Stories about animals

From Gilgit Baltistan to New York: Leo was lucky to escape the death cells that are Pakistan’s zoos

On a random Wednesday morning, I ended up strolling inside the Bronx Zoo in New York. Don’t ask me what I was doing at the zoo on a weekday, but I’ll tell you this: Wednesdays are free for visitors. Yes, this was a cheap move, but I was actually only having a stroll to see if this is a place I can bring my younger nieces to, should they visit me coming summer. At the Bronx Zoo, I met another visitor from Pakistan that I wouldn’t have imagined I would meet even in my wildest of imaginations. Hold on to your ...

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Darker and drearier, ‘Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle’ lacks its bare necessities

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, the latest live-action cinematic take on Rudyard Kipling’s story of a boy raised by wolves is a peculiar beast. It’s the old familiar tale but with a dark, gory spin. Mowgli (Rohan Chand), an orphaned infant, grows up in an Indian jungle after being rescued by the panther Bagheera (Christian Bale) and adopted by a family of wolves. The pack offers him protection from Sher Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch), a fierce tiger who killed the child’s parents and now wants to devour the man cub as well. The young boy is mentored by the bear Baloo (Andy ...

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Munir and Ali needed a goat like Raju

“Mama! Mujhay subha uthana please aath bajay. Baba kay sath mandi jaunga,” Ali pleaded with his mother. (Mom! Please wake me up at eight in the morning. I have to go with dad to the cattle market) She nodded as she tucked him in lovingly. Ali had been looking forward to the Bari Eid since Ramazan. He had been extremely disappointed to find out that the Eid after Ramazan will not involve getting a bakra (goat) and bringing it home. He had insisted though. “Hum le aatay hain na! Hum bakra isi wali Eid pe le aatay!” (We should get it! We should get ...

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The Secret Life of Pets is fun, but it’s not clever

What do you get when you mix Toy Story, arguably the greatest animated movie ever, with talking canines? Voila! I present you with the latest animated venture from Illumination Entertainment, The Secret Life of Pets. Proceedings start off with the likeable terrier Max (Louis CK), his neighbour Gidget (Jenny Slate), and the finicky fat cat Chloe (Lake Bell). Max (Louis CK)Photo: IMDb Gidget (Jenny Slate)Photo: IMDb Chloe (Lake Bell)Photo: IMDb The narrative kicks into gear when Max’s owner, brings home a new pooch for Max to be buds with – the oversized and ...

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The question was never about whether Harambe should have been shot or not

The killing of a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden on Friday has resulted in a total and complete social media meltdown. The incident has garnered rage, an outpouring of online-hate, as well as the sympathies of many. The severity of the incident depends on who you ask. Harambe, an endangered western lowland gorilla had just turned 17. The zoo even celebrated his birthday. But who would have thought that the primate would be shot to death the very next day? The reason this ape was killed was because a four-year-old fell into his enclosure. In the video it ...

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Stop killing our dogs, CBC, please!

I’ve been a quiet spectator of the brutal killings of stray dogs in Karachi for a very long time and despite the fact that it has enraged me time and time again, I’ve kept quiet only to realise that it is in times like these when you acknowledge the wrongdoing happening before you. You either become a silent observer boiling with rage on the inside or you try to make a difference despite the possibility that your efforts may prove to be futile.  I have recently come across several Facebook posts talking about stray dogs being shot point-blank by Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC). I ...

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Why should Indian-Muslims get concessions that the Hindu majority does not?

Most Hindus believe that India’s efforts, after partition, to integrate Muslims have always hinged on policies excessively and unduly unfair to Hindus. To many, this is done by extracting from India’s Hindu majority extraordinary concessions and accommodation which would be absolutely unacceptable in any other part of the world. These efforts have always pivoted on the construct of the Muslim as a special citizen. This can been seen in every policy matter ranging from the double standards propping the unconscionably discriminatory Article 370 in Kashmir to the government funding of madrassahs and the stipends given to imams and mullahs (as opposed to ...

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Why sacrificing animals on Eidul Azha is a good ritual

Is everyone noticing the drastic reduction in the number of houses from which the familiar bleating sounds of goats and the authoritarian moo of cows can be heard this year? If television reports are to be believed, there are more animals available in the market for sacrifice than there are buyers. The reasons are many, and some of them are valid. Exorbitant asking prices of sellers are one. The portion you get in a cow is as expensive now as a goat used to be. Not every region of Pakistan is culturally attuned to beef, which remains the more economical ...

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Is your bakra a terrorist?

A week ago or so you were perhaps meandering in the bakra mandi; looking for the perfect specimen to take home. You inspected 20 plus bakras, clutched each animal’s jaw to find out if your bakra-to-be has two or four teeth and sturdy horns – sharp enough to butcher other bakras in the mandi. You inquired about the weight of half a dozen cows, and went to check out that one camel in the neighbourhood also. After loitering around, you finally got down to business, put on your crafty airs and negotiated a deal. You walked out of the mandi with a strong looking, cinnamon dusted bakra. As you ...

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This Eid, there was no spirit of sacrifice for me

Six-year-old Osama ran hurriedly down the stairs of his apartment, as did the other kids. Children came rushing out of their houses, some from their homework and others from their video games. Mothers shrieked and grandmothers grumbled but to no avail. The street was soon swarming with kids of all ages and sizes, running towards something that seemed to possess a magnetic prowess. At length, the Pied Piper of Pakistan stopped, and the children stood around it, anticipating the descent of the much awaited cow. Excitement was widespread in the crowd, every child and every man was discussing in hushed ...

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