Stories published in August, 2016

Happy Bhaag Jayegi: Yay or nay?

What’s the formula for an entertaining movie? Whisk romance, comedy, drama, emotions and relatable characters together, and there you have it; an entertaining movie. Happy Bhaag Jayegi is a combination of all the aforementioned ingredients, plus another ingredient; a comical Indo-Pak angle. Happy Bhaag Jayegi is about Harpeet aka Happy (Diana Penty) who, on her wedding night, plans to ditch her groom, Bugga (Jimmy Shergill) and plans on eloping with her boyfriend Guddu (Ali Fazal). Thanks to a carelessly formulated runaway plan, things take a chaotic turn and Happy ends up jumping off her balcony, into the wrong truck, which takes her ...

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Who advised President Obama to intervene in Yemen any way?

The on-going carnage in Yemen is perhaps one of the least talked about issues in the US media. There’s too much else going on here that catches attention and is talked about non-stop. We have the Trump problem, the race menace, Islamophobia, the never-ending Louisiana nature-inflicted catastrophes and, of course, the constant bickering vis-à-vis playing a major global role at a time when many who dare to care, believe that the US must scale back its international commitments and focus on the burning priorities at home. Speaking of global role (read ‘hobnobbing’), the crisis in Yemen is yet another example of the ‘ugly Americans’ landing themselves in muddy waters, acting like social miracle ...

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Who should be blamed for Punjab police’s inefficiency?

The big story in the news recently has been the kidnapping of children in Punjab. This year, as many as 767 children have been abducted from various cities of Punjab, including the provincial capital of Lahore. This means that 767 families have gone through hell this year.  Last year, the number stood at 1200 kidnappings. Bear in mind these are just the reported numbers. All this points to organised crime rampant in Pakistan’s largest and supposedly most secure province. What, one must wonder, is the Punjab government doing and where are its law enforcement agencies, especially the police? A word about ...

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Pakistan and India: Friends abroad always, enemies at home always always

As someone who had been raised in the United States by Pakistani immigrants, I have always found it difficult to fathom the animosity between Pakistanis and Indians living in South Asia. All the aspects of life that bring the two groups together – from music and food, to values and mannerisms – get clouded out by the venomous politics between the countries’ governments. During this time of celebration for the 69th year of independence of Pakistan and India, I strongly believe that the only way forward is for the citizens of both these countries to recognise their shared experiences ...

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Push-ups and swag won’t impress us Sardar Muhammad Bux Khan Mahar

After sitting on the throne for more than eight years as the Chief Minister of Sindh, Mr Qaim Ali Shah was finally dethroned and is now replaced by Murad Ali Shah. The new chief minister tried to inject some urgency in the Sindh government with his actions. In my view, Mr Shah has taken a step in the right direction – more than half of the current government’s term has already gone by, and Sindh has only witnessed a further deterioration in various fields such as health, sports, education and waste disposal. The newly inducted chief minister also expanded his ...

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What purpose did Trump’s naked statue serve?

Let’s face it, there are not too many of us out there who are fans of Donald Trump.  I am fairly certain even his kids cringe deep inside right before he goes on stage and opens his mouth. We have all been disgusted when he has made sexist and derogatory comments. His constant bigotry against Muslims is worn on his sleeve as a symbol of pride. He has made fun of people with special needs and has even gone far enough to make hypothetical comments about shooting Hillary Clinton; and then even bragged about that comment having gotten him even more votes. He has used tragic ...

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Semi-naked cakes: An absolute must try

I can recall how immense the hype for naked and semi-naked cakes was around the same time last year. I failed to understand why anyone would prefer to eat cake with a portion of the frosting missing, it simply bewildered me. However, once photographs of dainty caked draped in flowers and drizzled with all forms of wonderful sauces started flooding social mediums, I finally caved in. If it weren’t for my family friend’s son’s first birthday and her request to bake a semi-naked cake to go with the fauna and khaki theme, then this cake would not be before your ...

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Series 5 Finding salvation Part 3 ‘I am free’

“I am Parvinder Kor! I boarded this train when partition was announced in 1947! I never reached my destination. Our entire train didn’t. Ours was a small village near this station. As partition was declared, my village people decided to move quickly. I was going to be married that night, but our village was under attack and so we left for the station in a hurry. All the areas surrounding our village were Muslim majority areas. They started killing our people in retaliation of their own kin dying on the other side of the country. So we fled for our lives. Our father hurried us ...

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Big Brother is watching

Nowadays recording devices, hidden cameras, satellites, and web giants like Facebook and Google collect all sorts of information on tech-users. But, historically, a state of surveillance has always existed. Long before CCTV cameras, bugging devices, and online data collection became the century’s norm, societies were dealing with purloined letters opened before delivery, spies from foreign lands, and good ol’ fashioned eavesdroppers behind closed doors. Historian David Kahn, writing on human privacy (or the lack thereof), notes how, “…centuries ago, people in England, France and German states fought for the right to send letters without their being opened by the ‘black chambers’ ...

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Child abduction: In numbers

Child abduction is defined as the forceful separation of a child from his or her parents. The reasons behind this are as follows; using children in begging rackets, sexual exploitation, forced slavery, human trafficking or organ thefts. This phenomenon has become the centre point of print, electronic, and social media in the most populous province of Pakistan: Punjab, and especially within its provincial capital, Lahore. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has taken suo moto notice for these abductions and the Punjab government has also acknowledged the problem and are now running preventative campaigns. However, the fear is still prevalent in the once calm and peaceful ...

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