Stories published in June, 2014

You don’t have to celebrate homosexuality, but please don’t be a homophobe

The landmark Supreme Court judgment was definitely not going to go unnoticed in Pakistan. It was obvious that it was going to get widespread support in Pakistan as well. I was surprised to even see a few people drape their profile pictures in the rainbow colours in unity. However, the copious amounts of vitriol directed towards those people were vastly unwarranted and totally unnecessary. Nobody is requiring every single person in the world to celebrate pride but there is no reason to berate people doing so. You are free to express yourself but your freedom of speech does not extend to having a right ...

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No, I’m not a football fan – bite me Suarez

I don’t follow football! Yes, I don’t have a favourite team – the closest I have ever gotten to it was when I played FIFA video games with my friends or back when Ronaldo had not gotten a hair transplant and was not such a Prince Charming lookalike; oh wait, that’s not the same guy – that explains a lot. By the way, we must limit the number of Ronaldos in one era, so that it’s easy to remember who is who. They are becoming the Khans of soccer. Exactly the way people from Rawalpindi think its cooler to live in ‘Pind’ rather than Islamabad, ...

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Just a maasi

This piece is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The child looked at me with utter guilt on her face while I smiled at her. She had spilt water all around the toilet. She felt bad about me having to clean it up. It had been a long time since someone sympathised with me. So I smiled at her to put her at ease. She flashed a shy smile towards me and hurried out, leaving me all alone in the three cubicle restroom. I looked at my cell phone to check the time. It was 3pm and ...

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Will Pakistani acid victims ever be as lucky as Turia Pitt?

Some people are just more fortunate than others. That’s how this world works. This thought resonated in my mind as I read about Turia Pitt, a model-turned engineer who suffered 65% burns on her body during a bushfire in Australia. That was three years ago. Now, she is an author and an active charity fundraiser. In her own words she is, “the luckiest girl in the world.” She recently appeared on the front cover of Australian Women’s Weekly, with her resilient scars and her remarkable confidence. I wish we had more Turias in Pakistan. Turia Pitt on the cover of ...

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My husband is gay – A difficult truth

Case 1: On her wedding night, *Hira found out that her new husband had a male partner. Her world came to a standstill. He told her not to expect much from him because he had no inclination towards her as a wife. Hira came back to her parent’s house the same night and when she confronted her in-laws, they sheepishly replied that they thought he would be ‘fine’ once he got married to a girl. Case 2: *Shumaila’s husband lived in the UK and, despite having been married to her for eight months, didn’t sponsor her visa so she could join him in London ...

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I live in Iraq and I am not afraid

I was at Karbala when Sheikh Abd al-Mahdi Karbala’i, representative of the Grand Ayatollah Sistani, gave his fiery Friday sermon in which he delivered the message of Sistani to the people, asking Iraqis to register as volunteers in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), whom he called “takfiris”. The atmosphere became extremely spirited during the speech. Perhaps it was because of the nature of the event during which this speech was made that everyone felt connected to each other. It was the eve of the birth of the twelfth imam of the Shiite sect, Imam Mehdi, and this ...

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Give Pakistan a chance

There are quite a few times in the day that I find myself in the comfort of my living room hearing people excoriate the way things are running in this country. The source of the criticism is either a guest whining on a talk show on TV or a companion grumbling about the prevalent paucity of gas and electricity in the country. I come across numerous people around me, analysing and commenting on the many problems of our country. Some would say, “It is the exigency for a solid leadership.” Others devise a fancy conspiracy theory about it all being an orchestrated play, scripted by the ...

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This Ramazan, develop an attitude of gratitude

As I sit here writing this, I am exuberated with joy that Ramazan is almost here. We, Pakistanis, are always fashionably late; that should explain why we start fasting a day after most other countries do. Anyhow! Personally speaking, Ramazan is my favourite time of the year. A month I exclusively dedicate to my relationship with God, focusing on spiritual growth and reflections. It would be great if every Muslim tried to make a conscious effort in changing some part of their personality that needs to be improved during Ramazan. But unfortunately, it is sad to note how each year this month ...

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Don’t be fooled Imran Khan, this is not your revolution

The recent political turmoil of the country could not have staged itself at a worst time than this. With the army and the nation’s sentiments tied with over thousands Internally Displace People (IDPs) in North Waziristan, the least we expected out of our politicians was a serene political climate. Instead, we were thrown in with political gimmicks and chaos; silenced and stunned by the brutal killings carried out under the suspected supervision of the chief minister, which were reciprocated later by equally disturbing acts of vigilantism displayed against the Punjab Police. The icing on the cake, however, was our ‘revolutionary genius’ asking ...

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Will Germany lift the cup in 2014 FIFA World Cup?

With 136 goals in the group stages alone, the 2014 edition of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil seems to be well on its way to break the record for most goals scored in the history of the event (France 1998 – 171 goals).  Labelled by some as the most exciting World Cup till date, fans around the globe have been glued to their television sets, regardless of the time difference. A number of big teams, including defending champions Spain, former champions Italy and England along with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, have been shown the door before the knockout phase, which begins in a few ...

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