Stories about home

Tennis 101: French Open 2014

Under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, the world’s best tennis players are battling it out for the second grand slam of the year. The 2014 tournament is the 113th edition which will be held at Stade, Roland Garros. Both men and women have been competing at the French open since 1897 with mixed double added in 1907. Last year, the ‘King of Clay’, Rafael Nadal defeated country man David Ferrer in straight sets to claim his eighth French Open title while Serena Williams defeated Maria Sharapova to claim the women’s title. This year’s French Open, however, ended up disappointing tennis fans when Serena ...

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Barclays Premier League: Which team will take home the title this season?

May 11, 2014 will mark the end of the Barclays Premier League and one team will be crowned as champion of the season. But the astonishing nature of the league this season is such that not many can say who will win the title this time. Sheer, unadulterated unpredictability is the league’s defining feature this season. Past decades have shown us, what was known in football circles as the Big Four’s hegemony – Manchester United FC, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC and Manchester City FC – each club wielding and strengthening its grip on victories and titles. We saw Arsenal become invincible and dominate the league in the early years of the last ...

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Was he a human or a donkey?

For the past few days now, every night on my way home from work, I’ve been seeing an injured donkey lying in the corner of a dirty street near my house. One of its front legs is broken and I am sure it cannot move. Every night I plan to do something to help it but in the morning, it completely slips my mind. I feel the helplessness of the donkey – if, God forbid, one of my own legs were injured or broken, I wouldn’t be able to survive keeping in mind the ample amount of work I have to do. My heart ...

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Lettuce Bee Kids: Giving kids the opportunity to be kids!

One night, unable to sleep, I decided to aimlessly surf through Facebook. The curiosity of the human mind landed me on a girl’s profile who seemed quite patriotic. She had commented on one of the posts which intrigued me to click on her profile and read her status updates. There wasn’t much to be seen, just some stories of how people change over time. This all seemed very typical, until I came across a certain video on her profile. That very video is the reason behind this blog. It was an interview between the US Alumni Network and a young lady, ...

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An open letter to the Chairman of the Capital Development Authority, Islamabad

Dear Sir, I would like to share with you my feeling of owning a home in Islamabad and how it developed as a matter of inheritor. My father died in an accident at the age of 80, that too on one of Islamabad’s roads. Taking a trip down memory lane, I can still recall the day he received the allotment papers of a plot under the ‘Federal Government Employees Housing Scheme’ (FGEHS). The flashbacks of his expressions and excitement-filled voice portrayed security, peace of mind and hope of building a home of our own, that too with the halal income that he worked hard for after investing countless hours in ...

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The quickest and most delicious Nutella Mousse you’ll ever make!

I recently filled up ‘Homemaker’ in a form which had a field called ‘Occupation’. And soon after I was asked, “So what else do you do apart from staying at home and ensuring nutritious meals for your children?” To which I replied, “Actually nothing, just trying to do a PhD in Domestic Staff Management (and failing miserably). I also have a diploma in ‘Hair Management’ where we were taught how not to pull your hair if the ‘feeder’ blows up or internet connections fail to work or Sui Gas connections were blown up in Balochistan. During my break time, I go from one ...

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Is it a crime in Pakistan for a boy to drop a girl home?

A few days ago, as a friend was dropping me back home after dinner; we were pulled aside by the cops on main Khayaban-e-Shahbaz road in Defence, Karachi. No dark corner or shady alley but while driving smack in the middle of a bustling road. While we pulled over the car, the men in uniform, (who in all likelihood belonged to the Darakshan police station since the area falls under that jurisdiction) asked my friend to get out of the car. As expected, he was asked to produce the required ‘kaaghzaat’ and give details of our whereabouts. Upon inspection and failing ...

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Four things in Saudi that remind me of Pakistan

Al-Khobar is the most modern city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). It is a bustling economic centre and is home to two of the biggest shopping malls in the kingdom. I have been living in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia for about a year now and interestingly, there are a few Pakistani-like things that I was surprised to find here. The majority of the city’s population consists of expats from the East and West alike but the latter is provided with a better standard of living in compounds. Since I am from Pakistan and I don’t live in a compound, I have ...

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Love thy neighbour?

“Are you okay?”  The question jolted Ahmed back to the present. He looked at his wife, Fatima who was looking at him in a concerned manner. She said, “Hello… I’m talking to you.” Ahmed sighed and replied, “I’m worried about the business, it’s not doing so well. What about you?” His wife took a deep breath before saying, “The headmistress has asked me to resign because of the threats to the school. And all the staff members want me to leave as soon as possible.” Ahmed nodded and said, “Well it’s a difficult time for our community. Customers have been avoiding our shop and I don’t know how to get them ...

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Oscars 2014: Here are my predictions about who will take home the gold!

The year 2013 has been a fantastic year for films – a film about an HIV positive patient, another about the smirk of a drug lord with metal teeth; one about a lesbian love affair and another showing the re-enactment of a genocide. The year saw the triumph of documentaries such as The Act of Killing, the emergence and success of acting careers with the likes of Mathew McConaughey and Bruce Dern, and the introduction of low-key Indie style filmmaking into mainstream cinema with Inside Llewyn Davis. These elements made 2013 a very special year for the world of cinema. On January 16, 2014 the Oscar ...

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