Stories about talk

Cyber love, Skype affairs and affection that kills

“Hi, would you like to become friends with me?” “Well, you are a stranger and I am not allowed to talk to strangers.“ “If we talk, we can get to know each other, then we won’t be strangers anymore.” And that is how it all begins… just some ‘harmless fun’. Stories of rape, blackmail and abuse have become quite frequent of late. These tales are not limited to any particular class or strata of our patriarchal society. To quote just one personal incident, my maid’s daughter, a girl who was hardly 17-years-old at the time, eloped with a relative’s acquaintance and was recovered from another city. The ...

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Why is Joe Hart still England’s number one?

No matter how many goals he saves, people will always talk about the one he missed. This is the story of Joe Hart. For those of you who are not familiar with him, Hart is Manchester City FC’s and England’s national football team’s goalkeeper. He has won three consecutive Premier League Golden Glove awards and has also been rated as one of the finest goalkeepers in English football. However, the Manchester City goalkeeper has been criticised for his performance during the Champions League match against Bayern Munich, in which his team faced defeat. In that match, Hart missed a long-range ...

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Photojournalist Farrukh: A true inspiration!

I first met Farrukh when I was speaking at the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) event in Karachi. I saw him sitting there on his motorised chair smiling and listening attentively. As soon as I was done speaking, I stepped down from the podium and went straight over to him to sit down and talk. Farrukh is an inspirational human being because he has not allowed his physical disability to slow him down. Below his neck, he only has command over one hand, with the rest of his body paralysed. However, he is a photojournalist who just had his first exhibition this year. Farrukh’s family ...

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About a time when friends were real and life was simple

One of the most vivid memories from my early teen years is of my best friend at that time and me, sitting outside his building near the pavement, drinking  Coke and eating sandwiches. I used to take a cab from my house to his and then we would sit outside on our usual spot and talk. We used to talk about nothing in particular and yet, we had so much to say; so many ambitions, dreams, goals, small and big challenges, love affairs, infatuations and yes, personal philosophies and beliefs (even at that age) to share with each other. We were ...

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I read so you don’t have to: A week free of cliches

It is a truth universally understood that there is now only one sport in Pakistan. Sure, when the Olympics rolls around we suddenly recall that hockey is our national sport. But on the average day, Shahid Afridi’s latest shenanigans will always get top billing above whatever other sport we might happen to be excelling in. Let this be the week when our success in cards and the spirited display of our special Olympians changed all that. Let this also be the week that the rest of the world stops writing about Pakistan as if it were a cliché. Sure, there’s ...

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19 reasons why I’d rather text than talk

According to a PEW report quoted in the New York Times one in three teenagers sends more than 100 text messages a day, and a whopping 72 per cent are now official ‘text-messagers,’ compared with just 51 per cent in 2006. Sure enough, messaging has now become the most popular method of communication – beating not just phone calls, e-mails and the much-hyped social networking sites, but face-to-face communication as well.. What is the unvarnished truth? Many of us prefer exchanging text messages to having an actual conversation. Now ‘prefer’ is a strong word; it shows that given an option, the average teenager would ...

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Transgender: Of sense and sexuality

I talk about AIDS, sex and sexuality. Don’t look at me that way. I, too, belong to a religious conservative family. No, I am not a non-believer. No, I do not have AIDS. Yes, I am a woman. Yes, I have morals. This issue has been taboo, cursed and frowned upon. It has been buried so deep, that it is almost impossible to even think about talking of. But I do. I conduct and facilitate workshops on  HIV/AIDS awareness. ————— This is the story of two people I met a couple of weeks ago. They both liked boys. They were both shy, and could not speak at ...

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TEDx Karachi: Reflections on inspiration

TEDxKarachi 2011 was an event for the elite. It had a political slant to it. The line to get in was long, the air-conditioning sucked, there were too many technical glitches with the microphones, the snacks were mediocre and there were people there that didn’t deserve to be invited over many others that weren’t there. The talks were not all exactly what we see at TED Global. Yet I returned from the event thinking that making the impossible was possible. I returned with some ideas that inspired me. People went to TEDx Karachi with different mindsets. A lot showed up wanting to ...

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Help! My Facebook page got hacked

Dear Miss Informed, Help! I am in love with a girl who doesn’t like me. We have been friends for four years and used to talk every day. She even knew that I loved her but she never liked me. However, recently she stopped talking to me because my Facebook account got hacked and the hacker tagged her in a relationship with me on my status. After this incident, she openly insulted me online and said that she always hated me and would never talk to me again. I love everything about her, and miss the good times I had with ...

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Ask questions, your doctor isn’t psychic

Miscommunications are part of daily routine.  You order a large Coke and no fries at a restaurant and the waiter brings you extra fries and a regular Fanta.  You ask a classmate for physiology notes and she photocopies the entire term’s anatomy notes and presents them to you the next day. But there’s one place miscommunication can be a serious problem. Having spent time on both sides of the physician-patient fence, I’ve started noticing how doctors often do not explain stuff adequately and patients will not ask enough questions, resulting in huge communication gaps.  In a clinical setting, these gaps ...

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