Stories about friends

How a group of dedicated friends changed the lives of 150 children

For a country with a population of 180 million, out of which 36 .7 per cent are under the age of 15, the education system of Pakistan is simply disgraceful. Although there is always a hue-and-cry about the importance of education by our leaders, little is actually done to implement the extensive measures that the government claims to pursue. As a result of the state’s negligence and the sheer inadequacy of infrastructure, millions of young children are unable to fight their way out of the poverty-stricken struggle that seems to be their destiny. Pakistan is currently rated number two on the ...

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In Islamabad: “You can’t eat here because you are Pakistani”

I didn’t hear about journalist Cyril Almeida’s investigation and subsequent tweets against the restaurant ‘La Maison’ through the news or any blogs he might have written. I heard about it from my friends on Facebook, people who are otherwise active in liberal circles and rightfully vocal against the many injustices of Pakistani society. But the injustice that they were complaining about was Almeida’s outrage that a restaurant in Islamabad bans Pakistanis unless they hold a dual nationality. Read that again. They were complaining about his actions, not the restaurant’s policies. Extremely upset. Heard a rumour of a new restaurant in F-7 that only accepts reservations ...

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14 ‘Dos’ for die-hard housewives in 2014

Another December is almost gone and panic sets in again like every year since my marriage. It is because I realise that like every past year, I seem to have missed sticking to most of my carefully formulated new year’s resolutions. I was never much of an ardent new year resolutions buff until I got married. Since my marriage, my resolutions are all centered around matrimony and how I, the better half, the second wheel in this rather complex relationship, can make it better. Fact of the matter is, December is the time when even the most eternal pessimists among us ...

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Cyber love, Skype affairs and affection that kills

“Hi, would you like to become friends with me?” “Well, you are a stranger and I am not allowed to talk to strangers.“ “If we talk, we can get to know each other, then we won’t be strangers anymore.” And that is how it all begins… just some ‘harmless fun’. Stories of rape, blackmail and abuse have become quite frequent of late. These tales are not limited to any particular class or strata of our patriarchal society. To quote just one personal incident, my maid’s daughter, a girl who was hardly 17-years-old at the time, eloped with a relative’s acquaintance and was recovered from another city. The ...

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10 ridiculous reasons for which I was ‘un-friended’ and blocked on Facebook

I am probably one of the very first people after Mark Zuckerberg to have joined this most readily available medium of connecting with old friends, existing colleagues and future soul mates; yes, I am talking about Facebook. Like every bald-headed, pot-bellied film director who does not even have the contacts to arrange the appropriate number of extras to dance behind a newbie actress in his never-to-hit-top-charts upcoming movie, but still insists that he is the mentor behind the success of every highest-paid star, I also take this privilege of being that one friend-in-need who invited nearly every close pal to this medium. If ...

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Girl talk: Why do women hate other women?

For as far back as I can remember most fights I had were with girls. In high school, I was okay to know I didn’t have many girls by my side, aside from the select one or two I had decided to be loyal to, protect and love till the end of our lives. Quite aptly, I was honoured at our Oscar’s themed farewell dinner in 11th grade; my title read “Bring it on”. A conversation with four colleagues reminded me of those years. They seemed to be in swift agreement when it came to deciding one thing about women- they hated each other. Sure, ...

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A Pakistani in Amsterdam: Sexual harassment has no geographical location

As I climbed the stairs to my apartment, I could feel my legs giving up and my heart throbbing in my throat. I did not know if my friends realised what damage I had just incurred as we exited the bar nearby our apartments. The experience rendered me silent in shock, which is why I only walked away, hoping to reach home safe and sound, instead of smashing the faces of those two men who stereotyped, harassed, heckled, and belittled me in broad daylight. After dinner, two of my American friends and I left the bar for home. At the doorstep, ...

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Nawaz Sharif visits Obama, but the US is a ‘master’, not a ‘friend’

The title, as many would have noticed, is one inspired by Field Marshal Ayub Khan’s book, Friends not Masters. However, with the passage of time the Pak-US friendship has deteriorated and unfortunately, we are no more their equals. A stark comparison can be seen between Ayub’s era and the present. In 1961, when the president of Pakistan landed in Washington, the US military forces were lined up to receive him. There was fanfare and the Pakistani flag waved in all its glory above them. The American public was present at the airport alongside the legendary President Kennedy and the First Lady to ...

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Leaving for college but trying to fit ‘home’ into a suitcase

Every time I leave home, I have the urge to pack everything within sight. Accessories I will never use, dozens of Pakistan flags I will forget to put up, books I won’t get time to read, stray tokens of days spent at home so that I may relive them at will. However, this odd impulse isn’t nearly as exasperating as the reality that I can’t actually pack the things that matter the most, because they are intangible. My sister’s voice or the spark in her chatter; my mother’s worried frown when she thinks I’m overworked; long, honest conversations with old friends; the innate comfort ...

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Stuffed chicken breast with mushroom sauce: Elaborate looking but easy cooking!

This recipe is not only easy to make but serves as the perfect main course for a nice sit down evening with your friends and family. Ingredients: 3 chicken breasts One bundle of spinach leaves 1tsp garlic paste (for the stuffing) Soy sauce for marinating Mozzarella cheese (thinly sliced) For the sauce: A handful of mushrooms 1 packet cream Corn-flour Freshly ground pepper 1 small onion chopped Method: Flatten the chicken breasts with a meat mallet. Rub with soy sauce, garlic paste, salt and black pepper. Photo: Nida Waqar Blanch* the spinach leaves and drain. Add salt, red chilli flakes and garlic paste. *Blanching is a method in which you add vegetables to ...

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