Stories about ARY

A farewell to MQM

Life is a system of cycles. The sun comes up, shines bright, and goes down bringing the night only to be outshone by the sun again. This phenomenon is so natural that normally people do not pay attention to it after they have studied it in the fifth grade. What’s more important is perhaps the knowledge that human life and events are also similar to these cycles. People, movements and ideas rise and become prevalent only to live out their lifespan and ebb away in history while another takes their place. The most popular theory that explained this phenomenon was ...

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My salon was ransacked on the orders of the wife of a NAB officer

It all started on Tuesday April 5, 2016, around 1 pm, when a client at my salon started to create an issue about a chain – a chain which she had taken off in order to get her services done. She claimed it was valuable, which it must have been, considering she returned to my salon the next day to look for it. At first, she kicked up a fuss over her calls not being answered at 11 pm the night before; please do keep in mind that our closing time is 9 pm. I politely told her that our phones, whether mobile ...

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No, Mr Hakeem, your totkas cannot cure every problem!

Ground some nutmeg powder and mix it with rose water, he said. Apply it on the scars; this magical concoction will make all your scars disappear with just one single application. Oh! You can have perfect clear skin, he said. There is nothing better to be goofed about. One day, while flipping through channels, I stumbled upon a Hakeem on ARY’s morning show. Among many other health and beauty tips, he was generous enough to openly share a remedy that I couldn’t wait to try; I was so convinced by his confidence that there was an organic remedy that could rid me of my scars. I ...

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Will ‘Mera Naam Yusuf Hai’ be better than ‘Pyare Afzal’?

Mera Naam Yusuf Hai (MNYH) is the latest offering from the famous pen of Khalilur Rehman Qamar and A Plus – a channel which is fast making a name for itself against the top three rival drama channels Geo, ARY and Hum TV. MNYH’s first episode has all the ingredients of a typical love story: a chance meeting between two strangers on a train amongst a lot of ‘mohabbat-key-dushman’ type relatives, a male protagonist with little or no career prospects except his music and a female protagonist caught in the middle of a war with her parents, who are ready to marry her off to the nearest uninteresting relative as ...

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Why are we as a nation so obsessed with Imran Khan’s marriage?

The New Year has begun, and by all indications, Pakistan is going to be as messed up in 2015 as it was in 2014, 2013, 2012… you get the idea. Things don’t look good for this beloved banana republic of ours, with terrorists breathing down our neck, military courts and death penalties, economic woes, and foreign policy Gordian knots that just keep tying themselves up again the moment someone brings a sword this way. Yet the one matter of greatest importance on everyone’s minds (and tongues) is the marriage of Imran Khan. “Did he or didn’t he?” has surpassed “To ...

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The problem with our drama industry and its depiction of Pakistani women

The troubled image of modern Pakistani women conjured up by Pakistani dramas is extremely distorted and single dimensional. Stories, it is said, are a subtle yet are the most influential way of documenting the social evolution of a society. The story of a woman sells but the modern media has gone one step ahead by proving that the story of a woman being abused, tortured, beaten and humiliated sells faster. The massive projection of domestic and women related violence might appear as an attempt to serve the cause but a closer look will reveal an entirely different and gross story. The disturbing image of woman ...

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Pakistan imports illegal Dish TV from India but refuses to rid itself of ancient cable operators?

How many of us have exclaimed with joy and literally hooted at the following sentence, at least once in their lifetime? “Oh, great! Xyz channel aagaya!”  (Oh great! Xyz channel is available now!) Honestly, I have seen this reaction every time a cable operator tunes in any channel which he had previously stopped running without any prior notice and schedule. I am sure any and every Pakistani has experienced this, whether they reside in the urban areas, suburbs or the unincorporated villages. The sole cause of this problem is the existence of the TV cable industry, which we still have in use, while this technology has been replaced across the globe ...

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Cruelty to animals is not ‘Living on the Edge’

I recently caught the season finale of Living on the Edge (aired on October 16, 2013) and was appalled by the animal abuse taking place in the show. For those unfamiliar with Living on the Edge, it is a reality TV show in which contestants are given various challenges to see who is the most ‘daring’. It is supposedly Pakistan’s ‘highest rated show amongst music channels’. While many critics consider the language and content to sometimes be in bad taste, my major objection is with the cruelty that the animals go through during these ‘dares’. In the grand finale, amongst other ...

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Bulbulay: When a poor man’s distress is funny

The TV-show ‘Bulbulay’ enjoys a sizable fan-following in Pakistan, but I’ve never really been a part of that base. On watching its most recent episode, my face appears to have been restructured to bear a permanent grimace. The story went something like this (needless to say, you’ll find spoilers here!): A penniless man arrives at the family’s doorstep begging for food. He stays at the door for several hours, sobbing uncontrollably about his woeful condition. The fact that the show’s writers managed to squeeze jokes into the episode with such a background story, is a remarkable feat. But wait, it gets funnier! ...

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How much do you hate Pakistan’s media?

Keeping lists of all aspects of Pakistani activity on Facebook is a manic hobby of mine. I consider myself the tracker of the totality of our online diaspora, which is best represented on Facebook (8 million Pakistanis and growing fast). One list that has been very consistently growing and producing content is my (rather plainly dubbed) Pakistan Media Haters list. Over the last two years I have been diligently adding pages that spew hate (i.e. irrational, cherry-picked critique with dollops of venom, lies, incitement to violence and racism) against the local media. I have also tried to decipher where these pages ...

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