Stories published in December, 2013

Ladies, the Tehelka sexual assault victim is one we should all learn from

Last month, a young reporter from the news magazine Tehelka, was boarding a lift when she was followed by her Editor, Tarun Tejpal, and assaulted. This happened again the following night and she escaped the lift on both occasions. In two weeks time, the girl emailed the Tehelka management and asked Tejpal, one of the most influential men in the Indian media, to issue an apology. He did it twice, once personally and later officially. He admitted to his crime. The girl’s courage, to over-come the hideous incident and demand her right is commendable; that too despite Tejpal’s attempt to blackmail her earlier. This ...

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Kankar: Was Kiran right or wrong in divorcing her husband?

The first slap is the worst – red, hot searing pain across the face. But what sears through is more than a slap. Something breaks inside. A feeling of helplessness, vulnerability and a shattered sense of self-worth takes over which is why, a woman’s first reflex reaction is always disbelief; shock. It is an instant realisation of the painful reality that she will never forget that moment. That she will never be able to unlearn this blow. Sanam Baloch depicted a battered woman’s experience beautifully in the recent Hum TV serial Kankar which ended on December 6, 2013. The serial, with its protagonist ‘Kiran’ ...

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‘Abay yaar’, who betrayed Urdu?

There is a large number of modern, educated people in Pakistan that are blind to an entire area of literature, beginning with the first Urdu novel written by Deputy Nazir Ahmed back in the 1800s to anything written in the Urdu newspapers today. Not only are they completely oblivious, but this educated class also looks down upon the mother language and anything associated with it. To me, it seems that it’s not their fault. For every one of them, somewhere along the line, Urdu lost its value and respect in their eyes. This is how I experienced it. I remember very vividly the day I first used the word ...

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With Ali as Randy, Bushra as Simon and Hadiqa as Paula, what will Pakistan Idol look like?

After creating much hype and expectation, Pakistan Idol is finally here and it is good to see reality television in Pakistan being done this professionally. Having been an avid follower of American Idol for more than six years, I have to say that the Pakistani team of Idol has done a commendable job; from the pre-launch publicity, the judges, the contestants, the fun and the drama, everything about the show makes it a must-watch! So let’s get down to business. Here is my first impression of the show: The contestants I was pleasantly surprised to see the size of the crowd outside the venue. It was definite ...

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Shameful but true: Pakistan laws remain those of our British overlords

It sounds like something out of ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’. Pakistan, in the scheme of things, is a young country. But the laws which govern it are old. Very old. Consider, for example, the country’s criminal law known as the Pakistan Penal Code. It was enacted in 1860 by the British Raj, Lord Macaulay. It was earlier known as the Indian Penal Code but was renamed after the partition in 1947. It was considered as the Code of Criminal Procedure, the regulation which regulates the functioning of all criminal courts in Pakistan, which was enacted in 1898. Other laws include –           The ...

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Inflating food prices and deflating wallets: Don’t blame the government, blame yourself

Inflation is one of the hot topics in Pakistan these days. There has been a drastic increase in the general level of prices in recent years. As per the press release of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as of November 2013 stood at 191.21 index points compared to 172.42 index points in the corresponding month last year. It is pertinent to note that the CPI has increased from record lows of 62.82 index points in July 2001 to skyrocketing 191.21 index points within 13 years. According to the PBS, the category that has the highest weight in the CPI ...

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Aarushi Talwar: Turning murder into entertainment?

It took India’s top investigative agencies five years to figure out how 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar was murdered in 2008. Then, instead of giving the public all the evidence present, they shaped Aarushi’s killing according to their whim and fancy. Crucial findings were discarded while other evidence was tampered and moulded to tell the world that Aarushi was a victim of honour killing by her incensed parents, who clubbed her to death on seeing her in a compromising position with the male domestic help. On the night of May 15, 2008 Aarushi and her household’s domestic help, Hemraj were violently murdered. ...

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With Wasim Akram and Sachin Tendulkar gone, will cricket die?

Fast bowling, for me, died the day Wasim Akram retired from cricket. Batting has just recently passed away along with the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar. Cricket obviously moves on but for people belonging to my generation, Tendulkar was the last of an era of classical cricket. An era that saw some of the greats of the game compete at a level of competence and technique, which may never be equalled by modern day players. Today, when the game has become increasingly easy for all that are related to it, be it the UDRS (Umpire Decision Review System), enhanced coaching and training facilities or the computerised ...

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10 reasons why you should NOT marry a Pakistani man

1. ‘Ammi jaan’ – the famous monster-in… I mean mother-in-law. She is the idolised queen of the domestic domain, ‘lovingly’ referred to as Ammi jaan.  Her precise duties can vary from lovingly criticising you in front of your husband, taunting you with scathing remarks while your husband is not around and haunting you in the middle of the night, even in the privacy of your own bedroom! She will not forgive you for the smallest of mistakes and enjoys watching you squirm in your chair, embarrassed. She will not allow you to change anything in the house, even though the ‘you’re just like my daughter’ ...

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‘Kidz Dunya’ teaches your 5-year-old to get a job and manage money!

Finally, after a plethora of anticipation, ‘Kidz Dunya’ (KD) opened its doors to the entertainment starved kids of Karachi. Nobody really knew what was being done behind the sky blue panaflex on the food court floor of Dolmen Mall Clifton. The general perception was that a Sinbad style recreation facility is under construction and that the children will have yet another venue to go and enjoy coin rides. However KD changed the entire approach towards child entertainment and for the first time in Pakistan’s history, a dedicated facility for activity based entertainment and learning was introduced. Children role playing ...

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