Stories about time

Wawrinka won the French Open but will he win the Wimbledon as well?

On a windy afternoon at the Roland Garros, when large shadows loomed over Court Philippe Chatrier, the world’s number one Novak Djokovic stared in the distant horizon with pursed lips, perhaps still reflecting on what had hit him so hard. A few hours earlier, it was all about him claiming the coveted career slam as only the eighth player in history. After all, he had emerged rightfully as the heir to the throne, having brutally put to sword in previous rounds, The King of Clay. Few doubted the outcome to be otherwise, considering his only remaining hurdle was a Swiss not called Roger Federer. The first casualty of a war is ...

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#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 ...

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Pakistan vs Bangladesh: Why Pakistan keeps failing

If the purpose of the T20 format is to provide an adrenalin-filled summary of the game of cricket, then yesterday it succeeded. It is a snapshot, suspended in time, of two countries that have an obsession with their cricket teams which borders on the unhealthy. Through cricket we taste the macabre joys of licking our own wounds. But more on that later. Here are the facts: Bangladesh has defeated Pakistan in three ODIs, and last night it beat Pakistan for the first time in a T20 match. All the matches were played in Bangladesh. The crowds were fanatical. Bangladesh has ...

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Pakistan’s unstable, schizophrenic relation with Afghanistan

Pakistan and Afghanistan enjoy a ‘brotherly’ relationship that is nothing less than a theatre of the absurd. It has had its highs and lows and has had moments when people have scratched their heads and wondered about the emotionally unstable, schizophrenic handling of bilateral affairs by their erratic and volatile leaderships. With an extremely porous, almost non-existent border featuring a treacherous terrain of hills and rugged mountains standing between the two countries, the people of both lands have endured hard times since decades now. As if the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 70s was not enough with a massive influx of refugees spilling into Pakistan throughout the 80s, ...

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A new step for American Muslims

New York mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced on March 4 that two Muslim holidays, Eidul Azha, also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice, and Eidul Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramazan, will become a school holiday starting in 2016. It was joyful news and many American Muslims were cheerfully sharing it and trying to find out if they could request the same thing in their state. However, when I checked social news websites, I was very disappointed with the bigotry expressed in the comments sections. Actually, it is everywhere. Nothing felt right after the Paris ...

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Birdman, a modern day masterpiece

Birdman has become the latest film to join the likes of 12 Years A Slave, American Beauty and Forrest Gump by winning the Academy Award for Best Picture. While many people are still sulking over Boyhood’s loss, I for one believe the Academy got it right this time. Birdman is Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s masterpiece of our time. Bold in execution, the film is a technical showpiece that succeeds on just about every level. Birdman is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look into Hollywood, and the psyche of an actor. It’s also a satire on the film industry. While there have been many ...

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Paint the town green and feel the jazba! This is our World Cup

It is a match for the irrational, those bitten with the bug of insanity, ravaged by their all-consuming need for victory. There is nothing quite like it. No game this emotionally invested. No rivalry this heated. For nine hours of your life, time stops, blood pressures rise, friendships are formed and broken, and everyone from a six-year-old to an 80-year-old is an all-knowing cricket pundit. This is Pakistan versus India; this is ODI gold. Tomorrow, February 15, 2015, Pakistan and India will face each other in the opening match of their World Cup campaign. India is currently ranked second whereas Pakistan seventh on ...

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I, for one, am not looking forward to the Pakistan versus India match

Many Indian cricket fans do not yearn for their team to win the World Cup title as much as they want their team to win against arch rivals, Pakistan. Since the dawn of partition, there has been a constant cross border and geo-political antagonism between the two countries. But amidst the geo-political tensions, cricket has been a remarkable unifier of both the countries. In the past, these encounters have proved to be highly emotional and nerve racking, not just on a cricket field but also on the streets. This time, to the contrary, the voltage has run low. As India and Pakistan ...

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Dear Indonesia, rejecting the “condomisation of society” is not the solution

“We reject the condomisation of society.” Nope, that’s not a headline from The Onion or The Oatmeal. And it’s not taken from any satirical website. I am quoting directly from the Wall Street Journal’s report on Indonesia’s top Islamic authority, Indonesian Council of Ulema. Local news daily Republika reported that there is a ‘crackdown’ on shops to check whether, in effect of Valentine’s Day, shops are selling condoms with chocolates. Ma’ruf Amein, the man who uttered the golden words quoted above, insisted that if shopkeepers sold condoms to unmarried couples, it would increase the chance of sex out of wedlock. I hate to break this to you, Mr Amein, ...

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Mortdecai: Only as good as its trailer

Johnny Depp is a fantastic actor and it is always a pleasure to watch his ventures. Even in supporting roles, his performance demands attention and appreciation. While his movies don’t exactly mint money, as would normally be expected, they do guarantee fans. Thanks to its trailer, his upcoming visual treat Mortdecai has already heightened the interest of audiences, and Depp fans, across the globe. The story revolves around a stolen Goya painting, ‘The Duchess of Wellington’, rumoured to contain a bank vault code that leads to lost Nazi gold. Art dealer and part time rogue, Lord Charlie Mortdecai, played by Depp, ...

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