Stories about friendship

Zero: Too many flaws and not enough ink

Newly released Zero, starring Shah Rukh Khan (SRK), Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in lead roles, reminded me strongly of Shahid Kapoor’s Mausam. Similar to Mausam, Zero has a strong premise.  However, the 20 subplots it takes to explore this subject in a lengthy 165-minutes narrative makes it a tedious watch. It is a film with a good heart but the body of the film has a more acute case of cerebral palsy than the lead character of the film does. Zero has a misleading title. It should have been called six. Or seven. This is the number of stories the ...

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With an unconventional kinship and a path of self-discovery, will Pinky Memsaab shatter Pakistan’s ‘maid culture’?

Although still struggling, Pakistan’s cinema has started pulling filmgoers to cinema houses and making waves in the international film market. By taking baby steps to reshape the film industry, local filmmakers are working hard to capture the beauty of life on screen, to transform the portrayal of their motherland through persuasive storytelling, and to foster national identity and pride that hasn’t been experienced for a long time. In this regard, Pakistan’s indie filmmaking scene gives the impression of being more rousing and vivacious than ever, with new storytellers along with unrivalled concepts surfacing the cinematic galaxy. These avantgarde indie movies ...

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Tag: How far are you willing to go for friendship?

For almost two and a half decades, a group of childhood friends have been playing an amusingly absurd game of ‘tag’, an activity that started in school and has been carried over into adulthood as an offbeat way for the cohorts to stay in touch. For one month every year, the players go through ridiculous lengths to tag each other; the last person tagged is “it” till the next year. Their story came to light through a 2013 piece in Wall Street Journal. Inspired by the real-life shenanigans of the aforementioned group, Tag tells the tale of six grown-ups who have turned a ...

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“It’s raining”: Do Pakistanis know how to use Facebook?

“You know what? You can travel to any place in the world without updating your status on Facebook!” “What’s the point of sharing your pictures on social media? What do you want to prove?” “What are people supposed to do with what you are having for dinner at XYZ restaurant?” To start off, I am not a big fan of changing my display picture every week or putting my selfies on social media; it doesn’t interest me. I never share where, what and with whom I am eating. I have never posted about how many pounds I lost or gained in the ...

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Munir and Ali needed a goat like Raju

“Mama! Mujhay subha uthana please aath bajay. Baba kay sath mandi jaunga,” Ali pleaded with his mother. (Mom! Please wake me up at eight in the morning. I have to go with dad to the cattle market) She nodded as she tucked him in lovingly. Ali had been looking forward to the Bari Eid since Ramazan. He had been extremely disappointed to find out that the Eid after Ramazan will not involve getting a bakra (goat) and bringing it home. He had insisted though. “Hum le aatay hain na! Hum bakra isi wali Eid pe le aatay!” (We should get it! We should get ...

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How I became a drunken, cheating swine who destroyed his marriage

The year is 2011. It’s 8:30am. I am in the lounge, staring out of the window. “How do I look?” her words make me turn back. There she is, all ready to go to work. She is 33 but looks much younger and she looks beautiful in the blue suit she is wearing today. “You look lovely,” I respond, stating an obvious truth. “Do you love me?” is inevitably the next question. “Of course I do,” I respond trying to sound as convincing I can. I have to make an effort here because although this is true, it cannot be called an “obvious” truth ...

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How travelling to Baku restored my faith in humanity

One major reason as to why the travel bug constantly tugs at my heartstrings, even more than the wonderment of places, is the diversity of the people I get to meet. It is amazing how social, cultural, geographic, religious and political factors concoct such diversity in human beings, giving them a distinction in disposition, aura, colour and character. And then, people’s individual quirks and personalities make these encounters even more insightful, enriching, and sometimes life changing. A few months ago, when I announced to my parents that I planned to travel to Baku, Azerbaijan, for the very first time, they became ...

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‘Tag’: A hilarious story of an outlandish tradition that will make you miss your friends

In January 2013, The Wall Street Journal ran a story about a group of friends who had been playing a game of tag for 23 years. The game started in high school, continued throughout college, and soon became a no holds barred tradition, where whoever got tagged as “IT” would have to travel all across the country to tag one of the other competitors. The “Tag Brothers”, as they came to be known, decided to sell their story, resulting in the movie, Tag, whose trailer was released recently. Tag stars an ensemble cast of Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, Avengers), ...

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In the land of Raj and Simran, will Varun Dhawan‘s ‘October’ tell a different love story?

October, starring Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu and Gitanjali Rao, is not your clichéd love story, as the trailer highlights; it’s more along the lines of a story about love itself. We’d only be able to tell what exactly the story is once the movie is out, however, the trailer does manage to set the mood and theme of the movie and what viewers should expect from it. The movie will not be akin to Bollywood movies that include a boy, a girl and a love story entwining their faith. Dhawan plays an employee of a hotel, probably a five-star hotel, aspiring ...

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“It’s Chand Raat. He would want to be with family”

He looked again at the big slab of ice, big no longer. It had melted here and there, there and here. There was the memory of ice spread across the table. In zig zag lines, in the air around the table. In the future that was taking a leap into the past. Sometimes he thought his business was not really selling ice but buying time. And the sun was the vendor. The greater the sun’s heat, more the customers, but also greater the probability of the ice melting. Profit, loss. Loss, profit. On the hottest days, people flocked to him and in Ramazan, he naturally became the most important person. For those few hours, at least. He could ...

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