Stories published in September, 2016

Paralympics: Six women, six unforgettable stories

The international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities is known as Paralympics and is held under the governance of the International Paralympic Committee. This year, the event is expected to be held from September 7 to 18, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Women have proven themselves in every field, and sports have been no exception. Following are some marvellous sportswomen who have exhibited strokes of strength at the previous Paralympics. Sarah Storey Hailing from Eccles, without a properly functioning left hand (it tangled in the umbilical cord during her birth), Sarah has always been in the habit of facing challenges and defeating them. She has 22 ...

Read Full Post

On Twitter, Nazis have a follower count greater than ISIS

Regardless of how much the Muslim community screams blue murder that Islam is not the sole proprietor of religious extremism and terrorism, it takes the research of a non-Muslim terrorism analyst to convince the world. The latest study by J M Berger of George Washington University reveals that the singularly focused spotlight of social media sites upon Islamic extremist groups has only allowed thousands of white nationalist and pro-Nazi groups to mushroom unchecked right beneath their noses. Where sites like Twitter and Facebook continue to act with supreme diligence in sweeping their platforms clean of Islamic extremist elements, they remain dreadfully perfunctory ...

Read Full Post

Did the 1965 war make Pakistan stronger?

September 6th to me will always remain a day of remembrances of the following brave soldiers of Pakistan; Raja Aziz Bhatti, Sarfraz Raffiqui, Peter Christy and Younas Hassan. Through their ultimate sacrifice, they ensured that a superior invading force, which outnumbered Pakistan’s military forces, was decisively stopped from taking key cities like Lahore.  That Pakistan could hold India to a stalemate during the 22 day war was nothing short of a miracle brought about by the sheer bravery and an indomitable will of our fighting men – and in particular our magnificent little air force – which was outnumbered five ...

Read Full Post

Akira could have been a great concept – but on screen, it’s weak

In Bollywood, women-centric movies are always considered extremely powerful, even prior to their release. From Insaaf Ka Tarazu (1980) to Bandit Queen (1994), from Mother India (1957) to Mary Kom (2014); female oriented movies have made headlines everywhere. Akira, featuring Sonakshi Sinha, is also a movie based on a journey of a woman, but in different circumstances. Sonakshi Sinha, as a performer, has always lived up to the expectations of the masses. Having directed movies like Ghajini (2008) and Holiday (2014), A R Murugadoss has brilliantly proved his mettle in direction. With a star studded cast such as Konkona Sen Sharma and Anurag Kashyap, Akira looked quite promising. Sonakshi SinhaPhoto: Screenshot The story line revolves around a girl named Akira (Sonakshi) who ...

Read Full Post

Azhar Ali: A captain in deep waters

After a humdinger of a Test match series that consisted of wild swings in favour of either sides; Pakistan have been brutally crushed under the resilience and sheer willpower of the English team in the One Day format. After a humdinger of a Test match series that consisted of wild swings in favours of either sides. Photo: Reuters It would not be a belittling statement to say that it wasn’t deserved, but the manner in which the team has metamorphosed from a warrior mentality unit to one that needs help psychologically – is quite bemusing. Our team ...

Read Full Post

My crime that night? I was travelling home with two na-mehram boys

In middle school when my cousin, like all other Pakistani girls, ditched uniform shorts for track pants at gym class, I asked my dad if I could do the same as well. I handed him the application form to fill in so I could give it to my gym teacher. He laughed, lit his pipe and set my definition of gelling in and modesty right.  Needless to say, I bore weird glances from the Pakistani community of 12-year-olds at Carl Sandburg Middle School in Virginia for two full years. I learnt indifference. But it becomes difficult to continue practicing the learned art in this ...

Read Full Post

Are American airports justified in their paranoia?

I keep wondering, scratching my head in awe. Is it paranoia? Is it a schizophrenic existence that we have come to accept as a way of life? Or, is this edginess just something that has incrementally increased over a period of time and has now become a part of our national DNA? Yes, I’m talking about life in the US of America where, of late, it literally needs a mere drop of a hat to trigger local, regional and, at times, national panic attacks followed by unstoppable seizures that scare the hell out of people. Beyond the September 11th attacks, America has been at ...

Read Full Post

Will Freaky Ali be a nostalgic reminder of Happy Gilmore?

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is well known for his challenging roles and award-winning performances in various movies. Dekh Indian Circus (2011), Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), Talaash (2012), The Lunchbox (2013) and Manjhi (2015) are some of the more well-known movies he has starred in. He is currently making waves in Bollywood with his latest comedic role in Sohail Khan’s directorial venture Freaky Ali. The film is officially set to hit cinemas on September 9, 2016. However, the trailer has already managed to create an enormous hype by building excitement amongst filmgoers by giving them a tempting nibble of the ultimate treat. Freaky Ali’s story revolves around the character of Ali (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), ...

Read Full Post

Quetta: Where hospitality has no bounds

When I received an invitation from the University of  Balochistan informing me that five of our engineering projects had been accepted for the first Invention to Innovation Summit – the first comment my director made was,  “Umair, do you know the halaat (conditions) in Quetta? Taking students there can be risky!” The 1st Invention to Innovation Summit in Quetta It wasn’t easy trying to make him understand that all universities from Sindh and Balochistan were participating; hence it was mandatory for us to attend. However, we were finally able to convince him. There were nine of us, out of which seven were visiting ...

Read Full Post

The words not spoken

He had slept without removing his shoes. His parents watched him as they stood in the doorway. They smiled, went towards him and took off his shoes, one by one, gently, as if each had a life of its own. But his socks were quite moist and his feet felt cold. She looked at her son with concern, but her husband calmly motioned her to sit. Both of them sat as she wiped his feet with her hands and a cloth, and tucked him neatly into a blanket.  She switched the lights off, and as darkness submerged the boy’s room, they returned ...

Read Full Post