Stories published in December, 2013

When you eat at an expensive restaurant, do you think of the poor?

A few days ago, a friend of mine got a job at a university and to celebrate the occasion, we decided to go out for dinner. Of course, it was going to be his treat. After a long debate over what to eat and where to go, we finally decided to have a buffet dinner at a restaurant close by. We decided the date and time and extended the invite to other friends as well. There were going to be seven of us. I lived in a hostel with another friend and so we decided to go together. We reached the ...

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If Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade was Pakistani, she would be doomed

Devyani Khobragade is one lucky, lucky lady.  To say that about someone who is possibly facing 10 years in prison and was arrested publicly in front of her daughter’s school over visa fraud, is a bit of a stretch, but hear me out.  Khobragade, 39, is an Indian diplomat living in the United States. She is the deputy consul general in New York and currently out on bail. She is someone Pakistani diplomats should be jealous of. Not because she allegedly made USD100, 000 per year. Not because she gets to live in New York. But because as soon as she was publicly humiliated ...

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12 Years A Slave: A peek into the dark history of the US

While my friend and I were having coffee, he shared an interesting observation with me: “I always wondered why the black people were unable to overcome the practice of slavery in the United States through revolt?” I pondered for a few seconds and replied,  “Hasn’t this always been the case when it comes to dynamics between oppressor and oppressed? It is not just the physical scare that prevents a revolt, but a psychological one.” 12 years a slave is a film based on a book written by Solomon Northup, a ‘free negro’ in 1853. In 1841, Northup was living in the state of New York, alongside his wife and two ...

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Ali Azmat, you crossed the line

Comic book writer and filmmaker Kevin Smith once said the following words and they are perhaps some of the most profound I have ever read, probably because they resonate on a personal level: “Remember: It costs nothing to encourage an artist, and the potential benefits are staggering. A pat on the back to an artist now could one day result in your favourite film, or the cartoon you love to get stoned watching, or the song that saves your life. Discourage an artist, you get absolutely nothing in return, ever.” As a child I loved to draw and for a ten-year-old I ...

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Pakistan, a song of love and brotherhood

History tells us that all great nations were once not great. A nation like America had been war struck for more than 100 years. Racial inequality was at its peak in America. The economy was badly affected eight years ago. England too was war ridden for many years. China was once a collection of divided people with vastly differing aims. All great nations faced a plethora of problems before they became truly great. A citizen of the great Pakistan. Photo: Salman Javed I am citizen of a country where, Every day, Earth witnesses blood, The sky witnesses injustice, The sun sees poverty, The stars see slums. And the ...

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Democracy cannot work in Pakistan, not yet

In 2015, we will celebrate our 68th year of independence. In these 68 years, the world around us has changed a lot. For better or for worse, we too have changed as a country. The only thing that has remained constant for us over time is the ever prevalent outcry for a democratic political system. To put it in the simplest of terms, a democratic system is one in which a government is elected by a voting process where every eligible citizen is entitled to vote. It is not however ‘majority rules‘ as many of us assume it is — that is a fallacy. ...

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Is it too risky to become a Pakistani rock star instead of a banker?

My accounting teacher back in O-level (Grade 11) gave us an example of how conservative and hypocritical our Pakistani society can be. She said there are certain tribal areas in Pakistan that are against the education of women and would oppose it on every front. But when one of the girls from their area would end up becoming a successful doctor they would proudly exclaim, “Ye dekho, humara larki doctor ban gaya hai!” (Look at that, our daughter has become a doctor!) I have realised this attitude is not just restricted to the tribal areas. Pakistanis do not recognise or appreciate good things while they are ...

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December 18, 2013
 Omer Anwar

WWE TLC: Chair smashing mayhem in all its glory!

It was time for Tables, Ladders and Chairs (TLC). That moment in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) when things started to change and a new landscape came forth. Sunday night featured various filler matches and two high-profiled handicap matches but of course the highlight was the unification of the company’s biggest titles. Be warned that the following review contains spoilers, features and debatable opinions and focuses on the entertainment that is the WWE Pay Per View (PPV). The former Indie gods faced their toughest challenge  It is one thing to compete against a formidable opponent but it is quite another to take on a ...

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We don’t have a new syllabus, schools or books but you want to give us iPads?

Recently, I came across a piece of news about the Punjab government’s decision to replace traditional course books with iPads next year. Adopting advanced technology in education is a really good idea and it has already been successfully implemented by the United States, the United Kingdom, China, India, Australia and a host of other countries. These nations have the potential advantages of reducing expenses on books, saving trees, student-centric learning, greater collaboration with other students and access to wider resources of education. However, there are a number of underlying issues — some fairly obvious — that rule out the idea of introducing e-learning ...

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Liberal India will not accept the SC verdict, we are not against LGBTs

Shehla Rashid cuts a lonely figure in the crowd of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community at Delhi’s protest street popularly known as Jantar Mantar. A student of sociology in a leading university in the capital and an activist fighting for the cause of women and minorities, Rashid has come to express solidarity with the gay community who are outraged over the judgement of the Supreme Court that has criminalised same sex alliance. The young student feels angry that the apex court has lost a historical opportunity to give the sexual minority their due rights under the constitution. “The judgement ...

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