Stories published in November, 2017

American Vandal is an absolutely sophisticated crime mystery constructed out of a spoof

We have all been guilty of indulging in sober conversations, where somehow grave arguments give way to dirty jokes. They might not be appropriate but we nevertheless find them funny. Now imagine a TV show, working with a genre as solemnly serious as true crime and then lacing it with a premise that satirically documents the investigation of a phallus-themed vandalism act. On the face of it, this might seem like a recipe for an extremely absurd concoction of two diametrically opposing cinematic themes, but handled correctly, you get to experience a completely fresh take on a TV show category ...

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The sequel challenge: Can ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ fare better than or be as good as ‘Ek Tha Tiger’?

Creating movie franchises seems to be the norm nowadays, which means that if a movie does well, it will invariably lead to a sequel. It was thus unsurprising to hear about Tiger Zinda Hai, the sequel to the 2012 film, Ek Tha Tiger. Set to hit theatres in December 2017, the movie’s trailer was recently released and has been trending on Youtube since. Tiger Zinda Hai, directed by Ali Abbas Zafar and produced by Aditya Chopra, stars Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif in the lead roles, reprising their roles as Tiger and Zoya respectively. The trailer begins in Iraq, showing us the inhuman regime under a terrorist ...

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When I lost my father and society lost its empathy

I would like to talk about something I feel very strongly about – empathy, or its lack thereof. Before I elaborate, let me tell you why I feel so strongly about it. My father was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis in April this year. In a span of a few weeks, I watched my strong, independent, confident father deteriorate in front of my eyes. We tried everything to try and find a cure but the disease had spread too far. Abbu left us a few months ago, in August. He was the backbone of our family and his death is something we are ...

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How to get rich while saving billions in taxes in Pakistan

I’ve read a lot on how to get rich in a short span of time if you are living in a developing country like Pakistan. But all the writers of such articles have missed the easiest method of all – collude with the customs to cheat the government. One way of doing this is what an enterprising importer did recently. In this case alone, the company must have cheated the government of at least Rs100 million by importing 80,000 cell phones (which were recovered from the bungalow) without any payment of duty and taxes. In another raid, the authorities seized a container (belonging to the same ...

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Resurrection 2017: Rafael Nadal proves once again why he is one of the greatest athletes tennis has ever seen

As far as tennis goes, my allegiance has always been with Rafael Nadal (Rafa). While many are in awe of the brilliant Roger Federer, I have always been inspired by the sheer grit, determination and hard work of the Spaniard. Majority of the tennis fraternity had written Nadal off after a wrist injury brought an untimely end to the season in 2016. This, along with the longstanding knee issues that have plagued him for most of his career, made it seem as if the illustrious career for the Mallorcan was drawing to a close – but Nadal had other ideas. ...

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Nothing screams easy and hearty comfort food like these lasagne roll ups do

Back during my Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) days, if you asked anyone what two of my all-time favourite food items were, their prompt reply would be roghni naan and pasta. Give me these two items and I will devour them happily, at any point in time. I have been in hiatus mode for quite a while now. I literally walk into the kitchen and eat whatever I find due to zero motivation to cook whatsoever. This lull was broken over the last weekend (thankfully), when the weather in Islamabad turned a full 180 degrees. Now such weather demands warm comfort ...

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No, my ripped jeans do not allow you to believe that it is your right to harass and rape me

They are just clothes, I tell my father, when he passes a comment about my ripped jeans. He doesn’t understand – perhaps he never will. I run my hands along the tiny rips, feeling bits of skin and wondering if the freedom I feel is the oppression they want me to see. I see my legs in a pair of jeans, they see skin that is fighting the patriarchy. I see my choice, they see my rebellion. On November 3, 2017, Egyptian lawyer, Nabih al-Wahsh, stated that any woman wearing ripped jeans deserves to be harassed and raped. He ...

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What if Kevin Spacey’s accuser had been a woman?

Something strange has happened amid the recent allegations levelled at Kevin Spacey by actor Anthony Rapp, who claims Spacey assaulted him – then aged 14 – at a 1986 Hollywood party. Oddly, nobody has asked Rapp what he was wearing at the time. Nobody asked why it took him so many years to report the abuse. Nobody asked if he were being paid to speak out, was a gold-digger, or just wanted attention. Nobody asked if he had a grudge against Spacey, or was a man-hater. Nobody asked why he freely went to Spacey’s house, or said he shouldn’t have been there. Nobody ...

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Because I own Karachi

Standing somewhere in the middle of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, I guess my attire gave it away and they all greeted me with a seemingly customary “jeevay, jeevay Pakistan!” Towards the end of my trip, the salutation actually became comical – until this random shopkeeper asked me where I was from and what I felt my city represented. Before travelling to Turkey last month, I was told about Turkish hospitality and I got to witness their warmth towards desi tourists for myself. But for a total stranger to ask me what Karachi means to me, was something entirely new – I’ve ...

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Rangreza is being labelled a ‘musical’ – but aren’t all Pakistani films technically musicals?

The trailer for the upcoming Pakistani film Rangreza was released recently to largely positive reviews. Apart from a trite love story, it showcases a truly uninhibited Gohar Rasheed. Yo-yoing between entertaining and the edge of madness, he is reason enough to watch the film. Photo: Screenshot A part of me, however, was also disappointed. From the onset, the team behind Ragreza pushed it as a musical. The actors called it a musical, their Facebook page labels it so, even Wikipedia affirms that it is in fact a musical. And yes, there are songs in the film, but ...

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