Stories about morals

Ayesha Sana, behind the scenes!

With her glamorous attire, overdone makeup, and studio lights shining bright on her face, we see a lady sitting on a couch, speaking in a soft, polite tone, getting ready to appear on television and give a lecture on morality, etiquettes and civility. The show host believes that she, much like her morning show fraternity, is the only person capable of saving Pakistan from its moral failures. In this particular segment of her show, the topic of discussion revolves around the treatment of people belonging to a lower socio-economic class in Pakistan. Her guest on the show belongs to the very same ...

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For singles: How to survive Valentine’s Day

You there! That’s right, you with premature wrinkles around your mouth! You’ve been cringing at couples, haven’t you? So does the colour pink make you vomit? Does the shape of a heart send you into throes of an epileptic fit? Do you just hate teddy bears? It’s okay. Just breathe, we have you covered. You are single, my dear and there is nothing wrong with that. You’ve managed perfectly well all on your own all through cuddle December and shaadi season January but now comes the ultimate test. Valentine’s day is just around the corner and everywhere you turn you see ...

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Tempted to commit adultery? Indonesian governor says ‘Go pray!’

Are you afraid that you will be so attracted to the opposite sex that you will forget your vows to your significant other? Are you afraid that your sexual urges will no longer be in your control and if you’re an employer, you will most definitely sexually harass your employees? If yes, it may be time for you to move to Indonesia. A governor in Indonesia has found a cure for adultery – prayer. Apparently, he has never known an adulterer who prays five times a day. Either that or he feels that the longer he keeps men and women on the prayer mat, ...

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Parent trap: Friend or foe?

A cousin of mine quite often argued with me about how incessant and unnecessary interference in a child’s life can weaken the parent-child bond. According to her, in this day and age if parents unduly poke their nose in their children’s lives, especially those who have just entered or are about to end their teens, and don’t maintain a friendly relationship, their parent-child relationship may seriously suffer. The inclusion of electronic media in the lives of the modern society has opened up a huge world of awareness-for the young ones in particular. Now these young adults are well informed ...

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Is smoking banned for women in Pakistan?

“Isn’t smoking for women banned in Islam?” asked a friend from the UK. “Are you allowed to smoke in Pakistan, being a woman?” Many times, women in this great nation come across such questions. Having attempted to clear these misconceptions a number of times, it was only pragmatic, if not necessary, to search for the root cause of these misgivings. Is Islam being hijacked by our cultures, traditions and social norms? My answer, plainly, was, “No, smoking is not banned for women in Pakistan.” With his flabbergasted look, I realised that my answer did not pacify the curiosity of this media-influenced gentleman. Smoking in ...

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Let’s not make the ‘gora’ our benchmark

Growing up, I was taught that goras could do no wrong. Whether this was preached in talk shows on our TV channels; in the columns in leading newspapers; in the examples given by professors in educational institutions; one is bound to notice an increasing defeatist mentality gripping the minds of opinion makers regarding their very own nation. Any problem is presented and our society is automatically compared to the Western society; the former is depicted as the worst nation ever to exist on planet earth and the latter is presented as the pinnacle of human dignity, professional excellence and moral height. I was deputed on a ...

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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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Mathira’s wardrobe malfunction: Nudity or modernity?

“It wasn’t part of the show. It was an accident!” pleaded designer Sanam Chaudhri after the scandalous Mathira fashion faux pas at her showcase on day one of Fashion Pakistan Week. Chauhdri spoke in Mathira’s defense saying “I felt so bad for her, and she started crying the moment she got off the ramp.” But when something of this nature happens with a personality like Mathira (whose last name is Scandal) people most likely assume that it was deliberate. Fashion writer and cultural commentator, Mohsin Sayeed, certainly thinks so. “Of course, it was deliberate,” he said. “If it wasn’t then why did the ...

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Political moralization is not the way

A politician will stand on the pulpit and thousands of people will watch, as he or she weaves a story about the past. For some, it will be Ayub Khan’s decade of development, for others it may be an issue or a cause like Kashmir or Balochistan. Regardless, the gestures and punches that will be emphasized will all constitute an act of moralization. For democratic societies, political moralization, in its greater sense, undermines democratic political culture because it discourages debate and discourse. Democratic systems are based on the concept of competing ideas and institutions against a moral framework that allows for a system ...

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A moral argument for abortion

Abortion. An eight lettered word that can ruin any well-heeled kitty party or friends’ night out. I should know, since I have successfully brought conversations to a screeching halt (or the opposite) on both occasions. I often wonder what it is about that word which awakens the morality brigade. Those arguing against abortion often claim “It’s a living thing!” blithely ignoring my scathing looks of disbelief. Science and logic seem to take a back seat in this argument. How about some facts to back up emotion? The power is hers I’m pro-choice, in case there was any doubt. If there is anything in life ...

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