Stories published in July, 2012

A plea from a young doctor

Dear people, I do not receive any pay, perks or privileges for my job. I have to work 28 days a month with only two Sundays off. Every week, I have to perform emergency duties at least once for 12 continuous hours, apart from ward duties that extend up to 30 consecutive hours. Who am I? You guessed it – I am a young doctor working in a public sector hospital in Pakistan. This hospital is in Punjab and I’ve been working here for some time now. There are three main departments in any hospital namely the emergency department, the indoor department and the outdoor ...

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Whose face are we trying to save?

Bina Shah has raised some pertinent points in her op-ed for The Express Tribune. Refusing to accept the allegations levelled against Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, she implies that Rukhsana is being threatened by her family to claim financial compensation from the documentary film-maker. More significantly, Bina asserts that this reality has been obscured by the elite-bashing and a more cohesive approach is needed to understand this issue. Ironically, the op-ed has been criticised for propagating the same elitist narrative that it condemns. This reflects the inconvenient truth about our nation being constantly obsessed with defending the underdog rather than objectively examining the facts. While ...

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Salman Butt, you don’t fool us

I have thought and thought and have failed to understand what Salman Butt hoped to achieve through his interview on Express News on Thursday and his press conference on Friday.  “I am innocent” “It was Mazhar and Amir” “I did not get justice” “I want the Supreme Court to look into this.” Phrases like these make me want to yell out in response, “Save your breath, Butt!” Seriously. I can’t believe that he is still trying to fool his Pakistani fans and trying to meddle with their already bruised sentiments. Our seniors might have gotten away with screaming the ...

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Give international cricketers a break

Salam and greetings. Being in Sydney while enduring my first winter for some time makes me think about last year’s World Cup where our Pakistani boys made us proud. But it was sad to see Shoaiby hang up his boots. Rahul Dravid followed suit later that year and, most recently, Kevin Pietersen said he only wants to play Test cricket. It makes me wonder if the schedule wasn’t packed, could legends like Brian Lara and Adam Gilchrist still be playing. The rotation system has had its lovers and haters and was introduced in order to help players cope with the physical demands ...

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Spider-Man: If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be me

Life is hard to explain to say the least. Being good doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will work out well. In fact, it almost never does. Reality hits you hard but you have to keep your chin up and move on. These are the life’s lessons I learned, neither from my father nor from my high school teacher. I learned them from the amazing Spider-Man. But to be precise, this article is not about Spider-Man per se. It’s about the guy behind the mask. You know, the nerdy and not so popular Peter Parker. Growing up, I was never a confident ...

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Once upon a monsoon in Khulna

“Sit still, Shona!” yelled an agitated Tara, washing her younger sister’s feet, “I will pour this water on your head if you move your feet again!” “I am NOT Shona,” protested Naina, who was now six-years-old and did not like her childish nickname very much. “Leave me alone. Mashima washes my feet better than you, anyway. Somebody help me! Didi is trying to drown me!” she yelped. The 400 yard house echoed with Naina’s routine bellows. Everybody knew that her daily tantrum had begun. Mashima – otherwise indifferent to Naina’s behaviour – told her to be quiet. “Shut up! Can you not ...

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Pak Business Express Train – good, but far from great

Recently, I travelled through the Pak Business Express train that runs between Karachi and Lahore and is a comparatively new venture within the railway scene of Pakistan. Don’t cringe yet; this was all before the recent protests where passenger trains were set on fire and before Pakistan Railways temporarily suspended services of trains travelling from Lahore to Rawalpindi. I was accompanied by over 70 people, all headed to Islamabad via Lahore to attend the reunion of YES students. Our tickets were pre-funded and averaged Rs10,oo0 per person for a round trip. I remember receiving the tickets and being in the doldrums at the thought of ...

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