Stories about kids

Pakistan’s real problems

A lot of cities of Pakistan are home to more people than the total population of some countries. Anyone who comes to this country for the first time is bound to be shocked by the enormous number of people on the streets. The closer you get to this flood of people in Pakistan, the more you cognizant you become of the harsh realities of their everyday lives. Even though Pakistan is always on the news nowadays, – albeit for the wrong reasons – in the rhetoric of war on terror, religious extremism, drones and military operations, the plethora of problems that are faced by Pakistanis ...

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“Yes, I don’t want children”

At forty, Faiza Abbas has been married for 15 years. The pitiful looks she receives started a couple of years after her first wedding anniversary. Initially, they were accompanied with encouraging and humble words like:  Oh, it’s only been three years, you’ll have kids soon enough, I’m sure. Don’t worry, there’s still time, you’re still young. About these remarks, Faiza states with a laugh: I used to think these aunties were more worried about my childless situation than I was! I didn’t really care for children, personally. At the beginning of my marriage, my career was just starting to take off and I didn’t want ...

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Why sending bureaucrats’ kids to govt schools won’t work

Would forcing government servants to send their children to public schools help improve the quality of education? While such a populist measure seems well intentioned and simple enough, it betrays our continued ignorance of how education works or at least how it should work. Now don’t get me wrong. I strongly believe that state schools need to be expanded and improved. I believe that schools should be palaces. However, the factors that contribute most to improving the quality of education, measured in terms of examination performance include, the quality of teachers, supportive parents and the financial standing of the student’s household. In ...

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Going to the movies? Well, good luck!

I recently went to watch the movie The Hunger Games at a cinema located in Saddar. To say that I had wanted to watch this movie for a long time (since it is based on a novel that I had read and really enjoyed) is an understatement. I was truly looking forward to the experience of watching the characters come alive on screen and discover how closely the scenes matched the ones I had imagined while reading the novel. So, in short, I was really excited for what should have been an amazing experience. But amazing it was not, and ...

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An entrepreneur in the making at Sunday bazaar

For as long as I can remember I have been a regular visitor at Sunday bazaar. I love to see the interesting mix of people, some haggling, some in awe of the vast variety of goods on offer, some merely strolling through.This Sunday was no different. I woke up bright and early and decided to hit the bazaar. I think I was a little too eager – stalls were being set up when I arrived. “No problem,” I thought to myself. “I’ll just observe as they set up.” As I was walking though the aisles, I saw a merry young boy, no older than ...

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Chocolates for slum children

“So we want to distribute these chocolates among kids before we leave,” my family friends said excitedly. Born and brought up in England, they were living in Dubai now and were on a visit to Pakistan. In the last couple of days, during their visit, they told us about the chocolates that they had brought with them for the underprivileged children. In order to fulfill my kind guests’ noble request, I asked my brother who knew of a slum that was cocooned in the middle of one of Islamabad’s posh sectors. Further investigation revealed that our cleaner Basheer Lala also came from ...

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Kung Fu Paindoo

Yesterday, I had another encounter with Disney*: I watched Kung Fu Panda 2. The bits I loved, and I really loved them, were the jokes. So when the Evil King, a peacock with a stainless steel body and lethal blade-feathers, yells exultantly to its minion-wolf: “CALL IN THE WOLVES! All of them! I want them ready to move! The Year of the Peacock begins NOW!” The minion, instead of running along to hasten the orders, pauses, “Right now?” he wonders aloud. “‘Cause it’s the middle of the year, so you’d only get, like, half of the Year of the Peacock.” But generally speaking ...

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