Stories about karachi

He can’t say what it’s called because he’s already forgotten

Dad That fact that the protagonist of today’s narrative happens to be dad doesn’t really surprise me. You see, he’s been quite unwell recently. He’s elderly – almost eighty, I believe, if you go by the date of birth on his passport. “My date of birth is inaccurate on that passport”, dad told me several years ago, which basically meant that he didn’t know his exact birth year. Neither did others around him. “In those times, the exact date of birth was imprecisely documented”, the others said. Regardless of his actual age, and semantics aside, dad is whom you would call ‘geriatric’ – very elderly, in simple English. “But ...

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Dear India, our actors don’t need Bollywood to become stars

Dear Soumyadipta Banerjee,   I don’t know if it’s the right thing to be writing you a letter, since you might be endorsing a cut-off of all sorts (of written collaborations between our countries) after so emphatically bashing the cultural ones. It might not even be the best time for you since I see your fellows are caught up in a frenzy of misjudging the Pakistani markings regarding the ammunition used in the Uri attacks. But I write to you because it’s necessary. You might not have singled out Fawad Khan in your letter but I evidently am addressing this to only you, ...

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Eid is not what it used to be

It’s almost that time of the year again. Yes, that time, when the city is intoxicated by the smell of rotting intestines, and fresh blood: Eid. It’s been a while since I’ve experienced it, and no that’s not nostalgia or longing embedded into that phrase. I’ve been away for the past few bakra Eids, and somehow they all seem to mesh into one in my mind. I’m trying to think back and dissect them into individual moments and memories. 2013 This is my first Eid away from home. I wake up to Eid Mubarak messages but I’m not really feeling festive. There is ...

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Should school administrators be allowed to harass students over non-payment of fees?

While winding up the lesson, the teacher turned towards the clock to check the time – there were 20 minutes remaining. Opting for a pop quiz, he asked everyone to take out a rough sheet of paper. One of the students eagerly did so – for history was her favourite subject – but as she scribbled the answer ‘Treaty of Versailles’ to the question asked by the teacher, she saw terror approaching from the corner of her eyes. She heard the dreaded words, “Please step outside and bring your diary along.” And quietly moved toward the door while all the students stared ...

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We could have been the number one Test team a while back if it wasn’t for our poor domestic structure

Domestic cricket is the budding ground that provides national teams with young talent in order to keep them abreast with the rest of the competitive cricketing nations. In this piece, I will discuss the basic components that make a successful and spectator-oriented domestic cricket structure. We begin with the teams system. Pakistan is probably the only country in the world where the main national cricket tournament involves teams representing state departments. Nobody wants to go the stadium to watch PIA face off against WAPDA. This is the most obvious (and yet persistent) problem of our domestic leagues. ...

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Quetta: Where hospitality has no bounds

When I received an invitation from the University of  Balochistan informing me that five of our engineering projects had been accepted for the first Invention to Innovation Summit – the first comment my director made was,  “Umair, do you know the halaat (conditions) in Quetta? Taking students there can be risky!” The 1st Invention to Innovation Summit in Quetta It wasn’t easy trying to make him understand that all universities from Sindh and Balochistan were participating; hence it was mandatory for us to attend. However, we were finally able to convince him. There were nine of us, out of which seven were visiting ...

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A farewell to MQM

Life is a system of cycles. The sun comes up, shines bright, and goes down bringing the night only to be outshone by the sun again. This phenomenon is so natural that normally people do not pay attention to it after they have studied it in the fifth grade. What’s more important is perhaps the knowledge that human life and events are also similar to these cycles. People, movements and ideas rise and become prevalent only to live out their lifespan and ebb away in history while another takes their place. The most popular theory that explained this phenomenon was ...

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The MQM is dying because Muhajirs don’t need it anymore

The Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) is dying. And no, Raheel Sharif and the Pakistan Army have absolutely nothing to do with its death, though they certainly seem gleeful at the prospect and appear to be doing everything within their power to hasten the demise of the party that claims to represent the interests of Muhajirs in Pakistan. To put it simply, the MQM is dying because it has no reason to live anymore. And while some of its supporters still cling on to its slogans as comfortable relics of the past, and its machinery of death and destruction can still ...

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“I hate materialistic people, beta, but I love my designer clothes”

Whilst travelling from Doha to London, I had a 60-year-old Pakistani aunty sitting next to me on my flight. To be honest, it was a rather pleasant surprise to find another Pakistani on board. What came next was a surprise, but not a pleasant one. She began talking to me. Incessantly. Without any breaks. She started off by telling me that she is from a rich business family in Karachi and handed me her husband’s business card right after. She went on to tell me that her only son, who lives in England, recently got divorced. She let me in on the nitty-gritty details about how ...

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The newest way to con passengers on public buses: Target the older women

Getting a seat in a crowded bus is a small victory that one may celebrate in their heart, but if the person seated next to you is stern looking and constantly stares at you for no apparent reason, this victory might turn into uneasiness. At that point, all one wishes for is for time to go by as quickly as possible. However, I have a way out of it; every time I sit next to someone, I give them a slight smile to the person seated next to me. Last night, while on a bus, I smiled at an old lady whom I had ...

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