Stories published in March, 2014

“Ask for ‘permission’ before taking a second wife? That is out of the question!”

Suddenly the head of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has claimed that it’s against the tenets of Islam for a man to seek permission from his wife before taking another one. The question that arises is why now, after more than 53 years? When the law was enacted, Islamic scholars like Maududi, Noorani and Mufti Mahmud were active politicians. None of them objected. Therefore, it was assumed that the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 was in accordance with the teachings of Islam. So, what made the current head honcho of CII claim that there is no need to ask your wife if you want ...

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Is David Moyes the end of Manchester United?

Manchester United has by far been the most successful team from England. They have 20 league titles and 11 Football Association (FA) cups in their trophy cabinet to prove their dominance – more than any other team in the country. And they have one man to thank for all this success and glory, Sir Alex Ferguson.  Sir Alex Ferguson bowed out as Manchester United manager at Old Trafford. Photo: Reuters It was always going to be a tough task to follow in Ferguson’s footsteps. Although the Scot himself chose David Moyes to continue his legacy at Old Trafford, the selection raised some eyebrows since many ...

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An open letter to the Sindh Chief Minister: Tharparkar needs you, Sir

Dear Sir, I wonder how you sleep at night, because I am, honestly, having a tough time sleeping peacefully these days. I have visited Tharparkar a few times. And every time I came back, it took me a long time to get the images of Tharparkar out of my system. You and your government, Sir, have visited one too many times. These people have voted for you and trusted you. I wonder how you get those images out of your system. I will not be unfair. So I have to say that visits to interior Sindh have told me enough to say ...

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Every time you buy a stolen phone, you take a life

Early last Sunday I was awakened by a call from a cousin. “My nephew, Abdul Ghaffar, has been killed.” Considerably shaken, I said, “What? How?” A reply came my way, “Cell phone robber shot him when he resisted.” At the funeral, I heard what had happened. Even though he had been robbed a couple of times before and had surrendered his wallet and cell phone, this time he made the fatal mistake of trying to grab the robber’s gun. The gun had gone off, shooting him in the neck. He was just 42, not old or middle-aged by today’s standards. Married with two kids and an average income, he ...

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Afridi’s opinion on women is none of your business!

Just when we think we are over it, it starts all over again. Another video goes viral over social websites, attracts conversations and often takes you nowhere but through a vicious circle of ongoing rebuttals. This time it’s Shahid Afridi under attack. So here goes, it starts with Afridi making a grand comeback, surprising us with his performance in matches against India and Bangladesh. Suddenly, all the loyalty towards him is regained. Then come all the memes about him against Virat Kohli, Indian fans, Bangladeshi fans and the likes. In between the hundreds of comments, we see people praying for Afridi to have a son now after three ...

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If I had my life to live all over again…

If I had my life to live over again, I’d simply be me. I’d live with fewer inhibitions, I’d care less about what people think of me and look at myself through my own mirror. I’d walk barefoot on the cool wet grass more often, I’d watch more sunsets, I’d listen to the music of my heart and live by it, I’d walk with my head high and smile, even if mounds of worry overwhelm me. I’d spend more time with myself, just myself. I’d dare to make more mistakes. I’d say ‘no’ more often. I’d appreciate others more, I’d try giving more and not worry about ingratitude, I’d live with lesser insecurities, I’d express my happiness ...

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Slapping sedition charges? Must have been BJP’s idea!

Doting on Pakistan is apparently a heinous crime in India. Why else would the Uttar Pradesh government slap sedition charges on 67 Kashmiri students in Meerut for cheering the Pakistani cricket team and chanting innocuous slogans like Pakistan Zindabad? When asked by a young student to share his views on the issue in Barkha Dutt’s show Political Roots, senior Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leader, Chandan Mitra exclaimed, “Anybody who lives in India, breathes the air of this country and raises a slogan like Pakistan Zindabad, should be legally persecuted and charged with sedition.” Ha! Truly speaking one could not expect anything better from the Hindu nationalist party whose ...

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Total Siyapaa: Despite a Pakistani groom and an Indian bride, the movie could have been better!

Ali Zafar’s fifth Bollywood film, Total Siyapaa, is an outlandish comedy of errors which unfolds on a single, wild night. The movie is another version of the popular cliché of what happens when a boy meets the girl’s parents for the first time. Things are going great for the couple, Aman, played by Ali Zafar, and Asha, portrayed by the talented Yami Gautam, until Aman is persuaded, with much protest, to meet Asha’s parents. Chaos ensues as the couple face characters ranging from a Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)-obsessed child, baseball-bat wielding youngsters, a chronic complainer (played skilfully by Kiron Kher), trollops with tooting accents and a ...

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Shhh… my kids are sleeping… I killed them both

As I write this, my little boy sits next to me with a mango juice box in one hand and the iPad in another. I glance at him and think of how wonderful childhood is. Cartoons of five monkeys jumping on a bed drive you into a fit of laughter. Hugs and kisses are aplenty. He sleeps on a warm, comfortable bed every night. When he’s sick, his mother wastes no time in giving him the medication he needs. When his father comes home from work, he hugs his little boy and kisses his booboos. He’s a lucky, lucky kid. He’s lucky ...

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Thar famine: Bilawal Bhutto, your incompetence is unpardonable

Dear lord Bilawal, The recent calamity that has hit the Thar Desert is nothing less than heart-wrenching. As I pen these words, thousands stand precariously at the cusp of death. However, the purpose of this write-up is not to vent my sentiments but to bring to your Lordship’s attention the truth of his existence and the seemingly obvious realities that hitherto remain unrealised. My lord, your people are starving and at moments like these true leaders stand amongst their people. You ought to be here; not thousands of miles away in the plush cosiness of your foreign apartments. That’s not the Quaid-e-Awam’s legacy; that’s not ‘Bhuttoism’ – in ...

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