Stories published in September, 2016

Baar Baar Dekho: A boring time-travelling experience

There’s no doubt that Baar Baar Dekho was amongst the most anticipated movies of 2016. And we’re all excited to see Katrina Kaif and Sidharth Malhotra starring together in a Karan Johar movie. There’s was a lot of hype with the release of the teaser, trailer and not to forget – the song Kaala Chashma. Time-travelling is not a common subject to expand on in a movie, we can hardly quote Action Replay (2010) and Love Story 2050 (2008) under this genre; both didn’t do well at the box office. You will just have to watch Baar Baar Dekho to discover what makes it different from the others. Artist Diya Kapoor ...

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Philippine’s Rodrigo Duterte: An effective leader or a despotic one?

Philippine’s President Rodrigo Duterte has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.  First, he has been accused of large scale human rights violation, where tens and thousands of people have lost their lives due to extra judicial killings, drug trafficking, rape, murder, arson and other related criminal activities. The second incident relates to an interview he had given, where, when asked how he would react if Barack Obama were to criticise him for extra judicial killings of over 1,000 persons involved in drug trafficking and other acts of crime, he responded with cuss words against the president. Although Duterte realised his faux pas and expressed regret over his ...

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Coke Studio episode 5 is a bag of mixed surprises

I would put down Coke Studio’s episode five as a bag of mixed surprises. I must confess that it did take some time for the compositions to sink in, but gradually, I have developed a liking for most of the tracks now. I call this an ‘overdose syndrome.’ With such an overdose of great music, one finds themselves in a dilemma. Perhaps, if I had listened to some of these compositions independently, I would have developed an instant liking towards them. But with excellent precedents such as Afreen Afreen and Man Kunto Maula, one is cautious in choosing a new favourite. However, the more you listen ...

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Mann Mayal: An absolute waste of TV space

Of all the useless things to have been unleashed over Pakistanis as a nation, the drama serial Mann Mayal is by far the worst. A classic sob-fest with glaring story problems, Mann Mayal decidedly became the most mocked show in broadcast history. Though the cast was star-studded with seasoned actors like Saba Hameed, Naeem Tahir, Mehmood Aslam etc. the obvious shortcomings of the plot held them back. Mannu and Salahuddin, did manage to become household names but for mocking purposes rather than being inspirational characters. As the country remained glued to their television sets on September 5th, the air was thick with anticipation. The last episode was about to ...

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Actor In Law: Manmohan Desai’s brand of cinema

Let me admit that I did not know who Nabeel Qureshi was before entering the theatre to watch Actor In Law. I did not watch Na Maloom Afraad (2014), primarily because of its eerily similar appearance to Hera Pheri (2000), until I watched it a couple of weeks back. Nevertheless, the trailer of Actor In Law was intriguing despite, yet again, giving a similar feel to that of Govinda’s Kyo Kii… Main Jhuth Nahin Bolta (2001), which was similar to Liar Liar (1997) of Jim Carey. I was intrigued because it’s not very often that you get a chance to see Om Puri in a Pakistani film. If Actor in Law was made 30 years ago, Amitabh ...

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Bristol Hotel: A haunting remnant of the old, glittering Karachi

The building in this picture was the setting for most of the horror stories in my seven-year-old mind. It was also the view from my room in my grandparents’ house. I would listen in awe as my friend talked about the ghosts that she had seen lurking there in the dark of the night. At night, I would draw the curtains together so I wouldn’t have to stare at that abandoned dwelling. I didn’t know much about it back then. My dada (paternal grandfather) told me it was called Bristol Hotel and that it was constructed pre-partition. My imagination added another detail; I assumed ...

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For better or worse, Janaan is a step in the right direction

The Macmillan Dictionary defines a romantic-comedy as, “A funny movie, play or television program about a love story that ends happily.”  Janaan is just that, but it’s not funny in the ordinary sense of the word. The film, directed by Azfar Jafri and co-produced by Reham Khan, is a latter-day ode to Pakhtun identity and heritage. It is a story about Meena, played by Armeena Khan, who returns from Canada to attend her cousin’s wedding in Swat, but falls in love with her adopted cousin. On paper, it sounds appreciable to the Pakistani viewer, and for the most part, the outcome on the screen is adequately gratifying. The stunning introductory shots ...

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Sarfraz Ahmed: A successful batsman, wicket-keeper and T20 captain

English conditions have always been a challenge for subcontinent batsmen. Seamer friendly conditions in England have actually been a test of skills, technique and temperaments. A century at Lord’s is a milestone which every cricketer dreams to achieve at least once in his career. When our Test team landed in England, only a handful of people had hoped for a victory or a draw. But thanks to Yasir Shahs miracle spins and a double century by Younis Khan, we managed to draw the Test series. Pakistan’s delight at world No.1 ranking. Photo: AFP Apart from the aforementioned players, Misbahul Haq, Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali’s contribution ...

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How do Americans and non-Muslims view Eidul Azha?

This year, a controversy surrounded the arrival of Eidul Azha, the second most important holiday in Islam, involving the holiday’s date, as the Express Tribune reported: American Muslims on edge as Eidul Azha looks set to fall on September 11th. Muslims abroad, especially in the United States, faced the prospect that celebration would coincide with a day of mourning of those killed at the World Trade Centres. As a result, some Muslim leaders prepared for tension between their community and anti-Muslim bigots. In the New York Times, Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, said, “Our community is like, ‘What are we supposed to do?’ I should ...

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Eid is not what it used to be

It’s almost that time of the year again. Yes, that time, when the city is intoxicated by the smell of rotting intestines, and fresh blood: Eid. It’s been a while since I’ve experienced it, and no that’s not nostalgia or longing embedded into that phrase. I’ve been away for the past few bakra Eids, and somehow they all seem to mesh into one in my mind. I’m trying to think back and dissect them into individual moments and memories. 2013 This is my first Eid away from home. I wake up to Eid Mubarak messages but I’m not really feeling festive. There is ...

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