Stories about partition

An open letter to Times of India

In our Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a well renowned restaurant doesn’t let a couple sit next to each other. Really! Now, let me tell you another story. I have been married for over a year now and have lived in Pakistan for almost all my life. Be it McDonald’s or any other private restaurant or even public places like Safari Park, Hill Park, Khadda Market restaurants, Zamzama, etc., my husband and I sit next to each other, holding hands and yes, we have even put our hands on each other’s shoulders. Yet, I have never come across any incident as ...

Read Full Post

So, what do Canadians think about Pakistan?

I was discussing some of my design work with a friend of mine, wondering what the film and design industry in Karachi is like, and how my work could make a difference back home. Considering I have an educational background in film and design, she pointed me in the direction of a video blog post. She sent me a couple of examples of what people were currently doing and I was inspired to do something similar. Having lived in Pakistan most of my life, I knew that most people abroad saw Pakistan through the lens of the media and news channels, and it was not half ...

Read Full Post

India and Pakistan: Let’s recover our natural bond

Many stories in our lives, no matter how insignificant, leave us changed. I narrate my personal life experience, as a young child, which subconsciously broke my psychological barriers between India and Pakistan. This was long before I even decided to marry a Pakistani, and cross over to the other side. Living in a rented house in New Delhi, India, we were faced with a senior Hindu couple as our landlords, who were old workers of a radical Hindu extremist organisation. Being a very strict vegetarian couple, even the normal Hindu families wouldn’t feel comfortable renting their upper floor. My parents, being moderate ...

Read Full Post

I was there to witness the miracle of August 14, 1947

It is August 14 – a day that revives the memory of an extraordinary experience of a young girl, Zee Niazi, on the day of the inception of this beautiful country. The way that events moved at that time instills the belief that miracles do, in fact, happen. Zee got married to an officer in the then British Army, just before partition took place. Not being acquainted with an army lifestyle, her husband’s first posting came to her as a surprise. They went to Harbanspura by train. The future had already begun to look bleak for the newly married couple. They was no accomodation ...

Read Full Post

Dreams of the elders of Pakistan

It was late in the afternoon when I arrived at his house. Islamabad was going through one of its worst spells of heat but as I was shown in, the antechamber was cool and the drawing room cooler still. I was informed by his caretaker that he was sleeping and would be joining shortly after Asar. I nodded and took a seat, waiting. The room was decorated with black and white pictures that I could make out were well before my time, some on the wall and others on cabinets and tables. Except for him, a considerably younger him, ...

Read Full Post

India vs Pakistan: Replace diplomacy with Cricket

After four years of constant refusal to resume bilateral cricketing relations and giving Pakistan cricket the cold shoulder, the ice has finally started to melt. The Board of Control for Cricket  in India (BCCI) finally decided to restart the most intense cricket rivalry in the world, having invited Pakistan to play three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20s in India later this year. With bilateral cricket ties with India on hold ever since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, followed by the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009, not to mention the 2010 spot-fixing saga and Pakistan being stripped off ...

Read Full Post

What Dr Hoodhboy got wrong

An opinion piece in The Express Tribune “Run for your life” by Dr Pervez Hoodhboy on March 5, 2012 read: This essay deliberately excludes Hindus, Christians, and Parsis. The reason: these communities were never enthused about India’s partition (even though some individual members pretended to be)… First of all, bravo Dr Hoodbhoy for such a brave article on the injustices faced by the non-Muslim Pakistanis in the name of religion. While Dr Hoodbhoy painted a factual picture on the general state of affairs, he conveniently made some very disturbing assumptions on behalf of people, that to date, are fighting for their right of “Pakistaniyat” just ...

Read Full Post

Dastaan: History on TV

Dastaan, a Hum TV production, is probably the most gripping modern day ode to the beauty and simplicity of  pre-partition life. Written by Razia Butt, Dastaan depicts the love story of Hasan (Fawad Khan) and Bano (Sanam Baloch) – a romance which is shred to pieces by the gruesome and gory separation of 1947. The drama starts off as a tender series of events between the couple, but later morphs into a saga full of blood, greed and lust. This turn of events hurls Bano, the quintessential Pakistani girl,  into the arms of madness, because she is devastated by the ...

Read Full Post

A short biography of Mr West Pakistan

Mr West Pakistan turns 64 on Sunday. The retiree has come a long way since his birth. Unfortunately, now deathly ill, Mr Pakistan is desperately seeking a cure for the diseases that ravage his body after years of negligence. Born on a hot August day in 1947, little Pakistan came into the world with his twin brother East, and a completely dysfunctional family. Born prematurely amid severe complications, Mr Pakistan grew up an orphan. Abandoned by his mother, what little he knew of his father, was quickly erased by the abysmal faculty at school. His other brother, Mr India, did remember ...

Read Full Post

I’m sorry, but Habib Jalib who?

It was Habib Jalib’s death anniversary a few days ago, and, as expected, when I inquired from my friends if they knew who this revolutionary poet was, they said no. Why would they know Jalib anyway? I didn’t know who he was until I stumbled upon a few videos of his poetry recital when I was in college three years ago. It was then that I was exposed to a man whom I went on to respect. In fact, I made sure I learnt some of his verses, as they seemed very applicable around the year 2007, as they were when ...

Read Full Post