Stories published in January, 2016

Our national dress is the shalwar kameez, not the niqab

Through fear of the sword or through promise of eternal torment they spread their regressive ways. Over time we found another reason to abhor each other, to feel divided, to openly judge our own. The foreign culture we adopted didn’t play well with our own, for it insisted in its dark perfection while clashing with our own light. Whenever I travel from Pakistan I feel a melancholy that slowly hums in my heart overseas until it reaches full tempo when I return home. Other countries hold dear their customs and honour the old roots from which they rose with tolerance ...

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Do we need Robin Hood to sustain economic equality?

In the year 2000, the Millennium Summit by the United Nations (UN) stemmed the development of eight chapters following the Millennium Declaration. The Declaration was adopted during the summit by world leaders. It strives to free all men, women and children from the dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty. This ultimately led to international development goals termed as Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  Goal number one of the MDGs was to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty. The UN, while articulating these MDGs devised two targets: 1. Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day ...

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Bravo, Raheel Sharif for respecting the Constitution!

I thought everyone would be happy that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) announced that he will retire when his term ends and will not seek an extension. This is what happens in practically every civilised country in the world, so why should it surprise us that this highly professional soldier has chosen to stick to the Constitution? But the way some people in the media and on Twitter have reacted, one would think the country will collapse if the good general leaves and hands over command to another general. "I don't believe in extension, will retire on due date": ...

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How did General Kayani’s brother manage to scam DHA?

In late 2012, a man familiar with the domestic property market had asked me if anyone would do an expose on “the DHA scam”. Curious about what he was referring to, I asked for more details. He said General (retd) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s brother Kamran Kayani – also a retired officer – was scamming DHA Lahore out of money through an unfulfilled contract. Instead of putting a stop to it, DHA had given him a fresh deal in Islamabad. Still confused, I asked for more information. He essentially described the residential ‘non-development’ DHA valley, which is among the subjects of the current National Accountability Bureau (NAB) ...

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Triple H – The only reason to watch WWE

If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself. Royal Rumble (2016) saw the demise of a big thorn in Authority’s way, Roman Reigns. The former WWE World Heavyweight Champion had been knocking  curve balls Roman Reigns way, which he managed to throw right out of the park. This was the case till Authority was derailed by 15 time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, the boss, Triple H. Triple H has evolved from a privileged wrestler wanting to make it big into a rebellious delinquent who ushered in a revolution. He is arguably the most decorated champion in wrestling ...

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Why is diversity at the Oscars even a topic of discussion?

It’s nearing the time of the Oscars again where actors gear up to receive their awards based on their acting skills. Only this time around, on February 28, many of the African American actors will be boycotting the event. The leading boycotter in front of the line is none other than Jada Pinkett Smith who has been pretty much doing all the talking for her usually very outspoken husband, Will Smith. She claims that far too many ‘white’ folks get awards, while the African Americans stay behind. Thus she urges (read: intimidates) black Americans to boycott the Oscars this year. [fbvideo ...

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Why is it blasphemous for a child to question an adult’s decision?

The worst nightmare for a Pakistani parent is when their child shows an affinity towards anything related to art, music or the performing arts. Unfortunately, our parents are programmed to believe that to have a successful career, it is important to choose a field of study that leads to a positively stable career. Keeping that in mind, you can just imagine what my parents’ reaction was when I told them I was interested in pursuing a career in film-making. Now my parents are not the conventional Pakistani cookie-cutter parents. Both of them are educated and have very independent lines of ...

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Should you stretch before working out?

We have always been told that stretching is good for us and it improves performance. But does it really? It all depends on the kind of stretch and when you stretch. There are two kinds of stretches; static and dynamic. The difference between the two is that in a static stretch you hold the joints for an extended period of time whereas a dynamic stretch is an active stretching routine that has you slowly moving to increase your heart rate and pump extra blood to your muscles. In short, dynamic stretching is ‘stretching as you are moving’. When you sit down ...

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Airlift was saved by its great script and great performances

This past few years, it is an undeniable fact that Akshay Kumar falls under the category of the most daring and bankable actors of Bollywood. This has enabled him to act in diverse genres, ranging from senseless and cheesy comedy flicks, to sensible and thought provoking movies. This time around Akshay Kumar has teamed up with debutante Raja Krishna Menon to highlight a real life incident back in 1990; the Kuwait crisis. Airlift is a true story based on Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. It revolves around Indians residing in Kuwait during that time and how Ranjeet Katiyal, (Akshay Kumar) along with ...

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Macbeth; visceral and dreamy, yet exposes tiredness on substance

Macbeth is yet another adaptation of the famous 17th century Shakespearean tragedy. The film is a story of loyalty, seduction, desire, betrayal and ultimately, justice. Anyone who has ever even heard of the famous Bard could arguably be well aware of the story of Macbeth. Macbeth has been adapted countless times into film, from Akira Kurosawa’s feudal Japanese Throne of Blood (1957) to Roman Polanski’s more traditional Macbeth (1971) or even Vishal Bhardwaj’s Indian backdrop of Maqbool (2003). But the question is; does Justin Kurzel’s version bring anything new to the famous story of betrayal? Macbeth is visually stunning, with each ...

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