Stories about life

Game of Thrones is the greatest show of all time

“Unsullied! Forward march!” My shout reverberated off the walls, sounding even louder in the quiet environs of my workplace. My colleagues gave mixed reactions. Some were shocked while one intern asked, “March where?” ‘Unsullied’ – while not an offensive word – was not really in my usual repertoire of phrases and hence, their reactions can be excused. Some sniggered into their keyboards while other ‘potential CEOs’, gave me a knowing look and nodded sagely. One particularly wise one walked up to me and called me the ‘father of dragons’ in a conspiratorial whisper. I felt proud, my work here was done. Khaleesi ...

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Keep the prayers coming for Michael Schumacher

I write this piece with a heavy heart as my idol and one of sports’ biggest icons Michael Schumacher is fighting for his life at a French Hospital. Seeing the ultimate racing driver, someone who is known never to back down on the race track, in a fight for his life has indeed sent shockwaves across the world. Indian sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik works on a sand sculpture of seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher to wish him a speedy recovery at Puri in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. Photo: Reuters Schumacher injured his head during a ...

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My lover, her father and the ‘honour’ that tore us apart

Our ordeal had begun. She said to me, “What if something goes wrong? We will be doomed, my whole life will be ruined and they might even kill me.” Although I was scared, I responded in a brave voice, “Don’t be scared, just have faith and everything will be alright.” We were stuck in the midst of a battle to reclaim our lives and live it according to our aspirations and desires. The only other option we had was to abandon our hopes in the name of chauvinistic traditions, where women were the sole victims of culture and tradition. Her destiny had been sealed by her ...

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26 amazing Pakistanis who have made us proud!

Pakistan, a land that has become synonymous with ‘versatile’ crime, crude jokes about Talibanisation in the West and a euphemism for all that is dark and grey. There are always two sides to a coin; the first side is seldom the accurate or the complete picture. There are plenty of problems in this country, yet somehow I always get the impression that the media outlets in Pakistan do tend to overemphasise the negative aspects over the positives. I am sure this statement would fetch many comments that can be classified as nefarious by any linguistic measure. But, please, do try ...

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I want to live in a Pakistan where women support women

I once had dreams of building a successful career as a legal professional. I pursued this dream all the way up to studying for the Bar-entrance-examination. However, our society expects a girl to get married as soon as she crosses puberty – before she can make any serious effort to pursue a career. Eventually, I too had to succumb to pressure and tied the knot half expecting a career shift from the court room to the kitchen. Initially, things worked like a charm and I was blessed with a home that I could proudly term my ‘heaven’. Yet I couldn’t curb ...

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When you eat at an expensive restaurant, do you think of the poor?

A few days ago, a friend of mine got a job at a university and to celebrate the occasion, we decided to go out for dinner. Of course, it was going to be his treat. After a long debate over what to eat and where to go, we finally decided to have a buffet dinner at a restaurant close by. We decided the date and time and extended the invite to other friends as well. There were going to be seven of us. I lived in a hostel with another friend and so we decided to go together. We reached the ...

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They killed my cousin. They killed a 9-year-old’s father.

If I were to believe any of the ‘feel-good, badly-designed’ inspirational quotes that go around cyberspace, I would tell myself that the best things somehow always are. Feel good, badly designed, that is. Why do I say this? Can you imagine seeing someone with their brains splattered across the hospital bed? You probably have not, but I have. Trust me, at that point, you don’t know what to think. You don’t think that it will be okay eventually. You don’t know whether to wail in grief or throw up. That someone happened to be my cousin’s husband. He was only 32-years-old and was the father of two young daughters. Well, at ...

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The dilemma of an artist: But who am ‘I’?

Who am I? The wearer of characters, The bearer of their pains. My lips vibrate, my eyes rain, My heart burns in their agony. Applause.   But who are they? Fragments of a writer’s imagination? Words scattered on a script? I give them life, Their anguish is my torment, Their gloom is my melancholy They are my mates or are they not? Bit by bit consuming my soul Then who am I, mere mould in a statue shop? Applause.   Ah that applause! I live for it but what is it? An echo of emptiness That will haunt me till my grave. Oh my life but what a life! My characters are my shadow, My muse, my madness, my mourn My characters are half ...

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How to cope with the loss of a loved one

I feel so dazed and numb, like this is all happening in a movie and not in my life. I feel guilty for feeling relieved that she is gone, as I could not bear to see her go through so much physical pain. I feel like I lost a part of my identity and support. Everything around me reminds me of my mother as if she will suddenly appear from the next room. Why do bad things always happen to me and my family? Can’t God give us a break? Why do people leave us when we want them the most? Why ...

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10 reasons why you should NOT marry a Pakistani man

1. ‘Ammi jaan’ – the famous monster-in… I mean mother-in-law. She is the idolised queen of the domestic domain, ‘lovingly’ referred to as Ammi jaan.  Her precise duties can vary from lovingly criticising you in front of your husband, taunting you with scathing remarks while your husband is not around and haunting you in the middle of the night, even in the privacy of your own bedroom! She will not forgive you for the smallest of mistakes and enjoys watching you squirm in your chair, embarrassed. She will not allow you to change anything in the house, even though the ‘you’re just like my daughter’ ...

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