Stories about money

Pakistanis, ditch the cash for plastic money

“Would you like to pay by card or cash?” I choose cash. So does the majority of Pakistan’s population. Despite carrying a credit card and two debit cards in my wallet, I still prefer to use cash for all my transactions. I have my reasons for doing so; however, I also feel my ideology regarding plastic money is a depiction of the general consumer mindset. Here is why: 1. I feel more secure with cash in hand. It gives me greater control over my spending and allows me to exercise frugality where needed. With a debit card, I have the ability to ‘swipe’ away my ...

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I thought he was a beggar-child…

I was deep in my thoughts, standing at the railway station, when a slight tug on my shirt startled me. Averting my gaze towards the source of the tug, I saw a child. A sense of pity washed over; I took out some money from my pocket and tried to give it to the child, but he refused to take it. Feeling even more empathetic towards him, I gently took his small palm into my hands and placed the money there. Suddenly, a man came rushing towards us, “He is not a beggar! You look smart enough to know that!” he ...

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What were you doing with so much money at home, Edhi Sahib?

Sunday mornings are the laziest mornings of the week, when all one wants is to wake up to the smell of halwa puri and thick newspapers. However, this Sunday morning, Karachi woke up to the news of a robbery at the Edhi residence – house of Abdul Sattar Edhi and Bilquis Sattar Edhi and – headquarters to the Edhi Foundation, which was looted in broad daylight by unknown dacoits. This is surprising, yes. It should not have happened, I agree. But it happened. It happens all the time in Karachi. I’m just glad that the robbers had at least this much humanity left in them that they ...

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Humans have no place in the ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

“All hail Caesar” Taking place around 10 years after the memorable events of its predecessor movie, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes shows a world where humans have been all but wiped out by the simian virus. Caesar, who we last saw leading his band of apes into the forest, is now the leader of a much larger and intelligent troupe of apes. They live in relative peace until a group of humans stumble upon their territory causing a cataclysmic sequence of events that result in an all out war between the two species. The fact of the matter is that the apes were, ...

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Is my tax money funding your political advertisement?

Open any newspaper and you’ll find government advertisements – be it provincial or federal – flashing their on-going or upcoming projects. The best term I could come up with for this exercise of self-promotion is ‘political advertising’, meant for boosting a politician’s profile or a junior level politician behaving like a sycophant for his party boss. The phenomenon cuts through all political parties and ideologies, and affects all forms of media, print or electronic. Such adverts are often used to serve party politics rather than public policy. The incumbent government spends the most on such commercials, which explains why the government’s budget for advertising is ...

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Want to own a Lamborghini? Here is how it’s done!

I am not really big on cars; the previous cars I have had – a white Mehran (aka the Sex Mobile), a whiter Mehran (aka the Sugar Mama) and a maroon Mehran (aka the Kinky Dinky) – were all funded by a non-refundable loan from my dad (he is the best bank ever). Not that I don’t like my Mehrans, but yesterday I saw the latest Transformers movie, and I have to say, I would love to buy a Lamborghini for myself. I mean, it’s about time I buy a car that has its own name, you know, like Gallardo or Aventador. I don’t think ...

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Caught between conspiracies

Members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have decided to show solidarity with their leader, Altaf Hussain, by demonstrating their street power on May 25, 2014 in Karachi. The MQM chief has been under investigation, for money laundering charges, in London for nearly a year now. Though the UK authorities have been unable to prove the charges with substantial evidence, for the time being, Altaf’s accounts have been frozen. Like any other political party, MQM’s major source of income is through donations, which it collects from its supporters locally and around the globe. Altaf  Hussain, the party chief who moved to ...

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The car I bought

It was approximately 2am and the temperature was about three degree Celsius accompanied by a pitch-dark chilly night. A black coloured two-seater pickup took a sharp turn and then drove slowly into a quiet, murky, dimly lit street. The pick-up drove past the electric pole and pulled up near a house, where two men checked their guns and got out of the vehicle. One of them unloaded the pick-up’s boot while the other proceeded to climb up a 12 feet high electric pole which stood by the boundary wall of one of the houses. Upon reaching the top, the man took in the view of ...

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Does anyone in Pakistan know how to save money?

While I was visiting a friend, I came across something very peculiar. His domestic help, who was serving us tea and refreshments, had headphones plugged into his ears and kept chatting away to someone over his phone. His behaviour remained consistent during my four-hour-long stay and I wondered how he was able to talk so long without his mobile balance running out.  Giving in to my curiosity, I asked my friend about his servant’s excessive phone calls, to which he explained that of the Rs10,000 that he received as salary, a major chunk of it went either to buying a new phone ...

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The Prado effect

Adam’s story I backed out of the driveway, closely monitoring the environment around me. This was the first time I was driving such a large vehicle and it was safe to assume that there was a very steep learning curve with regards to keeping the jeep on the road. “I need to pick up something for Natasha.” Amir squeaked from the backseat. There were around five people sitting atop each other. I nodded, glancing towards the road ahead before putting the jeep in gear. A slight tap on the accelerator and the monstrous engine roared to life, launching the vehicle onto the road. Sitting behind ...

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