About a month ago, I had a mishap with my laptop and was unplugged for almost a week. My old trusty MacBook Pro is on its last legs. Apparently the graphics card crashed and while the computer started up, the screen stayed black. And unlike older models, the graphics card on these macs is soldered … Continue reading Life Unplugged
"I belong to a nation whose children scare the life out of you. What a terrifying force you are, fighting with children..." The children of Army Public School returned to school this week. This is their tribute to their fallen classmates. Peshawar, December 16 2014.
Over coffee with a friend, I mentioned that I spent a week of my vacation in the city of Peshawar, and the reaction, though expected, jarred me. His eyebrows climbed up his forehead and he asked with pure disbelief, “Why?” When I gave him a rundown of my trip, his eyebrows climbed higher. His jaw … Continue reading The Peshawar Cliché
At the northwest edge of Peshawar is the Khyber gate and Jamrud Fort that marks the beginning of what we in Pakistan know as Ilaqa Ghair, or ‘ungoverned/lawless territory’. This is Khyber agency, one of several agencies that comprise FATA, or the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The Khyber gate guards the Khyber Pass, several kilometers outside … Continue reading Tea at the Frontier
Pakistan’s film industry may be languishing in a pit of despair, but our TV industry is flourishing, despite all odds. Back in the eighties, under the dictatorship of General Zia-ul-Haq, restrictions on the Arts were similar to Iran under Ayatullah Khomeini. The once vibrant culture of the country, along with the casinos, wine shops and nightclubs, … Continue reading Where Do Ideas Come From?
Last month, I was part of a wedding, which in Pakistan isn’t a matter of a single day. It’s normally spread over a series of days, sometimes weeks depending upon the lavishness of the wedding. There are small ceremonies and events leading up to the wedding and sometimes there are ceremonies and events after the … Continue reading The Needs of the Many…
In the spirit of the upcoming International Women’s Day, my publisher thought it would be a great idea to focus my next few blog posts on women, specifically women writers from South Asia. I was reluctant to do so. It sounded like a cliché, the obligatory post that every female writer feels compelled to do … Continue reading A Special Subset (Part I)
When you think of women from Pakistan, it’s easy to think in extremes. We have two images: the woman covered from head to toe and subject to the men in her life, or the upper-class elite woman who dresses, speaks, thinks and lives exactly as she pleases. The silent majority, however, is the woman you … Continue reading The Average Pakistani Woman