Stories about alcoholism

An infallible love

A penny for your thoughts, A dollar for your words, A fortune for your loyalty, So logical yet so absurd. You are my confidant, You are my friend, You are my rainbow after the rain, You are the means to my end. I tell you my secret, With you, I trust my darkest desire, And when the night is cold and harsh, You stoke the flames of my fire. You make me more, More than I have known before, More than I can fathom, dream or conjure, Like the first time a child caresses their mother’s skin, you complete me so. I want to hold you, cherish you, And keep you in my arms, Until the bells ...

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Nandita Das does justice to the iconoclastic Manto in a way Sarmad Khoosat could not

Viewing the trailer of Nandita Das’s Manto was a great pleasure, especially since prior to seeing Sarmad Khoosat’s biopic of Saadat Hasan Manto released in 2015, I had not seen its trailer. Comparisons of Das’s version with Khoosat’s trailer will seem inevitable, even much-needed, given what the respective directors and main actors are trying to prove in a short span of less than three minutes, if the trailers are to be believed. Das’s Manto, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, comes across as an iconoclast and a rebel right from the opening scene of the trailer, where Manto is shown to be in ...

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How I became a drunken, cheating swine who destroyed his marriage

The year is 2011. It’s 8:30am. I am in the lounge, staring out of the window. “How do I look?” her words make me turn back. There she is, all ready to go to work. She is 33 but looks much younger and she looks beautiful in the blue suit she is wearing today. “You look lovely,” I respond, stating an obvious truth. “Do you love me?” is inevitably the next question. “Of course I do,” I respond trying to sound as convincing I can. I have to make an effort here because although this is true, it cannot be called an “obvious” truth ...

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Drug addicts are born, not made

He brushed off the litter of ash from his clothes, pursed the filter between his nicotine stained lips, and inhaled another deep drag of chemically-infused smoke. He allowed the sensation of the hit to take over his entire body, feeling his head spin and his body go numb. It was like the doors of a dam opening, as a whirlwind of thoughts rushed through his head in chaos. His thoughts rested at their favourite home track where his train of thought often took him – why did he continue to do the same things over and over again, expecting different results each ...

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Chronicling Safia Manto’s support for a man who courted controversy

Chronicling Safia Manto, my grandmother, would be no mean feat. A woman who lived in the shadow of her beloved husband and renowned short-story writer, Saadat Hassan Manto, her story went largely untold till the recent release of Manto, the film. She has only lived in the folklore of my dreams; I being born 6 years after her untimely demise in November 1977. As much I have heard from familial sources about her magnanimity, humility as a human being besotted with a kindred heart and soul, I cannot even fathom what I missed out on. Sometimes fate and destiny are so closely intertwined, that we ...

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Manto: A legend untold

You walk into the cinema to learn about the crests and troughs of the life of a legendary and notoriously controversial writer and you come out somehow transformed, armed with the knowledge of what it means to be human, what it feels like to be helpless when you’re at odds, at war with the world. Manto looks unsparingly at a fragile and insecure man who dared to pen his inner most secrets and desires, passions and emotions, and his need to find an outlet to unleash his inner conflagration, the outrageous fire, to confront and to go at war with ...

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For love of the printed word

In the summer of 2010, a colleague brought a new newspaper to work. The workplace had a number of publications coming in but this one made an immediate impact. The type face was bold, the pictures vibrant with colour and the stories were fresh. It was sassy without being saucy and with enough hard hitting content to make me read it cover to cover in one go. The newspaper was The Express Tribune (ET) and fast becoming the young reader’s choice. The reasons were obvious. Compared to the staid fare ladled out by competing newspapers, The Express Tribune was talking about issues prevalent but ...

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Pakistani media should learn something from India’s Satyamev Jayate

Hypocrisy is one of Pakistan’s most wide-spread epidemics. The channel, which defamed and criticised a respectable educationist for ‘corrupting the youth’ of Pakistan by imparting sex education, occasionally airs inappropriate content full of sexual references during prime time. How exactly are we supposed to explain to our children what rape, ziyadti (dishonour), prostitution and najaiz jinsi taluqaat (inappropriate sexual relations) are when they hear these words on TV? Not only is the timing inapt but sometimes, it is also the content. Most of the channels have identical programs in which they ‘expose’ selected evils of the society. Some months ago, a channel aired a story about a ...

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