Stories about teenagers

Good Boys has Seth Rogen written all over it and will leave you in a laughing fit

I watched Superbad, starring Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, when I was just a teenager and I remember laughing my way throughout the film. And now the same writers, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, are bringing another hilarious venture: Good Boys. The movie stars Jacob Tremblay as Max, Brady Noon as Thor, and Keith L Williams as Lucas, as three sixth graders who are invited to a kissing party but have no idea how to kiss a girl. And in order to learn the art of kissing, they end up making some terrible decisions which later gets them involved with drugs, ultimately pushing ...

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Why single-sex schools are failing your children

Recently, I came across diaries of mine from my mid-teenage years. For close to a year, nine out of my 10 diary entries revolved around some boy or another, while the rest revolved around the intensity of my self-hatred because of how the opposite gender made me feel. There were a few entries scattered throughout concerning friends and family, but that was about it. What put me off was that even after flipping through multiple entries it was difficult to come across actual events from the year. All that particular years’ diary covers is boys and their affect on ...

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Why I’m not fasting this Ramazan

According to family legend, I first fasted—for a day—at the age of four. I have no clear memory of this fast, although I do have the vague recollection of walking into the kitchen while my mom prepared iftar and her asking, “If you’re fasting, why are you sucking on a lollipop?” Ramazan in our house was a big deal. Ramazan meant we could—at least for a month—pretend we were adults. I insisted on fasting the entire month starting at the age of seven.  My parents agreed, but with three stipulations: I had to wake up for sehri, eat whatever was served during sehri (generally, ...

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The problem isn’t good cop, bad cop, the problem is the systematic racism in US police

Over the past several years, there appears to be a rise in the instances of horrid brutalities, and murders, carried out by police officers, in the name of justice and safety enforcement, where Americans – mainly African-American and other people of colour – have been targeted, terrorised, and treated with much disdain and disrespect. And most, if not all, of these victims have not only been innocent of the crimes that they had been accused of, but they were also unarmed. Nevertheless, the latest of such staggering police brutality occurred last Friday, where police officers arrived at the Craig Ranch Community ...

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Are you failing at being a parent?

I recently came across an article which listed ten common parenting mistakes. It got me thinking about my own parenting skills, or lack thereof. The insecurity about parenting most likely stemmed from my biases that were challenged by that article. I think parenting is made out to be harder than it actually is or should be. The point I’m really trying to make is that in parenting misperceptions are amplified. The so called mistakes simply reflect on the struggle that exists within all of us as human beings, compounded by the fact that we, as parents, are liable to err. The conflict ...

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Does anyone in Pakistan know how to save money?

While I was visiting a friend, I came across something very peculiar. His domestic help, who was serving us tea and refreshments, had headphones plugged into his ears and kept chatting away to someone over his phone. His behaviour remained consistent during my four-hour-long stay and I wondered how he was able to talk so long without his mobile balance running out.  Giving in to my curiosity, I asked my friend about his servant’s excessive phone calls, to which he explained that of the Rs10,000 that he received as salary, a major chunk of it went either to buying a new phone ...

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‘The Fault in Our Stars’: I died a few times while reading

We all have that one book we come across once in a while and wouldn’t mind reading again. I’ve had a similar experience with John Green’s ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, which is one of the bestselling fictions of 2012 – 2013. I think I died a few times while reading the book. This book is TIME Magazine’s number one ‘fiction book of 2012’ and Goodreads ‘Choice of 2012’ winner; a 4.5 out of five stars rating. The book is also currently in line for being produced as a movie to be released in June this year. It is anticipated to be one of ...

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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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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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A dire need to end teen smoking

While informally talking to a World Health Organization (WHO) official in Islamabad during a seminar, I was told that Pakistan is among the few countries that have taken no serious measures to implement its own legislation to restrict tobacco consumption. She said that despite convincing sessions with Pakistani authorities, no positive measures have come forth to curb the practice of smoking. Instead, the WHO has received reports of increasing number of female smokers in Pakistan, which mainly include young girls at school level, especially those studying in private schools. Teen smoking is a complex phenomenon, which has several causes. Unfortunately, there ...

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