Stories about light

Amateur photographers: From selfie enthusiasts to rich kids with a DSLR

Know a photographer who takes insane, eye-catching shots and you wonder how in the Lord’s name he manages to capture ‘the person and the persona’ with his camera and you cannot! Well what if I tell you that every photographer was once an amateur. So no biggie if you can’t do what he can!   Photo: Tumblr Being an artist myself, I write this to let you all know that the first step of being a good photographer is being an amateur one! To ensure that my reader is wary and well informed. I will begin my case ...

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Chapel Hill: Should Muslims in America worry?

Almost 13 and a half years ago, 9/11 set in motion US involvement in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and escalated tension between fundamentalists and the world. Despite this, the United States, with a population of 300 million, including roughly two percent or six million Muslims, has seen relatively few domestic attacks against or by Muslims. Prejudice exists, nevertheless. On February 10, at Chapel Hill, self-professed atheist Craig Stephen Hicks murdered three young Muslims, Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, may they rest in peace. This tragedy stands in infamy with Major Nidal Hasan’s Fort Hood killing spree in 2009, but in the ...

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Beauty

 “What is beauty, father?” “What do you think?” “I don’t know. I look at this glass in front of us and my eyes spot the reflected light from the glass on the table, and I’m baffled by these patterns, by this beauty which is perfectly still, perfectly independent, and calm.” “So, is beauty only in still and independent objects?” “I don’t think so. When I see the sea or the water inside this glass if it were to be shaken wildly, my eyes start to float along the waves, and I’m once again mesmerised by the water’s endless movement, its indifference, its power, and ...

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Suffering from lethargy? Here are 5 tips to get your lazy bum outta bed

When a reporter asked Pope John Paul XXIII how many people worked at the Vatican, he replied, “No more than half of them.” When I look around, I agree with his statement. In fact, he could have said one fourth of them or may be even one tenth of them because many people go to work but only a few actually do the work. We live in an age where we need to run with the clock – mere crawling or walking is not sufficient. However, practically speaking, a feeling of drowsiness and inertia during working hours while feeling fresh and energetic during sleeping hours ...

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How a group of dedicated friends changed the lives of 150 children

For a country with a population of 180 million, out of which 36 .7 per cent are under the age of 15, the education system of Pakistan is simply disgraceful. Although there is always a hue-and-cry about the importance of education by our leaders, little is actually done to implement the extensive measures that the government claims to pursue. As a result of the state’s negligence and the sheer inadequacy of infrastructure, millions of young children are unable to fight their way out of the poverty-stricken struggle that seems to be their destiny. Pakistan is currently rated number two on the ...

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Ladies, it is not ‘cool’ or ’empowering’ to smoke

I still remember how my brothers would deftly hide their cigarettes when ammi or abba entered the room. Those were the best and worst of times – times of unawareness and lightheartedness, when I’d sit for hours in a smoke-filled room with my brothers – chatting and laughing over senseless things like one only can with siblings. All that while, I was inhaling 250 toxins and carcinogens, quite unsuspectingly. I didn’t know any better and neither did my siblings. We were secure in our belief that we, the girls, were not smoking actively. Fast-forward life. As a teenager, I started interning at a magazine and this is ...

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I would have given my life for Quaid-e-Azam: My mother’s Pakistan

Dementia is ruthless. It doesn’t give you a choice about what you want to forget and what you don’t. But while the words may disappear at the cruel hands of memory loss, the feelings often don’t. My mother may at times confuse the names of her children, but she never forgets that she is ammi and we are her children. She also never forgets what Pakistan means to her, and to us. Her eyes still light up when she hears the name “Quaid-e-Azam”. She hasn’t forgotten the most important things in her life – the good ones and the bad. Milestones ...

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The Fair and Lovely effect

I recently saw Killing Us Softly 4, a documentary in the Killing Us Softly series by Jean Kilbourne, acclaimed author and filmmaker. Although the movie centers on the image of women in advertising, as submissive and obedient to their male counterparts, it brings to light the importance of race and the appropriation of the Caucasian look — something that has assimilated into Pakistan’s mainstream and popular culture. Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad are bombarded with billboards advertising skin lightening techniques, creams and makeup that are designed to enhance the tone of your skin. Ironically, women of all socio-economic backgrounds in cities like New York and London, frequent ...

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Just how powerless are we?

As a child, the smell of a blown-out candle was among the sweetest of fragrances that I knew. Not because my mind equated it with birthdays, but because it signalled that the power was back on. It would begin with the sudden disappearance of Mario from the television screen smack in the middle of a boss level, amidst a chorus of frustrated interjections from me and my cousins Grandfather would then light a gas lantern fixed in the living room wall, as well as some candles strategically spread around the ground floor. Occasionally, there’d be a petrified little kid stuck in the bathroom ...

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Oven-roasted garlic chicken on a hot summer day

Summer time in Karachi can be a long unbearable ordeal. Temperatures are high and the humidity levels are even higher, which makes cooking all the more bothersome. Sitting under the fan, dreading the thought of standing in front of the hot stove in this scorching heat, I came up with this recipe. It is ideal for the summer as it demands only a few easy steps in its preparation, and while it cooks in the oven, you get a chance to cool off. The beauty of this recipe is the simplicity of its ingredients, the combination of which creates magnificent flavour. The only ...

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