Stories published in September, 2012

Why have they complicated Islam so much?

If you had a step-by-step guide on how to build a bookshelf, you’d be silly not to use it before cutting your planks or handling your tools. It would show you the most effective way to wield that saw, use a spirit level and, and hit those nails on the head and not yourself. It would be one of those well thumbed hands-on books, kept in a handy spot for easy reference where you can reach up and pull it down every time you need to check something. So what’s all this about using the Holy Quran only when you’ve washed, ...

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The perfect monsoon treat: Sculpturing competition at the beach

So, the Urdu proverb about building rait ke mehel (castles of sand) can actually be a lot of fun when done literally! At the sand castle building competition at the Sea View, I had a fantastic time doing so, and came across some spectacular pieces of sand art. On Sunday, September 9, 2012, the lively people of Karachi displayed their creativity and their love for the sun and sand at the Sea View, Clifton, Karachi, during the second sand castle building contest by Let’s Build On (LBoN) organised by a group of young, dynamic art aficionados. Building sand castles is a fun ...

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Thank you for letting me travel to India!

I am a Pakistani. My best friend is an Indian. We have spent many nights last year during our time at college in New York making reunion plans. However, every time the conversation would come to an uncomfortable halt when it boiled down to the issue of obtaining visa entry to each other’s homeland. Each time, the conversation ended the same way. We would conclude with promises of meeting on neutral territory such as Dubai or Sri Lanka. On particularly dark days, when the media stirred up a fresh concoction of past tensions, we would make peace with sustaining the friendship ...

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Reporting from FATA: A difficult feat and not enough in return

The tribal areas of Pakistan, from where news outflow makes headlines all over the world, focuses largely on the war on terror. Journalists reporting from the region say they are being neglected, even though they have to risk their lives to report day-to-day affairs from the war-torn area. A journalist from Kurram Agency’s restive area says the biggest issue facing journalists from the tribal region is financial security. According to him, journalists never get staff status in this area and work as stringers receiving low salaries. Additionally, journalists in Peshawar and Islamabad use the information provided by tribal journalists and ...

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Beat it critics, Misbah should stay!

It is nothing new to see Misbah being criticised for one thing or the other. If not for his batting, it’s his captaincy. The first few pundits and many fans were of the view that Misbah wasn’t suited to the T20 format, now that he has retired from the shortest and the least important format of the game; it’s the ODIs that many supporters think that he is not suited to. Misbah, by now is probably be used to it, and especially after the series loss to Australia, he must have mentally prepared himself for all sorts of criticism ...

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Nokia Lumia smartphones: A strong comeback!

On the morning of September 5, Nokia and Microsoft unveiled the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 smartphones -the new flagship models running Windows Phone 8 operating system. The presentation wasn’t as amazing as those we are used to seeing at Apple events. The phones, however, surpassed all expectations. I believe that these two models, along with the upcoming tablet from Nokia, will mark the revival of Nokia and here are just a few reasons I believe so. Top three key differentiators : 1. Photography: Don’t bother about the megapixels; they don’t really matter. The main camera of ...

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More his mama than mine

Uzma’s eyes were fixed on the clock. She had to wait for nine more seconds till it was exactly 3:00am. Her trance was broken by the aching last breath of the cigarette between her fingers. This pain was short-lived. There were no signs of Ali’s return. Maintaining a smooth marriage was never on his priority list. Neither was this new to Uzma, nor was it the reason of her sleeplessness tonight. In her 12 years spent in Calgary, she had experienced insomnia every December. The melancholic mewling of very noisy Frederic III was becoming unbearable. Its monotony seemed to be drilling ...

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Indo-Pak peace façade: What about Kashmir?

A loyal, unnamed Quaestor (public official) in the great Roman emperor Hadrian’s army, who built the city of Hadrianopolis (now Adrianopolis), had his eyes gouged out and his right arm amputated in the winter of 127 AD. Scandalous rumours that the Quaestor had embezzled funds, collected for the construction of a giant wall meant to keep the barbarians away from Britain, had reached the emperor. For three long years, the ugly ghosts of an unlit torture chamber became permanent companions of the Quaestor. Later, when an official inquest discovered that the Quaestor was innocent, he was summoned before the ...

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Your daughter is beautiful and she has the right to know it!

Today my daughter and son ran up to me, their eyes dancing with excitement. “Mama!” Mishaal* spluttered “I found an acorn! Me and Raami* are going to dig the mud and grow an acorn tree with it.” With every word, her tongue made an ‘ssssssssss’ sound at the end as the air swished out from the gap where her two front teeth used to be. She gave me a huge toothless smile. I laughed and hugged her tight and said “You are so beautiful” She smiled wider, “Mama you always think that”, and then bounced out to grow their acorn tree, with Raami in tow. It’s funny, ever ...

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SuperOver thriller: Pakistan vs Australia

Roars erupted within crowds on the streets and mixed emotions of tension and excitement filled the air in my room just as the last over of yesterday’s hair-raising match began. With Razzaq picking up the ball and looking at it, the nation knew that they were in for something truly special. Pakistan had won the toss and elected to bat in this super over of the 2nd T20 against Australia. After scoring 151 for four, they handed it to Australia who managed 142 runs by the 19th over. They needed, thus, 1o runs to win in six balls. Just as Razzaq began to run-up ...

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