Stories published in May, 2016

1920 London was the best comedy I’ve seen in a while!

A friend of mine, along with being a self-proclaimed ‘Love Guru’ is a huge fan of horror flicks. According to him, with no endorsement from my side whatsoever, this particular genre should be your numero uno pick if you plan on ‘Netflix and chilling’. In his opinion, all those jump-scare moments that are pretty much the bread and butter for this format of films, are tremendously conducive in creating a situation which could lure even the shyest of women to seek refuge in one’s arms. So imagine the frustration of my mate and all his casanovian disciples when they ...

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Udaari: Child abuse is disturbing, but it exists in Pakistan, PEMRA!

In a country where TV channels romanticise rapists and glorify them as misunderstood bad boys and heart breaking heroes; where rape scenes are beautifully choreographed and turned into pieces of art, comes a drama revolving around the issue of child abuse, Udaari.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT-TTof9v74 It is written with great sensitivity and moral courage by Farhat Ishtiaq: the maestro who gave us Humsafar and Diyaar-e-dil. It’s produced by Momina Duraid and the Kashf foundation, an NGO aiming towards the economic empowerment of low-income women. It showcases Imtiaz (Ahsan Khan) who marries his friend’s widow Sajida ‘Sajjo’ (Samiya Mumtaz) and starts developing evil intentions towards his own niece, Meeran (Urwa Hocane) and ...

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Watch Azhar if you are a Mohammad Azharuddin fan, don’t watch it if you are a cricket fan

Bollywood has had its own share of fascination with biopics and sports movies alike, and most of the films in both genres have suffered from various problems. Biopics have suffered because of the glorification of the heroes, making them much larger than they actually were in reality. This is evident in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, The Dirty Picture or the countless Bhagat Singh movies. Even though Milkha Singh won accolades and awards across the country, the exaggeration in his character development was painfully evident. Sports films, on the other hand, have suffered from the lack of technical knowledge of the sport itself. Goal ...

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The Angry Birds Movie: Can it slingshot over your expectations?

For quite a few years now, young viewers, and adults alike, have been playing Angry Birds on smartphones – crashing wacky birds in buildings and killing the green-coloured pigs. So you can just imagine how the excitement obviously doubles up when a movie based on their all-time favourite video game comes out!  I watched The Angry Birds Movie with the same enthusiasm with which I score points in the Angry Birds game and it did not disappoint me. The movie does have all the elements depicted in the game and once having played the game, one can easily relate to the movie. Brought ...

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Will Nawaz Sharif be so easily NAB(bed)?

On one hand is the National Accountability Bureau of Pakistan (NAB) whose very name belies a sense of security and reassurance. On the other hand is the nation’s self-chosen symbol of democratic hope, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, elected by the people, for the people. Problem is, neither have proven to be very trustworthy. Sharif, as always, is deeply embroiled in several scandals including the high-profile Panama Papers leak. NAB is facing a litany of its own problems. A recently filed FIR alleges that NAB tortures its detained suspects, that it is bought out by the very criminals it is supposedly prosecuting, that it is a lazy, inefficient ...

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Lashing out at Bangladesh for Moti ur Rahman’s hanging will not change history

On May 11, 2016, Bangladesh hanged Motiur Rahman Nizami, the 73-year-old leader of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. He was the leader of the militant group Al Badr. The searing irony of this saga is that Pakistan’s ruling elite in 1971 outsourced the safeguarding of Pakistani nationalism to unsavoury characters from the Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing when Jamaat-e-Islami itself had opposed tooth and nail the creation of Pakistan just 24 years earlier in 1947. The brigands of Al Badr were launched by the Pakistani military against a Bengali population which had in 1947 stood unwaveringly with Mr Jinnah and the Muslim League in the Pakistan Movement. In 1965 the same ...

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Mian Iftikharuddin: The stranger in the house

On March 29, 1953, Mian Iftikharuddin said that it was regretful that the Army had stepped in to control the anti-Ahmadi riots, that the government had “shown a way to coup d’ etat” and hoped that “the Army will (sic) be relieved of its extramarital functions” A statement made by a person with clear vision of a democratic future for his country, which appeared on the map of this world with name of Pakistan. One man who stood out more than the others in his quest to transform the newly formed state into a modern, democratic and secular society was Mian Iftikharuddin. He was ...

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Am I immoral because I’m attracted to my husband?

During a conversation with a female friend, she let me in on a strange secret. She said, “Once, my husband doubted my morality,” I remained silent, mostly out of curiosity. She continued and said, “It happened when I tried to get intimate with him; not with a stranger but with him, my own husband.” “What exactly do you mean?” I asked bewildered. “He hadn’t come home from work and I was missing him. Aroused, I approached him, thinking he’d appreciate that. In return he gave me a stern look and said, what is wrong with you? Why are you behaving so immorally?” This was expressed with ...

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The Good Pakistani Wife II: Should she have kept silent?

Ali had cursed Amina on their final night together…   It happened after a few agonising days, when she mustered the courage to confront him. Ali played with his phone on an oversized leather sofa they bought together, little pillows carelessly scattered on it.  “Ali, I know you’ve been seeing someone else. And, I know you’ve never really loved me. I don’t think you even like who I am…” “You’re imagining things. I am giving you everything you need as a husband, isn’t this love? Be grateful”. There was no guilt. Was she really ungrateful? She bit off the dry skin on her fingers ...

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Donald Trump as US president would trump rationality and tolerance

The distinction between the religious right-of-centre and the loony religious right is more pronounced in the west as compared to India and Pakistan, where the difference is usually a blur. An example of this is David Cameron referring to anti-Muslim bigots engaging in violent hate crimes. He said this amounts to them being no different to jihadists. The conventional interpretation about endorsing a holy war against evils within oneself or an armed struggle in case of violation of one’s rights against the specific aggressors only after peaceful modes of conflict resolution have now been exhausted. Furthermore, former Muslims’ endorsing violent interpretations should not ...

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