Stories published in April, 2013

Out of sight, out of mind

Arsalan’s mother had cooked his favourite dish today: kalool (red beans) with lamb mutton. The beans were from the mountains of Dir, and were special, the reason being that the archaic methods of agriculture are still in practice there. These methods resulted in a low yield, but the taste of the produce was unrivaled. The mutton was from Namak Maandi – Charsi Tikka Shop made sure that the lambs that they slaughtered were young and their meat was left in the freezer for a week or two. They wouldn’t sell raw meat to anyone, but then Arsalan was one of their regular ...

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Not-so-blissful ignorance

Some say that ignorance is bliss. I found the truth in this the hard way. A while back, I noticed I was losing weight and the correlating inches off my waistline which made me feel very happy that I was looking smart. But my loved ones, including my wife, forced me to go for a medical check-up. Then I felt the pain of knowledge. Searching for a good doctor in the twin cities was a difficult task because you have to hear everyone’s two cents on whether or not the doctor is any good, or if he/she has had good results ...

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Rafael Nadal: The king is back!

June 28, 2012, proved to be the most significant date in the life of Lukas Rosol. He not only beat Nadal in Wimbeldon but rather pulled off the biggest upset in sport, for the last decade. Nadal’s mind blowing accomplishments on Clay sometimes take the spotlight off what he has achieved on other surfaces. Six finals at Wimbeldon, two final appearances each in Australian Open and US Open respectively take some doing. Thus, Rosol not only beat a great player that day, he actually beat a legend. Nadal did not play another competitive match again for seven months. His long standing battle against his ...

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Five reasons why you should watch Game of Thrones

The Middle-earth had its day on screen; it is now the story of Westeros taking the world by a storm, with the launch of season three of Game of Thrones, HBO’s flagship series. Are you watching it yet? For the uninitiated, Game of Thrones (GOT) is among the most watched (and the most heavily pirated) TV shows in the world, based on the books of George RR Martin. If you aren’t following the show, here is a short explanation for what all the fuss is about: The storylines: Everybody loves a good story. Well, GOT has five or six brilliant stories running parallel to one another at the same time. There’s no protagonist. ...

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Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto: Like him or not, the man was extraordinary

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto is unforgettable. From his birth, on January 5, 1928 to April 4, 1979 when he was hanged in Rawalpindi, he was characterised by one word – extraordinary. Today marks his 34th death anniversary. There is no memorial site at the place of his death, just a huge park for families surrounded by the Army House and court rooms that keep his memory alive. Bhutto had been politically aware from an early age. His grave interest in politics led him to write a letter to Mohammad Ali Jinnah on April 26, 1945 which read: “You have inspired us and we are proud of you. Being ...

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Meera versus Imran Khan? Of course, I’ll vote for Meera!

Whilst the former government was busy choosing a person from the photo album of multiple 85-year-old potential caretakers (most of whom require a personal caretaker in their normal lives), the only thing that was killing me was to figure who I must vote for. Amidst that anguish, came the news that immediately lightened up the mood; interior design graduate from Kinnaird College named Irtiza Rubab is going to be contesting against Imran Khan in the next general elections. For those who don’t know, I’m talking about Meera jee! It was a bit of a laugh since there is absolutely no match between the two. ...

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Shahzeb and Hamza: What makes murder worthy of coverage?

He was just around 20. He was his parents’ only son. He was shot dead — allegedly by the son of an influential person — at point-blank range. His body was found in the DHA locality. Shahzeb Khan? No. This is Hamza Elahi. A resident of Lahore, Hamza was found dead in DHA Phase VI on June 2, 2012. He was allegedly murdered by his friend Shan Khusro, over jealousy (as claimed by the administrators of his memorial page). Shan — son of former Lahore commissioner and Additional Federal Secretary Khusro Pervaiz — admitted to shooting, but by accident. Shan said ...

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Student politics: At Karachi University, life is cheap

Rays of light sift through the bullet-riddled gigantic rusty gate of the dark and dismal gymnasium building even today. It is as if the ‘memory’ is conserved for the petrification of those who witnessed the tragic incident that happened right in the heart of Karachi University (KU) back in 1989. With a distinctive tone of revulsion in his voice, Talib Hussain, a security guard serving the campus for more than 25 years, points towards a rear iron-gate, “I’ll never be able to forget the scene. It has stayed with me ever since… walls pitted with holes and spattered with blood. Those ...

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SUPARCO: Dr Abdus Salam’s long forgotten dream

In 1961, Dr Abdus Salam and late Pakistan Air Force (PAF) commodore WJM Turowicz were busy laying down the foundations of Pakistan’s space agency called Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Corporation (SUPARCO). Little did they know that 52 years later, the nation’s space agency would be lagging woefully behind times, renting foreign built satellites or else hitchhiking on foreign country’s rockets to launch indigenously built satellites (in a manner of speaking) into space. The beginning of SUPARCO reflected the dreams and goals of its founders and the scientists involved. Frequent rocket tests, collaborations with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) regarding training of Pakistani rocket scientists and ...

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Dear women, all men are not rapists!

It was a regular Monday morning, and I left home early to meet a client. I assist a friend with his event management business and we were meeting this ‘rich’ client and so, I made sure I was dressed well and looked my best. My friend promised to pick me up from a spot close to my place, a spot where I decided to get to by a qingqi rickshaw. For those who don’t know, a qingqi is a motorcycle rickshaw with a compartment that has enough space to accommodate six people — three ladies in the back and three gents ...

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