Stories about McDonalds

This Mother’s Day, let’s pay a special tribute to mothers who don’t need their child to be “normal”

What is a special child? You could scour through piles of books or websites on the internet. You could ask doctors or child specialists. You could ask anyone but the only person who knows the answer to this is a mother – the champion of life and longevity, the captain of endurance and consideration – that is the mother of a child who has been rendered special. Hearing the following phrases must have a huge impact on a mother, “Is he a little different?” “Yes, your child is a special needs child. He cannot keep up with the ‘normal’ kids.” She spends nine months preparing for her bundle ...

Read Full Post

My love affair with language (barriers) in Beijing

Beijing is a heady place for a tourist who can’t speak Mandarin. This was the uncontrived truth that surfaced during long conversations with friends and extensive Google searches on what to expect from the metropolis. I had been warned that the city’s sights, sounds, smells and flavours would not appeal to me unless the pull of a common language could bind me to them. As my trepidation grew into sheer terror, I contemplated the possibility of learning a few words in Mandarin to placate my fears and fit into my new orbit. Before I had boarded the six-hour flight from Karachi ...

Read Full Post

The Gouda Burger at Pantry is imperfectly perfect

It is utterly preposterous to even try searching for the perfect beef burger. Much like life and art, a beef burger is not meant to be perfect. The true mark of a handcrafted burger is its imperfection. Just like snowflakes, no two handcrafted burgers are ever the same, thus the holy grail of a great burger joint lies in its consistency. The bread, the condiments and the beef, all mix differently to make each bite an experience. A beef burger entices our most basic instincts. It is the conquest of man over its hunt. A piece of meat of your choice, slaughtered, grilled and ...

Read Full Post

The day he took my love away

She never expected her marriage to come to an end. No woman ever does. She distinctly remembers the day she was betrothed and how excited she was. Her mother kept telling her not to smile for she had to make it look like she was genuinely sad about leaving her father’s home, but secretly she was over the moon. He was perfect; good looking, professionally accomplished, lived abroad and came from a good family background, and to top it off, he loved her wholeheartedly. What a beautiful union it was. Everyone was smiling and everything was going to be completely perfect. And yet, here she was ...

Read Full Post

You say you’ve seen England? I say not!

I had the great opportunity of living in London for eight years. My residence was right in the centre of London, near Oxford Street – the world famous shopping district.  I used to love observing tourists and travellers from my apartment window, especially the filthy rich people coming from across the world in their private chauffeured limousines, and the lovely women in mink coats getting off to shop at Selfridges or John Lewis, especially during Christmas. When I first arrived in London, I expected people around me to be hoity-toity, but I found the English to be very down to earth. The English are known for having a stiff upper lip; they always try to spare other ...

Read Full Post

3 Bahadur – Another Lollywood milestone

Rewind 10 or 15 years from today to look at the shape and size of the Pakistani film industry, rather hilariously named as Lollywood, and you will not be able to help but wonder – how on earth did they come such a long way? From the days of dancing actresses trying to seduce their lovers in green fields to ground breaking movies like Bol, Waar, Na Maloom Afraad, Dukhtar, Zinda Bhaag and the likes – the progress and escalation of Lollywood in the right direction is very apparent. There’s a clear improvement in the scripts, the screenplay, direction and every aspect of the movie you would once laugh ...

Read Full Post

Do your parents a favour and eat at home this Ramazan

According to a recent research, people in Pakistan spend 47.7% of their income on fast food and beverages. If we compare this to the spending patterns of other countries we will realise that this is, in fact, a very high ratio. Eating out is a popular pastime for the people of Pakistan – we are seen at restaurants, food courts and even food stands during festivals and celebrations. Ramazan, ironically, is like a month of food festivities for us. With people choosing different food for sehri and iftar, in Ramazan we are seen frequenting food outlets a lot more than in any ...

Read Full Post

Terrorists out of compulsion, not choice

As I hail from Dera Ismail Khan, with the recent peace rally by PTI, I have rediscovered my home town’s importance in terms of trying to convince people to shy away from extremist activity. Dera Ismail Khan was basically a Saraiki majority area but the very generous dwellers of this district have humbly welcomed terrorism affected migrants from almost all the adjoining tribal areas, to the extent that Saraiki speakers are now a minority. Without going further into the issues related to the city, I would talk about the problems of people living in the city. There is no family recreation, ...

Read Full Post

Please, spare us from your PDA!

It was Saturday night and I had just returned to Pakistan from an oil and gas project in Africa. I decided to visit a restaurant in Karachi with my family so as to spend some quality time with them. While waiting for our food to be delivered, we enjoyed the ambience and general atmosphere at the restaurant; it isn’t often that I get to spend time with my family given the nature of my work. Just then, a couple walked in and sat right next to our table. I don’t know whether they were friends, husband and wife or cousins; ...

Read Full Post

An open letter to Times of India

In our Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a well renowned restaurant doesn’t let a couple sit next to each other. Really! Now, let me tell you another story. I have been married for over a year now and have lived in Pakistan for almost all my life. Be it McDonald’s or any other private restaurant or even public places like Safari Park, Hill Park, Khadda Market restaurants, Zamzama, etc., my husband and I sit next to each other, holding hands and yes, we have even put our hands on each other’s shoulders. Yet, I have never come across any incident as ...

Read Full Post