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Bipolar disorders

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Pointless!

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Explaining gravity to a chicken

“Amy: I have bitten my tongue so long, it looks like a dog’s cushion. But no more! You have made it impossible to do this job. You have two settings – no decision and bad decision. I wouldn’t let you run a bath without having […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 1 mth

Bipolar disorders

As the current political crisis unfolded and one by one the government’s erstwhile allied parties and dissident members chose their path, an anchor on a private channel asked an undecided member of the parliament whether he had made up his mind. The answer came in […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 1 mth

The writing off the wall

The writing on the wall is overrated. Do you want more of the same? Endless whining or victory laps? Oh-I-told-you-so, at any rate? More of the shame? Egos driving the political agenda or the policy debates? The endless discussion regarding the glass being half empty […]

Farrukh writes

Explaining gravity to a chicken

0 8 min 1 mth

“Amy: I have bitten my tongue so long, it looks like a dog’s cushion. But no more! You have made it impossible to do this job. You have two settings – no decision and bad decision. I wouldn’t let you run a bath without having […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 1 mth

Bipolar disorders

As the current political crisis unfolded and one by one the government’s erstwhile allied parties and dissident members chose their path, an anchor on a private channel asked an undecided member of the parliament whether he had made up his mind. The answer came in […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 1 mth

The writing off the wall

The writing on the wall is overrated. Do you want more of the same? Endless whining or victory laps? Oh-I-told-you-so, at any rate? More of the shame? Egos driving the political agenda or the policy debates? The endless discussion regarding the glass being half empty […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 1 mth

Pointless!

My salutations to thy sacred streets, O beloved nation! Where a tradition has been invented – that none shall walk with his head held high If at all one takes a walk, a pilgrimage One must walk, eyes lowered, the body crouched in pretense and […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 1 mth

Whither proactive foreign policy

Growing up in Pakistan with a hunger for books I found one Pakistani title rather alluring. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s The Myth of Independence has the kind of ring to it that instinctively gets what generations of Pakistani policy pundits have been failing to underscore so succinctly. But […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 1 mth

The Red Queen is laughing

What’s the point? The more you want to fix it the more it all crumbles. You can wake up someone who is sleeping. You cannot rouse someone who is pretending to sleep. You can protect someone who faces an imminent threat of death. How can […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 1 mth

Pious greed

We have read much about the confluence of religion and politics, militancy and politics, and why even military and militancy. But one topic flying under the radar and hovering almost beyond the edge of sight is the collusion between the business class and religion. This […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 1 mth

Why we can’t have nice things

Any noble intention can be twisted, perverted, and weaponised to produce the most troublesome results. Do you need examples? Consider the opposition to the invasion of Iraq. This opposition produced a mass movement across the western world and led to highly publicised million marches. Sadly, […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 1 mth

Is a world war coming?

As the post-election crisis simmered in the US, a nameless, faceless French programmer (identity withheld by the authorities) decided that the decline of the Western civilisation was inevitable and with his health deteriorating so before ending his life he would send his bitcoin savings to […]

Farrukh writes
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Alert: Fourth Reich imminent!

Is Russia about to walk into a trap in Ukraine? What are the forces that may want it to invade? Should Russia’s insistence on protecting its sphere of influence be compared to Hitler’s claims on Europe or America’s Monroe Doctrine? And what the consequences of […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 1 mth

Tangled web of good and evil

What makes someone or something great? A work is great if it takes the civilisation a step forward (genuine, innovative work) or if it is a bestseller? If originality, innovation, and progress were the standards for greatness then Socrates wouldn’t have to drink poison hemlock, […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 1 mth

Milking guns

The butter versus gun debate has become a perennial part of our national discourse. It was bound to be. The country has faced external existential threats since its inception. No matter what spin India tries to put on its machinations the truth remains that its […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 1 mth

Pig’s breakfast

27 December 2021: The People’s Party is organising the anniversary of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh in Sindh. In the past fourteen years, the event has become an established occasion of the show of force by her party and her next of kin. […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 5 mths

So it goes

Happy new year, dear readers. Or whatever helps you sleep at night. If I were to look for a phrase to encapsulate my thoughts about this year changing business, I would have to borrow another phrase from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five apart from the title of this piece […]

Farrukh writes
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Choose your own dystopia

A piece that appears on the 25th of December and addresses neither the birth of Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Quaid-e-Azam or the great leader to us) nor Christmas seems to be a waste of space. But here is the thing. It’s been 145 years since the […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 5 mths

Should they hang?

In the American cult classic TV series Arrested Development one major character is Maeby Fünke. While the complexity of the role played by Alia Shawkat goes beyond the scope of this article, suffice it to say she is this very resourceful child of a dysfunctional marriage in […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 5 mths

General crash

India’s first Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat perished in a helicopter crash along with 12 others a few days ago. I have already publicly offered my condolences. His sudden departure has given birth to a host of questions, some about the future of his […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 5 mths

Bad habits continue

Two menaces keep devouring Pakistan. The egotism of the elite and polarisation of the masses. Egotism because it is the epitome of classism which invariably brings you back to the precipice. In its very essence, it is the most egregiously dogmatic and exaggerated view of […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 5 mths

Muslims under pressure

Muslims can preempt this by doubling down on assimilation Reminder: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on December 7, 2015: Remember the poll numbers. So, listen. Donald J Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 6 mths

Who created TLP?

It is the 20th of November. If you look out the window you may notice that heavens have not fallen nor hell frozen over. Today marks Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s 37th death anniversary. While he is gone his work, name, and legacy live on. But pundits seldom have […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 6 mths

Who rules Pakistan?

Tribalism in Pakistani political discourse obscures a wide array of dynamics that play a disproportionately bigger role in our daily lives. And yet you will hardly ever hear political pundits comment on them. That is precisely why blind tribalism is such a stupid thing. Instead […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 6 mths

The world order grift

“Dialogue is useless”. Did you know Charlie Chaplin barely escaped an assassination attempt by sheer dumb luck? No, it is neither revisionist history nor any form of alleged Mandela effect. It is called the May 15 incident. Look it up. For the readers in a […]

Farrukh writes
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Prognosis negative

Full disclosure. The title of this piece is borrowed from one episode of the legendary sitcom series Seinfeld. In one episode this is the title of a fictional movie that Jerry, Elaine, and George plan to see together but cannot. Although Seinfeld is one of […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 6 mths

Why I deactivated my Facebook account

To be honest, I never thought that one day I would be writing an exclusive piece on a social media app. But it shows you how the world has changed. This seemingly innocuous app sitting on your computer or smartphone home screens presents layers upon […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 6 mths

Lessons from America and Afghanistan

Let’s face it. There is no comparison between the US and Afghanistan in terms of state power. America remains the most powerful country on the planet, Afghanistan one of the weakest ones. In Afghanistan’s defence, you can advance only one argument. That it still stands. […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 6 mths

Forest for trees

Renowned Urdu writer, playwright, and broadcaster Ashfaq Ahmed used to give long talks on PTV. A collection of these talks called Zavia was later compiled and presented in a multi-volume book series. In one of these talks, he shared a Chinese story. I couldn’t independently verify if […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 8 mths

Crouching tiger or hiding dragon?

The world was bracing for the new cold war. AUKUS became a reality. The QUAD leaders met in DC. News outlets were already churning out stories against China’s alleged ambitions. Stories about Uyghur suffering failed to provide as effective a hook that many expected owing […]

Farrukh writes
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Anticipatory anxiety, technophobia and proactivity

The Future of Life Award is something I probably wouldn’t have heard of, had it not been for a lucky coincidence. On April 26, 2018, I wrote a piece in this space titled “Ready to lose your job?” It was an assessment of how quickly […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 8 mths

The Indians in the lobby

There is a short-lived but hilarious Jack Black and Tim Robbins starrer series called “The Brink”. Be warned. It is not for the faint of heart. Or for those who were tragically born without a sense of humour. While the plot involves a nuclear crisis […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 8 mths

Salem witches and global trials

What do you know of the touch test, witch cakes and spectral evidence? An answer would take us to 1692 colonial America. The New England settlement was still young, obstinately religious and growing. In January 1692 Salem village (now Danvers)’s first ordained minister, Reverend Samuel […]

Farrukh writes