Stories published in September, 2012

Lehri: A comedic legend gone forever

“Kon tujhe yaad kare ga, yahan koi kisi ko yaad nahi karta” (No one will remember you, because here nobody remembers anyone) The famous words of Lehri, 0ur ace comedian and brilliant actor, from the famous serial ‘Angaan Terha’. But in contradiction to his words, Lehri is one such legend who can never be forgotten. Safirullah Siddiqui, which was his real name, was not known to many, but he was famously known and recognised by his filmy name ‘Lehri’. His style of comedy was uniquely his own. He did not need to resort to making funny faces or attacking politicians to ...

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I love you more than I love myself

Struggling to find the right key to unlock the door, she began giggling at the doorway. Quick as a flash, he retrieved the key that had slipped from her hand and joined in her laughter. She had always had shaky hands, and he, naughty as ever revelled in testing her ability to complete tasks that required steadiness. Finally entering the room, Laila discarded the red shawl she was draped in and began to undress. He admired her slender figure and for the millionth time wondered what he had done right to deserve her. “Pregnancy is suiting Kamil’s wife well,” she remarked ...

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Over 300 dead and the roar of deafening silence escalates

At this moment, Pakistan is featured in all international news channels and papers due to two unfortunate incidents of fire that took place in factories in Lahore and Karachi. The fire in the shoe factory in Lahore left 24 people dead, including the owner of the factory, and various injured while officials have confirmed that over 200 lives have been lost in the fire that took place in a garments factory in Karachi. Both fires broke out accidently and workers were trapped inside. In both cases, the buildings and occupational safety measures were said not to have been up to the standard described ...

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Is Rumi’s Islam different from Pakistan’s Islam?

While stranded in a traffic jam under the hot, blazing sun of May, I looked at a traffic warden from my car window. His sun-bleached uniform was drenched with sweat and he was gesticulating like an actor in a mime. The loud, blaring car horns and impatient shouts of drivers and pedestrians tweaked my weak nerves and I pressed my throbbing temples to soothe them. The whole rumpus had been caused by green-turbaned clerics, some of whom were young boys and teenagers with budding moustaches. Speaking from their loudspeakers, mounted on minivans, they passionately denounced social networking sites for uploading blasphemous ...

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Give them a fair trial before you burn them!

Finally, Rimsha Masih received the first step towards justice after being granted bail from a district court. She could be the first such person accused of blasphemy to have been bailed in such a short time. All eyes were focused on her case which gained more prominence after Hafiz Zubair’s evidence against the key accuser. The hearing was closely observed by national and international media, lawyers, civil society and religious scholars. Still, many things remain to be examined in the ongoing investigation. However, Rimsha’s case has opened the society’s eyes by exposing the sensitivity of the blasphemy laws, how they have been ...

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Why ‘Save the Children’ can’t save themselves

Pakistan’s threat to expel foreign staff of the US charity ‘Save the Children’ is being condemned worldwide. However, the reputation of the organisation has already been tainted, despite several people calling the government’s move an “overreaction”: @HoaglandRichard @shehryar_taseer ‘Save the Children’ were in no way involved with Abbottabad — I repeat, no way. A very sad and misguided over-reaction. Although the government most recently said it has suspended the order to cancel the visas of the foreign staff, a part of Pakistani public opinion needs only enough information so as to support a particular conspiracy theory for even journalists to indiscriminately begin calling them ...

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Dear parents, can I plan my own life please?

“We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.” -Anne Frank Being seventeen-years-old and looking forward to university next year, I currently face the enigma of making one of the most difficult decisions of my life — choosing a career. Although I would love to pursue a career in English and perhaps work towards a Masters or a PhD in Literature, my parents aren’t too fond of the idea. Their plan for me includes a good medical school, a professional degree, a job in a clinic or hospital, being married before I turn 30 and inevitably, ...

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Burned alive: Who is to blame?

The Civil Hospital Karachi was shadowed in a strange silence and gloom yesterday morning. Over fifty ambulances sprawled the space outside the morgue. Every few minutes a siren blasted from round the corner, and another ambulance made its entry. As a group of anxious relatives surrounded the ambulance, no one spoke. Many families repeated the exercise, till suddenly a cry of horror would break cut the deadly silence like a knife. As each member of the family peeked inside the ambulance, their grief, shock and despair would give way to tears ─ they had identified their loved one ─ only that the ...

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Afghanistan needs our help!

The central bank of Afghanistan imposes a fine on shopkeepers to stop them from using foreign currency. Pakistani currency also known as Kaldhar in the war-stricken country is widely used, which reflects the lack of confidence of Afghani businessmen and traders in their economy. Afghanistan’s economy appears stable if compared to Pakistani rupee that lost almost half its value to the dollar. 90% of Afghanistan’s budget depends on foreign aid. However, will the bubble economy survive when the US is itself embroiled in a financial crisis back home? Rich Afghans are already escaping with their money stashed in suitcases. $4.6 billion has ...

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Is the iPhone 5 after Jobs doomed to failure?

With the ever increasing trend of smart-phones, Apple’s iPhone has definitely bagged the top position in the list of favourites – and why shouldn’t it? With an amazing set of features coupled with a slim and sleek design, excellent touch system and thousands of apps which you can download from the Apple Apps Store, the iPhone has everything desired to gain mass appeal. Apple was formerly recognised for its computers and MacBooks, until 2007 when our very dear Steve Jobs introduced the exquisite iPhone, which was a combination of the iPod and the internet-enabled smart-phone. It took around a $150million to ...

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