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Showing posts from September, 2013

How I Met Your Country

BOOK REVIEW: The Redeemers

Published by Daily Times (Pakistan) / 15 Sep 2013

Author: Suresh Taneja

Reviewed by: Afrah Jamal

Thank you Suresh T. for the review copy

‘The Redeemers’ can easily be in the fantasy / fiction aisle because of its ludicrous premise. It begins with India at the top of the superpower pyramid for starters’ and its citizens seen breezing through U.S. immigration sans visa. It then goes on to cast four conscientious youngsters responsible for its remarkable transition as narrators who step in to the ring and relive the heady years leading up to the year 2030. The glittering future demands an enormous suspension of disbelief, present day India however with all the spectacular excesses will make the South Asian community feel right at home. Suresh Taneja’s blue print for a new domestic world order can ostensibly be mapped on both sides of the border and not just because of unavoidable similarities in terrain.

The author is a Chartered Accountant with a conscience and a…

OP-ED: A Veiled Threat

First Published in Economic Affairs (Pakistan) / Sep 2013 issue

The ‘Avenger’ phenomena hit Pakistan sometime in late July 2013. The choice of the name had an instant effect - loud cheers, inaudible gasps, startled looks and a few boos were reported. A musician, composer and most recently Campaign Ambassador for ‘Save the Children's Everyone Campaign’, who reigned in the 1990’s as the front man for ‘Awaz’, and nowadays goes by the name of Aaron Haroon (redundancy alert!) is responsible for these seismic changes in the national topography.

Back then the band made history when ‘Janeman’ became the first Pakistani song to air on MTV; now another precedent has been set as Pakistan’s first animated, female super hero takes the stage.

It is different because the secret identity goes undercover in a burka. It is controversial for the same reason.

A school teacher by day, Jiya dons the invisibility cloak before setting out to conquer the world. A burka has been used here as a symbol o…

OP-ED: What’s In A Name(sake)?

First Published in Daily Times / 2 Sep 2013

A beloved cricketer’s name adorns the billboards but this is not a biopic. The cricketing world it allegedly represents provides a compelling front but it will not be a return to his old stomping grounds. Main Hoon Shahid Afridi (MHSA) draws upon a living legend’s legacy to leverage the passion and throws in a cameo or two, but that is the extent of Afridi’s involvement. Meanwhile, somewhere in a small little village, a disgraced cricketer turned coach who trains a rag tag team will be moved centre-field. And the one thing that binds the nation together and provides the soulful soundtrack will become the anchor.

The newly minted flight is bound for cricket-ville and in some parts of the world that is reason enough to join in the festivities. Humayun Saeed, seen at the helm wearing a number of hats as the producer/actor enlists the classic underdog formula to launch his ambitious vision. The village club is in danger of being shut down, and m…