Stories about life

The importance we (don’t) give our country

When one thinks about Pakistan, what is it that comes to mind? For some, it’s a land with troubled tribal areas or a cradle for terrorism. For many, it’s a haven for corrupt politicians, backed by a corrupt legislation and a flawed constitution. And for others, it’s just a mistake that Mr Jinnah made 67 years ago. If you ask a young, college-going boy about what Pakistan is to him, he will probably say that it’s, “A country in which I was born, raised and taught the tricks of getting my way in the world either by hook or by crook. A ...

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In search of Utopia and the self-imposed jump into eternity

Newspapers and news channels churn out incessant news of killings every day – murders, suicides, self-immolation, accidental deaths, bomb blasts or acts of terrorism. It’s a pretty depressing start to the day that highlights how insignificant human life has become. A mother of three killing her kids before setting herself on fire is unfortunately not surprising anymore. Economic pressures and domestic violence are immense burdens no doubt and not everyone has the will or courage to go on fighting. But when successful people who ‘have it all’ call it quits that shakes me up. Directors, actors, fashion designers and other prominent ...

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Magnificent Maleficent bringing Sleeping Beauty back to life

Maleficent’s character made its debut in Disney’s cartoon film, Sleeping Beauty (1959). Since then, those who admired the demon-witch could only revisit her either in their memories or in that classic cartoon movie. However, this year, Disney brings the influential witch back to life, in Maleficent, and reintroduces her with a twist. This time, the viewers will get to see Aurora’s or Sleeping Beauty’s (as she is more commonly known) story through Maleficent’s point of view – how she turned evil and why she became Aurora’s antagonist. Angelina Jolie as Maleficent. Angelina Jolie stars as Maleficent and does a ...

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Ice cream sandwiches: A one-way ticket to impressing the mother-in-law

48 hours into married life and I spilled a glass of chilled coke on the lunch table which conveniently made its way onto my mother-in-law’s smartly dressed lap. My heavily make-upped mascara filled eyes refused to look up. The rest of the lunch was spent in shame and no coke either. On the same evening, I decided to make up for the horror and volunteered to put together an ice cream cake for the guests arriving the next day. As you all know, the wedding fanfare continues until the dear bahu gets pregnant. 52 hours into married life, lawfully wedded Mr A took ...

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Dear finance minister, your new budget is killing us

Dear Finance Minister, I belong to the class of ‘common men’; some people also call us ‘mango men’ or ‘aam admi’. Ours is a species that is found in abundance everywhere in Pakistan. If you ever look out of your bullet proof BMW, you will notice one of my fellow beings selling something or the other on a footpath. We are also found polishing shoes, unloading trucks, offering window covers during a traffic signal, pouring hot tea in a cup at a tea stall, pushing a fruit or vegetable cart or driving a donkey cart loaded with a number of things. There ...

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You let me down, my friend

Teenage years are said to be the golden age of a person’s life; when a person feels unchained and independent as if the whole universe lies beneath him. Nothing seems unattainable, boundaries are invisible and risk remains a concept unheard of. It was during my teenage years, that I met you my dear friend. When I got hold of you for the first time it was as if I had found a dear friend. You completed me and I felt like you would never let go of my hand. And you never did, my friend. In times of good and bad, you were always there. But ...

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A note to the school back-bencher

Dear Back-bencher, How are you? I hope you are doing well. I really wish this from the bottom of my heart. Let me start by saying how sorry I am to judge you. I remember that time in school, when I was a snob and you were the guy who teased everyone, including myself. I was wrong to react the way I did towards your attitude towards life. I would secretly smirk when teachers would scold you. And I know I didn’t even talk to you, but I tried my best to be nice to you, simple because I felt sorry for you. You ...

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The nightmare that is my life

Confusion seemed to be everywhere. I shuffled out of bed, reassuring myself, blocking the sound of his voice from my head. Sprawled across the cold floor, shattered, I lay – for what seemed like hours, maybe even days. Uncomfortable in my own skin, I tossed and turned, desperate for comfort. I could hear the laughter, our wedding day, a new beginning… ha! What a joke! It’s a nightmare now; one that I relive every night and hide every day. Sometimes, I wonder why I even bother; nights like these are always sleepless. The cold bites into me as I lay alone, his ...

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Terrorism ‘Bounces Back’: Apology not accepted!

We were all 14-years-old once and we remember those days with fond memories. All of us remember our carefree attitude towards life where the biggest worry in the world would be the result of our math test. I, like most 14-year-olds, would wake up for school, get ready and would be shovelling breakfast down my throat while the driver waited in the driveway. Take a moment to remember those memories. Turn the same page to October 2012, but in the life of Malala Yousafzai. She was just a student on her way to school in the battle ridden valleys of the ...

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A New York state of mind

Walking along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York City, can be an exhilarating experience. Imposing architectural wonders staring down at you on all sides, the throbbing, pulsating and electrifying pace of city life can be, overwhelming to say the least. Yet one cannot help falling in love with this impossibly grand monument to human achievement and skill. The grandeur of the city hits you even before you land on the historic JFK Airport as you get the bird’s eye view of this extremely modern city from the plane window. Once out of the plane, you encounter the thoroughly organised discipline of the airport staff and you begin to ...

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