Stories published in July, 2014

If I live in Finland, do I have to fast for 23 hours a day?

In the region of the earth above the Arctic Circle called ‘the land of the midnight sun,’ the sun does not rise for several months in winter or set for several months in summer. In Finland, the sun stays above the horizon for seventy days at a stretch. What are Muslims in such regions to do if Ramazan occurs during one of these summer periods? A response to this question on one of the forums online was that “the midnight sun is a myth and that there is no such thing”. The respondent added that the days are very long in these ...

Read Full Post

Beauty

 “What is beauty, father?” “What do you think?” “I don’t know. I look at this glass in front of us and my eyes spot the reflected light from the glass on the table, and I’m baffled by these patterns, by this beauty which is perfectly still, perfectly independent, and calm.” “So, is beauty only in still and independent objects?” “I don’t think so. When I see the sea or the water inside this glass if it were to be shaken wildly, my eyes start to float along the waves, and I’m once again mesmerised by the water’s endless movement, its indifference, its power, and ...

Read Full Post

Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania, another DDLJ in the making?

Young at heart and seasoned with emotions is how one would best describe the ingredients of the movie Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. There are films that cine-fans want to watch over and over again, and this is one such movie for sure. Needless to say, the movie is the outcome of the hard work of a great production house, promising debutante director Shashank Khaitan, and actors Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Siddharth Shukla. What else could one expect from such an attempt? This is the typical story of a soon-to-be-wed girl, Kavya (Alia Bhatt), trying to live her life to the fullest before marriage. She makes ...

Read Full Post

Glorifying Hitler will not help Gaza!

The death toll of the latest Israeli military operation in Palestinian Gaza has soared to 121 Palestinians. These Palestinians aren’t the ‘terrorists’ Israel is aiming to target; one of Israel’s airstrikes hit an NGO working for handicapped Palestinians, killing three handicapped patients and a nurse. While, of course, Israel will justify this latest crime by claiming it only ‘retaliates’ for the 680 rockets it says have been fired from Gaza. In fact, in a new level of incredibly twisted politics, the British prime minister, David Cameron, and US president, Barack Obama, have made statements of irrevocable support of the Israeli operation, with Venezuela and ...

Read Full Post

Germany deserved to win

The disappointment of the lacklustre opening ceremony was short lived and, from the opening goal of the tournament to Germany lifting the cup in the finals, it was well compensated in every manner possible with great entertainment and thrilling matches throughout the tournament. The World Cup could not have begun on a more dramatic note, with Marcelo scoring a first own-goal by a Brazilian in the history of the tournament, watched by over 62,000 Brazilians live. But Neymar also struck twice during the match and as distress turned into ecstasy for Brazilians everywhere, we experienced what it meant to be part of such ...

Read Full Post

To George R R Martin and his fans: Calm down!

Being an avid fan of the Game of Thrones books and series, the latest headlines that have been circulating online via international publications had me in a spin. The headlines and the article content articulated how fans globally have been worried over George R R Martin’s health and age, and how that might result in him not being able to complete the series. Moreover, when is the sixth book, The Winds of Winter, going to be released? In an interview for the Swiss Daily, Tages-Anzeiger, Martin was asked to answer on the above speculations, and well, the answer was rather precise. It was the middle finger. As a ...

Read Full Post

Throwing ‘like a girl’ is not an insult!

If you haven’t seen the new advertisement from the Procter and Gamble-owned Always, then you need to see it. This advert, which explores what it means to do something ‘like a girl’, topped the Campaign Viral Chart, bumping Activia’s Shakira video off the first place. It has been shared 536,519 times in the last few days, and it is definitely something everyone should watch. Directed by the award winning filmmaker, Lauren Greenfield, who also directed the famous documentary, The Queen of Versailles, this commercial begins with a bunch of grownups entering the studio and being asked to demonstrate how to run, fight and ...

Read Full Post

Has China really put a ban on fasting?

Over the last few days, my Facebook timeline (that has incidentally become a conduit of current affairs knowledge for a lot of people these days) has been filled with people posting news about the ban on fasting in China. Consequently, a lot of my friends are asking me if this is really true, and if I am barred from fasting as well. These questions need to be appropriately answered. What is the ban really about? To set the record straight, this ban on fasting is not a blanket ban for all Muslims across China. In fact, there hasn’t been any official ...

Read Full Post

Are we supposed to stop caring about Palestine?

Blood seeps from a man’s face, his features rendered unrecognisable by the beating he took from that merciless iron rod a few days back. A baby is snatched from the arms of his mother and mercilessly killed under the pretence that he might have ended up becoming a ‘terrorist’ in the future. Fathers are slain, brothers are tortured and mothers, sisters and daughters are raped. This is how an average day looks like for a Palestinian. And now, their land is being trampled upon by a bully of an establishment that is bombing it continually and endlessly. What was once a glorious country has ...

Read Full Post

The logic (or lack thereof) behind the Protection of Pakistan Act 2014

The Protection of Pakistan Bill 2014 has been honoured with the presidential seal and is now officially the Protection of Pakistan Act 2014. We are told it is ‘an extraordinary law for an extraordinary situation’, having the validation of a strong legislature. That the act is a repressive law, impinging upon the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution is a settled matter, discussion whereof is now futile and can be equated with banging ones head against a wall. What we should discuss, however, is the thinking or logic which led our lawmakers providing legal sanction to such flagitious police practices as detention on ...

Read Full Post