Stories about cancer

Rest in peace Hugo Chávez

Hugo Chávez, the revolutionary, charismatic, socialist leader of Venezuela succumbed to cancer on Tuesday, March 5. He was 58-years-old. As a skinny-twelve-year-old, with big feet, played with his siblings in the Venezuelan border town of Sabaneta, he must have had hopes and dreams for his future. But who would have had the foresight to imagine that this ambitious boy would grow up to be one of the most electrifying presidents the region had seen? Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías was born on July 28, 1954. He was raised by his grandmother after he and an older brother were placed with her following ...

Read Full Post

The wonderful world of science

These first two weeks of February have been heavy on some really cool science news. A bionic eye that would help people with a rare sight disorder was approved by regulators, scientists found signs of life deep under a glacial lake in Antarctica, a meteor exploded over Russia’s Ural mountains with an estimated power of around 30 atomic bombs and just around midnight on February 16 (Pakistan Standard Time), the DA14 asteroid passed within some 27,000 kilometres of Earth. (That is around 10 round trips between Karachi and Islamabad by road.) Phew! But perhaps, one of the most interesting science-related news I ...

Read Full Post

Tony Greig: More than the sum of the parts

The first time I heard of Anthony William Greig I was listening into a Test Match special in 1972 – the first Ashes test at Old Trafford. The voice of John Arlott describing Greig scoring a 50, when England was in need of runs. He scored another 50 in the second and then took a few wickets in Australia’s last knock. The match is remembered for a late assault by Rod Marsh, when Australia looked down and out. It did not win the match, but for us serial non-England supporters created last session excitement. In those days live television was rare and when I ...

Read Full Post

Yuvraj Singh has taught me a vital lesson

These were the words of an international cricketer – coming back home – who a couple of days earlier, did not know if he would ever play cricket again. The morning of April 9, 2012 saw Yuvraj Singh arrive back in India- this time, not as a world-class cricketer but as a cancer survivor. Received by his mother, Shabnam Singh, at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, he seemed nothing less than a champion having hit cancer for a six. Moreover, the ingenuous welcome by his devotees reflected nothing but incalculable approbation, besides the expected media frenzy. Barely does an ...

Read Full Post

Radiated mind

I painfully limp towards a pile of poetry buried in dust, Devouring words and lines Like the bittersweet intoxication of a spinal tap; To feed a brain long dormant For three months in a hospital bed.   To awaken the poet that almost died, Words wither away and sentences snarl imperfection. Nocturnal witching hours are spent in pursuit of creativity, Hopelessly. I had the word! And now it’s gone, In the fuzzy, indistinct chatter of air-conditioning vents.   Claustrophobia. A plastic mask clasped me during cranial radiation, Like an implacable pillow in the hands of a killer. A tight white prison For technicolor sensibilities, Banning any muses from melting through.   My mind is nothing without my art. And to escape from the eternal facade, I present to ...

Read Full Post

Soldiers of life

I was at work when my sister broke the news that my aunt had been diagnosed with lung cancer. This news left my entire family in shock. We decided to meet immediately to fast and pray together for her health. That day, we felt the amazing grace of God and His presence in our lives as each and every member of the family bowed down in prayer for my aunt. As the days passed, I visited her regularly and talked to her for hours. These frequent visits have brought us closer and I now realise that I had never given her ...

Read Full Post

Remembering my Misil

Mother’s Day is here, but June 1, 1998 will never come again. Today I am writing about my mother, my Misil, for the first time in the last 13 years. She was a simple lady. We never knew her date or year of birth. The only thing we knew was that she was born during the barsaat (monsoon season). I don’t remember an instance when she took longer than 10 minutes to get ready to go somewhere. She never wore make-up. She was even simpler in her eating habits. She would eat anything except for baingan (eggplant). While cooking, she made her ownmasalas; her biryani was pretty ...

Read Full Post

In marriage, golden jubilee anniversaries do happen

Sometimes memories of the years that have passed roll on in front of our eyes like old black and white movies. On April 8, every year since 1962, I have felt that way and am reminded each year of the day I married my beloved wife. This year is our golden jubilee anniversary, and I plan to celebrate it with my wife by my side, God willing. On this day, I intend to invite our relatives and friends, not to celebrate the day we got married, but the happy days we have spent together and how we have made an impact ...

Read Full Post

Let’s talk about breast cancer

I saw a patient yesterday. She was a 40-year-old mother of three, her youngest daughter only six. The patient had gone to a general surgeon because of a breast mass and she had been referred to me for diagnostic work up. The lady told me that she’d had the mass for over a year. I asked her why she hadn’t seen a doctor earlier, and she said that she hadn’t wanted to draw attention to herself. The family had limited resources and she did not wanted to become an additional burden. My patient had cancer. I suspected as much the moment I saw ...

Read Full Post

Heroes die, legends live forever: RIP Steve Jobs

They say that till your deathbed, you will remember the exact moment you learned of a significant global event. I remember all of mine, so far. I recall, as a child, I was listening to the radio with my parents in Saudi Arabia, when Sadam Hussein invaded Kuwait. I recollect celebrating in my cousin’s home in Riyadh, when Imran Khan lifted the cricket world cup. During the fateful hour on September 11th, I was listening to the Howard Stern radio show, who was broadcasting live from New York near the twin towers. And just a few hours ago, on ...

Read Full Post