Stories about pressure

My best friend committed suicide – they advised him to ‘pray’ the depression away

These last few days have been particularly rough. They have been rough because one of my dearest childhood friends committed suicide, and not on account of a drug-based overdose or a road traffic accident (two of the most common causes of young adult mortality in our country). No. My friend shot himself. Before you go on to think perhaps a serious religious intervention could have saved his life, please halt your train of misguided, impulsive, ‘fatwa’ styled reasoning. Don’t even go there. Because my friend was probably one of the most religiously devout persons I have ever come across. He prayed five times ...

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Facebook is not the parent, you are!

It was discovered in 2011 that over 20 million Facebook users were underage. As a result, millions of underage children are susceptible to online predators who could exploit and abuse them. This also means these underage individuals are accessing information that is not necessarily suitable for their age. It was easier back in the day. You had one TV set that barely aired a few channels. When there was something inappropriate, you could switch it off or ask the children to leave the room. It’s doubly difficult today to control the information children receive. If the 50,000 television channels aren’t telling ...

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#AustralianOpen: When the Rod Laver Arena turns into a pressure cooker, even for Federer

In the last couple of weeks, Pakistanis have been preoccupied by the petrol crisis and power shortages, and hence, only a few managed to notice the early exit of Roger Federer from the Australian Open. Federer lost to Italy’s Andreas Seppi in a closely fought four-set match, out of which two sets were tie-breakers. Let’s not scrutinise Federer’s loss too much as even the mightiest fall at times. Staying in the top three at the age of 33 is an achievement in itself. When Federer was broken to love in the first set, giving Seppi a 5-4 lead, it was clear something was ...

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Is sledging tarnishing the reputation of the gentleman’s game? I think not

How long does it take to become proficient in the art of cricket, the gentlemen’s game? It probably varies from person to person, depending on how well they perform under pressure. My focus, however, is on its nickname – ‘the gentlemen’s game’. The name came about because, in addition to the rules and regulations, players have to abide by the spirit of the sport as well. The standard of sportsmanship in cricket has historically been considered so high that phrases like “it’s just not cricket” have been coined to describe the fair behaviour players are expected to exhibit on the ...

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Has your husband lost his job? Here’s how you can help!

Huma followed her two children as they ran to the apartment balcony, shrieking, “Dad is here!!” She was shocked to see her husband getting out of a cab instead of the green Suzuki Cultus given to him by the company he worked in. Looking at her tired and exhausted husband she inquired, “Where is your car?” He handed her an envelope and instead of sitting down for their routine evening sessions where they would discuss the day’s happenings, he dashed to the bedroom saying, “I am tired, just leave me alone.” Huma opened the envelope and to her surprise it was a letter from the company ...

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Is an exam more important than your life?

It was the first day of the new school year. The morning assembly was about to begin and I saw one of my former classmates crying fervidly while surrounded by a group of students. Upon inquiry I discovered that she had failed the year and was repeating the previous grade. This heartbreaking scene is forever etched in my memory. During my school years, the most dreaded word one could imagine was the word ‘fail’. No matter how confident I was in my performance there was still this unconquerable fear of hearing or seeing the word ‘fail’ on the day of results. The funny ...

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Are you afraid to be ordinary? Einstein wasn’t

My nephew Azlaan will turn one this year on May 3 and his entire life and career have already been sketched out for him by his parents, grandparents and even his aunt – me! Every day, while preparing his bath, his grandma smiles at his tiny little hands and passes her verdict: he will be a surgeon when he’s older. I disagree, he’ll be a writer. She frowns and tells me, “Of course not! Can’t you see, he has the fingers of a surgeon?” Nana jaan, on the other hand, wants him to be a finance guru like himself. And his parents ...

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I am proud of you, Lala!

Even though Pakistan cricket has been kicked in the gut for the last few years, our players are ever-ready to put up a fight. Afridi and his men gate-crashed in to the semi-finals against all odds, topping their group and sending home West Indies with a 10-wicket win – the first ever in the knockout stage of a World Cup in the process. No sane person ever writes Pakistan off. The semi-final against India saw vintage Pakistan. Our bowlers restricted a strong Indian batting lineup to a below par score despite six dropped catches! The Mohali crowd was stunned into silence when ...

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Mohali match: A game of mental robustness

The crowd is overwhelmingly boisterous and the air is strikingly charged with emotions — it is conspicuously unnerving. I’ve played in Mohali and Pakistan should expect nothing less in their semi-final against India. Pakistan will stand before thousands in the stadium, with over millions watching their every move on television. Cricket, in this case, transcends physical fitness, on-field performances and statistics. It becomes a game of mental robustness. Pakistan have defeated the strong teams and the weaker ones, they have performed well with the bat and the ball, and we witnessed outstanding effort in the field in their quarter-final. So the ...

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Pakistan vs India: An epic battle of nerves beckons

All the euphoria that followed Pakistan’s fantastic victory over West Indies is well justified. One rarely associates such an accomplished performance from a Pakistani team, and it has been a heart-warming experience witnessing such a spectacle. India’s win over Australia has set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash between the arch-rivals. In my opinion, India as hosts will be the team under greater amount of pressure. The Indian public seems to have decided the result of the match already, with everyone taking a victory for the hosts as granted. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men are sure to feel the burden of such ...

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