Stories published in December, 2015

Is a discussion on climate change even relevant to a third world country like Pakistan?

Over the last century, the average temperature of the earth increased by 0.6 degrees and experts estimated that it will increase by 1.4 to 5.8 degrees centigrade by the end of the current century. What does it mean? How does that have any effect on a person’s daily life? For a third world country that is struggling with power outages and recurring political crises, is this even a relevant discussion? The answer is yes. It is relevant. It is important. And it impacts all of us. The geographical location of Pakistan places it in a heat surplus zone, which makes it extremely susceptible to the impact of climate change. The occurrence of ...

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The curious case of Shoaib Malik

Shoaib Malik has had one of the most intriguing cricket careers. He made his debut in 1999 – in 16 years of international cricket, we still don’t really know what his role exactly is. He is one of the very few cricketers who have played in every position from one to 10 in ODIs. Is he a batsman? Is he a bowler? Is he an all-rounder? He is definitely one of the best fielders in the Pakistan team; no one makes a catch in the outfield look as easy as Malik does. But what his role exactly is in the Pakistan ...

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Amateur photographers: From selfie enthusiasts to rich kids with a DSLR

Know a photographer who takes insane, eye-catching shots and you wonder how in the Lord’s name he manages to capture ‘the person and the persona’ with his camera and you cannot! Well what if I tell you that every photographer was once an amateur. So no biggie if you can’t do what he can!   Photo: Tumblr Being an artist myself, I write this to let you all know that the first step of being a good photographer is being an amateur one! To ensure that my reader is wary and well informed. I will begin my case ...

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No maulana sahib, women are not “only fit to deliver children”

For a long time now, religious preachers have had a stereotypical approach towards the role of women in our society. They have managed to successfully influence the masses in South Asia with myopic notions confining women to household chores in light of theologically conservative interpretations. Theocracy provides a platform to patriarchal ideologies, be it tacitly or blatantly. People attach sentiments to matters which are related to religion, although they are mere ideas preached by people wearing the garb of religion. This has been the case since decades and it plays a huge role in encouraging views that are against female emancipation. A ...

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Sanitary napkins are not luxury items… period

Is everyone ready? Okay… all together now… let’s say the following words: Period… Menstruation… Tampons… Sanitary napkins… Sanitary towels… Menstrual pad… Maxi pad… Whew. That wasn’t so hard, was it? Every month, before reaching a certain age, a woman ovulates for a span of a day or so. Following this time, an unfertilised egg is let go in a menstrual period that lasts up to a week or more of bleeding. It can be a very uncomfortable time for most, but is more severe for some; the pain certain women suffer is crippling. Yet across the world, especially in certain cultures, women are discouraged from discussing the affects and requirements of this basic ...

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Series 2: “Checkmate” Part 1 My near perfect life

I had seen the intermittent drizzle of rain throughout the day from my office window. But in Seattle, rain was like second nature. My car had gone for  an oil change so I had the option of either walking or calling Ali. Although the street in front of my red brick office building usually wasn’t very crowded at five in the evening, it was even less so today. I decided to walk the short distance home. I opened my umbrella as I pushed open the office door. Maple trees, green with the celebration of spring, lined both sides of the ...

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From a Kashmiri’s perspective: Pakistan and India need to do a lot more than exchange handshakes and smiles

Comprehending the intended policy of India’s present regime led by Narendra Modi is no rocket science. It is evident to the most inert of minds that Modi wants to keep Pakistan at an “arm’s length”. However, the foreign policy is less about rhetoric and more about the reality on the ground. During his noisy election campaign in 2014, Modi boasted about his ‘56 inch chaati’ (56 inch chest); it, however, appears that the embarrassing defeats in the Delhi and Bihar elections may have reduced his chest size by a quite few inches. Those are the facts of his domestic turf. I’m sure that his 30-plus trips abroad as prime ...

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Here is why I think CAS is the best school in Pakistan

After spending nine years and counting at Centre of Advance Studies (CAS), I have come to cherish and value the teachings and experiences it has given me. The corn stand’s lala and the cafeteria staff has become the outlet of our daily ramblings. In every Centarian’s life, there are very few experiences that can compete with singing our school song, fighting for the last paratha roll and sitting by the steps waiting to high-five every junior that walks by. “Imagination is more important than knowledge” – Albert Einstein This teaching is what highlights the CAS amid many other nation-wide recognised schools. While other educational ...

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Condemning Trump’s bigotry does not make you any less of a bigot, Netanyahu

When Benjamin Netanyahu wags his finger at Donald Trump for his bigoted remarks against Muslims, a simple eye roll should suffice as political commentary. But it’s not difficult to explain exactly why we’re dumbstruck by the irony of the Israeli prime minister’s statement. Joining a chorus of condemnations from world leaders, Netanyahu decried Trump’s call to shut down entry of all Muslims to the United States, adding: “The state of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens.” Having wiped off the coffee we’d accidentally sprayed upon our computer screens, liberals around the world marvelled at such straight-faced ...

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Would this video ever be made from a man’s perspective?

I recently came across the concept of “dog whistle politics” whilst watching a riveting episode of the political drama, Scandal. Upon further deliberation, I realised that this phenomenon is all too common in our society. Dog whistle politics refers to a brand of communication where people sugar-coat their words to insult others in such a way that when those words are said, on social media or otherwise, only the person towards whom the words are directed can feel the attack. It’s ingenious, really, and this idea has been part of Pakistan’s family lives since time immemorial. For example, the phrase, “Mardon ka tou kaam ...

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