Stories about God

The baba near the seashore

He was 14, as he walked alongside the beach, barefooted, with his slippers placed under his armpits. The powdery sand tickled between his toes as he walked, until the dry soil met the wet mud and eventually the water. He was one of the few people in the brightly lit city of Karachi who would wake up before dawn and come to the beach. He had his reasons to do so. He would wake his aged grandfather up for the morning prayers, prepare a bucket of warm water for his ablution and make tea for him after he was done praying. He would then catch ...

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16 photos that prove India and Pakistan are just the same

Conflict isn’t the only thing common to India and Pakistan. We are just like neighbours who might quarrel but always have each other’s back. We are like neighbours who may not be too happy with the noisy parties the other throws but who would still like to be a part of each other’s happiness. This article is an attempt to focus on the everyday, the little things which unite us as a people. Forgive me if I come across as stating the obvious. But sometimes, the best of us tend to forget the obvious. And then it’s always good to remember, and to ...

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Willful ignorance

What do you want, God? What do you need? Submission, obedience and blind faith; is that all you require of me?   I am sorry, my Lord; this dogma I refuse to accept, From the Master of the universe, more compassion do I expect, You are the Vicegerent, the Supreme and the Omnipotent, Am I alive to live in fear? Is that how I am supposed to view your strength?   My heart does not believe it! It does not concur, It trusts a God of mercy and benignity, not tyranny and terror, They kill in Your name; they torment and subjugate, Will bigotry prevail over forbearance? Is that our fate?   They shed ...

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24 absurd beliefs Pakistanis have

Norms are beliefs about how members of a group should behave in a particular context. They are informal and often ‘invisible’ understandings and rules that govern a group’s behaviour towards particular religious, social, cultural, political and socio-economic triggers. Norms generally define what is acceptable in a society or group and are the building blocks for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviours, ideologies and narratives. These rules are generally implicit. In addition to what is considered normative in societal, political or cultural context, there are smaller groups within a society which endorse a particular norm. On one hand, norms define how to move, what to wear, how ...

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Lub pay aati hai dua bann kay tamanna meri

On December 16, 2014 The Express Tribune blogs desk received many submissions from grief stricken people from all over Pakistan. These people wanted to show their solidarity with the families of the victims. They wanted to mourn the deaths of the students and teachers from the Army Public School, who were brutally massacred by the TTP in Peshawar. Due to shortage of space, we were unable to accommodate many, but we understood that this was a traumatic event in which every Pakistani’s protest should be recorded. So, this post was created as a window for people to come together and ...

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Imran Khan versus Saad Rafique: In defence of Sheru

While surfing the net I stumbled on Saad Rafique’s harangue in the Parliament, berating Imran Khan for owning a dog called Sheru.  He seemed rather upset at the animal’s domestic privileges and rebuked Imran for allowing Sheru to sit on a drawing room sofa while showering heaps of affection on him. In his tirade against his political opponent, Rafique emphasised how keeping dogs and being affectionate towards them is against our cultural/religious values. Now, I happen to be a staunch supporter of animal rights, with a special place in my heart for dogs. Hence, I do not take kindly to ...

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Series 1: “Dreams of Lunacy” Part 2 Death

“Ghaffar, do you know that this is a dream? Only my ideas are real, the rest of all of this,” pointing to the room, the fireplace, the walls, and a recent family picture “is just an illusion.” “Yes father, I know but I don’t want to accept it. You say anything is possible once one works for it. Why then can’t you come back?” “Some things are permanent, my son. And death is one of them. But look, there is always a catch. Death is permanent, but you meet me in dreams, and so I could be this plant in your ...

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Series 1: “Dreams of Lunacy” Part 1 Dreams

“Father, what do we live for?” “What do you mean?” “You came, you built a family, and now all that remains of you are pictures throughout the house, and memories scattered throughout your family and relatives. But slowly, the pictures will get old, packed in big forgotten cardboard boxes. And the memories will retreat further inside, as room for newer ones is made… So, then if life will wash away all of our efforts, why move in the first place?” “You have been to an eye specialist, right?” “Yes, but please don’t change the topic.” He smiles, and continues, “When the eye specialist has to decide ...

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What would Iqbal think?

On the southern bank of the River Neckar in Heidelberg, Germany, is the Iqbal-Ufer. This street, running parallel to the river, was named in honour of Allama Iqbal, the poet-philosopher from India. It was here that the poet was granted his PhD in philosophy. As I glance at the images of this breathtaking city, I can understand Iqbal’s appreciation for beauty. What amazes me, however, is the depth his poetry plunges into when describing the despairing state of Muslims in India. An eye that is accustomed to beauty, a voice that thrills with eloquence, would shun despair and disillusionment. Yet these ...

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Hercules: Out with the demigods and in with the mortals

Director Brett Ratner, who has previously directed the Rush Hour trilogy, X-Men: The Last Stand, and Horrible Bosses, brings Hercules, an action-packed movie with Greek muscles written all over it. Pumping the action in the lead role is former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who is seen clad in leather attire while swinging his swords and clubs at his enemies with Greek conviction. Unlike the Greek mythology, where Hercules is the son of Zeus, the movie doesn’t bode that connection as this time the story is somewhat different. Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) is the leader of the mercenaries and although he is regarded as the demigod son ...

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