Stories about hope

Chambaili: The perfect tonic for a dejected Pakistan

Yesterday, I watched the much-awaited film, Chambaili – the first in a long list of Pakistani feature films under production and probably the most hyped movie since Bol that was released two years ago. It is a shame that Pakistanis have to wait for such a long period of time between the production and release of films; that said, the movie is worth the wait. It is far superior to the films produced by our bigger and greater neighbour. Disclaimer- spoiler alert! Chambaili is like no other film. The movie revolves around the political structure of a country – it draws an underlying comparison ...

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I didn’t choose to be poor

A small hand knocks at the car window, gazing inside with hungry yet penetrating grey eyes. Her round face is overshadowed by her tousled dusty mane, the paleness of the skin now brown with dirt and dust. Her fragile body moves in a huge shabby sweater twice her size. She stands on her toes as the ground is too cold for her naked feet. The December fog has covered her, the wind piercing into her skin. She scratches her head and knocks again staring at the faces in the car. Three faces of little girls glare back at her, as they sit ...

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Tahirul Qadri’s increasing popularity

It’s amazing how quickly a leader or an ideology can win over the country’s youth. As I headed to office one fine day, I confronted an excited youth from our neighbourhood who said, “I am going to Lahore to attend a jalsa on December 23!” I was startled. Knowing that the young man had exams coming up, I asked him how he’ll manage the trip. His reply was, “I’ll skip exams. This public gathering by Dr Tahirul Qadri is so much more important.” I drowned into thought. The young man’s enthusiasm reflected that of thousands of people across the country. Several young people ...

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Why not now?

Fifty, sixty or above? Widowed or divorced? The time has come for you to give up on your life, look after the kids and prepare for the end. More often than not, a person loses the tug of war between age and will. Marriage is a decision taken, or on occasion, even forced on you when you are young and outgoing and discovering the difference between what you have been and what you can be. So, what happens when, in either cases, the marriage comes to an end? What happens when the person you were once so in love with is ready ...

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God works in mysterious ways

As you drive down the road connecting Zamzama with Khayaban-e-Shujaat, you come across a market, at the border of Defence and Clifton Cantonment. The road itself winds down into Shujaat and if you are of the ilk, it shall take you down to the Sunday Bazaar in Defence Phase VIII. In front of this market are a set of fruit and vegetable thela walas (street vendors), lined up against the wall of Zamzama Park. That section of the road is peppered with cars buying fruits according to their purchasing power. Inside the park, oblivious to their proximity, a legion of affluent ...

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Please, don’t abandon me now

Against all odds, I came this far, I shed my blood, I fought my war, My story is written in each and every scar. But it looks like now, Whatever I’ve been through Whatever I’ve faced has taken its toll, And here I lie with an embattled soul. In this moment of pain, I look towards you, And I realise that you, You turn away your eyes. And just as you walk away, I muster my strength, Just enough to say, “Don’t turn your back, Don’t give up on me,” Agony has seeped deep within me. Distress has engulfed every inch of me. My wounds are deep, My breath is shallow, But don’t tell me, That my chances are low. Do you forget the odds I defied? Despite everything I ...

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Is there a ray of hope for Pakistan?

There are two ways of interpreting a glass half-filled with water. You can either call it half-full or half-empty. Even though referring to it as half-full may give you hope, I do not intend to excite the readers by projecting fake optimism while so much is going terribly wrong in Pakistan. I still believe that despite all the unpleasant happenings, not all is lost yet. Terrorism, failed state of affairs, discredited army, incompetent leadership, hopelessness; there is enough going on in Pakistan that is a cause of despair and is indicative of a bleak future, but there exist some promising prospects in our country as well. I have come ...

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All you ever need is you

The moment you recognise that you will always stand alone in a battlefield is the most terrifying moment of your life. For it is the death of all human expectations. That is the moment you stop looking behind your shoulder, with that glimmer of hope that someone will be there to fight beside you. Or rescue you. So fear not. Allow it, instead, to be the most exalting moment of your life; because that is the moment, you recognise finally and irrevocably, your own strength. And then when you look back again, you understand. You stood alone, always. With only Him watching over you. ‘You’ fought all ...

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Wings of hope: We’ve forgotten how to fly

I reminisce the good times, When we used to try, Could barely walk straight, But wanted to fly, In capes and funky masks, Jumping with all our might, Dressed as superheroes, Without a care in sight, Not worrying about money, Or having fancy cars, Always aiming for the sky, Always reaching for the stars, We were young and fun, Essentially free souls, But time took it’s toll, And, well, we grew old, Now day in, day out, We just worry about cash, Where to get it from, And where to put the stash, Which car to buy next, What new horse to breed, It’s all about jewels, We’re blinded by greed, What used to matter most, Now just makes no sense, We run through our ...

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Forgotten hope

They say that hope is what keeps us alive, what gets us out of bed every morning and what in fact makes the world go round! On my recent trip to Karachi I met a lot of my old friends, colleagues and class-mates. The thing that struck and disappointed me the most was the dearth of hope that some of them are beleaguered with. Not a day went by when someone did not ask me if I could find them a job in the UK or Ireland and for someone like me, who holds his roots in great esteem, this was ...

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