Stories published in August, 2013

Broken Triad: Storm of Assassins – When a Pakistani takes a crack at sci-fi

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a LUMS student was having his fantasy novel published by Ferozsons this year. As a young student novelist myself, I know for a fact how unwelcoming and poorly equipped our publishing industry really is. This is especially so when it comes to entertaining  modern English fiction novels written by young student writers. For a writer, to get a simple third party review done becomes a matter of calling in ‘favours’. It is for this reason that I decided to take a stand for all novelists and readers out there and provide an ...

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This August 14, I learnt patriotism from Hindu Marwari children

This year, covering a sports event on August 14 changed my perspective on what the word ‘hope’ really means. I never thought that amateur football players belonging to the poor Hindu Marwari community could teach me such an important lesson, but they did. They were playing an exhibition match with the Muslim Marwaris’ on Independence Day and how they played for Pakistan! The event that I covered is a mere news story; it can only serve the purpose of informing readers and cannot reflect the true emotions of these people unless you go out there and witness it for yourself. Their story is bigger ...

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Landing the perfect job: Five obstacles standing between you and employment

It’s the crippling feeling of inferiority that makes the job search so dismal. However, the answers are all in your head. All the negative, depressing, defeating thoughts that you entertain as you send out resumes and trudge through interviews . . . you can fix them! So what is it about you that makes you look and feel inferior? 1. Make your presence felt – virtually and physically. To the employer you are nobody. Anonymity is safe. That’s why you apply online, email your resume, and post your job seeker profile with the millions of other strangers in line at the virtual ...

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When the Express News office was under attack, nobody cared

Earlier this morning, a group of armed men – four to be precise – riding motorcycles, opened fire at the Express News office in Karachi. This was at precisely 11:30am this morning. Around 38 rounds were fired and the men escaped via Baloch Colony, unharmed. One security guard and a female employee were injured and both of them were shifted to a hospital for treatment. Hopefully, they will survive. I am telling you all of this because contrary to what you may believe, no major news organisation covered the attack; not one. You’d think such a cowardly attack on Express News ...

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Is there a solution to the Kashmir dispute?

The news from the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir is not good. Five Indian soldiers have reportedly been kidnapped and murdered by terrorists wearing Pakistan Army uniforms. However, the Pakistan Army denies any part in this. I believe that this action, like similar actions in the past, has most likely been carried out by the Jihadi groups who like to derail any process of rapprochement between India and Pakistan. Nevertheless, this has caused tempers to flare across the border and the Indian establishment has sounded off against Pakistan and its support for terrorists. On the Pakistan side, the reaction has ...

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Sikandar wasn’t the real Blue Area villain, it was the media

Yesterday, an armed man entered Islamabad’s Red Zone with his wife and two kids. He opened fire on police and later, kept the forces occupied, demanding the overthrow of the current government and implementation of Islami Nizam (Shariah law) in Pakistan. Clearly, such behaviour cannot be a product of a sound mind. Cases of lunacy such as this are not a new phenomenon either. Considering the triviality of such incidents, we hardly get to see them making breaking news and headlines unless of course they involve exceptions such as the Heaven’s Gate cult by Marshall Applewhite or more recently the Dark Knight Rises shooting ...

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Women’s empowerment and literacy: Have we underestimated the Northern areas?

The people of Northern Pakistan do not just reside on a higher altitude; in fact they are above us in many ways. They are healthier, wealthier and wiser. The northern areas of Pakistan, in addition to being one of the most beautiful places on earth, house some of the most brilliant people in our country (some of whom I’ve had the privilege to meet). Although I have had many friends from this area, I came abreast with their true potential and capabilities about six months ago, when I attended a residential youth camp with participants from all over Pakistan. A ...

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The Wolverine: Everyone’s favourite clawed mutant is back!

Set against striking  Japanese backdrops, with action and strong performances, The Wolverine claws you in from the first reel. The latest instalment in the X-Men film series is a must watch. The film centers on Logan’s aka The Wolverine (Hugh Jackman)’s, struggle to come to terms with the burden of immortality and the loss of Jean Grey. The opening scene is set in 1945 near Nagasaki, where Logan is held in a POW camp, with B-29s flying overhead to deliver the atomic bomb. During the atomic explosion, he saves the life of one his captors, a soldier named Yashida. In the mayhem Yashida learns of Logan’s self-healing abilities. ...

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When the poor pay with their lives for fizzy drinks

Travel through rural Pakistan and two things will strike you. One is heart rending poverty and the other is hospitality. Visitors are greeted with warmth and selfless generosity. The poorest of the poor will immediately call for ‘paani’ for their visitors. Paani means water in Urdu, but in the local lexicon it has come to mean a bottled fizzy drink. And ‘paani’ brooks no refusal. Visitors can demur all they want but the host is not deterred.  “It’s only paani”, he says. “It can do no harm”. But it can and it does. The impression amongst the general public that it ...

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This Independence Day I long for peace with India

“Panchee, nadiya, pawan kay jhokay, Koi sarhad na inhay rokay, Sarhad insaanon kay liye hai, Socho tum nay aur mainay kya paya insan hokay ” – Javed Akhtar (Birds, streams, the flowing breeze No border can stop them Borders were made for mankind Just think,  what did you and I get for being human?) Monday, 5:45am, December 7, 2012: I am at the India-Pakistan bus terminal in Lahore. It’s bitterly cold and yet the throng of well-wishers outside the gate is ever growing. Some are waving goodbye to their relatives about to embark on the bus for Delhi. Others are crying into their shawls or trying to put on a stoic face ...

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