Stories about care

Amidst the cold, chilly world, their hearts were warm

The sweet smell of gingerbread cookies filled the chilly air in the crowded market on Christmas Eve. A choir of young men and women stood in lines, singing cheery Christmas carols in their melodious voices. They wore black robes over their dresses and held gold candles in the palm of their hands. Amidst the crowd, a lush evergreen conifer tree sat in the middle of the marketplace. Beautiful ornaments of all colours covered the tree and glittered under the dim light of the tiny fairy lights which twinkled in warm shades of yellow, red and green. To complete the look, a large ...

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Being a Lady 101: Don’t sit like that, don’t wear makeup, don’t play sports

In our part of the world, our society comes equipped with a ‘sorting hat’ of sorts. When a girl is born, the hat is placed on her head and she is given an instant identity of a daughter, niece or a sister. As she grows older the identity keeps evolving; she becomes a wife, a mother, a grandmother and then she dies. Of course men are also handed the same titles too, a son, a brother, a husband etc. However in more cases than not, it is not what gives them their identity. An alcoholic husband who beats his wife ...

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Parenting in Pakistan: An unhealthy mix of care and competition

Having lived abroad for nearly five years, I have become a keen observer of certain behavioural differences between Pakistani children, and those raised in the US or the UK. I firmly believe that cultural differences in early childhood decide who we become in our adulthood. A lot is determined by how parents and family members react to a child’s behaviour in his initial years of life, thereby instilling in him either a rightful or an inappropriate sense of what is correct or wrong. Each year during my annual trip to Pakistan, I noticed aggressive behaviour in Pakistani children which people in our country conveniently term as ...

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An open letter to Junaid Jamshed

Dear JJ Sahib, First of all, condolences for the recent situation you find yourself in. It is most unfortunate that our first correspondence be in times that are possibly troubling for you. With the formalities out of the way, I have a confession to make – I really could not care less about your situation. Why then am I writing you a letter? Like others from my generation, I grew up listening to your songs. I met you 15 years ago, backstage after a concert. I was a star-crazed teenager and you were, well, a star. You gave me a hug and laughed ...

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Will Pakistani acid victims ever be as lucky as Turia Pitt?

Some people are just more fortunate than others. That’s how this world works. This thought resonated in my mind as I read about Turia Pitt, a model-turned engineer who suffered 65% burns on her body during a bushfire in Australia. That was three years ago. Now, she is an author and an active charity fundraiser. In her own words she is, “the luckiest girl in the world.” She recently appeared on the front cover of Australian Women’s Weekly, with her resilient scars and her remarkable confidence. I wish we had more Turias in Pakistan. Turia Pitt on the cover of ...

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10 reasons moms have superpowers and dads don’t!

Although parenthood has its pros – where we can make our strongest pains go away by a simple kiss on our children’s forehead – it can also be difficult to handle at times. Therefore, a little appreciation for the tasks our parents do for us is enough to make their day. Hence, keeping the nature of the day in mind, I have attempted to list down 10 reasons why our moms deserve special recognition. (Dads, please don’t feel left out. Remember, Father’s Day is round the corner too, so you’ll get your list as well.) Privacy Dads have the privilege to use the washroom privately, at their ...

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World Thalassemia Day: Is Pakistan not charitable enough?

My dear homeland not only lingers behind in valuable energy resources but also lacks in philanthropy and benevolence. Very few people endeavour to promote human welfare and even fewer perform charitable tasks in our society. We hardly desire or care about doing something to help the less fortunate. A spider bite may not be able to transform you into a superhero but a tiny needle prick and a little bit of your time definitely can. Yes, you can become a super hero and for that, all you have to do is donate blood. All of us know that giving blood provides an essential lifeline ...

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Are you doomed to disappear?

Tick… goes the wonderful sound.  Tick… there it is again. Ah, the joyous sound! Ah, the wonderful sound. Tick… Ah, the harsh sound! Ah, the destructive sound! Tick… we ignore it. Tick… we do not care for it. Tick… the weight it carries! Tick, but we do not worry. We do not care. Tick, we ignore its value, its worth. Tick… that one second, so different for everybody. In that same moment but so very different for everyone. In that one tick of the clock, a child hears he has become the number one in school… so excited! In that one tick, a man cries on hearing about his mother’s death… so sad. Same second, a man ...

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They said they would take care of our children in their manifestos, did they lie?

The majority of us, particularly those in the power corridors, may not remember that 2013 was declared the ‘Year of Child Rights’ in Pakistan on November 20, 2012 by the then prime minister of Pakistan while speaking at a function to commemorate Universal Children’s Day. Unfortunately, however, his government couldn’t take any tangible steps in the first two and half months of the year. 2013 was also the year of elections in Pakistan and we heard political parties share their programmes and manifestos with the masses and make commitments related to improving health, education, social protection and other social indicators. This blog is an attempt to ...

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In the Indian diplomat’s case, does anyone care about the nanny?

Paying a maid roughly 200 Indian Rupees (INR) an hour may seem overly generous in places like India and Pakistan where the job market is flooded with excess manpower. But can an Indian diplomat play by the same rules on American soil? Devyani Khobragade had relied on her diplomatic immunity to be able to import her own slice of cheap Indian labour to New York, but the US law intruded her haven nonetheless. She was arrested not only for paying the housekeeper less than half the minimum wage, but also for lying about it on her visa documents. There have been ...

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