Stories about childhood

The lucky generation?

The nagging drawbacks of generation gap become clear when one observes activities of today’s children. I feel that today’s fast-paced living has deprived children of the real joys of childhood. Spending all their time indoors, children now remain hooked to the internet on hi-tech gadgets and barely ever see the light of the day. A stark contrast with my generation’s childhood: we pulled pranks at school and spent time interacting face-to-face with several of our friends. Our little pleasures were about pulling faces at the teacher while she turned around, and making the class laugh. Our childhood was about running ...

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My sister: Always the apple of my eye

My sister and I, like a lot of other siblings, have a love-hate relationship. We can be the best of friends at times but can also turn into the worst of enemies. We still don’t hug or even shake hands when we see each other after a long time. Yet, the smiles on our faces are enough for both of us to understand how much we’ve missed each other. She is probably the most energetic and witty person I’ve known. She truly is the life and soul of our house. I still remember when she went off to medical school ...

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Lahore, how I love thee

I may not have seen the whole world yet, But I have seen a lot of it. Sure, I left my heart in Paris, Yes I lost my self, Wandering the sloping streets of San Francisco True, my mind found solace at the top of Mont Blanc Yet, my soul will always belong to Lahore The city that still captivates me, like no other Maybe I’m biased; maybe it is nostalgia, But when I am in Lahore, my soul is alive, The whole city pulsates with unabashed life The sounds of New York, The lights of Hollywood, Even the grandiose of Las Vegas, Nothing, Nothing compares to this city of my childhood, The city where my soul ...

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There was a time when I could walk through Quetta

Balochistan, and Quetta in particular, is very close to my heart. I have an emotional attachment to this place since a great part of my childhood was spent travelling though it’s scenic landscape. There was, indeed, once a time when this was possible. It was far removed from any ethnic killings. There were no Baloch Liberation Tigers (BLT) and people were not opened fired on for just passing though the area. The killing of 18 people in Turbat yesterday left me heart-broken and shocked. Was this the same place where I spent some of the happiest moments of my childhood? I ...

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An innie in an outie’s world

Growing up, I was such a quiet child, especially compared to my loud, older sisters that my parents would often forget me. They sometimes failed to remember they had a third child. Once, they lost me at a supermarket and realised it when the store manager called. Had it not been for him, I’d be a feral child living in aisle six gorging on cereal and candy bars for the rest of my life. No offense to my parents, they just didn’t know what to do with a little person like me. Innately introverted Had someone explained to them that I was innately ...

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Whitney Houston: Tunes for a lifetime

Long before YouTube gave us instant access to all of our favourite music, my older sister and I would wait for the videos of our preferred artists to appear on televised music countdowns and record them on a videocassette so we could watch them over and over again. We would replay the tunes on the family room VCR and, along with our younger sister, often try to mimic the notes and dance moves of our most-loved musicians. When I learned of Whitney Houston’s death, my mind almost instantly turned to that videotape because there was a song of hers that we ...

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10 reasons why childhood beats adulthood

Ever wonder why children don’t have frown lines and why they always seem happy? Why are adults, so often on-edge and grumpy? Caught in today’s busy lifestyle with ever increasing responsibilities, grown-ups don’t have time to languish in the pleasures that once excited them as children. Regardless, reminiscing about the carefree days provides one with at least a nostalgic smile. I am sure every one of you probably has their own fond memories. However, here is my list of why I believe childhood is better than adulthood, and I hope it takes you back to the days when life was ...

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If Harry Potter were desi, his broom would be a jharoo and his Snitch a laddoo

Harry Potter’s last film is coming out (in Pakistan) on July 22 and somewhere in semi-peaceful parts of Karachi, not shown on TV, a couple of kids are getting ready for the biggest event of their lives. If their city will allow them to. When Harry Potter’s last book was released, bookshops around the world were told to release Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at exactly the same time, lest some overeager fan typed up the book on the internet and ruined it for everyone by not operating on GMT. That meant at 4:30 am every book outlet in Karachi ...

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“Death is better than divorce”

When I heard that Nariman*, my bubbly childhood friend, was back in town, I was overjoyed beyond belief. I looked forward to a time full of fun and laughter and doing every thing under the sun. When we were younger, I actually believed that sitting still caused Nariman physical pain, because she was always so excited. But three years after her wedding, she sits old and haggard, her eyes devoid of all laughter, her gait lacking spirit, and her voice like a mere rustle of dead leaves on parched mud. What led to the transition is not the fact that ...

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With Moin Akhtar, a piece of my childhood dies

Those who remember the 80s well will also be familiar with the brilliance that existed on Pakistan Television (PTV) at that time. In days of severe censorship and fear of the government, PTV (especially its Karachi centre) always found ways of subverting the system and poking fun at the dictator and his lackeys. There were three names, Anwar Maqsood, Bushra Ansari and Moin Akhtar, who were the mainstay of such satire where things had to be said subtly in order pass through the censor board. In a rather twisted bit of irony, PTV’s golden days of comedy died with Ziaul ...

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