Stories published in July, 2015

Modern Romance: Revolutionising relationships and the internet romance realm

As the yearly calendar enters the blistering heat of July, I find myself contemplating all possible avenues of relief. My list starts off with ice-cold smoothies and ends on clichéd American action films, all to no avail. Ambling in misery, I walk into the local bookstore, skip a few shelves, and end up deciding to cool off this summer with 277 pages of Modern Romance. Aziz Ansari’s acute wit and candour instantly absorbs me — a testing, ardent 21st generation reader. Gone is the trusted, poetic approach to romance, inspired by Rumi’s ageless art of implication, favoured in the contemporary works of writers including Samantha ...

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Donald Trump, you’re racist and you’re fired!

Joaquin Guzman also known as El Chapo (meaning shorty) is being hailed as the real Shawshank after a mind-boggling escape from the Altiplano prison through a one-mile long tunnel, an engineering marvel on its own.  The gravity of negligence on part of the Mexican security officials and seriousness of the flak coped by Mexican Premier Enrique Pena in the wake of an embarrassing escape of the world’s most feared drug lord jibed to the lighter side when American rapper Pitbull took on Donald trump,  after the latter’s racist remarks on Hispanic immigrants. It all began to simmer when Trump of The Apprentice fame kick started his presidential campaign. He resorted to clichés such as, “Sadly, ...

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After five years, will justice finally prevail for Aasia Bibi?

Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman, was sentenced to death approximately five years ago, an incident that added to the miseries of the already-marginalised Christian minority within Pakistan. At the time, very few had the mental capacity to question the Lahore High Court’s verdict to sentence an innocent woman to death, and for those who did, the chickens came home to roost. Salman Taseer paid his price for speaking against the heinous blasphemy law with 27 bullets in his body and blood splattered all across Kohsar Market, with his words drenched in blood, “My resolve is so strong that I do not fear the flames from without, I fear ...

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Dear PTV Sports, how about teaching some manners to Dr Nauman?

The Pakistan cricket team has been absolutely phenomenal on the field in the series against Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the coverage by PTV Sports. I had become accustomed to Starbucks misspelling my name on the cup every time. I cannot reasonably expect an American to accurately spell ‘Shehzad’. One day, a barista asked me if she called out my name right, I told her it was close enough but she insisted on me teaching her how to say it right. “It is about me respecting you as a person, I want to say it right when ...

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The mysterious case of Muzaffar Shahid

It was around 9am when the doorbell rang. Arsalan was having breakfast in the kitchen. Amna had already dropped her three children to school and was standing in front of the freezer, contemplating the day’s menu. “Were you expecting someone?” Arsalan looked at her questioningly. “No,” she answered, as she walked out the kitchen and towards the front door. She peered through the peephole and saw a man and a woman in police uniforms. She didn’t open the door and went back to the kitchen. “It’s the police,” she told Arsalan. “You get the door.” Arsalan was up in an instant. “Good morning,” both the officers smiled ...

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Does Manchester City even need a player like Raheem Sterling?

Since the Abu Dhabi group has taken over the Blues, Manchester City invested heavily on transfers this season, estimated to be more than £500 million. This heavy investment, unfortunately, continuously inflicted loss on the club’s balance sheet and brought the wart of UEFA, who imposed a fine of £50 million  and reduced the number of squad players from 25 to 21 in all European competitions. Although invested heavily in the transfer market, the Blues haven’t performed well in the European Champions League and has managed to win only two UEFA titles since the takeover of oil-rich owner Khaldoon al- Mubarak in 2008. ...

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Raheel Sharif, the general who means business

Be it the terror attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, Eid celebrations in the middle of war zones or right behind enemy lines, some of our brave generals have never let us down. First it was General Pervez Musharraf, and now it’s General Raheel Sharif. Both these men of honour and valour have set examples for the entire country to be proud of. Pakistan Army has always been there when needed or whenever the country was left abandoned in a quagmire of turmoil by our corrupt and inefficient politicians. These men in khakis continuously play their role in the strengthening of the country, both overtly ...

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When good things come in ant-sized packages

Ant-Man is an American superhero film, produced by Marvel studios. Based upon a comic character with the same name, Ant-Man, the movie marks the conclusion of Marvel’s Phase Two of the Marvel cinematic universe.  Paul Rudd (Scott Lang) is starring as the lead role and is projected as a skilled albeit charming and street smart thief/ex-con who is seen helping his mentor cum friend, Dr Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Dr Pym is the one who invented the technological wonder that is the “shrinking suit”. Photo: IMDb Photo: IMDb If you’re expecting Ant-Man to present the same pomp ...

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“May God bless you with a son” – But what if I don’t want one?

When I was expecting my first child, the occurrence itself was immensely exciting, hence pondering over the gender of my baby didn’t seem important at that time. However, others were more concerned about the gender, thus I would come across common remarks such as, “Allah (SWT) beta hi dai ga.” (God will bless you with a son.) Nonetheless, I would ignore such comments and tell myself that sons are typically perceived to be more precious than daughters by such people, thus they wish accordingly for others. But they didn’t have to say it to my face as it put me under bizarre pressure of giving birth ...

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Dear Junaid Jamshed, Google ‘misogyny’, and then stay away from it forever

Junaid Jamshed has done it again. And it looks like he’ll never learn. Whatever made him say the things he did about Hazrat Aisha (RA) previously which made him run for his life, were clearly not enough for him to understand what he’s doing wrong. And if I were his PR manager (if and so he actually has one) this would be my one single email to him, “Dear boss, Google the word ‘misogyny’. Then stay away from it forever.” In another email, I’d gently explain to him the meaning of hypocrisy. The right to practice your beliefs is clear and there is no disputing that. ...

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