Stories about black

Dear filmmakers, stuttering is a disorder, not a joke for you to cash on

Some days ago, I received a clip on Whatsapp of a scene from a Pakistani movie titled Lahore Se Aagay. The lead character, played by Yasir Hussain, tries to make the dialogue ‘funny’ by mocking the speech related disorder generally known as stuttering or stammering. Upon further inquiry, I discovered Hussain has played the role of a guy who stutters several times in his career. In another movie, Karachi Se Lahore, which is the prequel to Lahore Se Aagay, Hussain tries to seem hilarious by stammering to the character’s advantage. Though he believes his portrayal is empowering for those who stutter, ...

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With grandeur that leaves audiences a teary mess, has Sanjay Leela Bhansali replaced Shakespeare as the king of tragic romance?

If there is a synonym for visual opulence, it is none other than the great auteur, Sanjay Leela Bhansali. With only nine directorial ventures under his belt so far, Bhansali’s career as the main man behind the camera has not been less adventurous than a roller coaster ride. From being an assistant director to the crafty Vidhu Vinod Chopra, to his debut directorial flop; from successfully taking risks to creating a national level controversy, Bhansali has probably seen it all in his career. Yet he always strives to deliver a magnum opus like never before, with Padmaavat being the latest ...

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“Baji, why does Master ji not give me the same kind of attention he gives to Hira?”

She was bathed in my perfume when I entered the room. “Baji, there was some stench coming from the store room; that’s why I was using it.” She is the daughter of our housekeeper; hardly 12, with dark skin, sharp features, huge, sparkly eyes, and an innocent face. Her mother asked me to help her with her studies and I loved to teach her. She was such a bright student who wanted to learn as much as she could. But for some time now, I was noticing a devastating change in her personality; a lack of interest in her studies, a sudden interest in the latest ...

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The real (philosophical) meaning behind Taher Shah’s new single ‘Angel’

International pop sensation Taher Shah has taken the music industry by storm yet again with his eagerly awaited single ‘Angel’. Ever since his first single, emotionally dense and invoking intimacy through eye contact, we just could not get enough of his frizzy mane and white suit. His video has made a fan-girl out of everyone nationally and internationally, and we buckle at the knees upon hearing the sound of his voice. How could this talent have been lying hidden for so long? Girls want to know what shampoo he uses to maintain his lusciousness, while men want to know what tailor he gets his ...

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Why recognising the Charleston Church shooting as an act of racially motivated terrorism is only the first step

I took a moment of silence. A long moment… as I struggled to sort through my emotions while I watched the breaking news reports that gunshots had torn through Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, around 9pm Wednesday. Nine people gathered for a prayer meeting were killed. The shots were fired by Dylann Roof, a white man in his early 20s, who entered the church, worshipped with the members and later opened fire. The massacre will be investigated as a hate crime, Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said. However, by definition, it was a domestic act of terrorism and the gunman, a terrorist. As ...

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Black should not be our colour

Black is for grief, Black is for mourning.   Black is for the little men, Who returned in little coffins.   Black is for the gloomy night, That lost its stars, Young and bright.   Black is for the lost children, And the parents’ miserable plight.   Black is for the darkness, In rooms with empty beds   Black is for the ink, Before it went all red.   Black is for the shoes, Before they drenched in blood.   Black is for the corridors, Where the kids once shouted Recess! Now they echo with the bell of bullets, Heralding the dance of death.   Black is for the ashes, Of teachers burnt alive.   Black is for the fear, In the eyes that watched it live.   Black is for the ...

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The new James Bond might be black. So?

The upcoming James Bond movie might offer a critic much to complain about; a hint that the crucial male lead may be played by a ‘black actor’, is no legitimate reason to moan. There are instances of jaw-dropping idiocy one becomes rapidly accustomed to, following social political news in America. I no longer jump out of my seat when Pat Robertson says something misogynistic, or when Jenny McCarthy links vaccines to hair cancer, or whatever her latest unscientific concern may be. Rush Limbaugh too has earned a similar reputation, but blatant racism is something particularly difficult to get accustomed to, especially in the ‘I can’t breathe’, post-Fergurson America where patience ...

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Red is such an ugly colour on green

My Facebook timeline is black. It’s so black that every time a coloured photo appears on it, I am taken aback and even angered; how anyone can think of posting anything other than black? Black is an appropriate colour for today. I think if grief and shock to the point of being numb would have a colour, it would be black. I want everything to be black; I want my mind to go black, and I keep trying to make it do so, but it insists on flashing bright red with images of the beautiful children of my country, murdered in cold blood. They ...

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Would the verdict have been different if Pistorius was black?

The judgment has come and there are no surprises in it for anyone. We have all been anticipating this judgement since the trial began. A woman was murdered by her celebrity boyfriend; it’s a simple case where the chances of justice being served exist as much as making a ‘Naya Pakistan’. The trial was fun though; it provided all of us the chance to savour the live court drama in the safety of our TV lounge. This live reality show covered the drama featuring Pistorius, a double amputee reliving the scene with his bat, tears rolling down his cheeks as a sign of “negligence” and ...

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Muslim is the new black

This past Monday I watched CNN’s Don Lemon question Sam Harris sympathetically, almost apologetically, about Ben Affleck’s defence of the Muslims of the world. Lemon asked Harris loaded questions, encouraging him to spew his ignorant half-true rhetoric about Islam. And this claim I do not make condescendingly, rather Harris’ knowledge appeared lacking because of its biased subjectivity rather than studied objectivity on the subject of Islam, his simplistic rambling sounded amateurish and very myopic. A discussion on religion within the same religion is fundamentally complicated, let alone in comparison to other religions, hence to make the dialogue intellectual and fair, the media must play a responsible role and have ...

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