Stories about child abuse

The “Maasi” competition only celebrated the weaknesses of our domestic help by using them as props for a privilege-fest

We had a helper at home who we called maasi (maid). We never thought it was wrong or degrading. That was up until someone called me that word during a fight and I felt deeply wronged. I was 14, easily hurt, and crying about it to someone and they consoled me by saying, “Maa-si: Maa (mother) and si (like). Being a maasi means like a mother. What is there to cry about?” That stopped my tears momentarily and gave me something to think about. Mai. Maasi. Kaam waali. Bhangan. Choori – these aren’t just job titles designated for the lowest and the most disenfranchised women of our country; ...

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Big Little Lies delves deeper than rich people and their rich people problems

On the surface and from its trailer, Big Little Lies seems like a trashy (albeit high quality) show about rich people and their rich people problems, with a little murder thrown in. The HBO show is based on Liane Moriarty’s novel  of the same name and is brimming with stars. It’s safe to say that recently, just about everyone has been talking about this show. There are schoolyard squabbles among parents, marriages crumbling from the inside, and glass houses with breathtaking views of the beach. But what the show actually brings is empathy to all its characters, even the ones that start off as clichés. Right ...

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The shared experience of being tampered with as a child

Jack* did not have much of a childhood to write home about. That obviously did not hinder his meteoric rise, because as a young professional, he was already on top of his game. He was quite successful, with a six digit salary, vacations pre-planned for a year in advance, and stocks and bonds neatly sorted out. While he could hold onto investments with alacrity, what he couldn’t hold on to, for dear life, were relationships. Friends, men or women, would come and go from his life, with surprising frequency. To him, even his biological family, the little he had, felt like it was on borrowed time. I think the lack ...

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Yasir Hussain is atrocious, but you’re not any better

Most Pakistanis have already moved on from outrage to the inevitable “forgive him and move on” phase, but the despicable nature of Yasir Hussain’s comment will never be lost on the victims of child molestation in Pakistan. For those who have not been on the internet for a week, at the Hum TV Awards, Hussain looked at Udaari star Ahsan Khan and said, “Itna khoobsurat child molester, kaash mein bacha hota.” (Such a beautiful child molestor, if only I were a child.) I haven't watched #Udaari but it was such a sensitive topic that i can't imagine someone making a joke on it.Sickening humor ...

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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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She is six and her name is Sarima

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there was a little princess called Sarima*. But wait, this is not a fairy tale. This is a slap in the face of a society that greatly lacks humanity. In this tale of woe, Sarima is a 6-year-old girl whose body was found in a dirty drain in Karachi’s Korangi Crossing area. She had been raped, mutilated and left for dead. When her lifeless body was located and taken to the Civil Hospital, it was a miracle she was still breathing. No one thought she would make it, but she did. God ...

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You can’t run to America anymore Pakistan, time to fix yourself now!

The mayor of a small West Virginia town has resigned after facing backlash following the endorsement of a Facebook post calling Michelle Obama an ape in heels and thus became the poster woman of the America that will now be made great. This might trigger some pretty intense flashbacks for some Pakistanis (hint: Tractor trolleys) but of course in this country, resigning isn’t a thing. Although mortified apologies have been made, the fact is no one really believed that the US would become what it is at this moment (except for my mum), that Trump would win (mum called it), that ...

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Does it arouse you to watch someone getting raped, India?

Real videos of rape are being sold in Uttar Pradesh, India. For Rs20 to Rs300. No, this is not a joke. Really think about that for a second. The person you know or heard of, that girl? Who got raped? Yes, the video is of her being raped. Again. And again and again. By not one, not two but four people. Four people who take turns holding the shoddy camera phone with which they are recording their victim being torn apart – physically and mentally. They are clawing at her clothes, biting parts of skin that can be seen. Biting hard, until the ...

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I learned true parenting from a foster mother

I first saw her at my kid’s school; she stood out in the crowd, a beautiful brunette with hazel eyes, radiant smile and … a stroller full of babies. There were three kids; a boy and two girls. I asked her if the girls were twins. She said no; they were 11 months apart. She wasn’t their birth mum – she was fostering-to-adopt them. Being from a country where foster parenting is not a widely acclaimed subject, fostering-to-adopt piqued my interest. I wanted to get acquainted with her, and over the following months we did. We often met on school runs, while picking and dropping ...

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The faults in PEMRA’s decisions

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulation Authority – or PEMRA as we know it – is the body that aims to regulate and monitor content released in Pakistan on television and broadcasting networks.  This is their mandate: 1. Improve the standards of information, education and entertainment; 2. Enlarge the choice available to the people of Pakistan in the media for news, current affairs, religious knowledge, art, culture, science, technology, economic development, social sector concerns, music, sports, drama and other subjects of public and national interest; 3. Facilitate the devolution of responsibility and power to the grass roots by improving the access of the people to ...

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