Stories published in July, 2017

PPP claims to be cleaning up Karachi, but the looming stench in the city claims otherwise

The Karachi I grew up in was a city where garbage was picked up regularly. Swarms of jamadarnis (women sweepers) descended each morning to sweep the dusty streets in our neighbourhood in PECHS, picking up any plastic bags that the wind had blown overnight.  Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) trucks came in to collect the garbage from the corner garbage bins regularly. The law and order situation was such that my grandmother (who I admit was a bit of a maverick) felt no fear in taking a rickshaw by herself. She was fearless and she’d hold out her hand at the end of the journey with change so that the rickshaw driver ...

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Is ‘Punjab Nahi Jaungi’ a little too similar to B-town’s ‘Namaste London’?

Okay, I give up! A lot of people do not agree with my hyper-critical approach when it comes to reviewing movies. I’ve been called an eternal cynic, a tag which is probably the most publishable amongst various other labels I have had the pleasure of hearing. Bearing that in mind, I have decided to radically alter my ways with this piece and tried to analyse a cinematic work purely based on how the majority would tend to receive it. The dubious honour for this novel experiment goes out to the first full length trailer of the upcoming Pakistani romantic comedy, Punjab Nahi Jaungi. What makes Punjab Nahi ...

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Wayne Rooney to Everton, that doesn’t sound quite right, does it?

Intelligent, gifted, effective, powerful, at times slow, but brilliant. You name it and Wayne Rooney had it all. For 13 long years, Manchester United fans saw magic unfold right in front of their eyes at the Theatre of Dreams. They would have never thought that the 18-year-old boy who debuted for England’s biggest club with a hat trick against Fenerbarche would leave their club, his club, only to return to Everton where it all began. Wayne Rooney is the the all-time leading goalscorer for both Manchester United and England. Photo: AFP Rooney to Everton, that doesn’t sound quite right, does it? Once Rooney steps onto the turf wearing the blue ...

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Get Lit vs Donald Trump: When art becomes resistance

“Where does the truth begin?”  he asked, his tone urgent but composed. He went on, demanding honesty, transparency, or at least sanity, from the man of the hour: Donald Trump. The individual in question is a young poet by the name of Gordon Ip. He is one of the many members of Get Lit, a social justice poetry troupe on the rise. For the past six months, they have tirelessly been creating and performing slam poetry, using today’s divisive and highly charged political climate as inspiration for their work. We live in the Trump Era, a time where news comes in at a lightning pace. ...

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Could Nawaz Sharif’s fate determine the future of Pakistan’s stock market as well?

The latest discussion engulfing the whole country has been Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s joint investigation team (JIT) imbroglio and the stock market’s rapid decline. In one of my previous blogs, we highlighted how the stock market should be utilised as an investment vehicle. For the record, Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) 100 Index went up by +50% from that day and stayed the same for the next 24 months. While sceptics have resurfaced – and so have the bears in the market (which is down +15% from the peak levels) – to criticise the vulnerability of the economy amidst political impasse, it is crucial to holistically view the changing political and economic landscape ...

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The tales of Karachi’s love for old books

We’ve heard stories about their utilisation plenty of times. You can see exactly where the fingerprints grazed the pages. You can deduce how long it was held by the depth of the finger stains. This is none other than a depiction of an old book. Unfortunately, we live in a culture that places too much importance on new books, rather than old ones. Why is it that new things are considered more valuable than old things? There might be a time in the future when books will be published for a specific audience and the physicality of reading material will become extinct. However, there ...

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Baby Driver is a classic case of ‘different is not always good’

Okay, first things first. I am not a big fan of angrezi gaanay (western music), so as far as this review is concerned, anything I say hereafter should be taken with a huge sack of salt. Having said that, I found Edgar Wright’s latest fare Baby Driver to be extremely pretentious. It reminded me of that showy kid at college who was always trying a little too hard to act cool. This car chase musical is a bizarre hybrid of La La Land and The Fast and the Furious, and Wright is typically known for these kinds of hybrids. His earlier genre mashups include the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy which had gore and ...

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It all comes down to PTI vs PPP: Will Imran Khan win the 2018 elections?

Due to a fairly recent conflict between Babar Awan (read the main pillar of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)) and co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Awan left PPP to join the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The end of a two decade-long association with PPP was a shocking piece of news for the opposition in the National Assembly. Furthermore, Awan is not the only individual parting ways with PPP, as a couple of others have decided to do the same as well. The Member of the Pakistan National Assembly (MNA) Noor Alam Khan also joined the PTI, whereas former state minister Imtiaz Safdar Warraich from Gujranwala has decided to quit PPP and is set to join ...

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Spider-Man: Homecoming: Predictable yet apt and entertaining

Marvel Comics’ superheroes have been ruling the summer box office for nearly a decade now. What started with the first adventure of Iron Man in 2008 has since turned into the most successful franchise in movie history. The Avengers have become a cinematic behemoth as more superheroes have joined the folds of the mighty collective over the years, and have altogether produced more hits than misses along the way. The latest adventure in the series takes us on another journey into the world of Spider-Man. A superhero which has already been the subject of two prior series, and is now getting another reboot in the shape of the ...

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Justin Trudeau, Mohammad Bin Salman and Kim Jong Un: Three leaders with the potential to either make or break the world

In today’s global political scene, we can see three young world leaders from three very different countries, political systems and cultures for which the term ‘Greenhorn’ could be used. The three leaders I am referring to are Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, newly appointed crown prince of Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS), and the supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un. Trudeau, MBS and Kim have each been at the centre of the world stage in recent days, but each for very different reasons. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. Photo: AFP Justin Pierre James Trudeau Born on December 25, 1971, Trudeau is the 23rd and current PM of Canada and ...

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