Stories published in August, 2015

This Raksha Bandhan, do one thing for your sister – stop saying Bhench*d

Raksha Bandhan is almost here. It’s that time of the year again where we get a chance to tell our sisters how much they mean to us. So, what are you gifting her this year? Cash, chocolates or her favourite dress? What if we tell exactly you what every sister really wants from her brother? Don’t worry, it won’t cost you a thing. Just stop saying b******d. You may use it casually, without really meaning it, but it’s downright derogatory to every sister. It is one gift she truly deserves. I pledge to do this. Do you? This video by Postpickle is a must watch. This post ...

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Dear Faisal Qureshi, just stop the hypocrisy. Please.

Dear Faisal Qureshi, Let me start by saying that while I am a film critic whose reviews are published weekly in Pakistan, I rarely watch Bollywood ‘films’. In fact, the last time I tried, my brain snapped shut, and I vomited uncontrollably for a few minutes. Later, I was diagnosed with Post Bollywood Stress Disorder (PBSD), a mental health condition provoked by a shockingly bad Bollywood film. I was sure I would never watch something as horrific again, until I saw your video response to Indian actor Saif Ali Khan’s comments on the Pakistani ban on his film, Phantom.

Now, I must admit, at the very least, you ...

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Will Roger Federer be able to win his sixth US Open title?

The dysfunctional air-conditioner in my dorm TV lounge accentuated the Sharjah heat as I uncomfortably shifted on the leather couch, watching Roger Federer play Juan Martin Del Potro in the 2009 US Open final. It was past midnight and having to wake up early for a mandatory early class, I was in the mood for a quick resolution to the match in favour of the Swiss. Thankfully, Federer swooped through the first set 6-3 and went up a break in the second. The game was as breezy as the reclaimed air of regality that seemed to have permanently deserted him ...

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Five things that could make the Lux Style Awards 2015 actually fun!

The year 2015 will be hosting its 14th Lux Style Awards (LSA) ceremony. LSA is almost a teenager now, but instead of turning out to be a rebellious punk with a killer sense of style, it’s turned out to be a meek wallflower in dowdy dungarees. I say that because during the 14 years of its existence, I can’t recall a single memorable dance performance or a tear-jerking speech by any Pakistani actor or actress. For that matter, no outfit on the red carpet left any impression either; no glamorous gown, sari or dress left me absolutely stunned. We pause our lives to watch the Oscars, write thesis-long posts about each of ...

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Sexually abusing children in the name of sex education

Very often we find a wolf in sheep’s clothing; it can be a doctor who gives you the wrong diagnosis or treatment to con you out of money or it can be a preacher who radicalises innocent youth seeking spiritual education. All of us are always at the mercy of someone whose occupation puts them in a position where we are likely to trust them. Recently, a 50-year-old tutor in Lahore was arrested for sexually assaulting his pupils, and videotaping the crimes. He confessed to victimising over 20 children over the past six years while working at several academies in Lahore. He said he ...

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For PTI, it’s either ‘yes’ to by-elections or ‘bye’ to elections

Imran Khan had sought investigation in four constituencies to ascertain whether the General Elections 2013 (GE 2013)were rigged or manipulated. Election tribunals have ruled in favour of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Inshaf (PTI) in three out of four ‘sample’ constituencies handpicked by the PTI chairman. Imran also demanded for the formation of a Judicial Commission (JC) to probe rigging in the GE 2013 on an overall basis. A JC was formed and no rigging or manipulation was proven. In its report, the JC rejected all allegations of planned rigging but pointed out grave irregularities by the Election commission of Pakistan (ECP). Of the three election tribunals that ruled in favour of PTI candidates, ...

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The abandoned garden

A man sat in his garden, And he sat alone. He looked around, And thought back to the day, When he was new to the world and was making his way, When he had built this garden, he had promised himself, I will build this garden and my children will someday, Make it their own. So the man taught them to plant and to reap,  He gave them all they wanted, anything they could need. He taught them about family, About brotherhood, about loyalty. He said to them, standing tall and proud, Do what you must but this is your house. This garden is our family, So tend to it, you must. Nurture it, love it, But ...

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Dear Humans Of Pakistan, don’t make up fake stories, please!

One week after Humans Of New York (HONY) completed their series on Pakistan, Humans Of Pakistan (HOP) published a photograph of a woman named Sarah* sitting with her two young boys. As per Sarah’s narrative, her husband had left for a job offer abroad, two years after their marriage while she was expecting her first child. He left them for five years and came to see her and the children only twice, that even on her insistence. Eventually, Sarah learnt that her husband had remarried and no longer intended to come back or financially support her or their children. Hence, she decided to stand ...

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Does Islamabad really care about Balochistan?

This August 14th, approximately 400 Baloch insurgents lay down their arms in Quetta to renounce violence. This surrender to the security forces, however, does little to offer prospects of peace in Balochistan in the long run. Analysts believe that the fighters fear that their struggle has gone down a cul-de-sac without much chance of success. Malik Siraj Akbar, a Baloch journalist argued the same point in the Huffington Post. I’m a Baloch myself, and I speak from personal experience when I say – we have been alienated. Since the integration of Balochistan into Pakistan, it has faced more problems than any other province in the country has and ...

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Mangalore, where a Muslim cannot interact with a Hindu

The torturing, beating, and stripping of a young Muslim man by a mob of vandals connected to the Bajrang Dal faction in the heart of the city, and that even in broad daylight amidst impotent onlookers gathered to witness a gruesome act of violence, has once again put Mangalore in the national headlines for all the wrong reasons. The man was tied to an electrical pole, stripped naked, abused, and thrashed in public for the alleged ‘crime’ of interacting with his female friend, who happened to belong to the Hindu community. This happened at a time when India is demanding liberty ...

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