Stories about father

She was found in a pool of dried blood

The light blue sky hung over Najeeba as she rushed on the wet, slippery streets of her city. The city was lit by neon lights emerging from clubs and bars around every other corner, and nightfall meant the noise of blaring car horns was so loud, she couldn’t even hear herself think. Terror clouded her mind, her eyes darting from one corner to another, fearing the longing gazes of street hawkers and lazy drivers, each of them with a disgusting smile plastered onto his face. She knew she would have to bear her father’s anger once she got home. She ...

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I wanted a son but we had a daughter

Growing up as a person of Indian descent, it is ingrained in you that when it comes to having a child – a boy is better than having a girl. Deeply rooted in cultural beliefs, the context for this line of reasoning is purely archaic and comes from long-established religious and cultural practices in India. Where having a daughter is considered to be a burden in low-income segments of the population, specifically when young girls come of age and are to marry. Parents of daughters are then confronted with a slew of financial implications like paying for a wedding and ...

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Dear Yoda, would dad approve of my decision to sign his code status as ‘Do Not Resuscitate’?

Dear Yoda, As you know, dad had a massive stroke a few months ago. The stroke was like Hurricane Harvey in several respects – it occurred around the same time as Harvey, and like the hurricane, was of unexpected intensity and left devastation in its wake. Those who read (perhaps enjoy) my rambling (writing), including you, might recall the piece I wrote about dad and his health issues, dementia per se, last year. I received flak for writing about dad – in fact, one person came very close to calling it a sacrilegious act of airing one’s dirty laundry. Then there were others, like most ...

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The words not spoken

He had slept without removing his shoes. His parents watched him as they stood in the doorway. They smiled, went towards him and took off his shoes, one by one, gently, as if each had a life of its own. But his socks were quite moist and his feet felt cold. She looked at her son with concern, but her husband calmly motioned her to sit. Both of them sat as she wiped his feet with her hands and a cloth, and tucked him neatly into a blanket.  She switched the lights off, and as darkness submerged the boy’s room, they returned ...

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“I hate materialistic people, beta, but I love my designer clothes”

Whilst travelling from Doha to London, I had a 60-year-old Pakistani aunty sitting next to me on my flight. To be honest, it was a rather pleasant surprise to find another Pakistani on board. What came next was a surprise, but not a pleasant one. She began talking to me. Incessantly. Without any breaks. She started off by telling me that she is from a rich business family in Karachi and handed me her husband’s business card right after. She went on to tell me that her only son, who lives in England, recently got divorced. She let me in on the nitty-gritty details about how ...

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Pakistan’s long distance relationship with Afghanistan will never end

Banaras Khan was eight when he came to Pakistan in 1979, shortly after the Russians arrived in Afghanistan. He was the second eldest son, who crossed the Pak-Afghan border at Mohmand by foot with only his mother. His father had two wives – and he chose to settle down with Banaras’ stepmother in Peshawar. Banaras and his mother came with nothing to a country completely foreign to them. They took refuge with an old Afghan neighbour who was already residing in a rented home in my neighbourhood. His mother borrowed some money in the hopes of starting their life again. She began to ...

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Son of Saul: A new light to the Holocaust

Son of Saul (2015) is the tale of a Hungarian Jewish prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. He is forced to work as a ‘Sonderkommando’ in disposing the bodies of Jewish prisoners in gas chambers. Upon discovering a body of a young Jewish boy, Saul realises that this might be his son and from then on, searches for a Rabbi to give his ‘son’ a proper Jewish burial. The film is the feature directing debut of László Nemes and stars Géza Röhrig as the lead. Son of Saul won the Academy Award this year for Best Foreign Film and has ...

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Series 3 The Little Princess Part 3 Nothing short of a tyrant

What came next was an eternity in hell. Her mother’s screams still pierce the air around her house. After what seemed like an eternity, the noises died out. The house seemed empty. Ammarah knew her mother was dead. Without hearing any gun shots or seeing her die, she knew her mother was no more. She didn’t cry though. With bone dry eyes and a scratchy throat, Ammarah attempted to climb down to her mother. She slipped several times. She steadied herself. The sight that met her eyes was beyond every explanation. There is an emotion beyond horror. It is beyond ...

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Series 3 The Little Princess Part 1 Blushing with fear

Women are creatures of the spring. Their hearts do not beat, they flutter. Their dispositions are sweet like honey and their eyes deep as oceans, their smiles light up their surrounding and their voices are like symphonies. They light up candles, make wishes, find shapes in the clouds, make sand castles and dream their days away. These are the fortunate ones though. When real life unleashes its raw cruelty, the spring turns to autumn. Hearts get torn apart, dispositions are rendered naked and the eyes… oh the eyes are the worst…They lose their sparkle; the oceans dry and leave giant ...

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If my father dies, I will hold Islamabad’s Shifa International responsible for his death

As I write this, my father is fighting for his life, unconscious with a ventilator pumping oxygen into his frail body from a makeshift tank in the surgical step-down of supposedly one of the best health facilities in this unfortunate country, the Shifa International Hospital of Islamabad. But my father was not like this a couple of days ago. He came to this hospital expecting humanity, civility, hospitality, professionalism and some refined attitude. None of his expectations were met and instead he nearly lost his life. As his bed was being darted into the ICU, he was unconscious and heartbroken. He had ...

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