Stories published in December, 2018

The sea is calling: The crumbling reality of Karachi’s Hawkesbay beach

With its 27-kilometre long coastline, Karachi is lined with beaches in the south. Dotted with fishing villages, these beaches are one of the main sources of recreation and entertainment for the citizens of the metropolis. One of the most frequently visited of these is Hawkesbay, a public beach with free access situated near Kemari town. The tragedy, however, is that it has little to offer to the residents of the city. Cleanliness and hygiene, bumpy roads, absence of basic infrastructure including huts, public toilets and restaurants, are some of the issues that need to be addressed but so far very ...

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Of India’s refusal to attend SAARC and its mistrust and pessimism towards Pakistan

“If France and Germany who fought several wars can live in peace, why not India and Pakistan?” Well batted, Imran Khan. To begin with, the occasion that has led to this eastward flow of a fresh breeze from Pakistan – the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor – must be celebrated without any political hesitations. It is indeed an occasion that deserves to be celebrated with the child-like joy that results from the deep spiritual moorings of the subcontinent. Indeed, Imran appeared sincere, hopeful and emotional in his speech and anyone with faith in humanity feels tempted to go head over ...

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities: A special thanks to the hands that rock the cradle

Every year the third day of December is marked as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, exclusively reserved to pay tribute to people with disabilities and acknowledge their contributions and achievements. On this prestigious occasion, conventionally, accomplishments of disabled persons are highlighted and cherished: seminars are organised on governmental level as well as by private organisations, television channels air special programs and conduct interviews of distinguished individuals and print media publishes editorials and success stories in recognition of people with disabilities. However, despite suffering from visual impairment and being a vocal proponent of rights of disabled community, I wish to address ...

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Instead of scaring you to death, The Possession of Hannah Grace will bore you to death

Unlike most horror sub-genres that have found reasons to exist primarily because of their commercial success, the exorcism/demonic possession genre pretty much began and ended with William Friedkin’s 1973 horror classic The Exorcist. Sure, a number of ‘possession’ movies have been made since then but none of them have been any good and most of them have not performed particularly well at the box office. This, however, did not stop the filmmakers behind The Possession of Hannah Grace from attempting to bring new life to a genre that till now has been largely lifeless. The film centres on a former cop, Megan Reed (Shay ...

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Reclaiming public space: Can it be a (wo)man’s world, too?

It was a Saturday night when it rained cats and dogs in Lahore. Cool breeze finally taking over the scorching heat made for an excuse to go out and enjoy to the fullest. With such a spectacular change in weather, it was compulsory for my husband and I to drive out into the city around midnight and be amused by the pleasant ambience. Even at that hour, roads were full of traffic. Trees were swirling in the gusty wind. Eateries along the road were jam-packed with people; after all, Lahoris are known to enjoy food like none other. Boys in groups ...

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Who will invest in Pakistan if its head of state constantly highlights its corruption and desperation?

Prime Minister Imran Khan, after taking oath, has so far been on six foreign trips despite initially stating that he would not go on any foreign trips for the first three months. Perhaps given the economic dire circumstances, these trips were inevitable. The extent of success of these trips, with respect to obtaining economic aid and attracting investment, is still being debated in the national media. However, another thing which is under discussion is the way prime minister conducted himself on these trips. Like all rulers, Imran has also tried to market Pakistan by pointing towards its large young population, ...

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The only reality in a world of make-believe

They say if you look at a person long enough, they will look back. It was a cold winter night. The kind where frosted beams of moonlight ascend as an enchantress and cast a spell with a mystical silver wand. Cool air driving away heat faster than bodies could replace it. The whole world slowed down under flossy, dove grey skies and people wrapped their arms tighter, pulling shawls, coats and themselves a little closer. Breaths became visible, almost tangible, under sporadic streetlights, as late autumn leaves crunched like sugar under hurried steps. The carnival crowd kept flowing in waves closer ...

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Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj: Brown voices are finally being heard

Over a month ago, Netflix released a new show called Patriot Act, a weekly political comedy led by Hasan Minhaj. The stand-up comedian rose to fame last year with his special, Homecoming King, which also won him a Peabody Award. However, Patriot Act is not your typical American late night talk show. There is no desk, no in-house band, no comfy sofas, no suits, and most importantly, no guests! What is perhaps similar about this weekly format is Minhaj concentrating mainly on a single subject each episode, but doing so while walking freely in casual attire on a diamond shaped stage with massive ...

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Narcos: Mexico is high on everything we expected and then some

As soon as I was done with the third season of Narcos, I knew the fourth season was already on the cards. I also knew that the new season would offer something new as the Colombian chapter of the show had come to an end with the third season. It was in December 2017 that the new cast members were announced. When I got to know Michael Pena (End of Watch, Fury) and Diego Luna (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) were going to lead the cast, I was very excited to say the least. Soon it was also announced by ...

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India has never looked as divided, as communally vulnerable, as broken as it does now

Narendra Modi, a serial communalist, assumed the mask of an inclusive figure just before the 2014 Elections to make him more acceptable to the masses. The myth he came to weave around himself five years ago made him seem like a man of development – the only mission in his life being to usher in a new era of economic reform in India. It is now 2018, and the mask and the myth are both in tatters. The one and only colour Modi has is called saffron – the colour of the majoritarian Hindu. It’s now known to one and ...

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