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Ms OCTOBER 6, 2013


Bridal Boutique



Stories that inspire courage



inside fashion smashion —

Bag that style

domestic goddess —

Twix it up!



Section In-Charge: Batool Zehra Sub-Editor: Amna Hashmi

Fine art connoisseur



the buzz


Stories of survivors:Rape in TV drama serials Ms.T takes an in-depth look at how rape is portrayed in local drama serials and why it might be making matters worse

by Saif Asif Khan Pakistan is certainly no stranger to violence against women. The local media is rife with tragic news of sexual abuse, lending credence to the fact that such unfortunate incidents do happen frequently, despite the victims’ reluctance to report them. Naturally, a rape victim’s choice to not lodge a complaint against her attacker(s) has much to do with how rape victims are perceived in our society or rather, how they think they will be perceived. And unfortunately, local media, TV serials, in particular, make matters worse. These dramas are watched by countless women across the country, from all walks of life. They possess the power to influence their perceptions regarding rape by presenting strong role models who are unafraid to pursue their attackers legally. It is not that Pakistani dramas do not talk about rape at all, as was the case until a few years ago. Rather, the storylines of our serials have come a long way since the eighties and now, often feature a leading lady who is subjected to an assault and the repercussions it entails in Pakistani society. It is commendable that our television industry finally shed some light on an issue which was a major social taboo. The problem, however, is that while rape and the attendant suffering it brings with itself may have become a tactic for the TV channels to woo viewers, most stories fail to provide an inspirational example of a rape victim rise above her situation. Of all the TV serials that I have watched over the past few months, only three addressed the issue of rape and the subsequent trauma the victim undergoes daily. Unfortunately, all three serials focused primarily on the suffering, self-pity and characterassassination of the victim and not her ability to takle it. In addition to this, all the serials seemed to discourage women from taking legal action and instead, resorting to vigilante tactics to

Unfortunately, all serials focused primarily on the suffering, self-pity and characterassassination of the victim and not her ability to break free from it all seek revenge — that too through the angry ‘honour-conscious’ male members of the family. In one shocking example, the victim’s husband, upon discovering the identity of her assailant, is infuriated just enough to grab him by the neck, thrash him a bit and kick him out of the room. And that’s all. No one cares enough to lodge an FIR or even get the victim some medical help. This is not to say that rape victims do not suffer deplorable treatment from friends and family in the real world. But focusing merely on the silent turmoil of the victims will not help them in any way. In fact, it is likely to intensify their desire to further conceal their situation. In addition to this, the lack of legal action allows sexual predators feel brazen enough to repeat the offence without any fear of incarceration. One may argue that our lack of a sound legal system would render any attempts to prosecute rape futile but shifting the focus from suffering to retribution can help improve victims’ lives just a tad, if not completely. In such an environment, a refreshing Turkish drama that was being aired on a local TV channel, appears to depict the trauma of rape in an extremely sensitive and inspiring manner. It manages to do what our local dramas have




In a report issued b y the Awaz Foundation Centre for Development in November 2012, as many as 2,713 cases of violence against women were reported just in the southern Punjab region since January last year.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), a rape occurs every two hours and a victim is gang-raped every four to eight days.

failed to thus far. When the protagonist, a young, farm worker from a small Turkish village, suffers assault at the hands of three rich men from Istanbul, goes through a phase of self-pity and shame which is all too familiar for our local audience. Add the incessant nagging of her sister-in-law, who accuses the girl of enticing the men and you have one solid Pakistani serial. But what sets the Turkish drama apart is that unlike most other rape victims, the protagonist gradually gains the courage to not only report her enemies to the police but also follow through with a painfully long and emotionally taxing court case — despite the odds almost always being in their favour. She seeks psychiatric help, starts her own business, keeps her head high and even falls in love with a man, often repeating the line, “I have nothing to be ashamed of.” Eventually, she proves successful and viewers are given a happy ending. Thus, her story focuses less on pain and pity and more on working through them. Most importantly, acquiring revenge through

If stories of weak and submissive characters can help perpetuate such behaviours in women, it is safe to say that stories of powerful and confident women could do the same

vigilantism is negated completely by the victim seeking legal help which is refreshing and inspirational. Of course, there are still some aspects of the drama that are somewhat unpalatable, such as how the victim’s husband (who was privy to the rape but did nothing to stop it) manages to atone for his sins by marrying her. Regardless, it is the steady recovery of the protagonist that steals the show and leaves the viewers with a feel-good sensation at the end. One may feel that the Turkish drama is unrealistic in a country like Pakistan but the media, be it print or broadcast, does not necessarily have to be realistic to inspire people. Superhero comics and their movie versions have played an important role in shaping Western cultural dynamics. Closer to home, Bollywood movies have captivated our minds with hilarious yet enduring stereotypes of the Vamp, the Sati Savitri and the tawaaif with a heart of gold for decades. Most recently, Disney has come under fire for brainwashing generations of young girls into becoming airheaded princesses waiting for their Prince Charming to come and carry them off to a better life. In similarly way, a drama serial is rarely an accurate representation of real life. Nonetheless, if stories of weak and submissive characters can help perpetuate such behaviours in women, it is safe to say that stories of powerful and confident women could do the same. They may not be true or close to reality but they may encourage some silent woman somewhere to stand up and gather the pieces of her life. And perhaps, a few more after her. And once there are enough voices, no one will be able to drown them out.



en vogue

Bridal Bliss MsT brings you the hottest new trends in bridalwear to keep you on top of your game this wedding season




Coordination: Umer Mushtaq Hair & Makeup: Saba Ansari @ Sab’s Salon Designers: Nomi Ansari, Zainab Chottani and Karma by Maheen Kardar Jewellery: Gold Mark by Asim Jofa Photogtaphy & Styling: Deevees Models: Amina Sheikh, Hira Tareen and Sara



fashion smashion


Are you fed up of lugging around huge bags with everything you own in them? Ms T takes a look at the next big fashion trend — the smaller handbag — and why they are every woman’s dream come true

by Nayab Najam Remember the good old days when we used to drag around tiny suitcases on our shoulders, with everything we had ever purchased stuffed inside? Am I bringing back horrid memories of the times you spent laying in bed with backache, praying to God for a solution? Guess what, ladies? Your prayers have been answered! The days of the larger than life purses are long gone; everyone from Hollywood starlets to local socialites is indulging in the hot new fashion accessory: the dainty, long-chain box purse. Call them side bags, cross-body bags or even baby bags, one thing you can be absolutely certain of is that these bags are here to stay. When it comes to chic and practically, nothing can beat these compact little bits of fashion heaven. With high-end brands like Chanel and Micheal Kors and cheaper ones like Mango and Zara, all jumping the chain-bag bandwagon, there is a great variety available, including leather or faux leather bags, animal print bags and even transparent ones! The fashion world is buzzing with innovative ideas for side-bags (Check out Chanel’s Lego bag below) and now you can too. Here is why we love them:

1) Good-bye, shoulder aches and my mom’s incessant nagging! The side-bags have spared many of us from our mothers who feared our backs and shoulders would give away if we continued carrying our whole world on them. Never did they miss an opportunity to tell us this and understandably so. The larger the bag, the more the clutter would be. But thanks to the much smaller side-bags, we have learned how to use minimal space efficiently. 2) With the limited space, it is easier for us to pack just the basic necessities in our bags as opposed to the seven lipsticks and five jewellery items we carried before lest we had a fashion

emergency. Not only does this mean we have less baggage, we automatically learn to de-clutter and keep what we really need. Meaning no more rummaging for your phone while it is buzzing away! 3) The fact that side-bags are incredibly easy to accessorize makes us love them even more! Style your bag up with a colourful, flowery chiffon scarf or get a 70s vibe with a funky broche. If you want to keep it simple, decorate your bag with tiny badges or hang dazzling charms from the chain straps. Unlike before, we no longer require a special bag for every outfit. My suggestion would be to invest in one or two neutral-coloured bags (try black or tan) and glam them up with tiny trinkets to match your wardrobe whenever you are heading out. 4) Designers like Lanvin, Nina Ricci and Bottega Venetta have been accessorizing their latest collections with just small side-bags, putting them in the spotlight. It has worked phenomenally well at the New York Fashion Week this year and will do great here in Pakistan as well, on days when it is too hot to wear too much jewellery or a heavy outfit. However, make sure that your bag contrasts with your outfit to make it stand out. For example, a red bag on a red outfit risks looking excessive. Keep it simple and stylish.

domestic goddess 7



Twix Milkshake Attention all chocolate lovers! Take a big gulp of this deliciously refreshing and energizing milkshake to revitalize yourself after a long day. The chocolate bits will satisfy your sweet-tooth and when served cold, the milkshake is ideal to beat the scorching heat. I promise you will love it!

Arooj Waqar runs a Facebook cooking page called Mona’s Kitchen and aspires to convert her passion for cooking into a career

Method • Add the Twix bars, milk powder, sugar, water and ice to an electric blender. • Blend the ingredients well, until they are mixed completely. • Serve chilled.


Twix chocolate bars 3

Milk powder 4 tbsp (heaped)

Sugar (optional)

Ice cubes 7

Water 1/3 to ½ a glass

hottie of the week 8



Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


10th December, 1984



Komail Aijazuddin



Who is he? In today’s fast-paced world, everyone is in a rush to acheive success or stardom but there are some people who march to their own drums and have the courage to follow their hearts. Fortunately for us, Komail Aijazuddin is one such person, who is on his way to becoming the next big artist in Pakistan. Upon graduating from the prestigious New York University with a triple major in Studio Art, History of Art and Journalism, Komail began showcasing some of his paintings at various galleries around New York, London and Paris and ultimately decided to pursue his painting career in Pakistan. With his latest collection of paintings being displayed at the Khaas Art Gallery in Islamabad this month, it is safe to say Komail is already on top of his game.



Why we love him What is great about this dapper young gentleman is that he likes to pave his own path. Upon graduation, Komail tried his hand at journalism with a local magazine in New York before working in human rights with Amnesty International. However, ultimately, he chose art as his main focus as it allows him to create his own projects in scope and scale. He firmly believes that if one is devoting their time and effort to something, it ought to be something they truly love. This debonair artist is a true intellectual in every sense of the word: Komail seeks a higher purpose in life and ponders over some everyday issues such as religion and spirituality a great deal, as reflected in his work. He is deeply interested in scriptures, mythologies, history and different faiths, all of which serve as inspiration for his paintings. His eloquent dialogue, intelligence and dignified manner make him as pleasing to the mind as some of his magnificent paintings. Let’s just say that if he ever did a self-portrait, we would most definitely want to buy it.

What you didn’t know about him Komail used to be overweight up until his teens and lost all his weight through regular gym sessions. His favourite holiday destination is Chitral. Komail does not like early mornings; he admits to not being a very pleasant ‘morning person’ and needs a good cup of coffee to get himself started, every day.

Total Package


The Express Tribune hi five - October 6  

The Express Tribune hi five for October 06th 2013

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