Stories about New York

Southpaw: When revenge is a dish best served cold

Hollywood cinema loves the spirit of sport. Countless works including 2005’s Coach Carter, 2011’s Moneyball and 2014’s American-football centric Draft Day, have focused on either the hardships of making a team work, or a young individuals ambition to seize the world. But is the same cycle of repetition going to grip a highly demanding audience, time and time again? Hardly, and that is where Southpaw lands on the box office. This renewed work of passion and drama slickly breaks storyline clichés, giving ardent film lovers something to swoon over. The plot of the film revolves around boxer Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal), who lives a perfectly happy life with ...

Read Full Post

Donald Trump, you’re racist and you’re fired!

Joaquin Guzman also known as El Chapo (meaning shorty) is being hailed as the real Shawshank after a mind-boggling escape from the Altiplano prison through a one-mile long tunnel, an engineering marvel on its own.  The gravity of negligence on part of the Mexican security officials and seriousness of the flak coped by Mexican Premier Enrique Pena in the wake of an embarrassing escape of the world’s most feared drug lord jibed to the lighter side when American rapper Pitbull took on Donald trump,  after the latter’s racist remarks on Hispanic immigrants. It all began to simmer when Trump of The Apprentice fame kick started his presidential campaign. He resorted to clichés such as, “Sadly, ...

Read Full Post

Bajrangi Bhaijaan: Communicating the secular message of modern India

I have to admit, I went to watch Bajrangi Bhaijaan (BB) with a lot of prejudice. I am not a big fan of Kabir Khan and have not liked Kareena Kapoor’s acting in any other movie than Jab We Met. I am not a Salman Khan fan either and despite that, I watch all his Eid releases on the first day. I had four hypotheses before going to the theatre and I had made an outline of the review I was going to write. Generally it’s a set template for a Kabir and Salman film. Nonetheless, my predetermined conclusion of BB ...

Read Full Post

#CricketComesHome: With tears and jubilation, the cornered tigers are back with a bang

“Ugg raha hai dar-o-deewar se sabzah Ghalib! Hum bayabaan mein hein aur ghar mein bahar aayee hai” (Greenery is growing out of the doors and walls, Ghalib I am in wilderness and spring has arrived at my house.) In his remarkable yet slightly partial treatise to the game in Pakistan, The Wounded Tiger Peter Oborne identifies two events as being game-changing in the history of the sport in the land of the pure. First was the ‘Test match’ victory over the touring MCC side in Karachi in 1951 which established an Abdul Hafeez Kardar-led Pakistan side as a force in international cricket and ...

Read Full Post

She is a Muslim, covers her head and is a firefighter in NYC

I know I keep harping on about the ‘greatness’ and ‘glory’ of the Western culture and understand that my audience gets bored to death reading story after story about how awesomely ‘wonderful life’ is in the West. However, I must reiterate that I happen to be a diehard sceptic and I don’t trust easily. After all the episodes and events that I’ve experienced in my life, I don’t see much reason to blindly put faith in objects, people, systems or nations. Being who I have become by virtue of the battering of years gone by, I have developed a keen ...

Read Full Post

GermanWings crash: Blame the pilot or blame the industry?

Since the inception of free electronic media and social media, aviation accidents have become subject of great interest amongst the masses. For Pakistan, it was the Airblue Flight crash which took place in Margalla Hills, Islamabad five years ago. It was the worst aviation disaster in Pakistan aviation history followed by the Bhoja Air crash in 2012, which killed all 127 passengers on board. The first recorded accident in commercial aviation history was on August 2, 1919, when a Caproni Ca48 type aircraft crashed near Verona, killing all passengers aboard. Since then a number of aviation accidents have taken place, killing hundreds of people on board and on ...

Read Full Post

Becoming Pakistani… again

Moving is never easy. Moving away from your home country is, well… at first, the thought of a brand new place, unknown people and fresh experiences feels thrilling and even dangerous. You approach your new home wearing rose-coloured glasses and a surprising determination to discover everything. But then, after the rush of giddy excitement fades, the transatlantic adjustment simply feels tiring. It is a relief to know that you have a home to go back to, somewhere with familiar smells and sounds, with friendly faces and with people who speak in the same accent you do and who understand your ...

Read Full Post

Everything I hate about the Pakistani fashion industry

If you are a young struggling female journalist in Pakistan with big dreams of reporting stories that matter, you will probably spend a few years reporting all the stories that don’t matter! Among all those literary masterpieces you pen will be an array of pieces on: Designers who have made it big Designers who have not made it big but have a great PR agency The 4363778 lawn launches Fashion “weeks” that are three-days long You will get to meet loads of glazed out designers and hear them talk about a lawn jora like it’s the cure for cancer. You’ll learn to thoosofy the words “sartorial”, “quirky”, “edgy” and “aesthetic” in every headline. For instance: “Designer (insert Bawani, Hashwani, ...

Read Full Post

If you are gay and Muslim, “change your sexual orientation!”

I was shocked when I read the recent news story about a Muslim family living in Germany who wanted to arrange the marriage of their 18-year-old homosexual son against his will with a Lebanese girl. The son told the media that his family threatened to slit his throat and burn him alive if he did not change his sexual orientation. Eventually, the court intervened and saved the young man from the brutal punishment from his family. This news reminded me of an acquaintance, Azam*, who runs a delicatessen in New York. He told his mother that he was gay when they ...

Read Full Post

Would Malcolm X have denounced Obama’s imperial adventures in Pakistan and Afghanistan?

“The house Negro usually lived close to his master. He dressed like his master. He wore his master’s second-hand clothes. He ate the food that his master left on the table. When the master would be sick, the house Negro identified himself so much with the master, he’d say, ‘What’s the matter, boss, we sick?’ The house Negro was in minority. The field Negroes were the masses. They were in the majority. When the master got sick, they prayed that he’d die. If his house caught on fire, they’d pray for a wind to come along and fan the ...

Read Full Post