Stories about alone

Series 5 Finding salvation Part 1 ‘Love allergy’

The old rickshaw came to a skidding halt in front of the station. He poked his head out and looked at the busy station in distress. Saleem hated noisy places. Paying the driver in change, he got off. He threw his backpack on his shoulder and hesitantly waded through the crowd squinting for the ticket booth. “This has to be oldest train station in this province!” He thought irritably wrinkling his nose at the touch and smell of other human beings. The stench was unbearably strong. What to say of the germs this crowd must be carrying around. After struggling for ...

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I am a ‘jihadi’ in Australia

He was drunk and it was apparent from the way he walked towards me. After a few steps, he put his elbow on my shoulder and stood next to me with a glass of red wine in his hand. We were both in our service dresses and I did not expect this. I held my breath instinctively because of the smell of wine as he spoke in a slur, “Hello sir, I hope you won’t mind having a chat?” This guy was a sergeant who spent a year in Afghanistan with NATO forces and was working in my office with the ...

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Pay attention to where and whom you’re sending your child to

Our children are not safe. December 16th was proof of that. Whether they are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), drone victims or survivors/fatalities in terrorist attacks – children have paid the price for our wars. They have become collateral damage in a war they know nothing about. And as if all of this isn’t scaring parents everywhere as it is, there are the undocumented madrassas – the countless, unmonitored religious seminaries, where parents send their children to learn the message of God. Reports have frightening statistics. They are free to air hate speech via loudspeakers. They are free to brainwash young and innocent minds. There ...

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Steven Gerrard, you will never walk alone

All the suspense regarding Steven Gerrard’s future at Liverpool came to an end when, on January 2nd, he finally announced his departure from his beloved hometown club. He described this as “the toughest decision” of his life. The Reds captain will bring the curtain down on a glittering Anfield career that has spanned almost 17 years. This decision comes at a time when the club is struggling at the eighth Premier League spot and has been knocked out of the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, to which they returned after three season’s absence. Gerrard mentioned that he will not be playing ...

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Cut from the same cloth: Of Javed Hashmi and Imran Khan

“The army is behind Imran Khan”, said Makhdoom Javed Hashmi – one of Pakistan’s most celebrated politicians and a living saint to thousands of his followers. On September 2, Hashmi came out with startling revelations that Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaaf (PTI), was allegedly acting on the military’s behalf. The proclamation sent shockwaves across the country as the realisation set in that one of Pakistan’s most popular politicians’ is an army errand boy. Hashmi became an unlikely saviour for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan’s deeply flawed democratic system, currently being challenged by Khan. Protests against the government have rocked ...

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Not her fault

I saw her eyes as she begged, I said forgive me and she left, I wondered what her life was like, Why she begged, where she slept at night. Because her feet were bare, Her clothes were torn, But was it her fault that she was born? In a family that can’t give her, All the things a child may want? *** Five-years-old when they came, Broke her innocence, broke her to shame, But why should she feel this way? Was the pain not enough, and now the shredded name? She was found somewhere in a ditch alone, Her clothes were torn, Her smile was gone. But was it her fault that she was born? In a world that gives men, All ...

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The hunt for honour

The sun was up and the air was taking a morning nap. The streets ran the regular barking commotion, And cockcrow shrieks were deafening the pedestrians walking by. The birds crowded the sky as if signalling a warning coming by. The surrounding racket favoured their hunt so much, That some even supposed the gods were on their side that day.   Soon, they spotted their prey, Unescorted, alone, trying her best not to be noticed and mind her way. If only I had an invisibility veil, she thought to herself. Praying under her breath on every step to reach home in one piece.   But they were too many, armed with anything strong and blunt They ...

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I rise, I am the dream and the hope of the slave – Maya Angelou

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou A great soul has left us. Everyone is saddened by the passing of one of the most celebrated poet, writer, teacher, artist, dancer, director and civil rights activist, Dr Maya Angelou, who died on May 28, 2014, at the age of 86. People will never forget how Angelou made them feel. Poet, critic and scholar Joanne M Braxton remembers her as “America’s most visible black female auto biographer”. To me, when I think of Angelou ...

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Her: Would you date a computer software?

If I were to describe the movie Her in one word, my choice would be ‘disturbing’. I use this word deliberately because of the fact that I was actually able to relate to the movie and just this alone was frightening. I recognised Theodore’s (Joaquin Phoenix) behaviour as irrational and somewhat ludicrous, but I understood his need; this is what scared me. Her plays on the primal human need of intimacy. In a very poetically beautiful way, it provides the lonely and depressed Theodore with a companion who is a perfect emotional fit for him, but has a crucial flaw. Photo: IMDb This ...

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Living with Misophonia

‘What’s that awful ticking noise?’ ‘Who’s tapping their feet on the floor?’ ‘Why can’t people eat without making that annoying chomping sound?’ ‘You sip your tea, you don’t slurp it.’ ‘Make it stop. Make it STOP!’ ‘I’ll punch that person so hard. I’ll kill him.’ ‘I need to run. Run. Now!’ Too intense for you? Well, this is what a person suffering from Misophonia is thinking nearly all the time. The question arises, but why? And what is this disease? Misophonia is a neurological disorder, in which a person feels anxiety, and even rage in response to certain sounds, which may be loud or soft, and are very common. It is also termed ...

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