Stories published in January, 2015

Tim Burton might have missed the mark with Big Eyes

It’s the 1960s and no one wants to buy ‘lady art’, not least from a withering divorcee and single mother, or so starts Tim Burton’s latest offering, Big Eyes. Photo: Facebook page Based on a true story, the film centres around artist Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) and her new realtor husband Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) who, with his knack for selling and compulsion for artistic fame, ends up taking credit for her paintings and successfully making them into a commercial art sensation. It is only ten years down the line, once Margaret takes her daughter and leaves Walter, ...

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What can PFF do with FIFA’s money?

Football, as a sport, has seen an incredible rise in popularity in our country over the last decade. Our shining stars like Kaleemullah, Hassan Bashir, Muhammad Adil and many others have consistently shown that we possess top-class talent. Yet time and time again, Pakistan as a team has failed to deliver on the international stage. Our football federation sits relaxed, as if everything is under control. It remains undeterred by Pakistan’s dismal performance. We are falling further behind to our neighbouring countries. And let’s be honest, before we dream of making it to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, we first need ...

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Dear ZAB, this is what you have left behind

Dear Great Leader, I’m writing to you to wish you a happy 87th birthday. Sorry I’m a bit late but, hey, it’s the thought that counts… Right? After all, in these sombre and remorseful times, it’s difficult to keep one’s head straight. Too much in today’s Pakistan is out of sync with the changing realities. It’s a sad situation, one that is testing people’s patience and crushing their souls. You want to know what else is sad? It’s the political party that you created in the 60s that shook the foundations of a terrible dictatorship; the organisation that glued together a broken nation ...

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Pay attention to where and whom you’re sending your child to

Our children are not safe. December 16th was proof of that. Whether they are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), drone victims or survivors/fatalities in terrorist attacks – children have paid the price for our wars. They have become collateral damage in a war they know nothing about. And as if all of this isn’t scaring parents everywhere as it is, there are the undocumented madrassas – the countless, unmonitored religious seminaries, where parents send their children to learn the message of God. Reports have frightening statistics. They are free to air hate speech via loudspeakers. They are free to brainwash young and innocent minds. There ...

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Global patriarchy and women of a lesser God

I came across a story today that left me disturbed to the bone; a 24-year-old married woman, mother of two, hailing from a small town in Madhya Pradesh, India, was punished and made to do the unthinkable. Yes, the unthinkable. She was allegedly having an affair with a man and left her husband to be with him. On being discovered, she was brought back to her village of Wadha to be presented before the panchayat (village council). Both, the woman and her alleged lover, were beaten up, and the woman was stripped and forced to breastfeed her alleged lover in public. The assumption here is ...

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Why are we as a nation so obsessed with Imran Khan’s marriage?

The New Year has begun, and by all indications, Pakistan is going to be as messed up in 2015 as it was in 2014, 2013, 2012… you get the idea. Things don’t look good for this beloved banana republic of ours, with terrorists breathing down our neck, military courts and death penalties, economic woes, and foreign policy Gordian knots that just keep tying themselves up again the moment someone brings a sword this way. Yet the one matter of greatest importance on everyone’s minds (and tongues) is the marriage of Imran Khan. “Did he or didn’t he?” has surpassed “To ...

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Bhand-e-Pather, a fading art in Kashmir

Bhand e Pather, part of Kashmiri folk theatre, is a satirical and realistic drama, one which incorporates mythological legends and contemporary social satire; a traditional mixture of art. Mostly performed in the countryside, it is used to entertain the public, especially on different ceremonies. The artists have a separate dress code, in accordance with the theme, for the various plays performed. These plays are always performed in an open ground. The characters in the Bhand e Pather are well versed, and because the performances are based on social issues, they are seen criticising the rulers and stressing upon the betterment of society. In its early ...

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The filth of humanity unvieled: Raping and murdering a 5-year-old boy

The terrorists who attacked and massacred children in Peshawar, murderers who end lives all around the world, or States that wage wars on the innocent, are not the worst. For me, even the most vicious of murders is surpassed, in brutality and inhumanity, by rape. The act of sexually assaulting or abusing another human being is way worse than taking a life. Both acts – of rape and murder – coupled together give us a glimpse of humanity at its worst. And both acts coupled against a child, is rock bottom. A five-year-old boy was raped, murdered and hanged in my city. The awareness ...

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An apology is not enough, Aamir Liaquat must be fired

Social media is once again flooded with outrage at ‘Dr’ Aamir Liaquat – our nation’s foremost televangelist. During an episode of his morning show Subh-e-Pakistan, aired on Geo TV on December 22, one of Liaquat’s guests, Syed Arif Shah Owaisi, used inflammatory language to accuse the Ahmadi community of being responsible for terrorism in the country including the Peshawar attack. To no one’s surprise, Liaquat applauded the cleric’s hate speech. On December 27, an Ahmadi was shot dead in Gujranwala. Such a sequence of events is not new to Liaquat’s television career. In September 2008, he promoted similar hate speech on his Geo TV show which was ...

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Giving life to the Frankenstein within us

Frankenstein “Contrary to popular misconception, karma has nothing to do with punishment and reward. It exists as part of our holographic universe’s binary or dualistic operating system only to teach us responsibility for our creations and all things we experience are our creations.” – Sol Luckman She sat there thinking what she had done wrong. Her husband used to be a wonderful man, or was it that she only thought he was wonderful because she kept getting her way? She kept encouraging her own bad habits and his bad habits because it was easy, at the expense of others, for instant gratification, ...

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