Stories about Urdu

Can Pakistanis not speak in fluent Urdu anymore?

I am not proud of my inability to read and write Urdu well. Growing up overseas, I did not have the opportunity to study the tongue, and English became my first language. As a result, it takes me far longer to read Urdu words than it should. This is not a good thing, and when I speak in Urdu, which I do well, I try to use as many Urdu words in my speech as possible, hard as it can be with English having infiltrated the language tongue so heavily. Surprisingly, when I moved to Pakistan later in my life, I ...

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From Lahore to London – From Karachi to Kensington

London held a host of activities highlighting Pakistan and the cultural vibrancy it has to offer to the world. This weekend saw the launch of Suzali, a platform showcasing Pakistan’s most well-renowned designers which included Mehreen Noorani, Nida Azwer, Naureen Arbab, Lalarukh, Shirin Hassan, and Sarah Anees.  Although these designers are well-established in Pakistan and Dubai, they are not so accessible to Pakistanis living in London. Suzali aims to provide a bridge between renowned Pakistani designers and potential customers in England who have limited access to high-quality Pakistani clothes. Sana Habib, the brainchild of Suzali, was inspired to create the name using the ...

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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 ...

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3 Bahadur: Taking Pakistani cinema to greater heights

The need for promoting children’s content is of utmost importance in any country, since it develops their personality while broadening their mental horizon as well.  Storybooks, cartoons, and animated movies keep children mesmerised with the help of colourful and vibrant animations. Most of the time, the content promotes a social cause or a certain philosophy of life. Although content for children, both in print and electronic media, is available in Pakistan, there has always been a dire need for animated shows/movies which could bring stories to children in ways that would educate and entertain them. Oscar winning producer, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, ...

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Dear Khaled Hosseini, will you be Kashmir’s saviour?

Dear Khaled Hosseini, I regularly follow your page and have read all your books. I must say, it’s been an honour. Recently, I saw a short video, some narrations, and a few pictures of your work regarding Syrian refugees. I am impatiently awaiting a detailed account and I am more than desperate to uncover the reality about the Syrian refugees. Being a Kashmiri and residing in Karachi and Lahore, I dare invite your pen to a misery which is larger than the academic and legal definition of a refugee. The United Nations (UN) probably calls them Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and hence the title drops to a lower ...

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Becoming Pakistani… again

Moving is never easy. Moving away from your home country is, well… at first, the thought of a brand new place, unknown people and fresh experiences feels thrilling and even dangerous. You approach your new home wearing rose-coloured glasses and a surprising determination to discover everything. But then, after the rush of giddy excitement fades, the transatlantic adjustment simply feels tiring. It is a relief to know that you have a home to go back to, somewhere with familiar smells and sounds, with friendly faces and with people who speak in the same accent you do and who understand your ...

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Really Pakistan? Haya Day on Valentine’s Day?

It’s that time of the year again. Women are anxious and men are distraught; the day when every guy and girl sitting together are stared at suspiciously; the day when people are edgier than usual; the day you are confused about how to celebrate this day because it also happen to be the day students fear being seen in public with someone from the opposite gender because of the ‘consequences’. While the world celebrates Valentine’s Day today, the students at the University of Karachi are celebrating something different. These students have given various names to this day, including Hijab Day, Haya Day and ...

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I thought he was a beggar-child…

I was deep in my thoughts, standing at the railway station, when a slight tug on my shirt startled me. Averting my gaze towards the source of the tug, I saw a child. A sense of pity washed over; I took out some money from my pocket and tried to give it to the child, but he refused to take it. Feeling even more empathetic towards him, I gently took his small palm into my hands and placed the money there. Suddenly, a man came rushing towards us, “He is not a beggar! You look smart enough to know that!” he ...

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Noor Jehan: The undisputed queen of melody

Today is the 14th death anniversary of Malika-e-Tarannum Madam Noor Jehan. Yes, it’s been 14 long years since South Asia’s queen of melody left us all, after she suffered from a prolonged ailment, at the age of 74. Famous for her silken saris, bold eye make-up, unique hairstyles and glittering diamonds, Noor Jehan’s melodious voice touched millions and created a matchless blend of vocal gestures and emotional expressions, which interpreted feelings in a very surreal way. A legendary singer, all her musical performances have a distinct manipulation and creation of vocal articulation, all done according to the standards of style and genre of every ...

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Kids will be kids: Why Bilawal Bhutto failed to deliver

The much awaited and highly publicised Bilawal Bhutto rally in Bagh-e-Jinnah, Karachi, on October 18, 2014, occurred on time but fell greatly short of the mark, considering it was the launch of Bilawal’s political career. Needless to say, it failed to deliver the punch as the grand coronation of the next Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader, the son of Benazir Bhutto and the grandson of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (ZAB). Besides the tens and thousands of Pakistanis who had been squeezed out from the internal nooks and crannies of Sindh to lend credence to the ‘Bhutto power’ and the 13 containers that had been joined together to ...

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