Stories published in February, 2013

Advice to a new bride

Someone once told me, ‘Getting married is not the achievement; getting along together with each other after marriage is the real achievement.’ This statement repeatedly echoes in my mind as I observe the rising divorce rate in Pakistani society. Of course, this is becoming an issue in all societies around the world, but only a few are left as high and dry, both emotionally and financially as a Pakistani divorcee girl. When I go to a wedding, I often have an itching desire to have a chat with the bride before her nikkah ceremony and give her my two cents on her impending journey. Though, ...

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Pakistan in South Africa : A tale of missed opportunities so far

The second Test at Newlands provided Pakistan with the perfect opportunity to square the series but we couldn’t capitalise on it. However, these are make-or-break opportunities. Younus Khan and Asad Shafiq gave Pakistan the perfect start with classy centuries and 338 was a decent enough total in the first innings. Saeed Ajmal backed them with a six-wicket haul and Pakistan could have taken a big lead of 100 runs or more but the quicks disappointed and the lead evaporated. I think that is where Pakistan lost heart. The situation demanded head coach Dav Whatmore to lift the morale of his players but if ...

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It’s not easy being a Pashtun woman in the media

“Working as a Pashtun female is not easy in any field,” said one of my Pashtun journalist friends, Sana Safi. The more I thought about what she said, the more I realised how true her statement was. Pashtun women who have decided to break all social and cultural barriers to work in the media feel this the most. However, it is important to understand the context of why Pashtun women working in the media are seen as unacceptable by some Pashtuns who are not only living back home – within Afghanistan and Pakistan – but also abroad. These Pashtuns believe that the media ...

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Unity — a vision foresighted

Most of us remember and casually reiterate Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s formula for a better nation: unity, faith and discipline. The three words have been overused (often in the wrong order), and they are slowly losing their meaning. Nevertheless, the patriotic romanticism associated with them only grows stronger. If we evaluate how far we’ve gone in actually implementing the father of the nation’s formula, we cannot help but notice how the three elements of high importance are not being taken as equals. Perhaps, expecting Pakistan to employ anything that has to do with discipline is a vision too foresighted. Faith has boldly overshadowed discipline, but ...

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My teacher, Professor Syed Ali Haider, was buried by his 85-year-old father

It was back in January 2011 when I had my Ophthalmology viva on the third floor of King Edward Medical University (KEMU) Ophthalmology Department. While I was preparing my case, I saw a well dressed, smiling, bright-eyed person walking into the ward. The announcement was made, “get ready for your cases,” and we all scrambled to try and pull things together. He looked around the hall and started in the lane next to me. Like any student would, I kept making note of the questions he was asking and thinking about what he would ask me. I wondered if this professor would ...

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The Lantern: Lighting up Karachi, the oriental way!

The power of oriental cuisine is undeniable; we just can’t seem to get enough of it. When out with your wife, ask her what she’d like to eat and five out of ten times, she’d suggest Chinese food. The Lantern, located near Do Talwar, Clifton, has been open for public for about four weeks now, and the team at Food Connection Pakistan graciously invited me for a bloggers’ meet-up a few days back. This Chinese eatery is a perfect venue for a memorable lunch with friends or a romantic dinner with the wife. It’s interesting that the restaurant has indoor as ...

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When the victims are buried in mass graves, it’s genocide

When they need mass graves to bury the victims, it is time to start calling it a genocide. I have seen gut-wrenching images of poor Hazara men and women mourning their loved ones who were killed simply for being Shia. I saw horrible images of the scene of violence of the bomb blasts this past weekend in Quetta. But nothing moved me quite like the picture of the mass grave that was dug last month to bury the 93 victims of anti-Shia savagery. To my mind, nothing encapsulates just how low we have sunk than the fact that we now have ...

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Meeting Sri Lanka’s ex-army chief

After meeting former chief of army staff of Sri Lanka, General Srilal Weerasooriya, I was curious to know what he thinks of the ongoing Afghan war, as well as the US withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. I was also interested in discussing issues related to militancy in Pakistan with General Weerasooriya, who spent months with former president General Pervez Musharraf in the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul, Abbottabad in the late ’60s. He told me that Pakistan cannot get rid of militancy until it succeeds in stopping neighbouring countries’ involvement in its territory. General Weerasooriya made it clear that the Pakistani ...

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The perfect wife

She was beautiful with her almond shaped eyes and dark eyebrows that framed her oval face perfectly. A small tress fell onto her clear forehead as if on cue every time the wind swayed. He caressed her hand, her lovely art-loving hands that were manicured; what completed the picture was a diamond ring which shone on her ring finger. “You’re beautiful,” he said breathlessly. “I’m beautiful to you, my love,” she said with equal fervour. “It’s all in your eyes. It’s all about the perfect way through which you look at me.” He sighed happily. “Here, have this — your favourite cheesy roast potatoes ...

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I’ll remember, insha’Allah

The other day I scheduled a long-overdue appointment for a dental cleaning. I had called a few days in advance and arranged for an early-morning slot so that I could arrive in the office before the workload got too heavy. Leaving my apartment about 35 minutes before the appointment, I imagined I left enough time to arrive on schedule. That is, until I got into a small car accident less than ten minutes later. As I waited to turn right at an intersection not far from my apartment, the car behind me abruptly drove into the rear of my small hatchback, suddenly ...

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