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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...

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Being Pakistani: Cricket is NOT a sport!

Marketers working fierce like hungry spiders constructing webs around the dazzled butterflies. The CEOs bath in the gold coins that shower upon them. Every promotional method from the most reputed businesses to the “Chai ka Dhaba” wears the same BOOM BOOM brand ambassadors. People post status and tweets twice in every 30 seconds. Random photos of baffled 5year olds in green uniform on facebook timeline. Now the streaming noisy tournament on T.V controls your family’s highly volatile mood swings. In short Happy Cricket season!

In our part of the world Cricket is identity. You have to be crazy about cricket to be one of us. That comes from profound study and experience i.e. a tested theory. The day I confirmed IT’s JUST A GAME in the middle of a bubbly communication with my family. Suddenly there fell a long extremely uncomfortable silence. Everyone stopped and stared at me as if I’m that unwanted mushroom accidentally found in your pizza topping.

However there is always one annoying person who pretends to like football more. Yet this person would know every single detail of the match last night. Another green guy who always cheers for the opponent team but secretly wishes Pakistan’s victory. It’s obvious cause this guy sits next to you in every celebration. Then there is that one obnoxious girl who is crazy about the players not the sport. Throughout the year she posts pictures with corny captions expressing her love shamelessly. Everyone ‘Likes’ for disclosing a crush on green players is one of the crazy norms accepted and appreciated in Pakistan. Now you see how desperately we need a button on facebook that says HARAM!

These are the green shades we all cherish but there is more to it. This fondness converts into an obsession, uncontrollable influence and then depression. The impact is so grave that it literally messes with everyday life. When we win the match every stranger from the bus to the street is cheerful. The day we are defeated the whole nation is soaked in anger, rage and depression.  Sadly this wrath penetrates through homes, social media and beyond. Don’t you agree this youth is already facing enough negativity on every sunrise? It used to be a sport meant to distract worries and entertain you. Not an excuse to be mean to your family and friends.

This year try not to break that T.V remote. It’s not their fault so treat your family in the best manner. Pay attention to that youngest kid in the family, they have truck loads  of funny stories to share.  It is a game and the whole idea is to keep you away from negative effects or activities.  
Now let’s teach that fan girl who posts inappropriate stuff about Ajmal and Afridi to show respect.  Or do it the fun way, just write ‘It’s haraM’ on her wall and disappear. Tell me if you have better ideas in the comments below. Stay Pakistani and stay positive!

Friday, 6 February 2015

Brightside: Not Friends with the Monsters!

We often encounter dramatic negative discussions that lead to intense and instant depression without warning. Sometimes these people are only elaborating the facts and few minutes later it becomes the awful tragic climax of a violent movie. 
No one remembers what the problem was, why actually they are complaining, and associating every calamity to one person alone. It starts with ground realities of a random problem and ends on blames, stress, helplessness, and sometimes tears. Not to forget a terrible waste of time and energy.

When times are hard each member of the family can feel the entire burden of the house on their individual shoulders. These circumstances can be highly devastating if no one in the family is playing Mr. or Miss Brightside during the discussion.
It’s pretty much like an overrated marketing research example of a store where energetic songs helped the customer to make decision and purchase faster. Whereas when slow songs were played the customers stayed in the store longer.

Mr. Brightside is the one who reminds them of the wishes and dreams that did come true. Ironically hearts are not at all complicated as we perceive them to be. Whatever surrounding you expose yourself to; your heart, mood and performance will follow. Therefore pull your family out of the dark ditch and bring them to the light. Show them how their prayers are being heard and answered. Make them realize how every one of us eventually get what we want; there is no need to be impatient. Always provide examples from their own lives that stand tall like landmarks against any ungrateful actions. Only recalling one fulfilled need is enough to doubt every depressing thought. 
(Now that stupid International Company should regret not giving me the marketing job only because I confused promotional mix for marketing mix. Miss Brightside, right?)

Anyway since we are all just human there might come a day when you can’t beat the enormous bombardment of negative comments and complains. When you can't handle it, DO NOT JUMP IN! Just make an excuse and leave that place. Go outside for fresh air, a walk, a long drive or just go to spend time with your pets. However your family might think you are weak, coward, and a weirdo running away from facts. Honestly walking away in the middle of an unstoppable fierce firing does feel a little awkward but once the surrounding changes you’d be greatly satisfied by your wise decision.

At least one person of the family needs to be saved from the bite of coldblooded negativity Vampires. Let’s hope we are the UNBITTEN last piece left that can go back and make the POSITIVE change. Stay blessed!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Solutions: Losing Track of EVERYTHING!

There comes a time in our life, when we will start to lose track of everything. Everyday activities now become unnecessary burden and your passion starts to feel like the voluntary chores. Attention span is shortened to the extent that it alarms you. The mind would start to zone-out beyond the definition of normal.
The people you go to discuss this problem might me more lost than you are. Which is a good thing for you are not alone, and you have someone who understands. You are not the only one with distrust, stabs in the back, sorrows, guilt, and GOD knows what behind those walls. Now the reason behind panic is not how to get out of here, it is what is wrong? Sometimes we know the solution but problem is too vague that it makes you doubt every move.

It is not depression. It is exhaustion, we try, we fail, and we get up and move on. As this cycle repeats we start to believe we are getting stronger. It won’t always work that way, people don’t function in the same way always. And that’s the beauty of it. One day you would just want this same old routine to stop but you can’t. This would add to the frustration and make you drag yourself to the daily activities. Wake up, make breakfast, and go to work, realizing the vicious cycle has no escape. Now since subconsciously a part of you do not want to do it, hence you would start to lose track of everything.  However you might not see through it. See we just identified the problem which is a huge success so a high five to that!

First things first, start with taking a break to reflect. If you identify what you are missing, go get it! Sometimes what we are actually missing could be a spiritual push to get us back on track. The point is to understand what massive problems the best of human kind The Prophets” went through and still never gave up. It really helps you perceive how small your problems are and why to not give up hope. You know what a Believer can do best? Believe!

Secondly sometimes you know what you are missing. You are praying, hoping, helping people and doing good things a believer must do. And you are still missing it. Now don’t jump to the conclusions like how you might have gone astray or are being punished. It’s OK to get tired. Only it does NOT mean you are losing hope. Doubts, second thoughts, fears, exhaustion they are all the characteristics of being a human. Start taking heavy dose of everything that is positive around you. Even if it means to hang-out with a 5 years old neighbor. By the way kids are the best company you can get at times like these. They keep your mind of unnecessary worries, for they ALWAYS want your complete attention! Forget meditation to improve concentration, spend some time with kids.

Pretending makes it only worse, admit and accept things just as they are. We will work on the “GET UP and dust off the dirt” later. For now let’s just celebrate being excessively sick and tired souls taking a break.