Stories about magic

My childhood was a lie!

Close your eyes and think of your childhood. What stories did you hear? Which fairytale was your favourite? Which princess did you want to be like? It doesn’t matter because they were all lies. The creepy origins of the stories that we associate with our childhood, border on ‘gothic’ and practically ooze ‘inappropriate’. All I can say is, do not read this if you want to preserve the innocence of your childhood memories. More often than not, cartoon adaptations of popular fairytales face very feminist criticism over the stereotypical ‘damsel in distress’ they present to young girls as a role model. But ...

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Have you been exorcised by Baba Welfare?

What is being witnessed in the video above? Is it an exorcism, or is it a terrifying, arcane ritual devoid of any notion of modern medicine (leave alone human and social cost)? Imagine yourself to be the girl being exorcised. What would you feel? Terror? Helplessness? Would you play along just to appease your family who has put you in this position and this big bearded man calling you a devil? Would you fight back, and to what end, given that your struggle will be called further proof of the presence of a jinn? Now try to imagine that you are actually ...

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Who says the blind can’t see magic tricks?

The C Magic series  features Magic Ali, who claims to be a wizard and not just a magician. He emphasizes that he is the real deal, so much so that he demonstrates how he made it possible for the visually impaired to partake in his magic trick.  Narrating an event where someone from his audience asked him to show his blind friend a trick, Magic Ali states that it was only then that he realized that magic has a lot of visual appeal, and one needs to see the conjuration to follow and appreciate it. He, thus, found a way to make ...

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Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows, Pottermore and saying good bye

Indeed, it all ends here as millions around the world unwillingly let go of a rope that for the last fourteen years has allowed us to descend– nay, apparate – into the most fantastical, timeless world ever to have been conjured (pun intended). Last Thursday author JK Rowling joined the Harry Potter cast in Britain, fictional home of Potter’s mystical world of magic, to promote the final film in the seven-film series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two. The cast, transformed from mousey-haired, ambrosial little children into chic, downright dapper young adults, spent hours mingling with fans as they ...

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Pirs, fakirs and other freaks

Blood curdling fury. That’s the best and perhaps only way to describe my feelings when I read news stories about pirs and their never-ending shenanigans. Fury, not at the pirs, because let’s face it, they’ve proved time and again that they’re quite good at their job of scamming, but at the people who happily volunteer to be used and abused by these charlatans and then go whining about their misfortune to the authorities, seeking commiseration and justice. What a heartless snoot you must think I am, right? Brutally chalking off victims of one of the most hideous and widespread forms of ...

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Narnia loses its magic with Voyage of the Dawn Treader

It all started from a forgotten old closet in the largest mansion the Pevensies had ever seen. Today, five years later, Lucy and Edmund are still adventuring in Narnia in the third film installment The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The missing siblings This time, Peter and Susan do not accompany them. Do we miss William Moseley, who plays the boyishly cute Peter? Yes, we certainly do, but certainly don’t miss Anna Popplewell , who plays the conscientious, nagging and whiny Susan. Although it’s sad to see the Pevensies part ways I, for one, am glad that Susan ...

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9 reasons why I am not a Twilight fan

1. The length: One fine morning Stephanie Meyer woke up from a nightmare and told herself she could write. The product was the Twilight series. Inundated with horrible grammatical errors and overused adjectives the plot (or lack thereof) has been extended over four books. It  is excruciating. 2.Pedophilia: If it isn’t a seventeen year old falling in love with an old vampire, it is a werewolf falling for an infant. The author needs therapy for her convoluted imagination. 3. The hype: The frenzy around the books is inexplicable. What I fail to understand is how and when the human brain stooped ...

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Karachi: city of trash, graffiti, magic and weapons

Riding the train into and out of Karachi is an unforgettable experience, albeit a mostly unpleasant one. Some of the things you can expect to see out the window: Seven hundred graffiti ads for a charlatan Self-proclaimed Alim, Junaid Bangali has a graffiti ad campaign which starts 40km outside of Karachi and appears on walls every 200m or so all the way to his den of kala jadoo (black magic) in the squalid urban mish-mosh under Kalapul bridge. The sheer number of ads suggests Mr Bangali has pulled a fast one on yet another poor sap, advising him/her to paint 700 signs ...

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Meet Basharat, your friendly neighbourhood Djinn

It has been five years since I was introduced to Basharat by my driver Ashraf. It was by all definitions, a rather odd encounter. Ashraf had been hired by my grandmother twenty five years ago to act as my mother’s chauffeur provided he agreed to two conditions. The first was that he be open to being called Ashraf over his real name ‘Aashiq Maskeen’ (gentle lover) and the second that he kept his ‘magic business to himself’. Ashraf’s dubious credentials included driving a rickshaw on and off the streets of Lahore for twenty years; making an astoundingly good ‘missi ...

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