Sports and Sports Entertainment

WWE: Royal Rumble 2017 sizzles for more than one reason!

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The 30th annual Royal Rumble took place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on January 29, 2017. The highlight of the evening was the supercharged matched between AJ Styles and John Cena where Styles was defending his WWE Championship. When it seemed AJ Styles will retain the title, Cena – eyeing a 16th World title win – delivered two consecutive Attitude Adjustments to Styles to win the World title, hence tying Ric Flair’s record of 16 World  Championship title wins. In another one-on-one confrontation, Kevin Owens successfully defended his WWE Universal Championship belt against Roman Reigns, after Reigns was beaten up by Brawn Stroman. The referee could not do anything as the match had a ‘no disqualification’ stipulation attached to it.

Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdfEuCGoVdDIbkiqC_RppgQ

The 30-men over the top Royal Rumble was the match everyone was waiting for especially after The Undertaker made his presence felt on Monday Night RAW with Goldberg and Brock Lesnar standing in the same ring. WWE fans were pondering over to who will eliminate these three legends of the sport.

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Lesnar and Goldberg’s confrontation at the 2017 Royal Rumble, during the 30-men elimination match, was a Deja Vu moment following their match at Survivor Series (2016), where Goldberg defeated Lesnar in one minute and 26 seconds. At the Royal Rumble, however, Goldberg took a little time in dismantling The Beast after hitting him with a Spear and throwing him over the top rope. Minutes later, after delivering a Spear to The Undertaker, it was the Dead Man who eliminated Goldberg. However, Roman Reigns, made history – or perhaps a mistake – by eliminating The Undertaker from the Royal Rumble. With Randy Orton winning the 30-men over the top Royal Rumble match and securing his main event status at WrestleMania 33, he will face the WWE  Champion, John Cena, in renewing one of the most heated rivalries in recent memory.

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Moreover, we will soon find out what matches will take place at WrestleMania now that we have multiple storylines brewing up where The Undertaker could face Roman Reigns, Goldberg could face Brock Lesnar, or perhaps – in a dream match – we could have a triple threat encounter at Wrestlemania with Goldberg Vs. Brock Lesnar Vs. The Undertaker. Let’s see what WrestleMania has in store for the WWE Universe.

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Book Review

Zeenat Mahal brings to life Chandni, Haveli and the 70s brought to life

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Haveli
(Novella)
By Zeenat Mahal
Indireads Incorporated (July 8, 2013)
ISBN: 978-1-927826-02-7
70 pp

The expression and style with which Zeenat Mahal describes the scenes and settings in her novel, ‘Haveli’, takes the reader back in the 1970s. Although those readers born in the 1980s, like me, may not truly connect themselves with the aura of the 70s, nevertheless, Zeenat expresses details with such vividness to create a strong image in the reader’s mind.

If her prowess to describe the story and her command over the concept of ‘show don’t tell’ isn’t enough to capture the reader’s attention, then her ability to bring the characters to life adds value to her narrative. Just take for instance the opening lines of her novel, “In the summer of 1971, I was still learning how to pour tea correctly from my grandmother. I was not Japanese either, nor a geisha. I simply had the misfortune of being the granddaughter of Zaitoon Begum, the widow of the last Nawab of Jalalabad.” Instead of telling the ancestral details of her family, she tells us about her grandfather, being a Nawab, and how it was important for her grandmother to do everything with elegance – even it was a task as simple as pouring tea in a cup.

Before the readers could involve themselves in the novel, the title, Haveli, brings upon a burst of imagination where the reader is compelled to think if the story is about a Haveli, or has to do something with the people living in it. However, the story is set in a Haveli – which focuses on a family – and especially a girl, Chandni, who is quite open-minded.

The story also entails the strong will of the Pakistani woman living in the 70s – those who adhered to simplicity but also expressed their emotions when needed. The novel begins with a serious tone but as the readers explore Chandni’s character, they experience delight when least expected. Zeenat Mahal’s protagonist, Chandni, is one of those girls who are lively, determined, and often finds themselves in hot water because of their straightforwardness.

Furthermore, one objective that Zeenat Mahal accomplishes through Haveli is to break the stereotypes about the 70s. Any writer could explain the beliefs prevailing among the middle and upper class of that era; however, Zeenat’s appropriately correct words used in the right context blends her views about the 70s with the story, giving readers something for introspection.

Chandni is a girl who grew up under her grandmother, Zaitoon Begum’s wing. Chandni calls her grandmother Bi Amma, a name that is appropriate to a grandmother, who has a strict nature and lives in a Haveli in the 70s. Chandni’s mother, Zainab, left this world for her eternal abode when Chandni was a child. Shah Jehan is Chandni’s father, who abandoned her years ago. Although Chandni never found the love of her parents, she does know how to love, which is for her crush – a man named Kunwar Rohail Khanzada. The one-sided love affair began for Chandni, when she was only nine years old, and Khanzada was 28. Chandni loves her despite the fact that Khanzada is married.

Living with her half-brother, Zafar, Chandni has a different personality from her family members. Chandni doesn’t like her name; perhaps it was an old-fashioned name for her. However, Zeenat Mahal chose an appropriate name keeping in mind the time the novel is set in. Instead of being called Chandni, she prefers others to call her ‘C.’ While Chandni is daydreaming about Khanzada, her aspirations of being her bride shatter when a wealthy and an arrogant person, Taimur, arrives at the Haveli. He is Ali or Baba’s son, her late mother’s friend. Moreover, Bi Amma, or The Broad, has decided to wed Chandni with Taimur. This is a decision Chandni wants to overturn at the earliest. It seems that Taimur and Chandni aren’t on the same page. Despite hating each other, Chandni also refers to him as Alpha Male, Uriah Heep, and Evil Moriarity. The animosity between the two is so deep, that Taimur calls Chandni as Medusa.

While this love-hate relationship is expanding, out of nowhere, Chandni’s father walks at the Haveli to claim Chandni. To add confusion, he wants Chandni to marry a groom of his choosing. To everyone’s surprise, she is willing to go with his father, perhaps to get Taimur out of her life. This also shows Chandni’s father’s egoistical behavior but also reveals that she wants to use her father to leave Bi Amma, Taimur, and the customs of the Haveli.

Perhaps it’s the rules being followed inside the Haveli that she despise, and not the structure itself. The suspense gradually builds as the readers become curious about Chandni’s future. The moment she fights with her half-brother, Zafar, with whom she has a good relationship, things becomes unsteady. The readers find themselves entwined in between many people, issues, and a question; what will Chandni do? What makes Haveli an interesting read is Zeenat Mahal’s ability to blend the characters with the plot and gradually move the story forward. Instead of giving importance to one character, she treats all characters equally. Where she thoroughly explains Chandni’s interest in Khanzada, she also explicates the hate that Taimur and Chandni share for each other. Moreover, Zeenat manages to place Bi Amma’s rigid nature right in between. Furthermore, Mahal’s prowess to put humor, comic timing in-between dialogues, and interweaving all characters together to form a cohesive plot, retains the reader’s attention throughout the 63-page novella.

The joint family system portrayed in Haveli is another cultural phenomenon that families in Pakistan were following during the 1970s. The readers are transported back in time because of Zeenat Mahal’s ‘show don’t tell’ technique – which is any fiction author’s greatest weapon. Zeenat describes the upper-class society of the 1970s, their lifestyle, education, clothing, and their philosophy of life that keeps the readers’ imagination moving. Writing fiction is a challenging task but Zeenat has done it with ease. From revealing the characters – their emotions, ambitions, and actions – to creating conflict and embedding a resolution among the characters at the end – each scene reverberates with Zeenat’s imagination and her command over her story.
Haveli
(Novella)
By Zeenat Mahal
Indireads Incorporated (July 8, 2013)
ISBN: 978-1-927826-02-7
70 pp