Stories published in June, 2018

At least now we know what Ahmad Shahzad has been smoking!

During the series against World XI last year, I wrote on Ahmad Shahzad. Roughly nine months have passed and here I am writing about the same person again. He was playing selfishly back then and now he is allegedly playing with substance abuse.  The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has not officially stated the name of the cricketer involved in the doping test, however, they have confirmed that there was someone who tested positive. Reports have been surfacing that this “mystery man” is Shahzad. To be honest, it would not be a surprise if this turns out to be true. Not much ...

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General Elections 2018: Please, don’t be “that” voter!

Brace yourself fellow Pakistanis, for tall claims, big promises, loud slogans and a lot of attention will be given to you as we approach the General Elections 2018. For five years, politicians of various parties have argued, misbehaved and abused each other on national TV to win your vote. Make sure you value that vote! Without further ado, let me be clear where I stand with my vote; it is for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). However, the rant ahead is not an attempt to be PTI’s advocate. I am more concerned about what you vote for rather than whom you vote ...

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It’s been 50 years to ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and it’s still a futuristic masterpiece

It is not an easy film to watch. But Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is a film that you must watch. It was released 50 years ago and is considered a landmark film. But how do you watch it? There is little dialogue in the film and some of the best lines are spoken by HAL, that ominous and mysterious computer that takes over controls of the spaceship. I first watched this movie in the mid-80s in Karachi. Video shops and Videocassette recorders (VCR) were in vogue and 26-inch TVs were considered ‘large’. I had heard of A Space Odyssey as a great science fiction ...

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Mahwish Arshad’s cold-blooded murder puts the killer and women behind bars

“O Mother! Hold me in thy embrace, For it is where no scoundrels roam; ‘tis the safest place, Come wipe my blood away and clutch me to your chest, I toiled the day away and now I wish to rest…” Last year, on our way to Lahore, my mother and I chose to travel through a private transport company bus. A young girl in her early 20s welcomed all passengers on board and started serving people food and drinks. A few minutes later, a group of boys boarded the bus and started signalling to the hostess. Their constant catcalling and bothersome behaviour was ...

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Why Kalabagh Dam is not the answer to our water woes

A few days back, my views on the futility of Kalabagh Dam published in a national daily evoked a very strong and hostile reaction from many people. I had posed a simple and pertinent question: “If, as is evident, Pakistan will have very little water in future, what will we fill Kalabagh Dam with?” Some people said Pakistan will have enough water forever, while others called me an enemy agent. Before delving deeper into why the dam should not be constructed, I would like to share my own experience of water consumption. Up until 10 years back, I had no idea how much ...

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Calling Hereditary a ‘terrifying’ film would be underselling it

Talking about the state of horror movies these days is like flogging a dead horse. It’s pointless and something that has shown very little prospect of changing even though films like The Babadook and The Witch have served as promising examples of filmmakers attempting to do something new and different with the genre. So therefore, you can imagine my surprise when something like Hereditary comes around, a film that well and truly earns every hyperbole attached to it. To call it a terrifying film would be to undersell it because it is so much more and for the horror genre itself, it is nothing short ...

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Can someone please stop Sheikh Rasheed from talking?

Can somebody stop Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad from spluttering venom, please? I am sure ‘somebody’ could positively do that! While social media is rife with news of Reham Khan’s book launching around elections time, there is a social media battle of verbal abuses going on between Reham and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders and followers  – the latter accusing her of their leader’s character assassination, who is at the moment focused on elections to become the next prime minister of Pakistan. After celebrity-turned-analyst Hamza Ali Abbasi claimed that Reham was being backed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Sheikh thought it was the ...

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Why our mosque culture needs to change: An open letter to Masjid Aunties

Dear Masjid Aunties, It’s common for you to undermine people who don’t meet your religious standards, especially in a place of worship. Converts get pulled out of prayer by the arm for not praying with an abaya. Women are publicly shamed and bashed for not wearing the hijab correctly. If someone doesn’t regularly go to the mosque, they’re looked down upon. It’s sad, but it’s a rampant issue in the women’s section of the masjid (mosque). Informing someone about something advised against is fine, but please, do so respectfully. Women at the mosque judge and gossip amongst themselves. This mentality can be ...

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A father’s ode to his daughter on her wedding

As I walked you down the aisle holding your hand, It reminded me of a time when I once waited at the other end, Eyes affixed on the beautiful bride approaching me, Counting each second for the perfect moment to engulf me, I never saw the pleading eyes of the person giving away my bride, Otherwise, I would have the consolation that this was a customary ride, With bitter happiness I saw your groom waiting to receive you, Watching you with love not even a quarter of what I have for you, My eyes moistened, my throat went dry, My heartbeat became faster as I resisted to cry, Pleading ...

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Beware, champions! It is the year of the underdogs!

Whether it is fiction or real life, generally people find it easier to get behind the underdogs because of the more appealing nature. Harvard Business Review (HBR) once stated its viewpoint on underdog brands which is quite similar to what happens in football. “The biographies of underdog brands share two important narrative components: a disadvantaged position (they highlight a company’s humble beginnings and portray it as being ‘outgunned’ by bigger, better-resourced competitors) and a passion and determination to triumph against the odds,” an extract from the HBR report said. FIFA World Cup comes every four years but it gives the game ...

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