Stories published in June, 2014

Anti-FIFA graffiti in Brazil: Could Pakistan ever protest against cricket?

The first time the World Cup caught my interest was when the official theme song was being selected. The competition between Shakira, J-lo and Pitbull was worth following because no one could predict what the amazing musicians could have up their sleeves. Although I was utterly disappointed, when Pitbull and J-lo released their unimpressive and clichéd We Are One (Ole Ola) – which was eventually selected as the theme song of the tournament – Shakira’s powerful and colourful LaLaLa Brazil 2014 was refreshing enough. I still have it on my cell-phone. On repeat, might I add. This time, my attention was caught by the FIFA World Cup ...

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Today, I make peace with the media

I wrote a blog for this section a few weeks ago, in which I called the independent media, “Inane, unethical, disgusting and disastrous” It was, and still is, a terrible oversight on my part, an unkind act if you will. I do apologise. I was being a schmuck and it took me a while to decide if I should clear the air. I am acerbic and I can be thoughtless and cruel at times. Even though this description – disgusting and so on – holds true in some cases, it certainly doesn’t apply to everyone. Media in Pakistan is under attack from all sides. ...

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Give us access to Cape Mount again!

With summers approaching, the beach at Cape Monze, or Cape Mount as it is popularly called, seemed like the best place to go to give our children an outlet for their energy. Cape Mount in particular because of its unique setting and excursion value.  It was in 2006 that I had last visited this picturesque seaside with a group of friends. Glimpses of its beauty are still etched in my mind. From the highland, where we parked the car, looking down at the long stretch of the pristine beach was unworldly and then descending down to the untouched seashore through ...

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Birth, confusing and perplexing, birth

The August night was frightening, confusing, perplexing. Hot, humid and sweaty… The room was pleasant, comfortable, properly lit and professionally decorated in muted, soothing hues of beige, gold and taupe. Tapestries artfully draped, artefacts tastefully displayed; everything oozed style and grace. The effortless elegance and oomph of old money inherited through generations, mere mortals can only think, or write about. A room, about to witness the first birth… The loudest, metropolitan city of the land of the pure was in complete darkness, thanks to power outage. Energy crisis was at its peak and on that particular night, the shortfall in electricity production was more than many thousand mega-watts. She whimpered in pain ...

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In Pune: Beaten to death for sporting a beard

Five years ago, in 2009, I was in Pune on an assignment. There, I decided to stay with my college friend, a Muslim, for a couple of days, for I thought it would be a good opportunity to revive old memories and spend some quality time together. But, providence had something else in store for us. On a chilly, dank night while returning from a rotisserie on my friend’s motorcycle, we were stopped by a group of seven people with saffron headbands worn around their brows, armed with clubs, hockey sticks, knives and above all, a flag of a Hindu nationalist ...

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Pakistan, the illusions of a glorious past and kafan chor

Times don’t really change much over the centuries. Or so I felt after reading one of the aphorisms or ‘hikayaat’ of one of the medieval times poet and thinker, Sheikh Saadi. It goes like this… Once upon a time, there used to be an evil, wretched man in a small town, who used to steal ‘kafan’ (white cloth used as a shroud to wrap the dead bodies) right after burial from the local graveyard. His means of income, therefore, involved opening up fresh graves, desecrating the dead for a meagre amount of money that he would get by selling the white cloth in the ...

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Ice cream sandwiches: A one-way ticket to impressing the mother-in-law

48 hours into married life and I spilled a glass of chilled coke on the lunch table which conveniently made its way onto my mother-in-law’s smartly dressed lap. My heavily make-upped mascara filled eyes refused to look up. The rest of the lunch was spent in shame and no coke either. On the same evening, I decided to make up for the horror and volunteered to put together an ice cream cake for the guests arriving the next day. As you all know, the wedding fanfare continues until the dear bahu gets pregnant. 52 hours into married life, lawfully wedded Mr A took ...

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4 players who will be missed at the FIFA World Cup 2014

One of the greatest and highly anticipated sports event is about to kick off on June 12, with the host nation Brazil facing Croatia in the first match of the FIFA World Cup 2014. Participating teams have already started preparations ahead of the competition, with some European teams travelling to the Americas a few days beforehand, to get used to the warm weather conditions in Brazil. Coaches have announced their squads for the World Cup, comprising of the best and fittest 23 men – according to them, that is. However, there are some notable miss-outs from the squads being carried to Brazil. For ...

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When will this society stop victimising women?

The recent incident of ‘honour killing’ has raised much criticism from activist groups both at home and abroad. The fact that this incident took place right outside the court of law (ironically the institution that promises to legally protect us all) and that too in front of an unwavering audience; truly shatters ones faith in humanity. What kills its last tether though is the very alert and apt police force present during this incident who refused to budge to the aid of this poor woman. Such a disgraceful act demonstrated by our own police force should be severely punished by the court ...

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What about the two Air Force pilots who died yesterday?

Yesterday, Pakistan lost two impeccable fighter pilots in a saddening crash in Karachi. The incident took the lives of Wing Commander Khurram Sammad and Squadron Leader Umair Elahi. As the Mirage fighter plane crashed in Baldia Town, the incident caused four other casualties. Yesterday, Pakistan also saw the self-proclaimed ‘Quaid’ of Sindh, also known as Altaf Hussain getting arrested for money laundering. The news of his arrest caused the usual stir in halting all life in Karachi. Roads were jammed, shops closed and basically all activities came to a standstill as the city sat in terror. The violence that comes with such news is nothing new. People ...

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