Maria Sartaj

The writer is a freelance columnist with a degree in Cultural Studies and a passion for social observation, especially all things South Asian. She tweets @chainacoffeemug

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A week full of the letter P

A week full of the letter P

When Najam Sethi took to the stage at the pompously held and brilliantly organized PSL finals in Lahore, a section of the crowd erupted into Go Naw ...

Stomachs filled with despair

Stomachs filled with despair

A cat followed me the other night and proceeded to enter through the gate as our car sprinted into the garage, then she stood patiently in a corner ...

Children of  a lesser God

Children of a lesser God

The attitude in Pakistan towards child labour is a hypocritical one; everyone collectively (and rightfully so) raised a hue and cry when ten-year-o ...

Welcome back Indian movies

Welcome back Indian movies

Ya allah tera lakh lakh shukar hai (I thank you many times God) exclaimed a housewife upon hearing that the ban on the screening of Indian films ha ...

Objection, objection

Objection, objection

I am asked, “Why do you visit dargahs, what can a dead man possibly give you?” by a friend or a loved one every time I have visited a S ...

Men who promise marriage

Men who promise marriage

Many love affairs in Pakistan begin with the promise of marriage; the man readily shows an inclination to interact with the woman’s mother ev ...

A Karachi that discriminates

A Karachi that discriminates

Nothing divides people more than money. No religion, caste, creed or country creates more division than our social status. We are measured by the s ...

The friendly racist

The friendly racist

Last week, global citizens of social media raised a hue and cry over Air China’s racist precautions offered in their in-flight magazine. The ...

69 years of feeling inferior

69 years of feeling inferior

They can stock up on all the masalas (spices) from desi (local) grocery stores, yearn for mangoes of the langda variety, watch back-to-back episode ...

My “Pakistani Islam”

My “Pakistani Islam”

Oh, hey it’s you, the reader; give me a minute as I have some condemning to do online. You see last week I condemned the Turkish Airport blas ...

The selfie-ish society

The selfie-ish society

The late Qawaal Amjad Sabri is said to have asked for some water from bystanders, as he bled to death, but his plea was ignored as people busied th ...

Inbox-love

Inbox-love

“Hello, at least talk to me please. I’ll buy you a laptop, a new phone, anything you want. Please respond,” urged the contents of ...

The mindless morning shows

The mindless morning shows

Oh boy, I’m running late, my chai is still brewing on the stove; my stomach is grumbling these morning weddings I tell you, they can create a ...

Kali Pakistani

Kali Pakistani

I’m the girl who’s instantly offered whitening facials in a salon even if I go to get my upper-lip hair waxed. I’m the woman in a ...

M for Mustafa Kamal

M for Mustafa Kamal

The mohajirs (immigrants) in Karachi now have a new messiah in the form of former mayor to Karachi, Syed Mustafa Kamal, and he is their ray of hope ...

The hearty Pakistani

Imagine being at a Pakistani funeral: everyone is sobbing away and the newly widowed female is trying to smash her bangles ala Hindi movies but is ...