Stories about love

Move over, Black Mirror! Love, Death and Robots is the new dystopic show in town!

From the minds of Deadpool’s Tim Miller and David Fincher (of Seven, Gone Girl, Fight Club – need I go on?) Netflix’s new series Love, Death and Robots is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, to put it in a nutshell. After a long week at work, I shrugged off my burdens to prepare for a cozy night in, binge-watching something on Netflix. Logging in, I noticed the noisy poster and trailer of Love, Death and Robots headlining the homepage and quickly scrolled down, judging the series for its cartoon-like exterior and uncatchy and dry title. The next day, however, wanting ...

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Always remember

“What’s my name?” “My beti.” “But what is it, really?” “My pyaari beti.” “Do you remember me?” I can almost hear you reply – only vaguely.   I watch you every day, In that same seat that you always occupy – With the sun glinting off your bald head. I watch as first you give up your laughter, Then your listening, Then your talking, Then yourself.   As I sit across the room, And become heavier and stronger, I watch you become weaker and smaller. I watch your appetite shrink, And the only food you truly want Is kept away from you, near the sink. It’s meant to protect your health, To ensure you don’t get confusions or even possible delusions.   Delusions of ...

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#TherapistDiaries: Unrequited love, a choice or a consequence?

South Asian culture, particularly India and Pakistan, romanticises the notion of suffering in unrequited love. This emotionally-draining, one-sided road is deemed as a higher form of love and is attributed to purity. No wonder harassment is so common in our culture. “Sacha ishq wohi hai jo kabhi mil na paey.” (True love is that which can never meet.) The aforementioned sentence is sort of a slogan for these one-sided lovers. Since Sufism is one of the most dominant philosophies followed in Indo-Pak culture, the masochism involved in unrequited love – ishq-e-majazi – is held as a necessary stage towards attaining a divine form of ...

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These 5 Pixar shorts are like little animated treats

Pixar has won our hearts time and again with its animated magic by putting together warm storytelling, delightful humour and dazzling visuals. Many of the studio’s films rank among the most charming movies that have ever been made. While its full-length features may get most of the attention, Pixar’s short films, too, are animated treats. Crafted with the same heart-warming touch that has made the studio a leader in its field, these short films – similar to their longer counterparts – make us feel for their characters, be they human, anthropomorphic animals or even objects. Mostly dialogue-free and reliant on sound effects ...

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Wake up to sleep

I drew a portrait, And called myself an artist. When I did not have time to draw anymore, Did I become any less of myself?   This skin shedding, This habit leaving. This growing up, This looking back, The self is here. Oh, but look! The self is missing from itself again.   I misplaced myself in time. You are now trying to erase yourself from the past. It just won’t do. This filling of flesh into tomorrow, Leaving today, to tuck itself to sleep, Alone. But wait – Don’t leave just yet. Stay for a while.   Tell me, What did you learn? What did you bury? How did you grow into yourself again? But more pressingly, Did you love? Did you breathe in the green today? Did ...

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They were each other’s “meant to be”, but not “forever”

Souls have no concept of time. No clocks. No calendars. Age dilutes us, makes us only watered down versions of ourselves. All of us become a little misplaced, a little lost under emotionless, bleached beams of the sun. But these old souls… These speakers of a forgotten language… Resiliently seek the missing half, as if written on each other with permanent ink. Continuously counting constellations, forgetting boundaries and reaching for the stars as they reach for each other. With “his” madness rumbling in “her” heart… Dangerously hypnotic, wildly naïve… Yet equally distant. Equally impossible. These two souls were each other’s “meant to be”, but they were not each other’s ...

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Red Birds: A lament to love, a rant against war and an ode to pacifists

Red Birds is about the destruction that inevitably follows love. Many say this Mohammed Hanif novel is an anatomy of the wars men wage and the carcasses of pain women and their children must sweep up, each with their own indignities, but I don’t. I am sure it is an ode to the unloved. Take Major Ellie for instance, the mediocre white man who is the glorious pilot of a plane that could buy say, a city in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan. Ellie wipes out cities with the courage of his right thumb prompted by an X ...

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You in your sleep, me in my wakefulness

You are sleeping… And a part of me wants to wake you up Just so I can see you smile That smile you save for me You don’t yet understand, But maybe one day you will… That with every passing moment, My belief roots deeper Never diminishing, only growing With every smile, every glance Every sigh and every word Yes – you are sleeping And I’m sitting here… imagining the unseen. The sound of you breathing Cheek resting against the pillow The curl of your fingers Arm folded under the sheet Cosy warmth of your body My heart wells up As I resist the urge… To whisper in your ear And drag you out of your dream But no, You’re ...

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Amidst the cold, chilly world, their hearts were warm

The sweet smell of gingerbread cookies filled the chilly air in the crowded market on Christmas Eve. A choir of young men and women stood in lines, singing cheery Christmas carols in their melodious voices. They wore black robes over their dresses and held gold candles in the palm of their hands. Amidst the crowd, a lush evergreen conifer tree sat in the middle of the marketplace. Beautiful ornaments of all colours covered the tree and glittered under the dim light of the tiny fairy lights which twinkled in warm shades of yellow, red and green. To complete the look, a large ...

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The road not taken: Going to Cambridge or getting married

In Pakistan, and in my native language Urdu, woman translates into aurat, which comes from the Persian awrah, meaning “parts to be protected”. Literally, too, in my present Muslim, closed-knit, patriarchal society, women like me are guided — by their fathers, husbands, brothers, sons — to be protected from threats against their body and family honour. While these men encourage “western” trends to an extent — like education at reputable schools, recreational sports, or even temporary employment — cultural traditions halt these prospects after marriage. You are born, our men tell us, to marry fast, and vouchsafe both yourselves and your future daughters ...

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