Stories published in June, 2016

José Mourinho will be an instant success at Manchester United

José Mourinho, widely regarded as one of the best managers of the current era, is coming to the team he used to call “a giant club” – Manchester United. On May 27, 2016, Mourinho penned a three-year contract deal with an option to stay with the club until at least 2020.  Will Manchester United finally go back to its old form? It’s fascinating to see “The Special One” at The Theatre of Dreams. He has been there many times before, but now he comes there not to be on the opposite end, but on the touchlines to guide and lift the team to higher ...

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This Chicken Karhai is as good as the one from the Karachi-Hyderabad highway!

The word Karhai means “wok”. This dish is traditionally cooked in a wok on a high flame and is hence called chicken karhai. My recipe for chicken karhai has evolved after I ate karhai at a dhaaba (roadside restaurant) on Karachi-Hyderabad M-9 Super Highway in Pakistan, many years ago. I can never forget its taste. What struck me the most about that particular chicken karhai was, the simplicity of the technique and minimum spices used to create such an unforgettable taste. My reverse engineering of the recipe led to some success in creating a similar taste at home. I have ...

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You forced me to break the law, Qaim Ali Shah!

I’m not the kind of person who speeds through a red light, even if the drivers of vehicles behind me honk loudly enough to wake up the dead. I have a healthy respect for the law. So, when my son was deprived of his smart phone and 10 thousand rupees last month, I advised him to immediately report the crime to the police and the CPLC. He smiled indulgently, saying that once you go to the cops they will never let you rest in peace and you’ll have to pay them a handsome amount to stop hounding you. I don’t blame him. The cops in Karachi ...

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If the army has cleared the agency of all militants, then what is there to hide in South Waziristan?

The Pakistan Army has been fighting valiantly against the scourge of terrorism. There can be no words that can fully express the debt of gratitude that one feels towards our soldiers for having done what they have done to protect the people of Pakistan from the nefarious designs of these “holy warriors.” That being said, what comes next is an arduous task. The frontier of Pakistan, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) will continue to pose a challenge unless and until something is drastically done on a political and national level to integrate them fully into Pakistan. They must not be ...

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Finding flamingos in Karachi

My friend said, “I think there are flamingos in Karachi, and I’m going to find them.” When I got this call from Mirza Naim Beg at around nine o’clock on Friday night, I thought this was the best way a retired man could start his weekend. No, I have not retired as yet. Beg sahib is a retired banker and was also a fashion photographer for some renowned magazines from yesteryears. He has discovered a new-found love for beauty, only this time he shot real birds with feathers and beaks. Naturally my response to him was to go ahead, only if he knew where to find them. He had ...

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Is there hidden misogyny behind our criticism towards Ghostbusters(2016)?

Since the project of a Ghostbusters reboot with an all-female cast was announced in 2015, fans were highly critical and vocal about it. In March 2016, the first trailer was released and it quickly became the ‘most disliked trailer’ in the history of YouTube. While many fans of the original claim that the quality of the trailer is nowhere near the wit and charm of the first Ghostbusters (1984), an internet war still wages on whether the trailer is disliked due its quality or hidden misogyny behind the criticism.

Do you think there is misogyny hidden behind the criticism towards Ghostbusters (2016)

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The film stars Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. Ghostbusters (2016) is directed by Paul Feig.

How would you rate Ghostbusters (2016)?

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Leslie ...

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Will our selection committee ever make a decision beneficial to Pakistani cricket?

After Pakistan’s disastrous World T20 campaign, a number of cosmetic changes were made in a bid to portray the board’s seriousness towards amending past mistakes and avoiding new ones. Among changes that saw Waqar Younis step down from his role and Shahid Afridi relinquishing his post as captain, making way for Sarfraz Ahmed, the most sensationalised development was the appointment of former Pakistan captain and all-time great, Inzamamul Haq, as the head of the selection committee. The decision was praised by former players who saw Inzamam as tailor-made for the job and discarded players who found new hope following ...

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Why is a white or Arab guy playing Rumi?

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, better known as simply Rumi, is one of the most beloved poets of all time from Asia to the United States. An Islamic scholar, thinker, and Sufi mystic, he was born in the Eastern part of the Persian Empire – now Afghan territory – which is why it is surprising that Hollywood wants to cast Leonardo DiCaprio, an actor of Italian and German descent, to play him. What’s more, Hollywood wants to cast Robert Downey Jr as Shams Tabrizi, who happened to be Rumi’s spiritual instructor, close friend, and a source of inspiration for his ...

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“They started beating Aapi. Then they burnt her, right in front of my eyes”

A few days ago, I overheard my cousin talking to someone and saying, “Have you seen the news? Even CNN and BBC reported on the instances of violence that our women endure. Clearly it’s more serious than I thought.” I felt disgusted, not just at her remark, but at our mentality and reflection. It’s not news for us unless it reaches an international forum. It’s impossible to feel even a fraction of the pain Maria had suffered at the hands of her tormentors, but turning a blind eye to the incident is not just an insult to the victim but to humanity as well. This is still a ...

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Is Uber the Saudi woman’s closest taste of freedom?

I was 10-years-old when I saw something I had never seen before: one night, in a dark corner of the desert on the outskirts of Riyadh, my mom switched seats with my dad and got behind the steering wheel. My sister and I watched in awe as she began to cautiously accelerate. But, as the novelty of the situation coursed through her veins, with the sound of police sirens behind us, all excitement quickly abated turning into dread. My dad nervously rationalised why he was sitting in the passenger seat with a woman behind the wheel in a country that, ...

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