Stories about play

When giants come to play

The whole council was meeting today in the Parliament house, major leaders from  Pakistani Awami Tehreek, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and Pakistan Muslim League- Q were present in a large brightly lit conference room, which was dominated by a huge mahogany table in the middle. It could seat 20 people; Qadri had taken up the chair at the head while Khan Sahab occupied the chair on the other side and in the middle sat, the Chaudhry brothers, quite strategically. Barely a couple of days had passed since their momentous victory in the elections; no one could challenge this bullet proof coalition. They swarmed into Islamabad in their containers ...

Read Full Post

Marking the end of tiki-taka in football?

There are games that shape the future of the sport; moments which pass us by with no warning of the transition they bring with them. It was only about five seasons ago that Barcelona under the steering of Josep Guardiola introduced a style of play by the name of ‘tiki-taka’ that took the world by storm. Messi’s Hat-trick keeps Barca on top.Photo:AFP All of a sudden, any team that was not emulating their model of quick passing and precise running was living in the Stone Age. The Barcelona team won many laurels under Guardiola’s management before he went on to implement ...

Read Full Post

Give our cricketers opportunities before we lose them to other countries!

I remember how Raziq Khan was the best cricketer in our village 10 years ago. Whenever he came to the pitch, everyone in the crowd would stand up in excitement and wait for him to play his mind-blowing shots. His fans would chant “One more six, One more six”, egging Raziq on to play with all his might and surely, whenever the time came for him to perform, he never disappointed his fans. He was famous for his phenomenal batting and would hammer the bowlers by hitting balls to all corners of the ground mercilessly. There was a famous story ...

Read Full Post

Under-16 Rugby World cup: Open your eyes Pakistan, talent for sports other than cricket exist!

Pakistanis are quite cricket crazy and of course, hockey enjoys some fan following, being the national sport. In recent years, even football has made forays into the Pakistani sporting arena. However, bring up rugby and you will still get blank looks from most Pakistanis. In Pakistan, not too many people are familiar with the sport of rugby in spite of the fact that this sport has many enthusiasts all over the world. But things seem to be changing gradually. For the first time ever, nine rugby players from a private school’s rugby team in Faisalabad have been chosen to represent Pakistan in the under-16 Rugby World Cup this month. ...

Read Full Post

The psyche of a Pakistani cricket fan and the shameless vanity of passion

To understand the psyche of a Pakistani, you first have to understand what it means to love and hate at the same time. This is not semantics. It is truly a reality. To understand the degree of pain our hearts have already endured, you have to understand the depth of hope our hearts are still willing to go to. Finally, if you want to understand the paradox that is Pakistan, you will have to take the leap of faith and understand that one cricket field with a few men in green has the capacity to undo more mental damage than all the ...

Read Full Post

Kashmir will celebrate the Indian cricket team’s loss, no matter who they play against!

Meerut is not Srinagar by Shivam Vij published on March 7, 2014 justifying sedition charges on 67 Kashmiri students by a private university in Uttar Pradesh India, is a new addition to journalistic literature on Kashmir. Premised on the ‘exodus ’ of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990, the author draws anachronistic comparisons of two contextually disparate events. In theory, if there is any Kashmiri nationalism, it is of the state sponsored variety. Kashmir’s association with cricket is only occasional. It is not the win of Pakistan but the loss of India against any cricket playing nation that revives interest for cricket in Kashmir. India’s loss is a temporary ...

Read Full Post

Umar Akmal: When the going gets tough, the tough… run to ‘daddy’?

I still remember how as a young child I said something rude to a cousin of mine, a typical childish remark like, “I don’t want to play with you, you always whine” or, “You don’t have any nice toys” or something like that. When my parents found out, I was not only berated for my rudeness, I was even made to apologise to my cousin with a promise that I would never again be intentionally mean to anyone. This incident not only helped me being careful of what I say or do for years to come but also made me realise that accountability ...

Read Full Post

Remembering Musadiq Sanwal ‘Aik pyali chai’

 “I really don’t know how to play the sitaar,” I said. To which he asked if I knew how to feel. I realised then that first impressions are deceptive in most cases. I had walked into my music lesson on a Sunday afternoon to find a man with salt-and-pepper hair perched comfortably in the lounge. I had dismissed him as I struggled with the complexity of the various instruments around me. When he nonchalantly handed me the sitaar, I was convinced that he had made a mistake. But he had not. I had. I had missed the sharp glint of humour in his eyes that I would later realise was ...

Read Full Post

Let the Premier League transfers begin: 3 transfers that will complete the puzzle

For football fans, the January transfer window always serves as the best New Year gift. The rumour mill has already been fuelled by magazines, critics and eager football fans. The English Premier League (EPL) has been the most competitive league in Europe this year and if the clubs play their cards well then it will certainly be the most unpredictable league too. Let’s take a look at some of the moves that the big guns of EPL can make. Javier Pastore to Liverpool The 24-year-old Paris Saint-Germain midfielder has found himself down the pecking order of their new manager Laurent Blanc. After appearing in only 12 games ...

Read Full Post

Haaf Playt: 90 minutes of rib-tickling laughter

I would choose to watch a good theatre play over a movie any day. The choice becomes even easier when the play happens to be Anwar Maqsood’s. His plays are simply a treat to watch, especially after a long shift at work. I became familiar with theatre in Karachi when I started working for a TV channel and got my hands on free passes for a musical. And boy, was I glad that I did. The venue turned out to be incredibly crowded and I could only find a place to sit on the stairs, which I ever-so-happily accepted. By ...

Read Full Post