Stories published in September, 2017

Choosing Haris Sohail over Fawad Alam demerits PCB’s merit-based selection

If I could add a synonym for the word injustice in the dictionary, I would put Fawad Alam right next to it. For years, I have heard his name circulate in the media, but it rarely made its way inside the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) headquarters. Ten years have lapsed since Alam’s debut against Sri Lanka. During this time, PCB changed its chairman eight times, Pakistan lost its rights to host games on its own soil, Pakistan Super League (PSL) hit the market, I finished my college degree – and Alam is still putting together a plethora of runs next to his name in the rotten domestic ...

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Twitter is to Donald Trump what fidget spinners are to millennials

The priorities of a leader, particularly in times of crisis, tend to speak volumes about their leadership skills. In today’s political climate, where social media dictates public image, leaders like Justin Trudeau are appreciated for eating biryani with Muslim communities, while leaders like Vladimir Putin, who is regularly pictured hunting or exercising, are derided for trying to sell an image of machismo. In the past several weeks, the US has been severely impacted by two Category 5 hurricanes, with experts believing the devastation to have set Puerto Rico back nearly 20 to 30 years. At the same time, the US was also involved in a verbal war ...

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Musa ka Musalla: Pakistan’s playground where fairies come to play

Not a single thought flitted through my mind, I was completely at peace. My feet were touching the cold green grass and my mind could feel the chill permeating through them. The cosiness of the sunshine was withering away as the grey clouds shielded the ferocious sun rays. The picturesque valley of Dorh was about to pull my soul in when the motel owner called out for lunch. Before I proceed any further, let me tell you how we ended up in Dorh. Dorh Valley My friends and I had just returned from Chitral and someone decided to show us ...

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Jigsaw: A new direction for an old franchise that’s been failing the mystery genre

I think it goes without saying that the Saw movies are definitely an acquired taste. It probably also goes without saying that over the years, the series has developed more into torture porn rather than actual horror. In Hollywood though, the only thing that really matters are the numbers and numbers suggest there is an audience out there for these kinds of movies. With seven films, the Saw franchise has raked in nearly $874 million worldwide, all on a budget of approximately $67 million. And to think, the first one was shot on a low budget in a run-down warehouse, over the span of just 18 days. Jigsaw, the eighth ...

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Does going to a psychologist mean that one is “crazy” or “weak”?

Whenever I tell someone I am a psychologist, I usually get one of two responses: “Can you tell what I’m thinking right now?” “You must be pretty crazy to deal with so many crazies!” I recently went to get my driving license renewed, and when I was called in for a medical evaluation, the assistant asked me for some personal information, including my profession. When I told him I am a psychologist, he suddenly paused and asked, “Kya main aapko pagal lagta hoon? Mere dost mujhe pagal kehte hain.” (Do I look crazy to you? My friends call me crazy.) This was an amusing, but not ...

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Can Islam and democracy coexist in today’s world?

Germany has given its verdict and elected Angela Merkel for the fourth consecutive term. Her victory has relieved many as her popularity took a nosedive after her brave decision to take in refugees in 2015. However, at the same time, the reduced margin of her victory has also raised alarms. The German far-right party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), has accumulated 13% of the total votes, becoming the first such party to win so many seats in more than 50 years. The improvement in its vote tally is remarkable, given the fact that it only won 4.7% of the total votes in the 2013 elections, narrowly missing the ...

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Baadshaho proves that a star-studded cast is not all that you need to make a successful film

Back in the 80s, star-studded films were quite famous and were well received by film enthusiasts. Every filmmaker wanted to follow in the footsteps of Manmohan Desai and Ramesh Sippy, wanted to assemble big stars together and launch their films with a bang. Similarly, Baadshaho is today’s star-studded movie with strong elements, similar to the cinema of 70s and 80s. Milan Luthria is a pro at handling multi-starrer films which is why his work such as Deewaar, Once Upon A Time In Mumbai series, and The Dirty Picture are talked about and praised even today. Luthria has teamed up once again with Ajay Devgan and Emraan Hashmi for Baadshaho. Other actors ...

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Scars of Partition: A Muslim and a Hindu walk into a dhabba to have a cup of chai, and all hell breaks loose

Recently, a video went viral on social media which shows a young Indian girl being physically assaulted by a female leader of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for allegedly having tea with a Muslim boy in public. मुस्लिम लड़के के साथ चाय पीने पर BJP की महिला नेता ने लड़की को… मुस्लिम लड़के के साथ चाय पीने पर BJP की महिला नेता ने लड़की को सरेआम मारा चांटा, वीडियो हुआ वायरल Posted by जनता का रिपोर्टर on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 This incident took place in Aligarh’s city of Uttar Pradesh (UP), which is one of the largest states in North India. The BJP leader who assaulted the ...

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Tania Khashkeli and Pakistan’s trigger-happy feudal lords who think Sindhi lives are cheap

Imagine a young, pretty girl living in rural Sindh, one that is part of a modest family that believes in educating its girls. In a picture of her, I see a dainty teenager wearing pink against a backdrop of spring flowers. Imagine a landlord who has ties with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), one who has the power to influence the local police and is accompanied by armed men. His photograph reveals everything about his unsavoury profile – greasy hair, distinct moustache, the proud display of weapon paraphernalia. This story cannot end well. Allegedly, Khan Muhammad Noohani wanted to marry young Tania. However, Tania and her family saw ...

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Will iPhone X benefit advertising and gaming industries more than its consumers?

With cricket coming home and Apple’s annual event on the same day, September 12, 2017 proved to be quite happening. But since I am a techie more than a cricket/football fan, it was perhaps the Apple event that got me more excited. The main reason behind my anticipation was to see whether the rumours about the new Apple iPhone X would turn out to be true or not and what other changes can we expect to see in the phone. Most of the show went on with little or no surprises. Considering it is Apple we are talking about, only something jaw-dropping would impress people and mere ...

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