Stories about university

“My son was not affiliated with any political party”

“The biggest struggles we face exist within ourselves.”  The line caught his attention. In front of him, a young student sat on a seat, sifting through the pages of a worn-out paperback. He stood adjacent to the boy’s seat, clutching on to his satchel with one hand, while the other firmly wrapped around the holding rail. It was around evening time and he was commuting back home from work. This travel was nothing new for him. For 25 years he had worked as a bookkeeper and every day, he would wake up at 5:30am without the aid of a clock to ...

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University of Toronto – “It’s the dream man!”

They walked quietly together, letting the traffic build conversation for them. The streetlights flooded the roads but they still found it difficult to see. The cars zoomed past them without a care in the world. The tall apartments in the surroundings made them feel miniature, like two toys in a room filled with giant furniture. Beneath these towering buildings were shops lined up together, from wall to wall. People went in and came out from these shops like ants. Life unfolded around these two, as they walked silently on the side of the road. Their uniforms faded and their ties loose; ...

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9 alternative career options for Bilawal Bhutto

Bilawal Bhutto carries the weight of the entire world on his shoulders; he is the scion of the Bhutto dynasty, his vocabulary is limited when it comes to the people he wants to lead and, if reports are to be believed, he has some daddy issues. We sympathise with the young and determined leader, and decided to suggest some alternate career options just in case he isn’t cut out for a political career. 1. Social media consultant – especially given that he is quite active on Twitter and has caused many a controversy on the medium with his acerbic tweets. Design: ...

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Aao Parhao – Jo Seekha Hai Wo Sekhao

As part of a remembrance to Robin Williams, I arranged a showing of Good Will Hunting and invited some school friends over. After the movie ended, one of them remarked on the critical role the protagonist’s teacher, Prof Gerald Lambeau (played by Stellan Skarsgård), a Fields Medal winner, and mentor  Sean Maguire (played by Robin Williams) had in his development. “We didn’t have anyone as dedicated as them. Not even close.” I had to disagree and thought back to an incident back in March 1991. The phone rang and my mother picked it up. “Hello, is this the home of Sibtain Naqvi?” a lady asked. My mother ...

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Ragging someone at university is not funny

“Congratulations! Not only on starting your life at one of the best universities in the world, but on proving that you are the cream of the crop.” After a brief standing ovation, the opening ceremony ended. We came walking out of the auditorium as if we didn’t need to wait for the future; we had already become the leaders we came here to be. The opening ceremony was followed by a hi-tea session with snacks where the students discussed how they were going to “utilise” their time now that they had acquired admission into such a prestigious university. The bittersweet day ended ...

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Is Sea View a dangerous place?

Relieved to finally be done with our university exams, Asad, my best friend from university, suggested he and I decided visit Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine during our vacations. Since I had plenty of time to spare, I agreed and the two of us decided to go on Saturday early in the morning to avoid any rush. At 8am on Saturday, Asad came over and together we left, on my motorbike, for the shrine. After offering our fateha, we realised thatit was still relatively early and we didn’t have anything is specific planned out. S on our way down the stairs of ...

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20 and about to get married? Say goodbye to your dreams and careers

“I can’t wait to pursue my bachelor’s degree abroad,” I beamed with delight. With disdain, as if I had said something extremely outrageous, I was asked,  “Wait, are you not going to get married?” Recently, my Facebook newsfeed was flooded with pictures of bridal and baby showers of girls whom I went to school with. I am 20-years-old and some of my friends are already married and have children. While I was taken aback by this at first, soon realisation began to hit me. This was it. This was the end of these young girls’ carefree lives and that too at the ripe ...

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A French, a German, a British and an awesome Pakistani

“Pakistan? Where are your burqas?” “We don’t wear one”, I gestured to my friends and myself. “Yeah, of course – not on holidays. But you know, the ones you’re forced to wear in Pakistan.” Laughing with disbelief, we shook our heads. “No, we don’t. It’s usually a personal choice.” “But…” his voice trailed off. A pause, and then he threw more questions at us. I spent seven weeks this summer interning overseas. There I was asked these questions, surprisingly by an Indian, a fellow ‘desi’ living only a border apart. Here he was, asking eagerly about how it was to live in a rocky, gun-strewn desert. He was pretty ...

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Congratulations, Pakistan

The 16th Annual All Pakistan Inter-University Bilingual Declamation Contest for the Allama Iqbal Shield award concluded on April 29, 2014. It is an annual exercise that the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) conducts, in order to promote a better understanding of socio-economic and political issues, critical thinking and communication skills among under and post-graduate students. The contest comprises three rounds. Students from various departments within a university compete in the first round. One top scorer from each university qualifies for the second round, where students from various institutions within an administrative division compete. In the third round, three top scorers (Urdu ...

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Life had been drained out of her…

She looked like someone had drained all her strength. I could not stand it anymore, so I closed my browser and made my way towards her. She looked dull and weak. I observed her silently, praying to God to restore her strength. After all, how much longer could she survive with only an ounce of energy left? She had already struggled so much, living in this restricted area and now she was finding it difficult to breathe and communicate any more. She lay there, helpless. I stooped over her and examined her to see if there was any physical mishap but ...

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