Stories about man

A woman’s fate

For as long as one can remember, Karachi has been beset by killings. Though these days it seems that it is getting easier to murder a woman and get away with it. Murders of women are reported from all corners of the country, almost on a daily basis, and without a doubt, many cases go unnoticed or unreported. Alarmingly, a sizeable majority of the women killed are young and newly-wed. They are not just murdered, but murdered after being subjected to domestic torture and sexual violence. Unfortunately, nothing much is being done to promote the fast-vanishing tradition of respecting and honouring women. Recently, ...

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We are sorry, Owais Baig

I was viewing the Facebook profile of a young man from Karachi. Looking at the publically shared pictures, I came under the impression that he loved his nieces and a nephews. His name was Owais Baig. He appeared to be a typical Karachiite with swarthy, intelligent facial features- looks that gave away small details of his life. You could tell that he was a young man, still studying, working alongside and looking for a better career and just trying to make it in a city of 20 million. Then I looked at the video of him dangling from a burning building, which ...

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The grand divide

My faith is righteous, And yours is void. My Book is divine, And yours is flawed. I say my prayers, And you do too, But yours are worthless, And mine are true. The light is mine, And yours is gloom, I will taste those wines, Oh, you’ll be doomed, I do not hate you But can I love you? And mingle with you, The way brothers do? Oh no, maybe not. I am told not to. My brothers are those, Who share my faith, No… not you, And I am baffled, By the life you lead, The path you tread, The things you do, The words you recite, The way you deny, That you are not right. All of it is nothing, Nothing but a fallacy, Even if you ...

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Let’s hope your heart keeps going on and on

If you were Jack and I was Rose, you would have sacrificed your life to save mine, said a woman to a man sitting on my right at the cinema. Arif, you would have saved me, right? It’s a Friday and I’m watching Titanic in 3D.  I’m slouched in my cinema seat, trying desperately to blend into the surroundings – anything — in order to avoid the romance unfolding on my right. Onscreen Jack is convincing Rose not to commit suicide, but all I could think, “Way to put Arif on the spot, woman.” Picture the same cinema an hour later. ...

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Professional beggars: More greedy than needy

Allah keh naam par 10 rupay dey dey beta. (Please give me Rs10 in God’s name, son.) Roti khila dey, tujhey ek naik aur khubsurat biwi miley. (Give me bread to eat and you will find a beautiful, decent wife) How many times have we heard this and cringed from deep within? Such phrases are played like rhythmic rhetoric every time you park your car on a signal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a feudal lord’s son who will throw acid on his wife, neither do I commute in a chauffeur driven, air-conditioned SUV. I’m a common Pakistani who walks the same streets like millions other ...

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Hafiz Saeed: The (10) million dollar man

Ten million dollars. Not one, not five, 10! This is it Pakistanis. If you don’t take this opportunity, you have no one else to blame but yourself for not winning this lottery. Easier than any question asked by Amitabh Bachchan on KBC, this is the fastest, surest way to the top guys. America has answered your prayers and you can get out of poverty – now! Even with the usual 10% ‘charges’, this would leave you with a cool $9 million. Move to Karachi, officially the world’s cheapest city, and live the rest of your life in a nice bungalow with ...

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Javed Chaudhry’s misogynistic excuse for violence against women

In a column published on April 1 in the Urdu newspaper Daily Express, Javed Chaudhry  expresses his disapproval for a man who had paid another Rs100,000 to attack his estranged wife by throwing acid on her face.  Even in his attempted condemnation, the language he uses to describe her injuries is detailed, graphic and inappropriate.  “Hadiyan nangi ho gain. Aankh ubal kar bahir aa gai” (Bones were bare. The eye was singed and protruding) But then, these descriptions become downright pornographic as his ultimate thesis becomes apparent; perhaps, women incite violence because of their own insubordination, give or take a few innocent victims.  The narrative focuses ...

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Smiling through a bad day

I disembarked the airplane thinking of how discontent I was with the 35 hour journey. I was determined to write letters of complaint to the involved airline for their disorganized conduct. Now, I had a total of 12 hours of nothing to do. I felt vexed and disgusted.  I found a secluded bench, dropped my bag, and sat down to engage in what travelers typically do at airports – people-watching.  After looking around for several hours, I came across an elderly gentleman who would not stop smiling. It seemed that nothing could faze this man.  He entertained a couple to whom ...

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Waiting for evolution in Pakistan’s classrooms

When I was in class III, my school teacher showed us an unusual illustration in our science class. It was the classic drawing of the evolution of man, from monkey ancestor to homosapien, and I remember thinking back then: well, that makes a lot of sense, we look just like monkeys. There was no big debate in our science class. The teacher just taught us evolution (change via natural selection across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations), and we just absorbed the information and assumed it to be true. The narrative of how life came into existence ...

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Doctor se Rishta: A modest proposal

Recently a friend posted a Facebook link that read: “Gift-find for the single South Asian women on Facebook.” Falling into all the above categories – South Asian, female, and single – I felt obliged to follow his instructions, which led me to an online matrimonial service. Great, I thought. Just what the free world needs: another run-of-the-mill, Shaadi.com spin-off promising compatibility in the form of a mutual love for puppies, aloo ke parathay and Bollywood. But, after giving the website a proper look-see, I realised I had miscalculated. This was not your typical vanilla, hackneyed online dating site. No, this website came with ...

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