Featured post

Shadow

Written by Tayyaba Aziz & Saqib Hussain   After 30 minutes of struggling to focus on work, Moosa finally gave up. He stumbled in hi...

Sunday, 28 August 2016

FREEDOM: YOURS AND MINE



At a local cafĂ© on her favorite spot Rafeya could see the beautiful beach. She was staring into the emptiness, slowly sipping on her coffee all alone.  Right then her childhood friend Sabiha taps on her shoulder and startled her.

“Oh you are here!” She says with a warm smile spreading on her face. Her friend who was sharp looking, smartly dressed tall girl, replied, “I’m here but where are you my darlin’?”
Rafeya passed a sheepish smile and continued gazing at the beautiful site outside the window as if it wasn’t enough to take it all in once glance. Thinking if she came prepared for the persuasion that was about to come up. For a moment they just sat there breathing in all that nature has to offer. As if lost in the sound of the waves and the frequent distant sounds of seagulls and the feel of the continuous cool breeze kissing their cheeks. 

Sabiha who was now staring at Rafeya, breaks the silence, “I’ll be straight to the point, girl”, then she bangs her palms on the table yelling, “ARE YOU INSANE?!”
People from other tables stopped and stared. Sabiha who didn’t seem to care, went on “this was your dream! Girl what is wrong with you? Isn’t this how we always defined our freedom?”
Rafeya looked up at her friend but before she could say a word, Sabiha continues “Freedom was never a stupid escape or a need to keep going, freedom for us was just freedom. You would regret your decision of giving up on your dreams for others.”
Her friend pause mid sentence as Refeya’s expressions turned from contentment to deep pensive one. As if she is far away, redoing all the mathematics to reach a sane decision. Busy in constant verification alongside, absorbing this new perspective shown to her.
Rafeya could feel her friend’s eyes on her face waiting on a response. She pulled out a glass jar from her purse and placed it on the table. The jar had a beautiful butterfly inside it, fluting and struggling to come out.
 “What is that? And why is it in your purse?!” Saibiha gasped.

Rafeya speaks up for the first time with the voice unusually calm, “Sabi, Define the word freedom for this butterfly. Tell me she doesn’t think of it anything other than getting out of this jar. Tell me her dream of escaping the jar is less important than the gardens and the flowers right now? ”
Sabiha just sit there dumbfounded. Rafeya went on with a Mona Lisa smile set on her face now “yes we had dreams larger than life but they are far less than my kids and my spouse now. My definition of the word changed. My family is my freedom, the significant dream and purpose that defines me.”
Sabiha who was now more sad than relaxed, faked a smile and looked away. Rafeya moved forward and place her hand on her friend’s and whispered “I can’t come with you now but I will always be here to support you. You go and live it up for both of us, Sweetheart”

Sabi smiled at her friend and pulled the glass jar towards her. She opened the jar and they looked at the butterfly flutter away. They sat there in silence which was more comfortable than ever before. Letting themselves be a part of that breathtaking sight of the sea. 

Friday, 19 August 2016

Weight Loss: Keeping it off!

 Written by: Zainab Waqar


Yay! I did it! I lost 65 lbs, which is almost 30kgs! Hats off to me!!

This was me six months ago: I was always the fat kid, and I struggled with weight all through my life up until now. It took me over sixteen months to reach my goals. Yes, this was a big deal to me!

Well, just then, out of the blue, I was offered a job as a teacher in a private school - with a handsome pay (just saying). And guess what. I accepted the offer and everything turned around but not necessarily for the better.

My schedule completely changed. I was not working out as much as I did before and some days no workout at all. The cherry on top: due to stress and workload, my bad habits of eating junk were coming back. I could feel my body changing and, after four months, I could see it in the mirror too.

No matter how hard I tried to keep up with my workout routine it was not working and I had to make a decision. I made the right one, which was to quit my job because nothing is more important than your health and my health was suffering. I missed working out and that great feeling of victory after a workout.

So here I start again, yes I have put on a few pounds but this is nothing to be depressed about. I’m happy that I made the decision early before all of it came back. I will just have to work harder. Honestly, if you want to keep the flab off you have to change your lifestyle because, if you don't, sooner or later you will be out of shape.

It all comes down to making the decision. Do you want to be healthy for the rest of your life or you only want to look good for a certain time period?

I made my decision and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. When you put yourself first it only means you love yourself enough. 

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Group chats these days...


The more social media advances, the more it gets easier to stay in touch with your friends, and not just friends, but your old friends, new friends, close friends, and barely friends.

Not that I’m ungrateful for this access to our childhood friends but in all honesty it can be pretty annoying at times. The first and the foremost dilemma come when your friends start to add their friends into your close group. In other words total strangers suddenly start crashing into your stupendous party. For some reason these new strangers-kind-of-friends will always become more active in the group than your actual friends. However these intruders most probably lack to understand your sophisticated level of humor.

Then there is usually an old friend who would call you out and then leave you hanging in the middle of the conversation, embarrassing you in front of all this new bizarre audience.

Soon this group has all sorts of people, and most probably your childhood bullies too. Yep, and that’s the height of awkwardness anyone can ever reach. Just when you start to think it cannot get more ridiculous than that, one of the members would start sending you selfies. Selfies of their car, of their bedroom, of the office, and kids and food and home supplies and what not!

It is frustrating having to go back in the phone memory and keep deleting the unreasonable pile of stranger’s assets in your phone, but be grateful that button exists.

Moreover the chat would become extremely fast paced that you start to lose track of everything. Check your phone and find another EIGHT HUNDRED MESSAGES to read after every five minutes. Meh! who has time for that? Just go with the flow and respond when you feel like.

So maybe one day you might feel the need to talk to one of your old friend from the group in a separate place, to avoid all this absurdity. Don’t even think about it! Even if this person is responding in the group chat but when you send them a private message, you are doomed. You will NEVER get a reply in the private and also this person might ignore you in the group after this mistake you made. This is some kind of a GROUP NORM or something. Once you break this rule you shall pay the price. Therefore beware of the undefined rules of the group chats; they can be anything, hiding in dark places, waiting for you. Oh well then there are always exceptions, we learn as we go. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes but then run as fast as lightening.

Happy chatting!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

When There Is NO Motivation!

What motivates you when there is no motivation?

Let’s say you don’t have an access to your computer or phone where you can see half-naked people with photoshopped unrealistic bodies to encourage a workout. And let’s say you only have 20 minutes on hand and there is no way to find a push to get you off that couch.

Here’s the thing, when you depend on external sources for motivation, you may face various obstacles at times:
One: You may NOT have access to it some days.
Two: You can easily get carried away and end up wasting your free time instead of using it to achieve your actual goals. Sounds familiar?
Three: When you get depended on these external sources, you can’t work on generating the internal drive and desire to reach your goals.

Note: Consider these obstacles for any goal in life, whether it’s your diet improvements, work or projects.

Okay back to lying on the couch and finding ways to keep ourselves from turning into potatoes. They say to adopt a new habit, set a trigger for it. Once you pull this off for almost a month and BAM! You have a new hard to avoid healthy habit already!

It reminds me of a sitcom, where they showed a chubby guy who would wear his grandma’s dress to respond to his the problems sent by his audience on the blog. Well then in the show his brother finds it out in a funny embarrassing situation and makes him change his trigger to something sensible. Anyway the point is no matter how silly your trigger may be it will help you get there.

Wearing your sneakers, sweat shirt or whatever prompts you.  
Now stop reading and start working! Go Go GO!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Motivation: The Letter

The girl walked to her room and opened a cupboard. With trembling hands she pulled out an envelope. Slowly she flipped it and saw her name written at the back. Carefully she unfolds the piece of paper she found inside.
Leaving the cupboard open she falls right there on the floor, holding tight on the letter. She starts to read…

Hi Nida,
How are you, Sweetheart? Since you are reading this letter, I don’t expect you to be okay. Oh that’s an understatement. You are probably drowning in the pound of your own tears. Alright that didn’t help much…. err just saying you did the right thing. Tell me you are smiling right now and I’m already half way there. Some persuader, huh?

The truth is you don’t have to tell me anything. I know you and you can go ahead and cry, shout, scream your lungs out. Do whatever it takes to keep you moving forward. I know sometimes it NOT easy to follow the ‘DON’T GIVE UP’ signs. Especially at times like these when you literally see your haters burn it all down to ashes. And you can’t do anything about it because all the damage is done indirectly. Leaves you confused and frustrated. If you ask me, Love, it’s not just external attacks but the internal fears, doubts and stress too. One can only break you down when the attacks are from all directions including the CORE.


All you need to know is its okay to press the PAUSE button some times. I have seen you fail, I’ve seen you breakdown and give up. But my dear girl, I have also seen you WIN, conquer and survive! I’ve seen the undying faith in you that kept you striving like a mad person who is blind to threats and distractions.
The faith that kept you going for years now, don’t let it fade away. You can’t quit when you are this close to your dream. Don’t let them win by losing the final battle to your own fears. Whatever lies inside of you, are the things you have complete control on. Get to work and mend your soul. Repair unlimited amount of faith you have always held in you. Never let something so soothing run short on space by negative burdens. Here’s the key: Keep the malicious of the foreign subsidiaries away from the headquarters, i.e. your Heart.


P.S: I will be waiting to see you there.

Love

Nida


Friday, 5 February 2016

Fitness: Little Changes

A friend of mine would always complain about not being able to exercise because her favorite site is blocked. Now that youtube is back in our country, I asked her if she followed an online workout routine and she literally paused to think of an updated valid excuse. I told her she is not invited to my wedding if she won’t shed off some weight. And instead of taking my threat seriously she told me she would come as the groom’s friend.

Oh well there are people who would never listen even if it’s for their own good. And then there are people who would leave you far behind in things you thought them. That reminds me of the girl I wrote about in  the post: Fitness: A True Story
This girl used to weight above 100 kg and now she is a gym instructor! And she has never been to a business school yet started running her own gym in a month! WTH?!! I was the one who made the best gym layout in Quality Management class. I was the one to plan and design the entire free promotion campaign for my gym in some class I attended out of boredom. All of my awarded and applauded hard work is rotting somewhere in the store room. Fitteh muh

*Sheds a tear* Anyway it all comes down to this, workout is a need. How many more unmet needs are you going to add to the baggage? 
Also that girl in the green tea Ad is telling you the truth. Green tea does work, especially for us Pakistanis. Only if we can switch from the regular desi-full-milk-tons-of-sugar tea after the meal to a green tea would do us a world of good. This heavy black Tea after meal slows down the digestion. Remember whatever goes wrong in your stomach would be visible on your face instantly. Whether it’s pimples or scars that just won’t fade away, trust me I know. And I also know all the rewards you get after switching to green tea.
If you can’t make these little changes to prove you care about yourself, who would? STAY FIT, STAY HAPPY!

Friday, 8 January 2016

Stop Messing Up Your Kids

When I was 6 years old my mum and aunt told me if I pray for a brother I’ll be blessed with one. They made it an after school ritual for me. After ‘Salam’ and throwing my bag away, next came praying and crying to for a baby brother. 

Few weeks later I came home and there was GOOD NEWS! They told me now I have a baby brother! We excitedly went to the place where angels distribute babies. To my disappointment it turns out that my baby brother is my aunt’s new born. Before I could question anything, they told me, “He is your brother, it’s just angels accidentally gave him to your aunt.”
It might have made me happy at that age, but with time this lie started to mess things up for me. I mean for more than half of my life I believed with conviction that angels made a mistake! Not only that, to defend this lie I would fight with his siblings. Besides I was the one who asked ALLAH for him in the first place!

I would go check on him in kindergarten every day. The entire school believed Zafar is my brother and Zaib’s cousin, when it was the opposite. All of my time was spent with my little brother every single day of his childhood. In return naturally the kid started to stick with me, his Aapa, more than with anybody else. 
Nothing mattered until my aunt had to move out of town. What if it happened during my childhood? Wouldn’t the outcomes have been worse?
We don’t realize how the aftereffects of one stupid lies could be crippling and devastating. A part of your child would always stay stuck in it, disturbing their ability to deal with facts.

Parents and adults see lies as an easy way out. Anything that is not true may block pain for a short-period but that short-period would keep distorting the reality forever. This damage is continuous and it could be avoided if you care to explain things. When kids start to demand reasons they are at the age to learn to deal with truth and realities of life.
Parents are mostly the first people a kid trust wholeheartedly, don’t sabotage this beautiful faith they hold in you.