Stories published in July, 2018

Cut, cut, cut – sweet relief

The sun was ablaze in an empty blue sky. The city glazed in the dazzling sunshine was bright and yellow and alive. Amal lay supine under the sun, her skin covered in a shimmer of sweat. Today, after work, she didn’t go home. Instead, she came to a park near her workplace. Children and the elderly loitered in the park. Pedestrians skittered and scuttled on the sidewalks. The roads around bustled with cars. All people moved to the ends of their journeys, while Amal was sprawled unmoving on the ground. Air hung lazily in the solid afternoon heat. Amal revelled in ...

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Paradise from a different perspective: Maldives is more than just turquoise waters and sandy beaches!

Whenever the phrase ‘vacation to the Maldives’ rings our ears, turquoise waters and luxurious resorts instantly flash into our minds. In order to fully utilise their vacations, the general preference of tourists is to spend time relaxing and soaking in the beauty of beaches.  Land of clear waters. Photo: Ahsan Nadeem Turquoise waters. Photo: Ahsan Nadeem Conversely, my idea of traveling and vacationing is slightly different, for my chief aim is always to explore the historical and cultural aspects of different places. Therefore, my very brief yet unique trip to the land of the clear blue waters – ...

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If Nawaz Sharif wants PML-N to survive and win, he should go to jail

The Avenfield verdict did not come as a surprise to anyone – after all, almost every informed person in the country knew that Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz would both be found guilty and indicted in this case. Strangely, Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir mentioned in his decision that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was not able to prove any charges of corruption and money laundering on both the accused. On the contrary, the court actually gave a verdict on the basis of insufficient proof submitted by Nawaz and Maryam in their defence. As per the decision, ...

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Ant-Man and the Wasp is highly entertaining but lacks the ‘Marvel oomph’

Ant-Man and the Wasp is the first Marvel release after Avengers: Infinity War. This is the third Marvel entry to feature Ant-Man, after Ant-Man (2015) and Captain America: Civil War (2016). Paul Rudd and the rest of the cast return to reprise their roles, while Peyton Reed returns to direct this sequel too. Only this time around, Reed was involved right from the start instead of taking over from Edgar Wright like he did in the prequel. I strongly believe that those who spoil good movies should be punished, which is why I will try keep myself from committing this sin ...

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Sanju’s triumph over his addiction should be celebrated, not trivialised

Addiction is a person’s psychological difficulty in the consumption of food, pornography and drugs or substances, among many other things. There are multiple theories to explain why people get addicted and the most plausible one is that addictive behaviours are a combination of heredity and the environment. That’s the reason that many people never get addicted or dependent on drugs and substances despite trying all kinds of stuff multiple times, while others get hooked to these merely in the first few interactions. Being a therapist, I have seen people and families facing all kinds of stigma for having any psychological ...

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Ali Begum: A symbol of grit and perseverance making history in a no woman’s land

While there is no denying the fact that the expertise and contributions of men and women alike are sine qua non (essential) for the establishment of a prosperous and progressive society, it is also a grim and acrimonious reality that women in the tribal areas of Pakistan are excluded from the decision-making and nation-building processes. This callous attitude towards women is leading us nowhere. Notwithstanding our patriarchal and ultra-conservative society where gender discrimination and a misogynistic mindset still prevail, there is a valiant and indomitable woman who is defying the stereotypes of a male-dominated tribal society. Ali Begum, a woman who not ...

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Tête-a-tête with Beenish Afreen: A rebel reclaiming her public space, one bike at a time

In this technology-saturated modern biosphere, women motorcycling are still not a welcome sight. In a conservative society like Pakistan, it is unfortunate that people are more vocal and contemptuous about women riding bikes than they are about the harassment they face in their commutes generally. In a traditionalist patriarchal society where domination is believed to be a masculine realm, the general perception still is that women riding bikes and claiming public spaces or independence are against the orthodox status quo. The ill-norms, taboos and misogynistic expectations ballooned in society are holding women back from empowering themselves. Not many women dare to ...

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Why re-electing Erdogan will be fruitful for Turkey

For the first time in history, Turkey has transitioned to a presidential system of governance. Following last year’s narrowly-won referendum with 51% votes in favour, the prime minister’s office was abolished, the powers of the Parliament curtailed, while presidential powers were bolstered. Following the June 24th election results, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now back in the saddle with much more power in hand than ever before. He will now rule Turkey once again for the next crucial five years, which will define the fate of the country after a failed coup against his regime a couple of years back. What ...

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The title of ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’ is enough incentive to watch it!

Let’s be honest here. How many of us actually know who Andrew Cunanan is? Not many, I’d assume. Now how about this man called Versace, ring any bells?  Forgets the instrument that goes ding-a-ling when you shake it, the aforementioned name deserves banging of drums. People my age should be well aware of the fact that this iconic fashion designer got assassinated a couple of decades back. But how was he killed, why was he killed, and more pertinently, at least considering the relevance of our current discussion, who was the killer? Which brings us back to this man named Cunanan, ...

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The bittersweet reality of a meth addict: Can ‘Beautiful Boy’ win Timothée Chalamet an Oscar?

Based on the harrowing memoirs of David Sheff (Steve Carell) and his son Nic Sheff (Timothée Chalamet), Beautiful Boy chronicles the bittersweet real life story of a father trying to help his troubled son overcome an addiction to methamphetamine, something that threatens to bring ruin to both their lives. The official summary describes the film as, “A heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.” Judging by the trailer and the film’s fall release date, it’s not hard to see that Beautiful Boy is intended to be an Oscar contender. But the trailer also offers ...

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