Stories published in November, 2018

Master of U-turns, leader of none

A few days ago, a statement made by Prime Minister Imran Khan started to generate a lot of interest on all media forums. Imran, who is also satirically called “U-turn Khan” for his habit of retracting his lofty statements, tried to defend this practice by stating that a true leader always takes a timely U-turn. Elaborating, he then came up with the analogy of Adolf Hitler and Napoleon Bonaparte’s fatal decision to continue their advance into Russia instead of taking a U-turn, an error which resulted in heavy casualties. According to Imran, “One who doesn’t take decisions according to the demand of ...

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Therapist diaries: Three great lessons I have learnt from kids with autism

Spending time with kids and adults with autism covers most of my time, and it is the best part of my day. Being a therapist, it shouldn’t be my motivation to look forward to spiritual or emotional gain from the people in treatment – it’s alright if this happens naturally. Those who work around people with autism know how a person’s rigidity and conventional thinking can be challenged by them, and the same happened to me. I had to push my boundaries and set conventional thinking aside for a while, leading to a journey of immense inner growth. Our pop ...

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For Neelum, life was only just beginning

Neelum sat by the window as rain spilled from an ashen sky. From the window, she saw a little girl, almost the same age as herself, scuttling in the rain with her father. She laughed as rain poured over her and her eyes twinkled happily. Neelum watched the little girl scurry down the street, with her father holding her hand protectively. Tears pooled in the corners of her eyes, and she crawled back into her grief of being an orphan. It was night, and the sky was full of stars. Neelum’s parents still hadn’t come back home. She felt sick with apprehension. ...

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This win is not just for Acosta but for all journalists purged for freedom of speech and press

As journalism comes under threat in all parts of the world, one is forced to question the role of the ruling governments in the treatment of media and its personnel. Hundreds are being fired in Pakistan, being told “their services are no longer required” as part of a downsizing. However, journalists in the United States face different hostilities. A CNN White House (WH) correspondent, Jim Acosta was recently humiliated in the US for asking President Donald Trump questions on his campaign regarding the midterm elections in the country. Following the elections, the president orchestrated a news conference to address the ...

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The Grinch: A memorable story’s unmemorable (and uninspired) adaptation

Illumination Entertainment clearly has a thing for anti-heroes. The animation studio has practically established itself on the popularity of Gru and the minions, making billions by telling tales of the lovable super villain and his endearing helpers. And now, their love affair with sympathetic villains continues in The Grinch, yet another adaptation of Dr Seuss’s well-known Christmas classic. Based on the 1957 book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by the ever-popular children’s author, the movie retells a story that has already made its way to the screen twice before – in the form of a (beloved) 1966 animated television holiday special and a ...

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Future of Pakistan Conference 2018: Where the youth fearlessly engage with Pakistan’s political leadership

“Judges, like all other officers of the state of Pakistan, are public servants and are accountable to the people.”  This was a comment by Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa at the London School of Economics (LSE) on November 3rd, in front of a packed audience consisting of Pakistani and non-Pakistani students across the UK. Other speakers of note, ranging from the Prime Minister’s Special Economic Adviser Dr Ishrat Hussain to former Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, echoed this sentiment. The narrative of public accountability in Pakistan – both a goal and an ideal – is one we must aspire towards domestically and project internationally. ...

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Beauty at its ‘peak’: Climbing the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, the roof of Africa

At 5,895 metres, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in the continent of Africa. Though dormant now, it is also the highest volcano in the world outside of South America. The mountain is one of the seven summits (a term used for highest peak in each of the seven continents). From the plains of Moshi to its summit, the mountain rises a staggering 5,100 metres, which makes it the tallest free-standing mountain on the planet. While it may not be for the faint-hearted, for many trekking/mountain climbing enthusiasts like myself, it is one of the starting points of their climbing career. [caption ...

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Excelsior: In honour of the real superhero, here are Stan Lee’s 10 best cameos

Last month, I was sitting in a jam-packed cinema watching Venom. The movie was in its final minutes, and Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock was walking down the street when he ran into an old, white-haired man wearing dark shades. The crowd cheered immediately, and kept spurring while the old guy spoke to Eddie.  Photo: Giphy Obviously the old man knew about Venom, as he was none other than Stan Lee, the mind behind Venom and the other countless superheroes created by Marvel Comics. The fact that almost everyone in a packed theatre at a multiplex in Hyderabad, ...

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Durj: An intense Shamoon Abbasi, a terrifying cannibal and so much gore – Pakistani cinema, brace yourself!

Shamoon Abbasi has come a long way from playing a comic character (Mohammad Shafiq Masood) in PTV’s drama to portraying a furious villain. He is increasingly improving his acting game and matching the calibre of superstars of Pakistani cinema. It seems they are in for some competition! The trailer of Abbasi’s upcoming movie recently released. With an unusual name, Durj’s trailer is brilliantly made and people’s anticipations are firing up. The movie is said to be based on true events and given the ‘cannibal’ nature of the trailer, it will definitely be intriguing. Here are four reasons why people should anxiously ...

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A Pakistan full of talent: 6 impressive players who rightly deserve a spot in PSL 2019

I was always envious of the Indian Premier League (IPL); I loved the fact that it projected young Indian talent to the world, and I wanted something similar for Pakistan. Enters Pakistan Super League (PSL). However, while PSL has brought numerous young talent, I also feel that throughout the three seasons thus far, many talented cricketers have been left out. In this blog, I focus on the top six talents PSL teams should pick in the upcoming draft, and why I believe they would be a good fit for the team. Saif Badar A product of the Under-19 (U19) system, Badar, so far in his ...

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