Stories published in May, 2018

When the gun is the law, how far are you willing to go to save your children?

Friday, May 18th. My 17-year-old says to me, “A 17-year-old Pakistani exchange student died in the Santa Fe school shooting. I saw it on social media.” These Are The Victims Of The #SantaFeHighSchoolShooting. Let us remember them:Sabika SheikhAnn PerkinsAngelique RamirezShana FisherKim VaughanChris StoneCynthia TisdaleChristian "Riley" GarciaJared Conard BlackKyle McLeod pic.twitter.com/8ceg889DP4 — Khary Penebaker (@kharyp) May 19, 2018 I immediately checked the headlines on leading newspapers from Pakistan, unreported at the time. It was a little after 4pm in the US. The first thought that crossed my mind was, do her parents know? What if they don’t? What if they find out from social media? Why did this have ...

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8 ways ‘13 Reasons Why’ throws you into pits of darkness and leaves you there

What would you do if you found out that your loved one was suffering? “I just wish I die.” These simple words, said in a moment of frustration perhaps, are taken merely as words. Sometimes, that’s what they are, but sometimes, they mean more. Nobody reads too much into it, but perhaps we should. I was really young when I found out someone close to me was self-harming. At that time, I didn’t know what to do because I was still a child. The person told me about the cuts, the bruises and the sleeping pills. I did what you would expect a ...

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The downfall of Bahria University: From a prestigious institute to the “six-inch university”

“Men and women are to maintain a distance of at least six inches while sitting/standing together.” Imagine reading this somewhere, or hearing about it. What would your first reaction be? Perhaps something like, “Oh my God! The Taliban are back! They must have started enforcing their version of Shariah, and are probably planning to bring the days of terror back to the country!” If so, relax! This notice wasn’t issued by those fanatics, but by a renowned semi-government university, and is applicable only within its premises. It all began when a notice was issued by Bahria University’s (BU) director, requiring male and female ...

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Pakistan’s insecurity, India’s leverage, and the most generous Indus Waters Treaty

The Indo-Pak relationship has become a byword and a cautionary tale in what nation states must not do when interacting with one another. Whether it is the complex Kashmir issue, cross-border terror, trade issues, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), or even the allegedly “low hanging” and easily resolvable issues of Siachen and Sir Creek, the two countries have been unable to come to terms. In the backdrop of failed agreements, lost opportunities and active sabotage of attempted détentes, one instance of cooperation on a critical issue bucks this trend, and that is the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT). The treaty was ...

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A soldier, lost in translation

An endless wave of nothingness arrives: The storm, the red eye and the golden nose; The plunge of the people and the nosedives; Waving upon the wild cherry crossbows, The warm air in the engine cools me down, The colour changes; from black to nut-brown, The air foresees a mist from the western hallows; The tail of the behemoth creeps upon the shadows.   The jarring men wiry and scathing, Skin measled with scrawling screws; Itching toes rubbing against gunmetal swarf The ears bellow in the wailing sound, sucking the air from the atmosphere. The blades grumbled and crumbled against the flesh that trudged the gruntled wind, The brass that lent itself to ...

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Married to an “alien”

The threat of extremism appeared on the horizon about a decade and a half ago, plunging Pakistan into a different kind of war. The Armed Forces, until then, had been concerned with tackling and keeping malicious forces in check at the borders, but now they had a new enemy much closer to home. Each bombing and suicide attack has caused us great pain and we have lost thousands to senseless chaos since then. December 16, 2014 seemed just like another nightmare, but this incident had the entire nation in unparalleled shock. I remember the disbelief as I heard reports of terrorist ...

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The Alienist might not be the greatest show ever, but it is definitely worth a watch!

My love for a crime thriller with a period setting should not be a surprise to anyone anymore. So when the adaptation of Caleb Carr’s 1994 bestseller The Alienist was announced, I was already sold. The deliciously macabre period caper is set in the 1890s and can be considered as the grim American version of the classic Sherlock Holmes, with Dr Laszlo Kreizler playing the titular character. For the uninitiated, the title refers to the 19thcentury belief that people suffering from mental illnesses were alienated from their true natures and the experts studying them were known as such. Or in ...

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Farah Khan’s #WheelchairDiaries are proof of her privileged class and ignorant mindset

While scrolling through my Instagram feed a couple of days back, I saw a photo where a prominent Bollywood celebrity sat on a wheelchair. The expression was confusing; it was more of a happy-go-lucky, strangely triumphant one, very different from what I would see on a triumphant Muniba Mazari’s face. Opening the profile where this photo was uploaded, I saw many more such senseless photos. The photos contain many Bollywood actors and actresses of the likes of Anil Kapoor, Javed Akhtar and Raveena Tandon, doing antics on a wheelchair. Some are shown singing on it, some posing on it, while ...

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#UCLFinal: If Real Madrid have ice in their veins, then Liverpool have fire in their bellies

A lot of opposition fan base mocks Liverpool supporters for their eternal optimism. “Next year will be your year” is one of the catchphrases we Reds are endlessly teased with. But is anticipating success really that farfetched, when it comes to us Kopites? We are often accused of living in the past. The whole of 80s along with late 70s is the time period when we were at the ultimate peak of our power. With four European cups in eight years, added to league titles almost every season, Liverpool were unarguably the best team on the continent. But ever since, it ...

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Wajood’s trailer fails at its one job – attraction

Trailers or previews are unarguably the most significant gizmo to lure and persuade filmgoers to anxiously wait for the upcoming movie. Thus, filmmakers put extra effort in releasing flawlessly edited and timely trailers for their films, in order to build the buzz and attract audiences to the theatres upon the film’s release. They concentrate on adding weighty scenes, salient dialogues and amalgamating different vistas in their trailers to heighten the buzz. The blockbuster trailer of the highly anticipated Bollywood film Veere Di Wedding is a textbook example of this. With lots of juicy and garish material, yet still not ...

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