5 reasons why Cheekh is unlike any Pakistani drama so far

Bidding adieu to 2018 with some great Pakistani dramas, our local industry has welcomed the new year with even better ones. Thankfully, we are finally over the typical and redundant saas-bahu sagas, and show runners are venturing into arenas that have remained untapped thus far. The latest attempt to bring something new to the palate of drama lovers is the drama serial Cheekh. Starring the stunning Saba Qamar and heartthrob Bilal Abbas Khan in the lead roles, this new show is something very out-of-the box as we have not seen anything similar coming from our drama-makers in the recent past. Intelligently ...

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Why Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol is the best love song of the 21st century

It’s unmistakably apparent. When the two notes alternate between E and A, you know what you’re listening to. When the breathy vocals fill in the void between the alternating notes, you know what you’re listening to. When the repetitive questions are asked in the chorus, without once naming the song, you know what you’re listening to. It’s instantly recognisable. Nothing else sounds like it. This is the power of the best love song written in the 21st century. Better than the earnest Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars, better than the icy warm words of Perfect by Ed Sheeran, or the ...

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From APS to Sahiwal: Does Pakistani media have an empathy problem?

Humans are not naturally empathetic creatures – a primary reason behind cataclysmic wars, the rise in extra-judicial killings, as well as the growing hostility towards people escaping calamities. As the world spirals into chaos, the ability to consciously acknowledge the condition of individuals undergoing distress and mentally processing their misery has nearly vanished. But then again, did such an ability exist to begin with?  There is a silent conflict between those struck by a persisting crisis and those privileged enough to smoothly slither their way out of it unscathed. Humans are prone to living completely autonomous lives, but it seems ...

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First You, now Ted Bundy: Don’t blame Netflix if you’re sexualising psychopaths

Human brains are hot-wired to feel emotion and empathy, a quality that is quite handy when it comes to the survival of our species. Consequently, individuals who lack this basic human trait are always the subject of our morbid fascination. One case in point is the recent Netflix documentary series Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, which provides a unique look inside the mind of the infamous American serial killer, Theodore Robert Bundy, infamously known as Ted Bundy. Bundy was an ‘all-American boy’ who grew up in an average white family, had a degree in psychology and was on his way ...

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Why Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man remains far superior to Tom Holland’s

I recently watched the trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home and it reminded me of the time I watched its predecessor, Spider-Man: Homecoming. Homecoming was a decent and entertaining movie. The acting was pretty solid from nearly every lead, especially Tom Holland. The writing was entertaining and the pacing was perfect. The movie never dragged but wasn’t too fast-paced either, while also having the best villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) portrayed by none other than Michael Keaton, the actor who played Batman in the 90s. So why did it feel as if something was missing? What is it that ...

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Even Karan Johar, who calls himself a ‘feminist’, doesn’t understand that ‘no means no’

Karan Johar is the king of love triangles; perhaps even ‘love squares’ at times. After all, most of the movies he has directed, including Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Student of the Year, have the same elements at play and this formula seems to work for Johar. However, it seems too much to expect his movies to also make sense, as very rarely do they possess an actual plot that doesn’t include a Rahul falling in love with an Anjali. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, his most recent directorial success, became known for many things but unfortunately, its story wasn’t one ...

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No, Pakistani ‘startups’ did not raise over $300 million in investments in 2018 

A Pakistani tech publication published an article recently, claiming that Pakistani startups raised $341 million in 2018. This article was shared by many in the Pakistani startup ecosystem. The article was perhaps seen as an acknowledgment of the fact that the technological ecosystem in Pakistan has come a long way and is finally attracting venture capital (VC) money. This might very well be true. But the claim that Pakistani startups raised over $300 million last year is a stretch. For any such report, it is very important to first define a few basics and focus on their respective methodologies. These basics include: the definition of ...

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If Gillette’s ad proved anything, it’s that #NotAllMen want to be their best

When a celebrity or corporation deviates from societal norms, it ends up creating controversy and a lot of debate. Right now, a Gillette advertisement, released just a few days ago, is doing the same. The advertisement has so far garnered well over 17 million views but more than the views, it is people’s responses to it which tell the real story: Presently, over 450,000 people have ‘liked’ the video on YouTube while the number of dislikes is almost double this number. The comments section is also interesting because of the fierce debate that is developing slowly. On the whole though, ...

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Surviving R Kelly in the #MeToo era: Because one victim’s voice is not enough for justice

Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and now R Kelly. Like countless other men, these men were accused and guilty of sexual abuse and assault against women. Here is the situation that continues to baffle many people including myself: when a woman claims she was sexually abused or assaulted, the man in question always tends to deny it. Why does our society and justice system always defend the man? Despite living in a time and society where we want to empower women, why are they not being listened to in the first place? Believe it or not, there are enough people out there who ...

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Haiwan: When will our dramas stop misrepresenting rape and child abuse?

While highlighting social taboos and evils through local dramas is a bold initiative that our entertainment industry has been taking for around two years now, it doesn’t always hit the mark. At times, our serials normalise things that ought not to be, sometimes in the wake of ratings and sometimes because the makers want to portray situations as close to reality as possible. Recently, the much-hyped drama serial Haiwan, that kicked off the trend of #MyChildMyResponsibility on social media, concluded on a deeply unsatisfactory note. A drama that was meant to give a strong message of protecting children from the predators that ...

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