Stories published in October, 2013

Just your average Pakistani response to 15 news stories

NOTE: Most of these responses are inspired by real ...

Read Full Post

Thank you Faf du Plessis for showing us that the ICC cares… about you!

Dear Faf du Plessis, First of all, one must congratulate you for imparting a unique idea of utilising the trouser zip for tampering with the cricket ball. In the past, some ‘enthusiasts’ had tried Pepsi bottle tops, dirt/dust in the pockets, finger nails, and even teeth, but none had used a trouser’s zip before. Once upon a time in Australia, our Afridi “Lala” had tried to chew and/or bite the ball in frustration after several defeats, but he couldn’t hide it from any of the cameras installed across the ground. As a result, he was fined for two T20 matches. ...

Read Full Post

Dear Indian patriots, my criticism of Pakistan isn’t for your benefit!

A signature feature of a liberal is his scathing, almost treacherous, criticism of his own country’s culture and political policies.  On the other hand, the mark of a nationalist is indiscriminately defending all that occurs on his side of the border, while flinging mud on those beyond. Hence, it isn’t difficult to understand why a Pakistani liberal and an Indian nationalist would naturally bond over a cup of coffee. Ever since I decided to ‘betray’ my homeland by consorting with the liberal folk, as some conservatives would put it, my list of Indian friends has been snowballing. I am not in any way insinuating ...

Read Full Post

The night we were robbed: Give us your gold or we’ll take your daughter

The night was dark and gloomy, much like my life has been since the incident. Ever since it happened, I feel like I’m drowning every second, gasping for air as I feel my body becoming heavier. I seem to exist as a mere hollow body bereft of its soul. It was 4:00 am when the door of my room opened and someone switched on the light and pulled the blanket off me. Through bleary eyes, I saw my father standing by my bed. It was only when he gently told me to get up quietly and not make a sound that ...

Read Full Post

Diary of a gap-toothed girl

I must have been in fourth grade when I first visited the dentist. My front teeth had begun to protrude and wide gaps between my teeth began to show. Until then, I had never realised that it was something unpleasant since my parents had never spoken to me about it. Perhaps, they considered me too young to be hounded by insecurities. However, now when I see my fourth grade pictures I guess they knew what they were doing before my teeth could get any worse. I was the first one in my class to get braces and it bothered me ...

Read Full Post

A doctor’s worst nightmare

It had been a pretty gruelling 30 hours. Her hands shook as she poured out a cup of tea for herself and tried to relax. Four patients had been admitted with final stage liver disease, the previous night. Two of them had died during the night, despite all efforts at resuscitation. One was recovering after suffering a massive bout of vomiting blood and the fourth was in a coma, but she was hopeful he would come out of it. Half of her night had been spent explaining the dismal prognosis of de-compensated liver disease to the patients’ relatives and attendants, and ...

Read Full Post

Lahore is the best city in Pakistan!

Every city or town in Pakistan is famous for one thing or the other. However, for us Lahoris, all arguments cease to matter before our simple motto – Lahore Lahore ae (Lahore is Lahore). Here are a few reasons as to why I’d choose Lahore over any other city in Pakistan. Data ki nagri Pakistan is very fortunate that many great sufi saints lived in this part of the world and all our major cities have different shrines. But not many cities have a title like Data ki nagri. The shrine of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh Ali Hajveri brings many to Lahore and keeps many connected to the ...

Read Full Post

My grandmother’s tales: Stories that painted our lives

It’s been a few months since my beloved Naani (maternal grandmother) departed from this world, leaving us in utter shock and grief. She slipped away so quietly, without a warning, without inconveniencing anyone, and without saying goodbye, that it has left a piercing void in our hearts. After attending to mourning relatives, taking condolence calls and repeatedly telling the story of her last moments, we are left with a hollow silence that permeates not only her home, but each one of our lives. Without her, we are like a flock without a shepherd. Ever since she left us, I have heard ...

Read Full Post

Post your BB Pin to Facebook! Seriously, it’s the ‘it’ thing to do!

At the beginning of 2013, when the demise of BlackBerry (BB) was fairly evident, BlackBerry CEO Thorsen Heins first announced, in May 2013, that the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) application will be soon be available to all non-BlackBerry devices as well. This was the final farewell. Or so I thought. By June, rumours of the release date went viral and in mid-October 2013, to the delight of many of my friends and family, BBM became available to Androids and iPhones. Perhaps now would be the best time for me to toss in a disclaimer that I am no tech expert, but the ...

Read Full Post

Memories of Amir Ullah Khan, a colleague, a friend and a mentor

Islamabad silently bore witness to the brutal murder of an entire Australian-Pakistani family, including a seven-year-old boy, last Monday. The police suspect that the family was killed over a familial land dispute. Apparently, a branch of Mr Khan’s extended family stood to inherit several large tracts of land in the event of his and his children’s death, so in a heinous act of greed and cowardice, the whole family was strangled and left in the bushes.  According to the news, the bodies of Amir Ullah Khan, his daughter Romana aged 17, and his sons Adam aged 14 and Haider aged ...

Read Full Post