Stories published in January, 2014

Dear elites: Your servants have rights, treat them like humans

As a result of my ancestors having achieved affluence, my early childhood years were relatively privileged – spent in an expansive house in Peshawar with my siblings, pets, pomp and delusions of grandeur. We had many servants – someone to cook the meals, someone to bring the dishes to the table, someone to drive and maintain the cars, someone to wash the clothes, someone to sweep the floors, someone to feed the dogs, someone to trim the hedges and someone to guard the gate; all of whom collectively pandered to the nauseating imperial sensibilities that dominated the lifestyle of the rich. Having the ...

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Only morally rotten men rape: 8-year-old in Bahawalpur raped and killed

Terrible news crossed my path today first thing in the morning, as I nestled with my cup of tea. I opened my laptop to read about an assault and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Bahawalpur. I am a mother of two adorable children who are my lifeline, my pride. People feel that motherhood is a roadblock to one’s own aspirations but I feel quite the contrary. To me, my children inspire me to achieve greatness. The idea of a scratch or a bruise on my children is enough to botch a good night’s sleep for me. I obviously don’t even want ...

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From a Limo driver to an Oscar nominee, Barkhad Abdi, you rekindled hope in me!

Three months ago, Barkhad Abdi’s dreams came true when his first Hollywood movie hit the cinemas and popularity and fortune placed the debutant in the spotlight. With fame banging on his door, Abdi escalated from being a mere limo driver in Minnesota to becoming an Oscar-nominated actor. To understand his climb to success, one needs to reel back a little and revisit a few events. Barkhad Abdi in a still taken from the movie Captain Philips. About two years back, Abdi was selected from an open casting call in Minneapolis, to co-star with Tom Hanks in the Sony Pictures piracy ...

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Five great reasons why I will vote for Bilawal Bhutto

Is Bilawal Bhutto Zardari running for the National Assembly? Is he not running for the National Assembly? Do we have to wait till 2018, or a few months? The media really needs to make up its mind…like me! I am all set to vote for the boy in red, black and green – and here are five excellent reasons why. 1. Line up all our current Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) and then take a good look. No seriously, do it right now. I’ve got a handy dandy random selection for you to peruse below! I shouldn’t have to argue my ...

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“Badshaho, we saw you kissing the girl”: To make a quick buck, the police will accuse you of anything

Going out with friends was a simple routine for me. It never bothered me whether I was going out with guys or girls since I never thought it to be much of an issue. However, in just one encounter, the Pakistani police taught me all the things that can go terribly wrong while going out with male friends. It was just another day when I went out with two of my friends from university. One of them was driving while the other sat in the front passenger seat and I took the backseat. We drove to a café located on ...

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Danish rape in India and advice to women visiting

A Danish tourist was abducted and gang raped at knife point in New Delhi last week. This is yet another one of a series of rapes that has shocked India and has shamed us once again. I have compiled a list of pointers that I think would make travelling safer for women tourists in India. Having travelled extensively throughout the length and breadth of the country, I have a fair bit of experience on dealing with problems that women could face while travelling alone or with fellow women. I’ve even made my share of mistakes that could have landed me in ...

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Stop running after nuclear energy, solar and wind power is the solution for Pakistan!

The efforts to attain nuclear power have increased globally in recent years. Several advocates in Pakistan, such as the recent article by Kazmi (Jan 7, 2014), have argued that nuclear power promotes economic development along with meeting the shortfall in energy supply. A critical question I would like to ask is that, is nuclear power absolutely necessary for an economic development, given the potential safety risks and the vast amount of investment that it requires? With Pakistan’s incredible potential of untapped renewable resources, why is Pakistan trying an untested nuclear technology when the rest of the world is moving towards greener energy solutions? I ...

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What it’s really like to be 26 and single in Pakistan

Sometime back, I was reading an article written by a woman about how she finally learnt to be single and ‘happy’ at the same time. What interested me more, though, was a comment under the article that read, “Why do single women constantly need to declare that they are happy that way?” To which someone else had replied, “Because, whether directly or indirectly, everyone feels the need to remind them that they are single and assume that they are unhappy.” I couldn’t have agreed more. On a personal front Most single girls my age will tell you, the words they dread the most coming out of anyone’s mouth are, “Why aren’t ...

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A place where ignorance is bliss

When ignorance is bliss, ‘Tis folly to be wise. When rationality is rare, ‘Tis sinful to raise one’s voice. Where tolerance is extinct, ‘Tis a futile try to reason. Where masses are blind, ‘Tis fruitless to have a vision. When darkness is sovereign, ‘Tis useless to follow the light. When apathy prevails, ‘Tis arduous to end the plight. Where murderers are hailed, ‘Tis effete to long for peace. Where barbarians reign, ‘Tis illusive to live with ease. When bullets speak, ‘Tis difficult to hold a pen. When terrorism rules, ‘Tis rare to hear a good ...

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The English cricket team and it’s ‘imported’ players

England, after ruling the Ashes series over the last few years, was outclassed by Australia by a huge margin of 5-0 and lost its beloved trophy to the victors. After a very long time, the English team had finally reached perfection and it was claimed that they could beat any team at any venue – which they actually did for a couple of years – before all hell broke loose in the form of the Ashes (pun intended).  The Australian cricket team celebrate their victory in the Ashes series 2014. Photo: AFP England proudly stood at its pinnacle where the team had at ...

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