Stories published in September, 2018

In conversation with Hamza Ali Abbasi: “It is shameful if you are not political in a country such as Pakistan”

Actors may be good at what they do, but only a few stand out, and one such actor is none other than Hamza Ali Abbasi. He walks in his own truth, and exudes passion in his craft. There is no denying his presence for sure! Apart from being a great actor, Hamza is extremely political, as the nation watches him discussing matters of pertinence on TV every day. In a riveting interview, I learnt more about Hamza in his own words. Was acting always what you intended to do, or was it a different career path for yourself? I believe acting ...

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Dear PTI, admit your mistake and apologise, rather than treating us as fools

Amidst all the austerity measures introduced by the current government, there have already emerged two controversies that indicated it may all be a façade. The first was when the Chief Minister of Punjab, Sardar Usman Buzdar, used a government jet to travel to Islamabad with his family. The second was when the Prime Minister of Pakistan was using a helicopter to travel to and from the Bani Gala. CM Pubjab Usman Buzdar giving lecture on austerity & simplicity to his children in "urran khatola"! Tabdeeli Aayi ReTabdeeli Aayi Re pic.twitter.com/GfdVuDPH2B — Kapil Dev (@KDSindhi) August 26, 2018 During the tenure of the ...

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How an extra-school program changed the way a seventh-grader looked at society

Beyond the Classroom Education is a program teaching school students all across Pakistan the ability to think for themselves, rather than being taught what to think. Students are exposed to several problematic societal issues through a number of behavioural activities that give them the ability to decipher between right and wrong. It teaches them how to cope with the issues at hand, and also explains ways they can make society a better and more accepting place for all types of people, using the best of their abilities. When the program was introduced to students of the Mama Parsi Girls’ Secondary ...

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Heartbreaking and unrestrained, Love Sonia will expose modern-day slavery and ruin you in the process

Producer turned director Tabrez Noorani, who has worked on internationally acclaimed movies such as Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and Life of Pi (2012), has returned to tinsel-town with a bang. The subject Noorani has gone with for his directorial debut, Love Sonia, is quite a sensitive one – human trafficking and the global sex trade. With more than 12 million views, the trailer for this project became an instant hit among film gurus and moviegoers, who applauded the film for highlighting the plight of women smuggled for sexual exploitation, particularly in light of the current conversation regarding women’s rights in ...

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Gilgit-Baltistan: A beauty incomparable

As the airplane taxied on the runway, I was nervous as well as excited. Nervous, because I was travelling by air after a good 17 years or so, and excited, because of this much- awaited trip to Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B). I, along with my family, set off to explore Hunza Valley, taking a detour through the Rakaposhi View Point and the Attabad Lake. The sight at the Rakaposhi View Point, amidst the loud but appeasing sound of water flowing directly from the melted glaciers of the Rakaposhi Mountain, was harbinger of the beauty that was to greet us throughout the trip. The ...

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The fault in our minds: Bushra Maneka’s attire is her business and choice, and hers alone

While Pakistan’s political fate is changing, the people of this nation believe there is something more important that needs to be focused on. Yes, unfortunately, that topic is Bushra Maneka’s choice of attire. This is not the first time that women’s choice of clothing has become a hot topic of discussion. As a confused country, it seems as though we are never content with anything. When Mahira Khan was spotted in a backless dress with Ranbir Kapoor, people bashed her for wearing a revealing outfit. And here we are, a year later, and we still cannot seem to decide whether ...

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Remembering Qalandar Momand: 3 short poems for the colossus of Pashto poetry

Qalandar Momand (1930-2003), whose 88th birthday fell yesterday, is regarded as an epoch-making and trend-setting personality in Pashto literature, journalism and politics in the 20th century. The most gifted of a generation that also includes contemporaries like Ajmal Khattak and Khatir Ghaznavi, Momand made his mark as an enlightened scholar, progressive writer, political thinker, social thinker, scientist, researcher and historian. It was thus rather unfortunate that Google chose to commemorate the late Urdu playwright Fatima Surayya Bajia – also born on September 1st  88 years ago –  with a Google Doodle, and not Momand; though the latter’s diverse contributions far outstrip the former, ...

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Rawalakot, Kashmir is known for its beauty but it should be recognised for its exceptional women

The sound of the phrase, “women are not allowed to work” was so unfamiliar to me, until I reached university. I grew up seeing progressive, working women, like my mother and other relatives, in the society. I am from a small town in Kashmir called Rawalakot, situated in the northern region of Pakistan. This area is known more for its beauty and less for its exceptional women. Women of this area are termed exceptional because despite the existence of an ingrained patriarchal society, they have paved way to be achievers in life. According to the annual socioeconomic report of Kashmir, Azad Jammu Kashmir at ...

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Wanderlust: 8 cities, 20 days, and a life-changing trip across Europe

The earth is like a book; if you spend your entire life in your own country, then you’ve only read one page. Humanity has concluded, almost unanimously, that freedom is the fundamental right of every individual, yet they have understood it conservatively. To be fully free, you must wander, travel, eat and live – as you like and deem fit. However, given our cultural barriers, most of us are unable to realise or appreciate this freedom. Only exposure to and interaction with different people and cultures makes people tolerant and empathetic. To internalise and own the beauty you appreciate, ...

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