Taimur Arbab

Taimur Arbab

A former sub-editor at The Express Tribune, college teacher of Sociology and English Language and a graduate student at Aga Khan Institute for Educational Development, who leans toward the left side of the political spectrum and looks for ideas for his short stories and poems in the everyday happenings of life. He can be reached at [email protected]

A victory for Pakistan does not necessarily mean a loss for India

Ever since I can remember becoming zee shaoor (in possession of one’s full mental capacity), my household has been a hard core, absolutely bonkers, completely ridiculous, and rowdy cricket fan. It runs in the genes, so they tell me. My father often tells me how my paternal great grandfather used to listen to the English commentary of cricket matches on the radio in the 50s, where he was one of the few individuals in my rural hometown of Hala, Sindh, to own a radio. English commentary? Rural Sindh? 50s? What am I saying? But yes, he had received a scholarship of Rs5 before the Partition from the ...

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We need to teach our children ‘how’ to think rather than ‘what’ to think

Education, much like everything else in the field of human knowledge, is rooted to philosophy. The curriculum texts, teaching pedagogies and school structures all reflect a particular philosophical premise. Be it the idealist school or the existentialist one, the pragmatist theorists or those who seek to use education for social change in the critical paradigm, education is about ‘wide-awakeness’. Today in education, a crucial issue facing us is the need to find ways of educating young persons to sensitivity, potency, social consciousness and a healthy citizenship ethos. In my journey so far as a teacher, I have been particularly impressed with three schools of philosophy: the idealist, pragmatist, ...

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November 19, 2015
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The day Lascaux cried

The first light of dawn was setting on nature’s various wonders and the tribe of Shamosis was waking up to the incessant chirping of early-morning birds. The water in the nearby lake stood motionless. Serenity prevailed: nature reigned supreme, humanity remained at peace. The Shamosis had been travelling for the past six months now without a stop. Usually, Closett used to initiate a gathering of elders whenever an area was discovered fit for encampment but the last such gathering had been a long time ago, when they had left the territorial fringes of modern-day Turkey and entered what one today ...

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Aao Parhao – Why I chose teaching over a ‘dream job’

Teaching students at the college and high school levels has been a constant in my life since I graduated from the Lahore University of Management Sciences in 2011. Apart from working as a sub-editor at The Express Tribune in the year 2011-12, I was also teaching Sociology as a part-time faculty member. I have chosen to continue with the latter occupation for a variety of reasons. I went into teaching because I was inspired by John Dewey and his work on the education system in Turkey, whereby he completely reformulated the country’s education system according to the demands of the modern world. Not only ...

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Noor of Bihar

“Babu jee, India is so enormous. Mumbai, Agra, Delhi and Bihar are unfathomable in size. Either you take one step or accomplish a hundred, it will take 10 years to traverse from one end of the country to another,” she assured me in her mellifluous Bihari tone. As the fan overhead continued its eternal hymn, Nani (maternal grandmother) shouted in distaste, “Huh, you have seen India, my foot! Woman of no worth,” she shouted out, as mother and I looked at each other, exchanging mental notes on how to manage Nani’s incorrigible distrust of domestic helpers. Nani suffered from a cancerous tumour ...

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If you are reading this, you are part of the 0.1% elect few

Greetings! If you are reading this blog, you are a part of the ‘elect’, the fortunate ones in this great country of un-equals. Let me tell you something more about yourself. You are able to read in English and hold a conversation in the language and this very ability makes you one of the privileged ones: out of a population of nearly 200 million, only six million Pakistanis are able to afford a daily newspaper and out of this tiny number, a further 60,000 happen to read the English ones. A strong correlative factor determining your present status is that you went to a good private school ...

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Wearing a Sindhi topi and ajrak won’t rebuild a backward province

It is the same mayhem every year. Yes, with ear-splitting songs ricocheting in the backdrop, the clatter of a hundred different tunes which sound sweet to the ear but are ironic when their meaning dawns upon one; a mela, a festival, a frenzy of colour as a consequence of a host of ajraks with exquisite block prints and astutely crafted Sindhi topis on display – all this seems so empty in the end and so fleeting in the final assessment. A land of culture and civilisation: check. A history of Sufi traditions and humanistic thought: check. A past of resistance to oppression of the Imperialist ...

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Democracy in Egypt

Prior to Mohammed Morsi’s win, the Egyptian Army staged many coups. The dissolution of the Egyptian parliament, consisting of elected leaders, who had come to power after an extensive voting process spanning three months, was by far the most effective one yet. One might ask why this brash manipulation of the electoral process occurred on the military’s part. The answer to this lies in analysing the post-run-off situation in Egypt in terms of power, as perceived by the military. President Morsi’s inauguration, perhaps, will mean disaster for the old elite; the old guard, the Edmund Burkes of Egypt and the military ...

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The common man can make Imran Khan win

Will Imran Khan and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) ‘sweep’ the next general elections? Well, Imran might not be able to sweep them but he will definitely register significant gains. There are two reasons for that. First is the addition of around 38 million new voters in the electoral rolls, the majority of which are constituted by the country’s youth. As explained by Imran Khan in a recent talk show, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were able to garner 18 million votes in the 2008 elections. Thus, it’s a ...

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He who changed my life

I was part of the elite ─ the privileged, the damned. Yes, I was a part of those cadres of people who have dominated this country since its inception, crippling it in the nexus of nepotism and corruption. Fickle lives and distraught ambitions were what defined me in that period. Life was great or at least it felt to be so. All that changed on that fateful night. The night of March 3, 2005 changed who I was. It was around three in the night. Coming back from the usual late hangout with my friends, I stalled at the Atom Chowk, since the ...

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