Stories about two

It’s our own damn fault!

After an attack on Jinnah International Airport just two days ago, you would think we have some practice in dealing with the situation. We don’t; in fact, we just keep getting better at failure. The second attack takes place at the ASF training camp, which is in close proximity to the high-alert, already bruised airport. The events that followed post breaking the news were something to see, perhaps as a training manual for What-Not-To-Do-In-An-Emergency-For-The-Second-Time. Within minutes you felt like you were actually there as reporters tried to take us foot by foot with the commandos holding weapons. It began with a few ...

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#‎KarachiAirportAttack‬: We learn from history, that we NEVER learn from history

The story developed like a gathering storm. First there was news of a security breach when some armed men cut through the fence from the ‘Fokker gate’ near the Ispahani Hanger, close to the Pehelwah Goth area which had already been cited as a security risk many times. Television audience was just trying to catch its breath over the horror unfolding in Taftan, on the Pak-Iran border where over 23 Shia zaireen lost their lives to a suicide attack, in a manner that has such a familiar, horrible ring to it. As if that breaking news was not heartbreaking enough, news ...

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What about the two Air Force pilots who died yesterday?

Yesterday, Pakistan lost two impeccable fighter pilots in a saddening crash in Karachi. The incident took the lives of Wing Commander Khurram Sammad and Squadron Leader Umair Elahi. As the Mirage fighter plane crashed in Baldia Town, the incident caused four other casualties. Yesterday, Pakistan also saw the self-proclaimed ‘Quaid’ of Sindh, also known as Altaf Hussain getting arrested for money laundering. The news of his arrest caused the usual stir in halting all life in Karachi. Roads were jammed, shops closed and basically all activities came to a standstill as the city sat in terror. The violence that comes with such news is nothing new. People ...

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Shaking myths off pregnancy: No, you do not need to eat for two if you’re pregnant!

Seated at a conventional ‘daawat’ (family dinner), I heard an aunty asking a friend, “Apki bahu kyun nahin ayi?” (Why didn’t your daughter-in-law come?) Her friend smiled and replied, “Asal main uski tabiyat kharab hai” (Actually, she isn’t feeling very well.) The room filled up with smiles and people started congratulating Sarah’s mother-in-law. Perplexed and curious, I looked around to know what was going on when I was told in a hushed whisper that Sarah was about to start a family. Pregnancy is a perfectly normal phenomenon and should not be treated as an illness. It shows that like all other systems in our body, the reproductive ...

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The car I bought

It was approximately 2am and the temperature was about three degree Celsius accompanied by a pitch-dark chilly night. A black coloured two-seater pickup took a sharp turn and then drove slowly into a quiet, murky, dimly lit street. The pick-up drove past the electric pole and pulled up near a house, where two men checked their guns and got out of the vehicle. One of them unloaded the pick-up’s boot while the other proceeded to climb up a 12 feet high electric pole which stood by the boundary wall of one of the houses. Upon reaching the top, the man took in the view of ...

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They can force them to convert to Islam but they can’t win their hearts!

As an expatriate boy growing up in Saudi Arabia, I dreaded attending my school’s mandatory afternoon prayer session. At the end of every long day in Manarat Al-Sharkia, all the Muslim students and teachers gathered before the final two classes to offer Zuhr (noon) prayers in the school’s stinking gym that carried a rancid air powerful enough to rival Hitler’s infamous gas chamber. By prayer time, the gym’s floor had already been saturated by the sweet-smelling sweaty socks of hundreds of young perspiring boys. Thankfully, the school management realised that the gym’s surface was probably host to a number of diseases ...

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In Bhakkar, breakfast is Tiffany

People eat strange things. In Southeast Asia, insects are a delicacy and in East Asia, the same goes for dogs. Pig meat, a major source of protein in the diets of many peoples, are taboo for Muslims and Jews. The same applies to the noble cow for Hindus. The reasons for these differences are manifold. So before we get ahead of ourselves, it is important to agree that ‘food’ is not an easily defined word. In Bhakkar, two brothers were arrested for desecrating a grave. While saddening, it is not really the worst of crimes. But that is only because under Pakistani ...

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A magic trick

It was the second day of Eidul Fitr. My khala was visiting us with her husband and three kids; two boys (15-year-old and 13-year-old) and a 10-year-old girl. I, on the other hand, was five-years-old at that time. These are the characters that are directly and indirectly related to the ultimate magic trick. I remember all of them and all of us sitting near a gas heater, bonding away like families do over such occasions. My mother, with my three-year-old sister sleeping in her lap, and my khala were discussing family issues, while my father was convincing my khalu to join him in his business ...

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Sawan Masih: Another injustice in the name of justice!

It appears that the public would rather Sawan jaey, than Sawan aaey. Sawan Masih, 26-years-old, a poor cleaner and the father of two, was arrested last year for allegedly uttering blasphemous remarks during an argument.  He protested his innocence saying that there was a property dispute concealed under the accusation of blasphemy but to no avail. Sawan and his family lived in Lahore’s Joseph Colony with other Christian families, clustered together for safety. Unfortunately, the numbers on ‘the other side’ were far greater. When the above event occurred, a mob composed of some 3,000 people attacked Joseph Colony for several days, forcing the inhabitants to leave. When this mob destroyed a hundred ...

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The Karachi Eat Food Festival kicked the Sindh Festival out of the park!

The Karachi Eat Food Festival (KEFF) was probably the event of the decade, at least for Karachi. In spite of so much chaos, paranoia and terror around, the brave Karachiites queued up for two spectacular days of culinary delights at this festival of its own kind. The opening day kicked off in a rather sluggish style with delays on part of the participating vendors which was a bit disappointing for the visitors. However, as things started to settle, the event saw civilised and cultured people, men and women, young and old, visiting the two-day food fest and spending some quality time with ...

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