Stories published in July, 2014

Does Aitchison give more importance to kinship than KGS?

Before we go on to tackle the issue of kinship and its importance in maintaining a certain decorum, atmosphere and legacy of an institute, let’s go back and take a quick lesson about an institution steeped in rich history, namely the Aitchison College. Aitchison College was founded on January 2, 1886, as the Punjab Chief’s college, and was renamed the Aitchison College on November 3, of the same year. The foundation stone of the new building (now known as the old building) was laid down by the Earl of Dufferin and Ava. The college is named after the (then) Lt Governor ...

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Do Shias have a future in Pakistan?

How this could be possible? I shook my head in disbelief. “Ibn-e-Raza has been shot dead!” the voice reiterated itself. How someone can be so cruel, so vicious? In state of disbelief I stood up, changed my clothes and sat in my car. My mother, sitting next to me, was continuously crying. “He was such a nice boy, he was…” She was crying so hard that words seemed to have disappeared from her mouth. I rolled my window down and took a deep breath as a slight wave of wind touched my hair. My mind was gripped with an ocean of thoughts and memories. I remembered when he last ...

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How Islamic is the ISIS?

A recent news story left me utterly shocked and angry. Yesterday, the Islamic State (formerly known as the ISIS), a militant outfit, blew up and levelled one of the most well known and revered shrines in Mosul, Iraq – the resting place of Prophet Younus (AS). The militants blew up the shrine in front of a large number of people. The Islamic State (IS) has razed 15 mosques so far, belonging to both Sunni and Shia sects and, interestingly, this recent destruction of Prophet Younus’s (AS) shrine was done under the supervision of a proclaimed ‘caliph’. In the middle of all this chaos, my questions are ...

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Was it ‘unethical’ of Diana Magnay to call the Israelis ‘scum’?

Are reporters allowed to express normal human emotions like anger, jubilation, grief and hatred?  Are they being untrue to their profession if they do so? When is being overwhelmed by emotions forgivable? Recently, these questions resurfaced during the coverage of the on-going conflict in Gaza. The images emerging from there are horrific, if that word can define them properly. We have had journalists moving away from the camera because they felt too overwhelmed with grief. There are allegations of ‘biased and unbalanced’ coverage by the media, depending on which side of the divide you are. In the current context, as the ...

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A plea to India

Being a Pakistani with ties to India has put me in some difficult positions. For years I have tried to remove misconceptions and disprove stagnant theories on both side of the border. One thing that I had to talk about at length was the freedoms and societal positions of minorities in each country. Most of the people I interacted with did not have first-hand experience and would base their arguments on ‘official’ texts and school curriculum, which were heavily slated against the side. It’s a different situation now; the media is more open than it was in my teenage years ...

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It was my fault

The first time he hit her was on the 17th morning of her wedding ceremony. She had just walked out of the bathroom after a shower, her hair still dripping little droplets of water as she tried to rub them dry with a towel. He was standing in front of the armoire picking out a tie for himself, his back to her. She saw his handsome profile, all sharp lines and edges, and she had smiled to herself blissfully. In that moment she had thought, she was the luckiest girl on earth. This beautiful man, who had the ability to attract people ...

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No Israel, you cannot use rape as a war weapon

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has brought out what seems to be the misogynist, the racist and the overall hate in everyone. There are people who have asked Hitler to return and then there are people like Bill Maher who recently called Gaza ‘a crazy woman’. Then there is the Israeli professor who says the best way to fight wars is to rape women. How I wish that was a line from The Onion. How I wish it was a politically incorrect joke made by Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live. Or something some crazy extremist had said somewhere where they were still flogging women in the streets. Unfortunately for ...

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Soufflé, the mango-licious way!

Mangoes, especially the luscious Chaunsa, evoke happy memories of sultry summer evenings with my late father when a mango mania of sorts would prevail over our home. A connoisseur of fine food, he would narrate numerous stories of the famous 19th century Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib’s love for mangoes as part of the ritual of devouring them. It is well-known that Ghalib’s love for mangoes took precedence over his love for poetry and this oft repeated anecdote about a donkey is my favourite; a close friend of Ghalib’s, who saw a donkey sniffing and then turning away from a heap ...

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Connecting India’s Zindagi with Pakistan’s

The screen came to light and the hall in Taj Hotel, New Delhi, was suddenly filled with loud echoes of applause. Sitting in a corner, I also participated in the emotional event, clapped with all my heart and tried to gather all the thoughts going through my head. I couldn’t believe that such a great step was being taken during my lifetime. Team members of the Zee Zindagi channel and Imran Abbas, a Pakistani actor, accompanied by Sultana Siddiqui, a Pakistani director, were attending a video conference with a gathering of bloggers from Delhi. Imran was in Mumbai and he spoke to ...

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Do your parents a favour and eat at home this Ramazan

According to a recent research, people in Pakistan spend 47.7% of their income on fast food and beverages. If we compare this to the spending patterns of other countries we will realise that this is, in fact, a very high ratio. Eating out is a popular pastime for the people of Pakistan – we are seen at restaurants, food courts and even food stands during festivals and celebrations. Ramazan, ironically, is like a month of food festivities for us. With people choosing different food for sehri and iftar, in Ramazan we are seen frequenting food outlets a lot more than in any ...

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