Stories about parents

APS parents give Imran Khan a kick in the right direction

One must feel some level of joy when people finally start seeing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for the hypocritical party it is, and start seeing Imran Khan as the megalomaniac he always was, but that feeling of joy soon evolves into disgust instantaneously after one is reminded of what happened outside the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar today. If you haven’t been following the news or your social media feeds, parents of the martyred APS students protested outside APS today, and delayed Imran’s arrival at the school. He was accompanied by his wife, Reham Khan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) chief minister, ...

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Aao Parhao – A lesson less ordinary

My experience of teaching high school students has been rewarding, frustrating and overwhelming – all in one fell swoop. I’ve come to believe it is through teaching that one truly learns. Every year the teacher is a year older, perhaps wiser. The students, however, don’t age. Yet, either through the work of evolution or technology, the classroom seems to fill itself with a batch that is smarter at outsmarting the teacher. The profession, by its very nature, forces you to keep up with the times. And with time, the ways of teaching are changing too. The classroom has become ...

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Lub pay aati hai dua bann kay tamanna meri

On December 16, 2014 The Express Tribune blogs desk received many submissions from grief stricken people from all over Pakistan. These people wanted to show their solidarity with the families of the victims. They wanted to mourn the deaths of the students and teachers from the Army Public School, who were brutally massacred by the TTP in Peshawar. Due to shortage of space, we were unable to accommodate many, but we understood that this was a traumatic event in which every Pakistani’s protest should be recorded. So, this post was created as a window for people to come together and ...

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Aao Parhao – Jo Seekha Hai Wo Sekhao

As part of a remembrance to Robin Williams, I arranged a showing of Good Will Hunting and invited some school friends over. After the movie ended, one of them remarked on the critical role the protagonist’s teacher, Prof Gerald Lambeau (played by Stellan Skarsgård), a Fields Medal winner, and mentor  Sean Maguire (played by Robin Williams) had in his development. “We didn’t have anyone as dedicated as them. Not even close.” I had to disagree and thought back to an incident back in March 1991. The phone rang and my mother picked it up. “Hello, is this the home of Sibtain Naqvi?” a lady asked. My mother ...

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Letters to my deceased parents

When there’s a bomb blast, it takes a few seconds to realise what has happened and then you hear people screaming, dying and running like they never have.  The physical impressions last a few hours. There is sadness, there’s mourning and then for the majority it’s buried somewhere down memory lane. But then, there’s the psychological impact, where the clock keeps ticking and the bomb keeps exploding again and again and again…ad infinitum. While investigating a recent story as to what happened to the victims of a bomb attack, I came across a 17-year-old girl who lost her parents. She lives in extreme poverty with ...

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20 and about to get married? Say goodbye to your dreams and careers

“I can’t wait to pursue my bachelor’s degree abroad,” I beamed with delight. With disdain, as if I had said something extremely outrageous, I was asked,  “Wait, are you not going to get married?” Recently, my Facebook newsfeed was flooded with pictures of bridal and baby showers of girls whom I went to school with. I am 20-years-old and some of my friends are already married and have children. While I was taken aback by this at first, soon realisation began to hit me. This was it. This was the end of these young girls’ carefree lives and that too at the ripe ...

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Series 1: “Dreams of Lunacy” Part 6 Humans

Ghaffar was at a restaurant with friends. The food had been devoured, and everyone was awaiting their cars. Somehow he casually looked at his feet and saw a torn piece of paper floating in a puddle some feet away. He looked around, and ensuring no one was looking, he pocketed it carefully. Once he was back home, he began to read it. It was written with a black fountain pen, the writing was cursive, and from far it looked like one large sentence. It read: “Often we constantly sketch dreams in the loopholes of our world. We fit them in, often ...

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Series 1: “Dreams of Lunacy” Part 5 Stroke of darkness

He sits with his feet on top of each other, touching the skin just behind the nails where the tips of his fingers feel the small hairs that have recently grown out of nowhere. He rests his head on the strong shoulders of his father and looks at his hands work on the 12 feet canvas. “Why must you draw, father?” Hearing the voice of his child after an hour of lost silence, his hands suddenly stop midway, as if caught in the middle of an unknown activity, knowing not whether to continue or to retract, just when he was producing ...

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‘You listen to music? Oh boy, you’re definitely going to hell!’

“You listen to songs, oh boy! You’re definitely going to hell.” No, this pronouncement was not received by me from an adult, neither from any religious preacher or maulvi, but from my eight-year-old nephew, who looked at me with disgust because he had seen a guitar, a piano and headphones in my room. His words froze me for a moment, not because they seemed harsh but because they came from an eight-year-old, who was taught intolerance towards those who do not seem to be on the right track by the source of his learning. In that moment I stood in shock, having been ...

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I am happy being single, don’t force me to mingle!

If you live in Pakistan, have completed your studies and gotten a job, then you may be one of those victims who are constantly pinched with that one hot question day and night, “When are you getting married?” Everyone wants to know the answer to this million dollar question, whether it’s your parents, siblings, grandparents or relatives. It looks as if everyone’s happiness depends on your marriage. Your 100-year-old granny will advise you, “Beta, jaldi se shaadi kar lo take main apni zindagi main tumhare sar pe sehra saja dekh sakun.” (Son, get married quickly so that I can see you getting married while ...

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