Lipstick Under My Burkha does not empower women; it only pits woman against woman – one of patriarchy’s best defences

A movie that was initially banned in India because it was too ‘women-oriented’ and led to a discussion on feminism and looking at women with their imperfections and sexual longings, was bound to be good. After all, it was set to create a revolution. But Lipstick Under My Burkha is anything but that. In actuality, it only hopes to inspire a sentiment of female empowerment, only to take you back to the chains towed by patriarchy, just like it eventually does to its protagonists. As the movie opens, we are introduced to the four protagonists – Bua ji (Ratna Pathak), Leela (Aahana Kumra), Shireen ...

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Mubarakan: Sit back, let go and enjoy the ride

Anees Bazmee’s latest film, Mubarakan recently hit the theatres. Knowing that it was directed by the king of comedy, who also directed movies like No Entry, Welcome, Ready, Singh is King and more, I honestly expected a mind-numbing comedy. These movies are high in entertainment value and that’s exactly what I expected. As I walked into the movie theatre, I was all set to laugh. And boy did Anees pull through this time. The cast Who doesn’t love a good Anil Kapoor movie? We have seen the Anees and Anil duo before, thus this film was already high on the expectations ladder, given the humour we witnessed in the last ...

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The daunting experience of dyeing my hair

To colour or not to colour? That is the question. I was at a standstill. I needed a change and fast. It’s a common phenomenon that every girl looking to ‘reinvent her look’, starts with her hair. It’s just such bittersweet transition and anyone who’s coloured before, knows exactly what I’m talking about. This account is of the first time I decided to colour and God what a mess that was! So basically this transition is a five step process. A process to achieving that goes as follows, “Woah! She looks good”, said her ex. “Ugh did you see her hair?” ...

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The Black Prince: In conversation with Kavi Raz on the real Lion of Punjab and the most powerful kingdom in the world

There is a great deal of talk about The Black Prince, a movie that was released worldwide on July 21, 2017. For this very reason, I just had to try and reach out to the man behind this effort and get some answers about the film and his life. Kavi Raz (KR) is a very interesting figure in Hollywood amongst the Punjabi diaspora. I am extremely glad that he responded to do this interview with me Ras Siddiqui (RS): The Black Prince is based on the little known life of Maharajah Duleep Singh, the youngest son of Maharajah Ranjit Singh. The world knows little about him or his life. What peaked ...

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‘Exit West’ and ‘The Golden Legend’ could be Pakistan’s literary game-changers

This is a strong year for Pakistani fiction. Two excellent novels, ‘Exit West’ and ‘The Golden Legend’, by two excellent novelists, Mohsin Hamid and Nadeem Aslam, have been published to great critical acclaim. Another, ‘Home Fire’ by Kamila Shamsie, is forthcoming in August and is already being endorsed by a plethora of writers. Historically, the Man Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the world, has been won by Indian writers five times. No Pakistani writer has won it and only three, including Aslam and Hamid, have been nominated. This year, with two strong and worthy contenders, Pakistani writers have a great chance of featuring on the long ...

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Why Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is the war film the world needs today

In one scene in Dunkirk, a young boy lies on the floor of a boat, struck, hurt and unmoving. His friend whispers to him that he needs to get better, because he requires help on deck. The boy replies that he will not be able to help. Because he can no longer see. The war in Dunkirk, comprising of terse battles from the sky, land and water, is in itself like a blind, unseeing force. Blind in its senselessness and blind in its fury. Christopher Nolan’s superb and unusual movie is a metaphor for the blind chaos that war is. Movies often play ...

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‘Tis the season to mango it up, with these sweet, delicious and easy desserts!

It’s that time of the year again when we find ourselves replacing wholesome meals with the indulgent sweetness of mangoes. A delicious variety of Langra, Sindhri, Anwar Ratol, Chaunsa, Desheri, Himsager and Sammar Bahist, to name a few of the desi aams (mangoes) are readily available in Pakistan. These mangoes become a delicious addition at breakfast, lunch and dinner. In his book ‘The Last Mughal’, William Dalrymple quoted the following, defining our love affair with mangoes aptly. “For Mirza Ghalib, the late evening was the time for indulging in mango related pleasures, especially the exquisitely small, sweet chaunsa mango, a taste he shared with many other discerning Delhiwallahs, past and present. At one gathering, a group of Dehliwallahs were discussing what qualities a good mango ...

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War for the Planet of the Apes isn’t nearly as intelligent, interesting or exciting as its prequels

War for the Planet of the Apes serves as the third and final instalment in the rebooted Planet of the Apes trilogy, which like most rebooted blockbusters of the present has looked to offer a bleaker and more serious version of its old, campy predecessor. Set a few years after the events of the last film, War for the Planet of the Apes follows the ape leader Caesar (motion-captured by Andy Serkis) and his primate community hidden in a dense forest, wanting only to be left alone in peace. However, a group of humans led by a ruthless colonel (Woody Harrelson) are still raging against the repercussions of ...

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A Bolly-musical combo doesn’t sound quite appealing, but Jagga Jasoos proves otherwise

After three long years in production, Anurag Basu’s directorial Jagga Jasoos finally saw the light of day. First things first, this film is different from other Bollywood movies because it is a musical. Bollywood and musicals doesn’t sound quite right, but Jagga Jasoos proves otherwise. With Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif as the main cast, it created quite a buzz even before the promotions began. This was partly because of the delay and also due to Kapoor and Kaif’s publicised break up. The film, which has opened to mixed reviews, earned over Rs8.57 crore on its first day. Jagga Jasoos features Kapoor as Jagga, a young boy on a quest to find his ...

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Cars 3: Not a masterpiece but still a marked improvement from Cars 2

Over the last two decades, Pixar has impressed the world by releasing some terrific films, such as Finding Nemo (2003), Ratatouille (2007), WALL-E (2008), Up (2009), and the Toy Story series (1995 – present). But while many of the studios’ adventures rank among animation’s finest offerings, there have been a couple of missteps that have received a more lukewarm reception. Among its less imaginative efforts is the Cars franchise, a series that tells the tales of anthropomorphic vehicles. Although it may not have struck a chord with the critics, Cars has still been a monetary success, thanks to massive merchandise sales. The lucrative merchandising has led to the continuation of the series, which now gives us its ...

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