Stories published in October, 2018

From ‘unity, faith, discipline’ to ‘faith, faith, faith’

“O, what a fall was there, my countrymen! Then I, and you, and all of us fell down, whilst bloody treason flourished over us…” These enduring words of Shakespeare describe best the cruel hand dealt to Pakistan, by internal and external forces alike. One is filled with an innate feeling of dejection when one observes how with the passage of time, our societal ethics and standards tumbled in almost all walks of life. Pakistan is amongst the few unfortunate countries that have regressed, not progressed, with time. Let us start with governance. We all have read the bleak history of the ...

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Because how can the GOAT Ronaldo ever rape a woman, despite her saying ‘no’ and ‘stop’?

Cristiano Ronaldo is so many things; father, son, partner, friend, mentor, hero, celebrity, athlete, and now an alleged rapist. Fans all over the world are offended; how is it that the hero they have put on a pedestal is accused of such a heinous crime? Is this a conspiracy by Lionel Messi fan boys to drag down Ronaldo’s good name? His admirers have come together to show their loyalties and back their forever favourite. In the midst of all this, I, a former Ronaldo fan, choose not to give him the benefit of the doubt. In cases of sexual ...

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Dark Phoenix: Is it time for the X-Men franchise to finally call it quits?

The X-Men franchise is perhaps one of the few and only movie franchises that has managed to stay fresh and relevant even after nearly 18 years since its first film hit cinema screens in 2000. However after Bryan Singer’s original trilogy culminated rather disappointingly with the much reviled X-Men 3: The Last Stand, the producers were under a lot of pressure to reinvent the franchise. They took the prequel route, brought on a new cast and with films like X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, managed to firmly re-establish the franchise. However, the messy X-Men: Apocalypse proved that the ...

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When blood becomes cheap and police are the monsters our children need protection from

Another day, another victim – a child no less! A short while after the death of Amal Umer – 10-year-old girl who lost her life after a crossfire between the police and robbers – the police in Karachi have claimed yet another young life. Seven-year-old Aqsa recently became the victim of a stray bullet, out of all places, while she was at her school! Perhaps what makes this situation direr is the fact that the school she was attending was next  to a police training centre, full of police personnel, which is where the bullet came from. Now that we have ...

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Confessions of a SAHM: Don’t compare me to Instagram-perfect, working mothers

When I was a young university student, I dreaded the idea of being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) so much that whenever I would come across one, I would be thankful that I don’t have to live her life. I would constantly reassure myself that no matter what, I will never be a lazy SAHM who spends her entire day cooking, cleaning and changing dirty diapers. However, as I grew older and the first time I locked eyes with my little boy, I turned into a new woman. I had people telling me that your life will change once you ...

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A Simple Favour: Not the most riveting mystery but still captivating enough

Ever since David Fincher’s Gone Girl captivated viewers with its dark and twisted web, a number of similar big and small screen projects have tried to replicate its success, but have invariably paled in comparison to the 2014 thriller. The latest in line is A Simple Favour, a new mystery thriller built around flawed, complicated women, and is yet another film that will find it hard to avoid comparisons to its more impressive predecessor. Based on Darcey Bell’s 2017 novel of the same name, the movie follows the story of a vlogger who tries to solve the disappearance of her mysterious best friend. Stephanie (portrayed ...

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How Modi convinced India to celebrate a ‘surgical strike’ that never actually happened

Sparta, a warrior city in ancient Greece, was known for the ferocity of its soldiers. But while its soldiers might have been the best in the ancient world, its citizens were not far behind when it came to verbal jibes, particularly one-liners. For instance, Philip II of Macedon, father to Alexander the Great, had conquered almost every other Greek city-state. Sparta was the only one left, and that too, a relatively weak state without walls. Obviously, Philip II dispatched a messenger who delivered the Macedonian King’s message, “If I invade Lakonia you will be destroyed, never to rise again.” The Spartans ...

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If PTI believes in democracy, asset declaration of public servants should be public knowledge

As per a report of Transparency International, it can be said without the risk of contradiction that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, unfortunately, does not enjoy a desirable position on the global list of countries in regards to corruption perceptions. For the year 2017, its survey shows that Pakistan ranks at 117 out of 180 countries. The present government of Pakistan has a greater responsibility to address this menace, especially since they have risen to power because they held the previous government accountable for their real or perceived corruption. But so far, they have not initiated anything in this regard. In my opinion, one ...

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Rashid Khan, the Afridi of Afghanistan: When heroes emerge out of rubble

During my last visit to Karachi a few months ago, I spent some time going through the school assignments and homework of our family cook’s children. As I did so, I insisted on the importance of hard work in order to succeed in life. “You have to work extremely hard in school so you get good grades and then go to the army, as your father wants you to become a general in the Pakistan Army one day, InshaAllah,” I continued to lecture them. My words echoed the dreams and aspirations of not only our cook, but so many other ...

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Yes, Thugs of Hindostan is a copy of Pirates of the Caribbean but it’s still definitely worth watching

Aamir Khan, aka Mr Perfectionist, has always exceeded expectations, whether they are about the quality of films Bollywood is capable of producing or the amount of money a movie earns at the box office. Khan’s movies are always the “next big thing” in Bollywood and the audience waits for his new releases eagerly because they know they’re in for a spectacle. This time around, the next big thing is Khan’s Thugs of Hindostan, which is also said to have one of the most expensive outdoor settings in the history of Indian cinema. The trailer of this much-awaited movie was ...

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