Stories about style

Appeasing the meat-eater in you with this Pakistani styled stir-fried spicy minced meat

As a kid I was never a mutton, beef or milk fan. I was scolded a tonne by Ammi and Nana (maternal grandfather) for that. I was told that I would never grow tall enough or excel in class or be physically fit. Turns out, I achieved all of that without eating much meat protein throughout my adolescent years. However, something else happened as well. As I became an adult and moved away from Pakistan, the flavours and tastes that I took for granted came back to me as a longing. I missed eating the very things I despised as a kid. And mutton was one of ...

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Hello Ramazan, hello Dahi Bhallay!

Sweltering summers and food-less Ramazans are a rather challenging, patience-testing combination. But not once does it falter the resolve of a believer when it comes to fasting. For people who fast, away from home and, in non-Muslim countries, things are even tougher. The work hours don’t change, meaning even when your energy levels are dwindling and your eyes are droopy due to sleep deprivation, you still need to keep on marching. This also means that the expatriate families hardly have time to prepare the elaborate iftar, which we are accustomed to in Pakistan or any other Muslim country. I personally enjoy a ...

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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 ...

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The day I got a rejection e-mail from The Express Tribune’s blogs team

I quite frankly am a literary snob. I have always considered my writing style to be objective, my arguments well-reasoned and my expression refined. That is, until a comment I got from one of The Express Tribune blogs teams’ rejection e-mails entirely took me off-guard. It said, and I quote,  “It reads like an essay and does not have enough personal touch.” All my snobbishness went down the drain after reading this. Something like an ego-deflation process seemed under-way because, try as I might, I could not argue with the accuracy of this brief direct, slightly cruel, analysis. At first, I was incredulous. How could something that ...

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Golden moments from the 2012 Globes

“I feel like five million dollars!” Sofia Vergara’s red carpet comment at the Golden Globes updated the million-dollar phrase to today’s currency values. Clad in her signature form-fitting, mermaid style strapless gown (this time by Vera Wang), with massive Harry Winston diamond cuffs on her wrist, she was a sight to behold. Mature glamazon Helen Mirren, trendy as ever, sported no less than five trends listed below, while wildchild-turned-crusader Angelina Jolie surprised many with an elegant old Hollywood look. Here are some red carpet trends and other memorable moments: Gowns Lengths: Typically floor-length and trailing. Colours: Ranged from pale champagne, metallic gold, teal, and ...

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Fashion 2011: Here to stay or totally passé?

2011 was a year of ups and downs. The year saw everything from international change (the youthful, high-tech Arab Spring modernised the word ‘revolution’) to tacky commercial publicity stunts (we’re used to seeing near-naked Bollywood starlets grace our screens, but Veena in her birthday suit was a novelty across the border). We were jolted by the demise of larger-than-life personalities like Elizabeth Taylor, Steve Jobs and the infamous bin Laden. And from the glitzy pinnacle of the Royal wedding down to the fall of the Murdochian empire and unprecedented urban riots, the city of London experienced a roller coaster ride ...

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Here come the brides (in 6 inch heels)

Ladies and gentlemen, regal velvet, long trains, glittering mokesh, and breathtaking long lehnga shirts are the new trends for bridal wear this year. The Pantene Bridal Couture Week (BCW) 2011, took my breath away. Held by Style 360 the show featured designs by the biggest names of our fashion industry. It also brought to light a few Indian designers and some newcomers with fabulous talent. All in all, the night was packed with glamour and was couture at its very best. J&S did a wonderful job of decorating the waiting area. The theme was predominantly Grecian with textured velvet draping on the walls ...

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Qaddafi certainly made life interesting

In Qaddafi we have lost not only a despot but also one of the most remarkable figures of the 20th century. Call him eccentric, idiosyncratic or an oddity; yet the satisfaction of finding le mot juste will elude you. The problem here is not with Qaddafi, it’s with these words: none of them can do justice to the personality of ‘the mad dog of Middle East’. Only if there was a word which could sum up his callousness, clownery, perversity and political maturity, many could die happy. The only competition that Qaddafi had was His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi ...

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The bald look: Shave off the fear

It was during my A’ levels when I first decided to sport the bald look, inspired by none other than Pakistan’s one and only rocker par extraordinaire, Ali Azmat, who had shaved off his long curly locks. This was almost eight years ago and I was, like every other teenager, in my ‘coming of age’ years; experimenting with my look and image. I vividly recall a lot of guys going bald around that time, most of them naturally, and some by choice. I belonged and still do, to the latter. In retrospect, I can’t help but think to myself whether it ...

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Cliches and curry: Writing fiction in Pakistan

As an aspiring novelist, I have found it increasingly important to understand the literary merits of contemporary fiction in Pakistan. This entailed a thorough investigation of genre, themes, stylistic elements and above all, the implementation of creative ideas. The purpose of examining these features is not to understand what standard is expected or what is being read. On the contrary, the intention of this exercise is for novelists to determine how this standard and readership can be diversified through their literary contribution. The challenge I began writing a novel when I was  seventeen. After two years of constant labour, I set the manuscript ...

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