Stories about respect

Neelam Ghar and Kasauti: Change is not always a good thing

Recently, I was flicking through the local channels when my fingers suddenly stopped on Pakistan Television (PTV) – our once-glorious national channel is now on permanent crutches, a tragic outcome of trying to keep up with modern trends. And amid such handicaps, there he was, the immortalised Mr Tariq Aziz, boisterously putting up questions of general knowledge. Agile and above 60, he would race towards an enthusiastic audience that could be cajoled into doing anything for him, from playing age-old games like musical chairs to participating in Urdu poetry competitions. One of his famous chants still echoed in the auditorium as ...

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Don’t forget our police jawans, they are the real heroes!

I would like to thank everyone for spreading and sharing the word about Ibtihaj when he visited Karachi for his treatment. He was a little boy who ended up being a victim of terrorism. He smiled through his pain and misery and gave us hope. We rallied up behind him and celebrated him as a hero and rightfully so. However, there is a group of men in Pakistan who, by their very job description, fill in the category of heroes but they don’t get the adoration, love and respect. In these times, when we are at war or at least living in ...

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I am a Pakistani woman and there is nothing wrong in letting men help me carry my luggage

Recently, I came across a blog titled I am a woman and I can carry my own luggage. By the looks of it, the writer clearly seemed frustrated by how porters at the airport behaved with her and it is obvious that her opinion hailed from her experience. However, she also accused Pakistani men of treating women badly and felt harassed by the porters. This, I think, was a tad exaggerated. I, personally, do not see what the issue was all about. On the one hand, women talk about having equality and stand in line with men but then, they also wish to be respected ...

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Doctors vs pharmacists: Selling drugs gets no respect in Pakistan

Ever watched a Bollywood song and wondered why the back-up dancers, who are as pretty as the main actor/actress, fail to catch a glimpse of the limelight? There are some people who feel like this all the time. You may recognise them as the people behind the counter at a medical store — I like to refer to them as ‘pharmacists’. Fact: they study a crucial, nerve-racking five-year course and earn a doctorate of pharmacy, yet they are not recognised on professional platforms. I believe most of them are tired of this crazy roller coaster, where they are asked several ...

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What is inside a woman’s heart?

Take a peek inside a woman’s heart, A cluster of emotions, God’s masterpiece of art. It nurtures, cherishes and cares in love, Nothing else does it place before or above. Regard your mother and her affection, For she will put your happiness before her own without any condition. Have you seen inside your woman’s eyes? Your attention is all she seeks; it is for you that she sighs. Value your daughter the same way as you would your son, Educate and empower her; she too can be a big gun, For your adoration and applause, she will always love you, As a daddy’s girl, she will make you proud which shall ...

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Don’t hate me because I am beautiful

Azaan’s over. Everyone has gone back to their rooms. The street’s a mess. I smile as a jalebi floats in a puddle nearby. People rarely treat food with respect anymore. I take out a cigarette and begin to light it. Bloody cigarettes; they’ve started costing me more than my clients pay me to begin with! One of the girls, Razia, walks out the curtain-door and sits next to me. My lighter isn’t working again! Damn it! God bless Razia for handing me hers. We both stretch our legs over the stairs, lean back and take long drawls of our cigarettes. We barely ...

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I am not your sister, mother or wife; I carry my own identity

Ripley’s believe it or not (the Pakistani version) A woman physically attacked a man in a restaurant because he intruded her personal space. She tried to make him back down. There was a sense of injustice that spurred this violence because she wanted to drive home the fact that she has the same claim to her personal space as he did to his, both in public and private domains. She too is a human being and her claim to her space remains valid regardless of her gender. It turns out the concept of being human is elusive, almost faded beyond ...

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A broken pen, a sweeper’s respect and my shame

It was a normal day at college. While two of my friends were playing table tennis, another friend and I were trying to disrupt their game by constantly throwing objects their way. This was routine for us – nothing unusual. On this particular day, we started by throwing Nestle water bottle caps at them, then pen caps and when we ran out of the smaller pieces, we threw pens their way. Since we had a poor aim, these items were scattered all over the lobby but we didn’t pay much attention to the mess we had made and continued with ...

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A marriage does not just come down to ‘love’ or ‘arranged’

A few days ago, whilst skimming through the The Express Tribune, I came across a blog entry titled “Why one should love arranged marriages,” by Sidrah Moiz Khan. Ms Khan’s piece set out to discuss the age-old debate of arranged vs. ‘love’ marriage. However, rather than giving a balanced account the author, being an ardent supporter of the former method of union, gave a diatribe that seemed more suited for Khawateen Digest (Women’s Digest). As such, I felt the need to formally reply to Ms Khan’s blog. Before I begin, I wish to clarify something. I find the terminology chosen by the author ...

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The real lesson you learn from school teachers

It starts with a ruler. It is tapped against the black board in a repetitive, sardonic manner. The class is silent. Someone was talking before but now isn’t. We sit uncomfortably, confused about the almost mocking drumming of the ruler. There’s a scowl on the teacher’s face but it isn’t translated into an actual response. This was in the eighth grade. The teacher didn’t like us. It wasn’t because we were ‘bad’ children, or someone skipped their homework… She just didn’t care. At least that’s what we thought when we were 13 years old. Never mind that we studied about the lack ...

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