Stories about humanity

My revolution begins with my evolution

The rhetoric of revolution has gained significant momentum in our politics of late. While globally the word may still be reserved to define bloody upheavals and decade long struggles, our political enthusiasts have never shied away from labelling a transition of power with the ‘R’ word – irrespective of its eventual impact on the lives of the people. Whether it was a consequence of the arrival of a fiery cleric administering a large tea party in Islamabad, the heartthrob Kaptaan reaping rich dividends of his 17-year-long political struggles, or the disillusioning incompetence and corruption of the rulers passed, talk of change and a revolution ...

Read Full Post

If you don’t convert, I can’t work with you

 September 18, 2012 The past three months had been quite busy for me since I was working day and night researching a business venture. Being a new concept within the market, the prospects for the project were pretty high provided that it was carried out properly. However, I was short on the amount of funds required for the project. Eager and motivated to step into the world of business,  I contacted a friend who introduced me to his uncle who, in turn, showed interest in my project. His uncle was a retired senior government official and had sufficient experience of heading ...

Read Full Post

Have some mercy, Pakistan!

For 65 years, Pakistanis have struggled to agree on an identity that defines us as a nation. However, a sickening incident that occurred on Friday could serve as a reminder of the one thing no sane, literate person can question. An 11-year-old Christian girl in Islamabad was booked for blasphemy after being accused of burning a Noorani Qaida, a booklet used to familiarise children with Arabic as written in the Quran. The girl is believed to have Down Syndrome. While enough to explain and even forgive her for her actions if they are true, it did not save her or ...

Read Full Post

Urdu, English, and our collective inferiority complex

When I was eight years old, my family returned to Pakistan from the United States and a lot of things in the world suddenly changed for me.   I remember (and my relatives won’t ever let me forget) that one of my very first statements was: “Why is everything broken?” I’m pretty sure I was referring to the buildings and streets at the time but today, I believe many other things are broken too. I remember thinking about the prospects of going to Pakistan; a place my parents taught me was home. I remember being worried about whether I was going to be easily ...

Read Full Post

How Saira learned to smile again

Saira Liaqat was a teenager when she married a relative. Both families agreed that she finish school before moving in with her husband. However, just a few months later he was demanding she drop out. One hot day in July 2003, her husband arrived at her house and doused Saira’s face with acid. Her face was entirely disfigured, her right eye was blinded and she could barely see from the left. The acid attack erased any trace of the pretty girl of the past – but it has not crushed her spirit. Fortunately, she received help from the Depilex Smile again Foundation, an organisation started ...

Read Full Post

A reason to remember 9/11

Ever since I saw the movie V For Vendetta, I have a small ritual of sorts. Every year, on September 11, I keep my status for the whole day, “Remember, remember, the 11th of September, for I see no reason why it should be forgot.” It’s my way of paying tribute to the innocent men and women and yes, believe it or not, Muslims that perished no that tragic day. This year, a friend commented asking what it meant, and I gave her the cliff notes version of the original rhyme, explaining it was my way of commemorating the tragic ...

Read Full Post