Featured post

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...

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

When you have a Desi Mom...

Whatever they show on social media is an exaggerated version of our Desi Moms. I mean Desi mothers are very friendly and they treat you like a friend. Although it comes with a Warning: This friendship is one way. Their way!

Desi Moms are funny, and I mean it. They’d tease you, irritate you, have fun with you taunting about your personal life. They create lifelong family jokes that would fit in a perfect and hilarious way to our daily routines. Life at home would never be boring if you have a Desi Mom. However, if you try to act like a friend in return, be ready to face the consequences. When you playfully taunt your Mom, it becomes a battle field where you are already defeated. Ammi would pause, look me in the eyes and say in a weird mixed emotional yet stern voice, “Is this the way you talk to your mother?” And I stand there wondering what just happened…

It gets even better when it comes to everyday tasks like Cooking:

When you are cooking a dish for the 100th time in the same week, she’d call you while you are cooking and give you comprehensive instructions like “Beta potatoes should be tender though not mashed and salt should be perfect to taste”.
Where in your head you want to scream: They are just damned potatoes FOR GOD SAKE!!!

 And the day you are cooking a complex party dish you’ve never made in your life. For instance Matanjan, a Desi Mom becomes absolutely MUTE. One day I slowly walked to her and asked for just one instruction and here it goes again.

Ammi cried, “Ya ALLAH, when would she learn to cook! What would you do after marriage? Who would you call too cook for your husband? Your neighbors?!”

After half an hour long scoffing you’d manage to get the recipe. So thumbs up!

While making Palao for my guests, I just needed one quick reminder.
 I stated my query shortly, “Ammi, Palao is exactly like Biryani except you add rice directly to the curry, instead of boiling?”  

Taken aback Ammi exclaimed, “HawwWw! NO! How many times do I have to tell you?! For Palao you’d need *explains the entire recipe of Biryani* then you add rice to this curry!”

After this 20 minutes long wonderful help, I quietly walk back to the kitchen. *facepalm*

No matter how melodramatic, over thinkers and better detectives than Sherlock Holmes they are. Their warmest love still makes them the best Moms in the world!
We love you, Ammi!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Random Poem

Few months back I came across a few poems on facebook. They were fun to read until I read that one random poem with encouraging comments below. The more I read it the more it opened the darkness of the world and how they choke a good heart. I was alarmed to read the last two lines that made it utterly a Suicide Note! Funny this guy’s ridiculously-blind-friends cheer him on it. 

Don’t worry, he’s alright and pretty much busy writing more of such poems/suicide notes. Though it took me days, week, probably months to get that poem out of my head. I just couldn’t stop thinking how to respond to that in a positive way. For none of it could be denied, anxiety is real and lethal stuff to deal with. It not only kills the person or the hope but also scares away all the potential goodness coming your way.

Every good heart that has a living soul is more vulnerable to the attacks of negativity. Empathy is rare and beautiful thing. Even though it feels like more of a curse some days. It’s normal to have suicidal thoughts, it happens to the best of us. The only mistake we make is we forget how to respond to this natural cycle of life. Unfortunately it never occurs to us that there is no human life’s phase or feeling that we were not given an EXAMPLE for.

It all sums down to just one simple thought. Every beautiful soul endeavors for absolute peace. Thus those who recognize the safe place, wish to rise above and go back to where they came from. Suicide may appear a way out, but it would only get us permanently locked in this world.

So learn to deal with life and all of its shades in a way that you leave a good example behind.

Maybe writing those weird creepy notes sets a soul free.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Just Talk to Me...!

I’ve been staring at my cell phone for the past few minutes. I wonder how people are slick with words where I keep falling short. Ever experienced how easy it is to talk to a stranger instead of your friends and family? Why?

The worry of being judged comes in the way and messes up the entire idea of quality communication. We don’t need to over-think or customize our opinions while talking to unknown people. For instance, how we talked to a friend on the day we met compared to how we talk to them now. The honesty we tend to give to strangers doesn’t mean they won’t hold their own perception against us. Strangers we talk out our hearts to on a bus ride or airports also have their own ways of interpreting our problems. Only it doesn’t matter to both the parties.

This fear of expected repercussion increases in cases where friendship turns into a significant relation. We start to see how our friends would perceive our problems according to their past experiences. All we can do is try to keep ourselves from assuming the outcomes. When we start to conceal too much from friends and family, it backfires in forms of distrust, disrespect and distress. It gives out all sorts of wrong ideas, as if they are not valued enough. Little misunderstanding created by lack of healthy communication can disrupt your relation entirely. Healthy communication doesn’t mean it should be dispute-free but being able to have rational arguments to reach solutions. Conflict of ideas is a sign of intelligent members of a good team, also being able to get pass through them and striving together.  

Quality communication takes courage, effort and care. In short, a kiss with a fist is better than none. If you can’t take a fight to fix things between your friends and family then you don’t really care about the relationship either. Indifference and love can never co-exist. Unfortunately we don’t acknowledge the importance of good communication within the tribe. Rather we hold grudges, we stop talking and we avoid eye contacts and interactions. We calmly watch our magical bond burn down to ashes. However we are perfectly good at bragging about our fake relations over social media. So next time you meet your long lost friend, don’t hesitate to beat them up good, to show how badly they were missed.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

What's Your Fairy Tale?

I am not guarded by a dragon under my castle; the dragon is actually my pet. We decided to turn the story around, traditional is overrated anyway.

Oh I almost forgot to introduce myself. Hi, I am a Princess, of a far, far away land. And while waiting on a knight to come and safe me, instead I end up with a dragon! Err… Don’t worry; it’s a very friendly and smart dragon. Yeah, I never thought I’d have to write this queer, extraordinary story, but then again anything can happen when you are a Princess of a far off land, right?

Anyway when we met, this Dragon used to be like any regular fairyland dragon you’d expect it to be. And by that off course I mean vicious, fiery, angry and scary. How did we become friends is really amazing and out of this world experience, thus would be hard to interpret it into words. Sometimes I ponder on it profusely to find if it was the dragon’s good heart under those rough crimson scales or my supernatural powers of some kind? Since I am a princess I may take the credit for anything I like, hence it must be me. Being a princess I do have a supernatural power of…. Of… we’ll get to this later.

Moving on to the significant part, where I do my magic and tame this ferocious beast!
One day I told the dragon how bad it is to keep killing all the knights. The dragon answered rather obediently, “The knights, who got killed, never deserved you in the first place, my princess.”

And I was like “Oh please, they don’t manufacture good hearts anymore”

Dragon became unusually quiet, but after that day I felt an ease to open up to him. The more we would talk the more we realized the bond we were oblivious to for so long. Amazing how the dragon who lived under the castle knows the princess better than any other weird stranger knights. All of a sudden everything started to make perfect sense, falling in place like a jigsaw puzzle.

Anyone with a good heart could realize the dragon has always been more loyal and protective of the princess. More responsible, steadfast and forbearing creature you’d ever meet. Once you have experienced the dragon’s love, you know you wouldn’t find it anywhere else. The heart it holds is just too big to ignore or imitate.
This time when another stupid knight comes, Princess and the Dragon would be long gone. Among all the dangerous things we forget to see the good in people, for instance Dragons can fly!

We wouldn’t need to end the story in the old fashioned way for the Princess and the Dragon is already living their happily ever after…

Sunday, 13 December 2015

So it makes you FEEL GOOD?

While reading a magazine today I came across an article on Dark Chocolates. And it said something like how the dark chocolate makes you feel good and leads to less snack craving to seek comfort. It also says dark chocolate encourages exercise. As in when your body feels good, exercise becomes more appealing. Whoa!?

Feeling good heads you to workout, workout promotes good feeling? It is a weird cycle, though it makes sense. One needs to stay happy to stay fit and healthy and in turn exercise generates the unique “Feel Good” experience. Hence this theory elaborates we need to stay happy to stay fit. Common sense for road to happiness is having goals in life and finally achieving them. Goals that give you a reason to persevere, serve as food to our soul.
Unfortunately modern man is intertwined with copious everyday pressures. Does that make STRESS the actual barrier in our focus, health, achievements and happiness in life?

In anxiety people start to care less about things like fitness and success. Verily they become indifferent to everything is every aspect you can think of. It could be as simple as loneliness or as complex as excessive subconscious focus on the past which sabotage our will to change.  Their inner feedback system blather weird things about them.

According to me the only way to fight this constant bulling in our heads is ACTION! You can’t fight your atrocious conscience with words but you can let it witness the good you’re capable of. Start caring about people around you when you stop caring about yourself. Well all that care has to go somewhere, right? It all concludes to one good advice; saving others will save YOU. So what are your awesome GOALS, now that you have the recipe of happiness to feel good, stay fit, healthy and VICTORIOUS! 

Friday, 4 December 2015

Journey Back Home

It was a lovely day at university; with a cheerful wave to my buddies I departed at noon. 2 hours of boring Bus ride with stranger ladies punching me whenever I fall on them in my sleep. Hence the goal today was again to keep eyes open. As usual failing and receiving more punches. Everything was normal until I reached half way of my journey back home.

We saw the roads burning!!! There was nobody in sight and nor was any way out, for the entire highway was on FIRE! The bright flames were so tall that our eyes could barely see the blue sky above. Only a black sky of smoke although it was just noon. The most terrifying picture I have ever seen. I was alone, away from home; I didn’t know even a single person in that bus. And I know I wasn’t the only one with the same terror and chills running down their spine.
We ladies stared at the driver who had not stopped the bus and was unusually quiet. Blessed be the bus driver who didn’t ditch us and drop us there though he could have, like all other buses. The conductor told him to drop all passengers, right there and run for life. This dude kept playing the demon throughout the journey. Whispering in the driver’s ear to drop us anywhere over and over again…

The good old man took the responsibility and turned the bus to the left where there was no road, only sand. It was all okay until we entered the most unfriendly forest ever. At 1 pm the tall thick bushes on both sides blocked the sunlight entirely. On my right there were bushes that disturbed my already drained calmness so I turned to my left, only to see creepier bushes.
Since there was no road in this forest there came numerous obstacles where men would have to unload the bus to push it through. It became a scary video game, we had to pass broken bridges, thorny bushes, and an inside demon who kept telling the driver to drop all the passengers right in the darkest jungle.
The thought was frightening, I mean on the road you have a 50% chance to survive but that chance seemed to evaporate in this woodland.
“Don’t worry! I’m travelling with my brother. He will take care of us.” I heard the girl say sitting next to me. I didn’t know this girl but those words felt like shelter in storm. I couldn’t say much so I only forced a smile and her eyes smiled back warmly. She was wearing a nikaab noticing her presences for the first time. Then she passed me her wise brother’s advice, to stay inside the bus no matter what happens. It’s amazing how sometimes we just need words to feed the starving heart a little peace.

Among all this craziness there was an old lady who kept saying, “I think the bus is stuck, I’ll just walk home from here.” And five minutes later when the men would be able to cross that hurdle the old lady would start yelling to ride in the bus again. It happened at the bridge, in the forest, at the exits from the bushes, at the new discovered entrance of the town, and everywhere!

ALHAMDLILLAH we made it out of that forest safely and were back on the highway. However we still had a long distance to cover before we reach home. Then we reached a place where the trees of this new entrance to the town were so lush (yet friendly) that the bus needed to call the roof top men down. The bus stopped, men fall out and again the old lady was out and started to walk.
 She said, “The bus is stuck, I can walk home from here.” This is ridiculous. I mean why did she have to get down now? This time when men climbed the bus again hurriedly and happily, everyone forgot about the old lady. The driver stepped on the race, and then we heard muffled voices from the back. A few men at the back started to shout, “Amma reh gai! Amma reh gai! Amma ko uthao!” Grinning broadly the old man pushed the breaks abruptly. The celebrity Amma slowly climbed up again for the 10th time! Men and women were literally laughing loud now and the restless old lady was grinning sheepishly.

Maybe stress makes us feel and express every emotion more intensely. We were mostly strangers but this incident had made us one team. Upon that Amma made it more of a comedy than a thriller. As we entered our home town every single passenger clapped and cheered! There was smile on every face and cherry on top I made a new friend!

Friday, 6 November 2015

It Makes You Beautiful Instead

What would life be like if they could have kids, if the storm didn’t bother her, if he escaped the mad tribe, if the father wasn’t wounded by his own, if the words were less sabotaging, if the son was believed in, if the daughter wasn’t killed every day, if the mother wasn’t treated this way?
Would they be less cruel? Would the world be a better place to live? Would the harshness of life become easier to take?

Ever wondered why are we capable of thinking “What if?” when it never happened? Don’t you see it does us more damage than the reality could? Why it is hard to let go when it is nothing but a fantasy? Why the lost desires and faced failures haunt us later in the form of ‘IF’ questions?

When the regret is here to stay, show the demons we are still the one who conquered. The one, who is happy despite their unmet needs, the girl who survived the storm, the man who stood up for his tribe, the father who was done wrong yet forgives, the words that are enough to fix it all, the son who achieved when no one believed, the daughter who learned to love you back, and a hurt mother who still prays for you.

Stop saying “What if” and realize you can change the picture entirely even now. Hard times don’t make us despicable; they only make us more compassionate. We need to avoid using our problems as an excuse to be mean to others. Whatever we could not have shouldn’t make us envious; let it make us more humble and humane. Whatever we got easily shouldn’t make us arrogant; let it make us grateful and content… 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Short Story: Him Drama

I was excited to meet her after a long time. Also she told me she desperately needs to talk. I knew it’s probably another “him-drama” so yeah I was anxious to hear her out too. Its funny how with time our problems grew but we, me and my bestie stayed the same.
She arrived earlier than I expected which meant ‘the problem’ isn’t a minor one. The moment Zaib came she asked me if we could be alone somewhere, (away from the family). That's strange because she used to be the family-oriented one. Anyway she started to unwind the moment we went out for a brisk walk.

“He just never stays away!” shouts Zaib throwing her hands in the air. I was quiet but I knew whom she’s talking about; her fiancĂ©. “I have started to feel all different sorts of things and I want him to understand!” she added.

Zaib paused for me to speak up, but I didn’t. Didn’t want to rush before hearing the entire story. She looked away as we walk and continued with little calmness in her voice this time, “They drive me nuts, all of a sudden they start talking against him. When I fight for him, they start to argue. It gets worse. I become so radioactive that I just walk out on them and avoid human contact for a while…”

I interrupted her asking, “And apparently this “Avoid-human-contact” includes him too?”

She stopped walking instantly and nodded at me with worry in her eyes. Arrite so now we know what she meant by: ‘He never stays away’

I so badly wanted to hug her tight cause I knew the torture she’s been through for the past few months. But then I didn’t want to make it look like ‘pity’.

We become too quiet but even at this moment nothing felt awkward. Five minutes later we were in my kitchen where I made her my favorite drink ‘Hot Chocolate Milk’. (Yeah I am Alex from Madagascar, when you are at my place you get MY favorite drink not yours.)

Drinking the milk Zaib sighed with relief, and expressed her gratitude saying, “Running down my dry throat in this rough weather, this drink truly feels like LOVE.”

“Reminds you of him, even when you’re avoiding human-contact, huh?” I asked with a nasty grin set on my face. (Err, I had to ask.)

There was a long pause, (where in my head I was like, oh so she thinks I’m not human?).

Then her eyes sparkled with a bright smile but she didn’t say a word. Although I could see she got the message in the right way, when she grabbed her cell phone and gave him a call. 

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Have faith when you lose everything else

Hope is a crazy thing; it keeps us alive when we desperately wait on closure. Even when we are certain there is no way back. This constant urge to try again, never leaves.

It is plain water that rains down your cheeks from eyes that don’t blink. Carefully ignore the pieces on the floor. Brainstorming like crazy but you still can’t conclude how you got here. Little jokes, little dreams, little mistakes, little do we see, how little things can cause such collateral damage. Scars keep the pain alive when the wounds have healed. Collecting reasons to why you keep running away from what you need and why you keep chasing unwanted mess.

 It grows harder to resist thus we fight back. We run, we fail, and then we face it. Other times we just ignore, let it be and accept its presence. You say you work so hard that there’s hardly any time to breathe. What about the moment when your attention span escapes you and the subconscious take over. You know you are there, still there…

We don’t give up, we play dead and we keep breathing. Or we die and fake breathing… Either way you don’t question anything that doesn’t make sense. Maybe you’ve been in the prison for so long that this ceiling feels like perfect home. You say you don’t need hope, but then again it’s not the only word you lost the meaning of. You lost so much and so many times that losing has only become a rid of the baggage.

We all do see ahead of time but confusion keeps it vague. We try to keep it that way for we can’t stand the complexity of your brains. And then there will be days when it’s hard to avoid experiencing tomorrow as good as today. The moment when you are perfectly sure about things, don’t hesitate to TRUST yourself. 

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Me & My Fans!

Let me warn you, this article is going to be about ‘MOI’. Today somehow I ended up listening to Love Myself by Hailee Steinfeld – so yeah I have all the rights to be a Narcissist for the next 10 minutes. Aala la la la la laaahhhH!

Arrite, I woke up to a very long text from a little girl. Despite all those grammatical mistakes and my drowsiness I could see she was happy. The text had my name in it and her English teacher’s name, who is my childhood friend. Twenty minutes later when I read it with more clarity, it made my heart swell.

The kid was trying to tell me how she presented her speech exactly like I do And I have no idea what she meant for she has never seen any of my presentations. Anyway the girl goes on describing how her teacher said her gestures and way of speaking is a lot like mine. And that made her feel smug.
This little girl is a fan, she observes me real close, like most of the kids do. To be honest it gives me goose bumps for whatever they see me do, they follow! Not that I’m complaining but it comes with immense pressure of responsibility.

Kids are like: Oh Aapa is eating yogurt, let’s eat yogurt!

A 5 year old friend of mine still believes I am his younger sister, regardless of the fact that he has to raise his head 90 degrees to look at me. If we see it from a broader perspective then maybe kids can see what our REAL age is.
Err… I can’t be younger than 5 years that’d be really creepy.

Most of my family question why children see me as their ideal. It doesn’t take any effort to be a kid-magnet even if you're a nerd who talks to a white screen all day. On every wedding I’m chased by a mob of tiny fans. They always have so many stories to tell. All you have to do is TALK to them. They love attention even the shy ones. These little brats would hunt you like Zombies.
My bestie calls me, a kid-pleaser. (Ahem…. She’s just jealous). Kids get fond of us when there is no hierarchy between you and them. Irritate them, chase them, make them chase you, just have fun. And if you haven’t experienced it, you are missing out on the FUN in its purest, innocent and frenzied form.

They text me like:

Kid: Hello Aapa

Me: Hi

Kid: Aapa let’s talk!

Me: Okay :) 

Kid: Ok, Start...

Me: -_- ???

Yeah. Then Aapa would have to START off course, as soon as she figures what to start. *facepalm*

Friday, 2 October 2015

Short Story: Texting

He takes a deep breath while leaning back on the wall next to the window in his office. Vacantly he stares at the sunshine outside, with hands in his pockets. “When I see you, read your text, feel your words, or hear your voice, I get this strange nerve-racking feeling” he said calmly looking down at his heart.

She sits up straight in her chair and gazed at his chest too. With worried expressions she hastily inquired what he meant.

He sighed and continued, “I feel like my heart grows actual limbs like an octopus, which cut open my chest like blades and wiggle out. You can’t imagine the ache. They restlessly move towards you, as if you are the target of these colorful ferocious tentacles”

She busted into laughter, and then he had to quickly add with a grave impression, “It’s not funny…. It’s rather irritating when you know it is REAL. It takes me a lot of trouble to ignore the sensation. This octopus-heart just keeps growing bigger and stronger”

At this point her face instantly turned from amusing to awfully grim, she replied almost in a whisper, “I know. I feel it too…”

“You do?” he asked like a 5 year old kid, who has no idea how his crazy imagination made any sense.

She forced a Mona Lisa smile and answered with a pensive look, “I feel it like a living rope around my waist, so alive that I react to it. I feel when you tug me to yourself with your thoughts, and see me squirm. You smile satisfactorily when you watch all of my efforts to wriggle out of its grasp, go wasted.”

She looked up at him to seek affirmation of her interpretations. Where he only lowered his eyes and started to grin broadly.

He sent back the text, “He knows.”
She replied from a thousand miles away, “She knows.”

The short break ended as they got out of the beautiful scene. Then they placed their cell-phones aside and got back to their hectic daily routines.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Jump for the Infallible Words

 The hardest choice you have to make is between the words and the actions. Sometimes WORDS solely seem far more convincing than the actions. Winner among the Illusion vs. the Reality is obvious, but what if the delusion is more honest? What if you want to actually jump of a building to see for yourself… if you could fly? What if the tempting risk is itself the reason to exist?

A part of you accepts the laws of gravity, still the choices are crazy. For when you stay to accept the real, you would surely die. It’s not the regret that kills you, if you don’t jump. It’s the certainty of your heart that you won’t survive either way.
The thing is happy ending does not make a great story. The sacrifice does. One who has tasted the trauma and endured to see how it converts us to diamonds. They would start to long for it like a hungry beast waiting on food for ages.
Hero did not survive to write the history, but their arduous hard work made others do so.

There is nothing more sabotaging than the art that stops loving you back. It can’t stop you from distractions anymore and refuses to be one itself. Later it fails to stop you from the fall. Why? Perhaps your art trusts your faith. It believes you can fly above the clouds. Thus enlightens the inextinguishable you. Maybe indirectly it helps you feel again. Even when you cannot function right, you tell yourself it’s no biggie; you have always been clumsy anyway. Put it off, shut down the studio!

Then why won’t you JUMP?

Everyone is looking for distractions from the truth. Searching for an escape to live another day, without the dreaded meeting with our conscience. All the members actually bear their share of pressure but they never say. Nobody would talk about it. Yet everyone is aware of the struggles and the torment. Alongside there is always the hope to get through just fine.
You do feel it. Nonetheless the other side of the test is only a vague picture. Like a song in a foreign language you can be mesmerized, and dance to the beat. Only you don’t understand the most important element of it.
Then one day when you take the fall, you find there were so many real strings ATTACHED to you. They could NOT help you fly… but were enough to SAVE your life. Now you just need time to figure out if it was a good thing or bad. 

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Joy of Bakra Eid!

Desperately I waited for our ‘Qurbani ka Bakra’ a day before yesterday. We have always bought the goat a day before Eid. It’s my dad’s idea of less mess around the house.
Anyway I got busy with some chores though I’d jump and run, to get the door on every bell-ring. Finally they came back with a beautiful white goat covered in black patches. However they didn’t return with just the goat, they returned with a story to tell.

“We were looking for a goat and bargaining around when suddenly we heard the uproar”, my brother gets up and continued.
“Me and dad got attentive and turned to see where men were running and rumbling ridiculously. We knew what was coming but didn’t know if we should run too. And then the vision clears, everyone was out of the way. Now we could see a crowd running and behind them chasing a huge angry bull! However we didn’t bother running. We just stood there enjoying the show, until the Bull stops all of a sudden and turn to our direction. Yep, we started running too.”

At this point I had to stop my brother to ask if Dad ran too, cause that would make a really funny picture in my head.

And he continues with all the witty sounds effects, “Yes! Everybody was running! Aaaaggghhh!! Dad started running in another direction, I ran in the opposite direction. We didn’t have time to think, we were running for life. After a few minutes of madness, thankfully we were out of the bull’s way. Gasping for air I stopped and looked for dad. 

Standing there I could see the bull hiding behind a huge cement pipe at a distance. The bull peeks out and gave THE STARE to the men sitting and talking to the customers. The moment they saw the bulls head come out, all 10 men ran for their life! This was so absurd because the bull didn’t even run behind them! It just looked at them? The fear was humorously bizarre; I mean they were enough people to hold the beast down.

One courageous man did take initiative and grabbed on to the rope in its neck. Then the bull moved in his direction and our hero runs away.
Somehow later they grabbed the annoyed bull, off course when this beast got bored.”

I asked him to repeat the funny bit again and he did it laughing. He said it felt like a REAL funny prank on social media.
I’d always treasure the hilarious picture this story made in my head. Hope you enjoyed all shades of this beautiful festival too.
Eid-ul-Azha Mubarak!

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Finally Found You!

‘I love you!’ How many times have you heard these three wondrous words in your life? And how many of these people are still by your side? Ouch!

When we are mature to think above what environment fed us, we see how they missed it entirely. Truth be told, the person who actually means it, won’t even say it. They don’t need to spell it out for their actions are enough. Quite like your family, this person would be there for you without demands or greed. There won’t be any constant reminders, which turn to shackles for you later. Love in itself is selfless. Love would only make your life easier. All the bizarre cheap poetry that defines love as a self-destructive-weapon is nothing but drooling over a crush. Love is meant to protect you; it’s no different than the CARE you have already experienced since your childhood.

Every sacrifice is crafted to adorn you. Above all, this person would respect your dignity and your soul. Understands you, and sees through you. They would respect and abide by your rules, as their own. For sometimes discipline is there to beautify us. Yet this person does not dissolve you, but distinguish you. Despite your differences they complement you and stand by you. Serve as nothing less than the ‘Glitter’ to your own identity. Think of this person as good Make-up, it doesn’t hide the good in you, but only enhance it.

It’s the place to rest at last; you won’t have to run anymore. Neither would you have to worry. Something tells you this person would stay no matter what. Their soul feels as safe with you as you’d feel around them. You won’t have to say anything at all for this person would already know. The only feeling you’d be able to interpret is “Finally I’m HOME”.

Love is a respectful, beautiful, spiritual connection to experience. Sadly the idea has turned to something really filthy and disgusting today. They make you a slave in the name of LOVE where it was only designed to SET YOU FREE!
If it’s anything other or less than this, stop fooling yourself. 

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Two Shades of Grey

Since past few days whenever I’d come for the afternoon nap, I’d see two pigeons on the widow shed next-door. For some reason it has started to bug me little. Two extremely quiet grey birds with that queer unwavering stare. Every day the spooky sight outside my window would disturb my precious minutes of peace. So to play fair I decided to take my revenge and spy on them today.

The one darker in color is sitting on the edge of the shed and seems asleep. The other one is walking around, checking out the place I suppose. Then this Pigeon stops and stares at the three cables running inside the house through a hole. Appears like this hyperactive one, fancy cable-wire as it starts to excitedly dance around it. This retarded pigeon stays there messing with the cables for a while. Minutes later it gets bored and starts to walk around on the shed looking for other fun things. 
Then it's back again and goes, “Ooh! What is that?” stopping by the same three cables. More hypnotics dance moves and exuberant neck movements to enjoy. However the dance was interrupted by noisy crows on the nearest tree this time. The darker Pigeon is still deep in sleep on the edge of the shed. I can’t help but assume the sleepyhead must be the male.

The enthusiastic-appearing-to-be-restless-female-pigeon forgets about the wires and starts to walk around. Turns around and stops, “Ooh! What is that?” Three cables capture and mesmerize the crazy lady again for the tenth time now. The guy-pigeon wakes up like 15 minutes later. Stretches its wings and flies off. Err, that’s it?
SHE still break-dance to the cables though. Then the girl-Pigeon missed her sane partner and followed. Finally I can fall asleep without creepy grey in sight. However I bet they’d be back again tomorrow… Oops I thought wrong, they are back again. *facepalm*

Saturday, 12 September 2015

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 his heavy walk to the window, pulling out his pack of smokes. The storm had stopped and a cool breeze was coming in through the open window.
He rested his side on the window frame and looked up at the receding clouds. He was afraid he couldn’t fight the memories of that day anymore. He knew they would return now as they had every night since. He would once again relive the loss of another dear one leaving him just because he couldn’t say yes anymore.

He quickly lit a cigarette and took a long drag, hearing the click clack of her heels in his mind as he thought of her pacing away from him in the cafĂ©. In the cold quiet room, each footfall felt like a magistrate’s mallet falling hard and decisively, the echo ringing of his failure.
The clouds must have moved; moonlight made a rectangular patch on the floor, but Moosa was lost in thought. He was growing angry again. He wanted to hit somebody or break things or maybe do a bit of both.
When he couldn’t keep the rage in, he punched the wooden frame of the window. It did no damage to the wood but Moosa let out a grunt in pain. His eyes began to sting with tears he had been holding back.

“You think they aren’t worth your tears, don’t you,” a man asked, entering the room.
Moosa turned to look at the only friend he’d been able to keep over the years.
 “I was afraid you might not make it tonight,” he said with a rueful smile.
Haaris gave him a smile that showed malice more than anything. He reached for Moosa’s hand, who gave him the lit cigarette. Haaris took a drag and said, “It was the storm. You should’ve known I’d come as soon as the sky cleared.”

Moosa only looked at Haaris passively and replied, “Yeah. I’m glad you could come. We need to talk about something.”

Haaris laughed and rubbed his hands together and said, “This is going to be good. Are we still sulking about your friend? What was her name?”

Moosa looked at him with loathing. He had made up his mind by now.

Haaris continued smoking and said smugly, “I think it’s time you understood I am the only one who will stay with you.”

Moosa turned to Haaris with a face devoid of expression, “That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”

His friend laughed, and when he spoke, every word reeked of contempt, “Really? Am I getting a promotion?”

Moosa turned away again, looking at the moon.
The room went quiet for a few minutes. The night outside was still as well. The only sounds were the shuffling feet when the men shifted their weight from one foot to the other.
Haaris moved to the window and stood with Moosa.
“You’re being very quiet tonight,” he said with a worried voice.
Moosa turned to his old friend and turned back to the window with a smile, “I think I need to change myself. I’ve lived in enough misery for a lifetime. They need to know I’m more than their slave.”

Haaris was looking at him quizzically, realizing what was coming next and not believing it. He said, “But that’s not possible. You are still guilty. I can sense it. I am here, dammit!”
Moosa pulled away from the window frame, rubbing gently on his knuckles, and replied, “You won’t be the next time I step into light. I’ll make a new friend, I think,” he said, walking off into the darkness.
Haaris screamed, “Wait!!”
It was too late, though. Moosa had stepped out of the light and Haaris had dissolved into the darkness around him. He was all alone again with the weight of his sins, but somehow they felt lighter.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Only If You Could See...

At 6 am
The door BANGS loud.

Man shouts, “How would you justify your behavior? Huh?”
A woman replies something in almost inaudible hysterical voice.  
Hasty footsteps were the only next sound.
Man voice became more berserk and loud, “How dare you speak in between! You stay out of it! This is all, your fault!”
Then there was a fraught silence, before the yelling in between loud sobs of the distraught woman.
Anyone could tell by the voice of the man, he knew argument isn’t the only thing he is losing.

Lying on the bed next doors, fighting for a nap, all I hear is… pain.

The two sides of the story are hard to see at times. Why we like the drama when it’s on TV is because we can clearly see both sides without being biased. Life of a person is not the time period they get to share with you. How you perceive someone, is only one shade of that person in the circumstances you interact in. We stay oblivious to a thousand other factors, pressures and problems effecting and constantly changing this person.
How beautiful world would be if we could see both ends of the story. See real unspoken reasons behind a smile, a hello, a farewell and a fight. Just like a movie scene that pause your story, to show you the other end. You see their roles as sharp as it is to the person in concern. Change that background music and the set. Then you start to see far beyond the confessions. And you start to find the answer to every WHY question. For we need to know the reasons behind every move before we judge.

Would that change your perception and decision? Would you be guilty if that happens? Would you still argue and fight? Would you pack your bags and leave? Or… would you stay and appreciate?

Does it ever hit you, that maybe we are doing it all wrong? Maybe we are already there? Maybe we still do see both the ends, but are blinded by horns effect or halo effect or whatever effect there is. Only the realization of the unbalanced energy is enough to make it RIGHT. It’s enough to get rid of the blindfold.  Acknowledge you already do see what most would stay blind to on purpose. Life is beautiful when your heart can see a little better than your eyes. There won’t be any reason left, not to forgive, not to let go, not to love and appreciate. 

Sunday, 6 September 2015

When you have Sciatic Nerve pain in your 20s....

It all started from a very silly habit: bad posture. Where the edge of the chair cuts into my lumbar spine, thinking it’s a cool way of relaxing. Just a brief intro although I can’t explain it as good as doctors, sciatica nerve pain generally comes from a pressed nerve. And that nerve is the largest nerve of the body running down your thigh. In short it’s caused due to any wear and tear your lumbar spine goes through.

I wake up one day and couldn’t get out of the bed easily. My left leg felt really heavy like it’s not even a part of my body. When I try to move, this leg would give me a striking pain in the lower back. It was alarming so I visit my doctor that night, and he told me there’s nothing to worry. The extremely-good-looking-shocking-young doctor tells me, “At your age sciatic pain recovers itself within weeks”. I gladly believed him. He wrote me some pain killers and I walk out relieved.
In the beginning those painkillers helped me follow my workout routine just fine. Unfortunately I wake up next day with worse pain than ever! Then it becomes a vicious cycle. Painkillers would make me numb, workouts gets easy and next morning I have worse pain than yesterday. Day three: I couldn’t complete my workout even with those painkillers. After accepting I can’t do it, I lied on the floor and started crying.

That physical helplessness was turning everything black and white. One by one I started to give up on all that I loved to do. Things would appear so out of reach and distant that I'm not even trying anymore. That weekend I get a call for from my bestie, convincing me to go out shopping. I declined abruptly. On which she snarled, “If you won’t go Tayyaba! I swear I’d NEVER talk to you again!” On the other end of the phone, I become quiet analyzing if she really means it. To my silence she asks laughing “Kamini! Did you just stop talking to me already?”  So yeah she convinced me to go after all that serious threat. Thanks to her, it helped me immensely.
However the anxiety that comes from feeling old in your mid-twenties is suicidal. I gave up on stupid painkillers that made me feel more numb than I already felt. And that wasn’t the only BAD decision made. I started to cut out on important meals to compensate for my inability to exercise/stretch. The pressure of the belief “I am fitness motivation myself” was inevitable.  Later it turns out the cute doctor was right. I recovered. Sadly I invited on me another evil disease: general weakness from that poor diet.

I am recovering now ALHAMDULILLAH or else I wouldn’t be here. Take my bad decision as a lesson; never ever miss meals thinking it will keep you fit. Sure you won’t gain weight but at the cost of good health. You can’t keep your army out and still believe you’d survive.
Arright, emma go take my Multivitamins now. 

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Stranger: The Hardest Transition

On meeting a stranger we start the struggle to know them better in the shortest period possible. Mostly and surely we make a lot of mistakes in this desperate urge-to-know-well phase. Later blaming it on them thinking they used to wear a mask. Or simply the famous “YOU HAVE CHANGED”.

The thing is human is complex stuff, you can’t just built the entire persona of anyone in weeks or months. People you read like a book sometimes don’t even know who they themselves are. I mean, I had a very nice friend who told me he’s an environmentalist. Two years later on the profile I find he is a photographer, too? His excuse, ‘You never asked’.  I mean seriously? Was I supposed to take every profession that exist and ask randomly?

Yes, guys don’t open up easily but hiding stuff is different ... and nasty. Well it goes for both genders. It takes time and effort, especially when it comes to get-to-know another person. There will always be so many pieces of the puzzle missing on the image you hold in your mind. And in the attempt to complete this mysterious image we start to sew in, our self-desired patches to this person’s personality. Man by nature hates ‘the unknown’ no matter what form we may encounter it in. This explains the frustrating hard work and scarifies we make for communication with new friends, or new ‘Whoever’ (Ahem…).
On the darker side: Taking for granted the old ones. Fortunately we aren’t discussing any sob stories here today, so get it over with “Old Friends”.

My point is, it’s not a curse to have some missing patches, consider it a blessing. Predictable is boring, be grateful if you know someone who never cease to surprise you. We can never do justice to a person when it comes to understanding or appreciating them. Drop whatever you assume adding to that picture. For what they hold in them would always be more beautiful. Reality would always win over any realms of fantasy. Cherish your mysterious new buddies just the way they are.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Aren't you tired of playing the Superhero?

Has it ever happened to you that one person makes you feel like you are super natural? As if you have this invincible power of healing and inspiration. They stick with you and open up to you like no one else. They share the darkest of their endless night and you began to unweave them from it. Soon it becomes your foremost responsibility. All this hard work starts to pay when you see them grow and glow like never before.
The more they wrap around you like a parasitic plant. That’s okay though, you are intoxicated with that noble feeling. This so called NOBLE act becomes the entire purpose of your existence. When they text, call or try to reach you, you feel indebted to respond.

Now that nights have turned to brighter days, you feel blessed to see this is all your sunshine that gleams far and wide. Then there comes a day when the night falls on your end. You start to crave someone who would listen, and believe you are as human as they are. Or maybe return the one-fourth part of what you give? Sadly you cannot suddenly tax something that has been free for all these years.
The truth is out for all to see, yet you kick the leftovers of your ego aside and keep doing your thing. You play the shrink when you need one for yourself lately. Why? For they give you a beautiful meaning to your life, make you feel you can fix things. Or maybe this is LOVE for they make you a better person.

And one day you happily text your one and only reason for living and ZAP! They are gone. GONE! On the bigger picture it is for the best. Unfortunately you only see the rooms get exceedingly darker. Everyone seems to be yelling at you. Nothing makes sense anymore. Routine becomes Robotic and life feels like being thrown in a cactus field every day.
Nope, it never happened to me.

Creative people have this unyielding need to fix things. And it starts to become more of curse when this madness exceeds to ‘Fixing People’. Just the idea to play the superhero and saving life is infatuation enough. What we lack to understand is there are people who enjoy sadness, moaning and living in their pasts. It is who they are; they pity themselves and seek it in others for survival. Yeah I can’t deny the highest level of CUTENESS factor in these people though. Unfortunately it adds to the need to be their cured and pampered. It’s about time you stop fixing them since no one can play the healer. There is only one HEALER, and He heals best. Let your Creator do His job. 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Loca for a new language!

Hola! Como esta? Bien. Y tu? Adios!
There you have my life’s hard work for this language. It all started back when our older cousin challenged us to sing a Spanish song as fluent as any BSB Song. It took us two days to write that Spanish song for we kids were to naive to Google lyrics. Hence we had to invent our own Spanish that would sound exactly like Ricky Martin’s. Now when I look back I wonder why we went through all that trouble. How annoying aggressive kids we would have been. In a week we learned the entire song by heart. And that’s where we began to enjoy the taste of Espanol.

Most of the famous international songs had pretty inappropriate lyrics. However it was Spanish and that’s all we cared about as kids. We’d write and memorize these songs as a fun hobby. Only now after so many years I actually understand that highly embarrassing gibberish.
How insulting it is when Natives translate a language you already know. Now I get enraged when people translate Spanish and more enraged when I fail to ketchup with their Spanish-ness!

Here is the golden advice I’d like to share. One of my sagacious English Teacher used to say, whoever wants to learn a new language should listen to songs in that language. This works magically for good songs have good vocabulary. Also the repetition of that song helps our minds to remember and interpret words faster. Loca for Pablo Alboran, well he teach me Spanish, plus he is umm... cute?  

Now that I can understand Spanish. Oh who am I kidding? But hey! It is not impossible. Even if it's ENGLISH or whatever language you are struggling with, be patient and keep going. No class or school can make you fluent and feed you with prodigious vocabulary. The only profound way is to create an environment around you that helps you a bit each day. The media, TV, radio, music, internet everything should be in that remote language. 
Besides that, try to find just one person who can help. Whether they are the native speaker or just another pathetic endeavor like you, would assist a great deal. They keep you motivated when you start to run low on your fuel and destination is still blur. 

It doesn't have to be stressful at all. Enjoy and live every word of it. Speak it with people around you even if they throw you weird looks. During my vacations I got so deeply indulged into it that I started to see NIGHTMARES in Spanish! My mother wakes me up for Fajar payer and she’s yelling at me in Espanol! Then I’d decide to take a day’s break to get my sanity back. Until that happens to you, go Coo-Coo for your Favorite Language!