Stories published in October, 2012

Chakravyuh: Prakash Jha stuns again!

Prakash Jha, the acclaimed Bollywood director of films like Rajneeti and Gangaajal had the honour of showcasing his latest offering at the BFI London Film festival underway at the moment. Chakravyuh stars Arjun Rampal and Abhay Deol in the lead roles and is a tale of two friends in the backdrop of the Naxalite uprising in some parts of India. “I am extremely happy that the London Film Festival wanted to choose a popular Bollywood film for the festival and they decided to choose mine, which is in the popular genre, but is not really a populist Bollywood film,” said ...

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The story of Amanda Yousufzai and Malala Todd

For the past few years, a young girl was tormented, teased and bullied by several different people. She had vile names thrown at her on the streets, received chilling phone calls and even multiple death threats. A week ago, the very same girl died. I know what you’re thinking: this writer is talking rubbish – Malala isn’t dead. This story isn’t about Malala, it’s about Amanda Todd, a 15-year old girl that hung herself in her room because of the humiliation she had faced at the hands of her classmates and stalkers on the internet. Unlike Malala, whose story has triggered ...

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Can you justify barbarism? The Taliban did!

An odd thing happened on Wednesday when a group of American anti-drone activists went to the Islamabad Bar Association office for a discussion. Members of the Namoos-e-Risalat Forum (NRF), a group that beatified Salman Taseer’s convicted assassin, the traitor Mumtaz Qadri, tried to disrupt the event, organised by a more rational thinking group of lawyers. The uninformed NRF leader was reported saying, “Americans follow double standards; they kill innocent civilians through drone attacks while sending a peace delegation to Pakistan,” He said this not realising that it makes no sense for the Americans to send an official delegation to speak against official ...

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Ginsoy’s ridiculous service charge and social media’s wonders

A new controversy broke around a few days ago when one of the upscale restaurants of Karachi decided to charge an additional 10% service charge over the bill for pre-reservation customers. The charge didn’t apply to walk-ins.  The restaurant I am referring to, Ginsoy, is located at Khayban-e-Shahbaz and despite not being too old, caters to number of reservations on a daily basis. The food quality is very good. This 10% service charge was a practice in pure customer exploitation as never before had I heard of a restaurant charging additionally for making prior reservations. Yes, there are some that charge ...

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Dual nationality: Loyalty doesn’t exist with polygamy!

“It’s almost required with major artists that there’s some duality. And I’ve got duality everywhere.” ─ George Michael. Politicians are indeed no more different than any paid actor in this world. They set the stage like a chequerboard ─ sharp and clever. The recent conundrum of dual nationality holders as government representatives, has spurred the political actors to present their acts in the best way possible. From MQM leader Altaf Hussain to Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, even party representatives from ANP aren’t a step behind when it comes to proposing their ideals for dual nationality cases, in the Supreme Court. Pakistan has always been ...

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I followed him to his home, the slum

Bearing the insignia of your destitution, You smile at me innocently, in awe, with measured restraint, As you collect fruit from the garbage, Searching through the mess, your eyes down, your face composed, You bend with deliberation, patiently shifting through the boxes, Every minute counts, dusk is setting in and patience is running thin.   Brown hair, hazel blue eyes, a sharp nose, Ragged clothes, messy hair, a broken sandal. You could have been my cousin, my niece, If only fate had been more magnanimous, If poverty had not tainted your childhood.   The owner kicks you, abuses, threatens, Yet you continue collecting food from the stinking pile. Your eyes flare up in protest, ...

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Malala shooting: The Pakistani media’s hidden agenda

The attack on Malala Yousufzai and the reactions evoked by it have been covered in the media in detail. Sadly, the after-effects are not what many proponents of such coverage would have hoped for. Our coverage, for the most part, has been one-dimensional. We have been focusing on whether Malala will get better and how horrible the entire incident has been. But we have failed to analyse other aspects. What are the ramifications of such an attack? Where do we see us going from here? Perhaps, we don’t want to deal with the conclusions that many of our analysts will draw. Perhaps, it’s ...

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Our teachers are loyal to money only, not students

“You’re no better than a prostitute.” These weren’t the words I was expecting to hear when I started teaching at Pakistan’s most prominent university. But here a retired admiral and at the time serving pro-rector was telling me that I am no better than a w****e. As anyone would, I took immediate offence to these words and asked for an explanation. His analogy was simple to understand. “Prostitutes aren’t loyal and they go wherever they get paid the most.” And as it was explained to me, a new faculty member, “That is what most educators in Pakistan do.” Although the words stung at first, as ...

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Gon Pacci: An exquisitely ‘Feng Shui’ experience

Feng  Shui is an ancient Chinese lifestyle referring to a peaceful, serene and calm environment. This is exactly what felt as I entered Gon Pacci, the new eatery at Shahbaz Commercial DHA, Karachi. Gon Pacci only just opened and the staff is already busy. With a seating capacity of around 100 people spread over two complete floors and an exciting menu, it’s no wonder that they are already booked for parties and events, not to mention the busy lunch and dinner hours. I was very intrigued by its interior and the finger food served at its launch party. I simply could not ...

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Imran Khan can bring peace to FATA

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s ‘Peace March’ has been widely criticised by many but the fact remains that the liberal Imran Khan had taken a brave initiative to march towards the militancy-struck Waziristan – the headquarters of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. But being a divided nation, we happen to be pessimistic. Criticism is in our nature and is mainly the reason why we have remained an underdeveloped state even after 65 years of independence. After detaching Fata from Afghanistan in 1893, we were revealed to the world as a land of wild animals, leading people to believe that once you enter this region, there ...

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