Stories about past

12 Years A Slave: A peek into the dark history of the US

While my friend and I were having coffee, he shared an interesting observation with me: “I always wondered why the black people were unable to overcome the practice of slavery in the United States through revolt?” I pondered for a few seconds and replied,  “Hasn’t this always been the case when it comes to dynamics between oppressor and oppressed? It is not just the physical scare that prevents a revolt, but a psychological one.” 12 years a slave is a film based on a book written by Solomon Northup, a ‘free negro’ in 1853. In 1841, Northup was living in the state of New York, alongside his wife and two ...

Read Full Post

The curious case of Mohammad Hafeez

Pakistan has had its fair share of all-rounders over the years and Mohammad Hafeez has definitely been one of them. The 33-year-old, Sargodha born all-rounder entered international cricket as an opening batsman in 2003 when he took two wickets for 41 runs during his ODI debut against Zimbabwe, becoming the winning cause at Sharjah in 2003. Hafeez was one of the many new talents recruited in the national side after Pakistan was humiliatingly knocked out of the ICC World Cup 2003 in the first round. Under the leadership of Rashid Latif, a relatively new team started its journey with the absence of superstars like ...

Read Full Post

Soliloquy of an on-looker

The haze slowly cleared out and I regained consciousness. As I became aware of my existence, I gradually began to recall what had brought me here in the first place. My mind felt like an old desktop computer that had just been switched on – slow, dusty and rusty.  Words. Sounds. Noise. I began to recall a noise of some sort – indistinct, messy, and confusing. It sounded like several FM radio stations merged into one, with none of them being tuned on to the right frequency. Ouch, my ears hurt. Whatever the source of the sounds was, I concluded that it was from a ...

Read Full Post

You will always be ‘home’, Pakistan

My heart has been aching since the past week. Day one: I unpacked my suitcases. Day two: I put away the laundry. Day three: I packed lunch for my kids. Day four and five flew by. But, it’s still there. That hollow throbbing ache, it’s in that same spot where I think my heart is meant to be. And it refuses to go. My seven-year-old daughter has asked me at least two dozen times, “Why don’t we live in Pakistan?” Today my three-year old son told me, “Your house is boring Mama, I want to go to Pakistan.” Their questions don’t help my pain. ...

Read Full Post

Ask Sayeda: How can anger be controlled?

Hi Sayeda, I really need your help. I have a problem with anger. I can’t seem to control it. If someone says something that offends me, I just blurt out whatever comes to my mind. I end up saying things I don’t mean and raise my voice and act like a fool but only realise things after I’ve calmed down. I really hate it and want to change, can you offer some advice? Thanks, Mad Cow. ————————————————————— Hello Mad Cow, You’ve chosen an interesting name for yourself! First of all, remember that whatever name you use, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. So, if you ...

Read Full Post

In marriage, golden jubilee anniversaries do happen

Sometimes memories of the years that have passed roll on in front of our eyes like old black and white movies. On April 8, every year since 1962, I have felt that way and am reminded each year of the day I married my beloved wife. This year is our golden jubilee anniversary, and I plan to celebrate it with my wife by my side, God willing. On this day, I intend to invite our relatives and friends, not to celebrate the day we got married, but the happy days we have spent together and how we have made an impact ...

Read Full Post

The dilemmas of a Muslim shopper

Over the past couple of weeks my sister was in town,and along with my mother, we spent a good deal of time in shopping malls, taking advantage of discounts during a seasonal sale. Having lost a few pounds in the past couple of months, and after starting a new job in December, I had no qualms about treating myself to some new clothes, shoes, and accessories. Like many women, I find buying new items quite gratifying. This is especially so because in the past two to three years, I managed to work towards having financial freedom for the first time. ...

Read Full Post

Political moralization is not the way

A politician will stand on the pulpit and thousands of people will watch, as he or she weaves a story about the past. For some, it will be Ayub Khan’s decade of development, for others it may be an issue or a cause like Kashmir or Balochistan. Regardless, the gestures and punches that will be emphasized will all constitute an act of moralization. For democratic societies, political moralization, in its greater sense, undermines democratic political culture because it discourages debate and discourse. Democratic systems are based on the concept of competing ideas and institutions against a moral framework that allows for a system ...

Read Full Post

The city of prose

Madiha Sattar, a writer based in Karachi, in her recent comment on the Karachi violence complained about ‘the mythology of the city’s not-so-distant golden past’ that is evoked whenever the times are dark and roads bloody:  Those of us not old enough to have worn hipster saris to nightclubs here in the 60s and 70s, are frequently subjected to misty-eyed reminiscing about a city that was once apparently safe, cosmopolitan and liberal, a magical place where one could drive around late without racing home to avoid a hold-up and people were far too polite and open-minded to be too fussed ...

Read Full Post

A lesson overlooked in the Aamir Liaquat fiasco

After hours of cat and mouse between copyrights owner and uploader, the Dr Aamir Liaquat video is now firmly rooted on YouTube servers. Even with Mr Liaquat denying the authenticity of the recording, his claims are not swaying the public at large. He has undeniably been caught, exposed and will perpetually be grilled over his less-than-holy behavior. Preceding this fiasco by several months, I had come across a YoutTube personality who similarly exposed people doing things deemed unacceptable. His special interest wasn’t TV personalities and their unbecoming demeanor off-camera – his subjects seemed ordinary people like you and me, who want ...

Read Full Post