Stories about expensive

An open letter to bakra mandi owners

Dear bakra mandi owners,  This letter is to express my absolute stupefaction over your outrageous, albeit devious, marketing tactics, yet again, at Eidul Azha this year. The prices of goats and cows have escalated to a level that is beyond the financial capacity of the middle class group to afford. Even the lower upper class is having second thoughts about fulfilling this necessary religious obligation. More and more people are forced to take shares in cows. For me, as well as for millions of other like me, I’m sure, taking shares in cows is extremely embarrassing because it openly screams of the fact that I ...

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Are Pakistani brides actually ready to pay up to Rs66,000 for one night’s wedding makeup?

Everywhere in the world, winter comes with chilly days and hot chocolate but in Pakistan it brings along wedding season. It is my friend’s wedding this season also and as all the wedding plans were materialising, the last thing on my friend’s mind was her makeup costs. Unfortunately, amidst all the instructions and warnings that were pouring down from the whole family regarding clothes, food, set-up, no one addressed the skyrocketing costs of salons these days. Searching for the right place was rather easy; making peace with the costs of the right place was not. We came across the rates of Natasha Salon’s, Shamain, Bina Khan and ...

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Do your parents a favour and eat at home this Ramazan

According to a recent research, people in Pakistan spend 47.7% of their income on fast food and beverages. If we compare this to the spending patterns of other countries we will realise that this is, in fact, a very high ratio. Eating out is a popular pastime for the people of Pakistan – we are seen at restaurants, food courts and even food stands during festivals and celebrations. Ramazan, ironically, is like a month of food festivities for us. With people choosing different food for sehri and iftar, in Ramazan we are seen frequenting food outlets a lot more than in any ...

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Shhh… my kids are sleeping… I killed them both

As I write this, my little boy sits next to me with a mango juice box in one hand and the iPad in another. I glance at him and think of how wonderful childhood is. Cartoons of five monkeys jumping on a bed drive you into a fit of laughter. Hugs and kisses are aplenty. He sleeps on a warm, comfortable bed every night. When he’s sick, his mother wastes no time in giving him the medication he needs. When his father comes home from work, he hugs his little boy and kisses his booboos. He’s a lucky, lucky kid. He’s lucky ...

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When you eat at an expensive restaurant, do you think of the poor?

A few days ago, a friend of mine got a job at a university and to celebrate the occasion, we decided to go out for dinner. Of course, it was going to be his treat. After a long debate over what to eat and where to go, we finally decided to have a buffet dinner at a restaurant close by. We decided the date and time and extended the invite to other friends as well. There were going to be seven of us. I lived in a hostel with another friend and so we decided to go together. We reached the ...

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Fun City Islamabad: Pakistan’s very own Disneyland?

Last week I had to go to Islamabad for an interview at the Turkish embassy. The tiring experience of getting into the infamous diplomatic enclave severely tested my patience. The long wait at the embassy was accompanied by somewhat unearthly people who dared to bring their cell phones inside. How they managed to pull this stunt is still a mystery to me, as I myself was checked at two points leading me to drop my iPad and cell phone at the counter. As a cherry on the top, I was told to come back in the evening to collect the passports. Only ...

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When we were too poor to afford Blue Band margarine

I still remember the day that Blue Band margarine was introduced to Alamdar Bakery in my home-town of Quetta, Pakistan. The glossy silver packaging and the light blue printing stood out among all the other butter in the bakery’s refrigerator. However, I refrained from taking an interest in this new product since I was well aware that my parents would not be able to afford it. I continued to consume the inexpensive Liaquat Makkhan for breakfast even after the older brother of the baker recommended Blue Band with great zeal; I consoled myself by thinking that he was just trying to improve his sales. As the weeks ...

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A father’s wish on Eidul Azha

Azhar stood at the bus stop, waiting for the bus to come. His eyes filled with tears and standing there in the heat of the scorching sun just made everything seem even more dismal. Before he could stop himself, a helpless sigh escaped him; then, straightening his shoulders, he took a deep breath and pretended to look eagerly towards the corner of the road from where the bus was to come. Yet, as much as he tried, his mind kept taking him back to the comfort of his boss’s air-conditioned office. He still couldn’t believe that his employer had asked ...

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Admission packages and taking students for an expensive ride

It’s that stressful time of the year when students are excited and anxious at the same time; the transition between O’levels and A’levels isn’t easy. Why you might ask? Well, it’s upsetting to many students that their parents have to put down obscene amounts of money at different A’level schools to ensure that their children have a slot to study there once their O’levels are over.  Yes, you read correctly. Schools have made a business out of students’ admission dilemma. They take advantage of our helplessness by asking for tuition fees and a security deposit in advance. However, what they fail to ...

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10 things I miss about PTV

Some of you might be too young to remember, but in the not-so-distant past, there was a time when we had just one TV channel, Pakistan Television (PTV). This lone channel, too, did not air all day. In fact, it started at around 4 pm and almost always ended before midnight. We have come a long way since then as Pakistani media has grown into a huge industry. Undoubtedly, this has many advantages in terms of opportunity and exposure. But sometimes I can’t help but feel terribly nostalgic. I miss the simpler days of PTV.  Here’s a list of things about the ...

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