Stories about loss

The best thing about an identity crisis

Exactly one year ago, on the very night I wrote this, I remember not being able to sleep. Such nights were common then. I would twist and turn for over five hours, lying in bed until finally, sleep would come. During those waking hours spent in bed I would cry. My anxiety attacks were so severe that I would fear I may die during the sleepless struggle. I knew I was on the precipice of a full-on identity crisis. In retrospect, I wonder now why I never bothered telling any family member or friend what was going on. Maybe, it was because I ...

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Who can I blame for my father’s death?

It has nearly been one year since my father passed away in the emergency room of a local hospital. He was a heart patient but he managed his health well. The night before his demise, he restless and complained of a slight pain in his chest. He felt better in the morning, but by the afternoon his condition had deteriorated. My sisters rushed him to a well known hospital in Defence Phase I, Karachi which boasts its expertise in health care, the nearest hospital at the time. When I reached the hospital’s emergency room. There were no nurses or doctors around. There was one ...

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Afridi for the win!

I am glad that Pakistan won the series. No surprise there. I am Pakistani; of course I would be happy for my country’s victory. However, there is another reason why I am glad we won today. It is because now, Shahid Afridi will most probably be retained as captain. The lack of trust that the management has shown in the captain of the national team, for me, has been confusing and somewhat frustrating as well. When Pakistan won the Test series under Misbahul Haq, I, although not entirely of the view, felt inclined towards the possibility of Misbah captaining the ...

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Funeral etiquette: Do’s and dont’s for the not so bereaved

I lost my mother on January 12, 2011. I was at the airport, waiting to board my plane to London but the flight had been delayed due to heavy fog. Just as the call for boarding came, my brother called me and broke the news that she was critical. I forgot everything and grabbed the first taxi to the hospital. I had talked to my mother just two hours before, and she had been home, getting ready for her regular checkup. She sounded fine. Upon reaching the hospital, she died suddenly due to heart failure. To say the event was shocking would be ...

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Why should I live in Pakistan?

It’s not okay when you switch on the TV to find out that someone you know has become a victim of target killing. It’s not okay to see that because it leaves you with a hundred unanswered questions about why you are still living in this country. That’s how I felt yesterday when I heard the news that Wali Khan Babar, a fellow reporter and my senior in university, was shot dead in an incident of target killing. As the news kept flashing images of him over and over again, I was reminded of him – clad in huge sunglasses and ...

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Is media truly society’s watchdog?

In present times, Pakistani media is known as a vibrant, revolutionary and overwhelmingly powerful tool in shaping society’s opinion on a host of issues and for serving as a watchdog of government actions. However, the question remains whether the media fulfils the responsibilities it claims to or does it only look after its monetary or political interest. On July 28 Airblue Flight ED-202 crashed into the Margalla Hills in Islamabad, killing all 152 passengers and crew members, as the entire nation looked on in horror. Instantly, the electronic media paid unprecedented attention towards the incident the entire day. The Prime Minster expressed ...

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Electric Avenue: Sky high bills getting higher

What I pay for electricity of my apartment is almost half the rent itself. There is only one room, with a fan and two tube-lights, other than that I only have a laptop, a toaster, a microwave oven and a 0.75-ton split air-conditioner. As if the price of electricity is not high enough, donor agencies usually demand that the government address inter-corporate debt which has grown to Rs426 billion. And no matter how much money the government tries to inject into the system to get it running again, making it sustainable will require huge increases in electricity prices as well as ...

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A victim of the Lahore attack remembers

You read stories of violence and atrocities committed on faceless Pakistanis in your local newspapers on a daily basis. You absorb the news as detached consumers. Empathy and even hints of grief might stir your heart while reading a poignant story every once in a while, but try as you might, you will never be able to relate to the victims and those directly involved – because you were never there. It didn’t happen to you or, anyone you know. And for that, you’re almost relieved. Yet guiltily so. But what would happen, if one day, you or your loved ...

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A reason to remember 9/11

Ever since I saw the movie V For Vendetta, I have a small ritual of sorts. Every year, on September 11, I keep my status for the whole day, “Remember, remember, the 11th of September, for I see no reason why it should be forgot.” It’s my way of paying tribute to the innocent men and women and yes, believe it or not, Muslims that perished no that tragic day. This year, a friend commented asking what it meant, and I gave her the cliff notes version of the original rhyme, explaining it was my way of commemorating the tragic ...

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When will our police act?

I had not completely recovered from the shock of losing six of my friends in the Airblue plane crash when I witnessed another gruesome death on Wednesday night, day two of the recent spate of violence in Karachi. I was returning home from work when the situation in Gulistan- e- Jauhar suddenly deteriorated. There was heavy firing between two spots in the area, Jauhar Morr and Jauhar Chowrangi. In a state of panic, most cars turned around on the same road creating a jam. In the midst of this, my eyes were drawn to a few bystanders looking down at something. With a ...

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