Stories published in April, 2017

Misbahul Haq, the man who broke cricket beyond repair

As ungentlemanly as it is to castigate someone in the aftermath of a retirement, such is the rage I harbour for the man named Misbahul Haq that I’ll break this sporting code. Before I tear into my vitriolic rant, I’ll start by saying that I have nothing against Misbah ‘the person’. In fact, as a captain, he did a stellar job staying clear of any controversies a la the Salman Butts and Wasim Akrams of these shores. I’ll give him that. Statistically speaking too, Misbah, I’ve come to know, was better than some of our better ones. He also deserves some ...

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History repeats itself, as Stephen King’s ‘It’ fuels our nightmares once again!

Clowns of the world are up in arms and they are not just angry, they are furiously frothing at the mouth. Surprisingly, the reason for their intense rage is a movie trailer. One that smashed streaming records with close to 200 million views globally in its first 24 hours online, blowing away the previous best of 139 million set by The Fate of the Furious back in December. It wasn’t just a film trailer dropping; it was a freakin’ cultural event. Within hours of its release, the first trailer of Stephen King’s feature adaptation ‘It’ became a viral sensation, trending heavily across social media. The movie promo featuring ...

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The problem lies not within the Pepsi advertisement but with us

Maybe Kendell Jenner and the marketing department at Pepsi could have gotten away with their new advertisement if they had decided to air it on April 1st instead of April 4th. The backlash it received was enormous. So what exactly happened there? Well, it was just another company using several attractive people of different cultures and creed to sell their product. Was it something that has never happened before? Of course not! All corporate set-ups, industries and businesses have done this countless times. Then why has it become a matter of offence and a subject of absolute ridicule? The answer is one word ...

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For the US, friends and enemies aren’t important, only interests are

Growing up, we form friendships, alliances and enmities in playgrounds and classrooms. There are clear rules that govern our interactions and attitudes towards those we call friends and those we regard as enemies or our friends’ enemies. It’s mostly cut and dry and there’s very little room for ambiguity. As we grow up, we begin to see shades of grey and the thick dividing lines that existed in our minds begin to blur. However, somewhere that conditioned perception of a clear demarcation between good versus bad and friend versus enemy persists in our psyche. International relations are complex. There are layers and subtexts that ...

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Live it now or leave

Permit me to be dead by next morning. A night in passion had been exhaustive, As dreams burnt in their heat; Lost in the ecstasy, As if there were no tomorrow. Live it now Or leave! They bluntly told me. What I’ve done, is what I’ve done. I can’t undo what I lost, Or gained, As we wanted it to go on, And on. Hence, I refuse to wake Thinking it was another dream That faded into nothingness ...

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“If a rape victim marries her rapist, she will not have a bleak future”: Well done, Malaysia

“The thing is, they have an opportunity – with a marriage they can lead a healthy and good life.” These are the words of Shabudin Yahya, a Malaysian Member of Parliament (MP) for the ruling coalition party, when referring to rape victims. The outrage doesn’t stop there, however, since the MP went on to say, “For a woman that was raped, if she can marry (her rapist) she would not go through such a bleak future. At least she has someone who can become her husband. So this will be a remedy for social problems.” Shocked as I was, I pushed the laptop to ...

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Hindi Medium: When Pakistan and India come together to shatter class barriers

I always knew Saba Qamar was good, but this good? She is going ‘toe-to-toe with Irrfan Khan and still holding her own version of good. Pakistani diva’s Bollywood debut Hindi Medium’s official trailer has just dropped and it’s safe to say that we are all highly impressed. The great Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini once said, “A different language is a different vision of life.” While his statement might ring true anywhere on God’s green earth, but in our part of the world, it reaches gospel status. Photo: Screenshot Photo: Screenshot Being in a country where multiple languages are spoken, ...

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It is high time we accept that Indians are indeed racist

The government has taken great pains to explain the last few days of turmoil in Greater Noida to the world, with Indians being dubbed “xenophobic and racist”. And it is high time we accept that Indians ARE indeed racist. My experiences with the way we react to Africans and the colour of their skin have led me to believe that we, as a nation, need to change our attitude. I simply cannot erase the memory of the day a few of my older sister’s Kenyan friends were mistreated at my house in Varanasi. Many Kenyans believe India offers the best prospects for education, and those ...

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Brianna Lyston, the undisputed heir to the Bolt throne

It seems like Jamaica keeps on producing one speeding sensation after the other, as 12-year-old speedy wizard, Brianna Lyston, posted a record time at the 2017 Boys and Girls Championships last week. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEtq3vRYeBU Running the 200-metre race at the championship, Lyston stormed to victory in emphatic fashion, with a record time of 23.72 seconds, forcing viewers to unsurprisingly compare her exceptional feat to the style and performance of eight-time Olympic champion, Usain Bolt. A student at the Saint Jago High School in the Spanish town of Saint Catherine, Lyston finished almost an astounding full second ahead of her nearest rival, Oneika McAnnuff, to win the 200-metre final. Her remarkable ...

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Asma Jehangir, a force to be reckoned with

Growing up, I was filled with loathing for Asma Jehangir and yet somewhere deep down I had a sense of respect for her, however grudging it may have been. Today, I have come full circle and openly admit having deep and uninhibited respect for her. My dislike for her was primarily caused by her views which portrayed her as ‘anti-Pakistan’ and ‘against’ Islam. But I was way different back then as I used to be a typical product of state-tutored nationalism and considered any criticism of the state as anti-Pakistan. This brand of nationalism, instilled through textbooks and the media, creates deep mistrust of the outside ...

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