Stories published in June, 2015

The past is another country

The past is another country, Of colourful sights, And neon lights. And people who used to be, Stalwarts of my life, Exist still in this country.   The past keeps luring me, Back from my present. I keep losing myself in serene bliss, And contended reverie.   Yes it is an escape from the present, But we all seek these escapes. Though not all pasts are the islands, One would want to escape to, I keep longing to escape to mine.   As soon as my eyes close, My mind unlocks the secret door, That takes me back.   But it is not just to escape the present, That I keep going back, It is to find the strength to live in the present.   The present is often a ...

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Working women and the fear of not being the ‘perfect’ housewife

It is not easy for a working woman to strike a balance between work and other duties in life, but it’s not impossible. Women are striving to join the workforce in Pakistan and are reaching new heights, however, the expectations of their partners and in-laws discourage them from pursuing a career post-marriage. Every woman has her own experience of creating a work-life balance and what works for one person may not work for the other. Therefore, I decided to share some tips that have helped me manage my work along with my personal life, post-marriage. Start your career before you get married Your job comes ...

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13 sinister hacks that could turn your smartphone into your own worst enemy

It seems like only yesterday when cell phones were the size of briefcases and had an antenna that rolled out like a telescope. However, things have changed rather quickly, and phones are getting smarter with each new device that is released. Perhaps, too smart? Your phone might be the perfect personal assistant, but it can also be the perfect spy should it get in the wrong person’s hands. So here are 13 sinister hacks that could turn your smartphone into your own worst enemy. 1. iPhone or iSpy? MSpy is an app that anyone can install on your phone. All they need is physical ...

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Who will Nawaz Sharif side with, Asif Zardari or the Pak Army?

Threats, innuendos, taunts and then some more threats, in his speech yesterday, Mr Asif Zardari did not really address the newly-elected office bearers of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) at all. He instead targeted a different audience, one in uniforms. Tail, turf or toe, something got stepped on, resulting in the shriek that was a speech delivered by the “shrewd” Zardari. Many who still believe Zardari to be the smartest of all politicians have started to question the wisdom in his outburst. Some already opine that his ability to outsmart all other political leaders speaks less of his marvellous mind and ...

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Inzamam and Misbah are as good as Imran Khan and Azhar Ali

I recently came across a blog on The Express Tribune titled From Imran Khan to Azhar Ali – Pakistan’s ‘leaders’ over the years and I did not agree with the author’s criticism of Inzamamul Haq and Misbahul Haq. This is simply because they were not only good captains but also played some vital innings in their captaincy for Pakistan cricket. First of all, Imran batted at number three in the 1992 semi-final, hence playing at the same number in the final was not the first occasion of its kind. His bowling was not of quality at that point and thus he knew ...

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Why Pakistan needs Ramazan game-shows

A few days ago, a seminar was organised at my university by a company that handles computer hardware and software. At the end of the seminar, the sponsors arranged a question-answer session and every participant who answered correctly was given a gift hamper. I was one such participant and I won these really cool Lenovo speakers as a result. Even though it was a small thing, winning those speakers made my day. Social events and game shows of such nature are always appreciated. People become excited whenever a new game show comes to town or if a new contest is aired. Previously, we ...

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Let the women of Iran take off their hijabs, give them the right to choose!

Where citizens are forced to abide by the norms of a certain culture, disrespect for that culture for the mere sake of disrespect, becomes a mode of resistance. Thousands of Iranian women are posting pictures of themselves online with their hijabs removed, as part of a rapidly growing movement across the country. Last year, an Iranian journalist, Masih Alinejad, in an act of defiance of her nation’s ultra-conservative culture, posted a picture of herself on Facebook without her hijab. She launched a Facebook group – ‘My Stealthy Freedom’ – which has now snowballed into a movement of over 800,000 followers, inspiring thousands of Iranian women to ...

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Was closing ‘Save the Children’ justified, Pakistan?

A news item published in the Express Tribune and other national dailies, dated June 11, 2015, read that Pakistan had stopped several international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) from working due to suspicious activities. This also included ‘Save the Children’, which claims to have provided employment to thousands of Pakistanis as well as relief to some hundred thousand children in one year alone but has also attracted wrong attention due to linkages with Dr Shakeel Afridi, the CIA ‘rat’ behind the raid on the Osama bin Laden compound at Abbotabad. This must have generated pressure on the government domestically and internationally that the very ...

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When it comes to sex crimes in Pakistan, is it better to remain silent?

Today, I am going to address one of the least talked about issues in Pakistan – sexuality. Our religious-conservative society does not encourage dialogue in this sphere, due to the stigma of immorality attached to sex, leaving little room for awareness on related issues. The topic of sex includes sex crimes, which also shares the same taboo status. This results in a very ugly scenario; uglier than what the common mind can anticipate. Snubbing such issues and covering up sex crimes leads to a misunderstanding of their nature which often causes victim blaming and an institutional lack of rehabilitation for ...

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Entourage the movie – A bromance comedy but not as great as the show

Entourage, the award winning HBO TV series, was well received largely due to its comedic story narrative, special cameo appearances of contemporary stars, coupled with the notion of camaraderie that revolved around brotherhood and loyalty, between a close-knit circle of friends. Entourage, the movie, directed by Doug Ellin, delves further into this camaraderie. The movie revolves around Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his posse. His loud-mouthed super-agent-cum-friend, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) who now heads a movie studio, is eyeing a movie project which will showcase Vincent’s directing prowess. Will this particular venture be a hit or a miss? That is quintessentially the plot of the movie. [caption ...

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