What I Read in The Past Month

An [Simone Sigone] 18 year old French Resistance fighter during the Liberation of Paris, August 19, 1944
The Meaning of Allahu Akbar by Mehreen Kasana [x]

Rewarding men of war by Pervez Hoodbhoy [x]


Woman in Kohat gunned down by relative for working: police by DAWN [x]

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New chapters in resistance by Mehlab Jameel [x]

115 charged with burning Christians’ homes acquitted by DAWN [x]

I am like the other girls. by Lara Witt [x]

‘For anyone who needs a dose of motivation or several doses, please read this’ [x]

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How Taylor Swift Played The Victim For A Decade And Made Her Entire Career by Ellie Woodward [x]

Mother ‘told to prove lactation’ at Frankfurt airport by Tessa Wong [x]

Brunhilde Pomsel, Goebbels’s Secretary and Witness to Nazis’ Fall, Dies at 106 by Robert D. McFadden [x]


We Used The Guys In Our Office To Prove Every Man Is More Attractive With Kajal by Nirali Shah [x]

Are You Asleep on Duty by Kanra Khan [x]

‘Over 2,500 families displaced to make way for economic corridor’ by E-Tribune [x]


Autocracy: Rules for Survival by Masha Gessen [x]

Diamonds are a girl’s best symbol of oppression by Kisa Abbas [x]

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Is Suing Hundreds of Hawaiians to Force Them to Sell Property to Him by Dan Mangan [x]

Roads to nowhere – Pakistan’s misguided obsession with infrastructure [x]

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Art by Abdullah Syed

Atif Aslam, Karachi Eat, the woman in the back row and the lies we tell ourselves by Hamna Zubair [x]

Slender Man: how a modern urban legend came to haunt a generation by Mark Butler [x]


A pleasant surprise by Shadi Abdelrahman [x]

Aangan by Khadija Mastoor [x]

Stuff I watched this month

Daam [x]

The Big Question | SNG Podcasts [x]

The Trip [x]

pics from [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x]

#KarachiEat 2017

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This food festival has been the talk of the town since the past two weeks; a feat that hadn’t been achieved in its past 3 years of establishment. At first the hue and cry was about their ‘no stags’ policy. A much appreciated and needed move which tickled the privileged gender in all the wrong areas. Then it rained on the very first day of its opening. There were no backup plans and electricity was switched off in the midst of the festival; the stall owners and the patrons both faced a lot of hindrance because of it. The irresponsibility on the management’s part wasn’t even amusing this time. I regularly check AccuWeather for updates and it had actually mentioned rainfall from Friday to Saturday. The fact that the management chose to ignore this and later didn’t even bother to compensate (at least this is what i heard) the visitors for tickets they had bought says mountains about it.

Anyways, fast forward to this week.

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Frere Hall

Since the venue was again Frere Hall, parking was bound to be an issue. However CKO was providing shuttle services and Careem was giving rides from all over Karachi in Rs 250. This effort to take responsibility for the traffic was appreciated.

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Apart from that, the tickets were priced again at Rs. 250. I honestly would’ve skipped the event because of this and also because of my horrible experience last year. However, EasyTickets and SIM SIM mobile partnered with CKO events, and for their publicity, gave tickets on discounted prices. All one had to do was to download apps of both aforementioned companies, sign up, and book tickets from there.

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So yeah, my fam and I, comprising of four people got tickets for Rs. 99 each which was awesome.

We reached Frere Hall at 12 pm, no parking issues, and entered the event with a nasty shock. 75% of stalls weren’t fully opened. At 12 pm. What are these stall managers. I understand that y’all have been working hard for the past two weeks but this wasn’t an excuse to not open at the right time. Why do you guys do this?

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Khair. We grabbed a table and then wandered around to check what’s ready and what should be left for later. (There were good seating arrangements this time, btw. No umbrellas to escape from the sun but a lot of tables were set up.)

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My first stop was to Nora’s Got Sweet Tooth. I met Bisma, the lone CEO of this venture, who was very energetic and trying to make everyone comfortable. After some speculation, I bought their granola bar for Rs. 150; haven’t tried it yet, but let’s hope its worth the hype on SWOT’s.

Then I went for Naan Sahab. Everyone who went on the first and second days had been raving about its stuffed naans so had to try those. Chicken Cheddar Naan was my pick; looking similar to calzone, hot and puffy, it was delicious. It costed me Rs. 250.

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Please don’t go on its looks. 😦

A lot of my friends had tried chicken strips from Cosmos so I bought those too. Was first a little apprehensive since i didn’t like the way they looked but oh my god. They were so light despite being deep fried. I had had chapli kebab from The Chapli Kebab House before chicken strips, it was quite heavy and made me feel nauseous, totally not the quality they have been producing in the past 2 years. So anyways, I forced myself to eat a chicken strip after the chapli kebab, and it was quite refreshing. Will definitely try them when i next go to Cosmos.

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Chapli Kebab was priced at Rs. 200 and Chicken Strips from Cosmos left me Rs. 250 poorer.

Sitting and walking an hour in the bright sun, and only warm water to quench our thirst, compelled us to get some drinks. Miftah’s mojitos were a life saver! They charged us Rs. 200 per drink and we bought 3. Definitely a bit pricey but they managed to revive our sinking spirits.

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Then we headed to Desi Gali. Now, i’m the ‘jitna ghaleez, utna lazeez’ type of person. In normal circumstances I wouldn’t even think of having chana chaat from some fancy place but their products looked tempting enough for me to make the jump. I bought chana papri chaat for Rs. 180. Loved every bite of it. Returned back to the stall and bought their peri bites for home. Haven’t tried them yet but mum said that they are good too. Now i’m regretting for not buying more stuff from there.

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I was planning to skip Lady Marmalade. Earlier this month I hoarded on a lot of desserts so wanted to avoid anything sweet in KarachiEat. But I couldn’t stop myself (since when i have gotten this sweet tooth, what the hell?!) and bought Lady Marmalade’s famous funnel cake which was topped with a nutella dressing. Opted out for the icecream scoop so it cost me Rs. 200. Extremely light and yummy, finished in minutes and now I want some more.

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A visit to PeakFreans’ stall was a must. Beautiful decor and innovative use of PeakFreans’ products. Definitely a trip to the memory lane. I wanted to try their icecream sanwich which they were sadly out of stalk, so bought their Chocolate S’mores and Panna Cotta for Rs. 50 each.

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Dad even got haleem from some stall. We couldn’t fine the much loved Shaan’s stall so the haleem from random place was to do in its place. It was being charged at Rs. 80 and then when the crowd increased, the prices were raised to Rs. 100. Wasn’t yummy either, just your average daily haleem.

We even bought Peshawar’s namkeen boti. No idea how much it costed and haven’t tried it yet. I hope its good because there were mixed reviews about this stall.

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So this was it. I hope whoever attended the event had a good time; if you know the places where delicious stuff actually is, then pretty sure you won’t have any regrets about paying those 250 rupees as an entrance fee.

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What I Read In The Past Few Months

Outside a pub in Clerkenwell, England (Tweet by @DanielAlpert)

Pulling punches by Gibran Peshimam [x]

Four rights activists gone missing this week by DAWN [x]

سلو کا بلاگ | صفحے سے باہر ایک نظم by Salman Haider [x]

How to encrypt your entire life in less than an hour by Qunicy Larson [x]

A DIY Guide to Feminist Cybersecurity [x] (I haven’t read this yet, but considering how important it is to be safe, i’m sharing it right now)

Tweet by @Archillect

What Pakistan’s Sexual Harassment Problem Really Looks Like by Taha Siddiqui [x]

Why we still need John Berger’s Ways of Seeing by Emma Hope Allwood [x]

Pakistan Has a Drinking Problem by Mohammed Hanif [x]

2007, not 2016, is the year the world turned upside down by John Naughton [x]

Tariq Road high-rise project draws severe public criticism at Sepa hearing by Faiza Ilyas [x]

Tweet by @ipunjaban

The Loneliness of the Spinster by Hannah McGregor [x]

Falling business confidence by Khurram Husain [x]

‘War on terror’ has cost Pakistan $118bn by DAWN [x]

Burma’s Million-Strong Rohingya Population Faces ‘Final Stages of Genocide,’ Says Report by Rishi Iyengar [x]

Securing your communications isn’t a solution to political problems, but will still help you stay safer. A resource: [x]

Resting, Amrita Sher-Gil, c. 1939, oil on canvas


Donald Trump is moving to the White House, and liberals put him there by Thomas Frank [x]

52 killed in suicide attack on Balochistan shrine by Saleem Shahid [x]

Karachi to lose oldest bookstore for lack of public interest by Arshad Yousafzai [x]

عوامی جگہوں، مثلاً ڈھابوں پر اطمینان کیسے محسوس کیا جا سکتا ہے؟ by Girls At Dhabas [x]

Is feminism ruining romance? by Viren Swami [x]

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Fuck Politeness, Let’s Rage: I’m Done Asking Nicely For Women’s Rights by Trisha Shetty [x]

Princesses are Terrifying. So Is Ivanka Trump. by Saddy Doyle [x]

A heartfelt piece on Junaid Jamshed by Wajahat S. Khan [x]

Cardiac distress symptoms in women via Tumblr [x]

Childbirth an athletic event? Sports medicine used to diagnose injuries caused by deliveries by Laura Bailey [x]

The scent of green papaya (1993) dir. by Tra n Anh Hung

MS1 and I (part 1)

I’ve been sitting with this page opened for the past 25 minutes, writing and deleting sentences, then starting off fresh again. In all honesty, i don’t know how to write about my first year in medschool. The plan was to relive my experience by telling y’all about how i juggled daily life, my mental health and studies but i’m struggling with words. It isn’t surprising though, when you traverse through an entire year without writing a single essay, words are hard to come by.

So now that we’ve established an opening and slowly getting into the zone, let’s begin with this post.

(I’m writing down my first year experience in parts because it’ll be too long if its assigned one post only.)

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View of the hospital and rest of Karachi from my uni.

I joined a Karachi based government medical university on merit earlier in 2016, feeling disgruntled and still in doubt of my choice since i had passed over the option of going to DUHS, one of the most renowned schools in Pakistan. This was also my first exposure to the kids from rest of the city; being brought up in a Cambridge system had left me secluded and quite pompous of myself. So yes, I was disgruntled indeed and felt quite out of place.

My main fear was that medschool is renown for draining life out of you and in the process of finishing my degree, i may end up losing the wider perspective of the world and my initial optimism and dreams. I guess that caused me to close up from my surroundings and look for company beyond my university, mainly through internet. I kept reminding myself that I was different from every other person in my batch, I swore that I won’t have my life revolved around school, and that I certainly won’t opt for domestic bliss over my profession in 5 years time.

The start of 2nd semester when I indulged myself into some luxurious food to make it up for my burn out.

I experienced my first ever burn out because of this. We had just gotten done with our semester 1’s finals and the week which followed it was when I struggled the most as I tried to catch up with my body and health. I found myself incapable of doing even the most mundane things and there was no one from school to whom I’d actually talk to about this since from the start I had shut everyone out. My new semester started with locomotor (musculoskeletal) module which I absolutely loathed. I skipped nearly half of it in the end, since I was trying to get myself together. Things got really better after that when I learned to socialize more, when the test results humbled me and when I found my niche, my group of friends. You always find them, no matter how out of sorts you are.

My first depression episode occurred right in the beginning of the year. I’ve been struggling with mental health issues since quite a few years so I have a fair idea of what course my depression takes. At first i lose my ability to study, then i stop talking; after that my appetite and weight decrease considerably. But this time it was different. The only thing which I lost was my weight, I grew unbelievably skinny, and it scared the hell out of me. I knew something was wrong from how my insides felt but that was that. It passed over, thank God. My life resumed to the equivalence of normal after a couple of weeks and I guess that’s the only episode of depression I have experienced this year.

An 80’s textbook on anatomy which I found in my storeroom in our new house.

In light of the above couple of paragraphs, I’d just like to mention how much I hate people, mostly relatives, romanticizing the hell out of medschool. For people on the periphery it is as if we are some super intelligent group of kids, who are perfect to be your offspring’s significant other. We are the trophy kids for rishta aunties, whenever there’s a family meetup, there’d be relatives speculating on your relationship status, or what you will be doing afterwards. No one talks about what consequences MBBS brings with it. No one realizes that maybe you aren’t that great after all, maybe you aren’t the cream of the society or other BS like that. Maybe the only reason what got you in medschool and what makes you continue it is constant studying and revising and discussing only medicine just so your concepts remain clear. No one talks about the fact that when you finally get a chance to look in the mirror, you internally scream because you don’t recognize that swollen face and ever increasing hairline. No one offers a shoulder of sympathy because you are suppose to be perfect since you are doing medicine.

It doesn’t work that way.

Preparing for the semester 2 finals.

Studying medicine is an extremely humbling experience. And while there are many moments when you feel scared and a helpless fool because there are so less people to empathize with you, there are also times when you know that you won’t have it any other way. Medicine is a package of sorts, it’ll break you into smaller and smaller pieces each and every time but whenever you reassemble yourself, there’ll be a new you whom you’d be proud of. School won’t stop for your life, life won’t be doing the same either. But there’ll be people to look out for you, people who aren’t just noise that wail because you don’t talk to them for months, but people who’d bake cakes and other goodies and dump them at your place when you are having your bad days. You get to recognize your soulmates in disguise of your friends, especially the ones who aren’t doing medicine but still understand your struggle. And i think that’s one of the beauties of medicine, you eventually find people whom you can lean on.

What I Read in The Past Few Months

by Chirag Bangdel

10 classic autumn poems about the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. [x]

Murdered for her selfies: Pakistan’s ‘Kim Kardashian.’ [x]

No Country For Bold Women is a blog which shares approval for Qandeel’s murder by the media under the hashtag #DigitalWallofShame.

The Bernie Sanders of Iceland is a Pirate, a poet and possibly the country’s next leader by Griff Witte [x]

What Do the Scary Clowns Want? by Bess Lovejoy [x]

A photographer took pictures of people at 7am and then again 7pm by Bethan McKernan [x]

Margaret Hamilton: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Took Us to the Moon by Jolene Creighton. [x]

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‘To cherish what is grown’                                                                    Seeding pomegranates after harvest to prepare syrup, Anbouh Village, Qazvin province of Iran.


My teen boys are blind to rape culture by Jody Allard [x]

JK Rowling and the Cauldron of Discourse by Sam Kriss [x]

Facebook recommended that this psychiatrist’s patients friend each other by Kashmir Hill [x]

Case of the missing news by Abbas Nasir [x]

54 voices: What we lost in the Quetta carnage by DAWN [x]

Ikea’s 2017 Catalog Is A Terrifying Glimpse Into The Tiny Apartments Of The Future by John Brownlee [x]

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“When the seige breaks, i’ll ask you to marry me.”                                                              Photograph from east Aleppo, 19 October 2016.

Just Me and Allah: A Queer Muslim Photo Project [x]

Qayyumabad’s long battle against DHA [x]

What Babies Know About Physics and Foreign Languages by Alison Gopink [x]

The fabric of honor by Asra Nadeem [x]

The Myth of Women’s Inferiority by Daniel Gaido [x]

Stop telling Muslim teens that mixing genders is some kind of fitna by Amani Ahmed [x]

10 Guidelines for Gender Relations in Islam by Muslema Purmul [x]

Today in microfashion by HONY


I’m not ‘triggered,’ I’m angry: Against the medicalization of women’s rage by Susan Cox [x]

ANP terms Aug 12 black day for Pakhtuns [x]

I Didn’t Wake Up Like This by Sonam Kapoor [x]

Here Are the 10 Scariest, Most Bone-Chilling Stories You’ll Read All Year by Jezebel [x]

10 More Terrifying Stories to Keep You Up at Night [x]

And this utterly beautiful rendition of medieval England which has been on repeat since the past two days. [x]