Stories published in March, 2019

To mankad or not: Blaming Ashwin but not Buttler?

The latest edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the greatest cricket carnival on the planet, is here. And along with it comes the usual spectacle of outstanding performances, top class entertainment, and of course, a good dose of controversy. In fact, controversy didn’t take long to surface this year when the otherwise gentlemanly Ravichandran Ashwin ‘mankaded’ Jos Buttler, the star English batsman. For the uninitiated, the term ‘mankaded’ is used when the batsman at the non-striker’s end leaves the crease before the ball is bowled in order to get a head start and is run out by the bowler ...

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Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, there was Tarantino, DiCaprio and Pitt

Hollywood 1969 sets the stage for the latest film from visionary director Quentin Tarantino. The penultimate film of Tarantino’s career, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood turns back the clock to the summer of ‘69, a time when Hollywood was both nearing the end of its Golden Era and about to be engulfed in the hysteria of the gruesome Manson Family murders. With the industry nearing radical change and the Manson family bubbling in the background, aging Western TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) go about their business, trying their best ...

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If BRT Peshawar is still incomplete under PTI, what chance does BRT Karachi stand?

Peshawar’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) seems to be a never-ending project as once again Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’ s (PTI) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government has postponed its launch. The inauguration ceremony of the BRT was supposed to be held on March 23rd, but because the project is yet to be finished, K-P Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, after consulting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, decided to cancel the opening ceremony. Ever since PTI announced to launch BRT in October 2017, the project has seen many delays because of the inefficient management. The BRT is a 26 kilometre-long bus corridor designed to carry thousands ...

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Is the possibility of Bran Stark being the Night King really that crazy?

We are in the endgame now! Not talking about the Marvel Cinematic Universe here, but the world of Westeros, where the dragons are sleek and the queens are conniving. The final season of Game of Thrones will air on April 14th, and to say that fans are excited would be the understatement of the year. The Ice and Fire saga will come to an end with its eighth season, and hopefully the finale will leave fans satisfied. To say that Game of Thrones has a huge fan base would be an insult to the show, as its fan base knows no bounds. ...

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Don’t invite child abuse victims if you can’t be sensitive or respectful towards them, HRPC

I was in attendance at the ‘Conference on the Protection of Childhoods’ that was held on March 17, 2019, at Al Hamra Hall, Lahore. The first conference of its kind held in Pakistan, it was organised by Human Rights Protection Centre (HRPC) and Positive Pakistan. On paper, the conference was supposed to provide a platform for change and awareness for the public on child sexual abuse. The panel had acclaimed media personalities, government officials and even a retired justice from Australia, Dr Robyn Layton, who has spent all her life working for child protection and women and children rights. On paper, ...

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Because extremists don’t criticise extremists

Human emotions are really weird sometimes; well most of the time, to be honest. We hate everything we don’t like, fear everything we don’t understand, and blindly love everything we identify with. We let our feelings cloud our understanding of the world, and we unfortunately could not continue thinking rationally even if we wanted to. Before anyone decides to deride my tongue-in-cheek critique of human emotions, I do wish to categorically state that our emotions are a part of us and are essential to our existence. They are what make us human after all. However, our use of our emotional ...

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After Get Out, Us proves to be much more than just a gripping horror movie

With just his first film, Get Out, Jordan Peele established himself as one of the most unique voices in Hollywood and a story-teller of many talents. Peele offered not just a great horror-comedy but also a film with enduring social commentary and critique that many hailed as being deeply relevant to race relations in America. Given the massive critical and commercial acclaim that Get Out garnered, as well as the lasting impact it will likely have on pop culture in years to come, there were always going to be high expectations from Peele’s sophomore effort Us. Lupita Nyong’o stars as Adelaide Wilson. ...

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Stranger Things 3: 5 Easter eggs to get us excited (and worried) for summer!

The trailer for the third season of Netflix’s most anticipated show, Stranger Things, released recently and shook the internet to its very core. Since there is a long wait till it releases (Stranger Things premiers in July) fan theories have begun emerging to keep us busy until we see the real deal. These range from bizarre to probable. So I thought rather than doing a mere shot-by-shot review, why don’t we ponder over the Easter Eggs the show runners have dropped in the trailer? Photo: Giphy The following are my predictions for the new season. 1. Another Barb? In ...

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When will people like Khateeb stop using a peaceful religion as a tool for violence?

A frightening incident recently took place in Bahawalpur in which a student fatally stabbed his teacher. The teacher wanted to organise a welcome party which the said student considered ‘un-Islamic’ due to the intermingling of males and females. In a chilling confessional video, the student alleged that the late professor used to ‘insult’ Islam on a regular basis. He showed absolutely no remorse for his action, and when asked as to why he didn’t take the legal route, his answer was that courts in Pakistan are freeing ‘blasphemers’. A student of 5th semester at Govt Sadiq Egerton College in Bahawalpur who identifies himself as Khateeb Hussain when ...

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Laal Kabootar is a strong, well-made film but fails at being a trendsetter

Films such as Laal Kabootar have a much bigger responsibility to cinema, particularly for Pakistani cinema, which is going through an interesting phase of its life cycle. Pakistani cinema’s revival is over; it is now in the maintenance stage. I don’t think it will go down to the disaster that it was, but whether it grows further or not remains to be seen. In order for cinema to grow, all kinds of audiences have to start coming to the theatres; the kind who would watch Kahaani or Andhadhun over Thugs of Hindostan. If you go wrong in making a Jawani Phir Nahi Ani or a Na Maloom Afraad, there ...

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