Stories published in July, 2015

After 11pm, the IBA Boys Hostel turns into a prison

I am a resident of IBA Karachi’s boys hostel and I am at an age where I feel most of my memories are yet to be made. The old alumni of this hostel, many of whom have gone on to become CEOs of giant corporations such as Asad Umer, recount their personal anecdotes with remarkable gusto. They always say that the best reverie is hostel life. My personal experience of a hostel is that it is a place which grooms a person with the spirit of brotherhood and instils confidence through experiences of independence. However, the current administration of the IBA Boys Hostel, headed by a professor of IBA, Jami Moiz and Warden Mujahid ...

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No, Zaid Hamid isn’t getting Saudi lashes. Not yet

It is hard for most people to condone the lashings that Saudi Arabia gives out in the form of justice. But when it comes to Zaid Hamid, the first thing that comes to mind is not the barbarism of the image of a man getting 1,200 lashes. It is the irony of the exercise – a bit like falling into a ditch dug by oneself. Since it is Zaid Hamid, nothing will be straightforward. To begin with, the red-cap loose cannon was arrested in early June, but the news came out only on June 25th. Consequently, various Pakistani media outlets reported on July 1st that he had been ...

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Where is India’s ‘landmark judgment’ on honour killing today?

In the spring of 2005, at the exotic valley of Karora village in Northern Haryana, when the sun had bid farewell and the full-moon accompanying with cluster of stars appeared in the darkness of the sphere, Manoj had fallen for Babli; a free-fall into the abyss, in love with Babli. On his first encounter with his lady love, he acted rude, for he had been a stoic his entire life; his friends had tagged him as ‘stone-hearted’. To Manoj, she was just another woman, but as time passed and seasons cycled, the cupid’s amour stroked Manoj’s young heart. It didn’t ...

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Djokovic, Murray or Federer, who will take home the golden trophy?

Halfway through the season, Grand Slam tennis has returned to its roots at Wimbledon, the oldest and most prestigious of all slams. It’s the holy lawns of tennis where everything else takes a backseat for a while, except old traditions and the fiercely competitive nature of the game.  The place where strawberries dipped in cream along with Pimm’s cup (drink of gin, mint, cucumber and apples) go hand in hand with tennis, all symbolising the summer’s arrival and adherence to dress code assume far more significance than star values or sponsors’ interests. A fortnight of tennis which every player dreams to be part ...

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How the Genisys terminated Terminator

One of the most distinctive and prominent works of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s life is the Terminator series. The first instalment of Terminator hit cinema screens back in 1984, directed by James Cameron. Within 30 years, the Terminator franchise has launched five chapters. The recently released Terminator Genisys has hit cinema screens, featuring none other than the king of action Flicks ‘Arnie’. Terminator Genisys starts when John Connor (Jason Clarke) sends Lieutenant Reese (Jai Courtney) back in time to save his mother, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), for the sake of his own survival. Once there, Reese comes face to face with the Terminator (Schwarzenegger), who is already programmed to save ...

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Paris Hilton, Ramez Galal, you are not funny

The viral video that showcased Paris Hilton being allegedly tricked in to believing her plane is about to crash didn’t make me laugh; it didn’t even make me smile or chuckle inwardly. In fact, I was struck by strong indignation as Ramez Galal, producer of Egyptian TV series ‘Ramez in Control’, made the 35-year-old socialite believe that the plane she was getting an aerial view of Dubai in was about to crash. I grimaced at the ensuing scene of horror and panic while Hilton displayed the appropriate amount of terror. When the man posing as a flight attendant opened the back hatch ...

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Finding a solution to Pakistan’s ‘log kya kahenge’ syndrome

I am sure that most of you are well aware of Disney’s Oscar winning animated feature Frozen . What you are probably not aware of, however, is the fact that it could easily have been the creation of a Pakistani production house because Mir Zafar Ali, one of the animators behind the film, is Pakistani. In the past few decades, Pakistan has witnessed a major brain-drain; we have seen many talented individuals move to greener pastures in search of better employment prospects in their relevant fields of interest. Of course, there are those who haven’t given up on their dreams ...

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Pakistanis open their wallets in Ramazan, but do they open their hearts?

Ramazan – the month of giving. As one of the world’s most charitable nations, and with the desire to earn an even higher reward than other months, Pakistanis open their hearts and wallets in Ramazan. The same holds true for Muslims all over the world. This is heart-warming and wonderful, but with just one exception. Somehow, somewhere, we have made this “giving” a justification for extravagance, excessive spending, and consequent showing off. The common understanding is that if I am giving my prescribed percentage of Zakat, and also a bit of additional charity, it justifies any amount of money that ...

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Six pair of fabulous heels that will take you to shoe heaven

Being branded from head to toe is perhaps best suited for Hollywood celebrities who get freebies. For us mere mortals, style has to be a mix of some serious smart choices mixed with creativity and imagination. If you live in the fear of wasting a lot of money on ‘branded’ accessories which will soon be out of style, here is a list of six classic shoes which in some cases have been around long before us and in other cases will be there long after us. If you have the moulah to invest in a fabulous pair of heels, then start with these. 1. Piaglle ...

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I felt safer in Iraq than I do in Pakistan

When I told my friends and colleagues about my plans to visit Iraq, I received much criticism and concerns. Understanding that Iraq, like Pakistan, is under a constant threat of terrorism, the response was much anticipated. But unlike Pakistan, Iraq has a history of hosting pilgrims and tourists – even in the face of adversity. And that was what made my resolve to visit this historically rich country even stronger. Pilgrims usually visit the shrines of Imam Ali (RA), Imam Hussain (RA), Imam Musa Kazim (RA), Imam Taqi–e–Jawad (RA), Imam Ali Naqi (RA) and the martyrs of Karbala, especially of Hazrat Abbas (RA). ...

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