Stories published in August, 2014

What would Iqbal think?

On the southern bank of the River Neckar in Heidelberg, Germany, is the Iqbal-Ufer. This street, running parallel to the river, was named in honour of Allama Iqbal, the poet-philosopher from India. It was here that the poet was granted his PhD in philosophy. As I glance at the images of this breathtaking city, I can understand Iqbal’s appreciation for beauty. What amazes me, however, is the depth his poetry plunges into when describing the despairing state of Muslims in India. An eye that is accustomed to beauty, a voice that thrills with eloquence, would shun despair and disillusionment. Yet these ...

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#PyareAfzal versus Nawaz Sharif’s speech: And the winner is…

Last night, while Pakistani men were anxiously waiting for the premier’s speech, to be aired at 8pm, the women had a completely different, and might I add ‘dramatic’, agenda to grab hold of the TV remote. Coincidentally, the prime minister’s speech took place at the same time when the series finale of Pyare Afzal – which could safely be dubbed as one of the most widely watched television serials of all time – was to be aired. On one hand, this diffused the political tension for the fans; on the other, it became a reason for family discords over the TV remote and ...

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Did PPP really handle the assorted marches ‘better’ than PML-N?

There is no doubt that, on the face of it, the Zardari administration has handled the political crisis of Imran Khan’s and Tahirul Qadri’s previous marches much better than the Nawaz administration has so far. However, the constant comparisons that political pundits have made between the two situations are not only unfair but also erroneous. The reason that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government was able to handle the situation ‘calmly’ was not because Zardari is some sort of a political mastermind. Contrary to what we would like to believe, the PPP’s response was not part of some strong commitment to a ...

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Our favourite Robin Williams moments!

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it” – Robin Williams There is something to be said about talent, when it goes beyond distance, time and borders; when it is so powerful that it gives you goose bumps and makes your tummy hurt because you have laughed too hard.  For those of us who were fortunate enough to grow up watching up his movies, the death of Robin Williams has been the death of so many characters very close to our hearts. Such was his magic and his madness! He said, “I love kids, but they are a tough audience.” I don’t think ...

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What I learnt from Robin Williams

Robin Williams- when I hear that name I think of my childhood. Watching Robin portray amazing characters like in the film Jack, a young soul trapped in an old man’s body or being stuck in a board game in the movie Jumanji. When you watched him on the screen, it did not feel like you were watching a comedy legend, it felt like you were watching a kid, just like yourself, going through these extraordinary obstacles. He was never an old man trying to act young in a family comedy film, like most of the actors you see nowadays. He owned every ...

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You have to risk it to get the biscuit, Team Green!

Another Test match, another humiliating batting performance and another defeat. Forgive me if I am not surprised. It would be a lie if I said that I am at a loss of words when in reality I sort of saw it coming. The only benefit I’ve gained from such disappointing batting is that my vocabulary has improved significantly because now I have to explain just how bad their performance was. This embarrassing show of batting from the Pakistani team is nothing new but, unfortunately, just like our beloved Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), our cricket team has not shown any inclination in identifying ...

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Of self-exiled Canadians and ‘peaceful’ revolutions

For the past three days, headlines portray a Pakistan on the verge of descending into chaos; a long-awaited tsunami is about to sweep the capital; a self-claimed messianic revolutionary and his supporters are locked in a ‘peaceful’ struggle against the ‘Satanic’ government, while the sluggish government leaders are almost lazily dealing with a problem by barricades and containers that aren’t achieving their objectives. Indeed, the main players of the government have more or less avoided admitting the failure of their leadership in dealing with a Canadian cleric, desperate to gain something out of perceived government dissatisfaction. In any other functional state, Tahirul Qadri, would ...

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Pakistan – In search of the missing patriot

In the latest political upheaval to rock the country, all those involved may appear to be at complete odds but retain one salient feature that unites them all. The government, by the virtue of their status, espouse patriotism which is reflected in an unflinching dedication to democracy on the part of the Sharif brothers; the opposition under the tutelage of Imran Khan continues its elongated quest to reform the electoral process through a long march to the capital under the camouflage of patriotism; and the Canadian chameleon Tahirul Qadri (TuQ) invokes patriotism in his fiery rhetoric to establish the true force of democracy in Pakistan. They ...

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Stop hating on Ayyan’s new song, Pakistan

The ever famous model-turned-singer, Ayyan Ali, released her debut single ‘You and I’ featuring Charm a few days ago. Since then, the 21-year-old supermodel has had to face severe criticism with regard to the music video and her singing abilities (or lack thereof). In my humble opinion, whatever the quality of the song may be, I applaud the young model for doing something she believed in – despite knowing the kind of backlash received by her counterparts earlier. I came across the music video the day it was released, and honestly speaking, I didn’t think it was all that bad. It was, in my opinion, very ...

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Why have the Pakistani liberals forsaken Gaza?

Now’s the moment for a liberal to decide if he truly stands for the principles of liberalism, wherever applicable, or if he’s simply saying the opposite of what his conservative uncle shouts at the dinner table. Operation Protective Edge, involving a military superpower descending upon a small strip of land that Palestinians have magnanimously been allowed to squash together into, has gathered supporters from the unlikeliest quarters. There has been an intense debate over the asymmetrical nature of the ‘conflict’, parodied to perfection by the consistently liberal political comedian, Jon Stewart. Others, like Bill Maher and Joan Rivers, jumped ship. They gladly adopted the ...

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