Stories about friends

Teenage dreams and crunchy chilli and corn aaloo cutlets

One of my brothers likes to tell the story of how when he was back in Karachi during one of his college breaks, he walked into the kitchen to find a girl he had not seen before with her head submerged in our deep freezer, furtively foraging for something to eat. When he asked her who she was, she responded by asking him who he was to which he said, “I live here.” To which she exasperatingly replied, “I’ve never seen you before.” My poor brother then retorted, “Well, I haven’t seen you either.” Once they has resolved their impasse and she had told him ...

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Why is domestic abuse the selling point of Pakistani dramas?

The drama industry in Pakistan has grown exponentially and is a very valuable export of ours. These dramas have turned Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan into household names. For Pakistanis living abroad, they serve as a potent link to life back home and provide a much needed break from reality. However, there is still room for improvement. One particular thing that really irks me is the propensity to show violence against women on screen. There have been numerous incidents where a young member of my own family might be playing with a toy and they are suddenly transfixed to the TV screen, ...

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Tip of my tongue: Navigating the silences of being Chinese and female

Memories murmur. In my flesh, in the flesh of the world. My migration story, beginning two decades ago in 1995, is made up of many of these murmurs and some have taken years to unearth and delve into. When a new friend in the seventh grade asked me if I ate dog, I thought it a strange question, said “no” and told no one. It’s not like my family talked about what it meant to assimilate into a new country. We didn’t talk about the immigration experience — however life changing — we simply, quietly and peacefully attempted to blend in. Even after an ...

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My massive love affair with these mini quiches

When I was hosting some friends over for an afternoon tea, I had already thought of having scones and a chocolate tart. I needed one more dish! Growing up, it was always important to make sure that there was enough food to feed all your guests and more; always more, than less. Since it wasn’t a lunch or dinner, I wanted to have little bits that people could pick on while hanging out. Dips, chips and all of that is the easy part. I needed something else that I could make over the weekend and freeze easily since I would have had to make ...

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11 things we learnt from Ho Mann Jahaan

“Ho Mann Jahaan”, apparently among Pakistan’s most anticipated films, released recently to packed houses and rave reviews. While there’s enough in the film to keep you glued to the seats, Pakistan has definitely seen better films lately. An amazing soundtrack, a boisterous star-cast, decent acting, ample use of flashy colours, spectacular cinematography and some great locales are some of the film’s strong points. However, there’s more to the film; and far more shades of grey that go well in one flick. So here’s a round-up of the deeper meanings and greater life lessons from “Ho Mann Jahaan”. No spoilers ...

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He was one-and-twenty, but his circumstances failed him

It was a big day for Murad. He was finally going to sit in the classrooms meant for students doing Masters at the English Language and Literature Department of Forman Christian College, Lahore. This was something he had been looking forward to for the last four years. He had, in fact, not applied anywhere else and the admission committee was keen to know why. “This is my home. I topped university examination from this college. Besides everything else, I have an inexpressible emotional bonding with this department, for the mentors who groomed me, the friends I have spent four years with, and ...

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The price I pay for respecting Islam

Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think I would become a scholar focusing on Islam and Christian-Muslim relations. Growing up, my passion was playing basketball and following the Boston Celtics. I never had any Muslim friends. In fact, I did not even know a single follower of Islam until my college years. If you had asked me “What is a Muslim?” when I was 16-years-old, I would not be able to answer you. But everything changed when 9/11 happened.  Muslims were seen as “extremists” and Islam was an “evil” force that had to be crushed by “freedom loving people”. When it came time to ...

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“Ami please, don’t speak to me in front of my friends”

Coming from a 19-year old college student, perhaps what I am writing is completely irrelevant and maybe even stupid, but I’m a person and I have experienced life as it came to me, as it comes to me. All of us have our own beliefs based on the circumstances that we face, and it is these very beliefs that shape our reactions to the obstacles that we encounter. There is no right and wrong in such situations, there are only regrets and lessons that we learn or we don’t, depending upon each person. In my early teens, I was super embarrassed to introduce my ...

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Friends or Modern Family, which comedy genre do you like?

Before I start, let me first explain the two genres of comedy shows. There is the single-camera setup, which has no ‘laugh track’, similar to a regularly shot TV drama. And then there is the multi-camera setup, which is shot in front of a live audience and does have a ‘laugh track’, often contributed by the audience in front of whom it is filmed. However, as times are changing, more and more networks are shifting to extravagant yet easier ways of shooting comedies. And who can blame them? After all, when you have to shoot in front of an audience, you risk ...

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Of social media and tragedies: How you can save someone from suicide

Being an overseas Pakistani, my social media is divided into three parts. Facebook consists of solely my friends and acquaintances from Pakistan, with a dash of people from this part of the world. Instagram is quite mixed with both Canadian and Pakistani friends, and my Twitter is filled with Canadian friends and acquaintances with a few Pakistanis here and there. So it was a normal day at home when I woke up and went through the norms of browsing through my social media. Facebook had the same old ego-centric people posting about things they deemed important. Instagram saw the very people doing the same exact ...

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