Stories published in March, 2019

#TherapistDiaries: Old age and the game of betrayal

The mere sight of my dad’s shivering hand gives me heartbreak. He has crossed 60, and hence the strength of his body keeps drifting away every once in a while. My mom, in her 50s, struggles with circadian rhythms due to her increasing age. Her screen time – YouTube and Facebook mainly – has increased in the past five years. She bonds with us and her friends over puppy videos and babies-gone-funny posts. There is an innate air of sadness about old age. We are powerless creatures in a number of ways. It is both, our infancy period and old age ...

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Remembering Fahmida Riaz’s ballad on this International Transgender Day of Visibility

Today is the International Transgender Day of Visibility, one of only two days remembering and celebrating transgender people. Although transgender individuals have always been present in society, and have been mentioned in some of the oldest texts of the Muslim world such as The Arabian Nights, they have largely been the source of much mystique, ridicule and discrimination. Even in the 21st century, they have been among the last groups of people to get their rights, in legislation and otherwise. Fahmida Riaz, who passed away last November, has expressed the plight of the transgender in her masterful poem, Hijre ki Sargoshi (The eunuch’s ...

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#PakVsAus: In search of ‘bench strength’, Pakistan lost their self-belief

The purpose of the series between Pakistan and Australia was to start off with a clean slate, as both teams were finding their feet in the ODI format. Australia was coming off from a 3-2 victory over India, while Pakistan was coming after a 3-2 defeat by South Africa. However, the twist came in when Inzamamul Haq announced the squad for this series. All the main players, including Captain Sarfraz Ahmed, were rested for this series to try out the strength of the bench. The result of this series has already come out, with Australia leading the series 4-0 and Pakistan ...

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5 must-have apps that every Pakistani needs

The recent remarkable technological advancements in the telecommunications sector have added significantly to the number of smartphone users in Pakistan. Android is an open source system with ease of customisation and a simplistic user interface (UI), enabling local application developers to link the excess of information and utilities in a single application, at your fingertips. The applications offered make it easier to carry out our normal day-to-day activities. Some of these stand-alone applications are discussed below: 1. Pharmapedia Pakistan Pharmapedia Pakistan is an impressive productive application that provides free offline access to information on common drugs and medicine brands in Pakistan. Featuring a ...

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Why every prime minister has failed to ‘fix’ the civil service of Pakistan

Every prime minister of Pakistan has promised to ‘fix’ the civil service. The issue has enjoyed support from parties across the political spectrum. After all, who wouldn’t like Pakistan to have a better civil service? The citizens demand it. The politicians want to do it. The experts know how to do it. Why, then, has every reform effort either failed miserably or been shot down in its infancy? The short answer is that it is easy to talk about civil service reform but is much more difficult to do it. The long answer is that the civil service problem has ...

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If India can release the terrorists behind Samjhauta Express, why should Pakistan do more than it already has done?

Over a week ago, Swami Aseemanand, a saffron-wearing culprit on trial for the Samjhauta Express attack, emerged out of the courtroom with a loud chant of ‘Jai Sri Ram’. He, alongside three others, had just been acquitted by the court due to an alleged lack of evidence. Ironically, during the investigation period Aseemanand boastfully confessed to his heinous crimes to sabotage peace. February 18, 2007 was a disastrous day for peace between India and Pakistan when Hindutva followers blew the Samjhauta Express with improvised explosive devices killing 70 passengers, a majority of whom were Pakistani. The incident took place near ...

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“He has a girlfriend”: When I unknowingly became the ‘other woman’

We met at a friend’s party. I knew everyone there, so I was curious when a new person walked through the door. All of us talked, hung out and drank. He asked for my number so he could ‘make sure I got home safe’. He sent me a text the next day. That’s when we started talking. It was just friendly at first, and then started to get flirty. He was nice, studying medicine in the Caribbean, funny; it was all going well. We hung out a few times and it started to become something more than just friendship. I ...

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Toy Story 4 may seem unnecessary but we should know better than to doubt Pixar

The Toy Story series is one of the brightest gems in Pixar’s dazzling crown. The acclaimed franchise not only helped the studio establish itself in its budding stages but also ensured that Pixar cemented and maintained its position as an animation powerhouse. From Toy Story (1995), Pixar’s first feature film, to Toy Story 3 (2010) – arguably the best movie of its year, animated or otherwise – the saga of Andy’s anthropomorphic toys has been a delightful, emotional ride that has impressed viewers of all ages. Photo: Giphy Nearly a decade after their last adventure, the toys are now returning to the ...

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Religious persecution under the guise of free will?

How does it feel to be a child one day and a woman the next? How does it feel to take a different name for the deity you believe in? How does it feel to begin a daily ritual in a new language, with new customs? For you and me, this may seem difficult. But for a child who is forced to give up her name, identity, relations as well as her faith, describing the experience as catastrophic would be an understatement. After a prolonged cold spell of winter, as Pakistan basks in the warm sunlight of spring, the Hindu ...

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Move over, Black Mirror! Love, Death and Robots is the new dystopic show in town!

From the minds of Deadpool’s Tim Miller and David Fincher (of Seven, Gone Girl, Fight Club – need I go on?) Netflix’s new series Love, Death and Robots is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, to put it in a nutshell. After a long week at work, I shrugged off my burdens to prepare for a cozy night in, binge-watching something on Netflix. Logging in, I noticed the noisy poster and trailer of Love, Death and Robots headlining the homepage and quickly scrolled down, judging the series for its cartoon-like exterior and uncatchy and dry title. The next day, however, wanting ...

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