Stories about father

The day the Taliban attacked my father

Death is very different from finishing a novel; both symbolise the end of something, the emotional attachment to both is poles apart. One similarity, however, between the death of a good person and the end of a good novel is that both leave a mark on your life. It’s hard to realise the importance of some people, until one day you wake up to find out that those people are no more in your life. I understood this reality on June 26, 2013. It was a very strange, sad day for me and my family. The day started like any other. My father, a ...

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I will not change my name after marriage, why should I?

Contrary to what people believe in our society, a woman should retain the family name of her father instead of taking her husband’s name after marriage. There are various Hadith which caution against adding a name other than one’s father’s. I can just imagine some readers raising their eyebrows indignantly at this statement while others will roll their eyes and think, “Here comes another feminist argument.” But the fact of the matter is that this is not about feminism at all; this is not an argument about ‘If men don’t have to change their name, women shouldn’t be made to either’. This is simply about a ...

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Having the thalassemia gene does not make you less marriageable

It’s not easy being a father when you know your child has a critical illness. I still remember the words of a thalassemia patient’s father when we were in search of a blood donor for his son, “Doctor Sahiba, log to meri shakal dekh ker hi munh pher lete hein ke phir aagaya hamara khoon nikalwane.” (Doctor, now when people look at me, they turn away, thinking that I’m back again to ask for blood.) It’s the same story with Ahsan, a four-year-old child diagnosed with thalassemia at the age of six months. His treatment initially began with blood transfusions every three months which ...

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A dialogue with my murderer

I am Bano. My mother used to call me Pari (Fairy). I was the only baby girl of my parents. I was killed by my uncle. My father was supposed to kill me but he didn’t have the courage so he asked my uncle for the favour. I was killed in the honour of my family’s good name which I destroyed. I was killed on Eid day. My grave is in my village and I was buried in my Eid dress. My father visits my grave in the dark so that no one sees him. My mother never visits my grave, she can’t make it. My ...

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Karachi is the lover, the tormentor: Mysterious, dark and hurt

It’s human nature to desire that which is not in your grasp, love which will always remain unrequited and stress about matters that are not in your hands. The worst part is that we know this. And yet it doesn’t matter. Despite this, certain things are bound to catch our attention, making us fall in love so that it’s impossible for us to simply move on, and accept the stark reality of our existence. A small break, sometime apart, a little space can of course prove healthy for our minds as well our hearts. However, our basic instinct always remains an instinct ...

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Villains beware! The Justice League of Pakistan is here!

I was talking with a friend yesterday, and in our pun-filled banter we came up with an amusing concept: a Pakistani version of the Justice League! Thinking about it makes me laugh, but at the same time I began to wonder, what if they were real? What if there actually was a set of Pakistani superheros? Who would these characters be and what would their superpowers be? Here is my take on this idea: 1) Bijli Man Design: Jamal Khurshid Mr Rafique was a kind simple old man with a moustache  stretching all the way across his cheeks. He was disgruntled, ...

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My lover, her father and the ‘honour’ that tore us apart

Our ordeal had begun. She said to me, “What if something goes wrong? We will be doomed, my whole life will be ruined and they might even kill me.” Although I was scared, I responded in a brave voice, “Don’t be scared, just have faith and everything will be alright.” We were stuck in the midst of a battle to reclaim our lives and live it according to our aspirations and desires. The only other option we had was to abandon our hopes in the name of chauvinistic traditions, where women were the sole victims of culture and tradition. Her destiny had been sealed by her ...

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They killed my cousin. They killed a 9-year-old’s father.

If I were to believe any of the ‘feel-good, badly-designed’ inspirational quotes that go around cyberspace, I would tell myself that the best things somehow always are. Feel good, badly designed, that is. Why do I say this? Can you imagine seeing someone with their brains splattered across the hospital bed? You probably have not, but I have. Trust me, at that point, you don’t know what to think. You don’t think that it will be okay eventually. You don’t know whether to wail in grief or throw up. That someone happened to be my cousin’s husband. He was only 32-years-old and was the father of two young daughters. Well, at ...

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Farewell Mandela, farewell to the voice of morality

Omar Khayyam’s words ring in my ears today as the world bids its last farewell to Nelson Mandela, “Lo! Some we loved, the loveliest and best that time and fate of all their vintage prest, Have drunk their cup a round or two before, and one by one crept silently to rest.” I was still a child in the late 1980s. I was too young to understand the ways of the world, blissfully unaware of the earth-shattering global events that dominated the newspaper and the daily news program on PTV. I did not understand why the Berlin Wall fell, who George Bush was, ...

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When we were too poor to afford Blue Band margarine

I still remember the day that Blue Band margarine was introduced to Alamdar Bakery in my home-town of Quetta, Pakistan. The glossy silver packaging and the light blue printing stood out among all the other butter in the bakery’s refrigerator. However, I refrained from taking an interest in this new product since I was well aware that my parents would not be able to afford it. I continued to consume the inexpensive Liaquat Makkhan for breakfast even after the older brother of the baker recommended Blue Band with great zeal; I consoled myself by thinking that he was just trying to improve his sales. As the weeks ...

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