Zara Maqbool

A therapist in training and freelance writer.

Branded Bandwagon

By Zara Maqbool   Have I been jumping on the branded bandwagon? It’s a question I ask myself many times when the shopping impulse becomes uncontrollable and I have to see whether I am shopping a brand or actually being quality conscious. Ever since my first born came in this world fourteen years ago I…

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Is it a shame to be shy?

By Zara Maqbool Yesterday one of my clients asked me, “Do I come across as a shy person to you?” The question would have taken me for a surprise had I not known his history. His parents had always shamed him for being shy and sissy. Otherwise his first impression was of a charming confident…

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Work On Your Child’s Self Esteem

 By Zara Maqbool  In my short counseling career, one thing that has stood out for me very starkly again and again is how all my clients suffer from low self-esteem and self-worth. This low self-esteem is being carried by them from their child hood and greatly affects their relationships and their life goals. I commonly…

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Naik Parveen Syndrome

By Zara Maqbool Humsafar, Mann Mayal and the currently running Yaqeen Ka Safar and a few more popular Pakistani dramas have one thing in common; a ‘naik parveen’. The female protagonist is a traditional innocent looking girl who come hell or high water will keep her head covered with a dupatta. She is a shy…

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The Informed Choice

By: Zara Maqbool Last week I took my 10 years old to Shifa Hospital Islamabad to consult with a gastroenterologist.  He had been suffering from some vomiting and stomach issues.  I normally take reference from some trusted source when consulting with a doctor I don’t know about but this time checking his credentials I took…

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Safety is more important than good manners!

By: Zara Maqbool   I recently came across Farhan Akhtar’s open letter to his daughter where he talks about issues that we all tip toe around especially as parents to our children.  He talks about issues that not many fathers would be comfortable to talk to their daughters about.   It’s a fact that we…

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Do I Know What I Want?

By Zara Maqbool  In my 40th year I can proudly say I have a professional career that seems like the best choice for me. A career that I feel deeply connected to and simply put, “I have found my calling!” Starting with science subjects because our school didn’t offer any other choice, going into medical…

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Why Care?

By: Zara Maqbool   My friend Farah is the inspiration behind this blog. I was sharing my frustration at not knowing what to write this week when she asked me, “How about global warming?” And to be honest hating geography in college somehow this topic did not pique my interest at all. She then asked me,…

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Cut It Out

 By: Zara Maqbool Its been a year since I have started seeing clients and one feeling that pre-dominates all others after the sessions is a wave of helplessness and an overwhelming need to raise awareness on so many issues that I feel at a loss as to where to start from. Luckily I got this…

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No Refund Or Exchange

By: Zara Maqbool   Part owner of a fast food franchise, what we focus most is on developing a good relationship with our customers. The question that we ask ourselves repeatedly is how to make the customer happy, even at the cost of sometimes making less profit. But not every business owner believes in the…

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The Self-Appointed Judge

By: Zara Maqbool Just a few days back I saw an Eid picture of Ali Zafar and his wife where the latter was wearing a ‘bindi’ on her forehead. The post was heavily criticized by many, calling her a ‘Hindu’ amongst other things, till today when I was searching for the picture to send along…

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You Should Lose weight!

 By: Zara Maqbool In my work as a counselor I have come across quite a few clients who were body shamed as children and in teenage years, mostly by their mothers. Body shaming means, “the action or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size.” Always skinny…

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Damsel in Divorce

By: Zara Maqbool Divorce! A double-edged word that is a painful choice taken by a person; male or female and judged and scorned by the society at large. My friend Uz Abbasi rightfully says, “ This word society is misleading and in this day and age seems passé”. Touché! I am guilty of using this…

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I Fell In Love Again!

By: Zara Maqbool On the eve of 14th August, the 70th year of Pakistan’s independence, as I stood on a bridge in the capital city and beautiful fireworks lit the skies, I fell in love with Pakistan all over again. The spirit of people, rich and poor as they roamed around with flags in hands,…

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Psychosomatic Pseudos

By: Zara Maqbool Sister to a very caring and loving brother, and a very competent doctor, for years every time I reached out to him to discuss any physical ailment I was mocked by him and never taken seriously. Whether it was my appendix, which he felt the doctors took out cause they had nothing…

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The Girl Who Cried wolf!

By: Zara Maqbool It’s been a couple of days since PTI MNA Ayesha Gullalai announced she is leaving the party, attributing the reason to mistreatment of women in PTI and serious character assassination of Imran Khan. Her statement sent a huge wave of protest especially amongst the PTI women who felt this allegation judged their…

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Dodgy Drivers  

  By: Zara Maqbool After almost two decades I traveled on the GT road for a family wedding. It was a thirty minutes stretch off the motorway to Sargodha city and saying that we almost died would not be an exaggeration. A single road with two way traffic, fast and rash car drivers but what…

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Pretty Little Liars

By: Zara Maqbool According to Google, a white lie is “ a harmless or trivial lie, especially one told to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.” But does it really prevent hurting someone’s feelings especially in the long run? Because in our defense when we say these ‘white lies’ we feel saying them is more important than…

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Stunt Men!

By:  Zara Maqbool After many years I spent quite a few days in Lahore because of a family wedding. What is important is not that I stayed in the walled city but because of the wedding I had to travel more than just a trip from my parents house to my in laws house. And…

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Toilet Training

 By: Zara Maqbool  Last week on my visit to Lahore I visited one of the new big fancy malls that have recently opened up. Coming from Islamabad where we get excited to see the only big mall we have, these shopping malls seemed much more grand and extravagant. Although the brands were more or less…

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Is there a choice?

By: Zara Maqbool This year my maid/ children’s ‘Apa’ who had been with me for almost fourteen years got married. My biggest regret when it comes to her are two things: Firstly for never educating her literally and secondly for employing her when she was eleven years old. Between kids and many other excuses I…

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