Stories about pictures

“It’s raining”: Do Pakistanis know how to use Facebook?

“You know what? You can travel to any place in the world without updating your status on Facebook!” “What’s the point of sharing your pictures on social media? What do you want to prove?” “What are people supposed to do with what you are having for dinner at XYZ restaurant?” To start off, I am not a big fan of changing my display picture every week or putting my selfies on social media; it doesn’t interest me. I never share where, what and with whom I am eating. I have never posted about how many pounds I lost or gained in the ...

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Today is Eid, and I want to be home, not abroad

For every other day of the year, deciding what to wear early morning would be a task in itself, but not today. A kurta is hanging in the corner of my wardrobe. The entire year, I pretended it wasn’t there, but not today. Today is Eid in New York. It begins by embracing a traditional outfit to feel somewhat closer to home. A shower early morning and as usual a rush to the mosque is the norm. While trying to beat traffic to catch Eid prayer, a call back home to my parents is my favourite part. Each year, my mom asks my ...

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Honour is our national shame, not Mahira Khan

It’s 2017, which means every day one wakes up to a new outrage on social media – it is simply the way of the world now. You pick a side and tweet incessantly until the next outrage-inducing news comes along. Now, normally, I try my best to act reasonable and get some facts before I join the outrage train, so imagine my surprise when I see pictures of Mahira Khan smoking with Ranbir Kapoor, and I immediately begin to judge her. How could I not? Did you see what she was wearing? My first thought was, ‘wow, what a lovely dress!’ What do we have to ...

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Bristol Hotel: A haunting remnant of the old, glittering Karachi

The building in this picture was the setting for most of the horror stories in my seven-year-old mind. It was also the view from my room in my grandparents’ house. I would listen in awe as my friend talked about the ghosts that she had seen lurking there in the dark of the night. At night, I would draw the curtains together so I wouldn’t have to stare at that abandoned dwelling. I didn’t know much about it back then. My dada (paternal grandfather) told me it was called Bristol Hotel and that it was constructed pre-partition. My imagination added another detail; I assumed ...

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The army may be helping Gilgit-Baltistan but where is the Pakistani government?

Trekking is my craze, hiking is my pastime and mountaineering is my obsession. And to observe and do research about the conditions of people belonging to Pakistan’s neglected regions is something that I like to do. So you can understand my excitement when, last summer, I availed the opportunity of visiting Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), also largely known as the northern areas of Pakistan. I went up to a height of 17,000 feet, well beyond tree-line, whereupon I came across something spectacular. I witnessed the glory of the Pakistan army, helping its people out even so far above ground. I saw officers of the military doing ...

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Diwali in Pakistan, through pictures

The first day of Diwali – the Hindu festival of lights – was celebrated at Krishna temple in Rawalpindi yesterday. As a budding photojournalist and having many friends who belong to minority sects, I feel passionately about the state of affairs of the Pakistani minorities. I was, therefore, thrilled to be part of the annual Diwali celebrations for the first time. The warm, friendly and hospitable atmosphere at the temple made my stay extremely exciting and I thoroughly enjoyed covering this colourful celebration. Here are a few highlights of my unique experience: 1) A girl performs the ‘pooja’ ritual before the Hindu deity Lord Krishna. ...

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Today is not August 14th

While conversing with Myra Edwin, she told me a story about a little adventure she went on with her brother. I thought a narration of this story would be very apt for today, August 14. This is what she had to say; My brother, after returning from the UK, wanted to set up his own den where he could continue with his research, explained Edwin, a lecturer in Edwardes College Peshawar. Spending seven years in an alien country has made him a patriot. He is very fond of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal, and many a times narrates their anecdotes and poetry. He ...

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Brazil versus Germany in pictures

The Brazil versus Germany semi-final was an exhilarating watch. If you had gone to the fridge to grab a snack in the first half, bad luck; you are certain to have missed at least four goals. It’s not just that five-time World Cup champs Brazil were massacred in their backyard while playing host, but the fact that Germany scored so many goals that there was hardly time for a replay before they scored another one that made the game so thoroughly enjoyable.   There was such shock around the situation that social media was abuzz. My Twitter timeline had me in splits, ...

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An intolerant educational system made me indifferent to the death of non-Muslims

As the Twin Towers came crashing down in New York City on September 11, 2001 an eight-year-old boy remained unmoved some 7,000 miles away in Lahore as the horrifying images unfolded before him. The boy then, descended into a mode of celebration upon discovering that the towers were in ‘non-Pakistani’ territory and that a significant majority of the dead were non-Muslims.  This boy was no suicide bomber in the making. He was not the product of an extremist madrassa nor was he the son of a jihad veteran. In fact, this was a boy who was being educated at one of the finest institutions this ...

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Vital Signs: The soundtrack of my memories

Talking to one of my old friends, my pal of 21 years, and sharing some pictures from 1994 to 1998 with him, something really interesting struck me. My memories have a soundtrack. In simple words, each time I think of my school and college life, I hear background music; beautiful melodies of the days gone by but fresh in my memory forever. And not surprisingly, all of them are from the one and only, Vital Signs. It was in the fall of 1987 or ’88 when I first heard Dil Dil Pakistan. A school friend came to me one morning during break-time with her fancy new ‘walkman’ (remember those? Such a ...

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