Stories published in December, 2013

Nine must-watch TV shows that are seriously underrated

We all know everybody loves Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, Glee, Big Bang Theory and the like. However, being the hipster that I am, I tend to avoid watching mainstream television shows. They’re great productions but the problem is, I can’t stand being a part of the cult. So I’m sorry if it disappoints any of you if I don’t watch the shows you oh-so-dearly love. I noticed that when a show becomes a trend, people only watch that particular one, while ignoring many shows which are far better. Here I have compiled my list of the nine must-watch shows that people in ...

Read Full Post

My grandmother supported me through everything…now it’s my turn

We have all had grandmothers who spoil and love us unconditionally. Although they teach us the same things that our parents teach us most of the time, we truly understand those lessons when they come from our grandparents. They are also the ultimate praying machines. And I know that I am not alone in saying that when our grandmothers pray for us, we usually believe that their prayers are bound to come true. “Hamara aur kaam hi kiya hai beta? Bas tum log ke liye duaein karna.” (What else are we supposed to do now, dear? Except for praying for you ...

Read Full Post

Wisden All Time best XI: How could you exclude Javed Miandad and Muttiah Muralitharan?

In October, 2013 Wisden, a cricket reference book published annually in UK, marked its 150th anniversary by naming the best Test team of all time. Though the team is a great one and all the pronounced cricket legends are included, some I believe are left out without any valid reasons. The team includes: 1.        Jack Hobbs 2.        W G Grace 3.        Don Bradman (Captain) 4.        Sachin Tendulkar 5.        Vivian Richards 6.        Gary Sobers 7.        Alan Knott 8.       Wasim Akram 9.        Shane Warne 10.    Malcolm Marshall 11.     Sydney Barnes Technically, there is nothing wrong with this team. It is indeed a mighty one, but the selection of Grace over Len Hutton looks more like an honorary one rather ...

Read Full Post

US-Iran renewed ‘friendship’: What’s in store for Pakistan?

On November 24, six major powers agreed with Iran on a landmark interim accord over Iran’s nuclear program. Tehran has committed to halt uranium enrichment beyond five per cent in return for some relief from sanctions, signalling the beginning of reconciliation with the major powers that would make the world safer. Some reports suggest that the P5+1, a group of six world powers including US, Russia, China, UK, France and Germany, dialogue was merely a show. It was the Obama administration’s secret diplomacy that succeeded. This shows the willingness of Washington to resolve the long-standing dispute through diplomacy. The interim deal, for six months, has benefited both sides. Iran has ...

Read Full Post

Polio: Can Imran Khan help defeat the ugly villain in Pakistan’s story of survival?

On October 24, 2013 when I saw polio teams entering my colony – Musharraf Colony in Hayatabad – it was the first time I knew what they had come for. They had come to save lives. I ran home to tell my mother to get my little sister vaccinated. Polio – the villain It was only the night before that I had been peeping into one of the community halls where the elderly, adults and children from the colony had gathered because we were told that some goras (foreigners) were coming to deliver a talk. I had seen one of these lectures before but this time ...

Read Full Post

Borderline Personality Disorder: ‘‘Every time I get angry or sad, I cut myself with a blade’’

‘‘Every time I get angry or sad I cut myself with a blade. The pain and sight of blood helps me to calm down.’’ A 20-year-old patent told me this in a psychiatric emergency room while showing me her forearm which had multiple superficial cuts. “Every time I feel numb from stress or emotional pain, I cut or burn myself. It’s not with the intent to die but it gives me certain pleasure.” She kept explaining it to me without any emotion on her face. “Life is like walking on egg shells for me, I mess up at every level. I have severe ...

Read Full Post

Applying to NED? These tips may save your life!

Ever wondered why people who manage to get admission into NED University of Engineering and Technology (NEDUET) have a certain kind of ecstasy in their eyes? As if they have conquered the world, or at least part of it? I used to ponder over it as well, until I too became a part of the university’s legacy. Recently I decided to apply for admissions in NEDUET. The days that followed saw me transforming from a lovable creature to someone full of loathe and hate for the institute’s administration. Standing in lines for almost seven hours, with an additional hour spent waiting for my name ...

Read Full Post

Sign this petition to save Pakistan from ‘vulgarity’?

As I was about to enter the Blue Dome Mosque in F-10 Markaz, Islamabad, for Jumma prayer, I was stopped by three pious-looking individuals, wearing white turbans and shalwar kameez. They thrust a paper at me and declared that it was my duty as a Muslim to sign the petition. Blue Dome Mosque in F-10 Markaz, Islamabad. Photo: Affan Javed When I asked them what the petition was about, they verbally explained that it was a request to the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to ban behaya (lewd) content, all across the country. When I questioned them further, they seemed to get irritated and ...

Read Full Post

In the Indian diplomat’s case, does anyone care about the nanny?

Paying a maid roughly 200 Indian Rupees (INR) an hour may seem overly generous in places like India and Pakistan where the job market is flooded with excess manpower. But can an Indian diplomat play by the same rules on American soil? Devyani Khobragade had relied on her diplomatic immunity to be able to import her own slice of cheap Indian labour to New York, but the US law intruded her haven nonetheless. She was arrested not only for paying the housekeeper less than half the minimum wage, but also for lying about it on her visa documents. There have been ...

Read Full Post

Is Hafeez in a position to lead our T20 side in the World Cup 2014?

Mohammad Hafeez’s journey as captain began in July, 2012, when he was appointed in-charge of the Pakistan T20 team. A few months later, the team participated in the T20 World Cup, which was held in September, 2012, in Sri Lanka. Though Pakistan made its way into the semi-finals by securing victories in the initial rounds, they had to face defeat in the semis against the host team, by 16 runs. Pakistan had to return back home, empty handed, despite reaching so close to the trophy. During Hafeez’s captaincy, Pakistan T20 cricket has seen many glory days. He has the record of ...

Read Full Post