Stories about passport

He can’t say what it’s called because he’s already forgotten

Dad That fact that the protagonist of today’s narrative happens to be dad doesn’t really surprise me. You see, he’s been quite unwell recently. He’s elderly – almost eighty, I believe, if you go by the date of birth on his passport. “My date of birth is inaccurate on that passport”, dad told me several years ago, which basically meant that he didn’t know his exact birth year. Neither did others around him. “In those times, the exact date of birth was imprecisely documented”, the others said. Regardless of his actual age, and semantics aside, dad is whom you would call ‘geriatric’ – very elderly, in simple English. “But ...

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The words not spoken

He had slept without removing his shoes. His parents watched him as they stood in the doorway. They smiled, went towards him and took off his shoes, one by one, gently, as if each had a life of its own. But his socks were quite moist and his feet felt cold. She looked at her son with concern, but her husband calmly motioned her to sit. Both of them sat as she wiped his feet with her hands and a cloth, and tucked him neatly into a blanket.  She switched the lights off, and as darkness submerged the boy’s room, they returned ...

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Why I will never travel by Shaheen International Airline ever again

I’m a very patriotic Pakistani; I love my country. I was born and raised here. Its fruits have satiated my hunger. Its water has quenched my thirst. I love its people, its cities and its weather. There’s nothing I hate about my country. But sadly, I say with a contrite heart, it’s not perfect. I experienced one of these imperfections in a very recent journey of mine to Kenya, which left an indelible scar on my heart and mind. On my trips to Africa, I usually travel by Emirates or other airlines that are affiliated with the gulf countries. Since there ...

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Don’t settle for a foreign passport if it means taking a gamble on the man, girls!

Twenty is an age that comes slow and fast, all at the same time. It is a young age but you’re expected to know so much more as a person and act like a grown up even, though you were a teenager just the year before. When you are young, a lot of things seem like a good idea; when in reality they are the complete opposite. Eventually one does come to terms with the mindless choices they make but, if these choices are looked at as life lessons, they don’t seem so bad anymore. After all, being young usually ...

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Beware: You may be heading into (murderous) marriage

Marriage comes with its own set of doubts and insecurities. You might have heard it on the news, you might have seen it happen with someone you know – there are many stories about failed marriages all around us. Stories about how families have been fooled in the name of this sacred bond and have lost their life’s worth of savings. The increasing statistics about marriages being broken due to infidelity, fraud by the in-laws, husbands being abusive or having prior criminal record, paint a horrible picture of marriages in our country. The divorce rate has reached an alarming level and this ...

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Four tried-and-tested tips to land a job in Dubai

Most of us, if not all, go to the UAE on a visit visa in order to search for a job. And the majority of us have no guarantee of finding a satisfying job. It takes time to research and locate your ideal job post in UAE. If you are unemployed, make this task your full-time job; if you’re employed, set aside some time every day after work for your job search, after all, we’re all looking for the next best opportunity. Speaking from experience, here are a few suggestions and tips I would like to share with you for a successful ...

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The day he took my love away

She never expected her marriage to come to an end. No woman ever does. She distinctly remembers the day she was betrothed and how excited she was. Her mother kept telling her not to smile for she had to make it look like she was genuinely sad about leaving her father’s home, but secretly she was over the moon. He was perfect; good looking, professionally accomplished, lived abroad and came from a good family background, and to top it off, he loved her wholeheartedly. What a beautiful union it was. Everyone was smiling and everything was going to be completely perfect. And yet, here she was ...

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Should Malala be blamed for Gaza too?

Consider this: Pakistan is in the midst of a war on terror. Swat is in control of Maulana Fazlullah, who is now the chief of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Radio is banned, schools have been forced shut and a barbaric (read: Taliban’s) Sharia law has been imposed. In all this, a brave 12-year-old risks her life to tell the world what girls like her are going through. Fast forward two years. Her blogs on BBC and activism for the cause of education infuriates perpetrators of terrorism who attempt to assassinate her. She survives against all odds, and has now won many accolades and awards for her work and ...

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The curse of the green passport

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently recommended travel restrictions on Pakistanis travelling abroad to prevent the spread of the polio virus, as Pakistan continues to be one of the few remaining countries where polio is still considered a threat. This aforementioned restrictions seem to be a last ditch effort by the public health agency to curb the spread of the virus from a country that has been unable to run a sustained inoculation campaign due to a variety of reasons which are better left unsaid. However, what I am concerned about more is the effect that these travel restrictions will have on Pakistani travellers who are already ...

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Why I will never return to the USA

After a year of travelling, I had planned a last, short trip. I was going to take the train from Montreal to New Orleans. The travels I had been undertaking earlier this year had brought me to places that were meant to form the background of my second novel. This trip however was for my dad. A trumpet player, he loved New Orleans and had died a year ago. It felt like the first sensible trip I undertook this year. I had been searching for ways to forget about the last hours at his deathbed. He had been ill for ...

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