Stories published in February, 2016

Will Amir “King” Khan be able to knock out Saul “Canelo” Alvarez?

The announcement made by the Welterweight champion Amir Khan that he will face the Mexican superstar Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez on May 7, 2016,  shocked the entire boxing world. Delighted to announce i will be fighting @Canelo May 7th Cinco De Mayo, Las Vegas for the 155lbs @WBCBoxing title! This will see the former World Champion jump from Welterweight to Middleweight in an attempt to make history by winning the World Middleweight Title. The reason it caught us off guard was due to the two front runners fighting Khan, one being WBC Welterweight World Champion, Danny Garcia. Back in 2012, Garcia stopped Khan in four ...

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Did North Korea really execute its army chief of staff?

Out of the deafening silence of North Korea’s state-run media and soundproofed borders, emerge stories that go viral and take on mythological proportions. In the 18th century, when technology was not yet sufficient enough to deliver news swiftly across far distances, tales of distant lands would change hands amidst the chatter of travellers in the marketplace and taverns. Similarly, stories coming out of North Korea rely largely on hearsay and speculation. Or on the media of its neighbouring countries, which somehow, based solely on proximity, are able to decipher information. The echoes of distant screams in North Korea are reflected through the media ...

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India and Pakistan both share the spirit of Bollywood

The recently released Bollywood movie Airlift, based on the evacuation of Indians residing in Kuwait during the Gulf War of 1990, has won much acclaim in both India and Pakistan. Rightfully so, for its brilliant cinematography, outstanding performances by all the artists (especially Akshay Kumar who has steered away from typically playing romantic comedy or action roles) and its excellent screenplay. The tragic scenario of a war zone and how it can take away everything you have is depicted in a heart-rending manner, along with how man’s survival skills are put to the test. The apathy of many politicians and bureaucrats, as ...

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Dear Nergis, with love, from Pakistan

Dear Nergis Darling, We are very happy to know that you have become super famous and that you were born in Karachi. In order to create a ‘usable’ past, we somehow distinctly recall that while you were growing up in Karachi, we were certain that teaching you sciences, and physics in particular, along with the rigors of the scientific method which is what we do best in the schools of Pakistan, especially, girls’ schools. Therefore, we would like to take full credit for your achievements, especially those that have made you famous. The rest we neither know nor care about. We are ...

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Would Nergis Mavalvala have made it had she stayed in Pakistan?

Overnight, astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala’s star went supernova in Pakistan. As news spread that the Karachi born scientist’s research played a role in one of the greatest scientist discoveries of our time, people who couldn’t spell ‘gravitational wave’ began celebrating her achievement with the fervour of Neil deGrasse Tyson dreaming about first contact. Meanwhile, our right-wingers quickly started combing through scripture, seeking evidence of a Nostradamus like foretelling of gravitational waves, perhaps in hopes of winning a reductive reasoning award. But I digress. As TV channels and news dot coms broke the story, social media hit fever pitch. Proud of Nergis Mavalvala a Pakistani ...

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Sanam Teri Kasam is the cinematic equivalent of Chinese water torture

Back when I was in college, I was acquainted with a certain someone who was notorious for being uber-pretentious throughout campus. Amongst a tonne of her other pseudo acts, what everyone found the most cringe-worthy was her insistence on her surname being spelled as ‘Raphae Ubbasee’ instead of the official, perfectly reasonable ‘Rafay Abbasi’ and as a consequence she got a lot of flak for it by virtually everyone at the institute. It wasn’t just the act of trying to ‘coolify’ her name, but what made her pretty much the butt of every joke that the college canteen had ...

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Don’t have Great Expectations from Fitoor

Charles Dickens may have been a literary genius; however, the Bollywood flick Fitoor – based on Dickens’ Great Expectations is not as great as expected. A Katrina Kaif starrer has always excited viewers but her acting falls short in Fitoor. She remains somewhat below par and her chemistry with Aditya Roy Kapoor did not spark any on screen excitement, leading to a lack of romance. However, Tabu, who has always been graceful on big screen, did manage to add to the story line with her commendable acting skills as Begum Hazrat, Firdaus’ (Katrina Kaif) mother. Set in Sringar, Fitoor focuses on a childhood affection intensifying and developing into a passionate ...

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‘Bombay’ vs Mumbai and the not so ‘Independent’ view

The British newspaper, The Independent, sparked a major controversy recently when its editor announced that they would henceforth refer to India’s financial capital Mumbai as Bombay, the city’s erstwhile colonial moniker. At first glance, the move appears to be a declining and increasingly inconsequential colonial power’s feeble attempt to reassert, or at least relive, its imperial glory. Of course as you scratch the surface, an entirely different dynamic is revealed. To fully understand this dynamic, it’s worth first exploring the city’s journey from Bombay to Mumbai, which has been almost as remarkable as its evolution from a sleepy fishing village to a vibrant metropolis. ...

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Today I have been recognised, not as a Hindu in Pakistan, but as a Pakistani Hindu

The delayed Hindu Marriage Bill has passed and as anticipated it will bring a shelter of lee and glimmer of hope for many Hindu couples confronted by matrimonial issues. In its absence young, innocent women have been forcibly converted to Islam, widows have led unprivileged lives and there is no way of proving their marriage to claim their inheritance, married couples have faced harassment since they have no certificate proving their nuptials, and newly wedded couples have endured separation waiting for difficult documentation required to apply for immigration. Why is the registration of Hindu marriages important? First and foremost it establishes that Hindus enjoy ...

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Why aren’t there any Sindhi or Baloch players in our PSL squads?

Watching an intense Pakistan Super League (PSL) match, my siblings and I had our eyes glued to the television screen. It was Quetta Gladiators versus Islamabad United. The Gladiators were playing brilliantly and I was quite focused on the match when my sister asked me a question that diverted all my attention away from the match.   She asked, “Are all the players playing for Quetta Gladiatorn born in Balochistan?” After a momentary silence, I replied, “No, not all of them, maybe some of them.” She asked the same question about the other four teams as well and my answer remained the same. After the match ended and ...

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