One would think India is a progressive nation, until it makes “celibate” peacocks its national animal

It stands to reason that a nation situated in one of the least well-endowed regions in the world would have an affiliation for peacocks. Instead, a Rajasthan High Court judge must have been rather afflicted by his peacock – he claims that peacocks are lifelong celibates. The answer shocked interviewers because the question was, “Judge Mahesh Chandra Sharma, why are you a virgin?” Steve Carrel will reportedly play Judge Chandra in the movie version of this story titled, The 40-year-old Judge. Mr Chandra told the reporters, “The peacock is a lifelong brahmachari (celibate). It never has sex with the peahen. The peahen gets pregnant after swallowing the tears ...

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Before boycotting Khaadi and fruit vendors, get your consumerism habits in order

I am often left speechless when asked to name a superstar from Pakistan who is unconditionally loved by the majority. I can’t think of a name like Shah Rukh Khan, whom people from around the globe would be familiar with even if they didn’t watch Bollywood movies. Surely, Pakistan has produced some of the best musicians, artists, cricketers and authors. There is no dearth of talent in our country. Then what is it that compels us to hate on people like Malala Yousafzai when the whole world is recognising her sacrifices and bravery? We as a nation excel in providing mob justice, witch-hunting ...

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Hindi Medium proves that English is still the language of the colonisers, except the elite are the colonisers now

When you think of language, you think in a language. For me, it’s English. It always has been. Sometimes, I wonder if my thoughts were in another language, would I be different? Would my life have turned out differently? Perhaps. You never know, that’s the thing. Hindi Medium made me realise that language has the power to change. I see it every day around me. I see it at work when I try to communicate in Urdu but my vocabulary falls short. I used to see it in school, when people mocked that one kid for speaking in Urdu because God forbid, ...

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Sahir Lodhi needs to sit for his Pakistan Studies exam again, for Saba’s words were not hers at all

“Quaid-e-Azam aao zara tum, Dekho apna pakistan, Jiski bunyado ki khatir, Lakho ne di apni jaan.” (Quaid-e-Azam come, Look at your Pakistan, For whose foundation sake, Millions of lives were sacrificed.) So starts the poem penned by Urdu poetess Gulnar Afreen – the refrain of which has become ubiquitous thanks to its completion being denied to a young speaker very recently in a Ramazan transmission. Now while it makes perfect sense for the literarily crippled philistines of the country to know zilch about where the verse comes from, the fact that the farce was broadcasted on live television, specifically in the holy month of Ramazan, serves as something of an expergefactor. And while the masses in general and ...

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Will Priyanka Chopra’s Baywatch help normalise swimsuits for Indians?

I was 13-years-old when I first watched an episode of Baywatch. All the boys at school had been talking about the show in hushed tones. They said it was very B-Y, a term they used to describe a bikini-clad woman. The B referred to the bikini top and the Y referred to the bikini bottom. I was in ninth standard, and my mother had decided we would get cable only after my 10th standard board exams. Also, parents in general did not want teenagers to watch a lot of shows on cable TV back then to curb “western” influence. I watched ...

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Why Mussarat Ahmad Zeb and Pakistanis still find it difficult to accept Malala Yousafzai

The attack on Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai was staged, read a tweet last week. This wasn’t a social media troll or veteran conspiracy theorist. This was a Member of the National Assembly (MNA), Mussarat Ahmad Zeb, who also hails from the royal family of Swat, the region where Malala was shot in the head by Taliban militants. Malala could never read or write the time she supposedly wrote Gul Makai story 4 #BBC 🤔 https://t.co/ykYeVYghUI — mussarat ahmadzeb (@MussartAhmadzeb) May 19, 2017 No forensic expert was in #Swat saw all drama https://t.co/W6He2gWTxM — mussarat ahmadzeb (@MussartAhmadzeb) May 19, 2017 Spilling the beans have had enough of ...

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Hindi Medium: It is Saba Qamar’s world, and we all just live in it

When was the last time you saw a Pakistani actress killing it in Bollywood? Mahira Khan, you say? I consider her a part of the production design for Raees and not the cast, since she was nothing more than a pretty looking prop in a movie dominated by Shah Rukh Khan and narrative absurdities. Hmm, so your comeback is Humaima Malick? Ever wondered why she is rarely seen anywhere on screen after the disaster that was Raja Natwarlal? Next up, Meera ji? Oh so you are being funny now, you cheeky bugger you. Mawra Hocane?  Like seriously, are you kidding me? I am not even going to dignify that with a response. But ...

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Why people today depend on lazy virtual friendships and Facebook ‘likes’

As I grow older, I’ve realised that one genuine friend matters more than the amount of friends you have. Real friendships, sincere ones, make all the difference to our lives. However, I’ve realised that these kinds of friendships are so rare these days. The concept of friendship itself has fizzled into something fickle and surface-based. I know that I have an x amount of friends on Facebook, an x amount of followers on Instagram, but barely any of those people can be classified as true friends. What does one mean by sincere and genuine friendships?  These are the friends that you call at ...

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2017 bids farewell to another legend – RIP Chris Cornell

It was a normal Thursday afternoon, I was scrolling through my news feed when I came across an article about the sad demise of Chris Cornell. For those of you who don’t know (I’m sure you do by now), he was the lead singer of Temple of Dog, Soundgarden and Audioslave. The year 2017 isn’t new to losing great musicians and Cornell wasn’t an exception; the man was a legend. The minute I read the news, Black Hole Sun started playing in my head. I remember that song the most because it was one of the first few songs I ...

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When our commercials think domestic violence is funny, how can we expect society to take it seriously?

For the second time in only a few months, several of us (hopefully millions) are baffled with the ‘sense of humour’ of the artists and creative people of our country. First, the horrendous joke about child molestation at the Hum Awards, and now the extremely offensive TV commercial talking about beating up (dhulai kerdi) your wife. If you found the advertisement funny, then let me warn you, either this blog is going to alter your patriarchal (slightly misogynistic) mind-set or it will deeply offend you. In both cases, I hope it will start a healthy discussion as to why several people deemed it acceptable ...

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