Indo-China Stand off-Embarrassment at The Grandest Scale

Chinese board game xiangqi is not only a game but a part of larger Chinese culture. It was considered an essential part of the training of men who aspire to rise to commanding heights in various walks of life. Kings, generals, people of letter, and high priests were expected to be well versed in this game. Xiangqi was considered to cultivate virtues like patience, forethought, resolve, and long-term planning.

To a bystander, the game may lack action and thrill but to the players and an ordinary Chinese, this is the way of life in china. Every action must be forethought in every possible detail, though trivial, to avoid changing minds midway or to face some embarrassment as a result. This habit of overthinking is visible inactions of individuals and state functionaries in every day working of Chinese.

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For my part, I think Raakh is a lamentation of East Pakistan, Lahore and Religious harmony. This novel perturbs every sensitive heart.

I read this novel around 1996 and I think it hasn’t been outdated since, as we are facing almost the same problems. The beauty of the novel is that most of the characters are real and the locations are known.

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A Fight for Rights

“She cannot sleep at night, because her nerve endings have got inflamed….she suffers great pain. I want my daughter to sing folk songs again. I do not want my child to die. Don’t you want to see these bright people on the stage? So, please, everyone who hears my words: Please do something, but quickly.” said Aygul Bilgi who was the mother of Helin Bolek who is a Turkish singer who passed away after going on a 288 day long hunger strike.

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The Writing on Our Walls by Faisal Qamar

Back in the eighties, reading the walls of Karachi was as educational as reading books. More so, in fact, as the bombastic slogans and fantastic ultimatums helped us kids understand those ground realities that prepare you for practical life. For example, one of the earliest demands I remember is this wall chalking: quota system khatam karo.

End quota system?

I did not understand this. Grainy pictures of people standing in bread lines in the USSR came to mind. That, I used to think, was the quota system. But there were no lines at the neighborhood store where I was sent to buy bread. I would hand over a five rupee bill and get a large-sized loaf. If we had guests, I could get two or even three. The shopkeeper didn’t impose any quota on bread.

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Frightening Online Spaces

Life was tough for us being lower middle class youngsters but there was hope there. The ongoing pandemic dragged the graph of hope down. It popped holes in our fantastic bubble of reality where we were able to dream of a free and prosperous future. Things came forth that we can not ignore if we want to live better.

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Will a Uniform Education System Unify Us?

Have you ever pondered, what are those wretched elements which do not let us unite? Of course, i know you will have given it an insubstantial thought but not properly for various reasons.

There will be multiple elements which are responsible for the aforementioned question, but to my petty knowledge one reason for the said thing is that there is no proper “Uniform Education System” all over the country with defined goals and clear intentions.

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Excessive Use of Drugs & Alcohols by Our Youth

According to the World Health Organization, due to the frequent use of alcohol and drugs results in 3.3 million deaths each year all around the world. On average, every person in the world aged 15 years or older drinks 6.2 litres of pure alcohol per year, especially its use is common in western part of the world, but now paradigm shifts significantly and East is not far behind to use alcohols & drugs, especially underdeveloped countries like Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.

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Black Lives Matter Movement

Three words, that were once considered a controversial call against racial profiling and police violence, are now the three words painted in bright yellow letters on the road that leads to the White House, “Black Lives Matter”.

Black Lives Matter or BLM is a  human rights movement originating from within the American- American community. In 2013, this movement began with the use of the hashtag(#blacklivesmatter) on social media, after the exoneration of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an American teen in 2012.

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Paralyzed Marriage Institution in Punjabi Culture

Doing marriage in Punjabi society has become one of the toughest tasks. It is due to some rites, which, according to people, are the compulsory elements that must be a part of a marriage. In actuality, all these activities are the wastage of money as well as of time. These activities may include a huge list of different Rasoomat (rituals).

The most common ritual, which is seen in South Asia, is giving Jahez (dowry) to a daughter. It may include the furniture of the whole house or at least of the groom’s bedroom. It also includes crockery, bed sheets and electronic appliances etc. Half of the wedding budget is spent on this. Giving an affordable amount to the bride is nothing bad rather it’s the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) but people nowadays spent lavishly on dowry just to follow the folkways of society.

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