Haris Seyal

  • TDear readers, if you have ever felt that some of the content of my columns is too ‘ivory tower’ (read: bookish) and aristocratic, this one is for you.Probably the single most significant moment in my life thus far, came on a summer morning eight years ago. I was reading on the ...

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  • TThere’s something about growing up with a library in your home. Even though, till as late as A-level, I was still decidedly a non-reader (with the exception of my childhood love of Choose Your Own Adventure), in less than a decade I somehow developed an appetite for the written word - ...

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  • TDear readers, I am very embarrassed! Last week, certain events led to me acknowledge that it was an opportune time that I read/wrote on the social function of the newspaper. I thus so enjoyably read the University of Chicago sociologist Robert E. Park’s The Natural History of the Newspaper, ...

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  • TIf you have lived in Lahore long enough, you may agree with me when I say that there is something very uniquely evocative about Gulberg. Even people who have resided there for periods as short as a year, and spent much of their lives moving from one city to another, sometimes remain for years after ...

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  • TIf you are at all faint of heart, I strongly recommend you don’t proceed with reading this column. I have, uptil now, written one article after the other extolling the virtues of being raised in Pakistan - a country which, as I have repeatedly stressed, gives us access to both the English ...

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  • TAfter I wrote last week’s column - which dealt substantially upon the adultery epidemic in urban Pakistan - a female friend critiqued that I had overlooked the degree to which married women, too, are participants in this epidemic. Now, I’m glad I’m not a judge. Because I’ll ...

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  • TWhen I was a freshman at LUMS, in an effort to keep myself insulated from frivolities in my spare time, I took to sampling my first Sidney Sheldon novel. Soon, I was devouring all of them - a beautiful period in my life. Today, the mental filmstrip of those 18 novels is unfortunately quite blurred. ...

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  • TLong before most Lahoris had even known of a conceivable distinction between the healthy and the unhealthy in food, there was a sleepy little shop in Mini Market that was the joy of the more inspired of us. The shop’s name was Panjeeri, and, to anyone imbued with the ethic of the natural and ...

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  • TIf you’ve lived in Pakistan long enough, you may have witnessed one of the endless number of cases where someone died, say, to the negligence of a doctor, and seen that what invariably ensues are indignant protests to the effect that ‘our beloved so-and-so would have been alive, if only ...

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  • TIn urban Pakistan, it’s the nightmare of every father who has college-going children.“Daddy, there’s something I have to tell you.”“Yes beta?”*Long pause*Daddy is looking at Mom for cues.“What has she done?”“I know you strictly forbade me to, ...

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  • TThe fundamental premise of economics is that man has an inexhaustible desire for goods and services. And, if responsibly channeled, I think this penchant of ours is actually functional. That's because our ever-growing wants keep an ever-growing population busy working to meet them.Average Jibraan, ...

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  • TIn what may retrospectively be viewed as rather characteristically ‘German,’ Schmoller - a man of great influence - went as far as to publicly declare that members of the Austrian school were unfit to teach in German universities, effecting a complete exclusion of Menger’s ...

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  • TOver the course of the last decade, we have seen any number of people go off to Germany for higher education at various universities that offer virtually tuition-free programmes. I wonder if these people ever stop to think where the funding for their expenses is coming from. I hope they do, but ...

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  • TNoon. Mr. R is getting ready for a mid-day nap. His phone begins to ring. “Salam! Is this Rishta Uncle?” “Rishta Uncle??  No I’m sorry! - you must have the wrong number. This is Mr. R, the research guy.” “Oh, I have the correct number, alright! Rishta Uncle ...

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  • TPersonal growth is not the perfect term.. maybe heightened existential awareness would be better.. a certain proportion of widows.. develop a new appreciation for the preciousness of life. And a new set of priorities.. One might say they learn to trivialize the trivialities. They learn to say no to ...

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  • TThere aren’t very many indexes of human and social development in the world that show Pakistan to be a wonderful place to live in today. And I think it would be blatantly ignorant to start undermining the conclusions of the aforementioned evaluation schemes. Even then, over the course of the ...

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  • TAs Pakistan becomes increasingly permeated by the culture, fashions and lifestyle of the West, it’s also beginning to adopt some its most interesting social nuances.  As a matter of fact, given that in much of urban Pakistan being westernized in manner and speech is a valuable commodity ...

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  • TI’m a capitalist. No, that’s an understatement. Let me tell you a secret: as an individual who entertains no nonsense on the inseparability of capitalism from the tenets of Islam and the Abrahamic tradition, and as an intellectually responsible scholar of the social sciences, I would in ...

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  • TDawn, 6:30 am. Mr. R is getting ready for breakfast. His office phone begins to ring. “Good morning!” “Hello, is this Mr. R, the research guy?” “Yes, this is R. Thanks for calling! You sound distressed buddy, what’s the matter?” “Well, I am. I ...

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  • TPakistani people are some of the most beautiful in the world, so it’s at least a bit regrettable that we have to resort to improvising fallacious theories on aesthetic preference to guard our self-esteem.Unfortunately, that’s exactly what our country has gained notoriety for, being host ...

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  • TIf you live in an urban-setting in Pakistan, you’ve likely contemplated on the mystery of why we keep finding individuals in our society becoming ‘mullahs’ virtually overnight; men - young, old or in-between - going from being poster-boys of the laidback lifestyle to appointees of ...

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  • TI will not watch cricket. In fact, the resilience that I’ve developed to the undeniable allure of cricket matches for any young Pakistani - the Imagined Community that is almost palpable during Pakistan versus India - is of such a degree that it may occasionally elicit admiration from ...

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