Stories published in June, 2014

The hunt for honour

The sun was up and the air was taking a morning nap. The streets ran the regular barking commotion, And cockcrow shrieks were deafening the pedestrians walking by. The birds crowded the sky as if signalling a warning coming by. The surrounding racket favoured their hunt so much, That some even supposed the gods were on their side that day.   Soon, they spotted their prey, Unescorted, alone, trying her best not to be noticed and mind her way. If only I had an invisibility veil, she thought to herself. Praying under her breath on every step to reach home in one piece.   But they were too many, armed with anything strong and blunt They ...

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‘Maid’ in hell or guardian angel?

When my son was born, all the desi rules applied; the Azaan was given in his ear, the circumcision plans were in place, his head was shaved off at the tenth day, my mom made the panjeeri (which was apparently for my good health), I was told to drink lots and lots of hareera and I also got lots of advice on how to raise my kid. I love this about desi culture. Everyone’s involved. Everyone has an opinion. So as the post partum stresses of sleepless nights and constant feedings and rockings and diaper changing sessions continued, someone advised, “Just get a maid to ...

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Is Carlo Ancelotti the greatest manager of all time?

Florentino Perez, Real Madrid fans and everybody connected to the club are breathing easy now. And why shouldn’t they? At long last, their tenth European title has been secured. The obsession for La Decima has been put to bed once and for all, after a dozen long years of hysteria. Real Madrid’s captain Iker Casillas and team celebrate with the trophy after defeating Atletico Madrid in their Champions League final. Photo: Reuters In 2002, Real Madrid marked their centenary year with their ninth European triumph. In the rain in Glasgow, Zinedine Zidane’s unforgettable volley sealed a 2-1 win over Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen. ...

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X-Men: Days of future past – Hollywood’s version of DDLJ?

Are you a Bollywood movie buff? Did you fall in love with Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge? (DDLJ) Did you pray for Simran to catch that train which Raj was lunging out of? The heaving, the pleading, those stretched arms, the intensity, that suspense and the never ending drama? And just when you thought you were about to have a nervous breakdown, Simran grabs on to Raj’s hand and tears of exuberance fall out of your eyes. Well, we have another DDLJ in town; please go watch X-Men: Days of Future Past. After watching the movie, I even checked online if they have changed the genre ...

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Please God, kill my children before they are born

The midwife handed her the baby. She took the tiny thing in her arms and stared at him. He was beautiful. For a fleeting moment, she felt unbound joy. He was a part of her. He was… her focus shifted. He was nothing but a hungry mouth to feed like the eight others that awaited her at the house. Or if one could even call it a house. Two shabby rooms with a makeshift stove and a bathroom next to them was home sweet home. The ceiling leaked, the doors creaked while the paint was in tatters. Her husband had ...

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French open: Halep vs Sharapova and Djokovic vs Nadal, excitement galore!

Nine days ago, in my French Open preview blog, I wrote that Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova will be the main contenders for this year’s French open. As predicted, the decision of this year’s ladies championship will be finalised, at court Philippe Chatrier, when Halep and Sharapova will battle it out for the 2014 French open crown with prize money of 1.65 million Euros and 2000 ranking points at stake. This year’s French Open saw elite players crumble and the rise of a whole new generation of tennis players. For the ladies final, both Sharapova and Halep have played some ...

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Will you go back to Pakistan after graduation?

I am often asked by my family and friends in Toronto about whether or not I would want to go back to Pakistan after completing my degree here. This question stimulates a range of mixed emotions in me; I think of a lot of factors ranging from the prevailing security situation to job security, job progression and of course my parents’ expectations from me. However, at the end of the day, I always tell them that I will go back. To this, I often hear people saying, “We will see after two years.” Or “Everybody goes through this patriotic phase, you’ll get over it.” Frankly speaking, ...

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Here is why I chose Habib University

Every student stepping out of high school faces a dilemma: which university should they choose for further studies? Recently, a major investment has been made to establish Habib University. This university is a progressive educational institution that has incorporated state-of-the-art facilities along with learned faculty members. This university became my choice and here is why: The faculty Many universities in Pakistan have faculty members from foreign countries but very few are committed to undergraduate research and service inside and outside the campus community. This holds true for Pakistani teachers as well. A majority of the faculty members at Habib University are middle-aged or younger; this just ...

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The curious case of drone strikes in FATA

Peter Bergen – a US security expert on drones, militancy and Af-Pak relations – recently revealed that the United States may have finally ended its drone programme in FATA, Pakistan. At least, this is how the media in Pakistan showed its surprise. But Bergen was careful in his words and thus indicated towards a hold in these strikes and how it could, eventually, lead towards a total halt. Bergen, an author and a journalist who also heads the International Security Programme at the New America Foundation, has for long been tracking and reporting on the US drone strikes. Thus, with his experience and background, his revelation could not ...

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Magnificent Maleficent bringing Sleeping Beauty back to life

Maleficent’s character made its debut in Disney’s cartoon film, Sleeping Beauty (1959). Since then, those who admired the demon-witch could only revisit her either in their memories or in that classic cartoon movie. However, this year, Disney brings the influential witch back to life, in Maleficent, and reintroduces her with a twist. This time, the viewers will get to see Aurora’s or Sleeping Beauty’s (as she is more commonly known) story through Maleficent’s point of view – how she turned evil and why she became Aurora’s antagonist. Angelina Jolie as Maleficent. Angelina Jolie stars as Maleficent and does a ...

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