Stories published in April, 2019

#TherapistDiaries: A hard worker is not the same as a workaholic – the latter is an addict

Farooq’s* work was a matter of utmost importance for him. He used metaphors like “battlefield”, “winning” and “war” when talking about work. He worked in the corporate sector and was at a higher level of the ladder. He sought therapy because all his subordinates hated him. He had a sense that his subordinates, who at some point were his colleagues, were jealous of his success and plotted against him all the time. Farooq was a workaholic, and his perfectionism drove not only his subordinates but his friends away as well. He took no offence in working overtime or even sleeping at ...

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Why Pakistan made a blunder by blindly surrendering to India’s Khalistan movement

Sikh civil society groups have condemned Pakistan’s decision to ban activities of Sikhs peacefully campaigning for ‘Referendum 2020’ in which Sikhs plan to defy New Delhi and exercise their democratic right to vote on the issue of self-determination. Next year, Sikhs intend to vote either “yes or no” on the question of whether Khalistan should be formed as an independent state that would separate from the Indian state of Punjab. Similar votes have happened throughout the world with a wide array of results. We condemn the Pakistan Govt & ISI for appeasing India it’s time they chose a side enough ...

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Will The Rise of Skywalker offer a fitting conclusion to the Star Wars saga?

The ninth and final instalment in the Star Wars series, The Rise of Skywalker has pretty much everyone hyped and excited about how the decades-long saga will finally conclude. JJ Abrams, who also directed The Force Awakens, returns to the director’s chair, with much of the same cast from the previous film returning as well. The surprise release of the first teaser only adds to the intrigue surrounding the film and teases a few ominous warnings along the way. The trailer opens to some cryptic voice-over narration by Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), “We’ve passed on all we know. A thousand generations live ...

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Spilling tea with Asad Umar: Being a finance minister is ‘tough’

Right after his meetings with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, I had the opportunity to sit down for tea with Finance Minister Asad Umar at the Pakistani consulate in New York City. We talked about his negotiations with the IMF, unpacked his outlook on the Pakistani economy as well as the personal toll this job is taking on him. The second thing I noticed about Umar when he entered the room was how tall he actually is in person. The first thing I noticed was how visibly exhausted he looks. By nature, he is an irrepressibly optimistic ...

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He only did it for him

“You’re an old boy now, you’ll have to work. Azeem is a good man. He’ll take care of you and you’ll learn from him.” “Fine, Abba!” Talha could feel the disobedience stirring within him. Working at a furniture shop was the last thing he wanted to do, but he acquiesced to Abba’s decision. He knew Abba wouldn’t listen to him, even if he told him that he wanted to do other things in life. Better things. Later that night, as he wandered the streets, he thought how it wasn’t Abba’s fault. He was old now and needed someone else to take care ...

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Federal minister of style: 4 great appearances by Faisal Vawda that nobody asked for

Pardon my political naivety, but who asked Mr Faisal Vawda to do anything more than his actual job as the minister of water resources? Regardless, we have been blessed with an impressive array of performances in Pakistan’s robust political theatre this year. It seems unjust to not acknowledge the many contributions of Vawda, who has worked hard to establish himself as more than just a federal minister. The greatest of these performances are being listed here for the convenience and amusement of our nation’s proudest patriots or theatre-enthusiasts. 1. The punisher Some may argue that it’s unusual for an armed federal minister ...

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Sloppy and grim, Dumbo takes a rather clumsy flight

Director Tim Burton and screenwriter Ehren Kruger’s new version of Dumbo is the latest to get a live-action remake. It is inspired by the 1941 Disney animated classic and based on the original fable written by Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl in 1939. Burton is the one who started this trend of remakes with Alice in the Wonderland. The film stars Colin Farrell, Deni DeVito, Michael Keaton and Eva Green in pivotal voice-over roles. The 1941’s Dumbo was a soft, simple and adorable fantasy centred on the tale of friendship and maternal love, the tender bond between Dumbo and his mother. The ...

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Was Hanif Abbasi only arrested to benefit PTI in the 2018 General Elections?

Hanif Abbasi, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader from Rawalpindi, has finally been given some relief as the Lahore High Court special bench suspended his life sentence in the ephedrine quota case and granted him bail. It was always expected that Abbasi would be freed whenever a higher court would take up his appeal, as the prosecution never submitted any solid evidence in the court of law. In fact, the way Abbasi was awarded a life sentence by the anti-narcotics court was strange and unprecedented. The judge who awarded this sentence admitted that he took the help from Google to ...

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Will Stuber manage to get a five-star rating?

Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani have teamed up for Stuber, an action-comedy that seems to be built around a very familiar premise. When Uber driver Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) picks up a passenger, Vic (Dave Bautista), he unwittingly becomes part of a dangerous chase. Vic, it turns out, is a cop who is going after a brutal killer, and Stu has to go along for the ride. Anything for a five-star rating, right? But it seems highly unlikely that the film itself will merit five stars. This ride share adventure seems to be built on the beats of the worn-out buddy comedy. Only recently, ...

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Four reasons to watch Kaisa Hai Naseeban

Recently concluded drama serial Kaisa Hai Naseeban is currently basking in the success of being Pakistan’s most watched drama ever. Brilliantly scripted by Samina Aijaz and well directed by Ahmed Bhatti, the heart-wrenching drama revolves around the tragic story of a girl who finds herself trapped in an abusive marriage. Through a thought-provoking narrative and well-developed characters, the show highlights the importance of tackling physical abuse and other domestic wrongdoings. The story centres on the character of Maryam (Ramsha Khan) whose father, Jamal (Waseem Abbas), is eager to get her married, hoping that it will provide her with a comfortable and secure future. ...

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