Stories published in July, 2018

Did Real Madrid just cost Spain the World Cup?

Spain, a country of more than 46.3 million people, is located in Europe’s lberian Peninsula and is known for rich historical background. The country remained a cultural centre of the continent for a long time, and is being famously known for things like Pablo Picasso – one of the most influential artists in the history – Flamenco music and dance, bullfights and fantastic beaches. On the global stage, one of the most prominent things Spain is known for is football – more precisely because of La Liga, the premier football league in the country. The league arguably has the two best ...

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Why India will continue to be the world’s most dangerous country for women

India’s record on women’s safety is never too far from global attention. Over the years, India has developed a reputation of being an unsafe country for women. The latest spotlight on this has been cast by the recent Thomson Reuters Foundation survey that ranked India “the world’s most dangerous country for women due to the high risk of sexual violence and being forced into slave labour”. In a misogynist world that includes the likes of Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mexico, Pakistan and Afghanistan, getting the dubious distinction of being top ranked has understandably caused a great deal of indignation and ...

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We, the 99% non-VIP population, are important too

The Sindh High Court (SHC) Judge is a very important person. You can tell that he’s very important because he has a nice car that travels at disruptively high speed among a convoy of other large vehicles. It’s very important for us, the ordinary people, to acknowledge that the SHC Judge is an important man who makes important decisions for this country; for which we should all be grateful. My reaction to the menacing approach of a security protocol is the same as countless of my docile countrymen. We sigh, and give way to the baraat (crowd) of armed men as ...

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Being bipolar in Pakistan has not been easy, especially when people call you “pagal”

The squeaky voice of a trolley passing by woke me up. I was on a hospital bed. I slowly tried to get up while still trying to remember what brought me here. I was alone in the room, and the bed next to mine was neatly made up, with fruits and snacks lined up on the edge of the wall. ‘I had to be somewhere really important’ was all that I could remember. But where exactly? Nowhere! It was all just an illusion, a very dangerous one. I later learned that I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder (or maybe it was ...

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Jibran Nasir’s defiance of power and the proverbial slap heard all across Pakistan

A slap is the ultimate insult. It demeans a person; humiliates them. While it’s physically not as painful, the psychological and emotional wounds are much deeper and agonising. The manner in which Mohammad Jibran Nisar was dragged, slapped and bundled in the police van yesterday, on the orders of a Sindh High Court judge for “not giving way” to his vehicle, is symptomatic of the fascism our society has faced for thousands of years in one form, shape or the other. The CCTV footage should be made public to verify what @MJibranNasir is saying & to punish the errant protocol officer of #SHC ...

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Dear Shehbaz Sharif, what makes you think “Karanchi” wants to be like Lahore?

Shehbaz Sharif’s pre-election visit and recent comments regarding “Kiranchi”, stereotyping an entire community, seem to have created some ripples in an already charged up political environment in Karachi.  At a time when Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is badly fragmented; Pak Sarzameen party (PSP) is cementing its position in the upcoming elections; Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is an utter failure even after two consecutive terms in Sindh; Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is suffering from several in-house ticket issuance problems, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is trying to fill up the current void by Shehbaz’s visit to Karachi and quite recently, a jalsa in ...

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Sorry Karan Johar, but Dhadak lacks the rawness and simplicity of Sairat

The much-awaited trailer of Dhadak, starring Janhvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter dropped on the Internet a few days ago, and gathered responses and reactions from people that reached a feverish and vehement pitch instantly. Dhadak, much to the disbelief and disappointment of people, could not strike a positive note and received cruel social media grilling and flak. Dhadak is an adaptation of the critically and universally acclaimed, hard-hitting Marathi blockbuster Sairat. The movie revolved around the deep and unconditional yet forbidden and doomed love story of two youngsters from different classes of society – Archana (Archie), the indulged daughter of an ...

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Escape Plan 2: Hades – the only escape you should be planning is one out of the theatre

When Escape Plan came out in 2013 nobody really expected it to be good. And it wasn’t. But it did enough with its premise to create a relatively fun prison break movie. And with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone starring opposite of each other, the film succeeded at being what it was; a dumb but enjoyable B movie that doubled as the long-awaited big-screen team-up of two of the biggest movie stars of the 80’s and 90’s. It was about cashing in on the nostalgia that these stars brought. And the studio duly cashed-in. But nothing about the film could have pointed ...

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The disgruntled PTI voter: Imran Khan couldn’t change the system, so he joined it

Dave Chapelle, a successful American comedian and democrat, phrased it perfectly when voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016: “It felt like the right thing to do, but it didn’t feel as good, as it should have.” He was referring to how good it felt to vote for Barack Obama, the first African-American president, and how good it ought to have felt to vote for Clinton, the first woman president, but it wasn’t, because of the corruption scandals that plagued her candidacy. I feel this statement resonates with a lot of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s supporters, Imran Khan, who to a lot of voters, ...

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The room of beasts and unspeakable secrets

Mahnaz sat under an ivory sky on the ground outside the library building of her college. A light and wispy summer breeze kept turning the pages of a tattered and well-thumbed copy of Jane Eyre lying at her feet. She had just finished reading the book for the umpteenth time, which was evident from the pages that were all worn and dog-eared, the margins that crawled with hastily scribbled notes, the pastel-coloured post-its that protruded from every page, and the spine that was riven with creases. Every time she finished reading the book, she could not help but cringe ...

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