Stories about work

I resigned not because of my boss, but my co-workers

It is said that people do not quit their jobs; they quit their bosses. However, what I believe is that sometimes people quit not because of their boss, but due to a hostile work environment – or in my case, the bad attitude of some co-workers. Let me offer a disclaimer that I am not here to badmouth my former colleagues. Instead, I wish to share my experience, and my realisation that sometimes people are so competitive and callous in a workplace that they don’t realise how their bad attitude can affect a person’s mental health. It was last year ...

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‘Sui Dhaaga’ may just be as good as or even better than ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’

When I read that Yash Raj Films was producing a movie starring Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan, I didn’t really care about it as I thought it would be just another mindless romantic comedy, with the same tried and tested formula Bollywood has been using for ages. However, soon afterwards, I read that Sharat Katariya, the man who helmed and wrote Dum Laga Ke Haisha, will direct the Dhawan and Sharma starrer titled Sui Dhaaga: Made in India. That turned my indifference into excitement. Dum Laga Ke Haisha was a movie I thoroughly enjoyed because of its unique premise, ...

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When you don’t wear makeup to work and get asked, “beemar ho?”

I rarely wear makeup to work. Most days, I wear none. Not even BB cream, or eyeliner, or even a basic sort of lipstick. I don’t wear makeup, and I get asked about it, every single day. “Kya hua, kisi se larayi hui hai?” (What happened, have you had a fight with someone?) “Thori si lipstick tou laga lo, acha lagta hai.” (Put some lipstick on at least, it looks nice.) “You don’t want people to think you don’t care about your appearance.” “Listen, women should put some effort into their looks. Istarah achi image thori jaata hai.” (Otherwise it doesn’t present a good image.) “Dekho; presentation ...

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Sarkar 3 is nothing but disappointment, Ram Gopal Varma

Ram Gopal Varma is the same genius who gave the world stellar films such as Drohi, Rangeela, Satya, Company and Rann. However, over a period of time, his movies seem to be losing their grip and the audience has little or no interest left in his upcoming ventures. The Sarkar series has a niche audience and we are yet to determine what the third installment has to offer to its viewers. Background Sarkar 3 has some really great performers in the cast, namely Amitabh Bachchan, Jackie Shroff, Manoj Bajpayee, Ronit Roy, Yami Gautam along with Amit Sadh, Bajrangbali Singh and Rohini Hattangdi. Photo: IMDb Photo: Screenshot The plot Sarkar 3 begins 10-15 years after the previous installment. Vishnu’s ...

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Beth Jata Hon Mitti Pay Aksar: A tribute to our lonely wanderers

The outlook of the working class around the globe and Pakistan in particular has changed dramatically over the past 20-30 years. People are coming out from the comfort of their home towns and moving to bigger cities and foreign countries for jobs and education. But this comes at a cost; a large number of these people have to stay away from their families and friends for extended periods of time, and that changes a lot of things; from their personality to their lifestyle. Beth Jata Hon Mitti Pay Aksar (I Often Sit on the Soil) is a narration of such lives, something most the ...

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On Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment

“My dear sir,” he began almost solemnly, “Poverty is no vice – that is the truth. I know that drunkenness is also no virtue, and that is even more so. But destitution, my dear sir, destitution is a vice, sir. In poverty you may still preserve the nobility of your inborn feelings, but in destitution no one ever does.” This turned out to be my second attempt at reading Crime and Punishment; the first attempt was brought to a sudden halt by a slight turn of events. As a result, this wreaked havoc on my vintage copy of Crime and Punishment – the one translated by Richard Pevear ...

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Isn’t it about time the Pakistani government considered giving qualified stay-at-home parents jobs?

I had taken a hiatus from work due to my household responsibilities, but now that my children had started school and all else was well, I decided that it was the perfect time to start working again. I had my first job interview in five years and as I sat there waiting for my turn, I couldn’t help but feel rather uneasy looking around at the other candidates. They seemed to be more qualified individuals with updated resumes and a fiercely competitive knack about them. Clouds of doubt began to mar my enthusiasm. Perhaps I should have improved my qualifications before restarting my ...

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No, I don’t think my body or my complexion needs to be “fixed” to meet a guy

Born in a country with a colonial past, the light skin fetish has been ingrained in us from time immemorial. My existence was like the biggest curse – I was a girl in a patriarchal society, dark-skinned and slightly overweight.  “2016 is your year,” typed a close male friend of mine on a WhatsApp group of around nine people. The intention for this group was to coordinate my sister’s wedding dance practices but ended up becoming a crazy corner where we all discussed each other’s daily struggles and laughed on lame jokes. The conversation continued, “I am going to give you a makeover.” I replied thanks ...

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Shamitabh: You either love it or hate it – nothing in between

In Bollywood, it’s hard to find movies where the protagonist is speech-impaired; only a few movies come to mind of such sort, including Koshish, Khamoshi and Iqbal. R Balki’s Shamitabh revolves around the story of a speech-impaired boy, named Daanish, and his struggles to realise his dreams. His strong desire to become an actor takes him to Mumbai and once there, he starts his journey to become the “future king” of Bollywood. But his progress is slow and the journey is quite perilous; after all, who would sign a film with a mute actor in a lead role? After seeing his struggles, the audience is then introduced ...

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Why can’t we clean our streets and houses ourselves?

It was December 25, 2014 and I was heading out for work. As I approached the main gate, my eye caught sight of our building’s notice board. The words scribbled on the board left me dumbfounded. It read: “Important Notice: On December 25 and December 26, on account of the Christian community’s religious festival, Christmas, the sweepers will be off. Hence, on these two days, residents are requested to make sure garbage is not dumped on their balconies and special care is taken of their surroundings, with regards to cleanliness. Thank you.” Photo: Ishrat Ansari Though born and bred ...

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