Stories about small

What happens after 1000 days?

Contagious peals of laughter dissolved the silence that my cameraman Wilson had requested in the small village hut made of clay and bush with a ceiling of dried palm leaves, as Sajida candidly described how she could feel her baby, expected to arrive in a few months, kicking inside her. She belongs to Muhammad Ali Jhokio, a village of about hundred households, approximately 15 kilometres from Thatta. There are many other villages in the 29 union councils where the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) is running the Stunting Prevention Project with the Sindh Department of Health. These efforts have become part of ...

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Breathing life into the dying art of pottery

I still remember the days I spent as a child with my grandparents in Lahore. The nostalgic feeling of holding a cold ‘thoothi’ to eat feerni from – a Pakistani dessert made with milk and rice served in small clay plates – often dwells in my heart. Once done devouring the dessert, I used to save the small clay plates and make things out of those. Growing up, I didn’t realise when those clay plates got replaced by disposable boxes and paper plates. With our world becoming a global village, we’ve all become an industrialised mob who cares less for traditional methods and items. ...

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My secret admirer

The doorbell rang. It was 2pm and I was preparing food for lunch. It was almost time for my 15-year-old son, Omar, to come back from school. Wiping away sweat from my forehead with my left sleeve, I rushed towards the entrance. But there was nobody there; just a small package tied with a red ribbon-flower. I was shocked for a second. It wasn’t any special occasion that I could recall neither was it anyone’s birthday at home or any sort of anniversary. I picked it up. It had my name written on it but the box had no name of ...

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Wagon-wheel pasta: A little taste of Tuscany on your Pakistani plate

So if you are amongst 95% of the people of the world, you are probably intimidated by cooking. So was I, once upon a time. To look at a well-cooked dish was like looking at the great pyramids; fascinating and intriguing, but a mystery as to how it was built. But watching Nigella Lawson cook, who made it look like a piece of cake, inspired me to start cooking. And to avoid any complications, I started developing my own simple recipes. And if I can cook, trust me, so can you. Unless you have a cooking-phobia and faint upon stepping into ...

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The nightmare that is my life

Confusion seemed to be everywhere. I shuffled out of bed, reassuring myself, blocking the sound of his voice from my head. Sprawled across the cold floor, shattered, I lay – for what seemed like hours, maybe even days. Uncomfortable in my own skin, I tossed and turned, desperate for comfort. I could hear the laughter, our wedding day, a new beginning… ha! What a joke! It’s a nightmare now; one that I relive every night and hide every day. Sometimes, I wonder why I even bother; nights like these are always sleepless. The cold bites into me as I lay alone, his ...

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A social pariah even in Maryland – all because I am Shia

After almost two years, I returned to my old home town in Maryland. It was a small town and when I had lived there, nearly 40 Pakistani families resided in the area; most of them were from Punjab and a few were from Karachi. Many of these Pakistanis were physicians, pharmacists and businessmen. My husband was also a physician; hence we had anticipated many similarities within the neighbourhood. However, soon after we moved in, I realised how wrong we were. Even though I made a few good friends, I never felt wanted in the neighbourhood. The reason I left Maryland in the first place was the ...

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Nishana daz daz vaj da: The big bang wedding

Since months now, every second night, some fat cat decides to mark a wedding with insane amounts of aerial firing, followed by what – to my untrained ear – sounds like a small bomb blast. Insane, right? You’d think by now, people would have realised that this is a) unsafe b) uncouth  and c) something that will make people wake up at 3am in panic – any of the above realisations should easily bring an end to such behaviour. Forget about how all this might be illegal – after all, that’s never stopped us from having a bit of ‘fun’. Nope. Without fail, ...

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The best stir-fried Chinese egg noodles you will ever have!

I love noodles of all shapes, sizes and types! Fortunately for me, there is a small restaurant near my house that serves the best stir-fried egg noodles in the world. My siblings and I can devour that dish every day for the rest of our lives and not get sick of it. Yes, it’s that good! The soft yet chewy noodles, the perfect balance of ingredients and that appetising aroma, all coupled together, make the dish worth ordering again and again. Since my family and I loved them so much, I thought I should try my hands at making them. After ...

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Sachin Tendulkar, you made India my second favourite cricket team!

In a fleeting instance, it was over. A brief silence ensued; a billion people mourning in unison. A murmur then began to grow. The quiet, weary traveller trudged off the ground, his head bowed in disappointment. Finally he turned; a small nod of his head, a shy raise of his bat. And then the roar erupted. For a few hours, Sachin had composed the glorious final sonnets to his epic tale. Every shot carried with it a familiarity, a comforting memory perhaps of a happier time. Every duel reminded one of battles won, of reputations scarred. Every smile spoke of innocence unfettered. [caption ...

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Ashura’s message: Looking away, being indifferent is not an option

There are days when one just wants to give up and look the other way. Become indifferent. The inner argument is, “What difference can I make, realistically?” I recall feeling that way so many times. Like when I see “small” things like bribes being taken and given in front of me. That gnawing feeling, when people in your area steal water through suction pumps and you are the idiot who doesn’t do it because you think it’s wrong. Worse still, is the feeling you get if you stay quiet when you see a close relative scolding a small child, working ...

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