Recommended Sunday Reading— May 7

The best Sunday reads from across the globe

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

NH Web Desk

When Russians took refuge in China

“Charlie Chaplin, who wrote and directed A Countess from Hong Kong, starring Sophia Loren, had said the 1967 film ‘resulted from a visit I made to Shanghai in 1931, where I came across a number of titled aristocrats who had escaped the Russian revolution. They were destitute and without a country, their status was of the lowest grade. The men ran rickshaws and the women worked in 10-cent dance halls. When the second world war broke out, many of the old aristocrats had died and the younger generation migrated to Hong Kong, where their plight was even worse’.”

Gwadar, Pakistan’s port city swings between hope and despair

“From the luxurious high-security surroundings of the five-star hotel, the promise of Gwadar as the future smart port city of Pakistan appears real. But take a drive down the hill to the city centre and it becomes clear why many still remain sceptical. The old town, with its narrow dirt streets, overflowing sewerage and heaps of rubbish, looks like any other neglected town of Balochistan. A dysfunctional municipal system and lack of basic social services make life miserable for many here. ‘They are building new roads. They’ve been saying this place will be like Dubai or Europe’, M Saleem, a fish trader along the scenic West Bay says. ‘But what’s in it for us? We are living the way we always have: without water, electricity and gas’.”

Jokes to make Muslims look ‘ human’ are not working

Iranian-American comedian Zahra Noorbakhsh writes, “Still, We’re just like you! comedy is so much of what I’m being asked to do these days. Television producers, publishers and those booking events for college campuses all seem to want something similar: a representative of an ‘everyday’ Muslim (I still don’t really know what that means) with an outlook relatable enough to get audiences to forget their bigotry. These pleas don’t make me as sad as the ones that come from Muslim activists, who seem to be begging: Use your jokes to make us human; make us likable; let us prove to people that we’re just like them.”

When millionaires do not feel they are wealthy

Swedish career coach Pia Webb argues, “When it comes to wealth, many people think money is the key. But you don't need much if you can be happy living in the moment.” “Webb, who was much more focused on wealth before experiencing a burnout 10 years ago, now enjoys simple pleasures such as having a sauna, taking a walk in the forest or enjoying time with friends and relatives.”

Pet cafes in Bangkok trigger delight and concern

“Wildlife activist Edwin Wiek, founder of Wildlife Friends Foundation, is critical of the trend, saying the artificial environments of these mini petting zoos could stress the animals. Owls, for example, are nocturnal by nature, but ‘if you keep them awake the whole day, they will be so tired they will sleep at night’.”

Who hasn’t taken a photograph ? Toscani in Mexico

“Toscani also said that all humans are different, rather than equal as it is commonly said. ‘Our differences are what makes each one of us unique’, and these differences are precisely what should be celebrated and what should unite us.”

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