Stories about new

Khan sahib and the PTI cheer leading squad

In the political rhetoric of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), analyses of class and institutions are conspicuous by their absence. PTI has simplified the complex political-economic debate into the good-guys-versus-bad-guys anecdote.  In PTI’s dictionary, good guys are those who are ‘honest’ and bad guys are those who do ‘corruption’ as pastime; all the trouble in which Pakistan finds itself today is because ‘bad’ guys rule the country. And PTI is very clear on this – bad guys are either from PML-N or PPP, period. PTI loves to note that the hereditary chain of command in the power structure of the major political parties’ namely, the PPP ...

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Man-xiety: Why men are afraid of marriage

Do you really think single women are the only ones stressing about their shrinking marriage options? According to my keen observation, single men in their 30s also face a similar dilemma of wanting to get married. Men in their 20s continue to live in a bubble where they think they will be young forever. But in their early 30s, they see an old man who has a sound career but is in a relationship which is going nowhere and looks at other men of his age who are already fathers. There comes a point in their life when they ...

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A mosque named after Mumtaz Qadri? Well done, Pakistan!

I was spending a lazy afternoon lounging in the Osama bin Laden library, bemoaning the dire lack of buildings honouring our local murderers, when my Smartphone informed me of this fascinating new development. I learned of a mosque being erected in Faizabad that is to be named after the man who killed the former governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer. The very idea of a mosque, a sacred house of worship, being named after a man who attained his glory by murdering another man in cold blood, may reasonably offend certain people. Certain people like, say, Sherbano Taseer, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Mehreen Zahra, who expressed ...

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My life… or a poorly scripted story?

My story is one that is not worth listening to. It is poorly scripted and lacks punctuation and depth. It lingers on too long and then stops suddenly, as if looking for a new introduction to an already spoiled plot. It dies too often or does it sleep? I do not know. It becomes dormant so it could be either. Its commas occur once too often and the colons, which are otherwise latent with the charm of novelty and surprise, act as full stops. Its full stops end half-lived sentences which miserably rise and fall, full of verbs which do and die, ...

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Lost in translation: 12 signs you’re new to Pakistani culture

Recently moving from Canada, where I’ve lived practically my entire life, to Pakistan, I’ve had to do a lot of learning.  Here are few of the things I have learnt since coming to Pakistan: 1) My mother-in-law asked me to clean char maghaz. Source: Reactiongifs I was relieved to learn that I was supposed to clean seeds and not four animal brains. 2) There is no uncle by the name of ‘lal baig’. Source: Reactiongifs 3) Don’t’ wear bronzer in Pakistan; rather than getting compliments on a healthy glow, aunties will recommend Fair and Lovely. Source: ...

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Aao bacho sair karain tumko Pakistan ki: Not an ordinary nursery rhyme…

There is a very famous poem, by a very famous poet, written in a more hopeful and exuberant time. It has been set to wonderful, cheerful music and is taught to children everywhere. And in the video below, a child sings something that sounds very much like it. But listen carefully. The music has the same happy lilt, but the words are horribly different. So different, in fact, that a few people I showed this video to were seriously offended at what they consider to be a serious perversion of a great piece of art. The original poem and its English translation ...

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Paper-is-back: Reminiscing good ol’ tech-free times with Facebook

Stories do more than just entertain, they define us. Stories give meaning and context to what would otherwise be a collection of easily forgettable facts. They say behind every brand is a story and thus Facebook just started a new chapter of their fairy tale by launching a new app Paper. Facebook, a company which has gone from a dorm room conception to a $150 billion capitalisation, outshined the social media industry by introducing the new app that focuses on the idea of stories. Source: Itunes The app is available for download on iOS devices only. As I work in a paper-free ...

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Don’t label me ‘Mohajir’

Being a first generation Mohajir might have felt like stepping into an exciting new territory full of adventures in reassertion of identity, a deeper assimilation into the national fabric and finding a voice in a country teeming with provincialism. However, as a second generation Mohajir reflecting over the three decades that have transpired since, it seems that these were nothing short of a fool’s dreams that at least I could have survived without. Objectively, I feel that having chased these dreams has actually left me more devoid in numerous avenues than empowered. Retrospectively, I find it hard to understand why we ...

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Love thy neighbour?

“Are you okay?”  The question jolted Ahmed back to the present. He looked at his wife, Fatima who was looking at him in a concerned manner. She said, “Hello… I’m talking to you.” Ahmed sighed and replied, “I’m worried about the business, it’s not doing so well. What about you?” His wife took a deep breath before saying, “The headmistress has asked me to resign because of the threats to the school. And all the staff members want me to leave as soon as possible.” Ahmed nodded and said, “Well it’s a difficult time for our community. Customers have been avoiding our shop and I don’t know how to get them ...

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10 awkward moments we have all been through

We aren’t perfect. We cannot always make witty remarks and indulge in interesting conversations all the time. All of us make the one off faux pas – tell someone they have bad body odour or say things jokingly only to have the other person offended. Sounds familiar? This happens all the time. If it weren’t for it, then you and I would be the only two people living a monotonous life. Being social animals, we can’t possibly avoid interaction. We will do things that are embarrassing or things that will put us in awkward positions. There are guidebooks and rules for such social ...

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