Stories published in October, 2016

Sang e Mar Mar: The sorry tale of honour in Pakistan

Pakistani dramas have always attracted massive audiences. Their quality and subject matter has always been above par – especially if we consider the dramas that have been produced by our Indian counterparts and compare them with the likes of our classics such as Ankahi, Dhoop Kinaray, Aanch, Tanhaaiyan, Dhuwaan, Alpha Bravo Charlie, Uroosa, Parosi and many more. Since our entertainment industries have always been in some sort of a competition, it is safe to say that India wins with Bollywood and Pakistan wins with its dramas. Armed with strong scripts, excellent performances, crisp production value and acute directorial skills – ...

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is whimsically Burton

Peculiarity at its uber best! That, my readers, is Tim Burton for you. I don’t need to introduce him; a pure genius oddball, period. Maestro of everything that is bizarre, crazy and wonderfully strange, all at the very same time. My first ever Burton experience was the quirkily magical Edward Scissorhands (1990). It is only Burton who in this bittersweet flick could have infested every possible human emotion in an entertaining eerie -esque way. Since then, I never missed any of his ventures, though there have many hits and misses in between. And this time round too, I was enthusiastically ...

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I had a traditional education in a convent and I loved it!

A few months ago I came across some photographs of my old school taken in the 1920’s. What was amazing was that these photographs showed the school just as I remember it. St Joseph’s Convent School for Girls is a private, selective school in Karachi, Pakistan. It was founded in 1862 by Belgian nuns. Today there are around 2000 students on roll. It’s an all through school. What do I remember about my time at the school? Well, obviously my friends. Many of us are still in touch with each other. When we meet we are the same happy-go-lucky, giggling teenagers we were at school. We ...

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Why God, why am I a woman?

Sexual violence towards women have reached epidemic proportions worldwide. It doesn’t matter if you’re covered in a shuttlecock burqa or strutting your stuff in a bikini, our existence as females is under continuous attack. As women, we are supposed to be pliant, obedient, great chefs, honourable, sexually available and constantly blamed for the ills of society including the misdemeanours of men.  Having lived in the West and East, my perspectives and observations are unique. I can honestly say that things on both sides of the world don’t look good for women. Being born and raised in Saudi Arabia, one of the ...

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Ahmed Mujtaba: Pakistan’s new champion of Mixed Martial Arts

It wasn’t long ago when Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters from Pakistan were making waves around the world with promising passion and devotion that was bound to pay off eventually. Ahmed Mujtaba aka “Wolverine” in the MMA community just signed a contract with ONE Fighting Championship to fight against Benedict Ang. Ang is a Singaporean fighter who, last year, defeated our very own Pakistani fighter Waqar Umar, from Lahore. Like Mujtaba, Ang also has an undefeated fighter status which has provided a lot of pre-fight hype. Ahmed Mujtaba on his Win over india at Main event of Ultimate beatdown.Photo: Twitter In 2010, Mujtaba started his MMA training ...

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Thank you, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

I don’t know what others may say, but I support Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for taking a rally out on Sunday and paralysing Karachi. We don’t spend Sundays at home; we spend it on frivolous activities like going to the beach, eating out and spending a few thousand rupees on indigestible food in one of the many restaurants which have sprung up over the past few years.  This Sunday we stayed home and (besides saving a good amount of money), I found that my grandchildren have grown up without my noticing it. You see, every day they have already gone to school ...

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I am a Muslim and I would vote for Trump

On July 30, 1788, William Lancaster (an anti-federalist delegate to the North Carolina Convention) warned the participants of the possibility of a Muslim becoming the President of the United States and that there was nothing in the constitution against it. I can only see two scenarios where a Muslim could become the President of the United States. First, when all of America becomes Muslim, it would be their prerogative right to elect one of their own. Second, when all of the values, principles, beliefs and rights America stands for can only be found in someone who is a Muslim, then ...

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Capitalism, the disease that breeds social injustice

A while back, a story went viral on the internet about a young girl, who worked as a house maid. Long story cut short, she asked her employer for an advance because her mother was extremely ill, but her employer refused. A few hours later, the very same employer showed the house maid the brand new lipstick she had just bought – a MAC product worth more than her salary. The house maid was naturally furious and disappointed: What happened then? Did the house maid’s mother survive? I doubt it. She didn’t have enough money for the treatment and her employer had refused to give her ...

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A crushed rose

She sat on the steps outside the kitchen door, stroking the stalk of a beautiful rose that she had plucked from the garden earlier that morning, with a faint smile playing across her lips. From here, Kola could gaze out over the gardens that fronted the houses with low walls separating them from one another. She sat there, mesmerised by the surrounding beauty and devouring the sights of the big houses in the neighbourhood, one of many luxuries which she had never had to herself. Kola had started working as a house cleaner at a very young age, following in ...

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Why don’t we have a team for Pakistani expats in the PSL?

Three out of the 16 members of the English Test cricket squad touring Bangladesh these days are of Pakistani descent. They are: batting all-rounder Moeen Ali, leg spinner Adil Rasheed and left arm spin bowler Zafar Ansari. Adil Rashi and Moeen Ali have been bowling to Alastair Cook to try and earn the final spot in England’s Ashes team. Photo: Reuters Earlier before them, many English Test cricketers of Pakistani origin like – most recently and notably – fast bowler Sajid Mahmood and batsman Owais Shah had also represented England’s national cricket team before their unannounced retirement from Test cricket. The families of Moeen Ali and Adil Rasheed belong ...

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