Stories about mother

Pakistan’s very own apartheid

I perceive myself to be liberal because I believe that I am a pluralist. I am not an extremist in my political or religious views. I am proud that I am different — separate — and quite clearly a minority in my country. However, despite my so-called pluralism, I do not want to associate with those I call the ‘jaahils’ and the ‘fundos’ and in that sense I end up being disconnected from the mainstream. Some readers may not like this but I will give the example of the burqa-clad mother of four who believes that she is pious and righteous, ...

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Seven traits of the average Pakistani man

Disclaimer: The following piece is the result of an opinionated writer’s bias. Though the writer herself remains miserably devoid of any male attention, she likes to learn through other people’s experiences. Her piece is based on the experiences of many, many married acquaintances. 1. He loves his mom Mom is an infallible angel. The only way to achieve harmony in your relationship with him is to understand this vital fact. Don’t question or contradict this lady who will steer the boat of his life, while you will remain one of the many passengers on-board. She is the average Pakistani mother-in-law and her ...

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The drawing room culture: Girls on parade

I am one of the many girls who have been through the archaic and bizarre tradition of the drawing room ‘parade’. It involves carrying a tray of tea and goodies to a roomful of strangers and being put on display. Here is how the drawing room scenario unfolds: You are informed by your mother that guests are coming to “see you”. As unwilling as you may be, you to give in to your mother’s orders, or this cliché line may be thrown at you, “Beta, apni ammi ki baat mano. Mein akeli maa nahin, sab hi maayein karti hain,” or “Listen to me ...

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Teachers tried to make my son stupid

Last September my son started first grade and I decided to enroll him in a French immersion program here in Toronto. He is a shy and quiet child but I had never heard a single complaint from his kindergarten teachers. But within the first weeks of his new class I started receiving notes saying he was not capable of writing and that we should work on his motor skills. The entire family was worried. We helped him with French dictation and math, we begged him to work harder – the pressure for a six-year-old boy was immense. His teacher continued to ...

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Funeral etiquette: Do’s and dont’s for the not so bereaved

I lost my mother on January 12, 2011. I was at the airport, waiting to board my plane to London but the flight had been delayed due to heavy fog. Just as the call for boarding came, my brother called me and broke the news that she was critical. I forgot everything and grabbed the first taxi to the hospital. I had talked to my mother just two hours before, and she had been home, getting ready for her regular checkup. She sounded fine. Upon reaching the hospital, she died suddenly due to heart failure. To say the event was shocking would be ...

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If you’re ‘fair and innocent’, will you marry my son?

A few weeks ago, I went to a wedding where upon introduction, an aunty made the following comment: “Oh, beta how wonderful to see you’ve done your MBA.  But why aren’t you married yet?” The “why aren’t u married yet” was repeated in a derogatory tone as I was dragged to meet another aunty. This aunty seemed to be looking for a “suitable” wife for her son who  was living in America. Her plan was to short list 5-8 girls for her son, who would be visiting Pakistan for just a week, so she could ask him to choose one ...

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Money 101: How to make some extra cash from home

The first rule to increasing your bank balance is saving. Last week I presented a few home remedies of making your rupee last longer. But money rule number two is far more exciting as it suggests increasing the family income – extra earning not only means extra saving but also extra spending and an overall better quality of life. Get to work Forget detailed scientific research – just browse around your local neighborhood and see the steady benefits of a two income family. They are likely to be the ones whose kids are going to better schools; their disposable income is more so ...

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Invisible citizens: recognising Pakistan’s adopted children

Six months ago, a friend of mine had to take her daughter to a child cardiologist, two days after her birth. When the doctor asked her if the child’s birth was natural or caesarian, she informed him that she did not know. He looked at her perplexedly and asked if the father might confirm. She said, promptly, as if this was rehearsed, “I do not know her father.” The fact is, my friend does not know her daughter’s father. She has never met him. Ditto her child’s biological mother. Her child’s genes are a mystery to her. Regardless, she ...

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We are Family: A movie to watch with the kids

“Merey paas en ka guzra hua kal hai aur tumharey paas en ka aney wala kal!” This cliched line is from Indian movie  “We are Family.” The line summarizes the whole story. The film is a re-make of Chris Columbus’ blockbuster Stepmom which starred Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts. In the familiar story a mother is diagnosed with a terminal illness and a young step-mom learns to fill in. The cast of the Indian version includes Kajol, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal. The film is a Dahrma production and is produced by Karan Johar and debutant director Siddharth Malhotra. What they got right Casting: The director wins half the ...

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