Stories about school

When college ends and real life begins

I know you guys have already read a couple of blogs about graduation; the ones that elaborated in 10 points how, after passing out, the realisation dawns that the world out there is very evil and that college was pure bliss. While these writings surely had their utility, what they failed to encapsulate was the experience itself; the four years of loathing that magically turn into a bitter sweet feeling as the end approaches. I still remember an incident from freshman year when I complained to a teacher about the excessive workload and she said, with a smile reminiscent of days gone by, When you are ...

Read Full Post

Meet Umair, Pakistan’s very own child prodigy

Child prodigies are an eclectic bunch; being  on the fast-track in the lane of life at such a tender age makes them so. Although, some go on to commit suicide, turn to crime and develop drink and drug problems, we remain irrevocably fascinated by them.  We are overcome by their childhood achievements and allured by the fame and recognition they bring to the family. Secretly we wish in the depths of our hearts that our children would also do the same. However, what we fail to realise is the immense pressure that these kids are put under, the long hours that they spend ...

Read Full Post

It’s something unpredictable but in the end it’s right, I hope you’ve had the time of your life

School is over. No, I don’t mean it’s over because of a strike or bomb blast. I mean it’s over in the sweetest, most beloved of ways the end of year party. Eighteen-year-olds from A-Level institutions across the city suddenly cleaned up, straightened their ties, and ironed their dupattas. Mascaras were lost and found, bathroom mirrors were overtaken, and poses were struck in airy gardens and sleek white studios. Jimmy’s and Dossani’s probably made a killing this week. And Facebook won’t let me forget it. Suddenly, everyone’s cover photo is that of them with their friends, eating halwa puri at Boat Basin ...

Read Full Post

A Belgian nun in Manghopir

It was wonderful to meet Sister Jeanine Geuns, a Belgian nun who has lived in Pakistan for 50 years and works at the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre, at the International Women’s Association tea for International Women’s Day. Sister Jeanine came out here at the age of 21, three days after her birthday, originally planned to be here for only three years, and has stayed on ever since. A short woman with close-cropped hair and remarkably clear skin and eyes, she’s determined and hard-working, speaks better Urdu than me, and wears a shalwar kameez. She lives in Manghopir and looks after the ...

Read Full Post

Grades that determine life and death

If three boys in Lower Dir can take their own lives by drinking poison, simply because they failed an annual exam, one must stop to ponder: were the students being pressured by their parents to earn good grades? Did the thought of failing and embarrassing themselves in front of their fellow students push them to the point of suicide? Were they haunted by thoughts of a future with no education and little financial support? Or, were they just too young and naive and sought the ultimate form of escape? I fail to understand how children that young could muster the ...

Read Full Post

Why you need to cut us some slack

Stress is hoping against hope that the History notes you have been reading till 1 am, with your brain telling you to go to sleep, will somehow show up on the examination paper tomorrow. Stress is a row of kids sitting in an examination room, suddenly turning around in their seats to laugh – nobody has any idea what the numbers swirling on the Math paper actually mean. Stress is the sleeplessness of many a youngster, whose parents expect them to churn out just as brilliant results as their older siblings have had done in their student life. Stress is trying to ...

Read Full Post

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 ...

Read Full Post

An innie in an outie’s world

Growing up, I was such a quiet child, especially compared to my loud, older sisters that my parents would often forget me. They sometimes failed to remember they had a third child. Once, they lost me at a supermarket and realised it when the store manager called. Had it not been for him, I’d be a feral child living in aisle six gorging on cereal and candy bars for the rest of my life. No offense to my parents, they just didn’t know what to do with a little person like me. Innately introverted Had someone explained to them that I was innately ...

Read Full Post

Infinity and beyond: Space exploration for Pakistan

July 21, 1969 was seen by many as the culmination of man’s evolution from a cave-inhabiting savage to an astronaut. That landing on the moon owed more to the imagination overdrive of the Western civilization than the technological advancements of the time. Looking at it from a purely economic point of view, it would be safe to say that space programs around the world have introduced spin-off technologies that have actually sped up human technological evolution and had a major impact on our daily lives. Now let us descend from the lofty heights of the western civilisation’s achievements in space and have ...

Read Full Post

Save cricket in Pakistan

For a developing country like Pakistan, with a population of almost 190 million, sports play a vital role in developing the society on both social and ethical grounds. Although the national sport is hockey, cricket is the heart and soul of the whole nation. Taken as a platform to express feelings, every day history is made in the numerous cricket grounds across the country. As the game does not involve severe exercise, it is played by many and more recently the gender discrimination that used to exist has also ended. Cricket is amongst one of the few sports in the country played ...

Read Full Post