Stories about dreams

Wait for me… till then, the heart of Lahore will keep you safe

*Breaking news flashes* Nine people killed in Lahore. *Five minutes later* Fifteen people killed in Lahore. *Five minutes later* Twenty-two people killed in Lahore. *Five minutes later* Twenty-six people killed in Lahore. Twenty-six lives. 26 innocent lives. 26 families. 26 sets of dreams. 26 sets of memories. 26 sets of wishes. All gone, just gone. Washed away with a hose, left to dry and soaked by the heart of Lahore. Lahore, the city of bright colours, hungrily feeds on the blood of the dead, fearing the precious minutes to be over before this blood becomes food for the heartless. When the domino effect starts and these 26 set of dreams just become a mere number, ...

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The newspaper boy

He threw it inside the house and as he cycled forward and heard it land softly on the doormat. Great shot, he thought. There were three streets to go. And the light around him was slowly spreading. He continued. In the street before the last, he slowed down because he was nearing the house filled with flowerpots. Previous shots had broken some pots and invited anger from the owner whose life seemed to be divided into the dozens of pots she had. This time, though, he came near the gate and slowly hooped it inside. The sound of contact with ...

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Does having a career mean I’m going to be a bad mother?

I was having a chat with a newly married friend when she suddenly stopped and said, “I want to start a family, but I’m not too sure.” Relieved that it wasn’t some troubling marital revelation, I assured her that her confusion was natural and that time would probably grant her more clarity. However, her predicament didn’t end there. She had always envisioned herself to be a home-maker, but now when it was actually time to start a family, she wasn’t too sure if she wanted to compromise on her promising career. To top it all off, she was not only confused, but rather, was ashamed ...

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Being a Syed-zaadi wasn’t a matter of pride for me, it was a curse!

I was born into a Syed family. Since childhood, I’ve been told that this is a blessing as we are the direct descendants of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Therefore, all Syed girls had a status equivalent to that of mothers of Ummah. Thus, it was forbidden for us to even consider marrying a non-Syed man. Everyone called the girls of our family bibi jee and, while growing up, this was a matter of pride for me. I was in my early teens when I first realised that there were a number of unmarried women in our family, belonging to all age groups. Due to family ...

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Dance with me, my love!

If you knew the world would soon end, And we both would perish, When this moment is spent, This jiffy would die and with it, Our spirits would burn and fly!   Would you care, my love, to dance with me, When we have time to dance, To the end of the sky?   Let’s dance, my love, Before dreams are lost, And longing is rusted, In our hearts and eyes, For the dead dance not, Nor ashes cry!   Before the lights are out, And the doors are closed, Wild hearts are muted, No more they pine and sigh.   Here! Before the world ends, Dance with me, my love! Dance to the end of the sky!   Or would you not ...

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Finding a solution to Pakistan’s ‘log kya kahenge’ syndrome

I am sure that most of you are well aware of Disney’s Oscar winning animated feature Frozen . What you are probably not aware of, however, is the fact that it could easily have been the creation of a Pakistani production house because Mir Zafar Ali, one of the animators behind the film, is Pakistani. In the past few decades, Pakistan has witnessed a major brain-drain; we have seen many talented individuals move to greener pastures in search of better employment prospects in their relevant fields of interest. Of course, there are those who haven’t given up on their dreams ...

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Wanderlust

I want to do more with my life Than just be a Pakistani girl, a wife, a mother, I want to take two years off, And backpack through Europe!   I want to watch the sun set over Paris from the Eiffel Tower, I want to walk on the streets of Venice, I want to get lost on the tube in London, I want to swim in the waters of Greece, I want to be mesmerised by the northern lights in Iceland, I want to go cycling in Holland, I want to walk through the Black forest during autumn in Germany, I want to follow the Sound of Music in Austria, I want to ...

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Another conversation with Grief

“They speak of humanity, my humanity is in feeling we are all voices of the same poverty.” – Jorge  Luis Borges, Boast of quietness “Can I interrupt?” the boy asked, and without waiting, he said, “I had asked who you are, but most of your answer merely told me where to look.” Grief was pleased. “Who we are, we don’t know. But we thought that maybe telling you about our whereabouts, we, too, might find out the answer.” The boy listened. Frowns no longer tented on his forehead. And this time, there was something strange in his expression, and Grief was happy that ...

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20 and about to get married? Say goodbye to your dreams and careers

“I can’t wait to pursue my bachelor’s degree abroad,” I beamed with delight. With disdain, as if I had said something extremely outrageous, I was asked,  “Wait, are you not going to get married?” Recently, my Facebook newsfeed was flooded with pictures of bridal and baby showers of girls whom I went to school with. I am 20-years-old and some of my friends are already married and have children. While I was taken aback by this at first, soon realisation began to hit me. This was it. This was the end of these young girls’ carefree lives and that too at the ripe ...

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Series 1: “Dreams of Lunacy” Part 5 Stroke of darkness

He sits with his feet on top of each other, touching the skin just behind the nails where the tips of his fingers feel the small hairs that have recently grown out of nowhere. He rests his head on the strong shoulders of his father and looks at his hands work on the 12 feet canvas. “Why must you draw, father?” Hearing the voice of his child after an hour of lost silence, his hands suddenly stop midway, as if caught in the middle of an unknown activity, knowing not whether to continue or to retract, just when he was producing ...

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