Stories about life

Remembering Joan Rivers, the good, the bad and the ugly

“I ain’t afraid of death. I am in show business, I died a million times.” That is Joan Rivers for you, a woman so full of life that even the idea of biding ado to this world couldn’t dim her light. A dynamo, fashionista and a firm believer in happy endings, Joan passed away at the age of 81, after a throat complication and being taken off life support. Starting her glamorous career in 1959, she had the good fortune to experience it all. After getting her big break through The Tonight Show, starring Johnny Carson, there was no looking back for her; ...

Read Full Post

7 signs you’re going through a ‘quarter-life’ crisis

When you’re in your 20s and early 30s, you feel like you are stuck somewhere in the middle. You feel confused and agitated, more so because this is the time you start to analyse how you imagined your life to be and how it has actually turned out. If you feel like this, then don’t worry; you’re going through a quarter-life crisis. Here are some of the most common symptoms of this crisis: 1) Every day you log on to your Facebook account and you see: “Sara got engaged to Akram” “Bilal married Eraj” “Mushtaq is on his honeymoon with Sukaina” Almost all of your friends are either ...

Read Full Post

Can an older woman marry a younger man in Pakistan?

“I got a very nice proposal,” said a friend who was at a stage in life where she wanted to settle down in marriage. “But there is an issue. I am 31. And he is 26. I am five years older. I really like him but my mom says that in another five years mein uski maa lagoon gi (I will look like his mother). I will have to say no,” she said with resigned acceptance. But fate had other plans. The “boy” liked the “woman” very seriously it seemed. He pursued her. Her heart relented. They got married and are now in the seventh ...

Read Full Post

It’s okay to be a failure

Two years ago I had a breakthrough in life; I failed my finals. It was my first experience of failing in a major way; and my teachers and peers were not helpful. They would judge me and taunt me, and at times, pity me as well. But I was never the loser, ever. How did I, being an exemplary student all my life, fail the exams and become the lowest of the low? Nobody had even taught me how to handle a situation like this. I was left broken, and since I did not know what to do, it disturbed further two ...

Read Full Post

Series 1: “Dreams of Lunacy” Part 1 Dreams

“Father, what do we live for?” “What do you mean?” “You came, you built a family, and now all that remains of you are pictures throughout the house, and memories scattered throughout your family and relatives. But slowly, the pictures will get old, packed in big forgotten cardboard boxes. And the memories will retreat further inside, as room for newer ones is made… So, then if life will wash away all of our efforts, why move in the first place?” “You have been to an eye specialist, right?” “Yes, but please don’t change the topic.” He smiles, and continues, “When the eye specialist has to decide ...

Read Full Post

How polio affected my life

The summer and winter vacations were always splendid. Every year we’d pack our bags and buy a tonne of junk food to survive the three-hour long journey to our village in interior Sindh. Whether it was the heat or the cold, Sindh’s wind is merciless. Mom would make extra arrangements for light clothing, ORS, Tang and sunscreen for the trip and the stay-over at Nani’s house. Yearning to see the twinkle in Nani’s eye, we’d go running towards her as soon as the car reached the driveway. She’d be standing there in the front yard, eagerly waiting for her daughter ...

Read Full Post

These emergency responses might save your life

Two tragic incidents took place this year, perpetrated with violence that highlighted the need for proper emergency response. In February, a car bomb went off near a bus, claiming the lives of 13 policemen. Head Constable Israr Ali was fortunate enough to escape with minor injuries. “I also noticed people gathered around. They were pointing in our direction but no one came to help us. I crawled out of the bus on my elbows. And it was a good 10 minutes before our own men reached there for assistance while the bystanders did nothing.” A month later, Raza Rumi’s car was fired upon in Lahore. ...

Read Full Post

Is it a burden to have four daughters in a Pakistani society?

“Four daughters?” the woman asked, her eyes wide with a mix of horror, pity and fascination. Then, “Mashallah!” A sympathetic smile, followed by, “They are beautiful. May Allah (SWT) bless them with good kismet (fortune)” I can’t count how many times I have heard these sentences being said to my mother. Different women, same words, same connotations each time. For most of my life it did not bother me. I took it in stride. After all, it is a burden to have four daughters in a Pakistani society. To find an educated husband for them, to painstakingly accumulate their dowry, to train them in the art of keeping house; above all to ensure their ...

Read Full Post

Life had been drained out of her…

She looked like someone had drained all her strength. I could not stand it anymore, so I closed my browser and made my way towards her. She looked dull and weak. I observed her silently, praying to God to restore her strength. After all, how much longer could she survive with only an ounce of energy left? She had already struggled so much, living in this restricted area and now she was finding it difficult to breathe and communicate any more. She lay there, helpless. I stooped over her and examined her to see if there was any physical mishap but ...

Read Full Post

My beloved daughter, do not weep when I am gone

To my beloved Daughter, It seems that today may be my last day on earth, my last day with my family, my last day with you. Today, I managed to get a chance to reflect on all that I have done in my life as a father. It has been pretty interesting, in my opinion. I leave to you my final memories as I prepare for my transition into the life hereafter. The first time I held you in my arms and saw your smile, sweetheart, I felt more blessed than you can ever imagination. I gazed at you, God’s marvellous creation, wondering if you ...

Read Full Post