Stories published in September, 2016

Series 6 Was I a threat? Part 2 ‘Red candies’

“May I come in, Taya Abba?” Saira had somehow dragged herself to his house. Her dislike for him had turned into hatred ever since he made her quit school. She even hated staying in the same room as him. Well, at least she wasn’t going to suffer alone; she had Afzal with her. “Have you revised your lesson?” he asked, staring at her intently. “Yes.” She started to recite yesterday’s lesson. All the while Taya Abba’s eyes kept surveying her. “Come on, Apa! You know Taya Abba doesn’t like it when we’re late.” Afzal was running ahead of her. “You go ahead. I’ll catch up.” She pretended to catch her breath. As ...

Read Full Post

Why is our criminal justice system punishing a paranoid schizophrenic?

The mere mention of a crime engages our natural thought process into gauging a punishment for it. Some would just ask what punishment a specific crime entails, some of us would delve into arguing what purpose a particular punishment serves, while others would discuss whether a punishment is adequate or not. We all have our own thought processes and ideologies about what is acceptable as a punishment. However, what is important is to remember the basic idea behind it is. The purpose ranges from retributive to utilitarian to rehabilitative. All punishments must serve some purpose otherwise it would be a futile exercise to impose any form ...

Read Full Post

Raman Raghav 2.0: Violence with a mix of dark humour

After directing his commercial and critical flop Bombay Velvet (2015) last year, Anurag Kashyap is back again in the lowlife underbelly of Mumbai with his crime-thriller Raman Raghav 2.0.   Raman Raghav 2.0 is a story of a scoundrel serial killer, Ramanna, who is heavily inspired by the real-life Indian serial killer of the 60s, Raman Raghav. And thus, the 2.0 in the title. As the story progresses, Ramanna’s strange obsession with a young cop by the name of Raghavan thickens the plot and reveals a strange connection between the two souls. Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Raman Raghav 2.0. PHOTO: IMDB But Raman Raghav 2.0 is not just ...

Read Full Post

Being a Lady 101: Don’t sit like that, don’t wear makeup, don’t play sports

In our part of the world, our society comes equipped with a ‘sorting hat’ of sorts. When a girl is born, the hat is placed on her head and she is given an instant identity of a daughter, niece or a sister. As she grows older the identity keeps evolving; she becomes a wife, a mother, a grandmother and then she dies. Of course men are also handed the same titles too, a son, a brother, a husband etc. However in more cases than not, it is not what gives them their identity. An alcoholic husband who beats his wife ...

Read Full Post

What if Brangelina were a Pakistani couple?

Just heard the horrendous news that you two have decided to split up. I would really like to sympathise with you but got tied up with pulling in all my winning bets that your marriage wouldn’t last even this long. Hate to say it, but it would have been better if you two hadn’t gotten married at all. I mean, you lasted longer without marriage and while rounding up six kids. So really can’t figure out why you had to take the hassle of getting married in the first place. Don’t take this personally, but the western society at large seems to have an obsession ...

Read Full Post

Hala Madrid? Not anymore!

The stage was set, popcorn ready and the browser switched to the right streaming website. This after all was supposed to be a momentous night, a date when I would watch history being re-written, and a day when arguably the greatest football club on planet earth would add another feather to the cap. But sixth placed Villareal clearly failed to read the script. The Yellow Submarine came to the Bernabeu with ‘Mission: Damage Limitation’ against the leaders but left the capital with Real Madrid’s dreams sunk. Zinedine Zidane’s men had equalled the previous best of 16 – a feat achieved by Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona ...

Read Full Post

Is Modi’s pride more important than Kashmiri lives?

It’s not a good sign for democracy when the government and media start speaking the same language and begin complimenting each other. The media has never been as compromised and irresponsible as it is today. It has forgotten its role as a fifth pillar of democracy, which plays a pivotal role in nation building. Today, the larger media in India is a polarised institution, accentuating the existing social and religious fault lines rather than cementing it. The larger blame falls on televised media. In its desperate attempts to attract attention and increase ratings, the media literally plays to the gallery appealing to the baser ...

Read Full Post

The onus to end the Syrian crisis now lies on Russia and the US

The Syrian crisis is becoming increasingly complex and intractable due to the civil war – which was triggered by a repressive government led by Bashar al Assad – who let loose a reign of terror on protesters fighting for civil liberties and democratic reforms. Eventually it escalated into an armed conflict, one that was subsequently upstaged by two powerful superpowers – Russia and the United States. The whole narrative of the civil war changed when Russia helped out their ally, Assad, (who was facing defeat at the hands of the rebels) by supplying him with artillery, tanks and strike aircraft. Iran, on the other hand, sent Hezbollah fighters to augment the Syrian ...

Read Full Post

Misbah isn’t Imran Khan, Afridi, or Wasim Akram – he’s better

He made Pakistani cricket boring, but our team became predictably consistent with their performances under his leadership. Fortunately, the flamboyance that rode on erraticism is now missing from our Test team. They have started playing methodically and there seems to be a plan and a strategy being followed in each game and situation. Misbahul Haq changed the way Test cricket is played by Pakistan. Misbah ul Haq scored his maiden ton on Lord’s against England. Photo: AFP The captain of the number one Test team in the world did not always enjoy a smooth terrain though. It has ...

Read Full Post

When life gives you guavas, make guava mousse!

Guava season is almost over, but it is always good to have an easy recipe in hand for those ‘guests out of the blue’ times. A friend gifted me some guavas recently and suggested that I make guava mousse. I had never heard of such a thing before, much less tasted it, but the idea appealed to me. It would be my cooking experiment weekend. After skimming through a dozen recipes and taking tips from each, I finally came up with one recipe I would go with. When you take out the mousse, add strawberry syrup for additional sweetness or beauty. I believe the ...

Read Full Post