Stories about respect

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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Familiar handcuffs

He could hardly hear him – his words did not even brush his shoulders as they hurried past. His eyes were feeling extremely heavy, not because of sleep or weariness, but because of its on-going conversation with another’s gaze. He was at the bus stop. As his friend sat across, speaking without realising how little was being absorbed, a stranger, who stood silently in the corner, stared directly at him, perhaps even within him. The owner of the gaze appeared to be an old woman, and she wore a long overcoat, but it wasn’t long or big enough to hide ...

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Despite it’s disclaimer, this advert made me feel “uncomfortable, awkward, objectified and pointless”

We’re all terribly familiar with the pin-up girl persona that women have to adopt in advertisements to make products more appealing. A few days ago, this advert popped up on my newsfeed on Facebook and I laughed along as the actor/model wiggled his butt and referenced the Katrina Kaifs of beverage ads, the Kareena Kapoors of magnum ads and the multitude of lux soap adverts in luxuriously white bath tubs laden with rose petals. We’ve seen women adorned in robes of silk, where their smooth legs are just as shiny as the fabric. We’ve seen it all. We’re all mind-numbingly familiar with ...

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The length of my sleeves has nothing to do with my ghairat

A university in Faisalabad has decided to impose a clothing restriction on its students and staff. Like always, the opinions on it have now been divided into the two most common categories: the beyghairat (shameless) liberals and the ghairat brigade (moral brigade). The beyghairat liberals argue that such a code is superfluous and ridiculous. They believe that enforcing such a code is unnecessary considering that the students are adults; they can decide for themselves what is right and wrong. They don’t need a code like this to try enforcing such decisions. The ghairat brigade supports the implementation of a dress code, ...

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It’s about time we put an end to transphobia in Pakistan

In recent weeks, on two different occasions, four transgender people were brutally murdered in Rawalpindi. The police believe that financial disputes between different groups in the transgender community may be the cause of the crime but religious extremism has also been linked to the killings in this often-oppressed community.  The exploitation of transgender people, known as transphobia, is not something new in Pakistan where sexual minorities are often victims of verbal, physical and sexual abuse. For instance, recently two transgender people were killed and another was gang-raped by an armed assailant who tried to abduct them in Swabi. Transgender or transsexual ...

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NEFER: Fabulous handbags, fabulously Pakistani!

I am all for entrepreneurship. Be it any field, I have a great sense of respect for whoever decides to venture into the field and willingly commits to the several pressures and demands innate to the entire prospect. As a nation we have had our fair share of notorious leadership, misguided groups and tragedies, with a few to thank. We have also hit the rock bottom at various times, yet I have not given up on the Pakistani youth. Being a part of the generation myself, I am extremely proud of what we are capable of achieving. From the business sector to ...

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Have a heart, PCB, postpone today’s match

My fellow Pakistanis, there is a cricket match scheduled for today. Yes, you read that right. At 4pm, Pakistan time, our nation will take on New Zealand in the fourth cricket ODI in Abu Dhabi. Needless to say, that such an event is taking place a day after one of the blackest days in Pakistan’s history, just doesn’t feel right. If anything, sport is a celebration – a celebration of athleticism where human beings compete in an arena of onlookers to determine who has more skill. We watch them simply because we can’t do what they can do. They can hit harder, bowl faster, and ...

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Series 1: “Dreams of Lunacy” Part 4 Identity

“I’m going for a sleepover at Salman’s house.” “What?” “Sleepover, ammi.” “Now? At mid-night?” she exclaimed. “Jee, everyone is getting together right now, please, midterms just ended today.” “Okay, but this is never happening again,” she said, as she shook her head. Ghaffar gave her a hug, and got the keys from Zameer, who was awake, watching a Bollywood movie in the servant quarters. He headed towards his Corolla and was soon on the road. There was no sleepover. He just wanted some time for himself and what better than a drive around Lahore, with nowhere to reach and no one to check upon him. He opened the ...

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Let the Aitchison legacy prevail!

Aitchison College has boasted its majestic red brick buildings and traditions for over 125 years now. As we all know, generation after generations have followed the footsteps of their fathers and matriculated from the college. Recently, the new rule approved by the Board of Governors (BoG) of Aitchison College states that kinship has been abolished, so that merit may be ensured during the admission process. In my opinion, abolishing kinship is completely absurd. I, as an old boy (a term we use for ourselves after passing out from the college) think that the college builds pedigrees. Aitchison is not just an academic ...

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Five strange things all Pakistani fauji’s do

In countries like Pakistan, army officers are treated with a special kind of respect and having a fauji (soldier) friend is considered to be an honour. I am sure many people know what it feels like to have a friend who is either a Gentleman Cadet (GC) or a ‘leftanent’ as a lieutenant is usually called. It’s a feeling that cannot be explained in words. However, in my case, the ratio of fauji friends is quite high since I have grown up in the company of many ‘army boys’. Hence, in recognition of my fauji friends and their efforts, I decided to write something about their exhausting and ...

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