Stories about loadshedding

Doctor Strange was strangely standard

I am a bonafide self-proclaimed cumber*****, or as Ben would like it, a cumberbabe, or in my case, a cumberdude. So having Dr Strange hit the screens this week, before Sherlock comes to town by the end of the year, was like Christmas, Diwali, Eid and an unexpected hartal all rolled into one for all us Benedict Cumberbatch fans the world over. Throw in the uber talented duo of Tilda Swinton and Mads Mikkelsen – to add to the already inflated nerd-crush quotient – along with the occasionally brilliant pair of Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejiofor to the mix and you have got a sure shot cinematic winner. Right? ...

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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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Does Nawaz Sharif even care about Sindh and its people?

The outcome of the visit of our Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, to Karachi has been disappointing. There is an obvious crisis of governance in the province of Sindh where the provincial government and the administration are unable to rule and fulfil their tasks. It has reached a point to where people are dying on the street in droves. Besides, the security situation is far from under control and it needs to be addressed on the basis of the findings given before by the Apex committee and the DG Rangers a couple of days ago. Governance and security issues cannot be tackled successfully if the ...

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Some of us cannot afford the hijab of today

There is a school named The Clifton High School which is not in Karachi but in New Jersey, USA, and Abrar Shahin is a Muslim student of Palestinian descent who recently graduated from this school. Sincere congratulations and best wishes in her subsequent career to the young lady who appears to possess a strong sense of identity since her photograph shows her wearing a hijab, and who is about to present us with what I hope, a healthy debate. In the hormone-charged atmosphere of high schools, where girls dress quite revealingly, it takes conviction to cover your head with a scarf at ...

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K-Electric boasts of massive profits, but Karachi still does not have electricity

Three years ago, I wrote a blog praising K-Electric’s improving standards, and in general, the blog was received well by Karachiites. Clearly, many of us were in agreement about the power company’s progress as a service provider. Rolling blackouts in areas where customers were paying bills regularly were less frequent than before. At the same time, the company formerly known as KESC had adopted social media to allow more avenues of communication. There was also a marked improvement in customer service and a faster reaction time from the repair teams. At the time, I expected this to only be the beginning of K-Electric’s upward trajectory. As ...

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After 67 year, we are still unprepared for rain

When it rains in Pakistan, the words of Ardeshir Cowasjee seem very pertinent: “Gutter tou bana nahi saktay, atom bomb banatay hain”. (They cannot even make a gutter but are making atom bombs). Rain, a blessing of nature (or should I say curse in disguise), has wreaked havoc in parts of Punjab and Kashmir. It has not only cost lives and casualties, but also led to the spread of water-borne diseases. These torrential rains have flooded areas where lands have been cleared, people have been displaced and livestock has been harmed. One wonders then whether authorities, such as the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Water and Sanitation ...

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How do you explain ‘the lota’ to a foreigner?

We miss many things when we’re living away from home – mangoes, bun kebabs, paan, the dust, the loadshedding. Okay, okay, just kidding! We miss some of these things, but we manage without them, one way or another. There is one thing you cannot do without, though, and that’s the lota. It is such an integral item of sub-continental and Muslim culture, that even a short term visitor such as the famous American designer Charles Eames couldn’t help but notice it most particularly when he visited India in 1958.  He had this to say about it: “Of all the objects we ...

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Pakistani with every fiber of my being

I hail from green and white – from a crescent and a star. I live under lights that do not dim, even with electricity loadshedding every day. I walk in slums and narrow streets. I travel across shahrahs and highways that lead up to the mountains. I cower from the sun, glaring down, staring down; I cower from heat waves — from warmth that can make you faint. I am in awe of the sea, the beautiful vast sea that drowned a boy I knew, with long, white, foamy waves that I watch merge with one another. I recognise five rivers that have ...

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My love for Pakistan, dangerous but unconditional

Being away from Pakistan has drastically transformed my memories of it – an interesting phenomenon indeed. It is not an erratic chaos in my head anymore. Lately, when I try to describe home, I use words such as bright lights and bustling ambition, conveniently ignoring recollections of clenched teeth, sweltering heat and endless agitation. When I contemplate my current abode in a progressive Massachusetts college, my yearning for home is surprising. I am more comfortable here, by any standard. I have spent weeks without cussing traffic. I have not experienced any electric load shedding for even an instant. Nobody stares at me if I step ...

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ABC’s for little Pakistanis

This post originally appeared here Follow her on Twitter ...

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