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Short Story: Shadow

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

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

UN-Recognized : WHO YOU ARE

There was this guy at my institute who would play beats on the rostrum during our short breaks. It was amazing to see how he could understand every single beat of a song and play it. Anybody could spot him as a potential musician.

One day I couldn't resist but ask him about his plans concerning his music talent.  That day I found this guy was not only talented but also very passionate about music.
He told me he would follow his dreams after completing his studies, getting a decent job and then settling in life.
He unveiled a long list of his present commitments. At the end he firmly added that one day he would become a musician. There was a long pause then I smiled at him sadly. Unfortunately all his friends agreed with him except for me.

Now let’s see how it actually goes in real life. This guy will keep holding his passion for other important stuff like studies, jobs and then marriage. Funny how he lacks to see that it does not stop here. With time responsibilities and commitments would multiply.  It would only be too late to realize the sweet easygoing life has slipped away. The once passion would now become his obsession. Miserably then he would not have the strength to reach it. “Obsession is a young man’s game” as the old man says in the movie The Prestige. In the end life passes by but life never happened.

So my friend would you wait till all your youth, vitality and spirit has drained away along with your passions? 
Remember what Saito says in the movie Inception,
"Don't you want to take a leap of faith? Or become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone!"

Regardless of how hectic life you live passion, aspiration and ambition make way for itself. Initially it may seem difficult but nothing is impossible. Once you start following your heart your desires would drive you to success.

Certainly nothing in this life is worth keeping a hold on your dreams. Dreams are ambiguous and recognizes no boundaries no limits. No matter how crazy, absurd or impractical your dreams may seem they are meant to be that way for a reason. The reason is they make you special, remarkable and extraordinary. Your dreams make who you are.

You just get one chance, live it or lose it. Youth is your only chance. Now is the right time, you have the right energy and the strengths. Here is my advice, start following your dreams today. Go on and let your sparkle surprise yourself and everyone around you.  Show the world, what you are worth. Show them who you really are!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Last Hope

Our life is just an unsolved mystery
Future unsure and the rest is history
All precious moments were spent in haste
I tried my best but it’s gone to waste
Sometime I find it hard to see
In future what and where I’ll be
Another hope died another shattered dream
And down my face hot tears stream
As I sit there with my hands tied
Hiding my face I bitterly cried
I tore away pages and everything in sight
No matter what I do, this burden won’t light
I want to runaway I want to scream
Scatter in pieces everything I dream
But then she came and found me crying
The person who had seen me trying
She came to me holding a guide book
In those sad eyes I didn’t dare look
Before I moved she held my hands
I never show it but she understands
She always knows how I feel
And she is always there to heel
She told me that I will succeed
She knows her faith is all I need
Her smile told me what she meant
Handed me the book away she went
So I started on it with all the strength I had
Expecting failure, but succeeded instead
Then I ran to the room where she slept
With a note saying “Thanks Mother” I left
No matter how hard my life may be

My mother, my last hope stays with me

Note: I wrote this poem eight years ago, in 2005... 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


As I sit here in my favorite cafe flipping the teabag label in my fingers gazing outside the window beside me. I wonder how quickly people adjust with the situations they are in.  Some people are good adapters, they quickly adapt to the new trends relationship brings with it. Whereas others might take a life time just to fit in this new relation.

One thing that I have learned the hard way is somehow we are and no one else is responsible for the circumstances we find ourselves in. If I blame someone else I would be wrong. Whatever I am today and whatever the situation I’m in, is all my own creation. You can never be happy in your life if you go on blaming others for everything. This life is yours and will result in good or bad based on only and only your own actions. This is another mistake we make in our relationships we keep on blaming the other person. It’s never about who did what it’s about what you do and how it is going to affect your life.

If they are the right person you would always care for.  Then why not be mature enough to talk, just talk that’s all you ever need. Talk to them no matter how panicked you are, or how mad you get. Remember only pain would result if you ignore. And when I say talk, I mean talk in panic situations, because anyone can talk easily in good times. However talk is hard when things are not going right. The couples that last a lifetime are the ones who can talk even when it’s hard.

In every relationship one person is always stronger and only guardian of it. And this person keeps on holding hard on all the gaps in the relationship. And when this stronger person gives up the relation is likely to end. This person is the optimist but sadly the one who is taken for granted the most.

When it doesn't work, don’t stay because you have been together for so many years. Time would not change that person it would only make you get used to of the tolerance. If you stay counting your years, it would just end up adding years of chaos you’d be regretful for one day…

Think of it this way, you made a huge investment and all you are getting in return are losses, would you keep on investing? Same goes for a relationship; we invest our time and efforts in a person, and if you do not get the same amount of love and care returned, it would hurt. It would only incur losses and by that I mean pain and regrets. No matter how much a person is crazy in love, people know when they are taken for granted. And one day they pick their broken self and leave.

It’s not the number of days, weeks or years you spent with a person but it’s about the priority given, the time invested and the efforts made for the person you love. This should be balanced on both sides or else both will lose.

At the end of the day you would find, it is never about funny, smart or rich person. It’s about the one who stays, who stands with you when the rest of the world leaves, and who was always there for you… 
I hope it helps and wish you a very happy life.... 

Monday, 18 November 2013

You vs. Friendship

Many times in life people would offer you relationships only against some favors. These favors being the unethical tasks you probably would like to avoid.  Such decisions are hard to take since you don’t know the results of either of them. Still such situations keep coming to challenge our moral judgments.

This is how these people would phrase it; ‘It’s either you do it and win our friendship, or you don’t do it and lose our friendship.’
And now this is how your moral instincts would see it, either you do it and lose yourself or don’t do it and win yourself.

If you do it for Friendship:
Let’s suppose they are your only friends and this friendship matters.  You would do this unethical task and become their best friends forever. And that’s the end of it.

No! Sadly this is just the beginning of your destruction.
You would become a best slave forever who works for free! Now that they know you would do anything to save this relation, they would start manipulating you. Congratulations you won yourself masters but not friends.

Well you saved this friendship to be happy, then why this puppet sad? Yes puppet is what you made yourself. Even scarifying yourself didn’t win you their friendship. So eventually you lose this friendship both ways.

Friendship certainly is a precious relation but since when did it become a selling item? See how you made an utterly self destructive choice.

If you don’t do it for your Moral Self:
Now for the moral choice you surely would lose their friendship instantly. Since its human nature no matter how mean they are, you would still feel anxious for a while. The good part is anxiety never breaks you; it only hits you to the ground. So here is my advice, take this fall then rise up and get back in the race again.

Definitely no one wants to lose friends regardless of what personality or nature they have. Nevertheless when I say friends I mean friends not some disguised agents of a company who came to buy you as their essential product.

Now you see you didn’t lose anything at all. You can never lose something you never had in the first place. You would know you made the right decision. Cheers! You won yourself self-respect and also the respect of others.

That’s not all you still have more reasons to be happy. Now you know that they find you valuable, superior, priceless and also wise. And the reason to laugh is, they thought you had a price tag.

Hence proved you do yourself right only by doing the RIGHT things in life. Always do the right thing no matter what it costs you. Trust me the cost would always be insignificant to the incredible results you would get. Stay Blessed! 

Saturday, 9 November 2013


We communicate with so many people every day. Ever thought how seldom do we really understand them? Among all the things our nation is deprived of; Understanding is an essential element.

We lack to understand why a person is furious. We would just consider them rude. Judging others before the real cause behind the fury is considered.  Stress from a traffic jam, or an argument with a loved one. Any other life’s tragedy or failure faced. People can be very unpredictable. They would never tell you every detail. Their current status would not always be on facebook. It would be on their faces only if we could read. One should be a good reader. Since the rest depends on your understanding.

Big companies struggle to understand their customers. At first understand customer requirements. Subsequently set strategies to fulfill these requirements effectively and efficiently. In order to show they care about their customers. This is not just one shot but an ongoing process. Hence in return companies get customer loyalty.  As a result they get successful.
My experience tells me this phenomenon does not limit to business alone. Let me show you how fits to our daily life.

In a class room who is the brilliant student? The one who knows answer to all questions ask? No. The brilliant student is one who understands the teacher best. Understanding what teacher requires. Sometimes teacher doesn't want the right answer. All they want to see is the right attitude.  

Although it might not apply to all teachers therefore it’s not easy to understand them on the first day. It depends on your capability to understand people, the sooner the better. Trying to understand is better than not trying at all.

Another example from my daily life: a good cook is not the one who can cook best food in the world. Or one who knows all recipes in the world. A good cook is one who can adjust to every person’s tastes.  People can have so many different tastes. Not just spice differences. Moreover they fancy different cooking styles. A good cook would ask, understand and try to fulfill every person’s requirements. It is not an easy task. Sometimes they have to skip some steps. Other times adding some steps in cooking process. Their perfect adjustment to all tastes is what makes them a Good Cook.

From these illustrations it is obvious that best is one who is flexible. In your daily life leave a room for understanding others. Understanding your loved ones is a way to show you care. Sometimes understanding is all they need from us. When you would understand life would become much easier. Many problems in our life roots to lack of understanding. 

Understanding also means accepting differences of people. Respecting their likes and dislikes without criticizing. Realizing that everyone is special just as they are. Making others feel special only by these little efforts can bring huge constructive changes in your life.. Remember respect given is respect gained. Now smile if you understand me… =)


Note: Story of VII grade. I wrote this back in my school days.

I still remember them like yesterday, all those carefree days at school.
 It was August and it had rained last night so we were very excited to go to school.
As usual I went to leave my bag upstairs in the classroom and came downstairs to search for my friends. I had to walk to my friends who were standing at the other end of the school wall across the ground. I was walking on the track which runs along the school ground but unfortunately I was blocked by my juniors standing in a big circle. I decided to walk through the ground instead of breaking through the enthusiastic group of boys and girls. As I stepped into the ground which looked pretty much dry, the next moment I found myself sitting in a big pond of mud, and people starring at me, as much shocked as I were.

I can’t say the same for my friends because they were so used to it. I was the tallest girl at school and very much jumpy and skinny, always running, laughing and falling everywhere. Once I broke my arm while playing with the 1st grade kids. And next day when I told my teacher what happened, my classmates busted into laughter including the teacher which I still wonder why?

Anyway this time it was different and much more embarrassing. So then I managed to stand up and look at myself. My shoes, my uniform all were filled with mud, making me look like a donut dipped in chocolate. I was always very conscious about my uniform but looking it like that at the beginning of the day was really shocking.
 My friends who were now standing by me, told me to go upstairs and wash it, so I did as they said. I washed it off but the only thing that looked a bit better were my shoes and my uniform turned out to be messier than ever. I wished for my fairy godmother, which never showed up and then I realized I don’t have one. Not that I believe in them… phhht…
I came downstairs and went to my Headmistress with my friends to ask permission to stay in the classroom. We were not allowed to stay in classrooms before assembly nor during it. At first she was too shocked to say anything when she saw me. Since she knew me as one of the most neat and tidy girl. Then she smiled and said with a big NO, that it’s not possible, I had to attend the assembly. How sweet of her…

I tried again but she just walked away as the bell rang. I learned two lessens that day; first, things are not always what they seems to be especially muddy ground that looks dry. Second, my Headmistress never had slipped in the mud pond, that’s why she didn't understand my feelings. So I went to attend the assembly with everyone staring at me and giggling.

I stood there cursing my height which always makes it impossible to let me go unnoticed. I wished to zap myself away or hide somewhere. Standing there felt like forever but the rest of the day wasn't that bad. It had started to rain again and we were too excited to study anymore. Someone said “why don’t we go out and study” we all started laughing; actually we were so excited that we would have laughed at almost anything.

Teachers trying too hard to drag our eyes and minds back to the lecture from the windows where we could see rain fall heavily. Soon they finally gave up and let us go out to enjoy the rain. It has never rained like that before.

We rushed out like ants into corridors, downstairs and finally to the ground. Headmistress announced that we could go home but those who waiting there vans and cars can stay and wait. But my friends didn't leave even those who could nor did I call for my car, because it felt so good to watch the rain pour just standing there. 

There was nothing as beautiful as our school building and trees that bathed in rain. We stood there watching children play and everyone smiling at each other for no reason at all. As if rain has washed away all our worries. The good thing was no one remembered anything about me falling, including me. There was no yesterday or tomorrow just today that seemed endless and eternal. We just stood there talking, laughing and enjoying the cool summer rain adding another beautiful day to our memories.  

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

My Crisis Management Skills

There was pin drop silence except for the sounds of scribbling pens. It was first day of the new semester’s first-term examinations. One hour to answer thirteen questions. At first glance I reckoned the exam paper was easy but quite lengthy for an hour.

I reached the last question when suddenly the room started to show some signs of life. To my surprise this time the fuss was caused by the teachers alone. I didn't know what the chaos was about neither did I care. Until I heard a very familiar name called.

The first picture that flashed in my mind was instantly shrugged. I hardly know any guy here in this new place. This must be some random guy bearing a familiar name.

I still raise my head to see who this random guy is.

And I freeze.

Shocked, speechless and eyes fixed on him just to be certain if he was really there. He looked back at me. 
He was sitting right next to me for an hour now. How come I didn't notice him? Didn't even watch him come in?
Shahzeb… My old school mate! My childhood buddy!

I was just about to scream his name out load when he quickly turned his head down. Funny how he guessed what was coming.

His awkward reaction brought me back to the examination hall. I returned to the answer sheet but my mind didn't. This is where I get my second heart attack. I had gone completely blank! OMG this is my major, this can’t be happening.

The teacher calls “Last five minutes.”

Thanks to my crisis management skills.  I quickly gathered myself and started writing. Unfortunately my hands refused to take any orders. OK so I need to work a little on those skills.

The excitement worsening my already pathetic handwriting. The examiner would think this girl panicked in the last few minutes. On second thought, no they wouldn't feel any difference since it was as awful as my usual handwriting.

Soon the corridors were packed with students. There was rising uproar of everyone laughing and discussing the exam. Shahzeb was out of sight. I started to search for him.
And there he was slowly walking towards me with the same old familiar smile on his face. 

“Shahzzzzeb…. What the hell are you doing here?!!”
He was quite at a distance when I yelled at him. The whole crowd around stopped and starting staring at us. Like me, he didn't mind the looks neither does my craziness bothers him ever. In fact his smile broadened.
Shahzeb told me he is also a student here but since he has a very hectic job routine. Hence sadly we’d hardly get to see each other much.  

We had just started talking when one of my enthusiastic girls attacked me. She didn't even notice I was talking to someone. She went on with “What did you write for blah blah blah….”
 I wasn't even listening.
Shahzeb backed up a little and turned to a guys group pretending to be in a conversation. I politely excused my girl and told her I need to talk to a friend.

As I started to walk towards Shahzeb rest of my girls appeared from nowhere and asked if I had checked the notice board. Before I could answer that one of my girl took me by the arm and pulled me to where the notice board was.

Board is near the staircase from where I could still see him standing there looking uninterested in the conversation. I caught him staring at me. This was a little sad and felt quite out of place. Sweet were those careless days when we would have had no hesitations, no egos, no peer pressure and no worries.  

I quickly turned to face the notice board and pretended to read. Just then I heard my name called. It was Shahzeb.

He softly said “I have to go now.”
I was like ‘oh OK…’

He quickly added with a smile “We’ll catch up later sometime.”

As he left all my girls gathered around me and started questioning me about him excitedly.

We had seen each other after a very long time. I had so much to tell him and so much more to ask. Despite all the interruptions it was nice to see him after so long. Just like the good old days. Naah it was even better. The type of feeling you get when you meet an old friend among a crowd of strangers. 

This spectacular institute is full of surprises! Just when I get used to the normal daily routine, it throws another unexpected incident in my face. Every day here is totally an adventure. Pleasant or unpleasant I’m enjoying every single moment of it... :) 

Monday, 4 November 2013

No strike for Smiles

Last day it was CNG strike and I was travelling back home from university. In the first bus I met a girl and figured she was from my hometown and also a student like me. When we reached the second bus stop, we had to walk some distance to catch another bus home. While walking towards the bus in that chaotic overcrowded place, I tried to talk to her but she ignored me with disdain. I didn’t mind that, I knew she was as lost in that madhouse as I was. It was also getting late. After a long brisk walk fortunately we found the bus. 
We squeezed ourselves on the footstep of the over loaded bus door. This girl deliberately winced at me showing her exhaustion. For me it was pure blessing to find a place just to hang in there. At least I am safe and finally going home was my first thought.  All the way home I was standing for almost three hours straight but still volatile and looking good. That furious girl was so stressed that she had a fight with the woman next to her. This woman started cursing her and created a scene. The whole bus went quite providing more attention to the already embarrassed girl. It surely was a rough day but it seems the furious girl had the worst.

There is a lot of stress these days earlier we had never ending electricity shortage problem and now this CNG problem. An average Pakistani is not happy, we are overstressed. Our jobs are affected, our studies are affected and so is our health and lifestyle.  It is driving my entire country fellows crazy. It is rare to find a single common Pakistani who is not angry or depressed on a CNG strike day. Despite all the trouble we are going through I want my country fellows especially women to cooperate with each other. It is easy to understand how badly affected you are because we are in it together. Trust me I know it’s not a good feeling. I know changing two buses on a CNG strike, is no fun at all.

The fact is when life is rough your fury won’t help it change. A person’s anger and animosity do them more harm than it does to people around them. Remember every problem has a solution all we have to do is find it, but if you can’t fix it learn to live with it. The faster you mold yourself in the rapidly changing circumstance of life the easier life would get. And happier you would be. Even in the business world we learn, those who do not change quickly according to the situations around them are left behind and soon get dissolved.

Yes there is CNG strike but no strike for your smile, no strike on a reason to be happy. Although it does affect us badly but despite that I want my country people at least the students to be patient and learn to find little happiness in every single day of life. Rough days should not stop you from living. Please don’t show your rage to people around you because they are also going through the same agony.

 Always look on the bright side. For me CNG strike day is an adventurous day not a boring daily routine. Be happy on the inside and you would feel good, also look good on the outside. Rejoice every moment while you can. Stay beautiful.