Stories published in August, 2015

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, a duet like none other

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene were the two stalwarts of Lankan cricket for more than a decade. The contribution they have made to Sri Lankan cricket is extremely significant and which separates them from the rest in terms of stature and amount of runs scored. I had the pleasure of watching them throughout their respective careers and during that span of time, and every now and then, they surprised me with something absolutely spectacular. Elegant and graceful shorts were perhaps the only shorts in their books. From Jayawardene’s sublime inside out shot over cover, to perfect square cuts of Sangakkara, every shot they ...

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The real politics behind India cancelling talks with Pakistan twice in a year

There is no doubt about the fact that a well-planned policy is behind the cancellation of the India-Pakistan talks twice within one year on the same issue.  It has nothing to do with peace at the border but politics at home. Narendra Modi initiated a mandate in 2014, but within one and half years, the sheen of his governance has started coming off. There is nothing on his plate to show that during his regime, the economy would take a radical upward shift, a promise which he made to the electorate before becoming the premier. He managed to win a large chunk of the rising Indian ...

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Aamir Khan sometimes cries – Get over it

In a rational universe, no man would ever be turned into an internet meme for doing what psychologically healthy humans are naturally predisposed to do – cry. Aamir Khan was widely forgiven for his first weeping offense after watching Bajrangi Bhaijan in July. The episode was popularly attributed to the film’s earnest portrayal of a man’s conquest of inter-religious strife, capable of making even grown men cry. A second tear-sighting within a month, was ostensibly too much for the public to shrug at. In an interview with NDTV, director Nikhil Advani revealed that Khan cried profusely during the screening of ‘Katti Batti’. Photo: Express Tribune  “The last 22 minutes and ...

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Karachi’s rambling weather and CinnApple pancakes

Waking up to a cloudy morning in Karachi gives me a sugar rush. The cloudy skies, the greyish overcast, the breezy wind, umbrage of green foliage and that impenetrable sunlight, all lend to the heart to wander, dream, dance, sing or hit the kitchen and cook some delicious food. As I collected my bowls and spoons, the doors creaked gently from the breeze outside and by the time I was tipping in the flour and leavening agents, the swaying trees were definitely more engaging than the half done pancake batter that lay before me. Pancakes, I feel, are one of the most underrated ...

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When ‘Aisi Taisi Democracy’ meets its neighbour, ‘Aisi Taisi Hypocrisy’

It’s been seven decades since the Partition of Indian sub-continent in 1947, but the governments on both sides are still struggling to manage peace between the two so-called rival nations. The recent complicated dialogue process between India and Pakistan may have been revoked in the middle of the reciprocal accusations as officials argued over the core base of talk-itinerary. However, the public opinion of both nations contains the spirit of peace – and this will remain until reconciliation, tranquillity and good neighbourliness prevails in their respective motherlands. On August 15th, India’s Independence Day, Indian rock band, Indian Ocean presented a satirical song called Mere Saamne Wali ...

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Dear Saif Ali Khan, how about addressing your own hypocrisy before ‘losing faith in Pakistan’

With the cancellation of the recent talks between India and Pakistan on account of trivial preconditions of the diplomatic interaction, it is no surprise that relations between the two countries have further deteriorated, with an accentuating atmosphere of mistrust, suspicion, and disbelief. During such political volatility, we as people rely upon the strength of confidence building measures between the two nations as an attempt to alleviate tension and these measures are chiefly catalysed by those we call ‘artists’ or ‘media personalities’ who highlight the inherent linkages between the two countries as an attempt to pacify the animosity between these two nations. However, dear Saif Ali Khan, despite having a huge fan base in ...

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Unveiling Pakistan, chapter by chapter, page by page

Fear, it’s both a vital gift housed by human nature and an insidious enemy of the human race. On one hand, it whispers warnings and protects us from danger. On the other hand, it has the tendency to dramatise risk, rationalise rumours, glorify assumptions, and conjure terrifying truths in order to fill gaps in knowledge and experience. In this regard, fear often places two hands over our eyes and blinds us from hidden opportunities. It closes the gate on enlightening international relationships, thrilling life experiences and character-building adventures. I recently stared fear in the face and told it to take a ...

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Is the majestic and secular Turkey ready for its horde of tourists?

Nearly 42 million tourists flocked to Turkey last year, generating over $36 billion in revenue for its tourism industry and this year, Turkey is expecting more tourists than ever before. Amidst more than a million other tourists, I too was one of them and visited Istanbul last week. The massive influx of people was evident from an aerial view of the airport, even before we touched down at the airport. Planes landed in quick succession, at intervals of barely a couple of minutes, and the immigration desk lines for foreign passport holders far exceeded those reserved for the locals. The fruit of Turkey’s past efforts in aggressively promoting its many historical, cultural and natural wonders was evident. ...

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Virat Kohli versus Steven Smith, is the comparison even justified?

As we all know, Australia and India are no strangers to international cricket triumphs. Both sides boast of powerful batting potential, currently glued together by just two young guns, Steven Smith and Virat Kohli. These batsmen are worthy of profuse praise, that’s for sure, given their careers are backed by super numbers and zero hype. But the real question is, does that justify a convincing contrast between the two? Statistics indicate a clear no. Allow me to throw in some numbers and explain just why. Imbalanced comparisons: Ratio of matches to runs First things first, Smith has been an irregular customer for ...

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All Is Well: Excruciatingly (un)funny

All Is Well is a family-oriented movie directed by Umesh Shukla. Prominent cast members include Abhishek Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Asin, Supriya Pathak and Mohammad Zeeshan Ayub amongst others. First and foremost, if you don’t plan on wasting your precious weekend, you should avoid going to the cinema to watch this movie. By a long shot, All Is Well is anything but well; as a matter of fact, it is an abomination. Predominantly, what made the movie worse is the dull script, which drags far too long, and the poor acting with forced comedic situations come off as crass and obtuse. Simply put, it is not funny ...

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