Stories published in August, 2014

Shocking, funny and likeable experiences of Pakistan

My friends and family were concerned about my health when I told them that I would be fasting during Ramazan, but my Pakistani friends all assured me that I would go back home “fatter than ever”. Food coma The tables are set up and the feast includes biryani, samosas, pakoras, jalebi, gulab jamun, naan, paratha, daal, chicken, yoghurt, dates and much more. It is a spread fit for a king and we all stand around looking at the food, then our watches, waiting for the clock to tick over to iftar time with our mouths salivating. The call to prayer is heard and ...

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Comic history: There’s a hero in all of us

Since the advent of literary print there is one word that comes to mind whenever you hear of comics: superheroes. Superhero comics burst onto the scene with the introduction of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in the late 1930s. Superman represented the hero we all wanted to be: someone who had the power to move planets, and yet, chose to do good for the world and its people. Batman portrayed the humanistic flaws; how our tragedies and mistakes could be used as motivation to become a hero. And Wonder Woman, who was a symbol for feminism and political hierarchy. These formed the trifecta of DC comics, along with Marvel, and they ...

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What will happen to the stock market if the PM resigns?

In 2007, I underwent a six-hour-long marathon panel interview at the London office of one of the (then) largest hedge funds in Europe called XYZ Capital*. A senior partner – perhaps a PhD holder – drew the entire map of the Middle East, East Asia and Europe, and tested my knowledge about the current affairs of each country turn by turn. After a gruelling session, the partner remarked, “An investor may have the best of quantitative minds but markets don’t make sense if the political factors don’t make sense.” I engraved it then but have only felt it now. Surviving through the minor speed breakers ...

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It’s just a Pakistani thing…

Distances don’t matter if there is true love involved, I strongly believe in this. I may not live in Pakistan anymore but that doesn’t mean I don’t love it or have forgotten my country. I have been wanting to write about my country for a while now. At first, I was confused about what to write on. I wasn’t sure if it should be a motivational piece quoting oft-mentioned things about Pakistan, or a letter to Pakistanis discussing their woes or a bunch of stories of people who had left India for Pakistan. What makes the perfect write-up for Pakistan? After ...

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Can Saeed Ajmal break the ‘curse’ of being the best bowler of Pakistan?

Over the course of several decades, one constant factor in Pakistan cricket has been the quality bowlers it has produced. From masters of reverse swing to the fastest bowler in the world, and from subtle drifters to the inventor and master of the ‘doosra’, Pakistani cricketers have added magic to the art of bowling. Cricket would be a much different game without the bowling contributions of our players. It would have been more of a batsman’s game with much less flair. But at the same time, to be the best bowler of Pakistan is a truly cursed position. Our masters ...

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Today is not August 14th

While conversing with Myra Edwin, she told me a story about a little adventure she went on with her brother. I thought a narration of this story would be very apt for today, August 14. This is what she had to say; My brother, after returning from the UK, wanted to set up his own den where he could continue with his research, explained Edwin, a lecturer in Edwardes College Peshawar. Spending seven years in an alien country has made him a patriot. He is very fond of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal, and many a times narrates their anecdotes and poetry. He ...

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Rallying behind Imran Khan

I believe we can all agree that Pakistan needs, above all else, strong state institutions and the rule of law. These are the only way in which a proper modern country can function. They are necessary to ensure the social stability necessary for a functioning democracy and a prosperous market economy. But when powerful individuals can sway the institutions of the state to serve themselves, when they can bend the rule of law and use the mechanisms of the state for private gain, then that can no longer be called a modern state. When there are individuals, business leaders or politicians ...

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Pakistan’s very own Game of Thrones: Valar Morghulis or Valar Dohaeris

When you’re a die-hard fan of Game of Thrones (GoT), you cannot help but categorise every person you come across to a certain House from the plot. However, the recent developments in Pakistani politics and the prevalent power struggle between every influential political party provoked me to come up with my own version of GoT. So, Lords and Ladies of Westeros, I present to you, Pakistan’s very own Game of Thrones: The Sharifs as the Lannisters They are rich and always pay their debts, or well at least they say that they do. When they’re in power, they divide the whole kingdom amongst the family ...

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All is not well, Papa

Dear Papa, I am told I was born to the call of the azaan, on the most blessed of nights. It was much celebrated, my birth, I am told. I was welcomed as the manifestation of a dream, the fruit of relentless toil, and the sweat and blood of millions of orchard farmers. I was God’s answer to man’s desperate cries for help, I am told. For years, I stood firm, draped in hope and dressed in faith. I was still in infancy but I was strong, and strong beyond that word. Kids in the neighbourhood never thought I would make it. I ...

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Mr Prime Minister, is your government really the emblem of economic progress?

Forget, for a moment, that your panic and desperation resulted in the nation giving unnecessary attention to Tahirul Qadri. Forget the fact that once again the law enforcers in Punjab, under the umbrella term of law and order, put behind bars thousands of workers of the political parties that were giving you a tough time. Forget, for now, about the fact that what would have been just another march or protest became even bigger because you dug a hole for your own government’s future by over-reacting. Let us even forget for a moment that this political mayhem has us wondering whether democracy will ...

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