Stories published in August, 2015

Manjhi: An exceptional portrayal of man versus nature’s injustice

It takes ages to find a plot that has the tendency to showcase different emotions, scenarios, and the journey of life i.e. transformation of one’s identity.   Manjhi: The Mountain Man is one such story that shares a tale of a man who believes in love, humanity, arrogance, friendship and doing what’s needed in his capacity as an individual to bring a change. It is based on the true story of Dashrath Manjhi, an unsung hero and legend who proved that nothing is impossible to achieve. The film is directed by Ketan Mehta and features Nawazuddin Siddiqui for the lead role of Manjhi. Manjhi has an able team to ...

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Dear Imran Sahib, don’t put an end to bhabi’s political aspirations

Dear Mr Khan,  After being bashed by your supporters over my last blog on Mrs Khan, I had decided to stay absolutely clear of the confusion that your simultaneously contradictory announcements create in the media. However, after losing NA-19 to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), your most recent, and quite melodramatic, announcement that Mrs Khan will not contest in any elections on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)  ticket nor will she attend any PTI events, henceforth, I had to address you. Even at the cost of getting bashed on the foot again by your raging torrent of well-wishers, who obviously only read the good stories about you in ...

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Her grief devastated her, but his destroyed her

They weren’t dizygotic twins, or even twins, let alone siblings, yet they were so alike. But how could it be? Their birth was separated by 1,860 days. Maybe, they were an extension of one another. She sat across the table from him, with a hot cup of hazelnut cappuccino that she gripped with both her hands as she saw his smile belie his mood. But there was something about that very smile. Or maybe it was less about him than it was about her. It was the magic that transpired in her mind as she engaged in a quotidian conversation, eyeing ...

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Dear Hamza Ali Abbasi, Mahira Khan, Reham Bhabi and Ayyan Ali – Hi!

Open letters are the new ‘in’ thing. Everyone, while not busy taking selfies or engaging in internet wars, is writing them. Unlike personal letters that are addressed to and only read by the person intended, these have a universal appeal. Hence, I decided to write a few of my own, a series of them in fact. Here is the first one: To Hamza Ali Abbasi from an Online Jihadi. Hazrat Hamza Ali Abbasi Sahib, My heart sank when I saw the trailer of your upcoming movie, Jawani Phir Nahin Ani. And it sank even further to the bottom of the very pool you were seen ...

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Pakistan cannot tackle child abuse with politicians like Rana Sanaullah in power

Like a tiny flame still years away from growing into a full blown fire, a child is deeply vulnerable to strong winds. Due to this susceptibility, a child feels more intensely than adults do; raised voices from parents, the death of a pet, a seriously traumatic event, all become long-term fixtures on the portrait of a child’s mind. Now imagine the repercussions of molestation on such an impressionable consciousness. A child’s mind is like an open canvas gradually taking shape from the brushstrokes of life’s experiences. An event such as child molestation only leaves permanent dark splotches on the canvas. Through years of ...

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Best Independence Day gift ever: Sohni Dharti by Coke Studio

Let me declare firstly, that I’m no music critic. But Coke Studio’s latest rendition of Sohni Dharti has made me so proud, that I’m compelled to chatter about it. The reason behind the song’s success is simply that it nailed all the components of a hit! Firstly, the occasion it catered to was Independence Day. Coke Studio celebrates diverse musical talent; has made a significant presence in the international music scene, and thus gave back to the country, on its birthday. Secondly, the song Sohni Dharti, originally sung by Shehnaz Begum, is a milli naghma (national song) every child and adult has been singing since childhood. So ...

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Is there any hope for Pakistan in Olympics 2016?

The Pakistan hockey team failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. This is a historic low as the Pakistani hockey team has qualified for every Olympic Games since gaining independence in 1947. The only exception was the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, which Pakistan opted to jointly boycott with 64 other countries due to the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan. With the absence of the hockey team from the 2016 Rio Olympics, there is a possibility that perhaps no one gets a chance to represent Pakistan at the Olympic Games next year? Clearly, Olympic sports in Pakistan are in a dismal state which can be gauged ...

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Dear Prime Minister, ending bonded labour is not Brandon Stanton’s job, it’s yours

I love brick houses; specifically the feel of those rectangular blocks. But when I know the hands that made those bricks were of a 12-year-old who couldn’t afford a decent meal in the morning, I don’t want to even see one let alone live in one. I cannot hold a passion for those houses anymore. Bonded labour is a shameful reality in Pakistan, which many are unaware of, as we celebrated our so called independence last week. So my question is, are we really free? Without sounding metaphoric, there are helpless people in our country who have been condemned to lifelong labour without or with ...

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Rose sugar crème brulee with an eastern infusion

Roses remind me of summers in my grandmother’s intoxicating garden. As the sun sets, the sultry Karachi air shifts to a humid cool sea breeze, bringing with it the scent of her lovingly tended blossoms of motia (jasmine), roses, hibiscus, petunia and bougainvillea. As I made my way from the connecting door between my home and hers, her garden beckoned with captivating floral scents. As I strolled through while picking a few blossoms, it was the wafts of cardamom, milk and rice pudding from her kitchen that would make me find my way to her doorstep. I have a soft spot for Pakistani desserts; their combination of sweet ...

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Should Afghanistan, India and Iran always blame Pakistan for their own mistakes?

It’s nothing but ironical that I’m writing this blog on the latest (if not the greatest), all intensive, simmering hot issue of yet another AfPak entanglement right around the time when one of the chief architects of Pakistan’s Afghan’s policy of the 80s-90s, General Hamid Gul, bade farewell to the world. The general, a villain to some and a hero to others, was by all means a controversial figure, one who left a deep impact on the regional politics for years to come. So when I hear the current crop of Afghan leadership screaming their lungs out with ferociously unsavoury, emotion-laden statements pointing fingers at the Pakistanis for ...

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