Mina Malik-Hussain

  • TEthical television shows on Pakistani television have proliferated like rabbits. Gone are the benign days of Tariq Aziz giving away microwaves as the audience dutifully clapped along with the synthesizer going tan-tan. Now we’ve got pumped up game shows, morning shows, talk shows, cooking ...

    Read More
  • TIn the children’s cartoon film, “The Little Mermaid”, the evil sea witch Ursula is plotting to trap Princess Ariel, in order to manipulate her father the king into giving up his power to her, Ursula. Ariel falls in love with a human, which is forbidden, and Ursula sees an ...

    Read More
  • TChildrearing in desi households is always a group activity. Everyone has an opinion, and feels free to air it. Someone will always give the child a biscuit before lunchtime and obviously at tea-time don’t even try to stop the someone who will be giving the child a sip from their cup. ...

    Read More
  • TAnother week, another spate of unregulated insanity. Never a dull moment! The government has finished another democratic term, which is both unprecedented and excellent. Our democratic process is creaking along, whether thanks to the usual peripheral interference remaining there or better practice ...

    Read More
  • TAnother year, another Ramzan and many wishes for us all to have a blessed, peaceful and happy one. Only somehow, one doesn’t quite think that the government trusts us to. Why else would they pass a bill like the Ehteram e Ramzan (Amended) one, where now if you are caught eating in public, you ...

    Read More
  • TThere seems to be a trend for putting females in the garbage. One is utterly sickened and heartbroken at how disposable a female life is, particularly in this country. As if it weren’t enough to rape them, beat them, marry them off before puberty to men old enough to be their fathers, keep ...

    Read More
  • TI have been thinking a great deal about how we Other people. German philosopher Hegel first coined the term, elaborating how the human preoccupation with the Self automatically creates a Not-Self, or an Other. Everyone who is not Me is Someone Else, and that person, that not-me, the un-self, is the ...

    Read More
  • TApparently a strain of antibiotic-resistant typhoid is on the loose in Pakistan. This is very, very serious news, particularly for a nation of self-medicating compulsive pill-poppers such as we are. While diseases are all caused by microbes, they are either viral or bacterial. You can catch germs ...

    Read More
  • TPakistani Twitter is on fire, and what a glorious blaze of light it is indeed. Girls are coming out of the shadows to finally name their harassers, and it should come as no surprise that there are so many of both parties. Most recently the CEO of music company Patari had to leave the company in the ...

    Read More
  • TGloria Steinem once said, quoting Irina Dunn, that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle—in other words, doesn’t. Following Asma Jahangir’s demise many words of praise were said about her husband, and how he was to thank for her great success as a lawyer. One often finds ...

    Read More
  • THave you ever been in a position where, after having driven somewhere and are now leaving, some random man begins to wave an arm when you start reversing? You have somehow managed to leave your house, navigate traffic and parked your car quite safely. Now, when you are leaving, someone is trying to ...

    Read More
  • TThe Lahore Biennale is full-swing in the city, and it really is tremendous. Top-class artists are showing their work in several different locations across the city, all for free—there are exhibits at the Fort, the Shahi Hammam, the Lahore Museum, Lawrence Gardens, Mubarak Haveli and an ...

    Read More
  • TTo mark the international Women’s Day, many people in Pakistan participated in the Aurat March—walks in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad held simultaneously on the eighth of the month to celebrate the global movement for equality, and to show solidarity for women from all walks of life. It ...

    Read More
  • TAnother summer, another onslaught of ridiculous lawn. Fashion is fashion and that’s all right, you do what you like with your money, but when did the advertising for lawn become a song and dance that has to be bested each year? There used to be the good old days when you’d just stand in ...

    Read More
  • TIconic Bollywood actor Sridevi Kapoor died last week. It was a shock to everyone who knew who she was, because at fifty-four she was as fit and young looking as ever, and nobody could imagine that someone like that could die so suddenly, and with no real reason. Death is shocking and sad, no matter ...

    Read More
  • TWhen the bomb on Fane Road detonated in October 2009, outside the FIA building, I was in class. It was around nine thirty a.m, and I was teaching English to thirty eighth-graders. There was a dull fwoomp, a kind of heavy explosive sound. Because I grew up in a Lahore where bombs never went off, the ...

    Read More
  • TWe have suffered a terrible loss. Asma Jilani Jehangir, lawyer and activist, passed away suddenly on the weekend. This is no ordinary passing, because she was no ordinary woman. On the basis of a legal education had at Punjab University, she began her career when she was called to the High Court in ...

    Read More
  • TLahore, ancient and beautiful, is a city with an unparalleled, diverse history. Before Partition, Lahore was one of the great cosmopolitan cities of India, brimming with artists, thinkers, writers, poets, saints and philanthropists. As Pakistanis, we seem to be obsessed—at least on a ...

    Read More
  • TNew Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, is expecting a child while in office. She is the first Kiwi PM to take oath pregnant and quite possibly be the first to give birth while in office. New Zealanders are pretty excited, and news of who is jokingly being referred to as “the ...

    Read More
  • TOne wonders, as one is inclined to do, why public figures sometimes let utter whoppers loose. Sometimes it’s an unthinking slip of the tongue—“s**thole”, anyone?—and sometimes it’s deliberate because you thought it was clever or witty, and turns out it was ...

    Read More
  • TOur law minister, that shining ray of truth and justice in the dark days we see on an all-too-regular basis, thinks that when bad things happen to children, their parents are to blame. One would almost think he didn’t have any children himself, because this is precisely the kind of pompous, ...

    Read More
  • TThis weekend Lahore hosted one of the best, most vibrant festivals it has: the fourth edition of the Lahore Music Meet. The LMM brings together musicians from all over the country for two or three days of incredible talks, workshops and concerts that are all free, and open to all audiences. From ...

    Read More
  • THappy New Year, readers! It’s the first day of 2018, and let’s begin with one resolution: to stop being killjoys. It is a truth nationally acknowledged that the moment anyone does something different—not even breathtakingly shocking or deviant, just unusual—we will ...

    Read More
  • THappy Christmas and Quaid e Azam day to you all! It’s always been a pleasing coincidence that the founder of the nation and the founder of a religion should be celebrated on the same day. Hopefully there will be a time when we will, other than commemorating his birth, be able to honour ...

    Read More
  • TReaders of my column know I tend to natter on about words. A lot. The irony of a columnist wondering about words every so often is, I’m sure, not lost on you, dear reader. A few days ago, our minister for information, Maryam Aurangzeb, said that a rival political party was being funded by ...

    Read More
  • TAnother week, another man pretending to salvage his honour by cutting off his nose to spite his face. You’d think it was old hat by now, but nobody seems to learn! For the uninitiated: Muniba Mazari, wheelchair bound activist, has been sued for defamation by her husband. The details are ...

    Read More
  • TWondrous, beautiful brew, what would we do without you? How would we judge the character of another person, or bond with complete strangers, if it weren’t for your restorative deliciousness? Tea drinking came to us from China, as early as the third century AD, where it was used medicinally ...

    Read More
  • TWhat a really strange week has passed, and looks likely to continue, so we’ve chosen to cocoon ourselves a little with music. And like a proper old person who is also a teacher of English, I listen to the lyrics of the songs my children like and then loudly and pointedly comment on ...

    Read More
  • TI don’t work for a multinational and probably never will, which is just as well. In the tricky world of international brands, who knows what they really think of us poor developing nations, faithfully selling their products to our enormous and lucrative markets, what with an exploding retail ...

    Read More
  • TWe have entered the second winter of our discontent. Lahore hasn’t seen a blue sky for weeks, and what used to be the most glorious time of the year for the city has become a dreadful quasi-season of its own: smog. And not just any old bit-of-bad-air, but hazardous levels of toxic pollutants ...

    Read More