Stories published in March, 2017

In defence of Ayyan Ali

Despite the fact that neither reading nor writing are genres of interest that our nation generally associates with, we are all familiar with a story authored by the legendary 13th century Persian poet, Sheikh Saadi. The hikayat (as Saadi would put it himself) goes by the name of “A Stupid Friend” and narrates the story of a man who decides to befriend a monkey and ends up getting his nose chopped off, the story concludes with the moral that “a wise foe is far better than a stupid friend”. I don’t know why my subconscious manages to recollect this story every time I see our adorable Imran ...

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Will The Fate of the Furious pass the test of loyalty?

The Fast and the Furious franchise has cemented itself deep into the billion dollar club. It’s last iteration (Furious 7) grossed well over a billion dollars just 17 days after its release. The franchise’s latest installment is set to make it as big as its predecessor. The Fate of the Furious (Fast 8) is hitting the theatres on April 14, 2017. From the trailer, we can note that this movie is going be more ambitious than the previous ones. It’s jam-packed with action, deaths, and logic-defying car stunts that make the viewers believe it will turn out to be a great movie. Charlize Theron and Vin Diesel ...

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They call you darkness, I call you my best friend

I am a flower. A petal. A stone. I am all of these things and none, I am burning with follicles; I am bound shut by earth, I am two polar opposites, striking against each other at all times. I am sin I am sadness I am hope on a tree I am lost, eternal, free-falling misery. I am light in the dark I am the wind in the desert I am every cliché that you think I deserved. I am lost, I am found: I am almost always a raging sound I am loud and fierce and fiery I am darkness as it drowns your lungs; you cannot breathe. I am suffocating ...

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As a Muslim, I strongly support the right to ban the veil

I was raised as an observant Muslim in a British family. Women, I was taught, determine their own conduct — including their ‘veiling’. We’d cover our hair only if we freely chose to do so. That’s why I’m baffled by the notion that all good Muslim women should cover their hair or face. My entire family is puzzled by it too, as are millions like us. Not until recent years has the idea taken root that Muslim women are obliged by their faith to wear a veil. It’s a sign, I think, not of assertive Islam, but of what happens ...

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Thank you, Modi, for proving that partition saved the subcontinent’s Muslims from extinction

Dear Mr Narendra Modi, I was not at all surprised that your party, Bharatiya Janata Party (the BJP), swept the recent Uttar Pradesh (UP) elections. You ran your campaign on an anti-Muslim platform, you convinced most of the UP Hindus that Muslims in their state are Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agents and that Muslims would not vote for your party, therefore they voted en masse for BJP. In fact, to appear anti-Muslim, you did not field a single Muslim candidate despite the notion that there are more than 40 million Muslims in UP! So, in spite of the Muslim population of UP being over 20% of the total population, the ...

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PCB should rethink its team selection for the West Indies tour

This month, the Pakistan cricket team, led by Sarfraz Ahmed in all three formats, will embark on the West Indies tour to play a series of four T20 matches, three Tests and three One-Day Internationals (ODIs), which starts on March 26th. In order to ensure direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup, it is imperative for them to win the upcoming ODI series. The last World Cup was played in 2015 in Australia where Pakistan made it to the third quarter-final against Australia but lost miserably by six wickets with 97 balls remaining. Currently, Pakistan ranks eighth on the ODI ...

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The untold story of the water that Sindh drinks

It is a hot, dusty day. You grab a glass from your kitchen shelf, walk over to the mineral water dispenser, and pour clear and fresh water into it. The coolness satiates your thirst quickly and you leave it on the table partially full, in a hurry to continue the day’s chores. There is one reality lost in this mundane action: The water you wasted in one minute, some could stretch for one entire day. Not very far away in fact, there are people like you and I who satiate their thirst with water that is slightly better than sewage water. ...

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Belle is beautiful, but just a little too perfect to be completely relatable

“My dear Belle, you’re so ahead of your time. This is a small village, and it’s small-minded, as well. But small also means safe”. Emma Watson radiates positivity as Belle in her new movie Beauty and the Beast. This 2017 remake of an 18th century French folk-tale manages to maintain the familiarity of the story while also paying attention to modern progressive thought. Due to her strong feminist values and natural elegance, Watson is an effortlessly perfect Belle. As a Brown University graduate, Watson is an intellectual with a passion for reading and learning and is known for her work in ...

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The world will judge Islam by the way Muslims behave in the name of Islam

A year ago, the government took a bold decision by hanging Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of late Salman Taseer. The funeral, despite the media’s lack of coverage, was attended by thousands of people, highlighting the appeal of a man who was nothing but a murderer. One year later, thousands of hardliners defied the rally ban to attend his first death anniversary. The sad reality is that for many, Qadri is a hero, and the significant percentage of those who disagree with his actions have an “empathetic” attitude towards him. I have heard people coming up with all kinds of justifications ...

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Why would CAA break down the beautiful mural created by the Italian artist?

I was absolutely devastated to see what the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has done to Italian artist Maurizio Boscheri’s beautiful markhor mural at the Karachi Airport. Pakistan is seen as a dangerous, brutal country, but lately, we’ve been working on softening our image through art and culture. We get excited when a Pakistani artist is chosen to show her work in New York or London or Tokyo. We want grants and fellowships to support Pakistani artists around the world. We want international attention for projects like the Lahore Biennale and the Pakistani Chowk renovation. We think that this humanises us ...

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