Trying to understand Hamza Ali Abbasi’s ‘halal platonic’ relationship

A couple of days ago, the news about actor Hamza Ali Abbasi marrying fellow actress Naimal Khawar Khan broke out. I was extremely excited upon hearing the news because, in my opinion, they make one of the most photogenic and beautiful couples. With his Robert Pattinson-like looks and prodigious acting talent, Abbasi is one of the most famous television stars and perhaps the only male actor to truly rival Fawad Khan in terms of popularity. Khan is also a gorgeous woman and her performance in serial Anaa shows a lot of promise for the future. However, then my attention was drawn towards ...

Read Full Post

A nightmare for the LGBTQ community, there is a lot going wrong with ‘Adam’

Every now and then, efforts are made by filmmakers to produce a movie representing the LGBTQ community as accurately and unbiasedly as possible. However, very few of these movies fulfill their aim while also being politically correct. Adam, based on its namesake novel, is a prime example of this case. Released recently on August 14th, the film has already managed to garner quite a lot of criticism, a trending hashtag against it and a petition to boycott it. Marketed as ‘one of the most exciting LGBTQ films of the year’, Adam is, in fact, a classic exemplar of what exactly a ...

Read Full Post

Priyanka Chopra, a UN celebrity gone rogue

Earlier this week, Ayesha Malik called out Priyanka Chopra at Beautycon over the latter’s hypocrisy in styling herself as a champion of humanitarian causes while simultaneously sending out a tweet which many perceived as supporting nuclear warfare. In response, Chopra shut up Malik in the most humiliating, paternalistic, and holier-than-thou manner. Hi, I’m the girl that “yelled” at Priyanka Chopra. It was hard listening to her say, “we should be neighbors and love each other” — swing that advice over to your PM. Both India and Pakistan were in danger. And instead she tweeted out in favor for nuclear war. — Ayesha Malik ...

Read Full Post

Five reasons why Surkh Chandni is a milestone of our drama industry

Directed by Shahid Shafaat, the on-going drama serial Surkh Chandni highlights the highly sensitive issue of acid attacks on the women of our country. Starring the versatile Sohai Ali Abro, heartthrob Osman Khalid Butt, and powerhouse performer Asad Abbas, the serial points at patriarchy as the deep-rooted cause behind such heinous crimes. It tells the story of a girl belonging to a lower-middle class household and subjected to the tragic attack because of her mere rejection to a marriage proposal from a loafer living in her neighbourhood. View this post on Instagram Presenting a powerful poetry piece by Ali Imran written ...

Read Full Post

Cyber bullying: Misogyny under the garb of animal welfare

Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation (ACF) is an animal rescue service in Karachi that provides free treatment and shelter to stray animals along with managing other projects. A few weeks back, on their Facebook page, ACF posted a video of a ‘pet owner’ who was attempting to leave eight severely infected Persian kittens at the shelter without informing the staff or following their protocol. The man continued to resist and injured one of the girls working at ACF. Although the video clearly showed the man being disruptive, struggling to get inside his car, and drive off leaving the sick kittens behind but inevitably ...

Read Full Post

Indians can’t wait to ‘marry Kashmiri girls’, ‘buy land in Kashmir’ – and therein lies the problem

A few years ago, I wrote a blog in which I cherished an overarching identity which connected me, a Pakistani, to the inhabitants of neighbouring India. The said article was not a negation of the Two-Nation Theory but rather what I thought was the right way forward. I had written, “Yes, modern Pakistan and India are a reality, but then so is our great common heritage. Yes, it is important for us to be loyal to our political states, but at the same time not overlook the joint heritage. There is an overarching identity which unites us despite our political ...

Read Full Post

The Great Hack: The ‘great data robbery’ of our time

About a year ago, I wrote a piece about how data had been manipulated via Facebook to affect the US elections. I wrote about how our digital data was in our control and we can’t blame Facebook for targeted ads. Towards the end of it, I also predicted that Facebook would get away with a slap on the wrist while nothing would happen to Cambridge Analytica, because technically, they hadn’t done anything illegal and there was no evidence of any wrongdoing. Last month, Facebook got fined $5 billion for their role in misusing customer data. Last year, Facebook revenues were ...

Read Full Post

The wider implications of #MeToo and #TimesUp in Pakistan

“Cancelled” – that’s the impromptu public response whenever a known personality is accused of harassment. When Ukhano (Umar Khan) was exposed for alleged harassment recently by multiple women, he was instantly ‘cancelled’ by a significant percentage of people on social media, that is until Polish vlogger Eva Zu Beck shared her experience of working with him. Just because he hasn’t harassed you, doesn’t mean he’s not a harasser In an Instagram story, Beck shared how she went trekking with Khan for two months, during which he never made her feel uncomfortable or threatened at any point. It made sense for her to come out in support of her ...

Read Full Post

The unforgettable iconic queens of 70s cinema

The 70s was a golden era for the silver screen in Pakistan – the wave of retro glamour queens. These women redefined the cinematic footprint marking the future of Pakistani cinema in decades to come. By the 1950s, the young urban rebels of Pakistan had begun to veer away from the staunch rightist saint culture of the 50s to the leftist hippie culture of the 60s. Growing up as a 70s child was fascinating. Music became significantly prominent alongside populist political movements, as rallies become a cultural under-belly of fanfare, glamour and style. The cinema of that era, now known as Lollywood, was a ...

Read Full Post

As a Muslim husband, I do not agree with Farhat Hashmi and her view on marital rape

It was the summer of 2015. I was in Pakistan for a month and a half due to the demise of my father. My visit coincided with the month of Ramazan. During the holy month, my wife decided to attend Dars-e-Quran sessions conducted by a certain Islamic scholar, Tahira Yousuf. One night, my wife asked me to pick her up after the lecture. When I reached the centre, the lecture had just ended and I saw a large number of women from apparently affluent backgrounds coming out of the hall. When my wife sat in the car, I asked her ...

Read Full Post