Stories about different

A Pakistani Christmas with a Kashmiri leg of lamb

A Pakistani Christmas is so different. With a large local Christian population and the concepts of Christmas firmly entrenched in our culture from the colonial times, it is no wonder that we, in Pakistan, celebrate this festive day with much excitement yet in such different ways – menus, traditions and styles. The fact that December 25th also marks the birthday of the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the public holiday is definitely welcome, not only for our Christian population (which would be given a day off regardless), but also for us to enjoy this wonderful time of year. I remember well, always being excited ...

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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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Federer, the living legend

Roger Federer – living legend and tennis’s Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) according to many – has defied the odds yet again at this year’s Shanghai Rolex Masters 1000. This title takes Federer’s total tally of Masters 1000 titles to 23, covering eight different tournaments. Most people wouldn’t find this newsworthy, considering they have heard of Federer’s magnificence in the game and, for them, Federer winning another title isn’t really a big deal. But this win is a very significant achievement for him, given the maestro’s struggles last year. In 2013, he struggled to even qualify for the World Tour Finals and had a ...

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A French, a German, a British and an awesome Pakistani

“Pakistan? Where are your burqas?” “We don’t wear one”, I gestured to my friends and myself. “Yeah, of course – not on holidays. But you know, the ones you’re forced to wear in Pakistan.” Laughing with disbelief, we shook our heads. “No, we don’t. It’s usually a personal choice.” “But…” his voice trailed off. A pause, and then he threw more questions at us. I spent seven weeks this summer interning overseas. There I was asked these questions, surprisingly by an Indian, a fellow ‘desi’ living only a border apart. Here he was, asking eagerly about how it was to live in a rocky, gun-strewn desert. He was pretty ...

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#PyareAfzal versus Nawaz Sharif’s speech: And the winner is…

Last night, while Pakistani men were anxiously waiting for the premier’s speech, to be aired at 8pm, the women had a completely different, and might I add ‘dramatic’, agenda to grab hold of the TV remote. Coincidentally, the prime minister’s speech took place at the same time when the series finale of Pyare Afzal – which could safely be dubbed as one of the most widely watched television serials of all time – was to be aired. On one hand, this diffused the political tension for the fans; on the other, it became a reason for family discords over the TV remote and ...

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Brother, you are from Pakistan and you don’t speak Arabic?

One of the biggest advantages of living abroad is the chance to hear what people think about your country. I have been living in Germany for the last three months and during this short stay, I have made friends from different regions of the world. At first, it appeared mystifying, the fact that everyone that I had met, knew something about Pakistan. It is no surprise that with the ongoing situation in Pakistan, where every day there is horrifying news that in the imagination of people I have come across, Pakistan comes closer to being an aberration. Wishfully, I often think ...

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Bates Motel: A cleverly plotted out thriller that is nothing like the movie

It was Friday night and I was really hoping to watch something different from the usual stuff that is shown on TV. It is then that I came across a series that seemed quite catchy solely by its title – Bates Motel. With modern alterations, it is based on the Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film ‘Psycho’, starring Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates. I must say that the movie was a twisted thriller that was cleverly plotted out. I recently purchased season one of the series and frankly speaking, it is pretty darn good! The series stars Vera Farmiga (Norma Bates), a great, talented and fresh-face ...

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Want to learn about the 2014 FIFA World Cup? Go to Lyari, Pakistan’s mini Brazil

It is said that things are not always the same on the inside as they may seem on the outside. Don’t judge a book by its cover. The same phrase can be said for Lyari’s current situation. Lyari is one of the oldest and most densely populated areas of Karachi, where people belonging from different races and ethnicities have been living together for years. However, people need to understand that Lyari’s real identity has been manipulated and the area is wrongly presented as a symbol of terror and fear. It is not as bad as it is portrayed by the media or discussed ...

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No Father’s Day for you Papa

Papa never had a day; he always cherished and lived in our days. This Father’s Day is just another day for Papa. To someone who never had a day, this morning was no different since even today he was busy cleaning cars as we bid him salam after discussing a few tasks that needed his supervision.  Papa had a tough beginning but that was never passed on to us, not even on his worst day. But then again, papa never had a day. What he passed on was something worthy of a king; love for life, passion for sports, discipline for hobbies, a ...

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Get out of the way, you pedestrians!

Although driving anywhere in the world is an amalgamation of knowledge and respect of traffic rules and a good command over ones reflexes. In Pakistan it is a different ball game altogether. Not only do you have to possess nerves of steel but also reflexes that can be pushed beyond normal human abilities.  Since there is complete disregard for traffic regulations as well as no sanctity for human life and property. Our attitude on the roads, and almost everywhere else, is utterly deplorable. Every time I get behind the wheel I face 4×4’s with tinted glasses, guards sporting handlebar moustaches and toting guns (with muzzles pointing at ...

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