Stories about character

Promiscuous hypocrisy: “Yaar, she has already slept with me. How can I marry her?”

I casually asked my friend when we met at a coffee shop last week, “So, when are you going to marry her?”   “What do you mean?” My friend was probably not ready for this question. “I mean, when will you marry your girlfriend?” I clarified. He broke into laughter and looked at me as if I had cracked a joke. “Have you gone mad?” He said while controlling his laughter. “But what’s wrong? She is a nice, educated girl and you must also settle down and have a family life now,” I emphasised. “You are probably right about settling down, but it’s not going to be with ...

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Miscarriage of justice: For Khadija Siddiqui, justice was delayed and denied

Shah Hussain’s May 25th ‘acquittal’ in the Khadija Siddiqui case has led to public outrage. People’s faith in the criminal justice system seems to be shattered yet again. In 2016, Khadija was attacked by a helmet adorned assailant multiple times, 23 times to be precise, with a knife. On July 29, 2017, a magistrates’ court convicted Shah, her classmate at law school, of attempted murder and criminal hurt (Sections 324 and 337 of the Pakistan Penal Code) and sentenced him to seven years in prison. In March, 2018, a session’s court reduced the sentence to five years, and last week, the Lahore ...

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Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk: Yet another Iraq war movie glorifying the US

Now don’t get me wrong, I am as big a fan of Ang Lee as the next film aficionado. After all, this is the same filmmaker who gave us cinematic masterpieces like the quirkily romantic Brokeback Mountain, the visually stunning Life of Pi and the exotically beautiful Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. But despite all the hoopla about the revolutionary new format – a combination of 4K resolution and 3D at 120 frames per second, five times the standard speed – his latest venture Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is shot in, it all boils down to how the movie actually is minus the technical gimmickry. Most audiences will ...

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My niece is the apple of my eye, but I fear for her

I was reading the paper while having toasted bread with a cup of coffee, and my eyes fell upon a story that sent shivers down my spine – two brothers had raped a 14-year-old girl. I placed the cup back on the table since my hands were trembling and all of a sudden, I was a broken little girl again. I was transported back into the past, the same past that had affected not only my childhood, but my soul – a past where I was loved and was the apple of someone’s eye. But sometimes, love isn’t enough because I still remember. ...

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The Legend of Tarzan: A tedious and utterly insipid rehash

I can’t say I walked into The Legend of Tarzan with particularly high expectations. And that wasn’t only due to the fact that the character of Tarzan simply does not appeal to me, or because of the character’s highly unsuccessful, nearly a century old on-screen track record. But also because, I feel the character and story is an out-dated relic of the past that should have been forgotten, when its author Edgar Rice Burroughs passed away in 1950. But knowing Hollywood and its primal penchant for rebooting and rehashing anything and everything that has the capability of making even a little money, I’m not ...

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Even Govinda couldn’t save ‘Kill Dil’

Kill Dil was amongst the most anticipated movies of 2014, due to numerous reasons like Ali Zafar’s first hardcore masala entertainment, Govinda’s villainous re-entry and Ranveer Singh’s flamboyant character. So, what does Yash Raj’s banner offer this time to its audience? Let’s explore! Kill Dil is about two orphans – Dev (Ranveer) and Tutu (Ali), who get noticed by a local hoodlum, Bhaiyya Jee (Govinda) while crossing a ‘kachre ka dabba’. Bhaiyya takes them in and provides the orphans with shelter. As they grow up, he nurtures them to be his special and most trustworthy assassins. Everything is mundane when until one ...

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Did Haider do justice to Shakespeare’s Hamlet?

William Shakespeare, in one way or another, is an inspiration for every writer. In Bollywood, there is only one director, Vishal Bhardwaj, who has always done justice to Shakespeare’s plots and has done exceptionally well in entertaining the audience. Omkara and Maqbool are good examples of this. This time again, Bhardwaj, along with Basharat Peer (a Kashmiri journalist), has penned down an adaptation of Shakespeare’s most ambitious play, Hamlet. After R… Rajkumar and Phata Poster Nikla Hero (the masala entertainers), Shahid Kapoor was offered perhaps the most complicated role of his acting career; a role that needed thorough understanding of the character, ...

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‘The Wandering Falcon’: Understanding Balochistan, the literary way

Jamil Ahmad’s The Wandering Falcon cruised into my bucket list when it was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize and Commonwealth Book Prize, but that was not the sole reason for it clicking with me. It was the debut work of the author at the age of 78 and was written long before we mired our stream of consciousness by replacing people with numbers and empathy with stock language for the tribal people of Pakistan. Penned down some 34 years ago, the work of fiction has become extremely relevant to the current global situation rampant with discourse of convenience. The short stories shot to ...

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‘Gullu’ app: Are we becoming the Butt of all jokes?

Smash it and thrash it, and who knows, you could be the next famous person with your face plastered on every television screen in Pakistan. The Model Town incident in Lahore not only brought with it a lot of bloodshed but also helped surface a notorious character, Gullu Butt. Since then, the man has been the talk of the town, taking over social media with memes, tweets, posts and shares depicting his infamous act of smashing and thrashing cars. Photo: Google Play Lately, game developers, Weird Science, joined the bandwagon and came up with a game app called ‘Gullu’. It ...

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My life… or a poorly scripted story?

My story is one that is not worth listening to. It is poorly scripted and lacks punctuation and depth. It lingers on too long and then stops suddenly, as if looking for a new introduction to an already spoiled plot. It dies too often or does it sleep? I do not know. It becomes dormant so it could be either. Its commas occur once too often and the colons, which are otherwise latent with the charm of novelty and surprise, act as full stops. Its full stops end half-lived sentences which miserably rise and fall, full of verbs which do and die, ...

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