Stories about child

There is no excuse for hitting your child, Adrian Peterson

The principal at the school I went to was notorious for canning its students. Every morning, right after the assembly was over, we would see a few students standing in a corner, waiting for him to arrive and give them a sound ‘punishment’ for all the ‘mischief’ they had caused. I, too, at times was told to accompany this separated lot and often cringe, even today, at the thought of those blows. Back then, it was a norm. A teacher could beat up a child and everyone would be fine with it. Sadly, the situation hasn’t changed much today. We still come ...

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Breathing life into the dying art of pottery

I still remember the days I spent as a child with my grandparents in Lahore. The nostalgic feeling of holding a cold ‘thoothi’ to eat feerni from – a Pakistani dessert made with milk and rice served in small clay plates – often dwells in my heart. Once done devouring the dessert, I used to save the small clay plates and make things out of those. Growing up, I didn’t realise when those clay plates got replaced by disposable boxes and paper plates. With our world becoming a global village, we’ve all become an industrialised mob who cares less for traditional methods and items. ...

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Gandhiji would have been proud of you, Kailash Satyarthi

Mr Kailash Satyarthi has come a long way since his engineering days at Samrat Ashok Technological Institute, Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, literally. My father, who was one year senior to this electrical engineering student, vividly remembers him as that shy, reticent, modest young man, from a middle-class background, who would come to the college in his staple kurta-payjama with a muffler tied around his neck. “Simple living, high thinking,” was his philosophy, recalls my father, a civil engineering student in 1970, adding that “he was different”. Mr Satyarthi would be aloof and would rarely mingle with others. One thing was clear to ...

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Dukhtar: A mother’s plight against child marriage

Rarely do movies of such calibre come along that transcend generations and provoke our greater thought process, not because of impressive visuals, A-list actors, extravagant set pieces and locales but because of its strong story-driven narrative – narrative that is deeply entrenched into the harsh realities of life, as opposed to a work of fiction.  Dukhtar too has a potential to lay claim to all of that and then some, thanks to its excellent subject matter. Dukhtar means ‘daughter’ in Farsi and Urdu dialects. The movie is predominately a story about the plights, miseries and ultimately the bravery exhibited by the principal protagonist ...

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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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Beauty

 “What is beauty, father?” “What do you think?” “I don’t know. I look at this glass in front of us and my eyes spot the reflected light from the glass on the table, and I’m baffled by these patterns, by this beauty which is perfectly still, perfectly independent, and calm.” “So, is beauty only in still and independent objects?” “I don’t think so. When I see the sea or the water inside this glass if it were to be shaken wildly, my eyes start to float along the waves, and I’m once again mesmerised by the water’s endless movement, its indifference, its power, and ...

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Father – An orphaned refugee’s idealistic fantasy

An orphaned refugee, a remnant of the last jihad, writes a riveting and imaginative composition on the topic, ‘My Father’ – an idealised fantasy inked to paper in commemoration of an absent parent, a youthful escape into what might have been. Even though the writer never, seemingly, came to know his father, having been a mere infant at the time of the bitter separation, the writing vividly reflects the untainted aspirations of what a child envisions his or her father to be, particularly in the case of orphans and dejected children. The year is 1990, and the sun has already ...

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‘Dishonourable’ love – You should be stoned to death

This story about a pregnant 25-year-old woman, Farzana Parveen, being bashed to death with bricks by her brothers and uncles because she dared to marry of her own choice, is the kind of news that makes your heart drop and your stomach churn.  It’s being called an ‘honour killing’ in the press but it is murder – in fact, we should call it an execution. Farzana was going to court in Lahore to testify that she had married her husband out of choice, in response to a fake kidnapping case brought about by her family who were enraged that she ...

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I want my daughter back

August 20, 2001 – Islamabad airport: I said ‘Khuda Hafiz’ to my 17-year-old daughter, my only child; she was on her way to college in the US. She had the honour of being accepted at Yale University on a full scholarship and like always she had done us proud once again. Tearfully, I hugged her and whispered in her ear, “Don’t come back.” Quick on the uptake, she smiled that sweet endearing smile of hers and shot back, “Abba, you have brought me up with the lesson to have a mind of my own.” She defied me continuously for four years; came back twice a year during ...

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Mother’s Day: Why can’t I meet my children?

They won’t let me see my kids. Failing at marriage is an excruciating affair, but not a punishable crime. So why do we witness so many families suffering endlessly when there are four guardian courts working in Lahore alone? Is it the workload, absence of supporting law or mere lack of implementation that keeps a child from meeting one of the parents? None of the people I meet understand why I cannot see my kids. Even a sick-minded killer, an abuser or an addict has a right to meet his children under supervision. The law governing custody issues does need amendments, but it’s the ...

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