Stories about thoughts

Light lunchboxes

His daughter knocked on his door; only once. It was time for work and her school. He got up, stretching here and there, listening as individual muscles came out of slumber. After he was ready, he headed to the kitchen and opened the fridge. Each item appeared to be dripping. The electricity had been out throughout the night. He reached for the night’s leftovers and packed their lunch, first for her, and then for himself. She came to the kitchen shortly after. She was well-aware of her father’s strategies and how she ended up getting more of the leftovers. However she used to silently weigh ...

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Overcoming the fatal product of your imagination

When I was 10-years-old, I accidentally fell into a swimming pool. I had never learnt to swim. I flailed my arms, but it did no good. I felt myself drowning. I still remember the terror as the dark water surrounded me. I gasped for air and my mouth was filled with water. At the last moment, a life guard noticed my plight. He jumped in and pulled me out. This experience sank into my subconscious mind. The result was that for years I feared the water. Then one day I mentioned this irrational fear of mine to a wise, elderly psychologist. “Go down to ...

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I thought he was a beggar-child…

I was deep in my thoughts, standing at the railway station, when a slight tug on my shirt startled me. Averting my gaze towards the source of the tug, I saw a child. A sense of pity washed over; I took out some money from my pocket and tried to give it to the child, but he refused to take it. Feeling even more empathetic towards him, I gently took his small palm into my hands and placed the money there. Suddenly, a man came rushing towards us, “He is not a beggar! You look smart enough to know that!” he ...

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Do you need a ‘reason’ to be depressed?

‘An unemployed man, tired of the financial crises, hangs himself to death.’ ‘A woman takes her own life before killing her children due to conflicts and problems at home’. ‘A jilted lover shoots himself in front of the girl he wants to marry.’ The lack of awareness about mood disturbances, including depression, are obvious by the kind of media coverage of the incidents of suicide, which often broadly and superficially look at the obvious external stressors and fail to highlight it as a mental health issue that can affect even those who apparently may not have any external social or/and financial stressors. The recent ...

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Do Shias have a future in Pakistan?

How this could be possible? I shook my head in disbelief. “Ibn-e-Raza has been shot dead!” the voice reiterated itself. How someone can be so cruel, so vicious? In state of disbelief I stood up, changed my clothes and sat in my car. My mother, sitting next to me, was continuously crying. “He was such a nice boy, he was…” She was crying so hard that words seemed to have disappeared from her mouth. I rolled my window down and took a deep breath as a slight wave of wind touched my hair. My mind was gripped with an ocean of thoughts and memories. I remembered when he last ...

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A colourful ride

Wherever I am, your thoughts dictate me. Whatever I do, your smile is my only memory.   Your cries wrench my heart, Your pain hurts me more. A little scratch on your skin, Makes my world cease.   Your smile is what I think about all day; In your tiny fingers is where I belong.   You are so precious; I can never leave you, You are my treasure; my respite from my blues.   You are life’s gift to me, Your lovely face is all I want to see. Your tiny things, your innocent laugh, All make my sorrows go the past. Your shoes, your dresses, your clips and toys, Are all sources of my utter joy.   I know the grief ...

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Doctors in Pakistan: Sumbal, only the peptic ulcer wali bibi, not a person with feelings

Her doctor thought she was an open mouth for him to dunk pills into. Instead, she turned out to be a person with thoughts, feelings and questions that were all left unaddressed. As part of Pakistan’s tightly-knit community of doctors, it is common for us to share our horror stories about non-compliant, abusive patients with laughable misconceptions about drugs and bodily functions. We softly giggle at them mistaking left-sided abdominal pains for appendicitis, when the appendix is in fact on the right side. And the unspoken conclusion drawn each time is that a patient is too uninformed to be trusted with his own ...

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A mother’s reflection

On days when I would be in bed and not found going up and about the house, you would stand in the doorway of my bedroom to take a quick peek. I guess you liked checking in on me, assuring yourself that I was alright. You would ask me if I needed something and then go away to get busy in whatever you would previously be doing. You had been like this since the day you began to toddle around the house, unchanged. This has always been your habit, my daughter, my lifeline — my one and only. You are not my possession ...

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Fehmida’s beloved companion

Sitting thoughtfully, he smiled for no obvious reason. Or perhaps his thoughts had wandered off, from the hardships of the past few weeks since he had lost his job to the call he had received this very morning. Taking his cell phone out, which he kept like a prized commodity, he looked at it with a constant yet distracted gaze. He had listened through it with intent when Abdul Kareem, an old friend of his, briefed him about a domestic servant’s job, for which he was to come meet Ms Fehmida.  There was hope for him at last. He would finally ...

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Landing the perfect job: Five obstacles standing between you and employment

It’s the crippling feeling of inferiority that makes the job search so dismal. However, the answers are all in your head. All the negative, depressing, defeating thoughts that you entertain as you send out resumes and trudge through interviews . . . you can fix them! So what is it about you that makes you look and feel inferior? 1. Make your presence felt – virtually and physically. To the employer you are nobody. Anonymity is safe. That’s why you apply online, email your resume, and post your job seeker profile with the millions of other strangers in line at the virtual ...

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