Stories published in February, 2016

Bachaana: Another feather in our cap

With our local film industry upping its game with releases like Jawani Phir Nahi Ani (2015), Ho Mann Jahaan (2016) and Manto (2015), Nasir Khan’s Bachaana is another feather in the cap. The newly released flick stars an ensemble cast of Mohib Mirza, Sanam Saeed and Adeel Hashmi in pivotal roles. The movie starts with the introduction of Waqas aka Vicky (Mohib Mirza) who is a Pakistani working as a cabbie in Mauritius. Parallel to Vicky’s story is the story of a newly-wed Indian Muslim couple; Aalia played by Sanam Saeed and her husband Jehangir aka J played by Adeel ...

Read Full Post

I’ll have an AK-47 on the rocks, please!

National security is the indispensible right of any nation which makes it sacrosanct and unassailable to the point that now governments can do just about anything and get away with it. So, you can imagine numerous nations crucifying their people in the name of national security. Let’s take North Korea for example, where a lot of people cannot afford a hearty meal and of course the government cannot help them with it, while they can satisfy their ambitions of possessing a nuclear weapon (provided of course if they don’t already have one). I can also quote Joseph Stalin’s Russia which would have been ...

Read Full Post

20 falsehoods Mirza Kashif Ali and Dr Danish shamefully propagated against Malala

Pakistani TV channels often lack credibility in the rat race of earning rating. The recent example is how Mirza Kashif Ali, President of All Pakistan Private Schools’ Federation, former advisor to Governor and Chief Minister Punjab for education, and the author of “I am not Malala” was given airtime to spread misconceptions against the youngest ever Nobel Laureate. He appeared in the shows hosted by Ahmed Quraishi and Dr Danish on December 26, 2015 and February 7, 2016 respectively. Apart from his baseless charges, it was alarming to witness how cleverly he tried to frame Malala and her father in religious controversy, as well as repeatedly bringing ...

Read Full Post

Isn’t the Koh-i-Noor diamond better off with the British?

Just imagine, hypothetically speaking, that the British in their infinite wisdom and benevolence decided to return the Koh-i-Noor back to Pakistan, would we be able to maintain its splendour? Or keep it protected from theft? Or even protected from the corrupt hands of the numerous politicians who would be eyeing this as a ripe opportunity to rob Pakistan even further? In the hands of the British, at least we know the Koh-i-Noor is preserved and protected from any ill-intentioned parties. If Pakistan is not benefiting from the magnificence of the Koh-i-Noor then neither are the British. They have, after all, put it ...

Read Full Post

PSL: A cricket dream that came true

You can argue whether Islamabad United were worthy winners of the competition based on their overall performance, the format of Pakistan Super League (PSL) or your personal affinities but there is no denying that (PSL) has been undeniably a resounding success. All the ‘cricket analysts’ claiming PSL was a failure before it even started must be eating a lot of humble pie right now. It also proved that claims by the older players that there was not enough younger talent coming through were false. About time some of them consider retirement! The best in my opinion being Mohammad Nawaz. Mohammad Nawaz is ...

Read Full Post

When filmmakers take risks, Deadpool is created!

After the disastrous depiction of Deadpool in X-men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Fox Studios wanted nothing to do with the Deadpool character. As quoted by Entertainment Weekly, according to Director Tim Miller, Tom Rothman, the then chairman of Fox read the script for the film and answered, ““No. We don’t get it.” Tom told me, “Love your passion but I just don’t care for the script. Don’t get it.”” And due its specific demands with the budget and an R-rating, the film got pushed even further back and it seemed like the Deadpool film was never going to become a reality. That ...

Read Full Post

If we can empathise with the protagonists struggle in Tamasha why can’t we empathise with the struggle in Sanam Teri Kasam?

Last week, after watching Mawra Hocane’s Bollywood debut Sanam Teri Kasam (STK), I was oddly overwhelmed. It wasn’t because of the cliché storyline that left the audience weeping but in fact, the social issue that the movie deals with; the purulent shaadi (marriage) problem. The one that is so widespread in our society but yet many fail to recognise. This movie narrates the story of a 22-year-old who has been rejected by 10 suitors owing to what is presumed to be her nerdy look: the kind that guys allegedly don’t swoon over. In attempts to gain self-worth, the protagonist seeks the rescue of her ...

Read Full Post

I do not think my female friends should come back to Pakistan

“It is hard being back. It’s like every decision I make is not my own. I cannot even walk on the streets or go out late without my mom worrying. And do not even get me started on the questions I face about my marriage plans.” These words from my friend, who recently returned from her graduate degree in the UK, have become a recurring theme in my conversations with all my female friends going back home to Pakistan after living abroad. I currently happen to live in New York, with quite a few graduate students from Pakistan. And I do not want ...

Read Full Post

The Finest Hours: An epic sail through the rocky storm

The Finest Hours is an American movie based on historic events. It involves an epic disaster which, for the most part, is based on a screenplay inspired by the book The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue written by Michael Tougias and Casey Sherman. With Craig Gillespie at the helm as the director, The Finest Hours exhibits an action-packed rescue narrative along with deeply character-driven drama cum survival story of men at sea and their subsequent rescue. It is a true story of an audacious and courageous United States Coast Guard (USCG) mounted rescue mission. The movie starts off in the cold ...

Read Full Post

The tale of our globetrotting PM: Are we getting our money’s worth?

Since coming into power in 2013, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has spent 185 days of his 940 days in office outside of the country. In other words, between June 2013 and February 2016, the PM has made 65 trips abroad. This is in laughably stark contrast to the number of times PM Sharif has visited the country’s sovereign legislative body, the National Assembly: a miserly 35 times. While a cash-strapped Pakistan continues on the path of bailouts and loans from international lenders, the PM’s foreign gallivanting has cost the national exchequer upwards of an eye-popping 63.82 crore rupees. One could argue that ...

Read Full Post