Stories published in August, 2012

An open letter to Prince Harry

Dear Prince Harry, I saw you naked. You have put yourself in deep trouble and I am sure your grandmother will be very angry about this incident. When the media asked your family about its reaction to the pictures, your family decided to remain silent. My sincere advice to you is that not giving a statement is the wrong way to handle the media. I am experienced in dealing with many controversies and would like to share my experience in dealing with the media. This is a step-by-step, four-week plan to be implemented anytime you are in such trouble. Your first statement to ...

Read Full Post

Pakistani women in the Pakistani advertisements world

“Main iske elaava kisi aur pe kabhi aitemaad nahi karsakti. Bhalay aap koi bhi aur lay ayein, main isko nahi chhor sakti. Ye mera partner hai.” (I cannot trust anyone but him. Bring whatever you can, I would never leave him. He is my partner.) A woman saying this must really like the person she’s talking about. The statement shows that she trusts him immensely and loves him enough to find him irreplaceable. It seems like they have a strong emotional bond; maybe it’s her husband or a friend she confides in? Isn’t this what you would ask yourself if you heard ...

Read Full Post

Can the PPP actually win the next general elections?

President Zardari, during his visit to interior Sindh, claimed that his party will win the next general elections and will form governments in all the provinces. Political commentators are discussing  several theories to explain this rather surprising statement by the President. Some believe that the outcome of the by-election in NA-151, where Abdul Qadir Gilani defeated Shaukat Bosan, has given President Zardari this confidence. According to others, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairperson is banking on a divided opposition to win the next elections. Regardless of the basis of his claim, it has triggered a debate in Pakistan and most people seem to ...

Read Full Post

Can Mother Teresa, a non-Muslim, go to heaven?

The recent killings of Shias and blasphemy charges against a young Christian girl are not a product of some foreign militant group terrorising our peaceful land. The incidents of violence against minorities and sectarian groups are largely a result of the ideology that exists in all corners of our society. Whether you are a liberal or conservative, educated or ignorant, we all share the blame for such incidents. On this very topic, a heated argument in my class erupted when I asked a simple question to my students: “Is Mother Teresa going to heaven?” To my surprise, more than 80% of this educated ...

Read Full Post

Keep the hope alive, dear Pakistanis

We are no messiahs and we are certainly not asking you to turn a blind eye to all the problems that we face. It is always good to remain cognizant of the challenges that lie ahead of you ─ it can help you plan better. But there must never be any room for you to lose hope. Hopelessness, we have been told, is faithlessness. And we have faith. We have faith in the people of this country. We have faith in our belief that the people of this country will complement each other. ‘The Pakistanis’ is a celebration of the little ...

Read Full Post

The disease exists, so don’t shut your eyes to it

June 1, 2009 I was sweating profusely and felt like a man in a desert, that’s how parched I was. I came home only to be greeted by my family members, who were surprisingly excited and joyous on this horribly hot day. My mother rushed towards me exclaiming, “Your aunt Azra* has given birth to her first baby girl!” Sighing with relief and offering a silent prayer of thanks, I felt a sense contentment for aunt Azra, the mother of two sons, who had been yearning for a daughter. Finally, God had answered her prayers. I congratulated the whole family and went to the ...

Read Full Post

My arranged marriage to Pakistan

The most tormenting experience of my life, without a doubt, has to be the contrast I see when my plane flies from an exotic place and lands at the Allama Iqbal Airport in Lahore. From endearment-hurling, sweet smelling men, I come home to sour smelling uncles, who evidently want to peek at a lot more than just my passport. But here’s a funny thing about patriotism and nationalism: it’s like being in an arranged marriage. The pattern is somewhat similar. Your country is like that husband you never chose. He’s the choice you never made. You succeed in overlooking his bald ...

Read Full Post

The Dark Knight Rises: The grand saga comes to an end

There’s a storm coming, Mr Wayne,” whispers Anne Hathaway into Bruce Wayne’s ear, “You and your friends better batten down the hatches, ’cause when it hits, you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large, and leave so little for the rest of us.” Encompassing current affairs from the Occupy Wall Street movement to terrorism, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Risesdelivers a relevant political message. Although, based on a fictional comic book series, the film’s concerns are very real and thought provoking from which it establishes itself as the story of our generation. With grand expectations pinned onto the ...

Read Full Post

Blasphemy and minority plight: Pakistan is no different from Burma

As the rest of the country goes about its way, having just celebrated another joyous Eid, spare a thought for a little girl with special needs, languishing in a juvenile jail. She is probably all alone, and scared. With her condition, she very well might not even know the reason she is in there. But ask her neighbours, some who are frothing at the teeth to have a go at her, and they will tell you that she deserves to die. Rimsha Masih, an 11-year-old Pakistani girl of the Christian faith, who reportedly suffers from Down Syndrome, was arrested on allegations that she ...

Read Full Post

The best revenge is yet to come, she said

“Mom was right in asking me to spend Ramazan here, Nani. Easier rozas (fasts), smaller days than in Canada” “Yes, beta. There is not much to do here though. There is load shedding and it’s terribly hot; there are not many friends; all the relatives are in Canada, US and UK” “Why is that, Nani?” “Beta, they thought they would have a better life elsewhere” “So why did you not go?” “This is home. I am not leaving my language, my people and my food. What will I do there? Will I incessantly watch TV programmes about unfamiliar things? At this time of life, I’ve no one to tell all the art ...

Read Full Post