Opinion

2015

Farewell, fond 20s! I’m ready to move on, Dawn Blogs, May 26
Why do we expect so much of life, and of ourselves? Why do we choose to be unhappy? Some questions pondered, some lessons learnt, some wisdom received… 

2014

12 things this Pakistani girl loves about Spain, Sunday Magazine, Sept 29
It’s been a full year since our peregrination to Madrid, and I think I’ve come a long way from those initial months of confusion, misplaced nostalgia, and sometimes plain despair…

How to Make Friends in New City: 5 Essential Tips from a Nueva Madrilena, BootsnAll Travel Network, May 19
When you’ve spent most of your life in one place, you tend to take many things for granted – your aging collection of books, sharing wardrobes with your sister, that little bakery down the street that sells your favorite lemon rolls. Most of all, you take your friends for granted…

2013 

Thoughts on leaving Pakistan, The Friday Times BlogOct 10
The last time I put thoughts to paper was a year and a half ago, when my husband and I moved back to Pakistan from the U.S. It happened very suddenly, under very sad circumstances, and there we were – thrust into a disorienting new life…

2012

Thoughts on moving back to PakistanExpress Tribune BlogMay 21
When my husband and I moved to the U.S.,  we knew that it wasn’t for good. Contrary to everybody’s assumptions, we knew that we were going to return to Pakistan, at some point in the meandering, distant future…

2011

The Freedom to BeExpress Tribune BlogOct 4
A friend from Lahore recently asked me, “What would you miss most about New York if you were to move back to Pakistan right now?” 
I thought about it for a few minutes…

Of New York Spring and Other ThingsExpress Tribune BlogMay 24
Growing up in Lahore, the monsoon was my favourite season – those muggy, motionless afternoons when the air suddenly exploded into a river of orange rumbling down from the sky, leaving  jungles in its wake…

Is there  a Pakistan to go back to?Express Tribune BlogJanuary 20
Last week, my husband and I finally booked our return tickets to Pakistan. It was a proud moment, a happy moment, not only because we had been saving to buy them for months, but because we had not been home in nearly two years…

Chowk: Musings at a Crossroadsmonthly column in Women’s Own MagazineJanuary
It’s a soft, mellow Monday afternoon on Beadon Road, Anarkali, that time of the day when people have just awoken from yummy siestas on charpayees under shady peepal trees…

2010

Warmly Wintermonthly column in Women’s Own MagazineDecember
It’s finally happened. 
The knock on the door, and an outstretched palm containing a steaming plate of food. Chicken-and-veggie rice casserole or Palestinian maqluba, to be specific, on a plastic white flower-patterned plate…

California Dreamingmonthly column in Women’s Own MagazineNovember
I’m sitting on a Virgin America flight to San Francisco, sandwiched between two very distinct gentlemen: one, a rotund avuncular specimen happily cuddled into a hot pink inflatable pillow, and the other a goggle-eyed, fuzzy-lipped stick figure…

Hello New York!, monthly column in Women’s Own Magazine, October
I’m sitting cross-legged on the dark brown laminate floor of our 3rd storey brownstone apartment in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. To my right is  a mound of tools…

The Third World BurdenExpress Tribune BlogNovember 9
We’ve all felt it, growing up in Pakistan – an intense altruism combined with intense guilt. We know that we haven’t done a thing to deserve the blessings we were born with, and that knowledge makes us extremely uncomfortable…

Celebrating Eid with AisamExpress Tribune BlogSeptember 14
Watching Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi almost win the Men’s Doubles Final at the US Open in New York – not a bad way to spend Eid…

When in America, do as the Americans don’tExpress Tribune BlogAugust 25
I moved to California from Pakistan in 2007 to start graduate school at UC Berkeley. Though I had come as a student, I experienced much of what a new immigrant experiences…

2007

Bhutto’s Assasination: Letter from LahorePBS Frontline / World DispatchesDecember 30 
Thank you for your emails. I am OK and so is my family. It’s Friday morning and the whole city is pretty much shut down…

2006

While the World Watches: Israel’s attack on LebanonThe Nation Sunday PlusAugust 13 
Last Friday, the 4
th of August, I took part in a protest against Israeli aggression in Lebanon. It was a muggy brown Lahore afternoon, the kind that always portends a monsoon thunderstorm…

The Dilemma of a Supremely Self-Conscious GenerationThe Nation Sunday PlusJuly 30
We’ve always ridiculed America for being the land of the plastic goddess, where girls regurgitate their dinners in the bathroom and live on celery sticks and mineral water…

“Give me bread, and I’m off to China”The Nation Sunday PlusJune
I was supposed to write a book review this week, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to read the book I had in mind. In fact, I’ve been stranded in the middle of three books for several months now…

Stormy LahoreThe Nation Sunday PlusMay
There is something so sublime about midsummer thunderstorms. There is something sublime about thunderstorms in general, but the Lahori kind are truly peerless…

On Pakistan’s Reaction to the Danish CartoonsFebruary (unpublished)
At the moment I am writing, torches blaze on Mall Road. Cars are burning, bullets ring in the air, shattered glass and blood smear the asphalt. Flames rise up from restaurants and shops I’ve frequented…

2001

September 11th: The Pakistan Perspective, The Junior JournalSeptember 16th 
Once again, Pakistan has gotten tangled in a very sensitive, very precarious issue of global concern. This may well be the first occasion that Americans have experienced a national tragedy of such horrific proportions…

1999

Coup ’99: First ImpressionsThe Junior JournalOctober 13th 1999
Yesterday, Tuesday, the 12th of October, 1999, was just like any other day. I came home from school, had lunch, and sat down to study for a Math exam…

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