Stories about family life

Don’t wait till Mother’s Day to tell your mother you love her

Standing helplessly beside my father’s bed, I watched as he breathed his last breath while holding my mother’s hand. My mother was devastated at that point in time but she was still strong. She was strong enough to reassure us that she will guide us through these tough times; strong enough to ensure us that she will be there for any obstacle we would ever have to face this point onwards. Time has proven that my confidence and trust in my mother was spot on. She is a remarkable lady with spiritual abilities; she always remained composed throughout everything and never let ...

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The educated housewife: A choice, not a chore

Until recently I’d felt that feminism, when it came to women working, was baseless because in most modern families, women can choose to either work or stay at home. But I’ve come to realise that the only reason I feel this way is because I’m lucky enough to have been raised in an environment where I am not expected to give up my dreams because of something as trivial as my gender. Let me tell you a story. I know someone who married at the age of twenty-six, of her own accord. She had already completed her Bachelor’s degree with a ...

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Does having a career mean I’m going to be a bad mother?

I was having a chat with a newly married friend when she suddenly stopped and said, “I want to start a family, but I’m not too sure.” Relieved that it wasn’t some troubling marital revelation, I assured her that her confusion was natural and that time would probably grant her more clarity. However, her predicament didn’t end there. She had always envisioned herself to be a home-maker, but now when it was actually time to start a family, she wasn’t too sure if she wanted to compromise on her promising career. To top it all off, she was not only confused, but rather, was ashamed ...

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How to break a girl in 10 steps

Follow these 10 steps and watch a girl shrivel in front of your eyes until she becomes a walking womb that also makes your meals. 1) Make her realise she is a burden from the moment she is born. Sigh loudly when births of girls are announced. When they are a little older, let them see how you celebrate when boys are born and how the grandmother’s face contorts if the family is burdened with another baby girl instead. Make it absolutely clear that they are no cause for celebration. 2) Be very blatant in your favouring of boys over girls. Ask ...

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Through the eyes of Ashfaq

If you were to visit the departure floor of Jinnah International Airport between 10 am and five pm on a weekday, you would be awestruck by the melodious sounds created by a blind flute player. Ashfaq is a 42-year-old man who has been at the airport for the last 20 years. Born as a blind child, his childhood was pain ridden, troubled and filled with tales of ill-treatment. As soon as I heard about Ashfaq and his optimistic attitude towards life, various questions came to my mind, so I decided to meet him and find out more about him. When I finally got the chance ...

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9 books that are literary treasures of 2015

Just like any other year in recent memory, this year, too, saw the publication of several overrated, overhyped, droningly disastrous and infuriating books. However, when the Swedish academy decided to award this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature to a non-fiction writer, the Belarusian journalist, Svetlana Alexievich, it was clear that 2015 will be remembered as an eccentric and exciting year for booklovers. Yet, that was not the only reason that set 2015 apart; this year was also rife with several hotly anticipated books by literary masters and a plethora of enthralling and breathtakingly promising books by debut writers. Unsurprisingly, one ...

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He Named Me Malala is the story of an ordinary girl who made a tough choice

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” This bit of wisdom comes from Paulo Coelho, in his bestseller, The Alchemist. The other day when I was watching the film He Named Me Malala, the incredible story of the youngest Noble laureate and activist for education from the Swat district of Pakistan, Coelho’s wise words echoed in my heart. I realised that once an individual decides to stand up with courage and conviction for a great cause, nothing can stop him/her from achieving their goals. One just needs to conquer the fear of failure. He Named Me ...

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God Help the Child: A searing and unflinching reflection of childhood trauma

Author Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. She is an 84-year-old writer who has been writing novels over the past 50 years which are charged by a visionary power and have subjected a dark aspect of American reality to scrutiny. She is an epicist of African-American experience and her oeuvre has recorded the progress (or lack thereof) in the struggle for human rights of the people of colour in the United States. In most of her novels, Morrison has written about the sufferings of African-Americans at the hands of their counterparts, the whites, in the United States. However, the premise of her latest novel is quite different. ...

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Is socialisation promoting the drug culture in Pakistan?

In a culture such as ours, where issues such as mental disorders or instances where individuals require professional help are shamed and kept under wraps, it is highly unlikely that drug-related matters would be discussed openly. Pakistan is a thriving nation, a developing country that knows the value of hard work and perseverance. Not only is a large chunk of our population employed, but 63 per cent of that population is under the age of 24 years. Given the world’s current economic situation, it is also not hard to imagine the kind of everyday stresses the working population faces, or even the student ...

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“How much do you earn? What car do you drive?” – Money has never talked this loud

In earlier times, women, generally, did not take to working nine to five and were happy to employ their talents at home. Maintaining the house, taking care of the children and cooking meals pretty much occupied their time and yes, it was not an eight-hour workload. Living with the in-laws, in extended family setups called a joint family, had its fair share of responsibilities but the arrangement also came with some liberties. Then evolutionary forces introduced the concept of independent lifestyles. This helped subside the usual ‘saas bahu’ rifts and the distances helped reduce the tension in this relationship. However, it was the children ...

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