Stories about friend

I witnessed murder in Karachi

Last week, someone was murdered very close to my house and a friend of mine witnessed the crime. Three men mugged my friend and then asked the person in the next car to give them her phone. She resisted. They pulled her out and shot her dead, just like that.   Two nights ago, while I was still reeling from the shock of this incident, I witnessed two murders myself. Two friends and I were on our way home after dinner. We took the Nursery Bridge to drop a friend and right when we turned from Allahwali Chowrangi we heard gun shots. Terrified, ...

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Remembering Ashfaq Ahmed: Through his stories, he will live forever in our hearts

On September 7, 2004, while sitting in my office and doing my routine work, I received a call from a close friend. Without the usual ‘Salam dua’ he exclaimed, “Ashfaq sahib is no more; just got the news.” It was a short sentence, but it had many aspects attached to it. The feeling of a great loss, sweet memories of so many stories, dramas and plays, of colourful travelogues, funny incidents, thought-provoking quotes of Sufis and other baabay (mystics); nostalgic recollections of a life well spent, and fully lived. So much came to mind and passed like a breeze, leaving me numb and motionless ...

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About a time when friends were real and life was simple

One of the most vivid memories from my early teen years is of my best friend at that time and me, sitting outside his building near the pavement, drinking  Coke and eating sandwiches. I used to take a cab from my house to his and then we would sit outside on our usual spot and talk. We used to talk about nothing in particular and yet, we had so much to say; so many ambitions, dreams, goals, small and big challenges, love affairs, infatuations and yes, personal philosophies and beliefs (even at that age) to share with each other. We were ...

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My brave friend was killed in the attack on the ISI in Sukkur

At 3:00pm on an overcast day in Sialkot, I buried a friend. He was just 33-years-old and too young to go, but God works in mysterious ways. Major Zeeshan Suddle was killed in a suicide attack carried out by five terrorists on the Sukkur office of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) on July 24, 2013. At least nine people were killed that day and approximately 35 remain injured. It was Iftar time and my friend Zeeshan was opening his fast with his wife when the first bomb went off. Covered in shattered glass, his wife begged him to stay put, but being the brave person that he ...

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Balochistan University bus attack: My best friend died the day he wanted to live his life!

After spending all day preparing for a party at my university, I slept very late. I could hardly wait for the next morning, when my classmates and I would finally be performing in the plays we had prepared for. We had parodies lined up and even a fashion show. The next morning was going to be fantastic, I thought. The fashion show was a party tradition of the computer science and computer engineering departments of the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS). This time, upon my insistence, my friend Aqeel agreed to walk the ramp. After a ...

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Politics and pink lipstick: The new-age Pakistani funeral

Recently, my father’s close friend passed away. Baba was extremely sad and didn’t have the strength to visit the family all by himself so I decided to accompany him. I reassured him by telling him that I would recite the Holy Quran while he condoled with the family. As I entered the apartment, I took off my chappals in a corner of the room where there was already a mound of different shapes and sizes of diamanté laden shoes. As promised, I took the Holy Quran and sat down next to a group of middle-aged, anorexic ladies who were dressed in expensive ...

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The Vice Guide to Karachi will not render my love for the city void

Recently, I came across a documentary – the Vice Guide to Karachi – a short film based on the heart of Pakistan. Shot during the recent Lyari operation, this five-part documentary shows one of the many sides to this big city. Describing Karachi as an ultra-violent metropolis of Pakistan, the documentary specifically revolves around the problems that have given the city the title of being the most violent. In 2011 more than three times as many people were killed in Karachi than the number of people killed in American drone strikes. This statistic stated early on sets the whole tone for the documentary. It serves to provide an ...

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A dummy’s guide to corruption

Corruption is shameful. But when no one is looking it may become tempting. For those who land a government job in our beloved country with large funds at their disposal. Here is some advice on how to sell your soul: Kill your conscience: Corruption is not for the weak-hearted. You have to believe that it is not a sin but your right to survive in this competitive world. You need to keep telling yourself that if you make enough money, you will do some charity work for your fellow countrymen. Educate yourself: Don’t make the fatal mistake of choosing your designation ...

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She’s my girl ‘friend’ not my ‘girlfriend’

I have a friend who happens to be a girl, but isn’t my girlfriend. No, the ‘scene’ is not ‘on’. Don’t give me that mischievous smile and stop calling her ‘bhabhi’. If you attempt to high-five me, I will leave you hanging.  Life is not a Bollywood movie where a man and a woman who spend enough time together will inevitably, inescapably, unequivocally fall in love with each other and enunciate their mutual affection to the world through a hilariously choreographed musical number. A platonic relationship between two individuals of opposite gender can, and does, exist. It’s not uncommon for a college boy ...

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“Death is better than divorce”

When I heard that Nariman*, my bubbly childhood friend, was back in town, I was overjoyed beyond belief. I looked forward to a time full of fun and laughter and doing every thing under the sun. When we were younger, I actually believed that sitting still caused Nariman physical pain, because she was always so excited. But three years after her wedding, she sits old and haggard, her eyes devoid of all laughter, her gait lacking spirit, and her voice like a mere rustle of dead leaves on parched mud. What led to the transition is not the fact that ...

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