Stories published in August, 2017

Ditch the pulao and nihari, and spruce up your Eid feast with mince capsicum, steak with Mushroom sauce and some divine creme caramel

Eidul Azha, also known as the feast of sacrifice, is an Islamic festival commemorating the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son Hazrat Ismail (AS). Muslims around the world celebrate Eidul Azha in full fervour as it is considered one of the most important religious events on the Muslim calendar. A cow, sheep or goat is typically slaughtered during the celebrations as a symbol of Prophet Ibrahim’s (pbuh) sacrifice. Just like each year, staggering sums will be spent on sacrificial animals this time around as well. A memory that stands clear in my head even now is from the ...

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Game of Thrones Season 7: Is GoT slowly but surely crumbling under the weight of its own mythology?

*Spoilers lie ahead* There is a certain gleeful pleasure — I’m sure the Germans have a word for it — to being witness to a moment in which people learn information about themselves that you have known for long. What a pity it is then, that the long, eventful and yet largely unsurprising seventh season finale of Game Of Thrones denies us that pleasure. Before this episode, even casual viewers knew the truth about Jon Snow’s origins, that he isn’t Ned Stark’s bastard and that he is actually the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. Readers of the books and frequenters ...

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Ironically, the credit for banning triple talaq in India goes to BJP and Narendra Modi, not Congress

The recent decision regarding triple talaq by the Supreme Court (SC) of India has elated many liberal intelligentsias. I also believe that it is a step in the right direction and should be applauded by all those who want better treatment for Muslim women in India. I have written about it earlier as well, that one of the major problems ailing the Muslim societies is the gender imbalance due to the on-going rampant religious orthodoxy. From a political perspective, what is really interesting is that apparently, the party which has actually championed the issue in recent times is not the left-leaning ...

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The “Maasi” competition only celebrated the weaknesses of our domestic help by using them as props for a privilege-fest

We had a helper at home who we called maasi (maid). We never thought it was wrong or degrading. That was up until someone called me that word during a fight and I felt deeply wronged. I was 14, easily hurt, and crying about it to someone and they consoled me by saying, “Maa-si: Maa (mother) and si (like). Being a maasi means like a mother. What is there to cry about?” That stopped my tears momentarily and gave me something to think about. Mai. Maasi. Kaam waali. Bhangan. Choori – these aren’t just job titles designated for the lowest and the most disenfranchised women of our country; ...

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The problem with Imran Khan’s CNN interview is his hypocrisy that is too palpable to ignore

In an era of hyper-nationalism bordering on fascist tendencies, a strongly crafted statement works wonders for your public image.  This is exactly what we witnessed recently. America’s recent tragedy, otherwise also known as President Donald Trump, was found to be ruffling some spiteful feathers yet again. But Trump said what all American leaders have already said about Pakistan (we’ve been compared to cancer and called an international migraine, for starters). He also threatened Pakistan with the stoppage of American aid if we don’t “do more”. Been there, heard that. In came Imran Khan to rescue Pakistan from this shared sense of shame. In ...

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The realisation of a dream – cricket comes home, this time to stay hopefully

There was definitely some fiery magic in the air before Elton Chigumbura, accompanied by his troops, marched on to the newly painted and redecorated Gaddafi Stadium. You could sense that something remarkably huge was about to happen, but the sceptic within you, having grown eight-years-old now, denied you a good night’s sleep. Three words, cricket comes home, evoked emotions that could not be described, only felt. After years of yearning, Pakistan’s grand welcome of the Zimbabwean team was not the biggest breakthrough, but it was historic and a breakthrough nonetheless. Pakistan beat Zimbabwe in the second series of T-20. ...

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What the fat, Aunty ji?

Full disclosure: I was slim some time ago. It happened slowly. I kept gaining weight over the last couple of years, until suddenly one day I was not thin anymore. The factors were pretty much the same as anyone else’s. An intense love for food. Cheese is the only thing I would call bae. Maybe even brownies! An equally intense dislike for exercise (I would rather curl up on the couch and read). In my case, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder in which gaining weight is easier than losing it, among other more serious repercussions. I was blissfully unaware of my weight until ...

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The Zookeeper’s Wife may not be the most forceful World War II film, but it is heart-breaking and poignant

While Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were busy writing the most harrowing chapter in modern history, several heroic people were risking their lives to save their fellow human beings from brutal extermination during the Holocaust in World War II. The Zookeeper’s Wife is the tale of one such family. Based on real events, the story begins in Poland in 1939 at the Warsaw Zoo, where Antonina Żabińska (Jessica Chastain) helps her husband, Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh), take care of the animals in a beautiful menagerie. But their idyllic lives are turned upside down when German forces invade Poland. An airstrike ruins their ...

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It’s about time the Love Charger’s battery died

Across the globe, religion is becoming the fastest growing trade. After all, there is never a dearth of naive masses waiting to fall prey on their fears. This is the reason why so many babas and gurus with the gift of the gab and a penchant for floating uncanny stories are slowly taking control of several lives. They seep into people’s lives by becoming not only their spiritual teacher, counsellor, psychiatrist, personal confidante, but also their family advisor, semen donor and sometimes even money launderer. These phony babas mine on people’s obliviousness by making them believe that they are the ultimate ...

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Twines and toilet paper will not do: Sanitary supplies should be a necessity, not a luxury

I was studying at a public school and was in grade 11 when it happened. One day. I went to school without any underwear on and I got my period. Studying at one of the largest government colleges for girls in Islamabad, you would think that they would be able to help you in a situation like this. However, their ‘help’ came in the form of offering me a piece of twine and a toilet paper roll. They suggested that I fold in the toilet paper and the twine would hold it in. That was just one day of menstruation in my ...

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