Stories published in April, 2013

Handwriting analysis: An adventure into the subconscious human mind

People have been scrutinising their own and other people’s handwriting through the ages. Can so and so be trusted? Does he finish a job even when the going gets rough? Is she as nice as she is pretty? Many people have pondered over these questions and have looked to the subject’s handwriting to try and unravel the secret of their character. Each and every one of us has distinct and unique handwriting; our script may be similar to someone else’s but it is never exactly the same. A few people are totally unaware of the individuality expressed in their writing. Very often they are ...

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Vote for PPP or PML-N: New parties can’t help Pakistan

I am not subscribing to a Marxist analysis but it is evident that our society has two distinct classes. The first is the rich and educated minority of Pakistan that makes up the ruling and influential group; the second is the deprived and backward masses who are ruled. In this context, democracy appears to be the best system of governance for the country. However, Pakistan has seen so many military interventions that the evolution of political institutions has been stunted. Many political parties are family-run organisations where leadership remains within the circle of wife, husband, and children. When such descriptions are discussed, the ...

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ANP’s struggle: ‘Watan Ya Kafan’

Watan Ya Kafan (either the country or the coffin) is a strong slogan – one that can be read on posters next to those of the Awami National Party (ANP). This slogan was born because of our country’s turbulent past and along with Azadi ya Maut (freedom or death), it can be traced back to the Hur resistance movement against British colonialism. The movement was spearheaded by the Pir Pagaras and their followers (Hurs) and it lasted for around a 108 years (1843-1951). It reached its climax when Pir Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi II rose to the title of Pir Pagara in 1922. However, this was short lived as ...

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You can’t be a journalist, you’re a woman!

“This is not the right field for a woman”, he said, with an impudence that seemed at odds with his otherwise timid appearance. He offered his two cents, “advice” he called it, as if delivered with nothing but my best interest in mind. “Why don’t you go into TV or reporting?” Being a woman, with any kind of unique ambition in Pakistan, comes with the stigma of rebellion. Women, however, are no longer choosing their occupational roles based on societal expectations. There are now female taxi-drivers, camera operators, police force employees and photojournalists — and while this shows the progress the country ...

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Want to move abroad? Think again!

The life of a middle class Pakistani immigrant overseas is gravely misunderstood by both the people in the immigrant’s homeland and the people in the country to which the immigrant has emigrated. There are a couple of (read: many) things that are immediately dismissed once it is mentioned that a person is a Pakistani living abroad. For one, it is often forgotten that moving abroad means starting over– from scratch. From waiting at the airport for eight hours because of a miscalculation in hotel costs, to renting a basement for immediate accommodation, to living in the basement for approximately six years until you can afford ...

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Spot-fixing scandal: Give Butt and Asif another chance

Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif are once again in the spotlight, embroiled in the on-going spot-fixing controversy stemming from the infamous tour of England in 2010.  Their appeals against the ICC ban have been rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) just yesterday. However, Butt, who has been in the news more often than the other two, still aims to play international cricket again, although, he must serve his ban for the sin he has committed. He stated: “I will be 30 by the time the ban is finished. Let’s see if the motivation is still there.” “I am trying to keep myself ...

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Rowtisserie: Delicious, healthy and fresh food

Karachiites love eating and then talking about the food they just ate. Thus, when any new eatery or home delivery service opens up, we want to try it or know from our ‘social’ circle if it is worth trying out. As of late, my Facebook timeline has been full of comments about the Rowtisserie. One patron declared that at Rowtisserie she “had the most delicious shawarmas – never had better ones!” Someone else stated that “the secret ‘Row’ sauce is beyond yum and the Rowtisserie chicken is super healthy.” Since the social media consensus was that everyone ‘loved every bit of (Rowtisserie]’, my husband and I decided to give it ...

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The comparative disadvantage of poll violence

Pundits have long predicted a blood-stained run-up to election day. So far, candidates recovering from a gruelling scrutiny process and an equally tiresome ticket awarding process, kept electioneering to a minimum. But as we enter the last few weeks of campaigning, the need for public canvassing is forcing candidates to take to the streets. As aspirants reach out to their constituents, they are exposing themselves to a clear and present danger — the threat to their lives. This threat, posed by terrorist elements bent upon derailing elections, is particularly significant for those who belong to districts with a deteriorating security situation, ...

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Is Pakistan equipped to manage a natural disaster?

It has barely been a day and a half since earthquake tremors jolted all the major urban cities of Pakistan and our media’s super short attention span has already managed to shift to other so-called important matters. Have we not suffered enough of nature’s wrath in the last decade to be paying a little more attention to Pakistan’s disaster management capabilities? A few examples of such disasters that shook the nation as a whole are: the earthquake of 2005, the Balochistan floods of 2009 and the monsoon flooding of the Indus in 2010 and 2011. These disasters appear to have slipped into oblivion. The image of the debris ...

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How I learnt ‘I can’t speak Urdu’ is not cool

I had recently shifted to the web desk at The Express Tribune and much to my amazement, it was only fun up until I had to translate breaking news into English! I didn’t really learn how to speak Urdu as a child, and never did well in that subject at school either. Guess what, it’s come back to bite me on my backside! Make no mistake, Urdu is not just a problem for me. There are lots of societal “burgers” out there who struggle with the language at all times and do absolutely nothing about it. What’s embarrassing is, I was born and brought up ...

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