Stories about help

10 reasons moms have superpowers and dads don’t!

Although parenthood has its pros – where we can make our strongest pains go away by a simple kiss on our children’s forehead – it can also be difficult to handle at times. Therefore, a little appreciation for the tasks our parents do for us is enough to make their day. Hence, keeping the nature of the day in mind, I have attempted to list down 10 reasons why our moms deserve special recognition. (Dads, please don’t feel left out. Remember, Father’s Day is round the corner too, so you’ll get your list as well.) Privacy Dads have the privilege to use the washroom privately, at their ...

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World Thalassemia Day: Is Pakistan not charitable enough?

My dear homeland not only lingers behind in valuable energy resources but also lacks in philanthropy and benevolence. Very few people endeavour to promote human welfare and even fewer perform charitable tasks in our society. We hardly desire or care about doing something to help the less fortunate. A spider bite may not be able to transform you into a superhero but a tiny needle prick and a little bit of your time definitely can. Yes, you can become a super hero and for that, all you have to do is donate blood. All of us know that giving blood provides an essential lifeline ...

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The Prado effect

Adam’s story I backed out of the driveway, closely monitoring the environment around me. This was the first time I was driving such a large vehicle and it was safe to assume that there was a very steep learning curve with regards to keeping the jeep on the road. “I need to pick up something for Natasha.” Amir squeaked from the backseat. There were around five people sitting atop each other. I nodded, glancing towards the road ahead before putting the jeep in gear. A slight tap on the accelerator and the monstrous engine roared to life, launching the vehicle onto the road. Sitting behind ...

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Who decides who is a beggar and who is an imposter?

Sameer is returning home from New York for the first time in six years. He passes the immigration counter, gets his luggage and comes out of the airport, relieved that he is finally through with all the hassle. Then, he squints around for a familiar face, anticipating a relative who’d be there to pick him up. Suddenly, he feels a tug on his shirt and peering down, he sees two mud-ridden little girls looking up at him, hand outstretched and wide-eyes brimming with expectation. He hesitates and tries to find some Pakistani coins in his pocket to give to them. While ...

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Having the thalassemia gene does not make you less marriageable

It’s not easy being a father when you know your child has a critical illness. I still remember the words of a thalassemia patient’s father when we were in search of a blood donor for his son, “Doctor Sahiba, log to meri shakal dekh ker hi munh pher lete hein ke phir aagaya hamara khoon nikalwane.” (Doctor, now when people look at me, they turn away, thinking that I’m back again to ask for blood.) It’s the same story with Ahsan, a four-year-old child diagnosed with thalassemia at the age of six months. His treatment initially began with blood transfusions every three months which ...

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Bajee: I only realised her importance after she left…

“Baba, Bajee…?” asks my two-year-old, rather inquisitively, each time I put him to sleep or wakes him up. Bajee, the nanny, had been with us since before our son’s birth and had recently left for her village in Punjab to get married there. My son didn’t take her departure very well and became frustrated. He would go about the house calling out for Bajee and looking for her. Putting him to bed became difficult and the worst thing was that he would keep getting up in the night to ensure that either me or my wife were present. Since then, he has not ...

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Saying ‘That’s just the way it is in Pakistan’ is not going to help bring about change!

Jonathan Lethem is a renowned author and a fellow alumnus of Bennington College. In 2005, he advised the graduating class to ‘abandon Rome, if you think you can’. These words may just be the remedy to most of our problems. I’m a complainer – everything from poor driving etiquette to bad grammar irks me rather consistently. Over the past few months, I have muddled through offices in Islamabad looking for work. On a warm November morning, I put on a nice outfit and drove 40 minutes into town for an interview only to find a clueless receptionist on arrival, who informed me that ...

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I am a Pakistani woman and there is nothing wrong in letting men help me carry my luggage

Recently, I came across a blog titled I am a woman and I can carry my own luggage. By the looks of it, the writer clearly seemed frustrated by how porters at the airport behaved with her and it is obvious that her opinion hailed from her experience. However, she also accused Pakistani men of treating women badly and felt harassed by the porters. This, I think, was a tad exaggerated. I, personally, do not see what the issue was all about. On the one hand, women talk about having equality and stand in line with men but then, they also wish to be respected ...

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Wearing a Sindhi topi and ajrak won’t rebuild a backward province

It is the same mayhem every year. Yes, with ear-splitting songs ricocheting in the backdrop, the clatter of a hundred different tunes which sound sweet to the ear but are ironic when their meaning dawns upon one; a mela, a festival, a frenzy of colour as a consequence of a host of ajraks with exquisite block prints and astutely crafted Sindhi topis on display – all this seems so empty in the end and so fleeting in the final assessment. A land of culture and civilisation: check. A history of Sufi traditions and humanistic thought: check. A past of resistance to oppression of the Imperialist ...

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Before blocking NATO supplies, take a look at the repercussions for Pakistan’s economy!

In an interview with a journalist, Akram Durrani of Jamiat Ulema-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F), who was the former Chief Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) portrayed his plans for economic development as: “We believe that God prearranged food and clothing for every man, which He created. If we give up the ways of God and devise our own solutions to perceived problems, we may land in trouble.” The policy pursued by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) towards the drones strike is very much in procession with that of Akram Durrani’s. It is true that God feeds every mouth on the planet but it is also true ...

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