Stories about daughter

A special place in hell is not enough for women like these

Two or three days ago, a young woman was accosted by an older woman for ‘not wearing appropriate attire’. You can see what the poor young woman was wearing here. Not that that’s important. But, anyway.  This older woman harassed this young lady (who wanted her identity to be protected, so we’ll call her MJ) and continued to touch her despite her requests. She later threatened MJ, stating that she ‘knew her license plate’ and MJ threatened to lodge an FIR against her and eventually the woman’s husband, a seemingly more neutral fellow, managed to get his wife to apologise ...

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I taught my daughter to lie

Raising a young mind can be a challenge every day. I don’t mean the physical kind of challenge of running around trying to get them to study or do their chores, all the while keeping an imaginary scorecard of their meals! By “challenge” I mean the mental kind that comes with raising a vibrant and inquisitive mind. I am lucky to be the mother of a nine-year-old girl. A curious mind keeps throwing curveballs at me and I have to walk a tightrope knowing full well that the answers will mould and shape her. Lying in certain situations can be ...

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A Syrian refugee’s message to the European Union

When we first got here we had money to buy a little food. Now it’s gone. We stand in line for hours for a sandwich. My husband told a journalist recently, “People are fed up. Maybe tomorrow they will break down the gate and flood across the border.” The journalist said, “How many weapons do you have?” If we knew how to carry weapons or wanted to carry weapons we would not have fled Syria. We want peace. We are sick of killing. We fled a war, and now the European Union is making war against us, a psychological war. When we hear rumours that we’ll be let ...

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Series 3 The Little Princess Part 2 The message in my mother’s eyes

Slowly her mother rose from under the cabinet pulling Ammarah out with her. She rushed quietly to shut the drapes around the house, bolting windows and doors. Not quite understanding what was happening, Ammarah offered support by helping her. Finally her mother sank down on the living room couch, clutching her bosom and started sobbing. Ammarah put her arm around her and asked, “Mother, who were those people and where did they take everybody?” Her mother continued to cry hysterically. Ammarah stroked her shoulders but she was clueless as to what could comfort her mother right now. The sobbing diminished slowly. Her mother ...

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Ashraf Chaudhry, slut-shaming is not ‘freedom of speech’

A country must be a mother. No other person could suffer so much at your hands and still call you its own. We may call Pakistan our mother, we may respect it as if it was our mother, we may even love it like our mother but is there a place for mothers, sisters, and daughters in this Pakistan? Is there no country for women? We are quick to stand up in arms when the sanctity of our adopted mother is called into question. We are often told, “The sovereignty of Pakistan must come first.” There was a similar visceral reaction in Pakistan to the ...

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“May God bless you with a son” – But what if I don’t want one?

When I was expecting my first child, the occurrence itself was immensely exciting, hence pondering over the gender of my baby didn’t seem important at that time. However, others were more concerned about the gender, thus I would come across common remarks such as, “Allah (SWT) beta hi dai ga.” (God will bless you with a son.) Nonetheless, I would ignore such comments and tell myself that sons are typically perceived to be more precious than daughters by such people, thus they wish accordingly for others. But they didn’t have to say it to my face as it put me under bizarre pressure of giving birth ...

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Seventy-eight rupees

It was my neighbour who suggested I should go to them. She said it was my last hope. “Where are we going Amma?” my six-year-old asked me over the sound of the rickshaw. “Just someplace,” I said dismissively. What was I to tell her? That we were going to a place that was my ‘last hope’. It was her last hope too. The rickshaw driver stopped in front of an old, small building in the midst of noisy Saddar. With a heavy heart, I paid him Rs200, what we had agreed on. How would we go back? Maybe the NGO people could lend us money. When we walked inside ...

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Do we want our children singing and dancing to ‘Baby doll mien sone di’?

At ease, liberals, as this won’t be a furious grandparent’s rant on the corrupting influence of today’s music. This is a critical analysis of the influence of modern “item songs” on young people, without invoking a moralistic argument. Veteran actor, Shabana Azmi, recently rebuked item songs in the following words: “I am saying let it be an informed decision. I am not going to dictate what you should do. But be aware that when you do a song like that it is leading to the sexualisation of children and there are four-year-old girls dancing at all kinds of weddings to really bad songs.” Stating ...

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Jodi Picoult’s ‘Handle with Care’: Would you tell your daughter you didn’t want her?

While browsing through the fiction section of a local bookstore, I came across Jodi Picoult’s ‘Handle with Care’. After ‘My Sister’s Keeper’, which was adapted as an award winning motion picture, Picoult has given us another brilliant contemporary novel. Similar to her previous work, her new narrative also focuses on an ethical medical dilemma. What intrigued me to pick up this book was the subtitle, which read, “To save your daughter you must tell the world you wish she’d never been born.” As I pondered over the conflicting statement, I walked over to the counter to pay for the book – I ...

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Forced conversions in Pakistan: “Eeshwar kaun hai, Allah bol Allah!”

Scuffles and screams rang through the dark night. They were three and they were burly. They had her in a firm grip with her mouth gagged with a rough cloth. It was probably 11 or 12 o’clock at night. Not very late for a summer night but half the village had no electricity, so people turned in early. Her screams could have woken up the neighbours, if they had any. Theirs was a mud hut in a lone corner of the basti. She desperately tried to make as much noise as possible but it was of no use. The men had ...

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