Stories published in May, 2015

Does the team really need Shahid Afridi?

It’s been a strange ol’ week, even by Shahid Afridi’s standards. Afridi has gone from 0 to Afridi in just under the space of a week. And if that last sentence contains an excessive use of our T20 captain’s name, then I make no apologies. That is exactly how the past week has felt. After stating last week, “The fact is that senior players are letting the team down. We can’t expect to win much with our current poor form. I want to lead from the front, and if I feel that I’m going to be a burden, then I will quit the ...

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The top five smart-watches to own in 2015

With the launch of the Apple Watch, many believe it will bring a revolution in the gadgets industry. Smart-watches will replace traditional watches, similar to how smartphones replaced feature phones after the launch of the iPhone. On the other hand, many believe that theApple Watch will be a failure and there is no need for smart-watches explicitly, especially when everyone has smartphones. Therefore, I have put together a list of the best smart-watches, with their specifications, pros and cons and other details. 1. Apple Watch Apple announced its Apple Watch first in September 2014, and since then we have been waiting for the watch ...

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What have we received from the people of Pakistan except neglect and torment?

What concerns me most is a word. It is a simple word that is not heard on the lips of people in most parts of the world, but for me it is a word that desperately needs to be heard more often. Whenever I do hear this word, or say it myself, it stirs emotions that I cannot explain. I cannot do justice to the memories they evoke. That word is Balochistan. I have grown up around politics and in politics. For a daughter of a Baloch tribal leader and activist, politics and life are irreversibly intertwined. The need to understand the ethnic and national tensions ...

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PTI won the battle but can it win the NA-125 war?

The judicial commission set up to investigate the legitimacy of the votes casted in NA-125 has decided that there shall be a re-vote in the constituency. Shah Mehmood Qureshi deems this as one of the first steps towards a Naya Pakistan under Imran Khan. After the revelation, Khwaja Saad Rafique was found defending himself in front of reporters and journalists, blaming the returning officers of the seven polling stations where the irregularities in vote count were found. While these politicians blame each other face front, their parties have already begun deciding candidates for the empty seat. The war between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ...

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On demonising sex: The Saudi adult shop controversy

The author requests the reader to approach the following account with an open mind. Of all the numerous nature-ordained acts which continue to be demonised in our society, by a populace which often unknowingly adheres to virtually all sides of the political/theological spectrum, the subject of sex, particularly consensual sex (should the intimate affair be enacted in thoroughly halal settings) appears to raise more eyebrows than others. Of course, this particular issue is not the sole focus of a heightened consternation evoked among our varied peoples – the vast majority of Muslims worldwide who like to think of themselves as being part of the ...

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When you’re at the salon and you hear “Aap ki larkiyan Christian hain?”

I was expecting that being a “foil” lioness for a full-hour at a top-notch salon in Karachi and not being able to move around, read a magazine and put on headphones, was going to be painfully long and boring. But as I sat, heard and watched all the action from the mirror for an hour, I not only lost all my faith in Karachi, Pakistan and humanity but somehow gained it back again within the same span of time.  On an ordinary day, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed her come in! Beige duppata perched on her head with a Louis Vuitton bag loosely hanging from ...

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Nine cricket records no one remembers

Abdur Rehman, an experienced Pakistani left-arm spinner, was barred from bowling in the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh last year after he bowled three consecutive high full-tosses. After the third one, Umpire Johan Cloete suspended him from bowling and he finished with figures of 0-0-8-0, which was a new record. Abdur Rehman, for sure, was not happy after registering his name in the record book but there are some other big names of the cricketing world that have made records which they are not proud of. 1. Most ducks in ODIs: Undoubtedly, playing against Sanath Jayasuriya in the mid-90s was nothing less than ...

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A trio of daals: The rich and true taste of aromatic comfort

I could go on about my saviour, the simple daal. It is the ultimate non-stodgy comfort food that I reach out to each time I feel blue or homesick. I look back at the moments in my life where I sought out this humble bowlful of loving care and I don’t quite recall why I needed it. I just know that I felt better with the first mouthful. Possibly because nothing compares to the places this simple flavour and texture take me – one reminiscent of home, safety and smiles of loved ones. My clearest, most revisited memory would be ...

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One-dish law: Curbing the extravagance of Pakistani weddings

The entrance was grand and exquisite. A sequence of huge antique flower-pots meandered its way past the red carpet route, into the enormous white tent. From the fine arrangement of aureate lights and the melodies of vibrant songs, even uninvited outsiders standing yards away could discern it as a mehendi function in full bloom. As I stepped further into the red carpet entrance, I saw two traditional stands with men distributing paans and garlands at each of the two ends respectively. Inside the tent, the mehendi stage was submerged in various types of yellow and orange flowers, some of which were imported from ...

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Gilgit-Baltistan elections: The nth nail in the coffin of women equality

Religion has deepened its roots into Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) once again, where the Legislative elections are set to be held in June, 2015. The first symptom of this religiosity is the allegations against various party leaders for using mosques and imambargahs as launching platforms for their political activities. The second symptom is the current unanimous decision of a so-called jirga (local council) which bars women to vote, as it would put the religious, cultural and social honour of the region at stake – according to a report by BBC Urdu. The jirga was held in Diamir, one of the seven districts of G-B. Whereas ...

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