Stories about pregnancy

An open letter to the man I birthed

Last year, I entered the world’s finest and most respected club – motherhood. From then till now, my life has been a real rollercoaster ride. I never imagined my life as a nappy-changing, breastfeeding mother, but doing all this just made me more complete than ever. People had warned me that raising a boy was a different job and it truly is. Giving birth to a boy in a society like ours is a victory itself. The first words you hear after your delivery are,  “Mubarak ho, beta hua hai!” (Congratulations, it’s a son!) Every face around you, from the Dadi to the Nani, glows with the reassurance that ...

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The child marriage legislation is a step in the right direction, but will it be implemented?

Marriages are big business in Pakistan. It is a time of hope, happiness, faith and love. Such a memorable event can easily turn sour when the parties getting married are underage. To curb this heinous act, legislation has been passed by the National Assembly, aimed to reduce child marriages by ramping up the severity of the punishment.  Instead of being imprisoned for up to three years, individuals involved in arranging child marriages face a 10-year imprisonment with a one million rupees fine. This new change in the law seems to be a serious effort on part of the government to tackle this insidious practice. Although on ...

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An open letter to all stay-at-home women

I always thought women who stayed home were mediocre – that they were either too scared to come out of their comfort zones and face the real world or too lazy to give up on their sleep-TV-eat-sleep routine. I took pride in starting my career at the early age of 19 – I am 29 as I write this. I never took a career break, for my wedding or my first pregnancy, because I thought it was what weak women did; and I was anything but those women. I went to work till the day I sat for my ‘mayun’ and ...

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I did this to my wife for eight years and today I am filled with regret

We had a baby! A little baby boy who finally arrived in our lives after nine long months of waiting. I was still exhilarated with the way his little hand had wrapped around my finger. But the joy was short lived. As we waited to get back home after the delivery, we were jolted with unknown complications my wife had developed; a blood disorder that threatened to take her life away. I had the baby in one hand and my other hand outstretched holding my wife’s. I was dumbfounded and wrecked as she was wheeled away for scans and tests. My happiness and ...

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I’d wear the burkini over a bikini any day

The women’s rights minister in France, Laurence Rossignol, thinks that burkinis are “profoundly archaic”. Who wouldn’t agree with me, if I said that she is no different than any rigidly religious person who criticises a woman for what she wears. It is a woman’s own choice and no one gets to make that decision for us. I am a Muslim but perhaps not the ‘best’ practising Muslim. Religion usually doesn’t play a very big role in my decisions (fellow Muslims please don’t jump to conclusion for my statement, but I would rather be honest than be a hypocrite!). So anything that I ...

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Hotal is entirely an intolerable piece of hogwash

Hotal, the work of a New York Film Academy graduate, Khalid Hasan Khan, offered nothing surreal and nothing to write home about. Even though he won the Best Film award for his debut psycho-thriller at the Delhi International Film Festival 2014, his movie Hotal failed in many aspects. The lack of continuity, an insubstantial plot, and frequent editing bloopers served as serious mistakes that made the movie an extremely horrendous watch for the viewers. Hotal revolves around Kashika (Meera) and her wish to give birth to a daughter while her husband Naresh (Humayun Gilani) absolutely does not want to have another daughter. ...

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We lack the wisdom to raise our sons the way we raise our daughters

Before our son Kareem was born, my wife Priya, my daughter Madina and I were on a flight and we ended up sitting next to a woman who was expecting her first child. I sat in the middle seat between Priya and the expecting woman while the two of them discussed things only an expecting mother could discuss with another mother. At one point we asked if she knew the gender of her baby and she said, “A boy thankfully. I am so relieved.” As she went on to explain why she’s relieved, she said having a girl would be a lot more ...

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What they don’t tell you about being pregnant

It first starts with the woman (let’s name her Boops) peeing on a stick while simultaneously trying not to wet her hand. It is not a pretty sight. No, don’t try to imagine it. I said, don’t! Then comes the waiting period. Tic Toc, Tic Toc – the longest two minutes to date.  Is it one line, or two lines? One… no… two, I definitely see two! And voila, just like that you are pregnant. The hand you possibly splattered on is forgotten, as you wipe your forehead in relief (or fear) that you are now about to step into another phase of your ...

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This boy saved his mother when the crane fell in Makkah

September 11, 2015. It is a day when the tragedy at Masjid al Haram in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stunned the world. A massive crawler crane, one of many used to modernise the city, collapsed without warning on the Grand Mosque after 5pm on Friday, a time when the mosque is usually bustling with activity. The unfeeling steel indiscriminately took down concrete as well as flesh and bones standing in its path. In the aftermath, the sorrowful scenes saw 107 people dead and 238 injured. The stories emerging from the incident are horrifying. Many have lost their beloved family members in a few heartbeats. Yet, there is ...

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Busting the ‘late’ marriage myth: Why I didn’t marry early

We are well into the 21st century, hurtling towards a new era of science and technology, but Indian women still face a basic struggle. As soon as they step into their mid-20s, Indian women have to deal with the pressure of getting married to a ‘suitable’ man. There are many things wrong with that thought. First, it assumes that every woman is sexually interested in men. Second, it assumes that every woman wants to get married. The pressure on men to be ‘suitable’ is another story. Troubles for women don’t end with ‘choosing’ the right sexuality, or the conventional desire to get married and have children, ...

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