Dear Rumi

Natasha Ahmed's works

Pakistan

Separated by Bridges

At a literary event earlier this year, I met a number of people I had gone to school with; people I knew in college, people I worked with and people I had randomly met at some time or the other. The event, held in the gardens of Mohatta Palace in Clifton, was a glittery, shining […]

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Life Unplugged

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 […]

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The Army Public School Responds

“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.

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Interview with Khalid Muhammad

Over the winter break, I had the chance to meet an upcoming Pakistani author, Khalid Muhammad, who wrote Agency Rules – Never an Easy Day at the Office. He agreed to record an interview over a casual cup of tea, which I am uploading here.

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Rage

There should be squares in every city reserved for the public execution of the Taliban. Let them swing. Five hundred Taliban, mostly low-level soldiers, sit on Death Row in Rawalpindi. Five hundred out of thousands released because our weak judiciary was intimidated, or because our corrupt politicians consider them allies. Five years ago, when the […]

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Tea at the Frontier

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.

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Where do Ideas Come From?

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 […]

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The Needs of the Many…

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 […]

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A Special Subset (Part I)

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 […]

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