Stories about water

Will I ever find an incentive to keep paying my taxes every year?

As an employee who lives his life from one pay cheque to the next, I rejoice with the fresh set of energy that generates in the last few days of every month. Fortunately, I work for a private firm which follows a strict set salary cycle every month, compensating employees on a timely basis. The bank credit text message received every month, confirming my salary’s transferred into my bank account, contains a figure that translates into an immeasurable emotional elation every time I see it in my inbox. However, a significant portion of my salary gets chopped away in lieu ...

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Firni: A Pakistani rice-pudding that is a must have this Eid!

Rice puddings are part of quite a few cuisines around the world. Be it Thailand, UK, Iran, Bangladesh, Norway, Egypt, Puerto Rico or Pakistan, everyone has their own versions of rice puddings prepared with local ingredients. In Thailand, they make theirs with coconut milk and serve it with mango. In Iran, it is made with saffron infused milk. The Danish add butter and cinnamon to their rice pudding and serve it on Christmas Eve and the Egyptians make it with nutmeg and rosewater. It seems joyous occasions in Pakistan, as well as all around the world, are celebrated with some version of rice ...

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Why women need to STOP losing weight!

Weight Loss = Calories Out – Calories In. Or in layman’s terms, to lose weight, burn more calories and eat less. More exercise, less food. Is it really that simple? Can your perfect body be achieved with this simple equation? Answer: No. It’s not that simple! Good news however, it’s not that complicated either. Weight loss is not the same as fat loss. ‘Weight’ refers to the sum total of everything your body is made up of: bone mass, fat mass, water, organs, muscle and other tissue. Fat, on the other hand, refers to a particular kind of storage tissue in your body which is deposited ...

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The end is nigh, when North Nazimabad is the new Clifton

Everyone laughed at me in school for living on the other side of the bridge. Well who is laughing now? Was centuries of affluence really worth ending up in a real life Finding Nemo type situation? No longer will people from the other side of the bridge have to drive an hour just to see the ocean. The ocean is finally coming to them. North Nazimabad is the new Clifton. People from Defence/Clifton would sit on buses every Sunday and drive to Nazimabad for some fun. The Super Karachi Express is only the start of a city-wide trend. For so long, I have ...

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Pakistan needs a permanent source of dollar inflows

The state of affairs prevalent in Pakistan’s currency market can be considered analogous to that of a bathtub. Just turn the tap and water will start flowing into the tub. Assuming the plughole is properly covered, the tub would start accumulating water. However, if the plug is removed, all the water flowing in from the tap would immediately flow out of the tub. The equilibrium point would arrive when the water flowing in from the tap is sufficient enough to compensate for the water going down the drain. And Pakistan’s currency market is just not able to maintain this equilibrium. The Pakistan Muslim ...

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We are solely to be blamed for the water crisis in Pakistan

The average person uses over 300 litres of water to wash their car at home. The average car wash uses half that amount. Some automated systems use barely a 10th of it, when accounting for water recycling. But why would people spend hundreds of rupees to wash their cars when they can get it done for ‘free’ by the household help? Isn’t that what they’re paid for? Well here’s the problem. In an area with 100,000 cars, one wash a week would end up using 30 million litres per week, or almost eight million gallons. That is over a million gallons. There ...

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Fatal amoebas: Up your nose and into your brain

Just reading the title makes one assume that this is a story out of some cheap sci-fi movie: a unicellular organism killing mankind, one brain at a time. When, in reality, this amoeba does exist and it’s called Naegleria Fowleri. This organism is thermophilic and lives in fresh water like lakes, ponds as well as polluted water systems such as sewage and dirty canals. All the amoeba needs is a passage to enter the brain, and that usually happens when people swim in such waters, when the possibility of water entering the nose is high. Since the nose is the quickest ...

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Karachi from under the sea

My mother tells me a story of my childhood often. I was three, at some swimming club in London, and my sisters were taking swimming lessons. Too young to be allowed in at that age, I fought and wrestled against my mother, till the point that she was physically restraining me. The bemused instructor told my mother to let me go, to see what I would do. I made a running leap into the water, and haven’t looked back since. Having been a self-proclaimed water baby my entire life, scuba diving was naturally always high on my to-do list. Last year, I finally ...

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Is Islamabad airport really the worst airport in the world?

Imagine the worst airport you can think of. Multiply it by 10. Then multiply it further by 20. Drop the resulting figure in a barrel, and throw that barrel away where the sun doesn’t shine. At the bottom of the crater created by this barrel drop, you will find Islamabad airport. I had the misfortune of travelling via Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto International Airport some months back, and I’m glad that has been my only visit to the place. Unless someone holds a gun against my head, I have made it a point to never travel via this airport again. From the ...

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Kashmir, a paradise no more

Chhapak…chhapak. The oarsman slowly rows his shikara, a wooden taxi houseboat, as I breathe fresh air and put my fingers into the cold water. This is my first visit to Kashmir and I always wanted to visit it – to take a shikara ride alone on the splendiferous, enchanting Dal Lake in paradise, that is Kashmir. A unique experience indeed; every now and then I go into a state of trance, a psychological state induced as if by a magical incantation. Photo: Sapan Kapoor There is something intoxicating in this air. It puts me in a daze. In a nearby ...

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