Stories published in December, 2013

The dilemma of an artist: But who am ‘I’?

Who am I? The wearer of characters, The bearer of their pains. My lips vibrate, my eyes rain, My heart burns in their agony. Applause.   But who are they? Fragments of a writer’s imagination? Words scattered on a script? I give them life, Their anguish is my torment, Their gloom is my melancholy They are my mates or are they not? Bit by bit consuming my soul Then who am I, mere mould in a statue shop? Applause.   Ah that applause! I live for it but what is it? An echo of emptiness That will haunt me till my grave. Oh my life but what a life! My characters are my shadow, My muse, my madness, my mourn My characters are half ...

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Our team’s unpredictability is the opposition’s cruellest enemy!

By now, the Sachin Tendulkar farewell Test and retirement euphoria has, considerably, died down and the Pakistan cricket are currently being tested by the Lankan Lions, on their desert ‘home’ tour of Pakistan. Although things have started to, somewhat, come back on track for the Pakistan team, by returning the South Africans a favour of their desert carnage by beating them fair and square in the short return visit to the Protea Land, their ruthlessness and consistency needs to be maintained and for that the seniors would certainly have to show the way. The body language of the team that looked down and out of sort in their ...

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Karachi Sea View: The sun, the sea and … harassment by the police?

A friend of mine was visiting from Lahore and asked me to show him the beach in Karachi. So, on a nice Sunday afternoon, December 1, 2013, I took him to the Clifton beach. He had never seen the beach before and was quite excited. Two of our other friends also accompanied us. I parked my car in the service lane by the beach and we started walking along the promenade. My friend purchased some souvenirs made from seashells for his family and as we were walking back towards our car, we were greeted by three men wearing white shalwar kameezs’. One of the ...

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Opening old wounds and Quader Mollah’s execution: What did Bangladesh accomplish?

About a week ago I was in New York on holiday and at some point got into a cab with a very chatty Bengali cab driver. His first question to me obviously, as all desi cab drivers in NY must ask, was where I’m from; the minute I responded he said to me in broken Urdu, “Oh! You come from the country that looted, raped, killed and tortured us for 24 years!”  I am used to being attacked like that; for the past three and a half years I have been married to a Bangladeshi and spend a lot ...

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Support minorities and save St Joseph’s Hospice, they need our help!

I wrote an article on street beggars and how they are more greedy than needy yet we still keep stuffing their pockets by directing our charity to this flourishing business of begging. The comments, numerous ‘likes’ and the feedback I received acknowledged how people agreed with my suggestion of giving charity where it’s deserved – to organisations that truly work for the poorest of the poor. But ironically, we have places like St Joseph’s Hospice in Rawalpindi that tirelessly work for people whose own families are either unwilling or unable to support them due to limited resources. For 50 years, St Joseph’s Hospice has been ...

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Have Asthma? Here is how Aloe Vera gel can save you!

The increase in industrial and vehicular pollution has led to the rise in Asthma cases around the world. Other factors that trigger asthma are anxiety, depression and an overactive immune system.   In this disease, the air passage in the lung compresses making it difficult for the person to breathe in an effortless manner. There are many medicines available in aiding Asthma, including synthetic steroid-based inhalers, but they do not offer a long-lasting solution to this debilitating disease. Inhalers are used world wide by people with respiratory problems. Photo: AFP Aloe vera gel can be effectively used to combat Asthma in a safe, natural way. The immuno-modulating ...

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10 situations which highlight why educating women is vital in Pakistan

Being the daughter of a surgeon, and being a lawyer myself, I hear and read stories everyday about how certain mishaps which have occurred could have been avoided with the simple proviso: education.  The government needs to encourage the right of women to be educated. Listed below are 10 real-life situations where education would have prevented unfortunate outcomes. 1)  A woman who is encouraged to abort a daughter or is killed or divorced upon producing daughters. If she was educated, the woman would know that the gender of a baby is decided by the male sperm and not by a woman’s eggs. This is basic ...

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India should lift the ban on Pakistani channels before attacking Pakistan for banning Indian content

I am not a TV buff, and only switch on the idiot box to watch news channels and occasionally cricket matches, even though there are as many as 906 channels available on my cable connection. But at the same time there are millions of Indians like my mother who spend most of their spare time switching from one channel to another, watching daily soap operas – Ekta Kapoor’s Saas-Bahu type serials being the most watched.  906 channels, that’s quite a number, isn’t it? Now I would like you to guess the number of Pakistani channels in them – 20, 15, 10, 5, anyone? The correct ...

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Pangea, Cultivate our Cultures event: Uplifting Pakistan’s image in the US

Martin Scorsese, an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor and film historian once rightly said, “People have to start talking to know more about other cultures and to understand each other.” The ethnic diversity of Fargo-Moorhead, in Minnesota, USA is rapidly increasing with the influx of people from different countries and cultures. For the last couple of years, the area has been home to a festival called the Pangea – Cultivate Our Cultures (PCOC) held regularly in order to bring together different communities in Fargo-Moorhead and provide them with a forum to represent their respective cultures. Although there are a number of Pakistanis living in ...

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Girl talk: Why do women hate other women?

For as far back as I can remember most fights I had were with girls. In high school, I was okay to know I didn’t have many girls by my side, aside from the select one or two I had decided to be loyal to, protect and love till the end of our lives. Quite aptly, I was honoured at our Oscar’s themed farewell dinner in 11th grade; my title read “Bring it on”. A conversation with four colleagues reminded me of those years. They seemed to be in swift agreement when it came to deciding one thing about women- they hated each other. Sure, ...

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