Stories published in May, 2013

Democracy in motion

As per the outcome of the May 11 general elections, the people of Pakistan, once again, placed their faith in the experienced leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) to govern the country, which is suffering from an ailing economy, the worst-ever energy crisis and serious security threats: terrorism, ethnic violence and targeted killings. The 2013 elections were historic in many ways. A democratically elected government completed its five-year term for the first time and transferred power to another democratic government; the voter turnout was the highest ever which is a strong indication that people’s awareness about their right to ...

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Sir Alex Ferguson: Unpredictable and unforgettable

For those of you who watched Sir Alex Ferguson’s farewell speech at Old Trafford, I think it would be fair to say that it was an emotional  experience. For those of you that didn’t, well, ‘Google it’ – it’s worth your time. He begins his speech by saying that he has “got no script in mind” and he is “going to ramble.” I guess what he didn’t realise was that it was this so-called rant that made his speech so poignant. He states, “The players… I wish the players every success in the future. You know how good you are, you know ...

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From Aadat to The Reluctant Fundamentalist: What makes me proud of Pakistan

Music has been a humbling and character building experience for me and all the melodies I made and sung are witness to this over time transformation. I still remember the day when Jal had recently split and I was wandering around the office of Indus Music (IM) to get the video of “Yaqeen” done. It was my first ever solo track. Those were the most sceptical days of my life – a time when I was caught between my dearest hopes and darkest fears – hopes of making it really big and proving to my parents that music was worth a ...

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The dancing girls of Kabul

Blindness takes control and she exhales. She’s been engulfed by darkness and the pleasure of it all just gives her inner peace. She did what she had to. She knew it was all in vain but she can finally feel salvation seep through her being and she feels relieved. She feels death calling her and telling her that it’s time to go – that it’s time to finally let go. They’ve taken away her identity, but they couldn’t ever take away her zeal, her individuality and more importantly, her rebellion. Her bloodied legs tell her to stand; her battered lips ...

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Inferno: Another addictive read by Dan Brown

With a Bourne Identity meets Dante meets Harris Tweed thriller, Dan Brown is back with a bang with his new novel, Inferno. With it we again meet the erudite Harvard symbolist Robert Langdon. Much was speculated before Inferno hit the shelves, including whether the book would be about Da Vinci’s long lost masterpiece in Florence, but the speculations have now been laid to rest. Warning: some spoiler ahead. Robert Langdon in this story finds himself in a Florence hospital with no recollection of how he got there. He only has a laser pointer that reveals renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli’s depiction of medieval ...

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The underlying consensus and elections

French philosopher Alain Badiou opens his essay, the Communist Hypothesis: “If we posit a definition of politics as ‘collective action, organised by certain principles, that aims to unfold the consequences of a new possibility which is currently repressed by the dominant order’, then we would have to conclude that the electoral mechanism is an essentially apolitical procedure.” In 2007, Badiou was critical of the French presidential elections due to the emptiness that it represented. Despite a loud and often bitter campaign between Nicholas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal, there seemed to be a consensus on all critical issues faced in the ...

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My grandfather died two days after casting his vote

On May 13, 2013 my maternal grandfather Abdul Majeed, died at the age of 85. He was suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. (COPD). As a result of this illness his lungs were not able to function properly and fill in the required amount of oxygen. This became the eventual cause of his death. Not only was he bedridden and totally immobile since late March, he had been finding it increasingly difficult to breathe since the beginning of May. However, despite his condition, he actually took the trouble, fought severe pain and found the strength deep inside him to ...

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Spot-fixing: Why the double standards for Indian players?

Pakistan as a nation was exposed to ridicule brought on it by three of its leading cricket players Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir in August 2010 when they were first charged, and later found guilty of spot-fixing. The sport which was known to provide Pakistan its greatest scene of triumph and pride was turned into a source of embarrassment. The players were immediately suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The international media – English and Indian scribes in particular – went on to repeat the question of whether Pakistan should be allowed to continue to play cricket ...

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Please sir, encroach some more

There was once an old man. He had an estranged relationship with his children, who rarely made the effort to care for him. Maybe it was because he wasn’t rich, and they had already got everything they wanted from him. One day, a robber broke into the poor old man’s house and stole his life’s savings. The old man approached the police for help, but they couldn’t track down the robber. Years later, as the man was dying at home, unable to pay for his medical expenses, the police finally caught the robber. The old man now had a choice — ...

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Follow your passion: How I became a sports journalist

In 2007, as my ‘A’-level exams were nearing an end, I was confronted with that inevitable question: what to do in life? That’s when I began to assess my options. Engineering wasn’t my cup of tea. I’d be having a laugh if I thought of becoming a doctor. What was I left with? The ‘easiest’ option available: pursuing a BBA degree. Till the time I got into a business school, my life had been a roller-coaster ride as far as choosing a career was concerned. There was a time when I wanted to become an aeronautical engineer. Then, physics happened ...

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