Stories about life

O’ Canada, we (immigrants) stand on guard for thee!

If you are from Pakistan, a random suicide attack or senseless bouts of bloodshed are normal in all abnormal ways possible. Usually, a few selected cities and areas are targeted while the other parts of the country go on with life. However innocent blood is always shed and Pakistan is made out to be a no-go-zone in international news. This is a tragic reality that Pakistan has to crawl its way through every day. As a new immigrant in Canada, I imagine a life of peace and harmony because, let’s face it, that’s a given. Until it’s not. Terrorists attack Montreal and Ottawa and you get ...

Read Full Post

Diwali in Pakistan, through pictures

The first day of Diwali – the Hindu festival of lights – was celebrated at Krishna temple in Rawalpindi yesterday. As a budding photojournalist and having many friends who belong to minority sects, I feel passionately about the state of affairs of the Pakistani minorities. I was, therefore, thrilled to be part of the annual Diwali celebrations for the first time. The warm, friendly and hospitable atmosphere at the temple made my stay extremely exciting and I thoroughly enjoyed covering this colourful celebration. Here are a few highlights of my unique experience: 1) A girl performs the ‘pooja’ ritual before the Hindu deity Lord Krishna. ...

Read Full Post

Give Renee Zellweger a break!

It’s a fast-paced world where things keep changing by the minute. Thus, it naturally creates a more competitive environment that we thrive in. Everywhere you go, everyone is trying to keep up with others and trying to be something that is better than what they were moments ago. It’s the era of technology outpacing itself. And it has translated into our life in ways we pay no heed to, and even if we do, we try our best to ignore it and be oblivious. As predicted, when Renee Zellweger stepped out onto the red carpet of Elle magazine’s 2014 Women in Hollywood ...

Read Full Post

Life without a cellphone is…normal

Life without a working smartphone in your pocket, at all times, is strange. It’s like something in missing in your life, like some tragedy befell upon you. I have gone through such a tragedy, and I’ve been the same. Five days ago, after receiving a phone call, I saw that my phone’s battery was almost dead. That’s normal, right? Well, I rummaged around my room to find the charger. My eyes remained settled on the screen as I connected my charger to the tiny slot, waiting for the light come back and see my phone grin with life again. However, that didn’t ...

Read Full Post

In Pakistan, the #VIPCulture has to go

Commuting in metropolitan cities like Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad often bestows upon you the unforgettable experience of being reminded how ‘ordinary’ you are. You may only use the road when it isn’t being used by a Very Important Person (VIP). When a policeman raises his hand or puts a picket to stop you, he may only be saying ‘stop and wait’ but what you actually hear is, “Wait, you ordinary, worthless citizen! Your time, life and business are of no value. Wait while the all-important VIP passes”. It is quite similar to how when kings and queens passed through markets and ...

Read Full Post

Islamabad fizzles out, so PTI does Karachi

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, DJ Butt and their merry gang kicked off their Pakistan tour yesterday by visiting the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) stronghold; Karachi. They undoubtedly drew a large crowd consisting of people from all walks of life. But then again, so does Jamaat-e-Islami. Large numbers at rallies or not, one thing that really gets to me is the massive pool of contradictions that are the PTI. They are credited with ‘emancipating women’ and the number of women at their processions and rallies is always highlighted. Yet the party had the lowest number of women contesting general seats ...

Read Full Post

Will Canada be held responsible for Jamila Bibi’s death?

This is not the story of a helpless woman who fled from her country, Pakistan, because of accusations of adultery and attempts on her life. It’s not about how 65-year-old Jamila Bibi just could not put her trust in the legal system in Pakistan. This is the story of how even after she escaped certain, violent, retribution for allegedly committing adultery, her narrative was lost in the complexity of laws which first protected her and then threw her back to the wolves. Jamila Bibi sought asylum in Canada in 2007 because her life was in danger after her husband accused her ...

Read Full Post

Thinking of buying the Apple Watch? Think again!

While watching the Apple product launch live-stream at 3am in the morning, I was honestly really impressed with the new Apple Watch. As an Android user, I didn’t really care much for the ‘innovative’ new iPhone with its bigger screen (which my HTC already possesses). But yes, the Apple Watch struck me. Not so much at first though, because the square design seemed a bit too antique for me. However, with the unveiling of numerous different kinds of straps for the watch, its beautiful design, the features it offered you, and its nifty ‘clock faces’, as well as the clever way of communicating ...

Read Full Post

Mary Kom: A punch in the right direction

When you think of movies under the Sanjay Leela Bhansali banner, you think of epic romances, of the colours blue, grey, and black, of love and passion, and women dancing in the most extravagant of lehngas. But the last thing you would expect from a Bhansali movie is a story about a young girl trying her luck in the patriarchal field of sports. This is why the movie Mary Kom was pleasantly surprising. But Mary Kom coming from a big production house is not why I liked it. I liked it because of the following reasons: 1) It is a biopic. This kind of cinema is really inspirational and it ...

Read Full Post

Is the ISIS really in our backyard?

One day, you see shalwar-kameez clad Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters in Iraq and Syria, and the next day you hear news of their fighters infiltrating Pakistan. Is there any connection? According to the Foreign Office (FO) of Pakistan there isn’t. Obviously. The FO, on Wednesday, denied reports regarding the presence and infiltration of ISIS, also known as ‘Daesh’, in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and FATA region. But did this denial ring any surprising bells? After all, the same FO, along with the authorities, was oblivious to Osama bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad for many years, leave aside the ISIS. Yet, one has to ...

Read Full Post