Stories published in February, 2016

The Night Before: Just another stale Christmas themed stoner comedy

The Night Before (2015) is a Christmas comedy that takes place essentially in one single night. Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have been friends since childhood and every Christmas, they hit the town together till the wee hours of the morning next day. But this Christmas, things might just be different as they somehow get invitations to the Nutcracka Ball – the Holy Grail of Christmas parties. For a Christmas night that is supposed to be remembered for ages, nothing really memorable happens and I forgot about this film soon after watching it. That isn’t to say ...

Read Full Post

Can Pakistan’s ugly media rivalry stay out of the PSL, please!

Pakistan Super League (PSL) is underway. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s initiative to make this league a reality is truly commendable. Young players don’t usually get the chance to showcase their talent in front of the global community as a result of poor local coverage. Hence, PSL will be the ideal opportunity for various budding cricketers to not only display their prowess, but to learn from the experienced coaching staff and prominent foreign players. PSL is a franchise-based tournament which forms provincial teams and these teams battle against each other over a month’s time. With various companies buying franchises, the highest bid was received by ARY for ...

Read Full Post

If you think the niqab is a choice, think again

In my recent article, ‘Our national dress is the shalwar kameez, not the niqab’, while examining countries in and around the geographical vicinity of the Middle East, I lamented the loss of cultural riches such as art, music, various religious festivities, as well as heritage sites like ancient temples and monasteries to a single fast-spreading inflexible ideology. To drive the point home, between a dozen countries, I compared various cultural garments with the full single-colour veil called the niqab, also known as the abaya or the burqa. The contrast was startling. On one end were 12 aesthetically delightful national dresses varying ...

Read Full Post

Series 2: “Checkmate” Part 8 In trying to forget, we remember instead

How could that possibly be? Why was Usman Khan’s name written in the father’s slot? Shamim Aunty’s husband’s name was Tanveer Ahmed, not Usman Khan. As I read on, the shock turned to nightmare; Abba jee’s name was written in the slot of wali (guardian). Tanveer Ahmed was one of the two required witnesses. Annie’s father, or the father I knew, was not listed as her father or her wali on her nikkahnama (marriage document) but a ‘witness’?? I read the document again, my mind in utter denial. Was Annie Usman Khan’s daughter? There were probably countless Usman Khans in the world, but it had to be ...

Read Full Post

This Valentine, stay at home!

­­­Kiss all your prior engagements goodbye, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It has to be celebrated with fanfare as the tales spill over to the next day, being shared on WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. The wives boasting about how their affluent husbands took them for a very romantic, candle-lit dinner to a fancy restaurant becomes the talk of the town. The pictures are uploaded as proof. An open invitation to the green-eyed monster! Reality check please. Valentine’s Day (commercial) celebration is with your significant other at a restaurant having an overpriced, banal meal, surrounded by strangers with inquisitive waiters circulating ...

Read Full Post

Are ISIS recruits in Afghanistan a threat to Pakistan?

Afghanistan can perhaps be labelled as one of the most war affected country in the world. Peace has seldom been achieved since the Soviet invasion. After the end of the Soviet occupation, the country saw severe infighting over power which led to major internal armed conflicts. The fact that Afghan groups who took arms against the former USSR but later turned to each other for support is not a surprising story. By nature, Afghans are a tough people, they have further been hardened by a war they fought against an extremely powerful foe. It was only natural all major players involved in ...

Read Full Post

What if our valentine doesn’t buy us flowers for Valentine’s Day?

Many of my friends have been complaining that I am writing on way too serious issues and should take the ice bucket challenge (in my head). Since Valentine’s Day is close and all, why not? Before I begin, I do wish to offer a pre-emptive apology (similar to the kind America offered Saddam’s Iraq – no bombs here though) to all the female readers of this blog. The views contained herein may present only a limited set of emotions, for which I apologise. I am a man after all and was born with a limited set of emotions. Expecting more ...

Read Full Post

Why is Pakistan’s affluent class so ashamed of getting extra food packed at a restaurant?

“You are embarrassing me!” Said the husband, upset over the fact that his wife asked the restaurant staff to pack the left overs which included one kabab, three-fourths of a naan and a bit of chicken karhai. “But it will be wasted,” She smiled and even carried the large mineral water bottle that was almost untouched with resolve. It was a delightful dinner my family and I were invited to and this conversation between our host couple was all too familiar. There is the “what will people think” attitude associated with carrying home leftovers and in doing so we forget that edible, clean ...

Read Full Post

It is time for us to question Haroon Rasheed’s role as chief selector

It’s the move that sums up his time as chief selector of Pakistan and it might be the move that will determine his fate at Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) headquarters.  It just isn’t a Pakistan World Cup squad announcement without some controversy; add Haroon Rasheed as chief selector to the equation and you were bound to have one of the more bizarre selections even by Pakistani standards. Photo: Screenshot In a move which would make Theo Walcott’s inclusion in the England squad for the 2006 World Cup seem justifiable, Khurram Manzoor was picked over Ahmad Shahzad and ...

Read Full Post

Mann Mayal is teaching our society some horrendously wrong things!

Mannu: “Amma, amma. Please mujhay jaaney dain. Main unkay baghair marr jaun gee. Main nahin reh paaun gee. Please mujhay jaaney dain.”  (Mother, mother. Please let me go. I will die without him. I won’t be able to live. Please, let me go) Dad: “ Jaaney do issaay.” (Let her go) Mom: “Yeh kya keh rahay hain aap?” (What are you saying?) Dad: “Jaaney do issaay!” (Let her go!) Mannu runs towards her father who signals her to stop. “‘Jao. Khari kyun ho? Raasta khula hai. Tumhain ab koi nahin rokay gaa.” (Go. Why are you standing? Your path is clear. Nobody will stop you.) Mannu: “Aisa ...

Read Full Post