Stories about friends

Why you should pick a college away from home

Unlike the West, where living away from home is a norm, a large part of our traditional Pakistani society is new and rather averse to this notion. Most parents are overprotective by nature and are unwilling to disrupt the family dynamics. Thus, they are reluctant to even consider the possibility of sending their children away from home. Sure, attending college in one’s hometown is an experience in itself.  However, I think that the purpose of college education entails character-building, ability to deal with copious amount of pressure and exploring the person that one is or wishes to be. Dorm-life, in ...

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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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A broken pen, a sweeper’s respect and my shame

It was a normal day at college. While two of my friends were playing table tennis, another friend and I were trying to disrupt their game by constantly throwing objects their way. This was routine for us – nothing unusual. On this particular day, we started by throwing Nestle water bottle caps at them, then pen caps and when we ran out of the smaller pieces, we threw pens their way. Since we had a poor aim, these items were scattered all over the lobby but we didn’t pay much attention to the mess we had made and continued with ...

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Virtual emptiness

Tweet tweet tweet, all day long. Upload pictures and statuses on Facebook letting the world know what you have been up to and Skype with your family and friends abroad to keep in touch. Oh and how could I forget the wonderful world of Whatsapp that has made life so much easier by reducing, or eliminating almost all barriers of communication! Most of you might be of the opinion that such technology can only be good for us by connecting us to our beloveds with the touch of a button, making e-businesses flourish through online marketing and having access ...

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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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Not-so-blissful ignorance

Some say that ignorance is bliss. I found the truth in this the hard way. A while back, I noticed I was losing weight and the correlating inches off my waistline which made me feel very happy that I was looking smart. But my loved ones, including my wife, forced me to go for a medical check-up. Then I felt the pain of knowledge. Searching for a good doctor in the twin cities was a difficult task because you have to hear everyone’s two cents on whether or not the doctor is any good, or if he/she has had good results ...

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Yes, I was home-schooled and I turned out fine

Whenever I am introduced to someone, they are certain to ask me the following, very annoying question: “Which grade are you studying in and what school do you go to?” My answer generally leaves them dumbfounded. You see, I have never been to school – ever. I am home-schooled and am currently doing my A’ levels. I am a keen student and always manage to secure good grades. Despite having all the opportunities to enroll myself in any well-reputed school, I chose to study on my own. When I tell people this, they ask me why I chose to be home-schooled. It is a predictable question and I ...

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Karim bhai: Love and cherish before it is too late

Sometime in October 1983, I happened to be driving past the Hanging Gardens Apartments on the way to a friend’s place to play cards. That area of Karachi was still being developed and the famous Boating Basin was yet to be commissioned. 1983 was a year when we old class fellows had returned from our studies abroad. Karachi was home and had been our shelter for the first 18 years of our lives. It was a joyous homecoming. Life was still young and hopeful. Early career and a slog at work, was compensated by a lot of eating out and ...

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Beware: Your knight in shining armour might be out to get you!

We’ve all been advised at some point in our lives to choose our company wisely. Never in time has it held more importance than today, when you can’t even trust your own blood. Javaid Choudhary’s column, some time ago, titled “Save your children” in the Daily Express makes for a chilling read in this regard as he meticulously outlines how certain gangs are operating in the country. They settle in posh areas, admit their children to a pristine private school and the next thing you know, your child has a new best friend that he can’t stop raving about. Soon enough, as this ...

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It’s something unpredictable but in the end it’s right, I hope you’ve had the time of your life

School is over. No, I don’t mean it’s over because of a strike or bomb blast. I mean it’s over in the sweetest, most beloved of ways the end of year party. Eighteen-year-olds from A-Level institutions across the city suddenly cleaned up, straightened their ties, and ironed their dupattas. Mascaras were lost and found, bathroom mirrors were overtaken, and poses were struck in airy gardens and sleek white studios. Jimmy’s and Dossani’s probably made a killing this week. And Facebook won’t let me forget it. Suddenly, everyone’s cover photo is that of them with their friends, eating halwa puri at Boat Basin ...

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