Stories published in January, 2015

Winter cravings? Have some banana samosas with a chai chocolate twist!

It is that time of the year when the breath of the crisp sandy cool sea breeze in the mornings confirms that our mild, desert winter is here. With it, it brings a gush of festivities, weddings, parties and many visitors – the return of old friends and family living abroad, to enjoy winter Karachi-style. I suppose it’s because the best weather comes around this time of the year and people choose winter holidays over the summer ones to plan their events and trips. Suddenly, Karachi comes alive during the morning, afternoon and evening, as opposed to just the evening like in the ...

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Maybe you are too linked in with LinkedIn

Are you receiving too many promotional messages lately? Is your email inbox being bombarded by all types of advertising emails? Are you concerned about how every other company has your contact details? How are you getting ads which are related to your age, gender or interests? How do advertising companies know so much about you when you never register or subscribe for any newsletter etc.? Are these questions bothering you? If yes, I have one more question for you: Are you searching for a job on LinkedIn? The advent of LinkedIn was welcomed with open arms by job seekers as well as employers. It provides a ...

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#AustralianOpen: When the Rod Laver Arena turns into a pressure cooker, even for Federer

In the last couple of weeks, Pakistanis have been preoccupied by the petrol crisis and power shortages, and hence, only a few managed to notice the early exit of Roger Federer from the Australian Open. Federer lost to Italy’s Andreas Seppi in a closely fought four-set match, out of which two sets were tie-breakers. Let’s not scrutinise Federer’s loss too much as even the mightiest fall at times. Staying in the top three at the age of 33 is an achievement in itself. When Federer was broken to love in the first set, giving Seppi a 5-4 lead, it was clear something was ...

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Perhaps the pen is not mightier than the sword in K-P

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government has finally unleashed its first substantial policy reforms since the Taliban massacre in Peshawar that killed over 130 innocent children. The policy is to allow teachers in the province to carry weapons to engage terrorists. One wonders how many geniuses it took for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government to come up with such a preposterous initiative. The naivety in argument is that there are not enough police officers in the province to provide security to every school. This clearly shows that the government has not yet conceived even the simplest and dangerous consequences that such ...

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Another conversation with Grief

“They speak of humanity, my humanity is in feeling we are all voices of the same poverty.” – Jorge  Luis Borges, Boast of quietness “Can I interrupt?” the boy asked, and without waiting, he said, “I had asked who you are, but most of your answer merely told me where to look.” Grief was pleased. “Who we are, we don’t know. But we thought that maybe telling you about our whereabouts, we, too, might find out the answer.” The boy listened. Frowns no longer tented on his forehead. And this time, there was something strange in his expression, and Grief was happy that ...

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The rishta ordeal: “Quick, name all of the different kinds of pulao that exist today.”

When he first sauntered into the room, his family in tow, I was spellbound. He had these beautiful eyes, the colour of milk chocolate, and a smile that could illuminate an entire block. He had just the right height, and by the way he acknowledged my mother, I could tell that he was quite a gentleman. Instantly, I was certain that this was it, that after many exasperating months of encountering families and their obnoxious sons, I had finally met “the one”. And then he went and ruined it: He opened his mouth. He could have said anything, really. He could have said that my ...

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King Salman: Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown

I was sitting at a Washington café when the news of the late Saudi monarch Abdullah’s passing broke. This café is one of the favourite hangout locations of Middle Eastern and Persian origin men and women of letters and those from the corps diplomatique. Throughout my adult life, I’ve been no admirer of the Saudi Kingdom. Other than the fact that for years I’ve personally vociferously raised my voice against the Kingdom’s horrendous human rights record as well as its fallacious policies toward other regional states, both Muslim and otherwise. I hardly ever paid attention to the fact that King Abdullah was ...

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Do we want our children singing and dancing to ‘Baby doll mien sone di’?

At ease, liberals, as this won’t be a furious grandparent’s rant on the corrupting influence of today’s music. This is a critical analysis of the influence of modern “item songs” on young people, without invoking a moralistic argument. Veteran actor, Shabana Azmi, recently rebuked item songs in the following words: “I am saying let it be an informed decision. I am not going to dictate what you should do. But be aware that when you do a song like that it is leading to the sexualisation of children and there are four-year-old girls dancing at all kinds of weddings to really bad songs.” Stating ...

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Yes Ramiz Raja, Amir does deserve a second chance

Ramiz Raja is Pakistan’s most famous voice at the commentary box during a cricket match. His in-depth analysis of matches clearly depicts his love for the game. As an international cricketer, he played between 1984 and 1997 – a career that spanned for 13 years. He played 57 Test matches and 198 ODIs, and also captained the team for a brief moment. Moreover, he was a part of the World Cup winning side in 1992. Since his retirement in 1997, he has played an integral part in making policies on countless occasions, in official and unofficial capacity. But above all, I believe that Ramiz’s biggest trait ...

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Relax Pakistan! Obama’s trip to India will not jeopardise Pak-US relations

Obama is finally in India for his second official visit since he commenced his second term in the office. The visit is important for various reasons. First and foremost, due to its powerful symbolism: Obama is the first US president visiting India, twice. Secondly, an American president’s presence at the Republic Day of the world’s largest democracy also sends a very powerful message. But there are some serious questions occupying the minds of those in India and Pakistan. Will the visit prove to be just a theatrical trip of smiles and handshakes or can India really get something out of the guest who is left with just two years ...

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