Stories published in October, 2018

If Neil Armstrong was your childhood hero, then ‘First Man’ is not the movie for you

Of the many, many elements that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) needed to get right to ensure the success of Apollo 11, perhaps one of the most crucial was the selection of the mission’s crew, particularly its commander. As it turned out, the American space agency couldn’t have possibly made a better choice than Neil Armstrong. Armstrong was a remarkable man, ideal for the space program in every aspect, from his qualifications and experience to his temperament. His courage and composure before and during the lunar landing as well as his modesty thereafter has made him one of ...

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#MUNJUV: Ronaldo is coming home – along with United’s possible defeat

The 2010-11 footballing season will be fondly remembered as one of Manchester United’s most memorable seasons as they romped their way to a record-breaking 19th league title. The Red Devils reached the UEFA Champions League Final too and although they suffered heartbreak at the hands of Barcelona, the club will fondly remember the season as the one where they finally knocked Liverpool “off their perch”. England’s greatest club marvelled. The same season was one to forget for Juventus. The Bianconeri laboured their way to finish a mediocre seventh, repeating their final position from the previous season. Their struggles were laid bare ...

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The broken and tormented Kinzas and Tayyabas of Pakistan, waiting for a train that never comes

If you live in Pakistan, you must have frequently come across a very young child accompanying an elite family, looking like they don’t belong. What differentiates the child from the ‘elite’ family is the fact that while they dress modestly enough to not look poor and become a source of embarrassment for the family, they are also not dressed extravagantly, so there remains a marked difference highlighting who is the master and who is the servant.  This has become a trend in Pakistan, where you see children accompanying adult individuals and carrying either their bags or their babies for them. Apparently, this shows their ...

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From Allahabad to Prayagraj: Is India reclaiming its history?

In post-independence India, Bombay became Mumbai, Madras became Chennai, Calcutta became Kolkata, Mysore became Mysuru, Bangalore became Bengaluru, and now Allahabad has become Prayagraj. Then, before the row over Allahabad showed any signs of settling down, there emerged demands to rename Muzaffarnagar to Laxminagar. The love to change names from the past continues after more than 70 long years of India’s independence, and it will most likely continue on in the future as well. Although we talk of India as an emergent world power, it seems that the hangover of history is not yet over; it still lays buried ...

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Badhaai Ho: One of Bollywood’s finest

There are only a handful of stories that are uncommon and haven’t seen the light of the day in Bollywood. One such unconventional story was written by Akshat Ghildial and directed by Amit Ravindernath Sharma, who dared to take on the project and turn it into the much awaited movie Badhaai Ho. With his second major film as the director, Sharma opted for an unusual subject and paired it up with a talented cast that is appropriate for subject-oriented cinema. The movie stars Ayushmann Khurrana, who is already known for selecting unique films, veteran Neeta Gupta, Surekha Sikri and Gajraj Rao, all ...

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I lived with anorexia for 15 years, and no one could help me

I developed anorexia when I was 19. I was going through heartbreak and an existential crisis. I wanted to discover God and also rebel against my liberal background. I wanted to find a purpose for my meaningless existence, and a career on which I could stand on my own two feet. But my parents didn’t understand any of this. My father was too busy with work and I never really spoke to him; my mother was also too busy with her own life and could never understand me, while my brother was studying abroad and had his own life. While ...

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The Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme is a great initiative, but can it survive the curse of corruption?

In keeping with the theme of ‘change’, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government recently launched the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme, aiming to build five million homes in five years. It is evident from the very start that a project of this magnitude will require a lot more input than just land, which the government will be providing. And while they say they will not be involved in construction directly, arranging funds to provide basic amenities to residents alone will be a herculean task. We have launched our most ambitious, landmark housing policy of building 5mn homes in 5 yrs. InshaAllah this ...

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My only escape

April 2018 I am an old woman, almost 75-years-old. My bones are weak, my skin is wrinkled, and my hair is a mane of silver. A pile of medicines cover the top of my bedside table. Most days, I don’t feel like eating them. Death weaves itself around me. I see it everywhere – in fallen leaves, in the rain, in the shadows, in people. My time here is almost done, but there’s a task still unfulfilled. Before I close my eyes forever, I have to tell my daughter the truth about my life, and her life. I’ve kept it hidden ...

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With PTI now in power, will young doctors in Punjab finally be free of CIP?

Doctors in Pakistan have always managed to be a regular part of the headlines for debatable reasons. Besides facing career and image building challenges, the doctors community has also suffered at the hands of certain health policies, the infamous Central Induction Policy (CIP) being the most notable. The foregoing Punjab government claimed that only blue-eyed candidates were inducted in post-graduate training programs in public hospitals across the province. To end this putative monopoly and to establish a system based on merit, the former Punjab chief minister introduced the notorious CIP, which although was put forward in good faith but turned ...

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Do yourself a favour and do not greet the cringe fest that is Namaste England!

Vipul Amrutlal Shah is known for one of the most interesting crime capers to come out of Bollywood, Aankhen (2002), and two hilarious and whacky rom-coms, Namastey London (2007) and Action Replayy (2010). Even though most of Shah’s films are heavily inspired by foreign movies, he possesses the art of satisfying his viewers at the end of the day. Shah is back with his new film, Namaste England, with a fairly new cast in his camp including Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra. Both the leads were last seen in Kapoor’s debut film Ishaqzaade. If anyone has seen that movie, they ...

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