Stories published in December, 2015

Dear Virat Kohli, creating a pitch that only favours your team, is unfair

Finally, the Proteas’ un-defeated run of nine years in Tests comes to an end, and it was India who literally forced it to come to an end. Since the achievement was so massive, it was presumed that there would be words of praise for the young Indian team, who managed to achieve something no one could in nearly a decade, but that was not the case. The whole discussion was down to the fact that ‘pitches were off sub-standard’ and that the victory looked more like a “snatched” one than an “earned” one. The discussion increased with the number of matches, and with ...

Read Full Post

“Terror groups only kill non-Muslims”: 5 misconceptions about terror groups

Knowing your enemy is the very first step in fighting and defeating the threat it poses to your existence. Your enemy will always try to fool you with misinformation, so you never find out his actual motives and tactics. The world, both in the West and the East, has been fighting terrorism for decades, even before America saw the brutality of 9/11. The 9/11 terror attacks shifted all the efforts toward growing terrorism in the name of Islam and it was named as the ‘war on terror’. This war has been going on for 14 years now – with attacks around the world only increasing in ...

Read Full Post

Lest We Forget about the calamities of nature

“Hmm… good caption,” I opened a journal lying in my cupboard bearing the title ‘Lest We Forget’. It was a diary from 2011, printed by a corporate institution. The journal was dedicated to the valour of 20 million people affected by the devastating floods in Pakistan in 2010.  Each separator of the diary told a different story, both photos and narrative reliving the tragic episode. There were tales of compassion, accounts of faith, legends of misery, and sagas of determination. From Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) to Sindh, there was a weak humanity photographed facing the disastrous wrath of nature. Pakistan suffered the worst floods in 2010 – a calamity much greater ...

Read Full Post

Pakistanis pushing boundaries – An ode to my people!

I was invited to speak at the opening ceremony of Khayaal Arts Festival 2014 as one of four keynote speakers. The theme of the festival was ‘Pushing Boundaries’ and I was asked to discuss how I attempt to push boundaries in my life. However, I’m of the view that enough has been written and said about my work. It is unfair that we develop a habit of only recognising a select few as people doing good work in the country. I, myself, have benefited from the contributions of countless Pakistanis who have made this country prosper and become better for me to live, grow, ...

Read Full Post

Why is Pakistan silent about the San Bernardino shooting?

A flurry of recent incidents involving Islamic extremists – the latest being the shooting in California involving a couple of Pakistani descent – has put Muslims under the critical spotlight in much of the developed world. Such incidents, due to their visibility and shock value, often end up getting a tremendous amount of negative media attention. This has resulted in xenophobic reactions from some political and media quarters. Many do not understand that Islam is not a monolithic faith and not every Muslim is identical. To view the entire Muslim world through the prism of extremist organisations like Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ...

Read Full Post

He was one-and-twenty, but his circumstances failed him

It was a big day for Murad. He was finally going to sit in the classrooms meant for students doing Masters at the English Language and Literature Department of Forman Christian College, Lahore. This was something he had been looking forward to for the last four years. He had, in fact, not applied anywhere else and the admission committee was keen to know why. “This is my home. I topped university examination from this college. Besides everything else, I have an inexpressible emotional bonding with this department, for the mentors who groomed me, the friends I have spent four years with, and ...

Read Full Post

Why are Pakistani men scared of being fashionable?

Browsing through magazines and websites, I’m sure most of you feel that fashion is very female-centric. And when I say female-centric I do not mean to sound misogynistic or anti-feminist, I’m merely stating that women dominate this industry, ranging from modelling to street style to bridal fashion. In South Asian countries, especially Pakistan, where the society is more patriarchal and chauvinistic as opposed to other countries, it makes sense why fashion is not seen as something that men could or should associate themselves with. Young boys and men are usually nurtured in such a way that fashion becomes a sort of ...

Read Full Post

Can China and India ever be friends?

A comparison between India and China is inevitable – both the countries are on the cusp of becoming the world’s leading economies. Two recent events have boosted India’s image in the eyes of the world: Firstly, President Barrack Obama’s visit – he is the first US president to have attended India’s Republic Day parade as a guest of honour. And, secondly, the recent economic forecasts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank which state that India’s pace of growth is set to outstrip that of China in 2016. In a major breakthrough, India and the US have reached a broad ...

Read Full Post

My terrible yet oddly fantastic Black Friday shopping experience

As a technology enthusiast, I have always been in awe of the incredible deals that go live on Black Friday in the US and Europe. So, when Daraz, Kaymu, and HomeShopping announced they would be offering similar deals in Pakistan on November 27th, they had my curiosity! Two days before Black / White / what-you-may-call-it Friday deals went live, Daraz announced they would be selling the 16GB iPhone 6S for an unbelievable Rs62,279. That’s $590. This was simply the lowest price for an iPhone 6S anywhere in the world! They first had my curiosity, now they had my attention. When the deal went live at midnight on ...

Read Full Post

Will Alexis Sanchez bid farewell to the Gunners for the Red Devils?

Chilean superstar Alexis Sanchez has been in magnificent form for Arsenal this season. Ever since he joined them from Barcelona last season for a fee of £33 million, Sanchez has been the Gunners’ best player so far, scoring seven goals and providing four assists. Last season, he missed winning the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Player of the Year award by a close margin to Eden Hazard. Similarly, his extraordinary pace, power, and creativity has helped him destroy his opponents. His overall form has transformed him into a force to be reckoned with, and it is this very form that has appealed to Manchester ...

Read Full Post