SHORT STORY | LOVE IN RAWALPINDI – Part Two

In late August Nighat met someone at a niece’s wedding; a retired colonel who, after ten years living abroad, had returned to spend his twilight years in the relative comfort of his family home in Pindi. At seventy, Dilawar Khan had already been a widower for the last twenty years, and his two grownup childrenContinue reading “SHORT STORY | LOVE IN RAWALPINDI – Part Two”

VERSE| WE, THE WOMEN OF PAKISTAN – Part Two

This is a tribute of determination, hope and new beginnings not only for the Pakistani women, but for all the heroic women around the world who are speaking out and standing up for themselves against all manner of cruel and brutal patriarchy. It is also a testimonial and a resounding voice of support for thoseContinue reading “VERSE| WE, THE WOMEN OF PAKISTAN – Part Two”

SHORT STORY| AE JAZBA-E-DIL GAR MEIN CHAHOON – Part Two

It was at lunch during the Taxila trip that someone brought up Malala’s latest Vogue interview in which she had, among other things, voiced her opinion on the tradition of marriage. The group was split right down the middle with their sentiments on the Pakistani activist’s preferences on relationships. Arslan and Tabassum were in oppositeContinue reading “SHORT STORY| AE JAZBA-E-DIL GAR MEIN CHAHOON – Part Two”

SHORT STORY| AE JAZBA-E-DIL GAR MEIN CHAHOON – Part One

Dedicated to all the Malalas* of the world – to the ones who have already risen like phoenixes and the ones that are getting there. May you be ever bigger than the boxes you are put in. May you dream, grow and glow. Tabassum sat in her lounge, painting her nails while the lilting strainsContinue reading “SHORT STORY| AE JAZBA-E-DIL GAR MEIN CHAHOON – Part One”

SHORT STORY| SOUL SISTERS – Part Five

The dust and clamour of the city assailed her with its brawny vigour as soon as she walked out of the airport in Karachi. She looked for Rustum’s familiar face in the surrounding milieu of cacophonous welcoming parties, stuporous janitorial staff and the predatory hordes of taxi kiosk attendants. In his low key, efficient mannerContinue reading “SHORT STORY| SOUL SISTERS – Part Five”

SHORT STORY| SOUL SISTERS – Part Four

‘I hear you’re quite the designer – I myself was a coffin maker in the US. Fancy coffins are big business there’, said someone who’s name she’d forgotten but who was steadfastly standing by her side while carrying on a mostly non-reciprocal conversation. Sumaira smiled blandly yet again and took a sip of her spriteContinue reading “SHORT STORY| SOUL SISTERS – Part Four”

SHORT STORY| SOUL SISTERS – Part Three

It’s probably going to be Dawood, thought Layla musingly as she went through a mental list of eligible husbands for Sumaira. After her initial rush of anxiety where she had imagined herself being left alone with only a dolefully fluttering spinster flag as her constant companion, she’d pulled herself together. It wasn’t that her fearContinue reading “SHORT STORY| SOUL SISTERS – Part Three”

SHORT STORY| SOUL SISTERS – Part Two

Karim sat at the desk in his office, looking at a piece of random poetry that had found its way to his “Friends and Frenemies” WhatsApp chat group. The group always came alive on Friday afternoons. He was now re-reading the verse for the third time, a slow smile playing about his lips. There isContinue reading “SHORT STORY| SOUL SISTERS – Part Two”

SHORT STORY| SOUL SISTERS – Part One

There was a nip in the air as the sun settled rosily into the waiting horizon. Layla looked across the Arabian Sea, directly into the heart of the still bright sun. She did that sometimes when she was looking beyond her world for ethereal clues; cosmic answers. In her transiently altered reality, as grey-black floatersContinue reading “SHORT STORY| SOUL SISTERS – Part One”

OPINION|Love in the Time of the Mullah**

Recently there was a simple, endearing display of affection between a couple that had just decided to spend the rest of their lives together. The proposal was made on the University of Lahore campus amidst their friends and was followed by an affectionate hug between the couple. That embrace was so demonised by the vocalContinue reading “OPINION|Love in the Time of the Mullah**”

OPINION| THE PRODIGAL SONS

Earlier this year, after decades, the island of Sri Lanka welcomed the Pakistani cricketing legend of yore. Thankfully, the political mantle is still too new to disenchant the international fan base. Not that I think he is a corrupt bag of officious bones in the manner peculiar to many of his South Asian compatriots andContinue reading “OPINION| THE PRODIGAL SONS”

VERSE | LOVE ACTUALLY – Part Deux

In the spirit of well-meaning satire, a droll little tribute to our visiting PM, Imran Khan. You’re still our best hope. The flags are flying at full mastThe PM’s coming to townThe green and white, oh what a sight For diplomatic, foreign affairs of the heart.He’s also got the go-aheadTo traverse through enemy spaceThe IndianContinue reading “VERSE | LOVE ACTUALLY – Part Deux”