Stories about life

This Father’s Day, I choose to celebrate my mom

If you are fortunate enough, you will grow up with two supportive parents and live a happy, fulfilling life under their guidance and watchful eye. If you are even more blessed, you will be raised by one strong, courageous woman, who stands by you regardless of what the world has to say.  That woman is my mother. There are two sentiments in life I never want associated with me: pity and hatred. Why? Because my mother never introduced me to them and her judgment is one I will not question. So today, as I write this piece and dedicate it to the woman ...

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“Love the way you lie” – The recipe of truth and deception

Valentine’s Day is here and love is in the air. But think again; is this day really about celebrating love and truth? In relationships, honesty and truth matters less than we think. Relationships do not work if we are brutally honest; they only last if we use a secret ingredient called ‘healthy white lies’ – if used correctly and in appropriate amounts. Relationships are about deceit – tons and tons of deceit Every once in a while we need to disguise our feelings. We smile while actually screaming in our head and we tell lies all the time, particularly when it comes ...

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Wanderlust

I want to do more with my life Than just be a Pakistani girl, a wife, a mother, I want to take two years off, And backpack through Europe!   I want to watch the sun set over Paris from the Eiffel Tower, I want to walk on the streets of Venice, I want to get lost on the tube in London, I want to swim in the waters of Greece, I want to be mesmerised by the northern lights in Iceland, I want to go cycling in Holland, I want to walk through the Black forest during autumn in Germany, I want to follow the Sound of Music in Austria, I want to ...

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What about the Charlie Hebdos of Pakistan?

I am not Charlie Hebdo. Does that make me less valuable as an organisation? As a journalist? As a human life? The answer to all of the above is a distasteful yes. I am a journalist based in Karachi, Pakistan. I am part of a news organisation that was attacked by militants thrice in 2014 for its stance on extremism and militancy. Gunmen pelted our office entrance with bullets, threw grenades at the building and attacked an office news van on assignment. Three people lost their lives while another was injured and paralysed for life. But you do not know this and ...

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Why is Pakistan a pariah at the Lord’s Cricket Ground?

Being out of place is a funny feeling – it’s nothing unbearable but it always keeps you outside your comfort zone. For an expat Pakistani, life in the UK is fraught with pangs of this feeling. This is usually evident during the festive season of Christmas when you are always in a dilemma as to whether you should celebrate Jesus’s birthday – with all the commercialism thrown in – with your neighbours, friends and colleagues or refrain from it due to differences in Muslim and Christian beliefs about Jesus Christ. Usually, one does well to acquire a middle ground. This year, however, I decided ...

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Ragging someone at university is not funny

“Congratulations! Not only on starting your life at one of the best universities in the world, but on proving that you are the cream of the crop.” After a brief standing ovation, the opening ceremony ended. We came walking out of the auditorium as if we didn’t need to wait for the future; we had already become the leaders we came here to be. The opening ceremony was followed by a hi-tea session with snacks where the students discussed how they were going to “utilise” their time now that they had acquired admission into such a prestigious university. The bittersweet day ended ...

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Why can’t we invest in better helmets for our cricketers?

On November 10, Ahmed Shehzad considered himself to be the unluckiest of cricketers when a bouncer from Corey Anderson not only deprived him of his maiden double century in Test cricket, but also knocked him out of the Test series when he was in the best form of his life. But just a couple of weeks later, he was forced to pull away his thoughts when a similar delivery, hitting the same spot on the body, knocked Phillip Hughes out of this world. Both these openers were hit by a cricket ball carrying a momentum of 350, on either side of their foreheads, Shehzad on his right temple while ...

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Did ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North’ deserve the Man Booker Prize?

Richard Flanagan’s scintillating novel and winner of the coveted Man Booker Prize this year, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, is a classic love-war saga. Like any other brilliant work of war fiction, it manages to pull at every string in your heart and leaves no stone unturned doing so. However, camouflaged under the profound, morbid and harrowing depictions of war, lies a love story that is both ambiguous and lackadaisical. While trying to merge two extremely impactful themes of love and war, Flanagan makes the cut, very scarcely, to do justice to only one of them. Hence, although Flanagan’s novel is very ...

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Karachi from under the sea

My mother tells me a story of my childhood often. I was three, at some swimming club in London, and my sisters were taking swimming lessons. Too young to be allowed in at that age, I fought and wrestled against my mother, till the point that she was physically restraining me. The bemused instructor told my mother to let me go, to see what I would do. I made a running leap into the water, and haven’t looked back since. Having been a self-proclaimed water baby my entire life, scuba diving was naturally always high on my to-do list. Last year, I finally ...

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Reyhaneh Jabbari lives on – even today

“The world allowed me to live for 19 years. That ominous night it was I that should have been killed. My body would have been thrown in some corner of the city, and after a few days, the police would have taken you to the coroner’s office to identify my body and there you would also learn that I had been raped as well. The murderer would have never been found since we don’t have their wealth and their power. Then you would have continued your life suffering and ashamed, and a few years later you would have died ...

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