At some level, I do understand why no Facebook profile picture filters appeared or why no hashtags dominated the social media landscape after a bombing in Kabul or Baghdad. It is assumed that cities like these must be acclimatised to the reign of terror; to towering plumes of smoke; to children’s blood being spilled on the city’s pavements; and to mangled corpses strewn on the dirty streets. It is assumed that they must be used to mothers wailing in a strange cacophony; to rundown ambulances whirring past shocked onlookers, who in turn are used to their unacknowledged existence; and used to the ...Read Full Post
While the announcement that several Middle Eastern counties including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Yemen were outright banning all relations with Qatar, the fact that they actually did it has had reverberations across the globe. Saudi Arabia declared a complete ban on all air, sea and land routes into and out of Qatar while UAE and Bahrain demanded the expulsion of Qatari diplomats from their countries. At last count, Libya and Maldives had joined the growing chorus against Qatar. Qatar is a tiny emirate jutting out as a peninsula from Saudi Arabia towards Iran. While it is a member of the international oil supplying nation group Organisation ...Read Full Post
Pakistan entered the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy as the lowest ranked team in the ODI charts. Even before the tournament began, Pakistan had no hope of winning, or in more realistic terms, had no real chance of crossing the group stage, with India and South Africa being in the same group.
When Ramazan began, I told myself that I am going to use this opportunity to secure a place in heaven, to achieve a significant share of 72 hooris (nymphs) – the halal way of course – and lose some pounds off my protruding belly. Sadly, my pre-Ramazan resolutions faced the same fate as my new year resolutions do each year. Come Ramazan, the first roza to be precise, I found this insatiable, almost corrupting desire inside me to go crazy on the iftars. No matter who it was arranged by, no matter what the menu was, and no matter how tough the days were, I was thrown into this ‘hunger games’ type of a competition. ...Read Full Post
When we last left the world of the Seven Kingdoms at the end of season six of Game of Thrones, many narrative threads were resolved. Cersei Lannister blows up the Sept, vanquishing many of her enemies including the High Sparrow and the Tyrell siblings, and becoming Queen of Westeros in one fell swoop. Seasons-old questions were finally answered. Jon Snow is indeed the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen and the major contenders to the Iron Throne seem poised to finally battle for it out once and for all. Daenerys Targaryen finally sets across the Narrow Sea towards Westeros, having established allies ...Read Full Post
After replacing Babri Masjid with Ram temple, can the Hindus of BJP claim to be the owners of India?
The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) rose to national consciousness through the Babri Masjid agitation in the 80s and 90s. Through this movement, it laid the foundation for majoritarian politics in India. The victory of the BJP in 2014, where it got a majority in the parliament for the first time in the history of independent India, is the fructification of the campaign that started in the late 80s. The Hindu right-wing party wants to build a temple on the site of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. They claim it was built by the Mughal ruler Babur in the early 16th century on the place which is supposed to be ...Read Full Post
One would think India is a progressive nation, until it makes “celibate” peacocks its national animal
It stands to reason that a nation situated in one of the least well-endowed regions in the world would have an affiliation for peacocks. Instead, a Rajasthan High Court judge must have been rather afflicted by his peacock – he claims that peacocks are lifelong celibates. The answer shocked interviewers because the question was, “Judge Mahesh Chandra Sharma, why are you a virgin?” Steve Carrel will reportedly play Judge Chandra in the movie version of this story titled, The 40-year-old Judge. Mr Chandra told the reporters, “The peacock is a lifelong brahmachari (celibate). It never has sex with the peahen. The peahen gets pregnant after swallowing the tears ...Read Full Post
Last week, I found a pamphlet of a budding political party innocuously placed next to my door. It embossed a pulp and a round South Asian face wearing a blue tie. Or was it a purple tie? I cannot remember. The party manifesto intrigued me the most. Notwithstanding the poor grammar, which showed the carelessness on part of the party candidate, it was the ambitious claims that interested me. As a Member of Parliament (MP), he promised to nationalise transport, improve health services, reduce housing cost and, wait for it, improve global trade. The manifesto’s language did not only lack grammar, it ...Read Full Post
Another month and yet another superhero movie hits the theaters. Okay, another superheroine movie if you are hell-bent on being such a pedant. Oh and by the way,Gal Gadot, this larger-than-life female character, is a former Israel Defense Force (IDF) officer. Why is that even relevant, you might ask? Well for starters, we as a nation have this strong aversion to all things Isareli, and secondly, one of our brotherly Muslim state Lebanon has banned the screening of Wonder Woman on accounts of Gadot serving time in the Israeli military, who lest we forget are responsible for the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people. Okay now just to be absolutely clear, ...Read Full Post
“Primum non nocere” is Latin for “first, do no harm”. Although not overtly found in the text of the original Hippocratic Oath, the message in that Latin phrase holds firm for students making the transition from medical apprenticeship to medical practice. Scholars have widely attributed the oath to Hippocrates, the father of western medicine. As their rite of passage, young doctors graduating from medical schools the world over take some modern version or another of the oath, several in their own languages. Medical schools in Pakistan follow suit in terms of the oath being taken by students prior to practicing as independent doctors, with valid medical licenses ...Read Full Post