always reaching for his phone. Sounds familiar? It really has become the story of our lives. We have stopped living in the moment and are constantly glued to the mini-screens on our phones. After losing out on three very close relationships, I ...

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NATO conference: A tale of too many non-attendees

For quite some time, the world has been talking about this month’s NATO conference, which will be held in Chicago on May 20 and 21 and shall focus in great part on Afghanistan’s future. Yet with the event now just days away, the roster of attendees makes it hard to take the conference very seriously. How many of Afghanistan’s neighbours are confirmed participants? One, and that is Pakistan. (Incidentally, Russia has also now announced it will be present—another example of a nation at odds with the policies of certain Nato countries yet nonetheless willing to hold its nose and travel ...

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China, Chinglish and some shopping tips

Their rapid economic growth and resultant prosperity aside, the Chinese maintain their distinction in many ways. They call it “Chinese characteristics”- a term often used by their officials during briefings to foreigners. During official briefings, you will hear the words “Chinese characteristics” associated with “political system”, “legal system” and “‘economic system” – all this distinguishes this emerging superpower from the rest of the world. When it comes to communicating with foreigners in the English language, the Chinese have their own version – they call it Chinglish. During a recent visit to China, our communication with the common people involved several rounds of ...

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Treats from the street: Delicious and affordable

Traditional street snacks are a significant part of Pakistani culture. Originating from rural areas, they have also earned popularity in big cities over the years. Not only are they affordable but very delicious too, with a tinge of the typically rural taste. Despite the advent of international fast food chains, the desi roadside snack hawkers continue to run a thriving business; serving eager customers on the streets, at signal stops and outside schools. Most of these snacks are made out of locally grown fruits, vegetables and kernels; thanks to the year round crops of our country. The cooking methods employed use little or no oil ...

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Bash thy army the right way

Bashing the military is a favourite past time of the ones who feel they have been enlightened. Following this trend, an increasing number of people want to join this enlightened group, so they have taken to bashing the army too. The tool is a laptop; the location is a cosy house in Defence. The new army bashers however, in my humble view, need to know a thing or two before launching into a gallant bayonet charge. So I have decided to help them out and will now try to explain how to effectively bash the malicious military, or how to ...

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