Stories published in August, 2013

Happy-ending massage parlours: When filth comes to Karachi DHA

Massage is taken as a therapy to relieve stress and rejuvenate the mind and body after a day’s hectic routine. In our society a “maalishi” is considered a magician who can instantly relieve you of your knots and spasms. However, since the last five to six years we have witnessed a mushroom growth of salons offering different kinds of massages ranging from neck and shoulder to full body Thai massages. Besides the high end spas, a relatively recent entrant in this market, are “massage parlours” operating in certain commercial areas of DHA and Clifton. Out of curiosity, I did ...

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Chennai Express: A perfect Bollywood masala film!

Director Rohit Shetty, who delivered hits like Golmaal 3, Singham and Bol Bachchan, brings together Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone’s captivating chemistry once again to the big screen in the form of Chennai Express after the 2007’s reincarnation-romance hit film Om Shanti Om.  This light-hearted film is distinctive and has presented completely unusual avatars of Shahrukh and Deepika. To capture the heart of a moviegoer, Shetty successfully mixed all spices in a very balanced manner to present a complete family entertainment film with mindless comedy, drama, action and romance. In the film, 40-year-old Rahul (Shahrukh Khan), a North Indian bachelor and ...

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Meera ji, take a chill pill, please

The list of things wrong with Pakistan, today: corruption, terrorism, a crumbling state structure, the energy crisis, sectarian violence, poverty, lack of infrastructural development, brain drain, increasing foreign debt, illiteracy, unemployment, mehngai (inflation), paani ki qami (water scarcity), roads pe traffic aur Meera ji ki English (traffic on the roads and Meera ji’s English)…Wait, what?! In her own words, Meera began her career in the entertainment industry in 1995. In just 18 years, she has somehow managed to become an integral part of the Pakistani entertainment industry. Every other person on the street will know who she is. Hers’ is the kind of fame ...

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Asad Mushtaq is a hero! Winning a Sword of Honour isn’t easy

The Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst, founded back in the 18th century is part of the British Army which works as an officer training academy. It takes around 10% of its cadets from overseas and is one of the oldest military academies in the world that has seen iconic figures such as Sir Winston Curchill and our very own, Field Marshall Ayub Khan. Pakistan’s Corporal Asad Mushtaq, on August 9, 2013, not only graduated from this institution, but also bagged the highest award present there – the Sword of Honour. As an overseas cadet, attendance at Sandhurst military academy is only possible ...

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Zaka Ashraf’s hold on the PCB isn’t democratic

The day Zaka Ashraf, the former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), orchestrated the elections to get himself elected for four years the apprehensions started to creep and the reason was pretty straightforward. First he handpicked the Board of Governors (BoG) by leaving out the cricket nurseries like Karachi and Lahore, and then ‘obviously’ got elected.  Zaka Ashraf introduced Larkana and Dera Murad Jamali to the BoG at the expense of Karachi and Lahore and the reason was fairly clear – he wanted to secure votes. As expected a flurry of court petitions paved the way for an intervention ...

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When there was a rat in the house

The family stood by like a nation. Mother was the intelligence. She knew all that took place – how many people entered the house, when they came in and when they left. Only she truly knew the quantity and quality of ration and what kind of sustenance was needed at any given point in time. She was also the government. Father was the army. He fixed leaks, changed bulbs and defended the territory from external threats. He was also the opposition. My sister was the media. She kept a strict check on the army and government. She was also the ...

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Our damaging obsession with F-16s

While there seem to be fewer reasons to honour our national holidays with each passing year, it’s always heartening to watch patriotic songs being played on every TV channel upon these days. The heart-warming lyrics and mesmerising tunes make us feel proud to be part of this great nation and remind us of the huge sacrifices made by our forefathers. Yet, these songs also bring to the forefront a certain kind of sadness along with feelings of desperation and hopelessness, like a loved one has tragically passed away. The videos of many of these patriotic melodies seem to be made with ...

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Why do the Karachiite-type men fall for Punjabi women?

I begin with the disclaimer that this blog is not for three kinds of people: 1. Those who have an issue with the sweeping generalisations I am about to make in the spirit of fun, though parts will be definitely based on truth and years of research-based observation. 2. Ladies who are non-Punjabi and take the title as a jibe against themselves, and say to themselves “what does she mean? Don’t men like non-Punjabi women? She doesn’t know what she’s talking about! I know my husband would never be able to do with a Punjabi woman… they’re so loud!” 3. Punjabi women ...

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Even Oprah Winfrey would have made a better Batman than Ben Affleck

What is absolutely crystal clear after the controversial announcement that two time Academy Award winning filmmaker/actor, Ben Affleck, is going to be the man to don the mask and cowl for the upcoming Batman vs. Superman film, is that the internet never forgets. Yes, to say that Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting), after a bright start made some career mistakes, would be to utter an understatement larger than the $27 million rear of his former girlfriend, Jennifer Lopez. In 2001, Ben Affleck starred in the Michael Bay film Pearl Harbor, which sadly was a bigger tragedy than the actual historic event ...

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Main Hoon Shahid Afridi: Pakistani cinema has finally arrived!

Pakistani cinema has finally arrived where it was supposed to. (It was supposed to arrive a decade or two ago but anyway.) I am not happy when people start comparisons between a multi-billion dollar industry such as Bollywood to a flailing, haphazard, mainly notorious industry such as Lollywood. The comparison is not only unfair, it is silly and, from all rules of economics, a failure to begin with. Pakistani cinema-goers, however, cannot help but compare the two and hence, every time we watch a Bollywood flick, we sigh and go, “Haye, Pakistan main kyun nahee banti hain aisi movies?” (Gosh, why aren’t ...

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