Stories about mother

Motherhood: A divine institution

She is an institution; an overflowing reservoir of love. She possesses an astounding quantum of care, concern, compassion and affection. A hand that feeds, a hunger she satiates. A phenomenon, a guiding light, a beacon of hope. A lifelong crutch; an embodiment of beauty; a pristine spirit; a glowing splendour of nature. She is a mother, so I was told. Destiny has infinite wisdom. For reasons best known to itself,  it sprang a heart wrenching surprise on me by plucking away my mother to the dark corners of life beyond. After just 26 months, she lost her life after ushering a new life ...

Read Full Post

Treat her like a lady, not a baby-making machine

Kaneez* has five young children with a small age difference between them. She works full-time as a domestic maid and takes short, rushed breaks in order to nurse her youngest child, a five-month-old infant. If her break becomes longer than the expected five minutes, she is severely rebuked by her employer.  Life is hard for Kaneez. Not only does her husband expect her to make ends meet, but also wants her to keep adding more children to the brood. Her children fight all the time, demand clothes and toys when she takes them grocery shopping and throw tantrums when their ...

Read Full Post

The phone call I wish I had never received

I don’t know whether this is the right time to write this blog or not, but I do hope that when people read it, it will help them make the right choice when faced with a situation similar to mine. Exactly 16 months ago, I was standing in line with other confused Pakistanis – the lot who ask themselves the same question day and night: should we move abroad to greener pastures? I am not trying to vindicate my actions by writing this; the truth is that it was a difficult decision for me. On the one hand, you think of your ...

Read Full Post

Held hostage: When will I see my father?

Our lives changed on November 2010, when MV Albedo was hijacked. My father had devoted 40 years of his life at sea to provide for his family, and now that his time to retire and live comfortably is near, his life is at the mercy of ruthless Somali pirates. A 17 month wait is a long time when you are kept in a cabin. It is even worse when that is in the middle of the ocean, far disconnected from the world. Those hijacked have witnessed the death of their companion who died due to inhumane living conditions. One captive, Rajbhar Rajoo, lost his ...

Read Full Post

Steal a baby, sell a baby

Fact is stranger than fiction. At least with fiction, you can chew out the author for writing a predictable ending or for using outlandish plot twists. Sadly, some stories in life seem to be built entirely on outlandish plot twists. On the 22nd of March, the police in Bhara Kahu, right outside Islamabad, busted a couple who stand accused of conducting illegal abortions, including dangerous late-stage ones, and selling the babies that survived. Sounds a lot like Hell’s version of the sustainable development model. To top it off, the couple shares a bond of blood with one of the accused in ...

Read Full Post

I speak Punjabi (but my kids might not)

‘Ik Sutti Uthi Dooji Akhon Ka’ani ’- Do you understand what this Punjabi idiom means, or do you need a translation in English first? The literal translation may be “one just woke up and the other one is partially sighted!” but that isn’t what it means.  This funny phrase refers to a person who has just woken up and then on top of their disheveled appearance is cross-eyed as well. It is used “icing on the cake” in English. Most people wonder why everything in Punjabi sounds so comic? Maybe our ancestors just appreciated humour. If you belong to a Punjabi speaking family and couldn’t ...

Read Full Post

Who you calling crazy?

Imagine being paralysed to a point that living your day to day life becomes a constant struggle and challenge. Imagine that a simple task that you do on any given day becomes an obstacle and causes great anxiety. No, I am not referring to being physically paralysed or having a physical impairment but rather the crippling impact of dealing with serious mental health problems. I find it difficult to speak so openly about this issue as someone very dear to me has been struggling with bipolar disorder and a severe form of anxiety since I was relatively young. This someone happens ...

Read Full Post

Why women need to complain more

I can’t tell you how much I relied on my girlfriends for my sanity in my 20s. During our student days at the University of Virginia (UVA), we were each other’s roommates, psychiatrists, parents, and siblings. Far away from my family in Bangladesh, my friends and I became each other’s families. But something happens to our female friendships when we leave our 20s and enter our 30s. As we get older and get married, have babies, work, work more, and did I mention, work more, we also begin to talk less. Why is it that when women need their girlfriends the ...

Read Full Post

A female baby, a waste of space

It’s pitch dark outside, and not a sound can be heard anywhere. He hears the soft ruffling of his new-born daughter stir and he sneers at her in disgust. “Waste of my money and a waste of space,” he mutters angrily. As if sensing her father’s displeasure, the baby starts wailing softly. That’s it – he grabs her roughly, and before her mother can react, the baby is murdered. The only crime she had committed was that of being a girl. Unfortunately, manly female infants meet the same end in Pakistan. According to The Edhi Foundation, it was estimated that more than a thousand infants were ...

Read Full Post

My mother survived dengue

I remember dengue fever, which is now spreading like an epidemic, was completely unknown in our part of the world a couple of years ago.  For the past two months we kept hearing about the increasing number of dengue cases in the Punjab province but we never really paid heed to the warnings. I didn’t bother about specific preventive measures since I was never a really a Mospel person in any case. I will never ignore such warnings again in my life as my mother suffered from dengue this Ramazan. My mother had a fever that came and went, when we had ...

Read Full Post