Stories published in July, 2016

The biggest treasure we can give our kids is to teach them about Edhi

He was not a mystic, an angel or someone from out of this world. He was a common man. He was from amongst us who stayed true to his roots and taught people a better way to live through his actions. What made Edhi stand out from everyone else was not by any sort of divine miracle, but because of the actions he took and decisions he made in his life. He faced poverty, lack of resources and odds (like all of us do) but he did not bow down or shy away from challenges; whenever he was faced with ...

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He was only a Buddhist by salutations, just like we are only Muslims by virtue of rituals

If you visit the Tiananmen Square at any given day, you’ll see hoards of people flocking around in large groups. Some can be seen led by a guide, others trying to find an inlet to the tunnels that lead to the main square, turning the entire landmark into a beehive. Besides being the womb of the People’s Republic of China where Mao proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, the square also houses the Chairman’s mausoleum. On my 10 day visit to China, I found the Tiananmen Square to be the most religious of all spaces. It ...

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Teenage dreams and crunchy chilli and corn aaloo cutlets

One of my brothers likes to tell the story of how when he was back in Karachi during one of his college breaks, he walked into the kitchen to find a girl he had not seen before with her head submerged in our deep freezer, furtively foraging for something to eat. When he asked her who she was, she responded by asking him who he was to which he said, “I live here.” To which she exasperatingly replied, “I’ve never seen you before.” My poor brother then retorted, “Well, I haven’t seen you either.” Once they has resolved their impasse and she had told him ...

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China – a brave new world

Think of China for a second and images of Manchurian with hot sauce and lots of ketchup will come to mind. Think for a few seconds longer and you will be thinking about dragons, chop sticks, an alien language and possibly one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Now picture a country that has preserved its culture and adopted many features and aspects of the world that are familiar to you. Picture a country that, in its attempt to merge the old and new, the conventional and the extraordinary, has inevitably begotten a brave new macrocosm. Be there or be square Galileo’s theory about ...

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Why I refuse to mourn Abdul Sattar Edhi

After I got to know of Edhi’s demise, I couldn’t sleep at night. My mind kept going back to the work he carried out and the people he left behind. I kept scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed which was full of posts by people mourning this great loss and saying that no hope was left for Pakistan anymore. For some time, I repeated the same things inside my head but then it hit me that it would take a lifetime for the world to see another like him. There was literally no one to walk the earth the way this ...

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Sultan: Salman Mubarak!

You could very well yap out those stimulatingly fervent lines like Sly Stallone from any of the Rocky’s instalments. Good on ya for mastering all there is to learn about martial arts by simply watching Mr Miyagi mentor The Karate Kid (1984).  Or perhaps, you are now effectively able to roll with the heaviest of punches – thanks to Russell Crowe’s James Braddock from Cinderella Man (2005). It doesn’t frikkin matter how many classic underdog movies you have watched in your lifetime, because Sultan is unlike any other sports drama that you would ever have witnessed. “Why?” you ask naively. I blurt ...

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“Her wedding ring is way too big; it’s probably fake” – Women, their own worst enemy

“OMG she’s so fat” “She works full-time, I’m sure she has no time for her kids” “Did you know she has a boyfriend? She’s so characterless” I am sure that like me, everyone has heard or even made such comments at one time or another. That is the hard, unfortunate reality. What is harder to accept is that these are mostly being directed at women BY other women! While it is inexcusable and downright wrong for either gender to be commenting like that, shouldn’t we, of all people, be more empathetic towards fellow women? Coming from a patriarchal society, most men are infused with a false sense ...

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Will Pakistan be able to emulate its 1987 Test victory over England?

The year 1987 is knows as the golden year in the history of Pakistan cricket because of the many memorable victories it bagged back then. A monumental series win in Headingley, England, against England itself, was a great comeback after a series loss back in 1982. Imran Khan takes his 300th Test wicket, Jack Richards caught by Ijaz Ahmed for 2.Photo: Getty Photos For the first time, our cricket team was invited to play a full Test series (five matches) in England. After a defeat in the first two Tests, our team was on its way to Headingley, Leeds, ...

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Will China ever allow India to be part of the Nuclear Suppliers Group?

Before the start of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) plenary session in Seoul on June 24, 2016, the word was out that China would not be supporting India’s membership into the NSG. China had exhibited a similar reluctance towards India’s bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. Although China managed to stonewall India’s application, what came as a total surprise to them was that out of 48 countries, 44 countries openly supported its membership; evidence of India being recognised as an emerging global power. In fact, the Chinese negotiator was pulled up because of the unprecedented support India received at the meeting. Those who have been following ...

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“There will be no Eid here. Eid makes no difference to me”

“Eid makes no difference to me. I only wait for rain.” He answered. Standing under a rare tree shade Ali Murad Sathio waited for his turn to get water from the pump. Yes, it was true. He did not care for Eid – or any event, for that matter. It had been a few years since he stopped caring. Still, whenever someone mentioned Eid, his thoughts travelled back to the fateful Eid days, three-years-ago. His beautiful mother had prepared him for Eid day. She had managed to cook one sweet dish which was as delicious as the nectar of the heavens. Or at least that was how ...

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