Stories published in October, 2016

I’m with Hillary

When Barack Obama was elected as the President of the United States, I remember watching in awe; not just because of his oratory skills, but because there was finally a black president. Eight years on, this is another historic moment, because for the first time the United States stands to have a female president. The female populous should be rejoicing, it’s taken far longer than warranted for a woman to get this close to the oval office. But rather than rejoicing, I find myself recoiling time and time again. Post yesterday’s debate, opinion polls pit Hillary as the winner with 52% of the votes – ...

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Thank God for Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan!

Thank God for Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan, their powers are unlimited! Now that they are back in Pakistan, India is safe and the Indian actors whose jobs they took or whose films (see Ajay Devgn) might have flopped because of their magical presence in side roles or extended cameos are even safer. However, don’t underestimate the power these two extraordinary individuals possess, one tweet from them, one line on Facebook, or just a simple press release and the entire Kashmir issue would be resolved. It is just amazing how selfish they are by holding back, when a little effort on their part ...

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Of course she is oppressed, she wears a hijab!

The hijab has always seemed to invoke extensive debate in Muslim and non-Muslim societies. There have been numerous cases of harassment of hijab-clad women in the western societies, with the French going to the extreme of banning it. The west believes that hijab is a symbol of oppression towards women. When you see a woman wearing a hijab walk into the coffee shop, and order a mocha latte, do you wonder if she’s oppressed? Do you wonder if her male relatives watch her every step? Do you wonder if hijab limits her in any way? Do you feel sympathy for her? How many of the above-mentioned ...

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There’s really nothing about Inferno that warrants a viewing

Much has already been said about the literary merits of Dan Brown’s novels, whose success often mystifies critics and people who don’t want to read books where characters talk like expository plot-devices who must explain anything and everything they come in contact with. But I suppose what even greatly mystifies such people, myself included, is that they’ve actually churned out three big screen adaptations of these books, that are at times the cinematic equivalent of watching someone solving a highly complicated crossword puzzle. With Inferno, the sequel to 2009’s Angels and Demons you have Ron Howard back behind the camera, and ...

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Can we blame the West for thinking of Muslims as they do?

In recent times, religiously motivated terrorism incidents have taken place in the West, from Brussels to New York. Due to these barbaric acts perpetuated by extremists, ordinary Muslims are also facing excessive backlash in Europe as well as in the United States. We, as Muslims, are correct to complain that it is unfair to bracket ordinary Muslims with the extremists, but at the same time we need to understand that our negative reputation is not merely due to organisations like ISIS but also because of our behaviour in general. I am not trying to equate extremist organisations like ISIS with normal and moderate Muslims here, ...

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“Baji, why does Master ji not give me the same kind of attention he gives to Hira?”

She was bathed in my perfume when I entered the room. “Baji, there was some stench coming from the store room; that’s why I was using it.” She is the daughter of our housekeeper; hardly 12, with dark skin, sharp features, huge, sparkly eyes, and an innocent face. Her mother asked me to help her with her studies and I loved to teach her. She was such a bright student who wanted to learn as much as she could. But for some time now, I was noticing a devastating change in her personality; a lack of interest in her studies, a sudden interest in the latest ...

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Gordon Strachan – Dead man(ager) walking

And it all started so well! Well that’s the life of a football manager. Last Tuesday’s result in Trnava means the Scots despite thumping Malta 5-1 in their first FIFA world cup qualifier have taken just four points from their first three matches and within this short span, boss Gordon Strachan is under increasing pressure to retain his position as chief of Scotland football team. There is a prevalent understanding that the 59-year-old will be forced out of the job if his players do not return from the November 11 encounter against England with a victory. But Strachan is not one to ...

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Punjabi is a regional language not a form of hate speech, Beaconhouse

I studied at the Beaconhouse School system for 13 years, but I have never felt this ashamed to call myself a Beaconhouse Alumni. A few days ago, your branch in Sahiwal issued a circular banning the use of foul language in school and classifying foul language as hate speech, abuses, taunts, and Punjabi. Letter from beaconhouse. Photo: Mangobaaz The central issue is not the ignorant and outright discriminatory letter issued by your administration. It is not an isolated event or just a grammar mistake made by your branch. It goes far beyond that. The issue is that ...

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Why I shared the #ChaiWala’s picture

The piercing blue eyes. The stubble and the moustache. The attractive indifference. Blissfully unaware of the fact that thousands are ogling at him, he has become the hottest (pun intended) topic of debate, and has taken the internet by storm. Bad start to the blog? I can already hear echoing disapproving remarks in my head that I have been reading on Facebook walls of friends. We over-read and over-intellectualise everything nowadays. I do too. This is why I thought many times before I posted the undeniably handsome chaiwala’s picture. Should I post it? Or not? And why exactly am I ...

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Will Hillary Clinton be another George Bush? Probably!

Donald Trump’s heavy tread has swept the path clear for liberals of all stripes to present or reinforce their creds by giving him a sustained, collective bashing. While he has succeeded in getting all guns to turn on him, his gleeful opponent seems to be getting off scot-free. It is perhaps time to wonder what sort of president Hillary might be, if elected. Unless Donald pulls a last-minute rabbit out of his ear, Hillary is liable to return to the White House, this time on the arm of the First Gentleman whose dubious comportment record will always haunt the ...

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