Stories published in June, 2018

Is #ZayaNaKaro enough to bring Pakistan’s conscience back to life and end wastage?

Though austerity is deep-rooted in the very fabric of our religion as Muslims, it’s ironic that a vast majority of Pakistanis seem oblivious to the notion. While on the quest of satisfying our whims, many of us have picked up the bad habit of squandering. Whether it is food, water, electricity or any other resource, we take their presence in our life for granted and use and abuse them as we please. This behaviour causes us to waste crucial resources that are already low for a significant number of people in the country. We have grown immune to the ...

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Lesvos: From a tourist heaven to the ‘refugee island’ of drowned boats and lifejackets

I recently had the chance to visit Lesvos, a tiny Greek island located a few kilometres from the Turkish Riviera. This picturesque island, which was once a tourist heaven, is now commonly referred to as the refugee island, given the high influx of refugees since 2014 following the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Whilst there as a volunteer, much of my time was spent realising how borders can sometimes prove fatal.  As I visited the shores of Skala, I could see Turkey through my binoculars. While many refugee boats arrive weekly from Turkey, at one point in 2015, an average total ...

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#ThankYouZidane: Our legend, miracle worker and saviour

Today, when you think of Real Madrid, you can’t help but mention the UEFA Champions League (UCL). Three in a row and four in five years is not an easy feat to achieve. However, the word impossible changed for Real Madrid a little over two years ago. After Carlo Ancelotti’s shot in the dark and thanks to Sergio Ramos’s unforgettable header at the 93rd minute, Real Madrid managed to earn La Decima. The season that followed, however, made everyone question if this team even deserved to be the Champions of Europe. Due to reckless decisions made by our former manager, Real ...

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Can Mowgli surpass The Jungle Book’s success?

Why? That is probably the first thing you’ll wonder when you think about the upcoming film Mowgli, yet another adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, which comes just two years after Disney gave its 1967 animated classic a live action remake. Why are we getting another The Jungle Book movie so soon after the previous one? It’s a phenomenon we’ve seen time and again: twin films – two similar but separate projects developed at the same time by two different studios. That is certainly what has happened in this case as well. And it’s the massive success of Jon Favreau’s 2016 take on the fantasy ...

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How controversial is ‘The Spy Chronicles’?

The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace, co-authored by former ISI Chief Asad Durrani, former RAW Chief AS Dulat, and journalist Aditya Sinha, has rightly created a buzz around the subcontinent. After all, two former counterparts from rival agencies coming together to compile a book on sensitive issues – especially pertaining to backchannel diplomacy and events relating to security and foreign policy matters – is a unique experience on its own. The book is narrated conversationally, where Sinha initiates the conversation between Durrani and Dulat. It has seven chapters, and each and every one is detail oriented. It ...

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To eat or not to eat: If you support the ban on eating publically in Ramazan, your faith is weak

Ramazan is a one of the holiest months known to all Muslims. In fact, fasting in Ramazan stands as one of the five most important pillars of Islam; it is an essential act which makes up the religion. There are some very clear guidelines on how to act during this month in order for a person’s fast to be accepted and counted as successful. It is believed that during the fast, one should abstain from all bad deeds. A person fasting should not indulge in arguments and disputes nor use obscene language; should not show bad temper, should be ...

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Mehrbano’s dreams, Saleem’s desires

“Abba I don’t want to get married. I want to study and become a doctor. You can’t do this to me. Abba please!” “Be quiet!” “Abba, I promise I won’t disappoint you. Saleem goes to school too, why can’t I?” Abba struck Mehrbano full in the face. That stunned her into silence. She saw her father’s placid eyes scintillate with anger. His eyes unnerved her. His eyes made her feel like a small little girl again. Mehrbano’s defiance crumbled and she agreed to meet her suitor. Saleem was sweating profusely, as the sun beat down on him, relentless. He threaded his way through the ...

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French Open 2018: Can anyone dethrone the mighty Spaniard Rafael Nadal on his own turf?

Mankind has seen numerous instances of sportsmen and their love affair for specifics – whether it be Jansher Khan and his riveting eight World Open titles, or be it Ayrton Senna’s record-shattering six Formula One wins in the Principality of Monaco. However, the one highlight that stands out from these lists is the love affair of Rafael Nadal with Roland Garros. The ‘King of Clay’ has won the ‘La Coupe des Mousquetaires’ a mind-boggling 10 times and this year, he will be looking to sweep up a record-shattering 11th title in Paris. The question is can anyone dethrone the mighty ...

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“Either the cement plants go, or we do”: The dry lands of Punjab’s future breadbasket

When the blue-green waters of the Katas Raj Hindu temple complex began to dry out last year, there was a furore in the media. Concern over the historical site brought the country’s attention (and the Supreme Court’s focus) to the plight of the local community’s dwindling groundwater resources. One of the most photographed sites in Pakistan, the Katas Raj Hindu temple’s pond is said to have been created from the teardrops of Shiva as he wandered the earth, inconsolable after the death of his wife Sati. For hundreds of years, Hindu pilgrims have bathed in this pond, whose plentiful ...

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Hypocrisy 101: Veere Di Wedding is vulgar, but Jawani Phir Nai Ani or Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety weren’t?

Bollywood’s latest female-centric flick, Veere Di Wedding is the most recent film to be banned by the Censor Board of Film Censors (CBFC) from releasing in Pakistan. According to their findings, the film had “vulgar language” and “questionable content”. From the looks of the trailer, Veere Di Wedding is Bollywood’s closest remake of Sex and the City. A tale of four girlfriends who are wading through the rough waters of romance, marriage and family, all the while supporting each other and finding solace in friendship. For South Asian audiences, this movie is almost a pioneer in terms of showing female friendship ...

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