Stories published in February, 2015

When I had to save myself from depression

My colleague said something (not) funny again and the room roared with laughter. Knowing that I did not share the mood in the room, I grabbed my tea and headed for the corridor. That long corridor with a single window was my solace. There, I rested my head against the wall and stared out for a while. This was my routine to de-stress my boiling brain. I closed my eyes in a futile attempt to give my superbly loquacious brain some rest. Sometimes I wished I could run far, far away from the noise, nuisance and people, and sleep for eons. Other ...

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Why just stop at teachers and students? We all need guns

I am sick of dominating women. Nobody ever talks about the real victims of patriarchy and misogyny – the men. Men have set such an impossible standard of chauvinism that it is impossible to match up. There is so much pressure on men to force women to do things just so that they stay socially relevant. Think back to school, how many times did you laugh at a poor kid being bullied only because you did not want to be the one being laughed at? All men in the world are that kid! I see movies like Revolver Rani, and all I ...

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Real vs Reel: Will Beyoncé’s un-touched photos change your opinion of her?

Cindy Crawford’s, not so easy on the eyes, un-retouched images from the Marie Claire shoot went viral and created quite a stir on social media. While rumours stated that the un-retouched images were deliberately released to celebrate ‘truth’ and ‘beauty’ – the magazine clarified that the images were un-retouched leaked copies of the December 2013 cover shoot. They were, somehow, leaked and made their way to social media. The images, no matter how realistic they are, are not a pleasant sight. Crawford has been modelling for three decades now and stands as an epitome of age defying beauty for most women. The images proved that even super ...

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The miracle of 1992: When all hope was lost…

“At the rock bottom in morale.” Imran Khan said this about his team two weeks before Pakistan lifted the World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in 1992.  If the 1992 World Cup taught Pakistanis anything it was this: miracles do happen, prayers do pay off, and belief does move mountains. Asked years later, Imran maintained that he believed he would win the World Cup even then; in fact he claims he was sure of it. Some called him delusional; others thought he had completely lost the plot – understandable when you consider the manner in which Pakistan reached the semi-final stage. Pakistan had lost to ...

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Birdman, a modern day masterpiece

Birdman has become the latest film to join the likes of 12 Years A Slave, American Beauty and Forrest Gump by winning the Academy Award for Best Picture. While many people are still sulking over Boyhood’s loss, I for one believe the Academy got it right this time. Birdman is Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s masterpiece of our time. Bold in execution, the film is a technical showpiece that succeeds on just about every level. Birdman is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look into Hollywood, and the psyche of an actor. It’s also a satire on the film industry. While there have been many ...

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Morally corrupt and living in the Great Gatsby

“In the long run men inevitably become the victims of their wealth. They adapt their lives and habits to their money, not their money to their lives. It preoccupies their thoughts, creates artificial needs, and draws a curtain between them and the world.” – Herbert Croly Case 1 His name is Doodh. If you’re wonder why, that’s because he had a dark complexion when he was born and was of very humble beginnings too. His mother thought that the name Doodh would somehow improve his complexion and bring wealth – and it did. Doodh is rich, and his complexion is lighter than it was at birth, ...

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Why do religious clerics get away with sexual abuse?

For years we’ve made fun of the Catholic priests fondling with young ones. Their ghastly and heinous acts of insensitivity disgust our spirits and we all abhor such practices. I once stopped by and spoke to John Wojnowski, himself a victim, on Massachusetts Avenue, Washington DC, who has been protesting for years, trying to bring the world’s attention to the abusive ways of the clergy. He told me his appalling story of how a priest abused him during his childhood and how difficult it was for him to get over the traumatic event, something that scarred him psychologically for his entire ...

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Why is ‘Islamophobia’ on the rise in America?

This weekend, fliers threatening Muslims with mass murder were left at a bus station minutes from my home near Boston. The warning on the fliers: Muslims in America be ready to face death if ISIS did not surrender within the following three days, as if Muslim Americans command and control the actions of the terrorist group. This unfortunate incident follows a series of anti-Muslim hate crimes in America in the last few days. Following the brutal Chapel Hill shootings in which three young Muslims were killed execution-style, an Islamic community centre in Houston, Texas, was burned down. A fireman posted on social media, asking his fellow firemen not to put out the ...

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PPP needs Bilawal Bhutto, not Zardari

There is nothing sadder than seeing great ideas go bad. This is perhaps why witnessing the current state of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is so disappointing. Historically, there has not been a more potent political force in Pakistan than PPP. Not in terms of organisational ability, not in terms of ideological potency and certainly not in terms of vote bank. But after the disastrous tenure at the helm from 2008 to 2013, aided by factors that were out of the leadership’s control to an extent, PPP has been reduced to a regional party. For the longest time in Pakistan’s political web, the vote bank ...

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Why shouldn’t our transgender community have a job quota in Punjab?

In April 2013, Pakistan saw a new ray of hope, as transgender candidates filled in nominations from different constituencies, in different parts of the country. Not only were they given the right to vote, but the Supreme Court also gave them the right to own a National Identity Card, a legal share in their family’s inheritance as well as a reserved two percent quota of jobs in all sectors. As Bindiya Rani, the president of the Sindh chapter of the Gender Interactive Alliance (GIA), so beautifully puts it, “People kept asking me what the outcomes of the elections would be. I strongly feel that I ...

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