Stories published in October, 2018

The Donkey King: An epitome of quality, comedy and democracy

The newly released The Donkey King is another fine addition to the animated movies produced in Pakistan. Following the release of Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor, which garnered a lot of success, critics and viewers alike were wondering when the next big thing in Pakistani animation will arrive. The Donkey King may not be as grand of a production as Allahyar, it is, however, another major step forward as far as Pakistani animation is concerned. Produced for a younger audience with a subtle message for adults, The Donkey King manages to deliver quality while making the audience roar with laughter. The movie has ...

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‘Naya Pakistan’ – PTI’s best-selling joke

The verdict of the 2018 by-elections is in, with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) losing some of the seats it had previously won in the General Elections. Yes, their supporters will say the party has won more seats than the opposition, but the fact remains that losing seats which you previously won, and that too in the by-polls (which always favour the sitting government) is a bad sign. Things are not going well, and the electorate is noticing the sheer incompetence and cluelessness of the PTI government. I am trying to recall, but despite my best efforts cannot remember a comparable level ...

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Has Novak Djokovic become the greatest tennis player of all time?

Serbia’s national animal is the wolf, with a commonly held myth that Serbs have evolved from wolves, not apes. It is also often said that it’s impossible to tame a wolf. Following this logic, Serbs would exhibit attributes that characterise them as individuals who cannot be subdued.  Novak Djokovic would then epitomise a typical Serb. It was business as usual this past Sunday at the majestic Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena in Shanghai, where Djokovic cruised to win the Rolex Shanghai Masters 1000. A stunning performance by ‘the Serbinator’ has contributed to yet another accolade in a glittering career which ...

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#MeToo, the cause of many sleepless nights for men

It’s been a year since the #MeToo movement took the world by surprise and storm, changing the way we see the world as brave voices unmasked the predators among us. But the past year has offered us all a mass of contradictions. On the one hand, countless women have spoken up and we’ve seen allegations against more famous men than ever before. However, at the same time, nothing concrete has happened. It’s almost as if women speaking up against men do not really achieve anything, as men always have each other’s backs, and more often than not sadly, women ...

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#MeToo: I was 8 when he taught me that a woman’s body is everyone else’s but her own

“Dekh ke aahangar ki dukaan mein Tund hai shu’le, surkh hai aahan.” (See how in the blacksmith’s forge, Flames leap high and steel glows red) I was 15-years-old when I wrote a letter to my father. I was struggling at school, getting into trouble in the neighbourhood and fighting with my siblings at home. You know the usual teenage angst. I wrote, “Dad, I know what S* uncle did. I remember everything. I need help.” The week after, my father insisted that I attend a family friend’s wedding with him. At the wedding, he asked me to step outside the hall for five minutes. ...

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Sakina’s soul is calling for justice, but is Pakistan listening?

Would it be true to suggest that only the mighty can get justice in Pakistan, or just another misnomer? No matter what side of the argument you support, it is undeniable that this is a question of wide importance in a country such as ours. On September 13, 2018, a brutal crime was committed in the Chak 92 JB area of Gojra. A man called Safdar, with the help of an accomplice, threw acid on a sleeping family out of revenge. The ferocity of the attack did not stop at this; they viciously poured acid into Sakina Bibi’s mouth and ...

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From DDLJ to KKHH, 5 Bollywood ‘classics’ that are now problematic

Like most millennials in Pakistan, we grew up watching Bollywood films. From films like Hum Saath Saath Hain to every single movie where Shah Rukh Khan opened his arms and struck his signature pose, it felt like we lived and breathed these movies, knowing all the songs and dance moves by heart as we watched our favourites on repeat. Growing up leaves you with significantly less time to watch movies, and a vastly more refined palette. As we grew older and ventured towards watching movies and TV shows produced in Hollywood (or “foreign films” for the most refined cultural consumer), we barely ...

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My right hand is clean

Laughter. Running around. Two toddlers and a baby having a jolly good time. Favourite place, Nani ma’s home; the room with the large windows, letting in the afternoon sun, warm and friendly, dancing around the marble floor. One disgusting teenage boy. Around 14 or 15. With yellow teeth and a hideous laugh. Watching over the children as they play. Hired for the ‘supervision’ of the baby. Looking for an opportunity to strike. And then he found one. “Do you want to play with a new toy?” He asked the little girl, who was gleefully laughing as she chased her cousin around the room. She ...

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The wobbly ride and chaotic landing of Helicopter Eela

Helicopter Eela is a family drama film based on the Gujarati play Beta Kaagdo by Anand Gandhi, and tells the story of an intrusive mother who, much to the disappointment of her son, keeps his life under strict scrutiny. The film’s plot revolves around Eela (Kajol), a single mother who keeps shadowing her son Vivaan (Riddhi Sen), ensuring her life dominates his own. She gave up on her aspirations of becoming a playback singer for the sake of being there as a parent to her son, but the overprotective nature of her motherhood and the lack of another partner makes ...

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Should Saudi Arabia be a part of CPEC?

From the word go, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has been under a heavy burden of expectations from all sides. As a result, they are trying to satisfy every front as quickly as they can. However, it seems that this is proving to be too much for them and they are creating all sorts of confusion. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is one such project where this confusion is still brewing. Recently, news has been circulating that Saudi Arabia will be joining CPEC. It is still unclear what role they would play, whether they will be a strategic partner, an investor ...

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