Stories about life

She was never little miss sunshine

She sat there staring outside her balcony, watching the heavy, thunderous downpour tear its way through the dark clouds and fall to the ground, like it was the last time it was falling. She realised how it was a metaphor of her own life – a life so full of passion and rigour, but slowly dying down – phasing out into the everyday nothingness. It’s not like she suffered through depression or some mental disorder or experienced anxiety attacks every now and then. She was an average, 30-year-old struggling to get by, just like many other 30-year-olds who had started off with big hopes and dreams to fulfil and life ...

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Life: Another movie about space that wastes space

The possibility of life on Mars has been a source of endless fascination for us Earthlings. The existence of extra-terrestrial beings along with its worst case implications form the basis of the thriller Life. The movie is a sci-fi horror vehicle that pairs a talented cast with a routine plot to yield mediocre results. The action takes place on board the International Space Station, where a six member crew – portrayed by actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, and Olga Dihovichnaya – captures a capsule returning from Mars. Upon studying the Red Planet’s soil samples, the astronauts ...

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Light lunchboxes

His daughter knocked on his door; only once. It was time for work and her school. He got up, stretching here and there, listening as individual muscles came out of slumber. After he was ready, he headed to the kitchen and opened the fridge. Each item appeared to be dripping. The electricity had been out throughout the night. He reached for the night’s leftovers and packed their lunch, first for her, and then for himself. She came to the kitchen shortly after. She was well-aware of her father’s strategies and how she ended up getting more of the leftovers. However she used to silently weigh ...

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The newspaper boy

He threw it inside the house and as he cycled forward and heard it land softly on the doormat. Great shot, he thought. There were three streets to go. And the light around him was slowly spreading. He continued. In the street before the last, he slowed down because he was nearing the house filled with flowerpots. Previous shots had broken some pots and invited anger from the owner whose life seemed to be divided into the dozens of pots she had. This time, though, he came near the gate and slowly hooped it inside. The sound of contact with ...

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The Finest Hours: An epic sail through the rocky storm

The Finest Hours is an American movie based on historic events. It involves an epic disaster which, for the most part, is based on a screenplay inspired by the book The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue written by Michael Tougias and Casey Sherman. With Craig Gillespie at the helm as the director, The Finest Hours exhibits an action-packed rescue narrative along with deeply character-driven drama cum survival story of men at sea and their subsequent rescue. It is a true story of an audacious and courageous United States Coast Guard (USCG) mounted rescue mission. The movie starts off in the cold ...

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This Father’s Day, I choose to celebrate my mom

If you are fortunate enough, you will grow up with two supportive parents and live a happy, fulfilling life under their guidance and watchful eye. If you are even more blessed, you will be raised by one strong, courageous woman, who stands by you regardless of what the world has to say.  That woman is my mother. There are two sentiments in life I never want associated with me: pity and hatred. Why? Because my mother never introduced me to them and her judgment is one I will not question. So today, as I write this piece and dedicate it to the woman ...

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“Love the way you lie” – The recipe of truth and deception

Valentine’s Day is here and love is in the air. But think again; is this day really about celebrating love and truth? In relationships, honesty and truth matters less than we think. Relationships do not work if we are brutally honest; they only last if we use a secret ingredient called ‘healthy white lies’ – if used correctly and in appropriate amounts. Relationships are about deceit – tons and tons of deceit Every once in a while we need to disguise our feelings. We smile while actually screaming in our head and we tell lies all the time, particularly when it comes ...

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Wanderlust

I want to do more with my life Than just be a Pakistani girl, a wife, a mother, I want to take two years off, And backpack through Europe!   I want to watch the sun set over Paris from the Eiffel Tower, I want to walk on the streets of Venice, I want to get lost on the tube in London, I want to swim in the waters of Greece, I want to be mesmerised by the northern lights in Iceland, I want to go cycling in Holland, I want to walk through the Black forest during autumn in Germany, I want to follow the Sound of Music in Austria, I want to ...

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What about the Charlie Hebdos of Pakistan?

I am not Charlie Hebdo. Does that make me less valuable as an organisation? As a journalist? As a human life? The answer to all of the above is a distasteful yes. I am a journalist based in Karachi, Pakistan. I am part of a news organisation that was attacked by militants thrice in 2014 for its stance on extremism and militancy. Gunmen pelted our office entrance with bullets, threw grenades at the building and attacked an office news van on assignment. Three people lost their lives while another was injured and paralysed for life. But you do not know this and ...

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Why is Pakistan a pariah at the Lord’s Cricket Ground?

Being out of place is a funny feeling – it’s nothing unbearable but it always keeps you outside your comfort zone. For an expat Pakistani, life in the UK is fraught with pangs of this feeling. This is usually evident during the festive season of Christmas when you are always in a dilemma as to whether you should celebrate Jesus’s birthday – with all the commercialism thrown in – with your neighbours, friends and colleagues or refrain from it due to differences in Muslim and Christian beliefs about Jesus Christ. Usually, one does well to acquire a middle ground. This year, however, I decided ...

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