Stories about die

Faisalabad lockdown: Stop the insanity!

It’s December 8. Faisalabad is witnessing the process of being shut down by ardent PTI supporters. This, of course, enrages PML-N who can’t sit back and watch their political foes try to halt their stronghold. Violence, casualties and deaths are an inevitable addition to this process. It’s quite surprising that so far one man has lost his life. I was expecting a higher number, since life sells cheap here. And the blame game has already begun: “Because of you (PTI), Pakistan’s economy has suffered immensely” – Parvaiz Rashid “Their Gullus were involved in all the clashes today” – Imran Khan “PML-N had planned to attack PTI supporters. The ...

Read Full Post

Death with Dignity is not suicide

“When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.” These words from Tecumseh sound entirely true for the 29-year-old newly-wed, Brittany Maynard, who has decided to end her life because of her incurable brain tumour. She moved to Oregon, one of the five states where physician assisted suicide is legal. But the process of moving to ...

Read Full Post

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 ...

Read Full Post

Recycle yourself, don’t let your kindness die with you

A man sitting in a park reading suddenly bursts into laughter. This catches the attention of a boy sitting near him with dark shades on and a stick in his hand who, out of curiosity, asks the reason for the man’s laughter. The man, pleased to be able to be nice to the boy, starts reading the passage to him and they both share a laugh. After a while when the man gets back to his reading and there’s silence once again, the boy breaks the ice by asking if the man would be kind enough to let him have “that” after ...

Read Full Post

Let’s have a cup of chai together, India

It is a truth acknowledged in the subcontinent that no meeting is complete without a cup of chai (tea). The freshly brewed combination of masalas, cardamom or a frothy cup of doodh pati touches the tip of the tongue, instantly refreshing one’s mind. Some have even argued that chai purifies their souls. We all certainly love our tea!  The addiction is tremendously mind-blowing, in its literal sense, and on a serious note, I often think Pakistani and Indians need a tea rehabilitation centre. When have you last visited a household where you weren’t offered chai? The alternative options are, of course, thanda (cold drink) or pani (water), but the fervour of making fresh chai for the guests is ...

Read Full Post

Please God, kill my children before they are born

The midwife handed her the baby. She took the tiny thing in her arms and stared at him. He was beautiful. For a fleeting moment, she felt unbound joy. He was a part of her. He was… her focus shifted. He was nothing but a hungry mouth to feed like the eight others that awaited her at the house. Or if one could even call it a house. Two shabby rooms with a makeshift stove and a bathroom next to them was home sweet home. The ceiling leaked, the doors creaked while the paint was in tatters. Her husband had ...

Read Full Post

Are you doomed to disappear?

Tick… goes the wonderful sound.  Tick… there it is again. Ah, the joyous sound! Ah, the wonderful sound. Tick… Ah, the harsh sound! Ah, the destructive sound! Tick… we ignore it. Tick… we do not care for it. Tick… the weight it carries! Tick, but we do not worry. We do not care. Tick, we ignore its value, its worth. Tick… that one second, so different for everybody. In that same moment but so very different for everyone. In that one tick of the clock, a child hears he has become the number one in school… so excited! In that one tick, a man cries on hearing about his mother’s death… so sad. Same second, a man ...

Read Full Post

Did qawwali die with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and the Sabri brothers?

The melodious voice became clearer as I walked towards the shrine. And just as I started up the stairs separating the dust of the polluted world from the spiritual atmosphere of the place, the lyrics became discernible as well, “Tajdar-e-Haram, O Nigah-e-Karam…” (King of the Haram, look upon us with mercy…) As strong as commentary can ever be, this poetry has always inspired reverence in faulted souls. Not more than a decade ago traditional qawwali was still thriving and the best place to listen to qawwalis was not a privately organised concert but these very publically hosted urs. Photo: Badar Chaudhary And ...

Read Full Post

Lahore: No gas to turn on the heat, so if I froze to death, would I be a martyr?

I woke up this morning and found out that, for the fourth consecutive day, there was no gas at home – none whatsoever. The stove fluttered to life for merely a second before going out and I understood that turning on the heater would be a waste of time. The equation was simple – no gas, no heat. I would have to resign myself to a cup of tea. I knew that as long as we have our electric kettle and chai (tea) – the answer to all Pakistani problems – we would survive. The key word here is electric, of course. There was no electricity either. And this ...

Read Full Post

The myth of Musharraf’s ‘economic boom’ needs to die

A recent article ‘Have you forgotten all that Musharraf did for you, Pakistan?’ by Mr Rafay bin Ali regurgitates a popular myth – dictatorship is better for Pakistan’s economy. The author uses cross-regime comparisons based on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) size to argue that Pervez Musharraf was the best thing that ever happened to Pakistan’s economy. Like all myths, this fable is also sustained by a crafty combination of truth and fiction. But it crumbles once we separate the flimsy truth from the falsehood that it conceals. To do this, we must analyse the methodological flaws in the framework used by the ...

Read Full Post