Stories about culture

A New York state of mind

Walking along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York City, can be an exhilarating experience. Imposing architectural wonders staring down at you on all sides, the throbbing, pulsating and electrifying pace of city life can be, overwhelming to say the least. Yet one cannot help falling in love with this impossibly grand monument to human achievement and skill. The grandeur of the city hits you even before you land on the historic JFK Airport as you get the bird’s eye view of this extremely modern city from the plane window. Once out of the plane, you encounter the thoroughly organised discipline of the airport staff and you begin to ...

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Mayday mayday, our daredevil pilot wants to fly through a thunderstorm!

Thai Air may have a very good air worthiness record both for their fleet and the flying staff. Being a Thai Air passenger on several occasions I have had no bad memories until I flew back to Islamabad on March 17th, 2014 from Manila via Bangkok. Thai Air is probably one of the few foreign airlines that still maintain daily flights from three cities in Pakistan; all western airlines including Singapore Airlines stopped flying into Pakistan for various reasons, almost a decade ago, Thai Air has been providing that necessary bridge to keep Pakistan connected to Asia. By making a code-share agreement ...

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Of celebrity sex tapes and right to privacy

Meera has been in the news for all the wrong reasons; her every word is dissected, every move analysed and every action judged. So when an alleged sex tape with her now ex fiancé Captain Naveed became a collection in everyone’s mobile phones, the reaction was nothing startling. Most blamed it as a desperate publicity stunt to nourish a floundering career and some empathised with the trauma the ‘leak’ may have caused to the couple. Mubashir Luqman dedicated a show on this alleged sex tape that added fuel to the fire. But debate on another pertinent question was absent in ...

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A vaccine a day…

I have heard her say, She fears for him, for his fleeting eyes, For his silent voice, He has built some walls A tad too thick and far too long. He has escaped from this world and now he lives within, Surrounded by his opacity, she yearns to hear him, She says, one of these days, he will talk, he will shout She is sure, the storm, that is brewing inside him, will be let out, She is afraid, before it consumes him, she wants him to consume her, With his head against the ground, with his nonsensical articulations, Bouncing off the walls, she just wants to hear him talk, ...

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Facing disabilities: Until we do something about it, no one will

Having a disability does not necessarily make you worse off; it simply means you have to do things differently. However, it is sad to say, our society is plagued with ignorance when it comes to meeting the needs of mentally or physically challenged people. A blind eye is turned towards the needs of these people and because of this ignorance we do not realise the fact that most of the public places lack the basic necessities, such as ramps, integral for the physically challenged. Apart from this, very few schools exist for children with developmental delays. In a social setup like this, it is ...

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Manto: A realist par excellence

Saadat Hassan Manto (1912-1955) is a name synonymous in the annals of Urdu literature. Considered among the greatest contemporary Urdu short story writers of the 20th century, he has left a legacy that stretches far and wide. Manto’s greatest gift was his ability to depict the reality of society with such ease that he would leave the reader mesmerised and in utter awe. His attention to minor details and his signature style of description was second to none. Manto was a realist and a puritan who hated hypocrisy in every given way. Manto was a household name for me, virtue of my mother being his daughter. The ...

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The charming Manuel Pellegrini knows how to deliver gold!

The Barclays Premier League has finally concluded with Manchester City FC being crowned as the Champions of England. They faced West Ham in their final match of the season and required a draw or win to bag the trophy. And they bagged it! They did it with a mature and professional performance beating West Ham two goals to nil, thus finishing the season on top of the Premier League table. Over the next few weeks praise will be showered upon all the players and the management but, the one person who really was at the focal point of this successful ...

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May 11, 2013 changed Pakistan for the better, will May 11, 2014 do the same?

On the eve of  May 10 and 11, 2013 I saw a very different Lahore. Lahore was completely crowded with families and teenagers supporting their respective political parties, majorly PTI and PML-N. A poster in central Lahore asking citizens of Pakistan to vote. ‘Say yes to vote’ Photo: AFP From Liberty roundabout to Hussain Chowk and from Hussain Chowk to either side of Firdous and Mini Market roundabout, roads were jam packed with cars and motorbikes. It seemed like nothing else was more important to anyone that day, they came out to celebrate and their democratic festivity showed! To represent the spirit of ...

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Surrendering the title: A stepping stone to Liverpool’s success?

Following a costly error from their skipper Steven Gerrard, Liverpool exposed themselves to all sorts of taunts, trolls and criticisms that were hiding when they were on an unbeaten streak before. Captain Steven Gerrard swerving the ball against Chelsea. Photo:AFP This setback means that the reds’ future is out of their hands and they rely solely on how the opposition teams fare against the Manchester City side. Just like when Manchester United were on the horizons of success there were anti and pro United supporters in the league with Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea fans falling in the former category. Liverpool now tastes ...

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Nemanja Vidic: Bye bye Manchester United, hello Inter Milan!

It’s always hard to let go of someone who has been the backbone of a team for over eight years. Manchester United captain and central defender Nemanja Vidic is all set to leave the club at the end of the season. Giving his farewell speech to his supporters and team mates. Photo:AFP Vidic, 32, has already signed a contract this year in March, with Italian giants Inter Milan and will join them from next season. However, Tuesday night the Serbian played his last home game for Manchester United at Old Trafford and was given a rousing farewell after the game against Hull City. In ...

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