Stories about death

#JusticeForHunain: Is this how we ‘discipline’ our children in a ‘civilised’ society?

The recent death of teenage student Hunain Bilal in Lahore only brings to light the tragic reality of corporal punishment among the countless unethical but socially accepted norms in the Pakistani society. Allegedly, Hunain had failed to memorise his lesson, due to which the teacher “punched him repeatedly, grabbed his hair and hit his head against the wall, all the while yelling at him”. As a result, the child collapsed and died on the spot. Hunain’s case is not rare in Pakistan where corporal punishment is considered the best way of disciplining at both home and school. Although a 2014 National ...

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RIP Toni Morrison: Thank you for showing us the power of words

On Tuesday, August 6, 2019, my Twitter exploded with Toni Morrison’s powerful and resonating words. After the news of her death spread, her fans honoured her by floating in the words that she had gifted us with before she departed from this world. "If there is a book that you want to read but it hasn't been written yet, you must be the one to write it," Toni Morrison said. We are all so lucky to live in a world where she took her own advice and shared it with others. — Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 6, 2019 “If you surrendered to the air, ...

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13 Reasons Why season three will be yet another disappointment

It’s been a year since the second season of Netflix’s chaotic and traumatising 13 Reasons Why aired and they are back with another unneeded and unwanted third season. The last season ended with secrets finally coming out, a letdown of justice and an almost school shooting. Season three’s trailer was recently released and it has left people feeling confused, somewhat surprised and also overjoyed. The people behind the show realised that they can’t possibly keep milking Hannah Baker’s (Katherine Langford) suicide every season, hence they entered the realm of murder mystery. The trailer shows the death of a major character, Bryce Walker, who was last seen ...

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The Lion King: Nostalgic but distracting

The success of 2016’s live-action remake of The Jungle Book opened a new dimension for Disney; a dimension in which they could dust off their animated properties from the past and cash-in on the nostalgia through new live-action remakes. It’s not as if they hadn’t done this before with live-action reiterations of Alice in Wonderland and Sleeping Beauty (Maleficent). However, the success of Jungle Book consolidated this as a long-term corporate strategy. Since then, live-action remakes of Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo and Aladdin have all hit the big-screen, with remakes of Mulan, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid and even Lilo and Stitch already in the ...

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What are you wearing to the funeral?

“I’m wearing a three-piece suit. You?” “I haven’t decided yet. Who died?” He says ‘its‘ name. They smile. “Oh, finally. A lot of people will appear there, will wear my sherwani.” “Just hurry up, not good to be late to funerals; attention gets diverted to the deceased.” When they reach the place, they see the most beautiful of faces. Each face with a bright mask of pity stitched perfectly on them. The two walk together, fantasising the faces and being fantasised, until they approach the host. After a series of words stuffed with a big scoop of sorrow, they ask, “How did ‘it’ die?” The person looks at ...

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They were each other’s “meant to be”, but not “forever”

Souls have no concept of time. No clocks. No calendars. Age dilutes us, makes us only watered down versions of ourselves. All of us become a little misplaced, a little lost under emotionless, bleached beams of the sun. But these old souls… These speakers of a forgotten language… Resiliently seek the missing half, as if written on each other with permanent ink. Continuously counting constellations, forgetting boundaries and reaching for the stars as they reach for each other. With “his” madness rumbling in “her” heart… Dangerously hypnotic, wildly naïve… Yet equally distant. Equally impossible. These two souls were each other’s “meant to be”, but they were not each other’s ...

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He was a broken chapter in her favourite novel

The footage said it was 9am when the car crashed – turned to nothing but blood and the smell of painted metals burning in the air. Two days, 18 hours and seven minutes later, on an icy November morning, Mark lay in a coffin, dead as a doornail. It was a small wooden box, with the lid clasped on its top with a neat hand. The initials engraved on it were those of Mark’s name and everyone at the funeral admired them at least once in secret, thanking the Lord no one could hear what they were thinking for fear ...

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What a ‘great’ start to the New Year

Amongst the silence, a flash of light rose into the air, exploding into a colourful flower of glitter. It was followed by several other explosions that lit up the midnight sky. The crowd roared, screaming, “Happy New Year!” Music blasted in the background as people danced and cheered. They shared their New Year’s resolutions, as it was a beginning of a new chapter of their lives, where they had to decide if they wanted to be a new version of themselves and live life to its fullest, or just continue with their same old routines. Large LED hologram animals danced in the ...

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The day the heavens shook

March 28, 2004 Azad Kashmir was a world of beauty, splendour, tall mountains and green trees. “Papa! I love Kashmir! Can’t we live here forever,” Jahanara said innocently. Majid only laughed in response. He didn’t want to upset his little daughter by telling her that couldn’t be. Majid was an army officer. He got posted to new cities every two years. So far, Kashmir had been Jahanara’s favourite place. But she was only 11-years-old and had yet to see and explore most of Pakistan. Apart from the breathtaking landscape of Kashmir, Jahanara loved the place because of Afsah. She was the same age as ...

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Another life lost to depression and yet we don’t consider mental health a grave issue?

Mental health should now be the top priority of every person wanting to function fully and maintain a healthy life. However, most of the world does not take this need seriously, and Pakistan is no exception. The country at large remains unaware of the importance of sound mental health, and while certain campaigns do address such issues, they mainly cater to a particular class. Bullying, depression, anxiety, and hundreds of other psychological conditions aren’t taken seriously here, as people believe they will disappear on their own or by prayer, or else the person will be treated harshly or ...

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