Stories published in October, 2012

West Indies dance to victory – literally!

Like a raging fire, West Indies rose again to finally be crowned world champs. And it was heartening to see so -not because Sri Lanka had ousted Pakistan in the semi-final, although I did feel a little satisfaction at that – but because it is after a very long time that West Indies have won something of note. This is the country, or a collection of Islands depending on your perspective, that gave us world class players like Viv Richards, Clive Loyds, Brian Lara, Curtley Ambrose and many more. They had the best pace attack to have ever graced this ...

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At Roadside Café: Three cups of tea and a gunshot

When I used to go horse riding I learnt that whenever you fall off a horse you have to immediately pick yourself up and get back on or you will develop a fear for life. The truth is on the outside I seemed determined but after falling nine times it got to my head and gave me a bit of insecurity. I mean do you know how irritating untrained and unpredictable horses can be? Karachi I feel is the same; yes we are resilient but we are lying to ourselves if we say that it doesn’t eat at your nerves one ...

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A dangerous gamble? PTI’s ‘Peace March’ to the badlands

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has begun its ‘Peace March’ to South Waziristan wherein lies the Mehsud tribe’s town of Kotkai as well the native village of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Militant leader Hakimullah Mehsud and his slain cousin Qari Hussain, and the Ustad Fidayeen (trainer of suicide bombers) are also from the area. In fact, the first suicide bombing training camp was setup at Kotkai. Recently, the town has gained importance in the international media as no one except the Mehsuds were previously allowed to enter it. Since the past two days, the area has been declared by the political administration ...

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Drones strikes and Obama, two things I’m not voting for this year

After what seems like a quick four years, elections are only a month away in the United States and the two candidates are Mitt Romney of the Republican Party and the current President who is up for re-election, Barack Obama. Whether the American citizens like it or not, Pakistan is a strategic ally in the so-called ‘war on terror’ and relations with Pakistan have never been so important. Pakistan also has its share of issues and dissatisfaction and hatred for the United States is definitely one of them. Of course, this year election year is important not only for ...

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Gangnam Style: Are you doing it yet?

If you watch Pakistani television, you may have recently come across a very strange Zong commercial, which goes something like “Open Zong style!” However, if you browse the internet often, you might already know why I find this commercial to be an insufferable abomination. It is ‘inspired’, so to speak, by the very viral (and incredible) “Gangnam Style” ─ Korean pop/rap sensation Psy’s song video. I will talk about this displeasure of an ad later. Let’s talk about what “Gangnam Style” is first. “Gangnam Style” was posted on Psy’s official YouTube channel on July 15, 2012, and now has about 360 million views! It’s ...

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I am 12 years old and I wish there was no child labour!

Yesterday, I went to my friend’s house to play. We wanted to go cycling on the road in his neighbourhood. Since, there was no air in the tyres we had to go to the cycle tyre shop. We went to the nearest cycle shop which was at Saba Avenue. We had to stand in line to get it fixed. On our turn, an 11-year-old boy started fixing the puncture. While he was fixing it he noticed that the brake wire was also broken. When he had fixed the two punctures he turned the cycle around to fix the wire. While he ...

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SPLGO: This land is your land, this land is my land

As you may have heard by now, MQM and PPP have successfully managed to divide the province of Sindh along their power base lines. In a very smart move just before the elections, the PPP and MQM have hammered out a deal that will see Sindh get divided in a manner that benefits both parties. Just to ensure that their opponents really do not do much damage, they have passed something called the Sindh Peoples Local Governance Ordinance (SPLGO) that creates five ‘metropolitan corporations’ in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Larkana districts. The rest of the districts in Sindh would have district ...

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A day in the life of an O’ level student

Myra sits in her exam centre and carefully looks at everything inside the exam room, taking in every minute detail around her. She looks for any means of entertainment, or something ─ anything ─ that would reduce this boredom. Her friend purses her lips which reveal her annoyance at Myra, too afraid to show any real emotions for fear of the invigilator. The invigilator, a stout, stern woman moves her eyes around the room like a hawk, ever ready to catch any miserable brat hand gesturing or passing random smiles. One can’t smile, speak, or move their arms to stretch as ...

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Why I miss printed photographs!

Not too long ago, photographs used to be printed and stored in proper albums. However, thanks to the social media and various digital photo sharing options, the trend of getting your photographs printed is fast vanishing. Here are seven things I miss about the printed photographs era. 1.  The big, fancy albums: Facebook albums might have tried to replace the good ol’ albums that the whole family used to treasure, but they can never, ever have the same sentimental value. We will probably realise this to a fuller extent after a decade or two. 2.  Ageing: Printed photographs age with the passage of time. ...

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Was Afridi the reason behind our loss?

Well it was a good ride wasn’t it? We put on a good show for the world. We proved that in the midst of all the trauma, we can still punch and kick hard in cricket’s global events. But like most times, except in 2009, when the team was led by Younis Khan in 2009, possibly one of our best captains who led in a seriously troubled time, we didn’t have enough talent to go all the way.    Hafeez is a good captain. Sometimes he appears to over think stuff like the inventive field placing in Gul’s last over in ...

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