Stories published in July, 2016

Novus Ordo Seclorum – Hindsight

“The more things change, the more they stay the same. Boundaries shift, new players step in, but power always finds a place to rest its head. History is written by the victor and here I am thinking we’ve won. You bring down one enemy and they find someone even worse to replace him. Locations change, the rationale, the objective. Yesterday’s enemies are today’s recruits. Train them to fight alongside you, and pray they don’t eventually decide to ‘hate’ you for it, too.” – General Shepherd. If you have ever been a fan of the First-Person shooter genre, you must have ...

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Pixar finding glory with Finding Dory

All right let’s get this straight right from the onset, Finding Dory is, by Pixar’s sky-scraping standards, an ordinary sequel. But that’s the thing with this famed animation film studio, even their average is better than most of the supposedly superior stuff done by – save for Studio Ghibli – other similar genre production counterparts. (Let’s just pretend that their Cars franchise does not exist). The latest transoceanic quest from the house of Pixar is a family comedy about, well, family. Finding Dory starts off with a glimpse into the childhood of everyone’s favourite forgetful Blue Tang. Now Baby Dory (Sloane Murray) ...

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In this day and age, can we truly survive without social media?

In a world where we so heavily rely on social media, it’s difficult to fathom a world where it would cease to exist. Until recently I was immersed in a life where social media is central to our existence. I was part of a world in which we live, eat, breathe and sleep social media. According to statistics, any given individual will check their phone on an average of 100 times a day. (I took the liberty to count one day, and it’s close enough!). We spend a mindless number of hours scrolling through our news feeds, checking the latest ...

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Eid in the life of a transgender in Pakistan

Wasn’t this Eid a happy one, like all of our other Eids? All of us joined our families in sharing joy and the festivities of the occasion, visited our loved ones, exchanged gifts and shared laughter and lark. As I happily celebrated the first day, my mind drifted to the ones away from home – towards those individuals who are living abroad; yearning to reunite with their loved ones, battling homesickness with the hope that they’ll be celebrating the next Eid with their families. It made me sad to think about how one would feel being far away from home. ...

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It’s the delightfully funny dark side of The Nice Guys that kept me hooked

With Los Angeles 1977 as the movie’s backdrop, two low-life private investigators (Healy and Holland) are hot on Misty Mountains’ trail. They are trying to find out why Misty, a porn star, committed suicide. As the story follows through, they soon discover that a conspiracy hides behind this facade of deception and murder. The Nice Guys is the third film by acclaimed director of Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and Iron Man 3, Shane Black. This delightful dark comedy/buddy cop film stars Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice and Matt Bomer. Russell Crowe and Ryan GoslingPhoto: IMDb Ryan Gosling and Angourie RicePhoto: IMDb [caption id="" ...

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Will Erdogan join hands with Putin and Netanyahu to eliminate terrorism?

This is like living a nightmare. It seems that the world is literally coming to an unceremonious end. As the ISIS and al Qaeda rampage continues to bleed and butcher the entire globe, it appears that we, as people and citizens of the world, will have to live and breathe in fear for all times to come. Each subsequent carnage carried out by the radicalised groups and their followers taints the faith of those who simply want to live in peace, the hopes of which are fast diminishing. I was visiting family in the starkly peaceful and surreal Toronto that stands ...

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Do we deserve to ‘celebrate’ Eidul Fitr this year?

“Chand nazar agaya! Ramazan Kareem! Kal se rozay shuroo.” (We can see the moon! Ramazan Kareem! Fasting begins tomorrow) Some spend the night before in prayer. Others clink glasses and prepare for the pause in self-induced inebriation. Others stock up on Rooh Afza and pakora mix. Some can’t wait to be put in a food detox in hopes that they will lose the last few pounds during the holy month. The others are scared those extra pounds will sneak up on them. Some prepare a week in advance, cleaning out their savings account so that the banks don’t deduct zakat fees that they are liable to ...

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I want a Liverpool versus Liverpool UEFA Euro 2016 final

FIFA World Cup..  Nah! UEFA Euro.. Meh!! Copa America.. Not a chance!!! Africa Cup of Nations.. Are you frikkin kidding me??? We are a strange lot, we club football fans. Even while there’s a major international football tournament going on, someone like me is more interested in something as insignificant to an outsider as, well, Liverpool (LFC)’s pre-season training.

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That in no way should mean that I am not fully aware of what is going in any of the aforementioned ‘country versus country’ tourney, but putting it mildly let’s just say… ‘Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn!’ That is unless one of my ...

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The dreaded moment: My first Eid with the in-laws!

Nothing manages to get us desis as excited (read overenthusiastic, obsessive, neurotic etc.) as Eid. It’s like Christmas, New Years, July 4th, Memorial Day and Labour Day all rolled into one shiny, glittery package. For those of us dreading the cheesy greetings, air kisses and chai making rituals which are part and parcel of practically any get-together in Pakistan, I assure you that the horror show continues and in fact becomes worse, as the first Eid after marriage looms ahead. Personally, I have a handy checklist of things that I need to do on Eid – Go out on chaand raat with friends (check) – Sleep in late as ...

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Kiarostami: The man who made me believe in ideas

A few years ago, during my screenwriting course, I was asked to watch Abbas Kiarostami’s ‘Taste of Cherry’. Never having seen an Iranian film before, I went in with no expectations. It was only when it ended that it happened. It struck me – the same feeling you get when a small piece of glass is pulled out from your toe – a realisation. I wondered, isn’t that what a film or any work of art should do? Most filmmakers can’t achieve with a billion dollars what Kiarostami achieved with a few actors, a vehicle and a vast open Iranian landscape. ...

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