Stories about women

Mirror mirror, what do you see?

I have a mirror in my hands. Mirror mirror, what do you see? “I see a girl, a black girl, with beautiful eyes… beautiful eyes over gaunt cheeks. Cheeks caved in over thin, crisp lips and a levee against the pointed chin. I see a face festooned by gold; hard earned 18 carats of flimsy artwork. A ritual slaughter of a loved one.” Say more my mirror. Say more. “I see a void in the girl. I see uncertain gestures hiding in her smile. I see an ominous pout and a stoic sarcasm in her gentle nods. She knows what to appreciate. She has a keen eye for ...

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7 simple rules (or not) to impress ‘rishta aunties’

We all know for a fact that middle-aged aunties are on the lookout for prospective wives for their sons and nephews, during the wedding season. What is surprising though is that young ladies love being the centre of attention and enjoy all the looks of admiration showered on them. And let’s be honest, what better place is there to plan the conception of your own wedding than the venue of someone else’s wedding? However, there are rules that need to be taken into consideration if you wish to actively participate in the South-Asian game of ‘match-making’. Even if you intend to avoid the game ...

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Women are responsible for domestic abuse, not men

It’s an age old story that women are the main victims of abuse. Over the years, many NGOs, awareness projects and feminists have forced laws to be passed against female victimisation. We have all blamed men for abuse, who are seemingly the dominant sex and similarly, many steps have been taken to make women realise that it is the men who are at fault. So, why then are women still subjected to abuse, even though they are aware of their rights and are more liberated than before? Why are they not raising their voice against domestic abuse? And also, are men really the main cause of abuse? These questions ...

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Nutella cheesecake and Farhan Akhtar – doesn’t get better than that!

As Mr A was casually buying himself some coffee and a large packet of spicy Lays chips outside the cinema, when a wide-eyed friend exclaimed looking at him, “Oh my God, your husband is here to watch ‘Shaadi ke side effects’, poor thing!” The cinema barely had any male species present. It was, however, outrageously packed with caramel-popcorn-munching females. Clearly the movie was going to be fun. “Hmmm… now he will know the true side effects, flashed before him, and what we women have to go through after marriage.” I cloyingly thought to myself as we settled down in the wide red seats. Throughout the movie, ...

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Why are Pakistani women obsessed with their weight?

I should make it clear from the beginning that this unhealthy obsession with weight is not limited to Pakistani women but is the universal truth for women everywhere.  We are either too thin or too fat, with most of us being the latter. In Pakistan, a woman’s elegance, grace, beauty or self-worth is all linked to her weight and other women, mostly, deem a skinny female to be successful.  I noticed this on a recent trip to Pakistan. After meeting relatives whom I hadn’t seen for a long time, the first thing they commented on was my weight, which had become quite rotund. It didn’t occur ...

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Pakistani dramas: Trade in your jeans and career for some chooridars and a rolling pin

Imagine a scene from a typical Pakistani drama. On one side, we have a shareef (innocent) damsel in distress and a prince charming, who is too busy admiring his good looks to actually use his brains for intellectual purposes. And on the other is the mandatory villain – usually a conniving, evil best friend – who tries her best to create barriers between the couple with hopes that the guy would pick her over the damsel. Since we are all too familiar with the damsel’s fluttering eyelashes and the prince’s flirtatious smiles, let’s focus our attention towards the villain for once. As opposed ...

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Five strange things all Pakistani fauji’s do

In countries like Pakistan, army officers are treated with a special kind of respect and having a fauji (soldier) friend is considered to be an honour. I am sure many people know what it feels like to have a friend who is either a Gentleman Cadet (GC) or a ‘leftanent’ as a lieutenant is usually called. It’s a feeling that cannot be explained in words. However, in my case, the ratio of fauji friends is quite high since I have grown up in the company of many ‘army boys’. Hence, in recognition of my fauji friends and their efforts, I decided to write something about their exhausting and ...

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Women in sports: What Lala might not know

A friend of mine shared a clip on Facebook of a journalist asking Shahid Afridi his views on the development of a girls’ cricket camp in Peshawar (something the journalist said he felt proud of) and Afridi replied that Pathan girls are best at cooking food and should stick to that. This statement did not come as a shock to me. Other than being aware of Afridi’s record of having passed ludicrous remarks about us, Indian Hindus, not being large-hearted enough, which was slammed by many rational Pakistanis, it reminded me of a scene from the Bollywood movie Chak de India starring Shahrukh Khan. It showed ...

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Pakistan cannot be an ‘Islamic’ republic, not if women are being raped everyday!

On March 13, 2014 a girl from Muzaffargarh set herself on fire outside the local police station when justice was not served to her. This innocent girl was allegedly gang raped by five rapists, who were granted bail by the police. People just stood there, watching her burn alive – as if she was giving a circus performance and our efficient media covered the incident from every angle possible to make sure it sold like hot-cakes on TV. The mother threw sand on her daughter in an attempt to save her. And finally one policeman, among the dozens who were watching, remembered his ...

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The ‘place’ for women is not just ‘the kitchen’

The term ‘male-dominated society’ does not mean (against common misconception) the subjugation of women to physical violence or having biases towards them. However, to say that it is nothing will also be a gross understatement. The term basically means an opportunity to attest and exhibit supremacy, in any form. Even a demeaning nod at the idea of an achievement by the opposite gender is as derogatory as the worst form of it may be. One doesn’t have to advocate ‘feminism’ or ‘masculinity’ to believe in gender equality – this only gives birth to more sexism. Sexism, like racism, should not be ...

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