Stories about home

This season was Game of Thrones at its best

The thing about a show like Game of Thrones – although it’s not hard to argue that there’s nothing quite like it on the television landscape – is that due to the epic nature of its storytelling, characters are necessarily scattered far away from each other, with their own narrative arcs that are completely disparate and diverging. This has been especially true of the past few seasons, where beloved characters get tantalisingly close to meeting or reuniting, only to be flung away from each other again. This is not necessarily a criticism of the show and it certainly doesn’t diminish the thrill ...

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Why I’m not fasting this Ramazan

According to family legend, I first fasted—for a day—at the age of four. I have no clear memory of this fast, although I do have the vague recollection of walking into the kitchen while my mom prepared iftar and her asking, “If you’re fasting, why are you sucking on a lollipop?” Ramazan in our house was a big deal. Ramazan meant we could—at least for a month—pretend we were adults. I insisted on fasting the entire month starting at the age of seven.  My parents agreed, but with three stipulations: I had to wake up for sehri, eat whatever was served during sehri (generally, ...

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Which of these giant teams will not make it to the Premier League top four?

Imagine hiring, arguably, the best football coach on the planet and instead of handing him a Champions League berth as a welcome gift, you saddle him with an unwanted distraction of a tournament that is the Europa League. Well, that’s precisely what Manchester City is close to doing to Pep Guardiola, following their failure to beat Arsenal in Manuel Pellegrini’s final home game in charge. But the worst part, this isn’t even the worst case scenario. This nightmarish situation of finishing outside the top four and failing to qualify for the Champions League could reach gargantuan proportions because it is ...

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The long road home: A journey from Chitral to Islamabad

It’s a journey that gives perspective to your life. The endlessness of the Qaqlasht mountain meadows, the sky and the snow-capped peaks make you feel very small. The story of Qurban, an illiterate lady in the village of Booni – who runs three shops and supports the education of her nieces and nephews despite having been threatened by an acid attack, makes you realise how quotidian your own challenges are. And the cancellation of the flight to Islamabad with the prospect of being stranded in a dark, brown, tube-lit, hotel room in Chitral – beautiful though the town is ...

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We invited our maid’s family for a Diwali dinner and this is what we learnt

Inspired by her friends, my mother started a new tradition in our home last night – she invited the family of our maid, Madina to come to our home for dinner. Earlier, she had sent dad and me to buy all the groceries to prepare some special food for our guests. We all ate together and had a lovely conversation as well. This is the first time we have ever done anything like this in our family. It felt surreal to see Madina’s whole family sitting on our couch and eating with us on our dining table. This was especially significant for ...

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Living in Quetta, the Amish way!

If I said that residents of Quetta live an almost Amish lifestyle, would you believe me?   “What is an Amish lifestyle?”, you ask. For those who don’t know, the Amish are a small Christian sect or tribe mostly living in North America and Canada. They are known for their simple and old-school lifestyle and can be recognised from afar by their clothes and appearance. Their men are usually attired in a suit and a hat while their women wear full skirts, mostly reaching to the ankle and may have their heads covered with a bonnet. If you have ever seen ...

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Do men play their role as fathers?

I come from a mind-set where men and women are different. Hence, none is better than the other. Their anatomy is different, their thinking is different, their perceptions are different, their priorities are different, and hence their job descriptions are different too. In their role as parents, their job is well defined. And I love the description my mother used to give while defining parental roles – dad represents joy and happiness and mom is a necessity. But does that mean that as a primary caregiver of the baby, it’s only the mom’s job to feed the little person and change diapers, ...

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In Arsène we still trust?

Arsène Wenger is under projection of momentous censure as the Gunners suffered their third defeat in the Premier League, at home, to rivals Manchester United. Arsenal slid down to the eighth position in the league table after a 2-1 loss, which in turn strengthened the opponents and dealt the home side a crushing defeat. Despite consistent attempts to cross the score line, the Gunners were ultimately unable to make an impact, and succeeded in disappointing their fans. Criticism against the manager has grown stronger and he is now a victim to vicious remarks. With Arsenal’s record being kept in mind, it is evident that they have yet to ...

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#BlackLivesMatter, but not in the US?

It’s been a terrible, stressful and shameful time. We’ve hung our heads in despair, taken to the streets to protest and made our voices heard in the media to bring home the point that the scourge of racism in the US is back with a bang. Having lived here for almost a quarter of a century now, I’ve personally never felt so disappointed and disgusted with the way things have turned out with respect to race relations. The past few years have increased the frequency and intensity of tensions created due to obnoxious handling of incidents that could have been easily avoided had better ...

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Ebola 101: Follow Nigeria, Pakistan

As Pakistan battles numerous infectious diseases such as malaria, dengue, hepatitis A, typhoid, tuberculosis and polio, the western media is taken over by the Ebola scare. With the recent media frenzy surrounding three suspected Ebola patients in Pakistan, the hysteria is now equally palpable at home. The question being asked is: Will Ebola hit Pakistan? Ebola is a severe viral infection with an average mortality rate of about 70%. The incubation period – the time between infection by the virus and onset of symptoms – is between two and 21 days. This means that it can take up to three weeks before the ...

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