Stories about humanity

180 million hearts broken… again

Jallianwala. Dhaka. Quetta. North Waziristan. Peshawar. Places change but stories remain the same. That doesn’t make the heartbreak any more bearable. The unanswerable ‘why’ still looms over our heads. Why this? Why now? Why us? Today’s massacre in Peshawar reverberates throughout the country. I cannot even fathom what the parents of the children are going through but I write to tell them they are not alone, it is the least I can do. It is the least I can do to at least try to reach a level of catharsis which will make me feel capable of ever feeling again, which will make me ...

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Humanity dies as Peshawar bleeds

This morning, as I opened my social media newsfeed, I was left completely mortified. At around 11.45 am, news about five to six militants who had carried out an attack at the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar was all over my newsfeed. Alarm bells started going off in my head. I have friends whose children go to that school. Immediately, I thought of ringing them up. But then I stopped. A thousand thoughts went through my head in those few seconds – what if they didn’t know about the attack just yet? Would I be causing panic? What if I clog up ...

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My beautiful boys, my murderers

“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.” – Carl Sagan “We killed our mother because she was supporting them.” Read those words. Read them again. In fact, keep on reading them until you can find even the slightest hint of humanity in them. After all, they are the words from a son about his own mother. I have been doing that, in a desperate attempt to find at least some common ground between myself and these people. This was the line that ...

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James Foley: Another battle lost by humanity

The search for James Foley, by his family members, began when he was kidnapped in Syria on November 22nd, 2012. After a long wait and dispersion, the quest has come to a devastating end. This was the second time Foley had been kidnapped by a group of militants. In 2011, he and fellow journalists were abducted while in Libya but were later released. Then, while working in Syria, he was captured again, only this time he was not as lucky. Foley was reporting on the suffering of the people of Syria. On Monday, a video called ‘A Message to America’ ...

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No Israel, you cannot use rape as a war weapon

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has brought out what seems to be the misogynist, the racist and the overall hate in everyone. There are people who have asked Hitler to return and then there are people like Bill Maher who recently called Gaza ‘a crazy woman’. Then there is the Israeli professor who says the best way to fight wars is to rape women. How I wish that was a line from The Onion. How I wish it was a politically incorrect joke made by Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live. Or something some crazy extremist had said somewhere where they were still flogging women in the streets. Unfortunately for ...

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When will this society stop victimising women?

The recent incident of ‘honour killing’ has raised much criticism from activist groups both at home and abroad. The fact that this incident took place right outside the court of law (ironically the institution that promises to legally protect us all) and that too in front of an unwavering audience; truly shatters ones faith in humanity. What kills its last tether though is the very alert and apt police force present during this incident who refused to budge to the aid of this poor woman. Such a disgraceful act demonstrated by our own police force should be severely punished by the court ...

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Losing Ammi to Alzheimer’s bit by bit…

For my mother, who is leaving us bit by bit taking her memories along with her. But our memories of her will stay with us of a mother who loved us and cared for us always, like mothers everywhere. The writer, Jarod Kintz, once said, “Alzheimer not only steals from you, it steals the very thing you need to remember what’s been stolen.”  He indeed was right. That theft is exactly what causes the agitation that immobilises my mother. My mother has Alzheimer’s and she knows that there is something she cannot remember. But she cannot figure out what that something is and it tears her ...

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Get well soon Edhi sahib, you are one in a million!

Dear Edhi sahib, As you lay in the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation for your routine dialysis, we hear worrying news that you have been admitted in the ICU. Edhi sahib, I am very worried about your deteriorating health, as I assume every Pakistani is. I have been checking the news every hour to find out about your well-being. I wish you a speedy and a complete recovery. You are 86-years-old, we pray you live to be 186. While, like every Pakistani, I am praying for you, a part of me is covertly but awfully scared. What if… you…? I am not known to be an emotionally ...

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Noor of Bihar

“Babu jee, India is so enormous. Mumbai, Agra, Delhi and Bihar are unfathomable in size. Either you take one step or accomplish a hundred, it will take 10 years to traverse from one end of the country to another,” she assured me in her mellifluous Bihari tone. As the fan overhead continued its eternal hymn, Nani (maternal grandmother) shouted in distaste, “Huh, you have seen India, my foot! Woman of no worth,” she shouted out, as mother and I looked at each other, exchanging mental notes on how to manage Nani’s incorrigible distrust of domestic helpers. Nani suffered from a cancerous tumour ...

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The bloody world of dog fighting: Victory or death, there is no mercy!

Warning: This post contains graphic content.  With the ongoing global and national humanitarian crisis that I have been witnessing, working on and voicing out, I had never fathomed the thought of discovering a blood sport that would send shivers down my spine. It may seem outlandish to some in Pakistan to show unease over animal rights, while we all know a bit too well how our basic human rights are persecuted. Nonetheless, blood sport, of any kind, is never acceptable and should not be tolerated in any way. Recently, I came across a Facebook page that encouraged dog fighting. Then, I saw a few horrifying videos of this ...

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