Stories published in October, 2015

The Martian: A realistic interplanetary hangover

The Martian is a larger-than-life interplanetary fable of survival, filled with full throttle performances and spine-tingling realism. It has been infused with intellectual and poignant arguments, asking gargantuan questions about man versus nature on Mars. Director and producer Ridley Scott’s most striking work yet – nominated for three Academy Awards, two Golden Globe, two BAFTA Awards and best known for his extremely intense visual style creations such as the sci-fi Blade Runner (1982), Gladiator (2000) and Black Hawk Down (2001) – is evidently influenced by Cast Away (2000) and Apollo 13 (1995). It has some of the most awe-inspiring outer-space landscapes, ...

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My husband, Owais Raheel, is NOT a terrorist

My husband, Owais Raheel is a qualified electrical engineer, as well as an MBA degree holder from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA). Most importantly, he was a prominent faculty member at Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) and was loved by his students. But he went missing on September 11, 2015. On Friday, September 11, 2015, everything seemed to be going smoothly – just like any other ordinary day. We left our house and Owais dropped me to my parent’s house, and then headed towards SZABIST to conduct his daily lectures. I spoke to him on the phone ...

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Banning one bowler after the other, what is PCB doing wrong?

Yet another dejecting news story regarding one of our new off-spinners, Bilal Asif, was published recently. Bilal was reported for suspect action during the third ODI match against Zimbabwe in Harare. The series ended on a high note for our cricket team, but for Bilal, the series cast a gloomy shadow over his future career growth. Thirty-year-old Bilal performed exceptionally well in his second ODI match against Zimbabwe, during which he bagged five wickets and contributed 38 runs as an opener, which helped Pakistan sail towards a seven wicket win. These statistics proved that Bilal is a force to reckon ...

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Giving Saudi Arabia a vital position on the UN Human Rights Council is like putting Dracula in charge of a blood bank

During my 15 years growing up in Saudi Arabia, there was one tenet I, like most expatriates, strictly abided by. This simple unwritten rule was; minimise your interaction with locals. This is because many, though certainly not all Saudis we encountered, looked upon foreigners as if they were insolent slaves. From interactions in the neighbourhood, workplace, shops, and more, the Saudi disdain for foreigners was pretty clear. With Saudi media towing the Kingdom line, it was only through word of mouth that we learnt of expatriate girls, women, boys, and boyish looking men escaping capture from Saudi groups. These gangs often ...

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Hotel Transylvania 2: Better and wittier than its prequel!

Hotel Transylvania 2 is the sequel to the Hotel Transylvania (2012) which is the story of Dracula (Adam Sandler) and his daughter, Mavis, who falls in love with a human. Where in the first part Mavis (Selena Gomez) gave her heart to Jonathan (Andy Samberg), they are seen happily married in the sequel. The sequel, too, has a strong plot, if not stronger. Dracula is now not afraid of Jonny, the human, for he has wed Dracula’s daughter. Even though the conflict between Dracula and the humans is now over, Hotel Transylvania 2 raises another concern between Dracula and his grandson, Dennis (Asher ...

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Why should Indian Muslims and Christians be barred from taking part in the Garba?

I vividly remember the time I spent during my school and college days with Ghulam Farid, one of my best friends. He was like family to me. We have, however, not been able to catch up ever since I moved to Delhi and he remained in Rajasthan taking care of his family business. We would celebrate our respective festivals together every year. On Eidul Azha he would always invite me to his place, and I would relish the scrumptious biryani and mutton curry cooked by his gracious mother. On Diwali, I used to go to his shop and offer him sweets. And on Holi, ...

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NA 122 by-elections: A futile power competition serving no real purpose

October 11, 2015, will be one of the most anticipated and crucial contests in a by-election. It is not Aleem Khan versus Ayaz Sadiq, but Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) versus Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N). Political observers and analysts are seeing this as a decisive battle between two fierce rivals. The by-election in NA 122 is, for almost all practical purposes, a question of political survival for both PTI and PML-N. The election is being seen by both parties as an opportunity for vindication of their stance regarding the fairness of general elections 2013 (General Elections 2013). The chairman of PTI himself contested and lost to Ayaz Sadiq of ...

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It was the night of Lailatul Qadr

It was the night of a thousand angels, a night of sins forgiven and a night of deeds untold. It was the night of Lailatul Qadr when she opened her eyes for the first time. “That’s what we’ll name her,” said her mother. The father smiled and announced his newborn daughter’s name to his wife, the hospital staff and into the ear of the child to be named, “Lailatul Qadr.” As her parents devoted themselves to worship, for it was the night of a thousand prayers, Lailatul Qadr, or Laila as she would come to be known, spent the entire night in her ...

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Hats off to “Kis Ki Topi Kis Ke Sar?”

‘Kis Ki Topi Kis Ke Sar?’ is a rib-tickling comedy that will leave you aching with laughter. Staged at the Arts Council Karachi, at Rs1000 per seat, playing  from October 1st  till the 13th, this play is a must watch. Moreover, it is supporting a phenomenal organisation known as the Special Olympics, to which all the proceeds go to. Directed by the renowned actress Sarwat Gilani and co-directed by NAPA alumni Zeeshan Haider, the play is yet another example of Pakistan’s potential in the field of arts and wit, distinctive of the Urdu language. Written by Babar Jamal, the man who gave us the hit ‘Khel Jari Hai’ in 2010, ...

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6 ways Jawani Phir Nahi Aani proves what’s past is prologue

This year witnessed Pakistani cinema step out of a murky and Bolly obsessed past into a well-choreographed, seductive, witty, and innuendo-filled cinematic future. For a country, now in its 69th year of independence, that once teemed with 1500 movie houses – it’s about time. The 2015 blockbuster, Jawani Phir Nahi Ani (JPNA), was the perfect culmination to a year of decent Lollywood films. Below are the venerable author’s six astute observations on the three hour Nadeem Baig comedy on the burdened life of three bachelors under the tyranny of their wives. 1. “What happens in Bangkok stays in Bangkok” Photo: Jawani Phir Nahi Ani ...

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