Stories about choice

‘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 ...

Read Full Post

Her: Would you date a computer software?

If I were to describe the movie Her in one word, my choice would be ‘disturbing’. I use this word deliberately because of the fact that I was actually able to relate to the movie and just this alone was frightening. I recognised Theodore’s (Joaquin Phoenix) behaviour as irrational and somewhat ludicrous, but I understood his need; this is what scared me. Her plays on the primal human need of intimacy. In a very poetically beautiful way, it provides the lonely and depressed Theodore with a companion who is a perfect emotional fit for him, but has a crucial flaw. Photo: IMDb This ...

Read Full Post

A strong man

He really hated elbows on the table. It made him feel as angry as when they hid his cigarettes. But he had no choice in the matter. It was a conspiracy hatched by three women, against him, and not just any three ladies, but three headstrong, exceptionally sensitive and explosive women. So he let it go. But the matter of elbows on the table really got his goat. How difficult was it to just rest the forearms at an angle of 45 degrees with the wrists dangling gently over the cutlery? It wasn’t hard. He had done it for 28 years ...

Read Full Post

Can a woman only choose one – hijab or a successful career?

Not too long ago, the hijab was considered a choice; a woman’s right if she wanted it to be. Today, not only is it a source of contention and a consistently hot topic of debate, it is considered a form of subjugation. In all honesty, I cannot comprehend how or why the hijab seems like such a hindrance, especially when only some women wear it in our country. Whether these hijab arguments stem from abhorrence, fear or just narrow-mindedness, I do not know. What I do know is that we argue about it behind a very subjective definition of ‘liberalism’. These ‘liberals’ ...

Read Full Post

Kankar: Was Kiran right or wrong in divorcing her husband?

The first slap is the worst – red, hot searing pain across the face. But what sears through is more than a slap. Something breaks inside. A feeling of helplessness, vulnerability and a shattered sense of self-worth takes over which is why, a woman’s first reflex reaction is always disbelief; shock. It is an instant realisation of the painful reality that she will never forget that moment. That she will never be able to unlearn this blow. Sanam Baloch depicted a battered woman’s experience beautifully in the recent Hum TV serial Kankar which ended on December 6, 2013. The serial, with its protagonist ‘Kiran’ ...

Read Full Post

Australian cricket: Fawad Ahmed and the beer logo brouhaha

There has been some furor over the selection of Fawad Ahmed in the Australian cricket team, and his subsequent refusal to bear an alcohol company’s logo on the uniform. The company happens to be one of the sponsors of Cricket Australia, and many have lambasted Fawad for the un-Australian sentiments he has communicated through his choice. He has been told by renowned Australian sportsmen to pack it up and go home. In a world where the religion vs secular debate is on-going, people have even opined that one seeking asylum from a religion-centric country, in a secular country, cannot hope to gain the ...

Read Full Post

Presidential elections: Is Mr Mamnoon Hussain the right choice?

Yay! We have a new president. Start the celebrations, the bhangras, the parties, the mithai and all the fun that we can never have enough off. It seems, however, that the news reached Dera Ismail Khan earlier than expected; they started the festivities around midnight with all the blasts and fireworks. No wait. Those were terrorists breaching the central jail confines and breaking free over 200 prisoners. The fact that they managed to accomplish this mission, just a few days after the blasts in Parachinar, is a reminder for all of us about how the government is finding it hard to deal ...

Read Full Post

When ‘sharing’ her husband was her best choice

“Baji I need to leave early today.”  I was finishing my breakfast, a few weeks ago, with the morning paper in front of me when my maid announced, polishing the dining chairs with more gusto than usual. “Why Shada? You need to go the market?” I asked her casually. Shada has been with me for several years and over the time I have managed to develop a friendly rapport with her, given her cleanliness, punctuality and zeal to create a better life for her children. She lives in a small, three room house with her postal worker husband and her three young children. ...

Read Full Post

And in this act of balance, we learn to live

These are called windmills. Windmills of my mind going round and round…. all the time. Did I just rhyme? I think I did. I don’t know why but whenever I sit to pen down my thoughts in prose, lines start rhyming. Maybe, I am a poet then and not a prose writer. So for next time, but not this time, I’ll try a hand on poetry and see how much I struggle with the balancing act. Balancing the verses I mean. Well, it shouldn’t come hard as after all what have I done all my life?… juggled with balancing. As a beginner ...

Read Full Post

If you jump off, you will fly, I promise!

Two years ago, I made the first most life-altering, high risk, and extremely indulgent decision of my adult life. For most of my life, all my life-decisions were sort of handed over to me and I had no choice but to follow their trajectory. But regardless of following all the right decisions and a path full of perfect daisies, I was still lost as lost can be. After a breakdown of Lindsay Lohan proportions, my drug of choice was chocolate ice-cream, I decided to actually do something about my situation. My decision was take up writing as a full time ...

Read Full Post