Stories published in July, 2014

11 bizarre moments that are always expected on Eidul Fitr

So finally Ramazan has come to an end and our very own meethi Eid (aka Eidul Fitr) is here! Although there are some of us who despise the endless train of Eid visitors, some of us anticipate the various… amusing moments that are bound to arise during these holidays. Here are 11 moments that signify Eidul Fitr’s arrival: 1. The looney lunar: Many people are sleep deprived on Eid. Why, you ask? Well, what else can you expect when the announcement of Eid is sprung on you at the eleventh hour, courtesy of the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee? Pakistanis, by habit, leave quite a few important things to the ...

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10 meaningful ways to spend your Eidi

What do we usually end up doing on Eid? Go for Eid parties? Hang out with friends or spend lazy afternoons on our couch flipping through the oh-so-unbearable Eid transmission programs? We spend all of our Eidi on ordering food or going out with friends. Well, what if I told you that there are better things you could do with your time and Eidi this Eid? All of us think of doing something noble throughout the year but never actually do it, under the pretence that we don’t have the time or the resources for it. Well, why not try it out ...

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Is morality determined by the length of a woman’s blouse?

Over time I have noticed a common trend on Pakistani Facebook pages, especially those of designers and celebrities: crude, caustic and downright hateful slandering of celebrities. I recently stumbled upon a picture of Humaima Malick looking gorgeous in an elegant Élan ensemble and all I could think of was the talent and beauty that exists in our country. But then I read the bitterest of verbal abuses on the picture, which included: “She is lookin’ dumb and her makeup is damn worst” “Kitni ugly hai pata nai kyun uthaya hua hai isko” “This is behayaee and immoral behaviour” Photo: Élan Facebook Page Apparently, showing inches ...

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What’s an Eid feast without some Nargasi Koftas?

Ramazan is finally over! And here we are celebrating Eidul Fitr in the Far East on Monday. Fasting during the peak summer is a real test of one’s faith and endurance. My inquisitive non-Muslim friends often ask me how we, Muslims, survive the long testing hours of fasting without food and water in soaring temperatures. I am not sure they believe me when I tell them that it’s a mix of practice and unconditional faith that makes us get through the tough days of fasting and sleep deprivation. It’s that time of the year when we feast (read: over eat). Eid menus ...

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Eid in Gaza

Can you imagine how it feels to see a dear one killed in front of your eyes, knowing that it is supposedly a happy day, a festive day? How does it feel to lose a beloved on or right before Eid? I can’t even imagine the pain. Unfortunately, the feeling is not like a moment in a dream which simply vanishes during disrupted sleep. It’s far more permanent. Countless days of just this – either being killed or seeing your loved ones die. The recurring situation seems to have no end. While sitting on the stairs outside our house during a ...

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Eidul Fitr: It’s not ‘Choti’ Eid at all!

I wonder why it’s called Choti Eid. It’s so much cooler than Bari Eid, or any other festival for that matter. Writers’ folklore says that the five elements that comprise a popular story are: religion, mystery, relationships, money and sex. Amazingly, Choti Eid brings all of them to the table. Religion – celebrating a month of abstinence, giving and worship Choti Eid is the culmination of a full month of religiously obligated prayer, restraint and abstinence. It’s been a month that people have been praying more regularly (including taraweeh prayers!), using less abusive language, giving more in charity and generally trying to be better human beings. Some people would argue that driving home in Karachi 30 minutes ...

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Stop globetrotting and look towards your IDPs this Eid, Mr Prime Minister

Last year, they were celebrating Eid in the comfort of their respective homes, surrounded by friends and family. This year, they will have to make do with whatever they can in their camps. Last year, they had new clothes to wear and new toys to play with. This year, the children will find themselves lingering around camps, not really sure of what to do. Many might not even be aware that it is Eid. Such is the plight of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of North Waziristan. Imran Khan announced that he will spend his Eid day with the IDPs. Although this is a great ...

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Are Pakistani women clinically obsessed with clothes?

Every evening after iftar they storm the streets in flocks, like contingent troops, with one and only one purpose alone – they want clothes, clothes and more clothes. The women of Pakistan, it seems, have found the reason as to why they were created – they were created to make, buy, sell, maintain, wear, show and love clothes. And this sad obsession is across the board. From lower middle income groups to the elite, they spend big chunks of their valuable time in bazaars and malls, and unanimously spend more than they afford. And Eid season sees this obsessive compulsive behaviour ...

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To Gaza

Nothing remains but the ruins of hopes and dreams. So much sorrow, so much suffering, So long, somehow, The sacrifices it seems were made in vain. Every day is a tragedy, Everyday a massacre, There are no more tears left to cry. Or so I thought… Can you see? Instead of a house, there are remnants of a home, Like pieces of a dismantled puzzle everywhere; A puzzle that will remain such with its remains strewn far and wide, Together with the lives and existence of those who inhabited it. Can you imagine? There is a boy, And the dream of that boy to be a grown-up. His aspirations so pure, his ...

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Eid away from home isn’t that bad at all

I received a beautiful gift from a complete stranger. I don’t even know her name. It was the last Friday of Ramazan, so I decided to attend the Dua and khatam-e-Quran at my local mosque. Growing up in Lahore, I had never seen the inside of a mosque in my entire life. So, even after more than a decade of living in America, I have rarely gone to my local mosque as I, perhaps, feel that the mosque is a place where men gather. But that Friday, on my birthday no less, I went. As I prayed jammat with women of all colour and creed, ...

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