Stories about nostalgia

Bleeding tears for Pakistan: Where have we failed?

Nothing is more refreshing than an evening jog in the park. The wind in your hair, the moist clods of earth under your feet; the almost tangy smell of damp, green grass and the mellow chatter of birds as they begin their daily rounds of “good-night!” to each other. But today is different. Rather than a gentle caress, the wind seems to lash out at me. The grass smells bitter and the normally rhythmic twitter of the birds is like an ominous chant, resounding in my ears, getting louder by the minute until I can take it no more. I surrender ...

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Is there a Pakistan to go back home to?

Last week, my husband and I finally booked our return tickets to Pakistan. It was a proud moment, happy moment, not just because we had been saving to buy them for months, but because we had not been home in nearly two years. Two years! It seemed like a lifetime. We had missed much: babies, engagements, weddings, new additions to the family and the passing of old, new restaurants and cafés, new TV channels, even the opening of Lahore’s first go-karting park. I could hardly contain my excitement. Yet, my excitement was tainted by a very strange and disquieting thought – ...

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Eid was more fun in the ’90s

Back in the days when nunna, my maternal grandmother, was alive, Bakra-Eid used to be something else. Come morning all us cousins, aunts and uncles would head to her house. The older cousins were dressed to the nines, the aunts wore kitchen friendly clothes and soon the delicious aroma of a million things cooking on the stove pushed out any sadness for sacrificed animals. The fest started at breakfast. Or should I say brunch? It was served only after the sacrifice was performed. But we didn’t mind. We acted grossed out by the raw meat and put on an air of reluctance. But when ...

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I miss good ol’ PTV!

Remember the time when owning a cordless was the coolest thing ever? Cricket had just become a national craze and Imran Khan a living legend; Wasim Akram’s ‘Mein Cigarette Nahein Peeta’ ad had caused half of the teenagers to eschew cigarettes; Fanta had finally started getting accepted as a guy’s drink; Atari and Nintendo were the next coolest thing to a Ferrari – not to mention shooting a duck with an actual gun on your Nintendo. How about playing Dave 1 on your brand new Windows 95 and finding out you couldn’t cross level three no matter what? Or perhaps ...

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Who remembers buying CDs?

If you got into Metal when the internet was still not widely accessible and the abomination better recognized as Justin Beiber was still being genetically engineered in a lab somewhere in Alaska, chances are, you look back fondly on the bands you discovered through 30 rupee acquisitions made at the local music shop. Bands that you have come to adore would often hide away beneath highly deceptive cover art, featuring, for instance, Lionel Richie spacing out about something or if you were really lucky, you would get the occasional scantily clad Britney Spears. As far as I can recall, these CDs ...

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Not just another brick in the wall

Pink Floyd’s classic “Another Brick in the Wall” always reminds me of my teachers. One of the biggest mistakes teachers in Pakistan make is to treat students as blocks of wood, and not as individuals. Teaching is often considered a thankless profession, but one can have such a positive influence on raw, impressionable and hungry minds. Many of my teachers relished ridiculing their students and chipping away at their self esteem, but there were others who motivated and cared for us. One of my earliest memories is of my kindergarten teacher in Gilgit, who placed me on her lap on ...

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