Stories published in June, 2015

Welcoming monsoon with assorted pakoras and spicy cardamom chai

With my eyes half open after a long afternoon siesta, I’d look above me to see the slow winding ceiling fan, hearing the monotonous humming of the air conditioner and lazily stretching as a loud crackle of thunder jolts me out of bed. Thinking back now, I can almost smell the dusty humidity outside, as I opened my bedroom window to be greeted by warm monsoon raindrops falling on my face, gracing the room with a breeze alive and the aroma rising from the kitchen below – of pakoras and sweet cardamom chai. It was that time of year again – when the Heavens’ descended ...

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Should he stay silent just because he is a Hindu MNA in a Pakistani National Assembly?

Lal Malhi’s one minute and thirteen seconds on the National Assembly floor this past week summed up more than just the ignorance of our elected representatives; it spoke to an alarmingly prevalent disregard for our Hindu citizens. That not all Hindus are Indian and that not all Indians are Hindu seems too complex a concept for most of us. If only these despicable “Hindu ga’ay ka pujari” (Hindus are cow-worshippers) slogans were an anomaly. Earlier this month, the hammer-wielding Lutf Lashari destroyed five idols in Durga Shiv Mandir (the story eerily broke in a very Fox News “let-me-tell-you-how-this-man-was-mentally-ill” style). Malhi also called attention to forced conversions: ...

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#HeatWave: Sindh can take lessons from Ahmedabad’s Heat Action Plan

The scorching heat last month in most of the central and southern India resulted in the death of 2,500 people. And it seems like it is Pakistan’s turn now. Yesterday, around 180 people lost their lives in Karachi due to an intense heat wave. India recorded its highest maximum temperature of 47 degrees Celsius / 117 degrees Fahrenheit, in Angul in the state of Odisha. Similarly Pakistan, in recent weeks, has suffered from one of the most severe heat waves in decades, with temperatures reaching as high as 45 degrees Celsius / 117 degrees Fahrenheit. This was the highest temperature recorded for the month since ...

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This Ramazan, go from smoking 20 to 4 cigarettes per day

Most Muslims who smoke refrain from smoking during the period of fasting, which may last up to 12-14 hours. Even after breaking their fast, most smokers smoke only a few cigarettes. Research has shown that somehow, during fasting, smokers do not have the urge to smoke. Those who smoke 25 cigarettes or more on a normal day, decrease the number of cigarettes to four or five a day during Ramazan. This provides an excellent opportunity for a smoker to get rid of this bad habit for good. With strong will power and a little extra effort, they can surely succeed in ...

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This Father’s Day, I choose to celebrate my mom

If you are fortunate enough, you will grow up with two supportive parents and live a happy, fulfilling life under their guidance and watchful eye. If you are even more blessed, you will be raised by one strong, courageous woman, who stands by you regardless of what the world has to say.  That woman is my mother. There are two sentiments in life I never want associated with me: pity and hatred. Why? Because my mother never introduced me to them and her judgment is one I will not question. So today, as I write this piece and dedicate it to the woman ...

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Hillary Clinton versus Jeb Bush: Who is the lesser of the two evils?

I typically never feel sorry for rich people. If they are politicians, in addition to being rich, then Lord have mercy on them. They’ll never escape my wrath. But Jeb Bush, who officially entered the US presidential race recently, clearly is an exception to this rule.  The guy is smart. His track record as an individual and as a politician hasn’t been too bad. He’s married to an immigrant – nothing less than a compliment for an American politician these days. His kids are a bit messed up, but kids will always be kids, especially if they belong to the Bush clan. However, and ladies and ...

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Why recognising the Charleston Church shooting as an act of racially motivated terrorism is only the first step

I took a moment of silence. A long moment… as I struggled to sort through my emotions while I watched the breaking news reports that gunshots had torn through Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, around 9pm Wednesday. Nine people gathered for a prayer meeting were killed. The shots were fired by Dylann Roof, a white man in his early 20s, who entered the church, worshipped with the members and later opened fire. The massacre will be investigated as a hate crime, Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said. However, by definition, it was a domestic act of terrorism and the gunman, a terrorist. As ...

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A tribute to a police officer, from his daughter

“He is also some $%&@^ police officer,” jested a friend while talking about a recent incidence. And certain uneasiness took over me. I was not new to this uncalled for ridicule but every time it happened, it would hit me with new intensity. Part of me wanted to scream and let everyone know that I am a competent and honest police officer’s daughter and that they should stop generalising all of them. But the wiser part of me felt threatened and cornered, as it knew that everyone would nod and agree for the moment but start complaining and mocking the moment ...

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Father’s Day: I wasn’t daddy’s little princess

One of my fondest memories of my father, more lovingly known as Abu Saleem, is when he would return home from Germany and I’d find him lying down right in the middle of the living room with everyone casually sitting around him because social norms were something he cared very little for. But what a treat it was to see him. I’d go running to place myself on top of his belly, for his body would serve as a regal mattress (in my five-year-old head). Taking advantage of this close proximity I would always ask him the same question, “Abu, how did you get that ...

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2015 MotoGP: 7 races down and the battle has just begun

It feels like it happened only yesterday, when the opening race of the 2015 MotoGP season took place at the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar. The night of the March 29th cannot be forgotten; how can it be? We got to witness the Yamaha M1 blazing past the Ducati Desmosedici GP15, one that literally astounded everyone by its scorching pace. The finish by Valentino Rossi stunned everyone when the 35-year-old stood at the top step of the podium, making everyone clear about his intentions. Valentino Rossi. Photo: Reuters Rossi is the championship leader with 25 points And that’s not all. When ...

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