Zara Maqbool

A therapist in training and freelance writer.

The thought did not cross my mind

By: Zara Maqbool  Last week I went to the China market in Rawalpindi. While crossing the road I saw a young boy sleeping on a small green patch amidst loud traffic sounds and very hot weather. This is neither a rare nor an unfamiliar sight for us in Pakistan. Yet seeing this boy, who is…

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Turning 40

 By: Zara Maqbool Age is just a number or so they say and I wholeheartedly believed it until I turned 39 and the reality of entering my 40s no longer seemed like a long way to go. I still continued to enjoy myself choosing to ignore what lay ahead. But then it seemed like 40…

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Summer Storm

    By: Zara Maqbool Bless my three beautiful children, but God knows it feels like being hit by a hurricane the day the summers started. How? Let me elaborate. For starters their wonderful body clocks to date refuse to sleep beyond 7:00 am whereas during school year waking them up was quite a task….

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Let Ramadan Begin

 By: Zara Maqbool  One of the many things that start when the holy month commences is how most of the morning show hosts start covering their heads with a half hearted attempt to cover the head and show part of the blow dried hair also. They contain themselves for this entire month abstaining from dancing…

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‘Be Strong’

 By: Zara Maqbool I have been working in a rehab facility since some time now. My initial exposure to drug addiction and substance abuse users brought mixed feelings of shock and empathy. Shock at the degree of damage the addiction can do and empathy for the addicts who are trying their best to break away…

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The Guilt Trip

 By: Zara Maqbool A dear friend of mine, a stay at home mom and homemaker asked me today. “Why do I feel guilty if I do anything for myself and where did this guilt come from?” I told her that I think our mothers have handed it over to us and they inherited it from…

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Date Night!

By: Zara Maqbool I asked my husband of sixteen years and counting on a date last week through WhatsApp. The two blue ticks indicated that he had indeed read my text but the lack of reply is what is very common in a marriage as old as ours. Of course my silence to that lack…

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True beauty lies in a Salon

By: Zara Maqbool A salon is like a second home for almost all the women irrespective of which part of the world they are from, of course the factor of affordability being there.  At least once a week a visit is a must for a single service or a range of services be it hair…

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Where are we heading?

  By: Zara Maqbool I am still reeling with shock over what happened in Mardan where a young promising life had brutally ended with no hope for justice. I would be shocked if the perpetrators are duly punished. Later we heard the news of a professor being murdered at her home because she was from…

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Writer’s Block

By :Zara Maqbool This is my thirty-sixth blog! Every week before my previous blog gets published; I already know what I want to write about. This is a first for me where for hours I stared at my laptop screen thinking what would be worthy of the reader’s interest. What can create awareness or impart…

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The birth order dilemma

By: Zara Maqbool Many years ago I wrote an article on the middle child syndrome and how middle children share many similar traits. I did not highlight how being the first-born and last one in the family also deeply impacts on who we are in this world. I believe that the birth order plays a…

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Boys Don’t Cry

By: Zara Maqbool  Stop crying! You are a man! I have heard this often said to my brothers and I have been guilty of saying it to my son also till my learning as a counselor made me understand what a tall order it was. How early on we pressurize the boys to start fitting…

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Say NO to Cyber Stalking

By: Zara Maqbool Harassment is not a novel concept to any woman in the world. Most of us have faced it in one way or another and moved on or maybe not. Sometimes we think we have moved on but at times that unresolved trauma stays with us and keeps haunting us in ways that…

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Sin or Swim

By: Zara Maqbool Last night I had the misfortune of coming across a morning show. I had the choice of quickly changing the channel but the unexplainable and obnoxious dance number taking place made my fingers powerless to change the channel. Also the deadline of submitting a blog breathing down my neck every week piqued…

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NO TV Dinners  

By: Zara Maqbool  No TV dinners? Easier said than done! I work in the afternoon, which allows me an hour or so in which I have to make sure the kids have eaten their lunch, changed their clothes after being back from school and so on. Stressed out due to time I used to give…

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Click Away!

By: Zara Maqbool  When did it really start? When did we feel that we have to capture all our important moments of our life in our smart phones, yet very mindfully selecting those images that are society worthy experiences? Do we feel we would only become significant to others if they knew we did something…

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Déjà vu

By: Zara  Maqbool  So after my last week’s blog got published, ‘Switching off the mommy mode’, I received feedback from men and women questioning my logic and desire to travel alone as I had earlier mentioned in my last blog. After a most wonderful vacation spent sans hubby and kids, I no longer feel the…

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Turning off the mommy mode

By: Zara Maqbool I am blessed to be a mother of three children. A teenager, pre-teen and a toddler, the apples of my life and the reason I breathe and smile. For the past thirteen years I have never traveled alone without my husband or kids, this thought never crossing my mind. How can I…

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Mindfully De-stressing

Stress is like a second skin that almost everyone wears these days. Marriage, relationships, careers, home; you name it and we all have our own bucket list of stress. We all face time and again mental and emotional pressure, some more than others. We also have our own ways of coping with it. Some go…

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Learn not Earn

By: Zara Maqbool The Sindh Assembly has collectively passed a bill against employment of children below the age of 14, which makes child labor an offence carrying a punishment of prison term and fine. The Bill states up to six-months’ imprisonment and a fine up to Rs.50, 000 for the offenders. And if a child…

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March For Your Right

  By: Zara Maqbool Right after the first day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, massive women marches took place across US and worldwide, expressing concern that women’s rights will be violated under Mr. Trump. It was a women’s march but there was so much more in its spirit. I felt inspired and awed by these women…

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