Saturday, 28 March 2015


Quick, action-driven.

Mix of spice and vice.

Well-made and well-directed.

Good acting.

Appropriate casting.

Heavy game plot.

Commendable timing and twists.

Pleasant chunks of comedy.

Not too vulgar or obscene.

Though extreme, abrupt violence.

Captivating till the very end.

PS: And this movie poster has creatively included all members of the cast including the Yellow Mustang!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Discrimination against Pakistani Educational Qualifications

Apparently, some universities around the world still do not know about the reformation of Pakistan's undergraduate programs from 2-year Bachelor programs to 4-year Bachelor programs. Consequently, they do not value certain 4-year Bachelors programs from Pakistan unlike they value 4-year Bachelor programs from other countries.

Below is a set of snapshots reproduced from an International Students Admission Guide for Master's programs by a reputable Canadian university:

Discrimination against Pakistani Educational Qualifications

The information stated therein indicates that the institution finds applicants with 4 years Bachelor degrees from India, Nepal, Namibia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Lesotho, Jordan, Kenya, Oman, Iraq, Israel, Ireland, Kuwait, Palestine, Oman, New Zealand, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Yemen, Zambia, and several other countries to be eligible for admission into its Master's programs if they meet the minimum overall standing.

However, ironically, the institution does not give the same weightage to a similar 4 years Bachelor degree from Pakistan. In fact, their website specifically states the following for Pakistan: "Bachelor plus Master OR B.Pharm, MBBS, B.Tech, B. Computer Science, B.Eng, B.Sc in Engineering, BArch (4 years)".

This implies that for Pakistan's educational qualifications, only a 4 years Bachelor technical degree like Engineering, B.Tech, MBBS, Computer Science, Pharmacy, or Architecture will be eligible for graduate admission. However, if an applicant has a non-technical Bachelors degree (no number of years specified), then the applicant should submit both a Bachelors transcript and a Masters transcript with the application documents.

Surprisingly, they do not acknowledge that a 4 years Bachelor program (BSc Honors) in Mathematics from one of the top-most universities of Pakistan, Lahore University of Management Sciences is a technical degree or meets their preliminary requirements for admission into a graduate field of study.

In view of this apparent discrimination between international evaluation of Bachelors programs from Pakistan and those from other countries, I feel that there is an honest lack of information about Pakistan's robust 4-year undergraduate programs.

To resolve this concern, I would strongly encourage educational institutions in Pakistan to:
1) communicate to their international counterparts the change from 2-year Bachelors programs to 4-year Bachelor programs in Pakistan, and
2) urge their international counterparts to re-assess Pakistan's 4-year Bachelors programs, and consequently revise admission criteria for applicants from Pakistan.

I believe that resolving such issues could facilitate Pakistani students in obtaining higher education oversees, and simultaneously improve the image of Pakistani educational qualifications in the international market.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Change Your Perspective

"I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way."

(Robin Williams - Dead Poet's Society)

Saturday, 21 March 2015

A Comfortable Silence

A Comfortable Silence
Image courtesy:

"Silence draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking." (Nicholas Sparks)
"Someone you can talk to and share silence with is a rare breed." (Sonya T.)
"He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words." (Elbert Hubbard)

Friday, 20 March 2015

A Tribute to Shahid Afridi

A Tribute to Shahid AfridiShahid Afridi is like the assertive Pakistani bahu (daughter-in-law), who is popular among her in-laws for her ebullient nature and ostentatious displays.

She has the knack of alluring people with her flamboyant appearances and charming aura. Even though she does not know it all, she can make people believe that she is good at everything. People admire her vivacity and vocalness, and appreciate her ability to become the life of the party.

People who are moved by such pomp and show will typically overlook the simple bahu who quietly and diligently delivers her duties with care and responsibility. Moreover, since a humble person would not extravagantly showcase her work contributions or flatter her onlookers to win their admiration, the latter does not receive due appreciation or respect.

In a similar way, people who are moved by pomp and show have always associated Pakistan's cricket team with Shahid Afridi even though several great, distinguished players have served the team with humility, integrity, and persistently good  performances beside him.

Afridi has influenced Pakistan's cricket team to a massive extent, but sadly not in a healthy way. No matter how poorly he performed, he has always been celebrated and cheered. However, as Afridi has been repeatedly lauded for his erratic and often regretful performances, motivation of the rest of the team suffered as the actual contributors received sparse encouragement from the audience.

Today, as Pakistan exited the World Cup 2015 with a distressful defeat against Australia, Afridi retires from cricket according to his earlier statement (Reference:

Finally a reason to celebrate even after a lost match and a lost World Cup!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Personalised Internet

Today, when I swiped my phone, I smiled :)

Google was wishing me Happy Birthday with a pretty cupcake to top my day!

Later when I opened my Chrome browser, Google greeted me with a personalised greeting: "Happy Birthday Sarah!" 
It appeared as I hovered the cursor over the ornate image reproduced above!

It is amazing and freaky how close and personal the internet is becoming with our private lives! 

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Bravo Team Green!

Bravo Team Green - Pakistan
7 March 2015's match between Pakistan and South Africa was simply outstanding. Loved it! What a brave and commendable performance by the Pakistani cricket team! And an entertaining and exciting show for the audience.

Luckily, South Africa asked us to bat first after they won the toss. Perhaps they thought they'd bowl us out for a low score, and secure an easy win. Pakistan, however, proved them wrong, and in fact surprised most people by winning a crucially important game against a notably tough opponent.

The evening before the Pakistan-West Indies match, I thought that if Pakistan won the toss, there would be some chance for us to win the game. Of course, I candidly assumed we would logically opt to bat first.

Since as long as I can remember, Pakistan has lost most games of cricket when it has chased a total, be it large or small. For one, our batsmen - though undesirably undependable - play relatively better when they start the game. Secondly, our bowling side has the enigmatic knack of taking wickets, and limiting the other side before they reach the posted score.

However, on 21 Feb 2015, I was sad to see Pakistan bowl the first innings against the West Indies. The mere fact implied that our team was very likely to have a rough and tough game. Later, I was shocked to find that Pakistan had won the toss, and for some inexplicable reason, chosen to bowl first.

"How could they win the toss, and intentionally choose to lose such a crucial game!" I couldn't believe it, and still regret that toss decision.

Nonetheless, with Pakistan's progressing performances, I am happy to see the green team regain its confidence and 'success glory' after two initial consecutive defeats in the big tournament.

I have been following cricket for more than a decade now, and have repeatedly acknowledged Pakistan's cricket team to be a close representative of Pakistan and its people. Broadly speaking, the team has the following traits:
  • Lack of unification and team spirit
  • Big dreams but no intelligent game plan
  • Unpredictable and undependable nature
  • High energies, spontaneity, and erratic performances
  • Individual contributions instead of zealous teamwork 
  • Lack of organisation and direction
  • Casual and non-professional attitude
  • Lack of determination and committed action
  • Occasionally outstanding but consistently confused
  • Lack of confidence and self-esteem
  • Skilled but not bold, able but not consistent
  • Lack of cohesion and stability
  • Insecure and lacking self-confidence
  • Seeking reassurance from others to reaffirm self abilities
  • Hoping for a miracle

Like many sports, cricket demands team work. The game is, of course, about good sportsmen - batsmen, bowlers, fielders - under the leadership of a robust captain. We have the skills, but we need to muster confidence, courage, commitment, and consistent team efforts to achieve our collective goals.

Lately, Misbah ul Haq has demonstrated to be a very able captain. I am particularly impressed by the way he handles stress, and doesn't take consequences of a dismal performance at heart. He rejoices and bucks up the team with the small 'victories' in a game, and stays calm and composed even when things are going the other way. This simple and stable captaincy seems to be a productive and healthy change for Pakistan's cricket team.

Our next match will be against Ireland on 15 March 2015. In light of the 'toss theory' applicable to our team, if we bat first, we stand a hopeful chance of winning the game. However, with the confidence that we have mustered with our recent strategic wins, if we are required to bowl and chase, we will still be high-spirited and focused to be the winning team.

Bravo team green!