Stories about Berlin

“Apna Time Agaya”: When Ranveer Singh painted the gullies of Berlin red

On February 9th, Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt premiered at Friedrichstadt-Palast as part of the Berlin Film Festival Berlinale’s Special Entry, and the city’s popular Friedrichstrasse district was buzzing with Bollywood fans. All the nearby bus, train, tram stations were filled with Hindi/Urdu speakers discussing the arrival of the stunning crew. The red carpet area of the cinema was decorated specially for the stars. Minutes before the film was scheduled to begin, Bollywood’s heartthrob Singh made his entrance along with the elegant Bhatt, both waving and smiling to frantic crowds of fans. Calm and collected ...

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The phoenix of history: Nothing captured my heart like Berlin did

From the moment I stepped out of the Berlin Tegel airport on to the city that possesses one of the richest histories in the world, the air around me transformed. Compared to the noisy Karachi streets where each nook and corner is densely populated, streets in Berlin seem fairly less crowded. The very air reeked of its past, almost as if it is haunted by the disputes once started on this very land. When I entered my apartment in West Berlin, I was unaware of the significance of my position, its only days later when I realised that the East-West ...

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What do our reactions to a 13-year-old’s false allegations of gang-rape say about us?

The 13-year-old Berlin based German-Russian girl’s allegations of being kidnapped and gang-raped by men of Arabic and African origin quickly snowballed into a storm. Her claim was the men had forced her into their vehicle and attacked her. Reports of the girl’s harrowing tale were shared across Russian social media and even made it to local television. They were met with demonstrations by an anti-migrant national right-wing political party, as well as people from the Russian community in Germany who were backed by the Pegida-related Bärgida movement. The matter soon turned into an international incident. While the German police rightly kept ...

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10 iconic moments no sports fan can ever forget

Every year, hundreds of sports events are held around the world, yet a very few moments among them linger on in our memories and eventually turn into classic moments we keep replaying in our minds. Here are 10 of the most irreplaceable flashes every sports fanatic can never erase from their memories: 1. Maradona’s ‘Goal of the Century’ during the 1986 FIFA World Cup Photo: Reuters Within five minutes of the second-half during the quarter-final match of the 1986 FIFA World Cup between England and Argentina, Diego Maradona gave the football world two of its most classic moments. First, he scored the  famous ‘Hand of God’ goal as the result of an ...

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UEFA Champions League returns with a thrill of emotions

It’s the mid of February, which means the knockout stages of the Champions League, and the ride to the final match – which will be held in Berlin on June 6th – is just round the corner. And I am sure that it would be nothing less than thrilling. Before the league officially begins, I think it would be a good idea to look at all the teams and assess their chances at winning. So here goes: Schalke 04 versus Real Madrid Schalke got a run for their money when they played Real Madrid the round of 16 ties last season, losing 6-1 ...

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PEGIDA anti-Muslim riots: Is Germany flirting with its dark past?

There is no such thing as racism in Germany. Or at least in theory, there isn’t. After the Second World War, Berlin was reduced to rubble by the Allied Forces, revealing the horrors of the Holocaust that Nazism left behind. At the time, the question, “how did we let this happen?” was never fully answered. The Allies and the Soviet were too busy contemplating the future of Germany. The issue of intolerance and racism was never really dealt with but was rather suppressed deep within the sub-conscience of the Nazi apologists. And overnight, anti-Semitism became unfashionable. But looking back after 70 ...

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“Altaf Hussain has been arrested – get home, now!”

1:20 pm, Tuesday, June 3rd It was a regular weekday with the familiar hustle of an office facing tight deadlines. Some people had finished their lunch and were chatting over tea about the upcoming football world cup. Others were just about to tuck into their food and planning out the post lunch work plan. A colleague broke the news, the possibility of which had been discussed in hushed tones many-a-times. Breathlessly she spilled the words: “Altaf Hussain (Chief of the MQM Party) has been arrested!” All was left aside and everyone started checking social media for updates. Some turned on the news ...

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They call her Berlin

Berlin is like that friend, who as soon as you meet, shares her deepest, darkest secrets without any shame. She’s been betrayed more harshly than Jesus, has seen more blood than a haematologist and has had her fair share of wars waged on her soil. Anyone in her position would just clam up and hide their scars; not wear them on their sleeves all the time. Yet, Berlin showcases her biggest mistakes for the entire world. Just when you think that a broken person like her has probably forgotten how to really live – she takes you to a party so ...

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