Stories published in November, 2013

Misbah, your days as captain are over

Before I begin, let me make a couple of things clear just to avoid the usual debate. I am a huge Misbah fan and he is my favourite player. I am not an Afridi or Hafeez lover. However, you just cannot deny the facts or ignore the reality of the cricketing situation for Pakistan under Misbahul Haq. There is no doubt about the fact that Misbahul Haq has been Pakistan’s best batsman over the past year or so. With 1,119 runs in 26 One Day International (ODI) matches at a healthy average strike rate of 53.28 and with 570 runs at an ...

Read Full Post

From Palestine to Chitral: Miracles do happen

In an age in which reading or watching the news is enough to turn any normal human being into a raging lunatic or a hardened cynic, the smallest piece of good news is often like a breath of fresh air and can do wonders for restoring a positive outlook on life. Rooftops near North Jerusalem. Photo: Abdullah Saad I am originally a Palestinian from Jerusalem, and like many Palestinians, I suffer (or perhaps benefit) from a severe case of Wanderlust. Dome of the Rock. Photo: Abdullah Saad This means that we have to remain on the move ...

Read Full Post

Sachin Tendulkar, you made India my second favourite cricket team!

In a fleeting instance, it was over. A brief silence ensued; a billion people mourning in unison. A murmur then began to grow. The quiet, weary traveller trudged off the ground, his head bowed in disappointment. Finally he turned; a small nod of his head, a shy raise of his bat. And then the roar erupted. For a few hours, Sachin had composed the glorious final sonnets to his epic tale. Every shot carried with it a familiarity, a comforting memory perhaps of a happier time. Every duel reminded one of battles won, of reputations scarred. Every smile spoke of innocence unfettered. [caption ...

Read Full Post

This Achari Bhindi is a vegetarian’s delight!

The days I have a vegetarian craving, Achari bhindi (okra) is one of my favourite dishes. I confess my favourite way to cook and eat Okra is with minced meat. Nothing beats that. I will share that recipe at some point in time as well. Acharai bhindi (okra) is a delightful way of cooking and enjoying a vegetarian meal. This recipe doesn’t get any easier than this. On days when you’re tired and don’t have the energy to cook much, yet want to eat something yummy, this is the recipe for you; a quick and easy way to satisfy that insatiable appetite. I will be using fresh Okra but ...

Read Full Post

Ashura’s message: Looking away, being indifferent is not an option

There are days when one just wants to give up and look the other way. Become indifferent. The inner argument is, “What difference can I make, realistically?” I recall feeling that way so many times. Like when I see “small” things like bribes being taken and given in front of me. That gnawing feeling, when people in your area steal water through suction pumps and you are the idiot who doesn’t do it because you think it’s wrong. Worse still, is the feeling you get if you stay quiet when you see a close relative scolding a small child, working ...

Read Full Post

Why do Pakistani men have a roving eye?

What is up with Pakistani males and their need to objectify every female that crosses their path? I emphasise on the word Pakistani because having lived in the West, I have never come across a culture or society where men have such difficulty lowering their gaze.  It is something that has to stop! Not only does it make a woman feel uncomfortable, if not naked, it is an extremely degenerate and distasteful trait in men. Married men, who indulge in it when their wives are sitting right next to them, are particularly loathsome. It starts the minute I land at Islamabad airport right to when ...

Read Full Post

Pakistani and vacationing in the Middle East? Think again!

I am sure you have had one of those conversations in which you end up making a random plan with a friend. Well, that is what happened to me. I have a friend in Jeddah and while talking to him, we realised that we had not met in a long time and hence, I made a plan to take a short trip to Dubai. He was going to travel from Jeddah and he managed to find a flight but I could not get a ticket. However, I have crossed international borders before by road, to the Far East and to ...

Read Full Post

This Ashura, I have a confession

My beloved Hussain, I write to you today on the anniversary of the day you died. Take it as what you will, I think of it more as a confession. Ever since I was very little, they told me to love you. To know you and understand you. To be like you. Probably one of the first things anyone ever told me was that your death on the 10th day of Muharram – Ashura as they said – was a tragedy that should only elicit heartache and sympathy. But before that, I knew nothing. As I child, I didn’t know who I ...

Read Full Post

There is a secret in Lahore, a mystery we can never decipher…

There is something about Lahore. Something in the streets of this city that is a secret. However, just when you think you have it figured out, there is something missing again. We often try to figure it out. What is it about Lahore that keeps us so intrigued? The Lahore I’ve deciphered in the past six years is one that has everything to offer – from the tolerance and beauty of its people, to all its imperfections. I made it a point to explore the city in and out, and have often resorted to using any form of transport available. There is something ...

Read Full Post

Coke Studio vs Nescafe Basement – is there a winner?

Finally, the most awaited season of Coke Studio is on air. However, like last year, it seems like Coke Studio has not been able to ignite the same interest in people like it did in the first two seasons. Having said that, with just one episode on air, it is probably too early to determine the success of this season. What is different this time however, is that Coke Studio seems to have competition – and that too, young and fresh competition – in the form of Nescafe Basement. This show has been produced by Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan, better known as Zulfi, who used to be a part of Entity Paradigm (EP) and is currently in the band Call. ...

Read Full Post