Stories about hope

Seven ‘little wins’ that make my day!

I truly enjoy the small things in life. You know, the ‘choti choti khushiyan’. The other day one of these things, I call them ‘little wins’, happened and it got me thinking about the little wins that we all get and about what mine are specifically. So, these are just the little things that somehow can turn a bad day around on a dime: 1. I can’t stress how excited I get when I grab a soda from one of the vending machines or coolers at a supermarket and I pop it open, only to find it is partially frozen! It’s ...

Read Full Post

Keep the hope alive, dear Pakistanis

We are no messiahs and we are certainly not asking you to turn a blind eye to all the problems that we face. It is always good to remain cognizant of the challenges that lie ahead of you ─ it can help you plan better. But there must never be any room for you to lose hope. Hopelessness, we have been told, is faithlessness. And we have faith. We have faith in the people of this country. We have faith in our belief that the people of this country will complement each other. ‘The Pakistanis’ is a celebration of the little ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan’s Asia Cup victory: Silencing the naysayers

You’re sitting at the office  swamped with work and don’t want to do it – it’s the usual mood before a long weekend. Add to it the opportunity to watch Pakistan battle it out with Bangladesh for the crown of the Asian championship, and you have people just willing the clock to strike five. It was in this mood that we sat in the lunch area streaming the match live at around 1.30 PM on Thursday. During that passage of play, Pakistan lost two cheap wickets. Some declared that we were going to lose this, some weren’t sure and some ...

Read Full Post

A houseplant I named Hope

I woke one morning and decided to name one of my houseplants Amal, the Arabic word meaning ‘hope’. This plant (a variety of yucca if I am not mistaken) had been nameless since the day I bought it from a moving sale more than six years ago. But today, I realised how much she deserved this designation. For most of the last six years, Amal has seemed to be on her last legs. Her leaves would consistently wilt at the tips to a dry crisp or sometimes turn entirely yellow, even if I wasn’t over-watering it. Unable to re-generate, one leaf would die ...

Read Full Post

The curse of the creative

Every creative person at one time or the other faces one of the most debilitating crises in his/her life: fear. It is the thing that makes them wake up at night drenched in cold sweat, threatening to leave them in a deep abiding funk. It comes in a variety of different flavours, from an idea that has been festering in their mind but is refusing to translate into reality to the fear that their work might be seen as trite and unacceptable but the worst is when one is just starting out and can’t come to terms with what ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan, I love you!

Re-visiting Pakistan for the second time this summer, after having spent 4 weeks last year exploring Karachi and Lahore, I no longer feel like a completely clueless gori like I did before. I now find myself amused over my shock that there was dinner served after we went out for Iftar to BBQ Tonite, my utter cluelessness of what paan is, leave alone how to eat it, and my wonderment and childish excitement to see donkeys in the middle of a city.  This time around I did have a much better understanding of what was going on – what the ...

Read Full Post

Teahouse conversations

One of the perils of working for a newspaper is that whoever you meet, feels entitled to discuss the state of affairs with you. They must tell you that these are the worst of times, that the current government is the most corrupt ever (citing some ballpark figures and rupee-dollar conversion rate as irrefutable evidence), that there are maps of a dismembered Pakistan circulating on the internet, and that the Chief Justice was an “epic fail” because he ran back to Islamabad instead of delivering a verdict on the Karachi suo motu case. They would then heave a deep sigh, condemn ...

Read Full Post

Eid isn’t boring!

There are two occasions that I anticipate all year round; my birthday and Eid. This might sound pretty funny but when I was a little girl my sole purpose of gracing our relatives’ doorsteps was drinking Coke. I was addicted to it like a dipsomaniac is to alcohol. I remember sitting on the sofa, impatiently waiting to hear the sound of ice cubes clinking against the glassware. The only thing restraining me used to be my mother’s glare, without which I probably would have rushed to the kitchen to retrieve that glass of Coke myself. Thankfully, the phase passed as ...

Read Full Post

Depression: Shamed into silence

In the dictionary, the term depression is defined as a ‘severe despondency and dejection, accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy’ or as a ‘condition of mental disturbance, typically with lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life’. However, nowhere in the above definitions, have we come across the words ‘weakness’ or ‘illness’. So, why do our people of South Asian origin consider depression as something disgraceful? Studies have shown that women are more likely to suffer from depression than men are and, from the list of ethnic identities, South Asian women – whether they are Pakistani, ...

Read Full Post

For the love of books: One woman’s battle

We are not always the monstrous creatures depicted in newspapers. There are people around us who are working for the betterment of society. These are people who keep hope alive when everything around us is falling apart and crumbling into disorder. The idea was simple: to help. While most of us were fixated on how the last game of Manchester United turned out or busy posting videos of a pleading man being mercilessly shot dead by the law itself I felt hope because of a young woman I have never met. She is one person who is bent on changing the lives of ...

Read Full Post