Stories published in September, 2012

Pakistan Army: Can’t live with them, can’t live without them

Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus while compiling his literary work Chiliades Adagiorum (Thousands of Adages) never would have thought that one day his words ‘can’t live with them, can’t live without them’ would be used to describe the Pakistan Army as viewed by Pakistanis.  The Pakistan Army is seen both as white knights and ravagers by the common man. Some consider the army as the author of every ill that afflicts the country while others view it as the sole reason of its sustenance. Commentary on the Pakistani military is aplenty on the internet and while the positive comments at times can be attributed ...

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Sexist and vulgar: Why is this the music of today?

I’ve always loved music. The sweet tunes of Sufi artists; the purity of Africa’s tribal beats; the melodies of Arabia, and the especially popular Western sounds of the modern world have all impacted me in more ways than I can probably comprehend. The poetic lyrics have left me, on more than one occasion, in complete awe. However, the more I listen to today’s mainstream music – the likes of Kesha, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga – the more disappointed I am left. The lyricists seem hollow, egotistic and vain. I get it cracking like a bad back, b**** talking she ...

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World T20: Another top four finish awaits Pakistan

With just a few more days to go to the ICC World Twenty20, I can feel the excitement building — it’s not just the kids but the adult ‘kids’ too, as cricket’s version of the circus will be in town very, very soon. The preparations have been given a trial run with the Sri Lankan Premier League and everyone is wiping off the dust on their coloured kits and getting them ready for when the music starts. I have been putting the Afghanistan T20 squad through their paces, hoping that the team, while not being a hot favourite, is physically ...

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The importance of being idle

Something within me changed recently. I became a productive, contributing member of society and I started doing my own laundry. It doesn’t stop here. Once you wind up on the path of being a citizen in every sense of the world, stained and wrinkled attire just does not feel right. Yes, I have a job, and yes, I earn money. Yes, I can splurge with reckless abandon and I owe it all to being bored of being bored. If slackers had a monthly supplement, I swear to you I would have graced its covers a few times over. Lying in bed ...

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Vo Jang: Take strength from Faiz Pakistan

As a director, the making of ‘Vo Jang’ was one of the hardest feats that I have ever had to complete. I went through hours of grave contemplating, thinking, and absorbing the gruesomeness of the status quo of Pakistan. At times, the experience became so overwhelming that I would break down completely. Nevertheless, some things have to be said and some brutalities have to be faced. Evil has to be confronted and demons have to be fought even if it all comes at the price of standing on the verge of losing your sanity. ‘Vo Jang’ is a beautiful albeit saddening piece ...

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My experience with ‘Call-a-Rik’

Travelling around by rickshaw is something most Pakistanis, especially ones in the cities, are used to. Travelling through a ‘Rik’, though, is an entirely different experience! When a colleague told me about the Call-a-Rik service, I immediately decided to give this new addition in the public transport of Pakistan a try. Here is my account of the experience. Reserving a Rik: I visited the website of the service and found it be very distasteful. They definitely need a better web designer, but I digress. The purpose of my visit was to gather some information about the service and to book ...

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We don’t need Shahid Afridi

Yesterday news broke that Shahid Afridi had injured the webbing of his hand and might not be able to play the first two matches of the Twenty20 series against Australia. Having sustained two stitches to his thumb, Afridi has managed t0 split the hearts of many in Pakistan. A collective sigh was heard as the news broke and the nation slumped into depression. Having lost the ODI series to Australia, morale was already low, but with Afridi probably out, we are a cinch to lose to T20 series too. What a bummer. Who is going to Boom boom on the field? Yes, it is ...

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If I choose to wear a hijab, will you let me?

If feminism did one thing right for women it was to provide us with an abundance of choices. Something the fair gender hadn’t really experienced before. Whether it was the choice to wear pants and throw away those constricting corsets, or the choice to go out and vote and make a difference in the world. We could drive, abort or use contraceptives. These are the same choices that helped women like you and me get PhDs, work in male-dominated industries and hold top level positions and get equal pay. We could literally be men if we wanted to be! But if ...

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Aren’t we already a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’?

Last week, major media outlets reported that the Obama administration was considering designating the Haqqani network a “terrorist organisation”. The New York Times, meanwhile, pointed out that the United States was considering the decision’s impact on its relationship with Pakistan. The article added that “such a move would seem to bring Pakistan a step closer to being designated as a state sponsor of terrorism”. Let’s address the issue of Pakistan being declared a “state sponsor of terrorism”. On the list of terrorist organisations available on the US State Department’s website are familiar names like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad, Harkatul Mujahideen, Jundallah and ...

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Seven ‘little wins’ that make my day!

I truly enjoy the small things in life. You know, the ‘choti choti khushiyan’. The other day one of these things, I call them ‘little wins’, happened and it got me thinking about the little wins that we all get and about what mine are specifically. So, these are just the little things that somehow can turn a bad day around on a dime: 1. I can’t stress how excited I get when I grab a soda from one of the vending machines or coolers at a supermarket and I pop it open, only to find it is partially frozen! It’s ...

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