Stories published in April, 2014

5 cricket shots that make us love the game!

All of us watch cricket for a reason. For some that reason is the sound of a cork and leather ball hitting the three stumps while for others it’s the sound of a piece of willow taking out all its anger on that very ball.  As for me, I’ve compiled a list of five of my favourite cricketing shots. This list is in no order of importance and I’ve only included Pakistani batsmen whom I’ve seen playing live in the five years that I’ve been passionately following the sport. Some of you may not agree with any of these and may ...

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I thought Canada was a tolerant country but I was wrong…

It was March 13, 2014 – a pleasant morning in Ottawa, the capital of Canada – when I boarded an OcTranspo bus from the University of Ottawa to go to Carleton University for some laboratory experiments. I was very happy since my wife and child were to join me in Canada within three days after almost 10 months. They had faced some trouble with getting a visa initially and at one point I had almost thought of quitting my PhD fellowship. So it was with a feeling of contentment that everything was finally sorted and there would be a smooth road ahead, that I ...

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Does anyone in Pakistan know how to save money?

While I was visiting a friend, I came across something very peculiar. His domestic help, who was serving us tea and refreshments, had headphones plugged into his ears and kept chatting away to someone over his phone. His behaviour remained consistent during my four-hour-long stay and I wondered how he was able to talk so long without his mobile balance running out.  Giving in to my curiosity, I asked my friend about his servant’s excessive phone calls, to which he explained that of the Rs10,000 that he received as salary, a major chunk of it went either to buying a new phone ...

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The graffiti promised a cure for my son’s disease, it was all a lie!

“Man-Pasand shaddi…” (Marriage of your choice) “Kia aap be-aulaad hain?” (Are you childless?) “Kamzor jism ko mota banaein…” (Beat weakness and get healthy) Photo: Sana Urooj I am sure every single person in Karachi is immune to all these appealing statements painted on walls catching our eyes almost daily. The system is usually blamed for such cheap marketing tactics but it is in fact, Karachiites’ signature trend – purposely created. Graffiti, defined as wordings or images scribbled on a wall, actually originates from ancient Romans and Egyptians in the form of cave paintings and was used as a manner of self-expression. It has transformed ever since in ...

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Welcome to Hypocristan

“Feudalism is the root of all evil in our country, baita,” Ms Naheed, who runs a renowned non-government organisation (NGO), explains to Saleem, a friend of her son. “The worsening moral, social, economic and political crisis Pakistan is going through is due to the elitist mentality of the powerful feudal lords. They deny children the right to education and treat them like slaves.” Saleem jots down the key points of the discussion. He has to submit an article on ‘Feudalism in Pakistan’ for the campus magazine next week. As soon as she finishes her sentence, they hear the sound of breaking glass. Ms Naheed gets ...

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Common sense, not so common in Pakistan: 12-month-old baby told to appear in court, what’s next?

Pakistan would make developmental psychologists all over the world proud. Asian children (namely those from Hong Kong, Singapore and Shangai) seem to be smarter to the world. But children in our part of the world (vis-à-vis the subcontinent) are not far behind. Our kids are more social and streetwise, owing to the joint family systems prevalent in a collectivist society such as ours. Our skins are thicker and our minds are sharper. But our police seem to have gone one step ahead of us in this analysis, unfortunately. Sure our kids are smart, but criminally smart? Apparently, our law enforcement authorities think so. A few ...

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The eccentric professor and his metal detector

“What will you do if… you never recognise love!? What if you never see it coming and going, if and when it comes your way?”, the old professor asked in his usual manner, keeping his voice low, tone, dramatic, like a Shakespearean artist. Each pause, at a precise moment. Words, so well selected and measured. Knowing exactly how to catch the attention of all the young men and women in front of him, who might have been busy seconds ago in their thoughts about their favourite songs, movies or games and most importantly, the opposite sex, but now, he knew ...

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He killed her son, she spared his life

It was recently reported in The Guardian that during a public execution in Iran, 20-year-old Balal, who was convicted of killing his 18-year-old friend Abdollah Hosseinzadeh, had the noose around his neck when Abdollah’s mother stormed up to him, slapped him and then forgave him for murdering her son, halting the execution and saving his life. Photo: AFP Photo: Reuters As quoted by The Guardian, Balal’s mother hugged the grieving mother of the man her son had killed. The two women sobbed in each other’s arms – one because she had lost her son, the other because hers had ...

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5 ‘healthy’ foods that prevent your weight loss

Let me guess what you do the minute someone tells you that you look like you’ve gained a couple of pounds. You either go on a crash diet to the point of starving yourself; you hit the pool, the track and the gym; or you turn into a crazy calorie-counting freak, checking every little morsel of food to see how many calories it contains. Of course, there is always a chance that you approach your weight-loss project rationally and try to eat only healthy foods and exercise regularly. However, be warned that some so-called healthy foods may actually prevent your ...

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Delhi Colony blast: The true face of Pakistani media

I heard the bomb blast that was reported more than 30 minutes ago. I live close to Delhi Colony. I’m not sure how many innocent citizens have lost their lives or how many are injured. They say four people are dead. We still don’t know if there will be others. There are people from my apartments who are still missing. My neighbor has gone looking for her mother. My driver just stepped out of Delhi Colony and was grinning like a fool because he caught a lucky break, another five minutes, he’d be on these very news channels. This blog, however, ...

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