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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 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!