Stories published in October, 2016

Do we need finishing schools in Pakistan? YES!

As a fresh high school graduate, I remember resisting my mother’s assertion on how I should join an etiquette school to keep my summers productive. If it were up to me, I would have loved to vegetate on my couch and watch all the TV shows and movies I had missed out on during examination week. I vividly recall her retorting, “It’ll really help you conduct yourself with poise and dignity.” I thought to myself then, as if I wasn’t already a lady? Do I really need it? What would I possibly learn more from it? Reminiscing back to that point ...

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The dark hope of freedom

They could clearly hear the sound of wailing from their neighbour’s house. Another suspected freedom fighter was dead at the hands of the Indian army. Guilty or not, it didn’t really matter and guilty of what? Ayaan thought. Of trying to free themselves from the evil tyrants? He glanced at his mother and saw her praying. Obviously praying for the safety of her family and for peace in Kashmir. His mother was a dreamer despite the hell she had been through but Ayaan himself had given up on hopes and dreams, all he focused on was blending in with ...

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My guitar and me

My interest in music developed when I was in the third grade. I began to play the flute and snare drums. My parents had always made it a point to get me involved in extracurricular activities and music was on top of that list. One day, my father told me to move on and learn how to play a ‘proper’ instrument – not that flutes and snare drums aren’t, but he wanted me to venture further. Maybe he saw something I couldn’t see at the time. So, as any other obedient child would, I complied. He encouraged me to learn ...

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“Oh, it’s just a small cut so why are you complaining?”

“Oh, it’s just a small cut so why are you complaining?” Those are the words of Filzah Sumartono from AWARE – a group dedicated to women’s rights – when she tries to talk about the taboo subject with members of her community. It is astounding that people avoid this topic with a wave of the hand, branding it as a “small cut” especially when the effects of such a procedure can be damaging – both physically and mentally. According to Orchid Project, girls and women can suffer from emotional distress throughout their lives, not to mention having feelings of fear, helplessness, ...

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My body is not an object, breast cancer is not a joke

There was a time I believed that campaigning for a cause never really achieved much. But once I stepped into my university, I came to realise the level of ignorance around me regarding topics as common as cancer and abuse, and I acknowledged that there was a dire need to educate the masses – before taking any other steps. However, even this task isn’t easy considering that people will consequently avoid or have close to no interest even if any such campaigns are set up. I personally witnessed such a reaction, and I was outraged. I ended up steaming it off as a ...

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This winter, let’s get fishy!

I’ve always been fond of seafood. Whether you’re a diehard pescatarian or just a seafood lover, you’re probably in need of some fresh ideas – which is why I thought I’d share one of my favourite recipes; a quick fix that will hopefully inspire you to incorporate more seafood into your meals considering it’s a very important part of a healthy diet. Speaking of seafood, did you know that October is national seafood month this time around in the United States? So why not celebrate something in the name of the One World One Ocean campaign*? Plus this recipe is a winner! It’s so simple, does not require any lengthy marinating ...

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The policeman slapped her across the face. On TV. But we will blame the woman

In a shocking display of aggression, a police officer assaulted a media person. Since then, social media has exploded into a plethora of arguments as to who is more to blame: the woman who was assaulted or the man who assaulted her. You can clearly see that the attack was unprovoked – she merely tugged at his shoulder, and even though whatever she said was verbally charged, no words or actions of hers warranted the attack by the policeman. According to the news channel, the LEA personnel shoved her as well and in later videos, there were sounds of gunshots as well. Most ...

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Does team green have a chance against Australia? Nope

After having been dethroned from the number one spot in the Test ranking by India, Pakistan would be itching to retain what they feel is rightfully theirs. The jubilant Test side, headed by the iconic Misbahul Haq, has thus far proven what it is capable of as one unit; all of which is due to their coaching staff, fantastic captain and the players themselves. Misbah’s team still has a long way to go in the Test series.Photo: Reuters Everyone back home expects an easy 3-0 series win in the on-going Test series against the West Indies in the UAE, although the nail biting ...

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The son of an MPA raped me: Will I not get justice?

Last Friday night, Sofia Shahid, a woman from Bhatti Colony in Rahim Yar Khan, filed a report with the Saddar Khanpur Police alleging that she had been raped by Qamar Khan Rind, the son of Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) MPA Nawaz Khan Rind. Ms Shahid was interviewed by various local news channels while she was at the police station. She described how she was kidnapped from her house (along with her son) and raped by Qamar while his accomplices stood by. She also told reporters that the police were not cooperating with her and were yet to register her complaint. While this matter will hopefully ...

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The educated housewife: A choice, not a chore

Until recently I’d felt that feminism, when it came to women working, was baseless because in most modern families, women can choose to either work or stay at home. But I’ve come to realise that the only reason I feel this way is because I’m lucky enough to have been raised in an environment where I am not expected to give up my dreams because of something as trivial as my gender. Let me tell you a story. I know someone who married at the age of twenty-six, of her own accord. She had already completed her Bachelor’s degree with a ...

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