Stories published in December, 2013

Android, Imma let you finish, but iPhone is still better any day

The battle between the two reigning categories of smartphones continues incessantly without showing any signs of letting up. Android disciples constantly wage war against zealot iPhone followers but in many ways, the iPhone will always be superior to its current adversary. Here are five features that still make the iPhone superior to the Android smart phone: 1. Better operating system Aesthetically, Windows Vista was considered to be Microsoft’s most beautifully designed operating system. However, that was all that operating system had to offer – aesthetics. People who had equipped their machines with powerful components and peripherals have always found one element that slowed their ...

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Weddings in Pakistan: Down with the dowry, enough with the spending!

An often ignored reality that has plagued Pakistani society is that getting married is a financial nightmare. Marriage in our country is an occasion for insane displays of spending on outrageously lavish valimas, mehndi banquets, jewellery, give-aways, dowry and similar acts. What is interesting and downright appalling is that all classes of society are guilty of this madness. Our upper-class uses the occasion to show how wealthy they are. The middle-class, as always torn between the echelons of society, tries its best to spend as much as it can and register itself within the upper-class so as to feel accomplished. The poor take out the money ...

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2013: The year Pakistan’s snooker players made us proud!

Pakistan’s snooker players are known worldwide for their consistent participation and spectacular performances in international events. However, in spite of the fact that the sport is played all over Pakistan, and played well, snooker players remain unknown to their own countrymen since their performance and victories are not given the due attention they deserve. Just recently, four Pakistani snooker players gave another bout of outstanding performances in Latvia at the International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) World Snooker Championship. All four of them came out at the top of their groups before the knock-out round in which Muhammad Sajjad won the bronze medal. The year 2013 had begun ...

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I am a Muslim who celebrates Christmas – and you should too

I plan to take my family out for dinner. I may call it a Christmas dinner and I don’t think there is anything wrong in calling it that. As Pakistanis, I think it is a great coincidence and blessing that today is also the birthday of our founder, Quaid-e-Azam, whose message wasn’t far off from what Jesus Christ taught us. Not only is there a religious connotation but a national association to this day for us to be united as one, spread the love and share the blessings with those less privileged. Before anyone takes objection to the term “Jesus Christ” please note ...

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With love, from Santa: Christmas cupcake delights!

Christmas is that time of the year where you just want to cozy up near a fire with your loved ones and enjoy some soul food. Whether it’s a nice little turkey combined with some exceptional roasted vegetables or some scrumptious dessert that just melts in your mouth. So in the spirit of Christmas, I’ve decided to spruce up an old Christmas recipe and give you something to share with your loved ones. For those who want to spread some Christmas spirit this holiday, here is my recipe of Christmas cupcakes with lemon zest and dried fruits. Ingredients: Photo: Laila Dharamsey Butter – 125 grams Soft ...

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The Aam Admi Party: An Indian version of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf?

Politics between India and Pakistan have essentially been dominated by upper-class families, feudal lords and tribes. These politicians have a history of dividing the public on the basis of religion, ethnicity and class. Since the creation of both countries, we have witnessed the politics of hatred against people of other ideologies, religions and ethnicities. It is quite apparent that both countries are not running on the principles set by their founders, Quaid-e-Azam and Mahatma Gandhi. Both these great leaders dreamt of a state in which all citizens would be treated equally without any discrimination on the basis of colour, caste, class and religion. Even ...

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Is Abb Tak’s Uzma Tahir the new Maya Khan?

There’s a new trend catching on – TV aunties raiding your homes with their camera crews and demanding to know who you’re sharing your apartment with. Say ‘cheese’, Pakistan! Uzma Tahir is a woman on a mission. The host of the program ‘Khufia’ on Abb Tak, takes in a deep breath and valiantly nose-dives into Karachi’s sordid core where men dress like women. It’s an exhaustive, but fruitful, day’s work of ramming her microphone into people’s faces and inquiring, “Ap Naila ke saath kab se hein? Tumhein pata hai ke who kaun hai? Khuwaja sera? Mujhe toh pata hai yeh khuwaja sera hai” (How long have ...

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A conversation between Ghalib and Iqbal

Once upon a time, a Pakistani who also happened to be an Urdu literature lover, was travelling from one city to another somewhere in the northern areas of Pakistan. Throughout his journey, only two books were his companion – Deewan-e-Ghalib and Kalaam-e- Iqbal. During a long bus journey, his tired and weary yet over-imaginative mind was in a half-sleeping and half-dreaming state. In this trance, he found Ghalib and Iqbal sitting in the seats right next to him talking to each other, completely oblivious of his presence. This is the conversation that ensued between these two great Urdu poets: Iqbal “Aah! Look at those beautiful mountains and ...

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I want to live in a Pakistan where women support women

I once had dreams of building a successful career as a legal professional. I pursued this dream all the way up to studying for the Bar-entrance-examination. However, our society expects a girl to get married as soon as she crosses puberty – before she can make any serious effort to pursue a career. Eventually, I too had to succumb to pressure and tied the knot half expecting a career shift from the court room to the kitchen. Initially, things worked like a charm and I was blessed with a home that I could proudly term my ‘heaven’. Yet I couldn’t curb ...

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Pashto films are destroying Pashtun culture

“Khandani Badmaash, Bewaqoof, Sharabi, Wehshi Badmaash, Ujrati, Charsi, Dama, Mastay Jenakai, Gandagir!” No, I am not abusing you. I am only naming a few of the famous films Pashto cinema has produced over the year. What is even more astonishing is that Pashtuns are known for their distinct code of conduct called the Pakhtunwali, which is quite different from what these movies depict. The Pashtun culture is an amalgamation of different elements which include the family structure or joint family system, the melmastia or hospitality, the jirga or tribal council which makes all important decisions, ghairat or the concepts of honour and courage and the satar or area of the ...

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