Stories about old

Ibrahim Hyderi: Where children chew gutka and await their turn to eat

Enter Ibrahim Hyderi. From the foul and putrid smell that contaminates the air to the alleys upon alleys of shanty mud erections, this 4,000 year old basti (town) will leave you despondent. It has been deserted by the government, abandoned of literacy and polluted with all forms of abuse: child, drug and health. Its inhabitants lead a very dismal existence indeed. This crumbling and dilapidated town is home to a staggering 50,000 Pakistanis. As the rocking waves settle against the sweltering sun, a string of fishermen’s boats line the docks. The effortless beauty is deceiving for while Mother Nature may majestically ...

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PCB, it’s time to let go of the old and invest in the young!

PCB’s approach seems to be:  “Live in the moment. Forget the past and don’t concern yourself with the future”.  The future is what the PCB is not looking at and after the recent defeat against India there is a massive cry to rid the team of senior players who have now become a liability. The men under the PCB radar are; Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal and Imran Farhat. Shoaib Malik made his ODI debut in 1999 at Sharjah. He has played 216 ODIs and has scored 5490 runs at an average of 32.6. The significant thing is that he made his last half century ...

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A butterfly with no wings

Dear India, There’s a little white boy approaching the windowsill where a snow globe of a snowy day in Russia sits. Beside the snowy day, across mountains and deserts, exists a butterfly whose wings have been severed. I am that butterfly. You are that windowsill. They were the little white boys who severed our bond and broke our wings. I may be that annoying Siamese twin your past can never remove from its memory, but know that the pristine streets of your Bombay and Delhi are just like Islamabad and Lahore. We may not have haute couture but our Lawn season is nothing to smirk at. We ...

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That is my child

My child stands at the corner of the street, in tattered clothes, smelling of rotten fish, selling fragrant flowers to you.  You scrunch up your nose; throw the money at him and grab the flowers, making sure your hands don’t touch his.  That filthy, smelly child is my child. My child, in the chill of December, cleans your car with his calloused hands. His hands look older than your 70-year-old father’s, cracked and hard from the lifetime they have suffered in such a short period. You pay him a few cents and tell him to get lost as you zoom off. That ...

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Smiling through a bad day

I disembarked the airplane thinking of how discontent I was with the 35 hour journey. I was determined to write letters of complaint to the involved airline for their disorganized conduct. Now, I had a total of 12 hours of nothing to do. I felt vexed and disgusted.  I found a secluded bench, dropped my bag, and sat down to engage in what travelers typically do at airports – people-watching.  After looking around for several hours, I came across an elderly gentleman who would not stop smiling. It seemed that nothing could faze this man.  He entertained a couple to whom ...

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Left to die in an old age home

In her article for The Express Tribune, reporter Rabia Ali wrote: How an elderly Mehmooda Begum was left at an old home is heart breaking. Tired of eating porridge which was served to her every day, she decided to cook food for herself one day. The daal she made got her a black eye and a forceful admission to the old people’s center by her son. As Mehmooda recalls her story, miles away from her family at the largest old home of the city, her lips quiver and her kohl-lined eyes fill up with tears. Her youngest son, and his wife, ...

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Why comments and likes matter in the (new) media world

The number of comments or likes or tweets on an online news article or Op-ed do not determine its real worth, just its popularity. What is popular on news sites is ‘common’, ‘low-brow’ perhaps ‘sensational’ maybe even ‘gripping’ but it is rarely what is ‘good journalism’ or ‘valuable opinion’. Therefore, clicks, hits, comments and likes are definitely not a measure of success for a ‘real’ writer or journalist. This is what the old vanguard of journalists, columnists, bloggers and writers of all-sorts would have you believe. Being an editor for an online news desk has left me open to frequent attacks ...

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Old movies and how cool they are

Call me old-school, call me outdated, but one of my ideas of fun family entertainment is watching classic movies. My sheer fondness for these movies is both appreciated and made fun of by people my age. I developed this fondness early on, when my dad made me watch Citizen Kane. Citizen Kane, he told me, is considered the Mount Everest of Hollywood classics along with Gone With The Wind and Casablanca, or in simple words, the greatest of the greatest. Back then I was completely uninterested in watching something in black and white since it clearly implied being old-fashioned (or so I thought). As a little ...

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Neck creams: The truth about aging

This isn’t usually my forte – writing about terrorism I can handle, but aging? There was nothing in the writer’s journal about this. I suppose worrying about where Osama Bin Laden has been all this time has finally caught up with me – or at least in the form of the beginnings of fine lines on my forehead. Since I’ve turned 27, I feel like I’ve aged over night. My body clock has definitely kicked in – even the most vicious of babies look like cute little bundles of joy and cotton wool. I’m slightly more concerned about the area ...

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Everything you always knew about Lollywood

I have to hand it to the Pakistani film industry of the 1980s and 1990s. Each film never failed to be a block buster hit regardless of having a very predictable plot line – the good guys, the bad guys and the age old triumph of good over evil, and yes, the hero gets the prettiest girl on the screen and all go home happy. This is a typical filmi “happily ever after.” Does any of this sound familiar? I present to you my small list of movie conventions back from the 1980s with the sole purpose of making you ...

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