Stories about children

Dear filmmakers, stuttering is a disorder, not a joke for you to cash on

Some days ago, I received a clip on Whatsapp of a scene from a Pakistani movie titled Lahore Se Aagay. The lead character, played by Yasir Hussain, tries to make the dialogue ‘funny’ by mocking the speech related disorder generally known as stuttering or stammering. Upon further inquiry, I discovered Hussain has played the role of a guy who stutters several times in his career. In another movie, Karachi Se Lahore, which is the prequel to Lahore Se Aagay, Hussain tries to seem hilarious by stammering to the character’s advantage. Though he believes his portrayal is empowering for those who stutter, ...

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I do not deserve to be a mother

Mathieu knew a country without a capital is no country. He knew my capital was my son, that the happiness in his eyes was why I was alive. He knew what being stabbed in the chest felt like. He had felt it after all. If he still sought to do this to me and his own blood, then fine. But I’m disappointed in him, and most of all I’m disappointed in myself; I don’t look forth to God’s mercy anymore. I don’t ask myself to wait for the right time or to look for the light at the end of the ...

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Pitting sibling against sibling will only fail you as a parent

Recently, a friend of mine shared her personal story with me. When she was in high school, she excelled in English. However, this didn’t matter to her mother, because she was weak in Chemistry and Physics – subjects her older sister excelled in. What hurt her the most was when her mother would yell at her, “Why can’t you be more like your sister?” I’m glad my friend was confident enough to share this experience that had such a lasting impact on her. But I’m not surprised at all, since I have heard similar stories countless times. I have heard them ...

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Arming teachers will only create a greater mess, one the US cannot afford

It’s a strange time in our history. America is making the news for the worst of reasons. I look back and wonder at times as to what happened to my adopted country. I look back at the time when the news headlines were dominated by the likes of Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire and Michael Jordan, to name a few. Granted that the social and political buzz and the emotions were still high at that time, but this kind of pressure wasn’t felt all over the body politic. Today, just turn the television on and there’s always something crazy ...

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Tully: A not so rosy, honest and realistic look into motherhood

The collaborative partnership between Director Jason Reitman and Screenwriter Brook Busey – also known as Diablo Cody – has yielded two critically successful movies: Juno (2007) and Young Adult (2011). The duo has now come together once again; their third film is Tully, a comedy drama that tackles motherhood and its many complicated realities. The story revolves around the character of Marlo (portrayed by Charlize Theron, who was also the star of the aforementioned Young Adult), an exhausted mother of three, including a newborn. She is dealing with the impact that parenthood has on a woman’s life and marriage, and is clearly overwhelmed by the ever-increasing ...

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International Women’s Day: What if women started getting paid for household work?

“So do you work or are you just a housewife?” I remember being asked this question many times by people I was meeting for the first time. I also remember asking other women the same insensitive question, simply because I too, like so many of us, had been conditioned to only value work that gets remuneration in return. Looking back, the years during which I took a hiatus from work as a journalist, because I was looking after a home and my family, were the years I perhaps worked the hardest. Even physically. Imagine for a moment that the women all around us ...

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When giving your child quality education only costed Rs10

During the 1950s, I was studying in a missionary school (St Patrick’s). Many people in position of power have studied from the same school, such as a president, a prime minister, many army officers, government ministers and the famous Indian politician LK Advani. I still remember how the school fee at that time was only Rs10. But one day, in 1956 or thereabouts, the fee structure was changed. For some boys, the fee remained at Rs10, for some (like my brother and I) it was raised to Rs25, while the rest had to pay Rs37. Even though the school was ...

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If seeing six-year-old children dance is sexually attractive, the problem lies with your sick mind, not the girls

In the wake of the incidents in Kasur, which has caused a chaos in the country, there has been a lot of uproar on social media against a kids’ dance competition conducted on a local morning show. Kids as young as six can be seen dancing on Bollywood songs, including item numbers, as they try to copy the dance moves often seen in such songs. Only a few seconds are enough to determine that the programme was indeed in poor taste and definitely should not have been aired. Forward as Received جب پوری دنیا کے سامنے کم سن بچیوں کو سرعام ...

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Happy Children’s Day, Pakistan! BTW, child sexual abuse increased by 10% since 2016

Child abuse is one of the most prevalent social issues in Pakistan. A 2017 report suggests that there has been a 10% increase in cases since last year alone. The issue is only made worse by the fact that neither do we talk about its prevalence, nor do we take any preventive or rehabilitative measures to deal with it. Topics of importance, such as child abuse, rape, sexual assault, honour killing, forced marriage or mental illness, all are considered taboo and often brushed under the rug. The fear of being shunned by society and victim-shamed is perhaps what keeps some of the victims from speaking up about the issue ...

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Dear adult, please just stop. Love, the child

Meet me, I am a child. I have been living on this Earth since the time human beings inhabited the planet. I have inhabited all parts of the world and have been part of all cultures, all races and all nations. Yet, I am considered a different specie altogether. Who am I? I am a psychic embryo, a psychic nymph, rich with dynamic powers of intellect. Believe me, I have the power to teach myself. Have you not noticed that I grow up speaking my parents’ language when no one teaches me? I learn to walk and climb, I learn to hold and transfer from hand ...

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