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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Why we should not ‘force’ our children to watch the ritual of qurbani

Children from the entire area had gathered on the roadside, nearby a lavish bungalow in our community. A sacrifice was about to be offered in the name of God. I looked at their faces: frantic, joyous, excited, confused and clueless. I couldn’t help but wonder, how many of these kids have an idea about what was going to happen? By the look of it, it seemed that they were surrounding the giant camel and the butcher merely for the thrill. Thrill is an interesting emotion if you put it in the context of the Abrahamic sacrifice. Because seeking thrill is not the purpose of this religious ...

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RIP Toni Morrison: Thank you for showing us the power of words

On Tuesday, August 6, 2019, my Twitter exploded with Toni Morrison’s powerful and resonating words. After the news of her death spread, her fans honoured her by floating in the words that she had gifted us with before she departed from this world. "If there is a book that you want to read but it hasn't been written yet, you must be the one to write it," Toni Morrison said. We are all so lucky to live in a world where she took her own advice and shared it with others. — Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 6, 2019 “If you surrendered to the air, ...

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#TherapistDiaries: What schizophrenia is – and isn’t

If you start seeing, hearing and feeling things which nobody else can, you are either going to be tagged as having a ghostly experience or be labelled as a dangerous and ‘crazy’ person. And the problem with both of these titles is that they are incredibly dehumanising. As a child, I would see people on the streets and in shrines with no sense of their surroundings. They would stare at you endlessly, talk gibberish, stay in extremely hard-to-maintain postures for long hours and scream at things you could not see. They fought with invisible beings and tried to shut ...

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Is LUMS an ‘elitist’ institution?

Over the past few months, LUMS was caught in a storm of scrutiny. Many current students reported having their financial aid for the coming academic year decreased or completely pulled out in most cases. Students took to social media to ask for funds; collecting their semester fee rupee by rupee. During this fiasco, the dog-eared label of ‘elitist’ was once again attached to LUMS by critics online. I am struggling with paying for my next semester at LUMS since I've been denied aid like several other kids this time for no good reason. I'm trying to raise 389,347PKR and I have ...

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#TherapistDiaries: Deep affection or just toxic possessiveness?

She was the prettiest one in her big family. The most eligible bachelors of the family had animosity between them because of her. Each of them felt possessive towards her and did not like other contenders approaching her. The two strongest candidates among them even ended up in a physical brawl due to their jealousy. Sounds familiar? This was a story on National Geographic about a certain species of monkeys. Humans aren’t much different, are they? Recently, I was watching the Indian drama film, Kabir Singh, and noticed that a huge number of people praised it for its portrayal of affection. However, what the ...

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