Stories published in May, 2017

The dancing girls

Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Relax your diaphragm. Repeat. This was my mantra, at least, these days it was. I tried to tell myself that these three steps would make everything better, would make the way I feel better. But I don’t really think they do. I can see the city lighting up from my window. I know that outside, people are getting ready to leave their houses, and venture out into Karachi’s beauty. I’d be a part of it too, if I could, if I knew how. But the bars on my windows are too strong. They skew ...

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Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case is the tie-breaker Pakistan and India have been waiting for

The verdict of the top United Nations (UN) court ordering Pakistan not to execute Kulbhushan Jadhav until it makes a final judgment in the case, has stirred discontent and debate across Pakistan. Jadhav, who was arrested in March 2016, is a retired Indian naval officer who confessed to espionage and terror activities in Pakistan. In a video that went viral, Jadhav confessed to have aided terrorist and separatist activities in Pakistan, particularly by fuelling insurgency in the province of Balochistan. He further exposed his country’s top intelligence agency’s role in funding activities with an aim to destabilise Pakistan. Pakistan’s military ...

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‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ is too busy, too long and marginally entertaining

The fascinating tales from the life and times of King Arthur have been the subject of various big and small screen works. The latest cinematic foray inspired by the intriguing folklore of the British leader comes to us from director Guy Ritchie, who explores the origin and rise of the legendary ruler in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. The film is a frenetic big-budget adventure that isn’t nearly as captivating or exciting as it should be but still manages to be marginally entertaining. The action commences as the power-hungry Vortigern (Jude Law) betrays his brother, King Uther (Eric Bana), ...

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Discovering Pakistan’s circumstantial craftsmen

After their father fell seriously ill, two brothers Rameez and Khurram devoted their lives towards pursuing his dream. Their mission was to open their own handicrafts’ shop as their father was fond of wood carving. Rameez, expressing his gratitude towards his father with a smile on his face, said, “I remember the words of my father very clearly. He said when you craft, you create and that creation is all yours. Not only is it satisfactory, it is magical.” The two brothers have set up their own shop in Saddar for over 30 years now. Khurram pointed towards his hands and added, “When a man works, the hands ...

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As captain, can Sarfraz Ahmed steer Pakistan to victory in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy?

Pakistan’s archaic style of ODI cricket is up for a stern test in this summer’s Champions Trophy. The team is grouped with South Africa (ranked number one in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings), arch-rivals India, and Sri Lanka. A realistic assessment might be for the team to win at least one out of these three games – more likely to be the one against Sri Lanka – but that would also mean having to do away with the optimism of a Pakistani cricket fan. Regardless of how bad we think our team is, almost every fan will, as always, ...

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Donald Trump will be giving a lecture on Islam to Muslims in Riyadh – let that sink in

Blowing trumpets, doves flying overhead and the awaiting red carpet. To many, this scenery invokes fairy tales of kings visiting their prefectures on gilded carriages with soldiers in tow. The princes and princesses line up to greet their guest along with the nobility, hoping a beautiful guest from within the entourage would catch their eye and sparks would fly. Not much was expected to change from this picture apart from the medieval setting when Donald Trump landed in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. This is Trump’s first visit to a foreign country and surprisingly, he chose Saudi Arabia as his destination. Surprising is too mute a word to capture the reality ...

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If Jinnah never asked Ruttie to change her name to Maryam, why did you, Pakistan?

Those of us who were born before Partition know that Muhammad Ali Jinnah could not speak Urdu, except perhaps a few broken sentences. His speeches were always in English, sometimes with a translator to make the crowds understand what he was saying. But sometime in the 1980s, the government dubbed all his speeches in Urdu, apparently under pressure from those who thought a highly westernised Jinnah would make today’s youth doubt that he wanted an Islamic state. One result of this is that an entire generation of Pakistanis have grown up believing that Jinnah was fluent in Urdu, and always dressed ...

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2017 bids farewell to another legend – RIP Chris Cornell

It was a normal Thursday afternoon, I was scrolling through my news feed when I came across an article about the sad demise of Chris Cornell. For those of you who don’t know (I’m sure you do by now), he was the lead singer of Temple of Dog, Soundgarden and Audioslave. The year 2017 isn’t new to losing great musicians and Cornell wasn’t an exception; the man was a legend. The minute I read the news, Black Hole Sun started playing in my head. I remember that song the most because it was one of the first few songs I ...

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Tubelight seems intense and exciting, but can it be another Salman-Kabir blockbuster?

For many people around the world, Eid is incomplete without the release of a Salman Khan film. Salman and Eid have gone hand in hand for quite a long time now and similarly, this Eid, Salman will be releasing his much awaited film titled Tubelight directed by Kabir Khan. Photo: IMDb While the film is scheduled to release on June 23, the teaser trailer of the movie dropped recently and set social media ablaze. The film is set during the 1962 Indo-China War and features Salman Khan, Sohail Khan and Chinese actress Zhu Zhu as the principle cast. There is even a cameo from the beloved Shah Rukh ...

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I was eight when my parents got divorced, and I’ve been broken ever since

We all come into this world pure and innocent; unknowing of its harsh realities. We do not know of pain, of grief, of anything really. Our worlds revolve around our parents and when they decide to part ways, our entire world is torn apart. I still don’t understand. It’s been 16 years since my parents got divorced; 16 years of unanswered questions. I was only eight-years-old when it happened, I was just a child, but still, I was expected to act mature and more sensible than a child my age should ever asked to be. My brother on the other hand, was only four-years-old ...

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