Amna Mela

A student at Allama Iqbal Medical College whose interests include literature, journalism, pop culture, politics, fashion, human rights, food and travel.

Under the knife: The ethics of anatomy

I’ve been told the first two years of medical college are the hardest because of anatomy. The subject reminds me of spiders. When a cluster of spider eggs begins to hatch, that which was a single entity turns into a swarm of scurrying, formidable creatures. It becomes General Anatomy, Histology, Embryology, Cytology and the black widow queen herself, Gross Anatomy. Most students have similar complaints. They are expected to memorize so many books that it becomes a Herculean task. The ones that try to understand concepts from Keith . Moore find they can’t pass tests without memorizing Chaurasia. The bright faces of ...

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Battleground Facebook: The right way to deal with Muslim bashers

In the world we live in, Mark Zuckerberg is ‘Person Of The Year’ and slacktivists can click a button to soldier on for a cause. Gone are the days of long marches, debates, writing letters to leaders or newspapers, or mobilizing petitions. Now it’s all about the ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons. Every now and then when I log on to Facebook, I see messages saying: “Delete this page – Islam expletive Allah obscene language Muhammad (PBUH) offensive remark” Unless you’re a kindergartner, your brain processes words as fast as your eyes see them. Every time someone joins these groups, I automatically end up reading the ...

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Are animal rights even an issue?

A couple of years ago, a relative of mine met a government employee whose job is the eradication of stray dogs. By profession, he is a dog shooter. He roams the streets searching for strays, and shoots them on sight. Sometimes the first bullet only maims, and he must walk towards the dog to shoot again. He did not choose this job because it was to his liking; he entered this profession because it was all he could find as a means to feed his own family. After all these years of violence day in and day out, he is psychologically ...

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I know a puppy killer

Last year, I came across a girl whom I despised at first sight. Some girls have a legitimate phobia of animals but some make a big deal about being afraid, thinking it’s endearing to be the damsel-in-distress. I was afraid when I was five and didn’t know any better, but when I see grown women screaming at the sight of a tiny animal, I can’t help but think they look ridiculous. Initially, that’s all I thought this was, a stupid girl scared of a pint-sized puppy. When it ambled up to her, she kicked it, hard. The poor thing was knocked ...

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The man who taught us to be afraid

Learning that adults aren’t always as virtuous as we expect them to be is a rite of passage. One teacher exemplified this lesson, presenting himself as a patriarch. He told his students they were like his children and he would lecture them on morals. His tarnished reputation preceded him and this was his way of overcompensating. One girl dropped his class because he made her uncomfortable. When she asked a question he would come around and “accidentally” brush his hand against her. He’d pick up a book, place it on a lap and write with one hand resting on a ...

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Why Slackistan and Harry Potter are not in the cinemas

I remember watching Dostana in the DHA cinema. I was probably the only person in the audience  grimacing more often than laughing. There were couples, groups of friends, entire families and aunties with kids in tow. A few seats away there was even a three-year-old. I don’t hate all Bollywood movies. I usually enjoy whatever Amir Khan is in (except Ghajini). I liked Namastay London, Jab We Met, Umrao Jan (the one with Rekha) and Devdas. Yet, I hated Dostana. Aside from the song “Desi Girl”, it did not have one redeeming quality. It represents the reason I shy away from watching Bollywood movies; the ...

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Desi bride or geisha bride?

Why do desi brides so often opt to look like geishas on their big day? From India to Pakistan to desis settled abroad, we can’t seem to shed the belief that a bride needs to be painted beyond recognition. I’ve seen make-up artists cake it on by mixing different coloured liquids on what appears to be a painter’s palette and applying it with a thick brush on the bride-to-be, as if she were a blank canvas and not a woman with unique features. The cost of looking like everyone else I’ve seen brides throw away small fortunes on hiring a make-up artist and ...

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