From mummification to ‘sky burials’:Why we need death rituals

ASHES to ashes, dust to dust. Few liturgical phrases from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer are so familiar to so many, even those who have never darkened the doors of a church. This part of the funeral service, taken from the book of Genesis, is also reflected in what priests say when they sign […]

Fasting – A Body/Mind/Spirit Healing

Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an: “And seek (Allah’s) assistance with Patience and Prayer; and truly it is extremely heavy and hard except for those with full submission. Who are certain that they are going to meet their Lord and that unto Him they are going to return.” 2:45-46Numerous Prophetic traditions interpreted the ‘Patience’ […]

Ramadan & Ramazan schedule

IN the departure lounge near Gate No 308 at the Istanbul airport there’s a coffee shop, which has thrown a few chairs and tables near the exit to cater to its needy customers whose flights are delayed. It was here that I got an important glimpse the other day of how one can still frontally […]

Note to journalists: How not to write about Ramzan

It’s the time of the year when Muslim communities across the world give up eating and drinking during the daylight hours and spend most of their time immersed in the remembrance of god and generally trying to be a better version of themselves. Truth be told, one has never bought this learning to resist one’s […]

Here is the main difference between a Pakistani soap and Indian soap

Over the last few years, Pakistani soaps have found popularity across the border for, among other things, having a finite episode limit and letting characters go to bed and wake up without tonnes of makeup. It’s also the place where Fawad Khan, who some might call Pakistan’s best import, found his footing before he arrived […]

A son’s tribute to his beloved parents

 Parents are the only people who stand by us throughout our life. They love us and nurture us. They equip us with knowledge and shape us into who we become. They make endless sacrifices for us. Sadly, as we grow up, we get caught up with the numerous engagements of life, and forget to appreciate […]

Lethal Toll of Non-lethal Weapons

On April 21, 23-year-old Hilal Ahmad Ganai, of Barpora, Pulwama, was hit by pellets in his chest, head and face after police fired air guns towards the youth protesting against the vandalisation of the local graveyard. He was brought to Sri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital in Srinagar where doctors said his right eye had lost […]

Kashmir: A Water War in the Making?

IN Cameron Stracher’s 2011 novel The Water Wars, Vera and her brother Will struggle to survive in a country that has collapsed from an environmental cataclysm. The authorities hoard water, dam rivers, and even exploit clouds as glaciers vanish and polar ice caps melt. In their bid to find their lost friend, both the characters […]

What the media calls people who kill policemen

Nobody knows what to make of them, this army of people who rose up in the heart of a populous city and turned on state forces. Elsewhere – in the jungles of Chhattisgarh, the chowks of the Kashmir Valley or the hills of Manipur – they would have been called terrorists, militants, insurgents, leftwing extremists. […]