Stories published in December, 2018

2018 has been the year of T20 for Pakistan – but that’s about it

I am that party pooper who would be the first to volunteer out of taking insane adrenaline pumping rides at the amusement park, because every experience I have had thus far has left me lightheaded for too long. Yet for some odd reason, I willingly choose to follow the Pakistani cricket team year after year, despite knowing very well that I am signing up for an emotional roller coaster ride that may have the highest crescendos but will also have the sharpest dips. This year kicked off in a free fall mode in New Zealand, where rain seemed like the ...

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Simmba may not bring something new to the screen but it definitely feels like a paisa vasool entertainer!

The trailer release of Simmba has fans incredibly excited, and it seems that this Rohit Shetty-Ranveer Singh collaboration will end the year for Bollywood on a high note. Simmba, starring Singh, Sonu Sood and Sara Ali Khan, has been directed by Shetty, who has given us films like Chennai Express and Dilwale.  The trailer begins with Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgn) narrating the story of an orphan, Simmba (Singh), who aspires to one day become a corrupt and dishonest police officer. Simmba is later shown as a bribe-hungry hoodlum who believes that in order to live an ideal life, corruption is indispensable. ...

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In terms of script and execution, Mirzapur is far better than Sacred Games

Web series are a game changer for filmmakers and storytellers alike. After the popularity of Sacred Games on Netflix and Inside Edge by Amazon Prime, the latter is back with yet another web series called Mirzapur. The plot revolves around Akhanda Tripathi, also known as Kaleen Bhaiyya, because he deals with the buying and selling of rugs and carpets. Akhanda is a don who rules Mirzapur, quite literally. Interestingly though, his only son Munna Tripathi is entirely out of his control and constantly misuses his power and position, constantly landing himself in some sort of trouble or the other. One ...

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Human Rights Day: What will you ‘celebrate’, Pakistan?

Every year, December 10th is marked as the Human Rights Day. On this day in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that lists down basic human rights guaranteed to the population of the world. This year marks the 70th anniversary of this resolution. It is important to note that sustainable growth is not achievable until and unless the human rights of the world are protected. Besides commemorating 70 years of the resolution, we should vow to stand for the civil, economic, political and cultural rights of our people; after all, ...

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In conversation with Faysal Manzoor Khan, the man behind Pakistan’s dramas and its culture

Unsung heroes often work behind the camera, working relentlessly to ensure everything is on point. It starts with a paper and pen and ends with a compilation, a script. It is about time I shine the spotlight on Faysal Manzoor Khan, a talented Pakistani producer and content creator responsible for the entertainment we regularly witness on screen. He has made a mark nationally with many successful and acclaimed dramas that Pakistanis hold dear to this day. As Faysal unveils his personal side, he speaks to me about his past achievements and future projects. Tell me about yourself! I was born on ...

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From Delhi, with regret: How a postcard from India revived painful, unhealed memories of the Partition

From history textbooks and family accounts, we often hear about the intense emotions and trauma felt by those who were forced to leave their homes behind for a new country during the Partition of British India in 1947. These days, it is hard to truly understand those feelings when we are so far removed from the experience itself. But tangible, everyday artefacts from that era – like a simple letter exchanged between separated friends – can suddenly resurrect those devastating and unhealed memories. That’s precisely what happened when my mother was recently looking through old papers in my grandparents’ home in ...

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Declared ‘intangible’, the heritage of Kalash is over 3,000 years old – but will it survive the 21st century?

‘Ishpata Inn and Restaurant’, says the sign to a roadside hotel in Bumburet Valley in the Chitral district. Ishpata means welcome in the Kalasha language spoken exclusively by the endangered Kalash people, an ethnic group that has lived in three secluded valleys of these towering mountains for centuries: Bumburet, Rumbur and Birir. There are only around 4,000 Kalash villagers left in Chitral. They are one of the last peoples of western Asia to retain their aboriginal culture and have survived many waves of invaders, refusing to convert to Islam. Their neighbours across the mountains in the north-western region of ...

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The day the heavens shook

March 28, 2004 Azad Kashmir was a world of beauty, splendour, tall mountains and green trees. “Papa! I love Kashmir! Can’t we live here forever,” Jahanara said innocently. Majid only laughed in response. He didn’t want to upset his little daughter by telling her that couldn’t be. Majid was an army officer. He got posted to new cities every two years. So far, Kashmir had been Jahanara’s favourite place. But she was only 11-years-old and had yet to see and explore most of Pakistan. Apart from the breathtaking landscape of Kashmir, Jahanara loved the place because of Afsah. She was the same age as ...

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The phoenix of history: Nothing captured my heart like Berlin did

From the moment I stepped out of the Berlin Tegel airport on to the city that possesses one of the richest histories in the world, the air around me transformed. Compared to the noisy Karachi streets where each nook and corner is densely populated, streets in Berlin seem fairly less crowded. The very air reeked of its past, almost as if it is haunted by the disputes once started on this very land. When I entered my apartment in West Berlin, I was unaware of the significance of my position, its only days later when I realised that the East-West ...

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In this sexist world, it doesn’t matter if Ada Hegerberg won the Ballon d’Or – what matters is if she can twerk

Just in case someone still needed proof that sexism is still alive and well in sports, get a load of this. After winning an award declaring her the best female football player in the world, Ada Hegerberg was asked on stage, in front of millions, if she knew how to twerk. Let that sink in for a minute.  A 23-year-old female footballer who has thus far scored almost 250 goals in her career and helped her club last season to the French League title and the UEFA Women’s Champions League Trophy, was asked if she could twerk. Hegerberg, who has achieved ...

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