Stories about friend

You let me down, my friend

Teenage years are said to be the golden age of a person’s life; when a person feels unchained and independent as if the whole universe lies beneath him. Nothing seems unattainable, boundaries are invisible and risk remains a concept unheard of. It was during my teenage years, that I met you my dear friend. When I got hold of you for the first time it was as if I had found a dear friend. You completed me and I felt like you would never let go of my hand. And you never did, my friend. In times of good and bad, you were always there. But ...

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When I say Gouda you say Peppers, Gouda Peppers!

When I started making this spicy and aromatic appetiser with Gouda cheese, my mind naturally wandered off to the Netherlands. Gouda cheese is named after a city in the Netherlands where one of my oldest friends’ also lives. This friend and I have four things in common: adorable maternal grandparents, loads of grey hair, identical feet and the ability to eat insanely spicy food. I can’t reminisce enough when I think of all the times we’ve played in our grandmothers’ gardens, fought over home grown tangerines, turnips and carrots, made houses with wet sand, watched daffy duck cartoons, endlessly sang kya hua tera waada ...

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Shaking myths off pregnancy: No, you do not need to eat for two if you’re pregnant!

Seated at a conventional ‘daawat’ (family dinner), I heard an aunty asking a friend, “Apki bahu kyun nahin ayi?” (Why didn’t your daughter-in-law come?) Her friend smiled and replied, “Asal main uski tabiyat kharab hai” (Actually, she isn’t feeling very well.) The room filled up with smiles and people started congratulating Sarah’s mother-in-law. Perplexed and curious, I looked around to know what was going on when I was told in a hushed whisper that Sarah was about to start a family. Pregnancy is a perfectly normal phenomenon and should not be treated as an illness. It shows that like all other systems in our body, the reproductive ...

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Does anyone in Pakistan know how to save money?

While I was visiting a friend, I came across something very peculiar. His domestic help, who was serving us tea and refreshments, had headphones plugged into his ears and kept chatting away to someone over his phone. His behaviour remained consistent during my four-hour-long stay and I wondered how he was able to talk so long without his mobile balance running out.  Giving in to my curiosity, I asked my friend about his servant’s excessive phone calls, to which he explained that of the Rs10,000 that he received as salary, a major chunk of it went either to buying a new phone ...

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Don’t blame yourself, Raza

Dearest Raza, I was on my way to meet a friend when I got the news. I was frantic. I spent the next few hours refreshing every device I had connected to the internet to make sure you hadn’t personally been hurt in the attack. I then found out you had been, but seeing your injuries were minor, I thought,  “Thank God” Not that anyone wants to lose a friend, but you are more than a friend. You are someone I deeply respect and admire for both your candour and your passion. I thought I knew you well until I read your book, ‘Dehli ...

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The rise of the rupee: A politically potent economical stupidity

Last week I received a call from a friend in Karachi. “What is going on with the dollar?! Should I buy dollars? Why is it falling like this?”  My answer was simple. “The dollar isn’t falling; it’s the rupee that is rising.” What’s the difference? Difference is its implication. Hailing from a regime that had made promises of ending load shedding within 90 days of coming to power, the fact that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar made good on his December 2013 promise to bring the dollar down to Rs98 deserves an applause. While those who consider the currency exchange rate as something of a competitive sport where appreciation ...

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What it means to be a ‘Pakistani’

A few days ago a good friend of mine, living abroad, asked me a question: “What do you think ‘Pakistani’ means?” The question threw me aback, partly because it was unexpected and partly because I couldn’t think of an immediate answer. A myriad of images flew around in my head in an instant; from the hustle and bustle of Karachi’s Empress Market, to the textures of the Anarkali bazaar in Lahore. But my friend’s question went deeper than just images and feelings. I found myself trying to truly explore what the concept of being ‘Pakistani’ entails. EMPRESS MARKET. PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA Looking at it purely ...

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Five strange things all Pakistani fauji’s do

In countries like Pakistan, army officers are treated with a special kind of respect and having a fauji (soldier) friend is considered to be an honour. I am sure many people know what it feels like to have a friend who is either a Gentleman Cadet (GC) or a ‘leftanent’ as a lieutenant is usually called. It’s a feeling that cannot be explained in words. However, in my case, the ratio of fauji friends is quite high since I have grown up in the company of many ‘army boys’. Hence, in recognition of my fauji friends and their efforts, I decided to write something about their exhausting and ...

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A Pakistani, an Indian and the gentleman’s game!

It was 8:30 at night. Imran was sitting in his apartment in one of the posh areas of Dubai. Sprawled on the comfortable couch, he lazily switched channels on his 60-inch plasma TV while typing a text message to a friend on his cell phone. His iPad lay next to him, opened to The New York Times online page.  It was a typical evening in the life of a Generation Y executive surrounded by technology 24/7 until the familiar ring of an incoming Skype call jolted him out of his lethargic state. He looked at his watch and then ...

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Is it a crime in Pakistan for a boy to drop a girl home?

A few days ago, as a friend was dropping me back home after dinner; we were pulled aside by the cops on main Khayaban-e-Shahbaz road in Defence, Karachi. No dark corner or shady alley but while driving smack in the middle of a bustling road. While we pulled over the car, the men in uniform, (who in all likelihood belonged to the Darakshan police station since the area falls under that jurisdiction) asked my friend to get out of the car. As expected, he was asked to produce the required ‘kaaghzaat’ and give details of our whereabouts. Upon inspection and failing ...

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