Stories published in August, 2016

Is a mosquito about to take down the Olympics?

With barely a couple days before one of the biggest sporting extravaganza kick-starting in Rio de Janeiro, the authorities are bracing themselves to counter a great foe. Ironically, this grandest of enemies comes in the smallest of packages. I can’t help but quote a Bollywood veteran Nana Patekar here, who manages to sum up this whole situation so aptly, “Sala ek machar aadmi ko hijda bana deta hay!” A tiny mosquito is enough to make a man impotent. So yeah, even if you don’t fully concur with this perceptive pearl of B-Town wisdom, point is, this pesky lil’ gnat is more than capable ...

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The dread that comes with Rio 2016

Are you worried that the Olympics 2016 is a potential prime target for terrorists? Well, the security authorities of Rio 2016 admit that the fear of terrorism during the event is more serious due to the recent series of attacks around the world. Their apprehensions were further boosted because of a tweet by a French jihadist, Maxime Hauchard, who picked Brazil as the “next target,” after the coordinated terror attacks on Paris last November. Photo: Screenshot Besides, last week, the Brazilian police arrested 10 militants who were attempting to contact a weapons supplier in neighbouring Paraguay to get AK 47 assault rifles. ...

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Love at first bite

Do you know what stands between a healthy lifestyle and me? Junk food. Last week after a hectic class, exhausted and starved, I managed to drag myself to the cafeteria. I vowed to swallow any edible item I would first set my eyes upon. Once again, I was going to seek solace in junk food. Gazing helplessly at the stacked rack of chips, a vibrant yellow packet with an illustration of dripping honeycomb caught my eye. I absolutely love trying out new food items and flavours, and after reading the limited edition tag on this packet, despite the rather strange choice of flavouring, I ...

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Going with the Flo: In conversation with Waqar Siddiqui

Recently, Facebook was taken by storm when a post by Waqar Siddiqui went viral. Below is the screenshot of the status he put up last night, when he was denied entry into Cafe Flo, a high end restaurant in a posh area of Karachi. 

This is what the restaurant had to say in response.
What would you do if you were in Waqar’s position? And with security becoming an increasing problem, what would you do if you were the restaurant owner? [poll ...

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Mahira’s “matkas” and “jhatkas” prove she’s the greatest marketeer in Pakistan

Mahira Khan’s larger-than-life performance and her red-carpet appearance at the LSA2016 (replete with a dress and entourage big enough to fill up all of Expo Center), proved to me that she’s an excellent brand manager who understands her target audience very well. At a time when people are desperately trying to go back to old values, Mahira brings back the charisma of yesteryear. Her audience loves when her lip is bitten in sharam. They oppose the women who bite it in lust. They love when her dupatta falls strategically at the right time during a performance. They do not like women whose ...

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Taste of Cherry is to the post-ISIS generation what The Stranger was to the post-World War generation

Meursault is numb to the news of his mother’s death. It arrives to the central character of Albert Camus’ The Stranger via telegram and the information written on the piece of paper doesn’t bother him as much as it bothers us as readers. The absurdity of the situation pinches you, makes you look for some sort of resolution to this wildly unreasonable situation, until you realise that there isn’t one. What Meursault is looking for is not the absurd, he himself is the absurd. Similarly, in Abbas Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry, the elegant Iranian man Mr Badii drives around the outskirts of Tehran, looking ...

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Lights Out and brain dead!

Remember, back when we were kids, how darkness used to scare the living daylights out of virtually all of us. Few phobias are more common across the broad spectrum of humanity than nyctophobia and first time director David F Sandberg has exploited this most primal of human anxieties to turn darkness itself into a coldblooded antagonist. But, somehow, instead of frightening the heck out of you, for most of its running-time, Lights Out just makes you annoyed with the dark.

Are you afraid of the dark?

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Teresa Palmer and Gabriel Bateman.Photo: Warner Bros The movie started life as a three-minute short film which ...

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So today, I came across a hilarious news item

Scrolling through my newsfeed, I came across a hilarious news item. Amidst the chaos of problems the nation is facing right now, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has chosen the funniest one: ban Doraemon. It has actually become a popular trending hashtag #PTIvsDoraemon. The Japanese cartoon is currently being dubbed in Hindi and has been entertaining our children for around four years. The nation, already starved for entertainment, has found yet another thing to laugh about along with many amusing Twitter reactions to follow. Dear #ImmiBirgade…look for this button in your tv remote and learn to use it, thank you.#PTIvsDoraemon — Sheraz Khan ...

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A petition to the Chief Justice of Pakistan

Dear Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), I am an ordinary Pakistani, one of those unfortunate residents of Sindh; the province which does not seem to have a functioning government. Although our taxes per capita are much more than those of other provinces, the budget amount is not being spent on our welfare; on the contrary it seems that the entire amount is siphoned away to foreign bank accounts. 1. Our roads look like they have been bombed recently. 2. Our streets are full of garbage, which is affecting our health because it remains on the streets for months and then ...

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Killing patriarchy, one headscarf at a time

Every once in a while, I come across news that fills me with hope that patriarchy will indeed perish someday, and that all is not lost in vain. And the news about Iranian men donning hijabs, in solidarity with their wives was one of those rare moments. For the past few days, several men have been posting pictures of themselves wearing the hijab – and some even wearing the full burqa – to not only show solidarity with their wives, who have been forced to cover up in accordance with the strict ‘modesty’ rules of the country, but also to protest ...

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