Stories published in July, 2016

Ice Age: Collision Course – A piping hot mess

Somewhere close to the end of Ice Age: Collision Course, while struggling to avert the cataclysm that an incoming killer asteroid is about to bring, Woolly mammoth Manny laments, “This isn’t working.” It’s a sentiment likely to be shared by a majority subjected to this insultingly lazy fifth instalment of the animated series based on primeval creatures. Roughly 13 years on since the first Ice Age was released, there’s no polite way to put it than to say the franchise, like the prehistoric characters inhabiting it, should have long been extinct. But we have still got Scrat, the squirrel-rat mash up with Wile E ...

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The ‘Aam Aadmi’ in Pakistan struggles with his halal earnings

My name is ‘Aam Aadmi’ (literally a ‘common man’) and I am a 35-year-old with two children. I live in the not-so posh areas of Karachi with a monthly income of Rs50,000 per month. I used to take pride in being a middle-class citizen of Pakistan. My life revolves around the first of every month – supposedly salary day. By the end of the first week of each month, my salary disappears from my account and I go through the ordeal of an 8 to 6 job, which, if you live in Karachi, extends to an 8 to 8 since ...

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A Tiger without his claws – should Woods hang up his boots?

“Well, I’m playing. I just need more time,” These words have had far reaching ramifications for Tiger Woods. A virtuoso with a wand in his hand, Woods has endured the most dramatic and slipperiest of slides seen in any sport by a great – barring a person named Lance Armstrong, oh well! It has been his body which has been at the heart of the news emanating from the great champion rather than his majestic play over the course of the last few years. A virtuoso with a wand in his hand, Woods has endured the most ...

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His shoes disgusted me

I was in the bus sitting next to him, trying hard to look away. I had never seen them so close – so broken before. Generally, the stitches were patterned, the shine was bright, and even when it was dull; they made the person complete, secure. But here, a small piece from the side was missing. There were threads that were coming out from the opposite side. I could see his brown sock and his foot was visible from a hole in it. And that sight – that incredibly normal sight of someone’s foot, but in a public setting, with ...

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When honour lies in what happens between the legs of women

Qandeel Baloch is dead. Seems like the woman had earned the ire of way too many men. In Pakistan, the ire of one man is enough to claim your life or at least ruin your face forever with a splash of some acid. First, it was Maulana Abdul Qavi, followed by her husband’s revelations. Finally, her brother came for her life. One woman against three mighty vicegerents of God? Boy, she needed to be put back in her skin and reminded of her auqaat (place) as a woman. Let’s fragment her experiences with the mentioned three men. Qavi The then Ruet-e-Hilal Committee member got embroiled ...

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The best and worst moments of Euro 2016

UEFA Euro 2016 signed off with numerous lasting memories. It is now time that we bid farewell to a tournament that brought a number of awe-inspiring moments and left the game with a healthy prospect. This year has been full of surprises in the world of football with underdogs breaking through the dominion of strong teams to claim prizes they previously never dared to dream of. Let’s look back at the tournament. Best moment: Of all the outfield players, Hal Robson-Kanu makes a Johan Cruyff turn During 55 minutes of flogging through a tied score-line against Belgium, Aaron Ramsey charges down the right flank, finds Robson-Kanu, who swiftly finds ...

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No, Mr Dar, an amnesty is not the solution!

Dear Mr Ishaq Dar, It is reported that you have directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to call all stakeholders in the property sector to find a solution to a problem which is supposed to have been created by your government. What problem? Is it a problem to finally do something which should have been done long ago? It is in the supreme national interest to levy taxes on the actual value of properties, rather than on the (mis)declared low values. To give just one example, in DHA Karachi, taxes were levied at the rate of Rs1,650 per square yard, while the actual price of ...

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Will Deepika’s Nike advertisement inspire or mislead us?

When Dwayne or rather DJ Bravo chanted his cricket anthem Champions, a global audience danced along with him and Chris Gayle to the signature moves during the T20 cricket World Cup earlier this year. But amidst the celebrations, it was the victorious captain of the West Indies’ women’s team who stood out, not just for her Calypso rhythm, but instead more for what her team had achieved. Women cricket to me at least, finally arrived this World Cup.  Seasons change and so has the beat of the music. A few months later the reggae has been replaced by some new age beats, but if not a ...

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The Legend of Tarzan: A tedious and utterly insipid rehash

I can’t say I walked into The Legend of Tarzan with particularly high expectations. And that wasn’t only due to the fact that the character of Tarzan simply does not appeal to me, or because of the character’s highly unsuccessful, nearly a century old on-screen track record. But also because, I feel the character and story is an out-dated relic of the past that should have been forgotten, when its author Edgar Rice Burroughs passed away in 1950. But knowing Hollywood and its primal penchant for rebooting and rehashing anything and everything that has the capability of making even a little money, I’m not ...

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No, Edhi is not ‘Pakistan’s Mother Teresa’

Abdul Sattar Edhi was a great man. He was one of the greatest men Pakistan – and perhaps even the whole world ­– would probably witness in our lifetime. For, in a country ridden with much despondency, Edhi’s existence served as a beacon of hope for those who bore first hand witnesses to injustice and inequality. His founding of the Edhi Foundation – a momentous philanthropic organisation dedicated to serving the poor and the destitute in the country for over six decades – provided light where there was incessant darkness. He saved lives, time and time again, lives that weren’t ...

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