Stories about water

Swat Summer festival: A summer retreat, to the heaven on Earth

The glaciers melt; the streams from them gush with fresh water. The Swat River and its tributaries spurt. The fruit laden orchards of peaches, apples, apricots and plumps bloom. The whistles of gypsies, seasonal nomads, buzz and the bells of sheep ring. This is summer in Swat. Since the last successful military offensive against the Swat Taliban the military in Swat arrange festivals in the valley. These events of entertainment are meant to revive tourism in the valley and to present a soft image of the idyllic landscape to the world. And of course one objective is to prove that Swat ...

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Water supply: Trickling into anarchy

Water — the most basic element necessary to sustain life and the most powerful source for internal strife. Water shortages are becoming a norm in Pakistan, with the contributing factors a mix of controllable and uncontrollable ones, such as inefficient water management and climate change respectively. While the former results in reduced water supply due to inefficient and insufficient water distribution networks, the latter causes erratic weather patterns and reduced input from glacial melt, because the rising temperature of the world is causing glaciers to disappear. At local and national levels, the approach to addressing water-related problems has been mostly reactive instead ...

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Kalabagh dam: PML-N’s solution to our energy crisis?

Pakistan, after the elections, is once again faced with perhaps the most divisive political issue- the construction of the Kalabagh dam. One of the many expectations from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is to bring to life the Kalabagh dam; a subject that has been brushed under the carpet for a long period of time. So, the questions arise, will Mr Nawaz Sharif be able to address this issue through consensus among the provinces? And, will we as Pakistani citizens for once rise above our internal conflicts and work towards our collective development? It cannot be ruled out that the ...

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What is it we can’t do as a nation?

After a long tiring day, all I was looking forward to was a good night’s sleep. Life is really challenging here, I thought to myself. I wish I could do something about this country. I wish things could change for us. Breathing a sigh of  resignation, I finally closed my eyes and thought, some day I will… Suddenly, there I was looking down on him with the whole UN General Assembly standing and applauding. As happens in such cases, I could not tell the time or date, it was sort of surreal. I wanted to get down there and talk to ...

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Endangering lives in the name of frugality

While navigating a puddle created by a neighbour washing his car, my mind was drawn to the capital’s civic agency’s plans to save water. Coming just days after a confounding power conservation plan, the water plan, while a bit more realistic, still leaves out a key element which has already been discussed at national level — water metering. The plan includes effective monitoring of leaks in the city’s water supply lines, imposition of fines on water wastage and raising awareness among residents on how to save water. While saving water is definitely an issue, seeing that half of the city’s ...

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11 advantages of drinking water

Despite the fact that water is something that has no taste, we still love it! Who doesn’t relish the feeling of a cool drink of water on a sweltering hot day? Approximately 70% of our body’s mass is made of water and according to a number of doctors, drinking a total of eight glasses of water a day fulfils the necessary requirement of this liquid our body demands. For a long time now, I have been searching regarding the benefits associated with water. Finally, after reviewing countless websites, I  have compiled a list, highlighting the advantages of drinking water that can surely help ...

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The day a beggar outshone me

Recently, I witnessed an event, the consequence of which was the dawn of a significant realisation upon me. In itself, the event was not that remarkable or anything extraordinary, but it had far reaching implications.  One afternoon I found myself standing next to the Daman-e-Koh entrance, waiting for a friend. Being in Islamabad, in the month of July, and under 43 degrees Celsius of heat, naturally I was hot and agitated. Nearby, there was a broken pipe that had been gushing water like a fountain for over 45 minutes but nobody cared – this was before two visibly poor children arrived at the spot. One ...

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Pakoras galore: Let the Ramazan feast begin!

The month of fasting is finally upon us, and what makes this Ramazan more special is the fact that it is coinciding with monsoon; the clouds in Karachi ready to pour any moment now (Please, God, please?). Monsoon and Ramazan have nothing in common save for a piping garam garam plate of pakoras. This Pakistani staple dish is a must-have as any Iftar is incomplete without a variation of this. The popularity of pakoras lies not only in their unique flavour profile, but also in their affordability. Pakoras are savoury snacks deep-fried to a crisp and served with a dash of chaat masala with ketchup, ...

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A houseplant I named Hope

I woke one morning and decided to name one of my houseplants Amal, the Arabic word meaning ‘hope’. This plant (a variety of yucca if I am not mistaken) had been nameless since the day I bought it from a moving sale more than six years ago. But today, I realised how much she deserved this designation. For most of the last six years, Amal has seemed to be on her last legs. Her leaves would consistently wilt at the tips to a dry crisp or sometimes turn entirely yellow, even if I wasn’t over-watering it. Unable to re-generate, one leaf would die ...

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A fantastic dive into the deep blue sea

A few weeks ago, my cousin asked me to accompany him on a scuba diving trip to Mubarak village, a place just outside Karachi. I was excited by the prospect and agreed in an instant, so he picked me up before sunrise. When we reached the village, we took a boat ride to Charna Island for the dive. We were accompanied by a team of professionals who briefed us before the dive. I was surprised to learn that one can enjoy the experience of scuba diving without knowing how to swim. After a few other important instructions regarding underwater communication signals, ...

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