Stories published in March, 2019

#TherapistDiaries: Unmasking the paedophile

What would you call an adult who abuses children for sexual and/or romantic gratification? A paedophile. According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a child is a human being less than 18 years of age. Going by the CRC’s definition, the global authority for all mental health practitioners, the American Psychiatric Association, has set a particular criteria to diagnose someone as a paedophile. Paedophiles can be exclusive or non-exclusive. Exclusive paedophiles are the ones with sole preference for children for romantic and/or sexual relationships, while non-exclusive paedophiles have a preference for adults as well. The perpetrators ...

Read Full Post

Always remember

“What’s my name?” “My beti.” “But what is it, really?” “My pyaari beti.” “Do you remember me?” I can almost hear you reply – only vaguely.   I watch you every day, In that same seat that you always occupy – With the sun glinting off your bald head. I watch as first you give up your laughter, Then your listening, Then your talking, Then yourself.   As I sit across the room, And become heavier and stronger, I watch you become weaker and smaller. I watch your appetite shrink, And the only food you truly want Is kept away from you, near the sink. It’s meant to protect your health, To ensure you don’t get confusions or even possible delusions.   Delusions of ...

Read Full Post

Unregulated social media, slow police response, rising Islamophobia: The faultlines of the #NewZealandShooting

In what can only be termed a barbaric and inhumane act, 49 Muslims were murdered and another 20 seriously injured in two mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand. The unfortunate victims were offering jummah prayers when they were attacked by a terrorist. Introducing himself as Brenton Tarrant on his Facebook livestream, he went on to telecast the entire massacre live as he stormed into the mosque and shot at worshippers of all ages. He was able to do so for 17 minutes. We are once again at a place where Muslims living in the West are paying the price for rising ...

Read Full Post

Gladiators vs Zalmi: When the best of the best come face to face

Quetta Gladiators versus Peshawar Zalmi: the two finalists confirmed after a month of enthralling cricket. All the ebbs and flows of the tournament bow down to one game, the final, which is to be played on Sunday, March 17th. Gladiators have previously been part of two finals, yet have come out short on both occasions. I believe the reason is their key players leaving them once the tournament was shifted to Pakistan. This year they will not be facing such a problem, having secured the services of T20 megastar Shane Watson. Watson was part of the previous Pakistan Super League ...

Read Full Post

The irony and hypocrisy of Shaan Shahid mansplaining ‘culture and respect’

For as long as Pakistanis can remember, Shaan Shahid has been a staple of Pakistani cinema. In the past, he was that guy in every Punjabi movie, and post-revival of Pakistani cinema, he became that guy who always ends up playing the patriot. While Shahid deserves respect as one of the most prominent actors of our film industry, his Twitter account has made it hard for us to respect much else about him. Some context: just like last year, Aurat March was held on International Women’s Day this year as well in many cities across Pakistan. And just like last year, ...

Read Full Post

#NewZealandShooting: I just want to bow my head and pray in my mosque – freely and without fear

Like an ugly game of hide and seek, I’ve been dodging the dingy alleyways of the internet tonight. I am scared of coming face-to-face with the live footage of today’s terrorist attacks at two New Zealand mosques. I don’t want to see the suffering, to hear the screams, or to witness the ensuing, inevitable silence. The Prophet (PBUH) himself once spoke of a strange restlessness, this shared sense of affliction and anguish that accompanies the bonds of brotherhood, which he described as, “If any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with ...

Read Full Post

The Avengers: Endgame trailer has given us goosebumps, but will Pakistanis even get to see it?

It’s that time of the year again, when Marvel fans flock together to their nearest theatres to watch their favourite Avengers fight the bad guys and save the world on screen. While Pakistanis are still not over the disappointment of not seeing Captain Marvel in theatres, the new trailer for Avengers: Endgame released by Marvel yesterday has provided significant distraction. There’s a lot to unpack in the second trailer, with a number of theories and observations clouding the internet regarding what our favourite heroes will be up to after the snap. While some are speculating on whether Captain America is dying or ...

Read Full Post

Bad luck, sheer incompetence, Aqib Javed: Lahore Qalandars’ story of pain and sorrow

Everyone knows how much pride Lahoris have for their city. So much so that they claim:  “Jine Lahore ni vekhya O jamiya hi nai.” (Those who haven’t seen Lahore haven’t lived yet) After watching four seasons of Pakistan Super League (PSL), however, I think we have all seen enough of Lahore. I would rather say: “Jine Lahore nu support kita O dubara hasiya hi nai.” (Those who supported Lahore never laughed again) Lahore’s story is of pain and sorrow. If you are weak-hearted then proceed at your own risk. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for Lahore Qalandars; from sheer bad luck with injuries ...

Read Full Post

Why repealing Article 35A will bring unmanageable chaos for India

In 2014, the non-governmental organisation ‘We the Citizens’ attracted a large audience when it filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court of India questioning the validity of Article 35A. This was not the first time this article was questioned in court. It was also brought into the spotlight when Dr Charu Wali Khanna, a Kashmiri Pandit woman by ancestry, filed a petition to change the constitutional provision of Article 35A. She wanted succession rights in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK), despite being adjusted outside the state. Since then, this article’s hearing has been postponed by the court, considering how this ...

Read Full Post

Juventus’ pristine form has coincided with Real’s woes, and the reason is undoubtedly Ronaldo

In my 13 years as a diehard football fan, I have never witnessed a week like this one. It started with Ajax’s stunning dismantling of Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) delivering their latest ‘how to choke’ lecture, Arsenal’s shock thumping at Rennes, the disgraceful pitch invasion at Birmingham, the comical disappearing act of VAR officials in La Liga, and finally, Zinedine Zidane’s surprise return in the Madrid hot seat. Somewhere in between, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s incredible away winning streak ended. Manchester City also won 7-0, but that is something I have become accustomed to. All the headlines, however, will justifiably ...

Read Full Post