Stories published in August, 2017

Nothing and no one could have saved ‘Chain Aye Na’ from its unfortunate fate

In 1998, Syed Noor was on a high; his film Choorian had just released and went on to be one of the longest running Pakistani films showcased at a single screen cinema. He went on to become one of the few acclaimed directors in the Pakistani film industry. It makes you wonder then, how the same director, who delivered cinema greats like Larki Punjaban and Majajan, could stoop to releasing a film like Chain Aye Na. I don’t understand how the movie went so wrong, even though it had big names like Nadeem Baig and Atiqa Odho in the cast. Mustafa Qureshi or even the relations of Behroze Sabzwari, ...

Read Full Post

When two madmen come head to head to play a game of “fire and fury”

Call it a coincidence or an irony of fate, but I was in the process of winding up my study trip to Japan when my editor asked me to write about the latest episode of the US-North Korea war of words that seems to be taking a nasty turn each passing day. I say coincidence or an irony of fate because the month of August marks the 72nd anniversary of the US dropping the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. Traveling through Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Kyoto, and of course, Hiroshima, one felt a sense of sombreness. You could see the sadness that engulfed the minds of the past generation and ...

Read Full Post

Thank you, Pakistan: 70 years later, the good in this great country still trumps the bad

On Pakistan’s 70th Independence Day, I would like for us to take a moment to remember all those who have lost their lives in fighting for our motherland. We owe our freedom, gratitude and respect to them. Had it not been for their ultimate sacrifice, we may not have had a country to call home. To all those who currently serve in our armed forces, the police force, the Rangers, the Frontier Constabulary, the Levies force, the intelligence agencies and more – we are thankful to you for your services and grateful to you for your continued commitment towards our country. It is ...

Read Full Post

70 years of independence for Pakistan, zero years of independence for its women

Seventy years of independence today. I’m sitting here, trying to sum up what that means for me. There are too many things that encompass this day. There are too many ways to go about it. It’s 1947. Your grandfather is fighting for his life on a train that has no food. He is holding your father tight in his arms. Your great grandmother is leaving behind her house, her jewellery, her life, to run to a place she never wanted to go. You are not yet in the picture. You have not experienced the hardships. You came when it had already ...

Read Full Post

71st Independence Day special: The evolution of Pakistan’s national song

In the last 70 years, the Pakistan national song has evolved through various governments, wars and music styles. We trace this evolution by reviewing a plethora of national songs from 1947 till the present. Sar Zameen-e-Pak: The first anthem (1947) Very few know that almost seven years before Hafeez Jalandhari’s Pak Sar Zameen was officially adopted as the country’s national anthem (in 1954), Pakistan already had an anthem. Today, it is all but forgotten, despite the fact that it was the first song played by Radio Pakistan when the station began broadcasting at the stroke of Pakistan’s creation in August 1947. The anthem ...

Read Full Post

I could smell it, I could breathe it – Pakistan was near

It was very chilly for an August night. The moon played hide and seek behind pregnant clouds of white and grey but the winds were strong and the clouds did not stay above us for too long. We had travelled nights like these before and swayed many times during the course of the journey, but it had led us here and we were close. The town we had stopped in was unknown. It once had a name but it had long been abandoned when the news of Partition circled the country. They were smart people or maybe superstitious for no one really ...

Read Full Post

Why the creation of Pakistan does not negate my Indian identity

There is something about India as an idea which transcends modern-day political configurations. It is the idea of India as a huge mass of land which stretches from Balochistan to present day Bangladesh. This idea of India is independent of any political configuration. In fact, during the past thousands of years, this mass of land has very seldom been a unified political entity. And yet, there is something which loosely unites the inhabitants despite their substantial religious and at times even ethno-linguistic differences. After all, let us not forget that more than 200 languages are spoken in India. There is something, perhaps ...

Read Full Post

Narcos season 3: Can the Cali cartel be as grotesquely violent and savage as Pablo Escobar?

Following the demise of the Medellin cartel and its kingpin, a certain Mr Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, it is now time for the Cali crew to take its claim as the new lords of blow in the latest offering of Narcos, which recently saw its first full-length trailer released last week. While season one and two dealt with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Steve Murphy’s pursuit of the notorious don Escobar, the forthcoming third season sees veteran agent Javier Peña (Pedro Pascal) taking the reins as DEA’s chief tracker, with help from American and Colombian law enforcement agencies, hunting down the ...

Read Full Post

With Arsenal bagging their first victory and Manchester City being the favourites, who will take home the EPL trophy?

With a summer completely devoid of competitive football, the English Premier League’s (EPL) arrival after a three month hiatus was a breath of fresh air. I won’t deny that I myself get caught up with an incessantly crazy urge to find out about players leaving and joining clubs. But I would rather watch my team, Liverpool, try to do one over their opponent on a football pitch rather than see them locked in a battle with a rival club in the boardroom. Without further ado, let’s try and find out why the forthcoming 2017-18 season will prove to be yet another action packed affair ...

Read Full Post

Gratitude in itself does not honour legacies, and so it is time for Pakistan to give back to Dr Ruth Pfau

This week, Pakistan lost one of its most modest, humble and underappreciated national treasures. Dr Ruth Pfau, after having dedicated her entire life to the service of this country, left us a few days short of the nation’s 70th birthday at the age of 87. In a country where the phenomenon of brain drain is quite common and talented men and women consistently depart in their pursuit for greener pastures, Dr Pfau was a breath of fresh air. At the age of 30, the German doctor was sent by the Order to India, but due to visa issues, she landed in Karachi, Pakistan. Touched by ...

Read Full Post