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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...

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.