Stories about compassion

Arbaeen: “If you want to see humanity living and breathing, experience this walk”

The 40th – or Arbaeen in Arabic – holds great significance in the traditions of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Ahle Bait (AS). Arbaeen marks the completion of Ashura, the day when Imam Hussain (RA) was martyred on the planes of Karbala. Since then, his followers and lovers walk to their beloved as they feel his plight as their own. The walk particularly takes place in the memory of the return of Imam Hussain’s (RA) family from Syria, after getting freed from the shackles of Yazid. People from different parts of the world participate in this event, which remained banned ...

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In the land of Raj and Simran, will Varun Dhawan‘s ‘October’ tell a different love story?

October, starring Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu and Gitanjali Rao, is not your clichéd love story, as the trailer highlights; it’s more along the lines of a story about love itself. We’d only be able to tell what exactly the story is once the movie is out, however, the trailer does manage to set the mood and theme of the movie and what viewers should expect from it. The movie will not be akin to Bollywood movies that include a boy, a girl and a love story entwining their faith. Dhawan plays an employee of a hotel, probably a five-star hotel, aspiring ...

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Medicating women’s feelings

Women are moody. By evolutionary design, we are hard-wired to be sensitive to our environments, empathic to our children’s needs and intuitive of our partners’ intentions. This is basic to our survival and that of our offspring. Some research suggests that women are often better at articulating their feelings than men because as the female brain develops, more capacity is reserved for language, memory, hearing and observing emotions in others. These are observations rooted in biology, not intended to mesh with any kind of pro- or anti-feminist ideology. But they do have social implications. Women’s emotionality is a sign of ...

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Willful ignorance

What do you want, God? What do you need? Submission, obedience and blind faith; is that all you require of me?   I am sorry, my Lord; this dogma I refuse to accept, From the Master of the universe, more compassion do I expect, You are the Vicegerent, the Supreme and the Omnipotent, Am I alive to live in fear? Is that how I am supposed to view your strength?   My heart does not believe it! It does not concur, It trusts a God of mercy and benignity, not tyranny and terror, They kill in Your name; they torment and subjugate, Will bigotry prevail over forbearance? Is that our fate?   They shed ...

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Once upon a time, in the land of the pure, I was a religious fundamentalist

I have a mantra on life which I wish to share with all of you – ignorance restricts and breeds hatred and extremism, while knowledge liberates and breeds compassion and understanding. Fundamentalism stems from ignorance and thus, only breeds negativity. It is a venomous disease that kills positivity and growth. It needs to be identified and cured, on a very personal level. As a Muslim, who had adopted a fundamentalist approach in his earlier days, I have come a long way by internalising a basic yet painful truth – I do not have all the answers, hence different points of view are not ...

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Come back to me, my lost flame

Hi Old Friend!  It’s been a while seen we’ve spoken, No? It seems like a multitude of eons, all rolled into one. Where were you all this time? Did the fire burning inside you suddenly fade away? Did the lust you once felt for me suddenly die away into oblivion? It’s sad what happened, really. How soon people forget the days of sunshine, and start dwelling upon when clouds were grey. Do you remember the moments we spent together, embraced in countless starlit nights of love? I sincerely hope you do, for your sake. I’m not selfish. It just saddens me to see someone filled with ...

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Queen: Healing does not come in the arms of another man, Ladies!

“I also want to do something in my life” Rani says in a wishful voice to Alexander. He replies to the bewildered girl, “So who is stopping you?” This dialogue pretty much sums up the essence of the movie ‘Queen’. The barriers and restrictions holding us back in life are mostly the constructs of our own mind. Vikas Bahl’s ‘Queen’ is not a very novel perception of abandonment and coping with it, but there are a few moments in the movie which make the experience worthwhile. Queen, being a low budget film, has grossed almost $10 million in three weeks, without any male lead ...

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Does a woman have the right to live after her husband’s death?

It was a yellow morning – a pale, sickly yellow. I looked around to find that most of the furniture had been pushed against the walls and stark, white sheets covered the floor. Tables from all over the house had been brought to this room and were laden with copies of the Holy Quran, siparas and Surah Yasin booklets. I walked to the bathroom to splash water on my face and looking in the bathroom mirror, it hit me – I was a widow. I couldn’t believe that it was just the morning before when I had been standing ...

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What is Karachi like?

Karachi is to Pakistan what Pakistan is to the rest of the world – a place of contradictions! It is a really difficult task when one has to explain this city to a person who has only been exposed to it via the media. However, deep down, I enjoy this task. So on one Friday morning when there was not much work to do, I received a question from an anonymous blogger asking: What is Karachi like? Instead of sending a brief textual reply, I did this: Well… Karachi is lame, Photo: ONLYINPAKISTAN.TUMBLR.COM Yet it makes sense. Photo: Humans of ...

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Are we in spiritual crisis?

In a world where there is so much profanity, we are losing our sense of spirituality. Even in our art and poetry, the animating themes of spiritual experience are undergoing a sort of transcendent ecstasy and are giving way to the darker expressions of the human psyche. Introspective poetry tends to border on the nihilistic and pessimistic; reflections on a broken world that seems beyond deliverance. Probing the side of human nature that is all too often splashed across our television screens – tragedy has become a form of art in the modern world. This exploration is critical, but we ...

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