Stories published in July, 2014

Chand raat — A taroo’s heaven

Chand raat of the Meethi Eid — a phrase so nice, you can say it twice! When you read it, doesn’t it sound grand and full of enchanting sweetness? Well, it is. It’s the Eid that doesn’t leave roads drenched in blood and streets full of guts and ripped open stomachs. This is Meethi Eid and the sweetness I essentially indulge in on this grand occasion is staring at girls, left right and centre. Without a shadow of doubt, chand raat is a taroo’s heaven, his Las Vegas and his Raiwind Palace. It all started when I was four-years-old. Word on ...

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Kick: Of course all laws of physics and science are defied… it’s a bhai film!

What Indian cinema fans feel about Salman Khan is somewhat similar to what Pakistanis feel about Shahid Afridi. We will never compare him with any other player of the world. We know he doesn’t have any clue about what he is doing most of the time and we still cheer for him. He fails more than he succeeds but we love him and want him to do well. I belong to a generation that was inspired by Salman Khan, or bhai as his fans would call him. Teenagers started going to gym, their fashion sense changed and their hairstyles varied with his new looks. I also ...

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So what if she is 8-months old? She is Ahmadi, kill her!

As Pakistanis prepare for the end of Ramazan and the arrival of Eid, we come across the news that an Ahmadi residence was set on fire by a mob, killing a mother and her two daughters, five-year-old Kainat and eight-month-old Hira. As are most religious crimes of vengeance, this incident also has roots in our archaic notion of blasphemy. People are only too keen to take justice into their own hands when it comes to religious sentiments, as this incident shows. Minorities bear the brunt of such accusations, although blasphemy laws have been used against Sunni Muslims as well to settle land and ...

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These emergency responses might save your life

Two tragic incidents took place this year, perpetrated with violence that highlighted the need for proper emergency response. In February, a car bomb went off near a bus, claiming the lives of 13 policemen. Head Constable Israr Ali was fortunate enough to escape with minor injuries. “I also noticed people gathered around. They were pointing in our direction but no one came to help us. I crawled out of the bus on my elbows. And it was a good 10 minutes before our own men reached there for assistance while the bystanders did nothing.” A month later, Raza Rumi’s car was fired upon in Lahore. ...

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I will not quit my job just because I am married

“Yes, I cannot quit my job. I am a career-oriented woman, and I have put in years and years of hard work to get to where I am today.” Rija’s fiancé decided to end their relationship when she explained to him that her career would hold a certain amount of priority in her life after they tie the knot. “Why are careers important for men only? Why do most Pakistani men not want their women to work and excel in their profession?” asked Rija sadly. I didn’t know what to say to her, but am thankful that their relationship ended before they got married. Things ...

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Will Pakistan’s energy crisis ever end?

Ever since the energy crisis hit the country, the whole nation is looking for an answer to one question – will it ever end? This is just one simple question which many governments have failed to address. The former Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government gave false hopes to the people and as evident, even after the end of their five-year tenure, there is no improvement in the energy sector and the people are left suffering from 10 to 14 hours of load shedding.  Since the formation of PML-N government with their aggressive energy policy cum metro bus approach, the question ...

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Is my tax money funding your political advertisement?

Open any newspaper and you’ll find government advertisements – be it provincial or federal – flashing their on-going or upcoming projects. The best term I could come up with for this exercise of self-promotion is ‘political advertising’, meant for boosting a politician’s profile or a junior level politician behaving like a sycophant for his party boss. The phenomenon cuts through all political parties and ideologies, and affects all forms of media, print or electronic. Such adverts are often used to serve party politics rather than public policy. The incumbent government spends the most on such commercials, which explains why the government’s budget for advertising is ...

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Here is how cricket can help the minorities of Pakistan

Cricket fever in Pakistan is remarkable; in fact, the entire subcontinent is quite smitten by this sport. Cricket fans exist in every nook and corner of this region. In the past, we have seen how cricket has been used to create awareness, raise money for different causes and even be utilised to increase diplomatic ties. Because the game is so popular, cricket has helped in bridging many gaps and bringing different people closer together. A recent example of this is the cricket series underway at the Iqbal stadium, Faisalabad, which is aimed at raising funds for the IDPs of North Waziristan. In this ...

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Tweaking a classic: Maleficent vs The Sleeping Beauty

Back in the day, we used to watch cartoons and movies on big cassettes that would go into our VCRs. Now, we are in the era of ultra-thin discs we play on our nifty DVD players. Sleeping Beauty, an absolute favourite, that was made in 1959 also changed with time. Today, it is called 2014’s Maleficent. But is it as good as it used to be? Photo: Fizza Akbar Planning to go to watch a movie at the theatre has never been a quick decision for me, so by the time I go watch a movie, more than half ...

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Can a Muslim be buried next to a non-Muslim?

My father-in-law, Abdullah Khadim Husain or ‘Abbu’ as we called him, suddenly died of heart failure a couple of months ago while visiting one of his children in Virginia. Although he did have a history of heart disease, he was apparently in good health, which is why his demise came as a total shock. Since most of his children now reside in the US, it was decided to bury him at the National Memorial Park in Falls Church, Virginia instead of taking the body back to Pakistan, and so the burial arrangements were made. The question, however, came up as to what ...

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