Stories about driving

Why can’t women ride motorbikes?

It wasn’t long ago when I saw her. I remember how stunned people were as soon as they caught a glimpse of her. She was a fat woman, wearing a dark grey men’s kurta with sleeves half-rolled, riding a motorcycle. Yes, you read it right. She was a middle-aged woman, riding a Honda 70 on Karachi’s roads, with a man sitting behind her. This often makes me wonder; being a girl, why am I deprived of enjoying this convenient form of personal commutation without having a million eyes ogling at me? It saves time and is amazingly economical, if nothing ...

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Saudi rights: Driving as feminist expression

Do the ladies who drive around in fast cars in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi have any idea of the day and age they live in? Let them just visit Saudi Arabia and see how every woman found driving a car gets arrested for it. The Arab ladies, however, have chosen to make a women’s liberation issue of it. They are not stopping. A feminist acquaintance of mine, who had always greeted me with some taunt or other about ‘your male chauvinist Pakistan’, told me today she was so happy with how liberal the country was. Alarmed, I asked for an ...

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Police check points: Learning to be less critical

Be it individuals or society as a whole, we rarely waste any opportunity to be critical. It seems to have become part of our nature. From the common man to the so-called intellectual class, we all are astute in passing out judgments. And the trend extends to the media as well. Anything positive hardly falls in the category of “breaking news”. On my way back home from work, I have to cross at least three police barricades, as do many of us. I will not be going into the merits and demerits of these check points. My focus, today, is on ...

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Alarming traffic situation: Donkeys in the fast lane

Time and again, the menace of child labour has been deplored by organisations, social workers, politicians and people in general, for obvious disadvantages and cruelties associated with it, but recently I came across another dimension attached to it. On a typical morning, I was rushing to a school in Defence in Karachi where I teach, and had taken the Ittehad route. Those familiar with the route would know that cars usually move at relatively higher speeds on that particular road. So here I was trying to reach school on time; I’ll be honest that I wasn’t over-speeding. At a distance, I ...

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Prado power: Licence to abuse

My friend’s brother, Saad, was driving back home from work on Shahrae Faisal when a car behind him honked frantically to get ahead.  Even though Saad was in the fast lane, he was apparently not fast enough for the Prado on his tail. He took a little time to slow down and moved into the next lane to give the impatient driver some room. Instead of just driving by, or perhaps offering a subtle note of gratitude, which we rarely witness on the road, the Prado sped ahead and swerved sharply in front of him. Four boys, maybe in their late teens ...

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