Stories about happy

Thoughts on leaving Pakistan

The last time I put thoughts to paper was a year and a half ago, when my husband and I moved back to Pakistan from the US. It happened very suddenly, under very sad circumstances, and there we were – thrust into a disorienting new life, filling roles we had never anticipated, never wanted, inhabiting, once again, the cloistered, uninspiring world of Lahore’s privileged class. Much elapsed during the past 18 months in Lahore – much to rejoice and remember. Engagements, bridal showers, weddings. Baby showers, and babies! Farewell parties and welcome-back parties, birthday parties and Pictionary parties. PTI fever, elections, and Pakistan’s ...

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Shuddh Desi Romance: Fairy tales exist, with or without marriage!

Three days into the release of Shuddh Desi Romance (SDR), most of the Bollywood viewers (irrespective of whether they have seen the movie or not) know that the film circles around the theme of cohabitation, or live-in relationships as more commonly known. Most of these people have also formed opinions about the movie and its concept, which leaves little room for me to address the movie in. After all, what can I say? Everything has already been said! Frankly, to me, SDR is not about love or relationships at all. Strangely enough, it makes me want to take a good look at ...

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Celebrating 95 years: Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” – Nelson Mandela. Having lived in Zimbabwe as part of larger Southern African community for more than a year or so, I have found that you cannot remain untouched by the magic of Madiba. Probably one of the most influential icons of African history and a sparkling star of our times, Nelson Mandela is fighting the ultimate battle for his life today, physically. However, his legacy will remain as ...

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Smiling through a bad day

I disembarked the airplane thinking of how discontent I was with the 35 hour journey. I was determined to write letters of complaint to the involved airline for their disorganized conduct. Now, I had a total of 12 hours of nothing to do. I felt vexed and disgusted.  I found a secluded bench, dropped my bag, and sat down to engage in what travelers typically do at airports – people-watching.  After looking around for several hours, I came across an elderly gentleman who would not stop smiling. It seemed that nothing could faze this man.  He entertained a couple to whom ...

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The algebra of happiness

We spend the greater  part of our lives calculating, constructing, accumulating and chasing our perceived parameters of happiness. Such parameters are usually the rational outcome of pre-established formulas and algebraic equations that have been fed to our brains by the more accomplished happiness seekers and by our interdependent social structures. Interestingly, the recognized achievers of this unparalleled feeling have also constructed their algebra based on collective judgment and the common societal beliefs. Under the simplest of formula, we are told that happiness is the derivative of good education, followed by a great job, tons of wealth, a happy family life ...

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Chocolates for slum children

“So we want to distribute these chocolates among kids before we leave,” my family friends said excitedly. Born and brought up in England, they were living in Dubai now and were on a visit to Pakistan. In the last couple of days, during their visit, they told us about the chocolates that they had brought with them for the underprivileged children. In order to fulfill my kind guests’ noble request, I asked my brother who knew of a slum that was cocooned in the middle of one of Islamabad’s posh sectors. Further investigation revealed that our cleaner Basheer Lala also came from ...

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10 terrific traits of the average Pakistani

This piece is not based on empirical data. Not even on a wide array of anecdotal data. This is just one person remarking on her observations over the course of her relatively short life. And, of course, the term “average” is employed pretty loosely here since the true “average” Pakistani is busy making ends meet and incapable of reading such self-indulgent articles. So of course, I mean the average person among the English-newspaper reading segment of society. I hope this serves as a sufficiently verbose disclaimer. 1. Our warmth: I was halfway through the journey on a PIA flight back ...

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Finding my way, from London to Karachi

I was heartbroken when I moved home. In London, I had discovered myself; I found who I was and became independent. I graduated, got a decent job and made lots of new friends. Every day my friends and I would gather in central London to have drinks with a quick meal and chat endlessly. Central London was the most exciting part of the city; beautifully lit buildings, crowded bars, restaurants, movie premiers, theatre, street festivals, unexpected fireworks. I can write page upon page about central London, but that’s all behind me now. Now, I am back in my city: Karachi. Home is a ...

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Getting my hands dirty in Islamabad

Freak weather and climate change, have made for some beautiful Sundays in Islamabad. Yesterday was one of them. So, a friend and I decided to make the best of it by hitting one of the picturesque trails – the perfect antidote to the bureaucratic air that otherwise prevails the environs of the capital. The atmosphere was quite festive. What a blessing it is to walk in the woods, I had thought to myself. The tribulations of the week were shaken off almost magically as we trudged along the trail taking in the scenery. Nature’s palette was especially vibrant that day. Bronze and gold ...

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The relationship paradox

Someone asked me if it was true that people in relationships were happier than those who are single. The issue is quite debatable and the answer evaded me. So, over the past week I have been asking different people, married, single, divorced, engaged, and newly- weds for their opinion. But I still could not easily determine whether people in relationships were happier than single ones. I decided to analyse data I had. According to my survey people in stable relationships, which offered security and understanding, were happy. But immature relationships led to short-term happiness and extreme sadness in the end.  Facts confirmed my study. People in relationships live longer. Marriage apparently adds around seven ...

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