Stories published in November, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will not let Harry Potter fans down

When I first heard about a Harry Potter spin off prequel, I was a bit sceptical about whether any other wizarding fantasy could fill up the wizarding cloaks left behind by Harry and the gang. But little did I know that JK Rowling has some more dazzling magic left for us muggles (or no-maj if you are American). From the get go, this imagination-tickling flick nostalgically took me back to the magical world of wizards and witches with James Newton Howard’s famed title theme and the symbolic silver fonts used in the opening title. Fantastic Beasts and Where to ...

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Is Fidel Castro’s life really worthy of commemoration?

In what was a political paradigm dominated by plump dictators and disengaged philosophers, Fidel Castro and his accomplices gave new life to the left-wing. Their irresistible charisma, packed with unshakable ideological commitment and trademark physical appearances inspired an entire generation of revolutionaries. Although Fidel may have lost out to his fellow Che in the T-shirt revolution, in the larger historic-political context, Castro’s impact and significance far outweighs his former comrade. Escaping an estimated sum of 689 assassination attempts, the man built a communist state at the door step of the United States, sustaining it for almost six decades and out-lasting almost 11 American presidents. The ...

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Do our ministers really deserve a shameless 146% increase in salary?

I have to interact frequently with our tax collectors, and since our lawmakers don’t have to pay taxes, they have no idea of the torture the average businessman has to suffer. The following dialogue explains how the common man is taxed heavily and, since lawmakers don’t have to pay taxes, they thought it fit to increase their salaries recently: Tax collector: What do you do? Common man: I run a business. Tax collector: Well, pay professional tax then! What are you doing in your business? Common man: Selling goods. Tax collector: Pay sales tax then! From where are you getting your goods from? Common man: ...

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Treachery

As the sky rolls over, My mind begins to hover, To be, Or not to be. Eternity seems not too distant, Life seems not too consistent, The ocean wreaks havoc in its tides, The rain kills off all who hides, Death takes me with its gleaming hand, “Let’s go, Son, it’s not for you, this land,” Fog starts to roll in, My heart starts to fade in. I feel nature’s looming presence around me, The pills, the knife or the sea? I slowly thrust the knife into my stomach, My pain starts to slowly fade in to the distance. My head starts to tremendously ache, I remember all the times I could have shown some resistance, All the ...

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The Accountant just didn’t add up

Every once in a while, a movie comes along that seems to exist just to remind you of other big (and small) screen projects. That pretty much appears to be what The Accountant is trying to achieve. The same way Dexter meets Jason Bourne by way of A Beautiful Mind, Gavin O’Connor’s action thriller comes off as an amalgam of various (significantly better) projects that have preceded it, as it jumps haphazardly from one familiar plot point to the next. The film tells the story of Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck), an autistic math whiz with extensive combat training who is running a shady accounting firm ...

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Does the on-going Kashmir “movement” lack a plan of action?

In Why Did the ‘Twitter Revolutions’ Fail?, an article published in the New York Times last year, Ivan Krastev couches his set of arguments in a thought-provoking manner by referring to history. He writes that, immediately after the 1851 Paris coup by Napoleon, some of the greatest political minds from Europe, including Karl Marx (a communist), Pierre Joseph Proudhon (an anarchist), Victor Hugo (a romantic), Alexis de Tocqueville and Walter Bagehot (the liberals) hustled to their reading rooms to understand the Paris coup and draw philosophical conclusions out of such events. To quote Ivan, “Their interpretations of the coup were as different ...

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Netanyahu bans the Azaan and Pakistan bans Christian channels

Religion is once again being dragged into the profane world of politics as a deflective show of force while people choose other avenues to preserve what is sacred. On November 13, The Times of Israel quoted Prime Minister Netanyahu: “…excessive noise …from prayer house announcement…in many European cities… (and consequently) in the Muslim world… they limit(ed) the volume of the calls out of consideration for the general public.” The following day, The Independent reported that citing: “noise pollution, representatives of Israel’s Knesset have given their approval to what is known as the ‘muezzin bill’ banning religious leaders from using loudspeakers or public address systems to summon worshippers for prayers.” A ...

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The most recent episode of Khuda Mera Bhi Hai made me cry

Yes, the recent episode of Khuda Mera Bhi Hai made me cry. The plot of this drama revolves around a couple, Mahgul and Zain, who give birth to a child who is ‘intersex’, which means that this child has both male and female genitalia. In the previous episode, the family decides to give up the child to transgender people – leaving Mahgul distraught and broken. The play tackles many taboos that our society has regarding transgender people and intersex children. We see how the word ‘hijra’ is an insult and the source of distress. Arshi, Mahgul’s snotty saas (mother-in-law), is the ...

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An open letter of gratitude to the Archbishop of Canterbury

Dear most reverend archbishop, Justin Welby, I am not sure how I am supposed to address you; may I call you the reverend father? This seems more appropriate considering the impression you’ve left behind after your visit to Pakistan. Reverend father, you are the head of a worldwide Anglican community which includes Pakistan. You landed in our country last Friday night and, despite the protocol, you did not attend many meetings with the high and the mighty. One official courtesy call to the Foreign Office Minister, Mr Sartaj Aziz was necessary. The purpose behind your visit to Pakistan becomes evident when ...

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And Pakistani cinema is back, Dobara Phir Se!

All those who were praying for Pakistani cinema to revive, it’s finally time for you to cheer up. Mehreen Jabbar is a well-known figure in the Pakistani entertainment industry and for good reason, because she’s all geared up for her new movie Dobara Phir Se. The movie provides a platform to some well-known actors and actresses including Adeel Hussain, Sanam Saeed, Hareem Farooq, Ali Kazmi, Tooba Siddiqui and Atiqa Odho. Hareem Farooq, Adeel Husain, Ali Kazmi and Sanam Saeed on the set of Dobara Phir Se.PHOTO: Dobara Phir Se Facebook Page Dobara Phir Se has been marketed really well considering it ...

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