Sadly, when it comes to sexual abuse, predators don’t discriminate

Earlier this month, I wrote about a case of rape against a minor in Kasur and at the end, I wrote with quite some conviction that I would be writing about a similar incident very soon. And, here I am doing just that. Last week, bodies of three minors were recovered by the police who seemed to have been murdered after being raped, in Chunian, Kasur. However, this time, the bodies discovered were not of girls, but of boys. On the Kasur incident: There will be accountability for all. Those who do not perform in the interest of the common man ...

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#TherapistDiaries: Dissociative Identity Disorder, the reality of multiple personalities

Imagine living in a helpless situation where you have no control over your life. You hold no power to transform or get out of it, where the inner world of imagination is the only escape. This is the very beginning of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID, previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder). Where a person has no conscious control over a variety of personality shifts accompanied by distinct sets of emotions, thoughts, language, accents, fashion sense and memories for each personality. The Three Faces of Eve is a classic example of this disorder which is why the movie is included in curriculum of ...

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When a reluctant hajji went for hajj

“Beta hum is saal hajj par zaroor jaen gai!” (We will definitely go for hajj this year!) This was my mother’s constant iteration since the beginning of 2019. Each time she would say this, I would inwardly cringe and make a silent prayer for this to not happen. I had heard hajj was difficult and some sort of a spiritual feeling was required from within. I didn’t possess even the slightest hint of the latter. Despite praying so much for it to be called off, on August 5, 2019, I found myself entering the Islamabad airport. Since everyone on my flight was a ...

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The indivisible relationship of Urdu and Karbala

Karbala is an event that carries no parallels and transcends beyond time and space. There have been several incidents where people have lost lives and families have been destroyed. However, Karbala is different; the events of Karbala are categorised as a climax of collective spatial and temporal oppression. At one time, in one location, all the violence that can possibly take place came together. The tale of this tragedy is never ending. Translated in different languages, it has inspired many people all over the world. However, the relationship of Karbala with Urdu is unique. As soon as Muharram starts, we ...

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When a dupatta and a nose ring become agents of patriarchy

Coming from a conservative Muslim family where your male cousins won’t even look at you if you are not wearing a dupatta, I have always felt that my body was constantly scrutinised and kept under the male gaze. Forcing clothing around my breasts and a silver wire around my nose was equivalent to patriarchy establishing its territory. My gender which is deemed to be the ‘lesser one’ was expected to wear a sexualised cloth and a ring in order to assert my cultural identity as it makes me ‘unique’ and less ‘westernised’. Women and their bodies have always been pedestalised to ...

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Give female writers space, both literal and figurative

An old wives’ tale that is often retold to children who refuse to take afternoon naps in their summer vacations, and would much rather spend time with their friends outside, is that summer is the perfect time to grow and, in order to do that, you must rest. Whether that is true or not, in my childhood, it was enough to convince me to take a nap because I wanted to grow taller than my friends. Although those hopeful naps didn’t work and my height did not kick-start itself into action, I still believe that summer is the perfect ...

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Dishonesty: an enduring tool that women carry to survive

Whether it is the fashion industry with their unrealistic beauty standards, politics with their manifestos and sham alliances, biased education systems with fixed agendas or desperate-for-profit corporations and their misleading claims, we are on the receiving end of tons of lies everyday. Despite honesty being a virtue everyone strives for, dishonesty is omnipresent.  However, I aim to specifically shed light at what the honesty of women means under the patriarchy, the forced and institutionalised dishonesty they have to engage in under this system and what affect that has on them. I argue that women are expected to lie all their ...

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#TherapistDiaries: Bipolar disorder is much more than mere mood swings

Bradley Cooper paced back and forth in the middle of the night, unable to figure out why a certain author had ended his epic saga in a certain way. He woke his old parents up from their sleep to inquire more about the author’s intentions and demanded immediate gratification for his queries. This scene from Silver Linings Playbook demonstrate the protagonist’s struggle with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is characterised by shifts and changes in moods that are too overwhelming for the one experiencing them. These shifts can be concerning to the point of suicide as the restlessness and irritability grows. There are three categories ...

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#TherapistDiaries: Sibling conflicts could be more than what it seems

It is not brought up much, but every therapist who deals with adults, encounters a lot of people with sibling conflicts. There are many cases of hoarding a sibling’s property in my profession. The gender ratio is more or less equal, and at times, the spouse or in-laws of a sibling also play a part in these practices. Scar says to Mufasa in The Lion King, “I’m from the shallow end of the gene pool.” Jasmine*, a woman in her late 30s, had her property hoarded by her younger brother as soon as her husband died. Jasmine was financially independent but her house held emotional value for ...

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Eidul Azha, a distant dream I am stumbling to push into reality

Eidul Azha, in my mind, has always been a ‘lesser’ Eid. It has always existed under the shadow of Eidul Fitr. As a kid, it seemed ill-fitting to call Eidul Fitr a choti Eid because it held greater significance in my mind. It might be bari Eid for a warm-blooded carnivore like my father but not me. However, this year, I find myself clinging on to this religious event with the ferocity of a drowning man. With each passing year, Eid seems like a distant dream that we are all stumbling to push into reality. The real spirit that animated it ...

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