Stories published in July, 2017

Jumanji returns after 22 years, but with a remote-controlled twist

If you were a kid growing up in the 90s, chances are you saw Jumanji and loved it. Following the story of a sinister board game whose gameplay affects real life, the film was one of the benchmark children films of the 90s and for many people, one of their first introductions to the late and great Robin Williams. Now some 22 years later, it makes a return in the form of a sequel but there’s a twist. Instead of a board game, this one is about a Jumanji videogame which when played, consequently sucks its players into its world and transforms them into the characters of ...

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#GameOver: Nawaz Sharif now has only two options – resign or be forced to resign

Alas, the unthinkable has happened. The eagerly anticipated joint investigation team (JIT) findings have implicated the members of the ruling Sharif family for not only concealing assets, but for failing to reveal their sources of income and presenting a fake money trail. Startling revelations made by Panamagate JIT in final report https://goo.gl/YxZNQ2 Posted by Express Tribune Video on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 The Sharif family members have officially been declared ‘criminals’ by the JIT findings. Over the last few months, we witnessed the most appalling, cringe-worthy and condemnable portrayal of arrogant self-righteousness by the ruling party, despite receiving the ire of the public. No amount of shaming could budge the Pakistan Muslim ...

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After English Vinglish, Sridevi blows us away in the work of art that is Mom

Sridevi’s Mom has been one of the most anticipated films of 2017. It was discussed amongst movie goers for multiple reasons, some which included Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s look and dialect, Akshaye Khanna’s (sort of) comeback, and the involvement of two Pakistani actors, Adnan Siddiqui and Sajal Ali. After the hit movie English Vinglish, let’s find out if Sridevi was able to recreate the same magic on the big screen. The storyline follows Devki (Sridevi), who is a biology teacher at a school. One of her students includes Arya (Sajal Aly), who also happens to be Devki’s stepdaughter. It is evident they don’t share a strong bond, since Arya maintains a cold attitude towards ...

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The oil tanker spill didn’t expose the ‘jahalat’ of the poor, but the inhuman apathy of the ‘educated’

One wonders if there’s a special hell for those who quickly assign blame to the society’s poorest and most vulnerable members in the wake of every catastrophe. A second oil tanker has toppled in Vehari, and locals have been found attempting to pilfer its fuel. This is uncomfortably similar to the situation just a few weeks ago, when over 200 people lost their lives trying to collect fuel from an overturned tanker near Bahawalpur. The victims and their families who beggared our sympathies, got caught in a storm of hostile opinions instead. Most disconcertingly, these opinions were all aired by the society’s most affluent and privileged quarters who ...

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My crime, you ask? Being a fan girl and expressing my love for Chris Martin

This is a message for all those people out there who have been frowned upon for having a difference of opinion; for the people who raised their voices and were brave enough to take a stand against a social evil, but were shunned by the benighted individuals of society. Here’s an honest piece of advice – fight for your cause and do not back down. Most of you must have read the article about me being harassed by a man for expressing my love for my favourite band, Coldplay. My crime, you ask? Being a fan girl and expressing my love and affection for Chris Martin. My fan ...

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You do not salute to the person, you salute to the rank – and that is exactly why Arsala Saleem saluted Maryam Nawaz

The Panama joint investigation team (JIT) is in town and it is making headlines for all the right reasons. The entire ruling Sharif clan has paid them a visit. The last person to make an appearance before the JIT was Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of the prime minister. Many are referring to this as her political launch. However, this news was overshadowed by a lady police officer, Miss Arsala Saleem, saluting Maryam. Miss Saleem accompanied Maryam to the JIT meeting, since all JIT members are male and are somehow deemed unfit to question a woman alone. She saluted Maryam when she arrived to appear before the JIT on ...

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The only country that can realistically help India out of the Sikkim jam is Pakistan

Earlier last month, the Indian military showed up in the Dokalam region to stop the Chinese from building a road. This area falls under the Bhutan tri-junction which is a sliver of land where China, India and Bhutan meet. The incident came into light when some Indian pilgrims, on their way to Tibet, were sent back to the border. Since then, both countries have been providing their own version of the same tale. The eastern border of India with China is governed by an 1890 agreement brokered by the British. It has been fairly uneventful since then, except for the 1962 border skirmish between the two nations. Since the incident with the pilgrims, India and China ...

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Yes, Mashal Khan’s story is a difficult watch, but it’s a necessary watch to keep us from forgetting

In April, a deranged mob of college students murdered Mashal Khan, an intelligent, curious, and outspoken journalism student, over views and comments that some regarded as ‘blasphemous’. The mob-led murder caught the world’s attention after a shakily recorded cell phone video of the lynching went viral. Just like that, the door had been flung open, exposing the sheer inhumanity and intellectual neglect that constantly simmers below the surface of Pakistani society, even within its supposedly enlightened institutions. In these past few months, many minutes of prime-time were devoted to and much ink was spilled over Mashal and Pakistan’s notoriously inhumane and antiquated blasphemy laws. This week, the story ...

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Thanks to Ronaldinho and friends, football needs to be given its due importance rather than just prioritising cricket.

A few days back, I overheard a child on the street say the following to his friends, “Yaar aaj cricket nahi, football kheltay hain.” (Let’s play football instead of cricket today.) This might be normal in other parts of the world but in a country like Pakistan, where cricket takes the lead amongst other sporting activities, it was virtually impossible. Football may not be flourishing the way it should be in Pakistan, at domestic and international level, but that has not been a hindrance in the ever increasing levels of interest in football. Gone are the days when people used to say, “Pakistan mein football kaun dekhta/khelta ...

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Wearing jeans or a sleeveless top is “ruining the culture”, but a sari showing the midriff is not, India?

There must be something very special about the evil garment called ‘women jeans’, otherwise why would even the most sagacious men rile up against it? They are certainly not just a pair of trousers in denim fabric, else why would it worry and distract men so much? Perhaps this is the reason why the village panchayat in Rajasthan barred women from wearing jeans along with attractive clothing such as leggings, short skirts and sleeveless tops. Nevertheless, women wearing fully covered jeans with a sleeveless top ruin the culture, but a sari that shows off midriff doesn’t. Besides, it is the tight jeans and leggings that ...

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