Stories about water

After 67 year, we are still unprepared for rain

When it rains in Pakistan, the words of Ardeshir Cowasjee seem very pertinent: “Gutter tou bana nahi saktay, atom bomb banatay hain”. (They cannot even make a gutter but are making atom bombs). Rain, a blessing of nature (or should I say curse in disguise), has wreaked havoc in parts of Punjab and Kashmir. It has not only cost lives and casualties, but also led to the spread of water-borne diseases. These torrential rains have flooded areas where lands have been cleared, people have been displaced and livestock has been harmed. One wonders then whether authorities, such as the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Water and Sanitation ...

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Stop criticising the Ice Bucket Challenge!

My advice, to those criticising the Ice Bucket Challenge for being a waste of water, is stop! Stop criticising long enough to understand the rare disease community and their struggles. The kind of awareness ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), has gotten over the past few weeks is the kind of well-deserved attention, I as someone who saw those closest to me suffer with a disease nobody knew off, could diagnose or had even heard off, wish and hope one day all rare diseases receive. People from all over the world have taken part in the campaign that has spread like wild fire. Celebrities ...

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What’s an Eid feast without some Nargasi Koftas?

Ramazan is finally over! And here we are celebrating Eidul Fitr in the Far East on Monday. Fasting during the peak summer is a real test of one’s faith and endurance. My inquisitive non-Muslim friends often ask me how we, Muslims, survive the long testing hours of fasting without food and water in soaring temperatures. I am not sure they believe me when I tell them that it’s a mix of practice and unconditional faith that makes us get through the tough days of fasting and sleep deprivation. It’s that time of the year when we feast (read: over eat). Eid menus ...

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Yes, Karachi does need a Metro Bus service!

Nawaz Sharif’s visits to Karachi have been brief and mostly concerned with law and order. The last visit, however, was a bit different from the previous ones; the prime minister (PM) has announced to launch the Metro bus named Green Line for Karachi with a gigantic budget of Rs15 billion as reported by the media. He also supervised another important meeting at the Governor House, regarding other development projects in Karachi. Millions of commuters, every day, have to rely on obsolete and dilapidated buses and recklessly driven Qingqi rickshaws to reach to their destinations and back. The beautiful bus stops that ...

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An ‘Hummazing’ way to eat right in Ramazan

Chop the veggies, whip up gram flour with seasoning, make a paste with water, dip the veggies and fry! Fasting and pakoras are insanely intertwined. Roadside vendors, kiosks, and general stores – all have flaming hot oil pans, centered neatly on busy roads, frying away these crunchy, deep mustard, vegetable fritter devils. Admittedly, they are best eaten after a hot day of fasting, right after gobbling up a mushy sweet date and right before sipping a deep red cold drink. The scrunch, the spice and the saltiness are all addictive. But I protest against this addiction. And this alluded me to think ...

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Just a maasi

This piece is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The child looked at me with utter guilt on her face while I smiled at her. She had spilt water all around the toilet. She felt bad about me having to clean it up. It had been a long time since someone sympathised with me. So I smiled at her to put her at ease. She flashed a shy smile towards me and hurried out, leaving me all alone in the three cubicle restroom. I looked at my cell phone to check the time. It was 3pm and ...

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Scuba-diving, an experience of a lifetime

What can be a more frustrating start to a day, than to be stuck in heavy traffic for an hour, chasing endless deadlines and shuffling from meeting to meeting? Nothing. All of us go through these ups and downs that trigger bad days. One really can’t make time for themselves in this busy busy world! With such perplexities, our inner batteries need to be re-charged, once in a while. Going out for a walk, swimming at a breathtaking beach, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin or even breathing fresh air is enough to achieve a little peace of mind in an otherwise busy life. Work ...

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How we went wrong with Rawalpindi

The history of Rawalpindi is one, which is scattered across a vast area. To draw a complete picture of our history, one has to collect the scattered pieces and put them together. No doubt, it’s quite a difficult task but with time and patience, all can be achieved. Most of us know Rawalpindi as a convenient route taken by the invaders, when coming from the north-western regions. It also served as one of the most important cantonments established by the British Army in the north-western region of British India, in days of the The Great Game. Before the partition, Rawalpindi was an urban centre ...

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Four cups of tea: Bringing people together for years

“If you want to thrive in Baltistan, you must respect our ways. The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time, you are an honoured guest. The third time, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die. Dr Greg, you must take time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated but we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time.” – Three Cups of Tea. Last week became a little strange. First, the Express Tribune blogs team asked if I would be ...

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Suffering from lethargy? Here are 5 tips to get your lazy bum outta bed

When a reporter asked Pope John Paul XXIII how many people worked at the Vatican, he replied, “No more than half of them.” When I look around, I agree with his statement. In fact, he could have said one fourth of them or may be even one tenth of them because many people go to work but only a few actually do the work. We live in an age where we need to run with the clock – mere crawling or walking is not sufficient. However, practically speaking, a feeling of drowsiness and inertia during working hours while feeling fresh and energetic during sleeping hours ...

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