Stories published in June, 2014

‘Gullu’ app: Are we becoming the Butt of all jokes?

Smash it and thrash it, and who knows, you could be the next famous person with your face plastered on every television screen in Pakistan. The Model Town incident in Lahore not only brought with it a lot of bloodshed but also helped surface a notorious character, Gullu Butt. Since then, the man has been the talk of the town, taking over social media with memes, tweets, posts and shares depicting his infamous act of smashing and thrashing cars. Photo: Google Play Lately, game developers, Weird Science, joined the bandwagon and came up with a game app called ‘Gullu’. It ...

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Summer mocktails and a juicy Ramazan

The blazing heat of the June sun is slowly giving way to the sweltering, scorching July summer wave, as always. However, this year, July is host to the holy month of Ramazan as well. Along with the piety and prayers, Ramazan heralds the beginning of sumptuous iftars and sleepy sehris. But this time, there will be an added twist. With the power supply playing its agonising game of hide and seek, looming visions of extremely thirsty summer afternoons coming ahead have taken over our minds. Reprieve from this can come only in the form of cooling, sweat-beating summer drinks that are easy to prepare but ...

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2014 FIFA World Cup: The good, the bad and the ugly

The Brazilian Carnival is one of the world’s most colourful and exhilarating events – Outdoor parties, colourful performers, magnificent floats, talented musicians. It truly is a fine exhibition of the Brazilian culture. The world was expecting a similarly elating event when the 2014 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony kicked off on June 12, 2014, at Arena Corinthians Stadium in Sao Paulo. Unfortunately, it turned out to be perhaps the worst World Cup opening ceremonies ever. The organisers of the event failed to understand that Brazil is more than just talented football players and colourful costumes. It has a rich culture ...

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Dear politicians, is this really the right time to discuss politics?

For the third time now, Imran Khan has threatened to dissolve the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly. And for the second time, Tahirul Qadri has pledged to transform Pakistan into an Islamic utopia by coming all the way from Canada. Is this because the greatest problems Pakistan faces right now are entirely of a political nature or because Pakistan is not ‘Islamic’ enough for Canadian nationals and that needs to be changed? Yes and perhaps, respectively. Or maybe, the state is a bit too intent on cutting down on tax exemptions. Yes, our politicians have identified Pakistan’s major problems spot on. When the army stepped in and began its military operation ...

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I found God in Turkey

“Whatever is meant for you, […], is bound to come to you. It may have to come all the way from Istanbul to San Francisco, or even by a more roundabout route, but it will come to you.” – Sheikh Mozaffar Ozak And that is how I found myself at the Dubai airport, waiting to board my next flight to Istanbul, wondering how on earth I ended up there. Wasn’t travel one of those things that other people did, but never me? Wasn’t it for carefree people? Surely not for me, for I have too many responsibilities. I am not a mom who leaves ...

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Where did Shab-e-Barat go?

Shab-e-Barat used to be my favourite festival. Yes, ‘festival’ and like all festivals, Shab-e-Barat was entertaining, fun and spiritual. And for a crazy kid growing up in Lahore during the 80s and 90s, it was probably a little adventurous and unsafe too. The local marketplace would host tens of stalls selling all kinds of fireworks known to man. All the kids in the neighbourhood would save their pocket money for months to be able to buy their fill of patakhay. The most popular fireworks included the Anaar (a fountain of fireworks), the Hawaiyaan (rockets) and the Bum (bombs, but not the kind that would explode and destroy half a city ...

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Will North Korea consider this blog an “act of war”?

Facing what could be his harshest critic yet, Seth Rogen’s upcoming film, “The Interview”, has been rated 4.5 nukes by the fuming Supreme Leader of North Korea whom it has satirised.   A spokesperson for the dictatorial regime has accused the Obama administration, which allegedly ‘masterminded’ the movie, of “provocative insanity”, and deemed the movie an outright “act of war”. According to the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “If the United States administration tacitly approves or supports the release of this film, we will take a decisive and merciless countermeasure.” It is unlikely that the “merciless countermeasure” would be a caricature of ...

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For the betterment of the beautiful game, Luis Suarez’s career must not bite the dust

Once again, the best and worst of Luis Suarez came to the fore during the two matches that he has played in the World Cup; single-handedly destroying England despite being only half fit in the first match and, having been frustrated by an organised Italian side in the second, biting centre-back Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder. Touted by many as one of the favourites to win the Golden Boot, alongside fellow South Americans Neymar and Lionel Messi, Suarez showed his class and passion for the game when he scored the winning brace and broke down into tears at the final ...

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Stop blaming FATA and take responsibility for the IDPs, Pakistan

After months of dithering, the Pakistani government finally approved the long-awaited offensive against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) last week. The decision came in the wake of the audacious terrorist attack on the country’s largest airport that reportedly killed at least 29 people. While the decision is a welcome move, the way it was arrived at revealed the ‘reactive’ nature of and the laxity and arbitrariness associated with the country’s policy-making process. Given the existential threat it poses, terrorism should have been the foremost priority of the new government and therefore must have been dealt with in a more pro-active and robust way. Unfortunately, ...

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Bates Motel: A cleverly plotted out thriller that is nothing like the movie

It was Friday night and I was really hoping to watch something different from the usual stuff that is shown on TV. It is then that I came across a series that seemed quite catchy solely by its title – Bates Motel. With modern alterations, it is based on the Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film ‘Psycho’, starring Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates. I must say that the movie was a twisted thriller that was cleverly plotted out. I recently purchased season one of the series and frankly speaking, it is pretty darn good! The series stars Vera Farmiga (Norma Bates), a great, talented and fresh-face ...

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