Stories about student

When ragging in hostels turns to sexual abuse

We reached the university hostel. My parents very were happy because I had been admitted in one of the top notch universities of Pakistan located in Punjab. It was the first time in my life that I was going to stay away from my home and I was petrified.  I was accommodated with my seniors as there were no rooms available for freshmen. The first night, I could not sleep at all because the place was filthy and I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that I had to stay there for a long, long time. The days that followed were ...

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A chat with Imran Khan’s biggest ‘little’ fan: He will do my homework and feed all the cats

“Sir, ap Imran Khan ko nhi jantay. Wo Superman hai!” (Sir, you do not know Imran Khan. He is Superman!) This is what a child stated at my secondary school back in my hometown – spreading his arms in the air to show the extent of Khan’s jurisdiction – when I asked him how Khan would manage to do so many things. A week before my last semester at university, I decided to visit my old school to refresh some memories. I met my principal, and with him, went to talk with some students of Grade III. I began with the frequently asked questions in such situations, ...

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On a bus to Nazimabad, I made a new friend

The long awaited bus to Nazimabad was about to leave. Smoke from the traffic had clouded the road, making it hard to breathe and you could see people covering their faces to avoid being choked. Loud voices of men, the incessant wailing of babies and flinging of bags resulted in a racket which was so constant that one’s ears soon got immune to it. Various people hovered around the bus stand which would normally pique my curiosity, but not today – today, my mind was preoccupied. I was worried, as always, about money. Apart from iron deficiencies, my family faces severe financial strain which seems to worsen ...

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Homesick: I miss home, I miss Pakistan

I knew I was going to miss Pakistan; I had a feeling I’d crave the food, yearn for cricket, mope after the people and just generally be homesick after spending some time abroad. Coming to the US for college was, however, my personal choice and being here has been nothing short of amazing. The homesickness kicked in, but it is very different from what I thought it would be. It is hard to explain the ways in which I miss Pakistan. I miss the daily drive to and from school and the topsy-turvy hills I would stare at along the ...

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The Harvard Syndrome

Every morning when he wakes up, the first thing he sees when he opens his eyes are the big block letters on the chart opposite his bed: HARVARD. It taunts him, tempts him and ultimately motivates him; it’s what gets him out of bed every morning. This is the manic spirit that possesses much of the student populace in the ‘most prestigious’ schools of Pakistan. Come the first year of A’ Levels and every student switches to college mode. Thus begins the madness. On an academic level, students fill their schedules with even more tuitions, in pursuit of those elusive (or not) A-plus ...

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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 ...

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Is Shahid Afridi above the law?

I joined in, wholeheartedly, as millions of Pakistanis rejoiced over our recent triumph on the cricket ground against Bangladesh. In a nation where cricket is followed with religious fervour, it is no surprise that cricket heroes like Shahid Afridi are exalted to the level of saints. This may be the reason Afridi’s recent outburst, at the Karachi Airport, was swiftly brushed aside as justified, with no official follow-up save for a brief statement issued by the cricketer that implicitly condoned his actions. The public’s acceptance of his actions is disturbing to say the least. Granted, Afridi’s consistent contributions on the cricket ...

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It is about more than just getting straight As

Bachoon ki parhai is a very strict maamla for most Pakistani parents. It’s a matter that parents don’t like to compromise on. Or so I have heard from most of them. The affluent send their kids to top-notch schools and institutes, and the middle class is determined to send their offspring to to the best schools they can afford. It’s only natural for a father and a mother to want their child to receive the best education. However, the concept of education is misunderstood by one too many. The best definition that I could find of the word was – a ...

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Sorry honey, mama’s too busy for you

The recent murder of Riphah University’s vice principal in Rawalpindi received a flood of comments on The Express Tribune’s website, some opinionated, some sympathetic, some bewildered, and some ridiculous. The most befuddling though, was a string of sentiments in favour of this embarrassment for the human race; ‘oh he must’ve given him bad marks’, ‘oh, the teacher was mean’, ‘oh the fees were high’. Incidentally, the ludicrously incorrigible command over the academic lingua franca of the country, displayed by the aforementioned empathisers, is, in a word, not good. Sorry, I know that’s two words but I don’t want to scare readers off with more ...

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A year in America, and what I learned over there

It was in 2006 when I came to know of Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program. It is a scholarship program for students aged 15-16, allowing them to spend one academic year in the United States, where an American family hosts the student. My uncle mentioned that his 15-year-old daughter had gone to America for a year to study in an American high school on a YES scholarship. My dad asked me: “Do you want to be an exchange student in America too?” Being just twelve, I had at least three more years before I could apply to the program. However, the idea ...

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