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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...

Saturday, 12 November 2016

An Awakened Man & His Evolved Woman

Written by Saqib Hussain

“An awakened man looks for an evolved woman as a partner on his life journey because he knows that as their souls merge she will help him to make the shift and become a man of higher awareness.”
- Daniel Nielsen

When Creation began, duality became one of the many guiding principles. Day followed night. Land emerged out of the sea. Evil grew with goodness.
Man was given a woman.
Like every other example of duality, the two in this relationship thrive on each other. Man finds satisfaction in his woman’s need of him, and the woman rests easily, knowing she is wanted.

An awakened man is one who has woken up from the dreadful dream of self-centeredness and pride. He sees his purpose in creation is to grow, to be enlightened, and to pass on what he learns. However, his journey begins with finding his identity, for in only finding himself can he understand his purpose. They will sing songs out of God’s Word and tell him what he is meant to do, but what about the truth that was made to gratify his soul? Would just knowing he is a small cog in a gigantic machine suffice as his identity? Surely not.

He is a complex organism capable of experiencing multiple dimensions of reality. Surely, there is an individual purpose for him. Surely, he must seek it and find himself. Find his truth.
It is in reaching this place, in this epiphany, that he sees what he is meant to do and who his woman is. He recognizes her once he has found himself. Any other he wanted to keep before could not stay. It was not meant to be before he would find himself.

At the same time, his woman has gone through a similar journey by comprehension of a million stars whose dust she is made of. She has felt the confusion and stabbing pain of the dove flying across the prairie that gets hit by a stone a boy pelted with his catapult. She has endured the last gasping breaths a drowning fisherman took in the storm, unable to reach his raft. She has seen who her man is, and she has realized her purpose is to be by him and let him take over her sensations – sensations that have haunted her all her life.

The awakened man recognizes his evolved woman when he sees her as she recognizes him. One long journey has ended. Another is to begin, but this time neither of them will be on their own. They’ll fulfill each other, thrive on each other, and walk hand in hand to find their place with the Creator, for reaching Him is the ultimate enlightenment, the ultimate truth, the ultimate awakening.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Love: Becoming A Complete Human

Few years back I heard something in a morning show that had me ponder for months. This lady nutritionist talked about health and spirituality damage teens do to themselves over a twisted idea of love. She said that a desperate-incomplete-individual looks for healing from others, instead of developing as a person themselves.

I bet nobody in the audience would have liked her unnerving facts, I know I didn’t. How can you, when you don’t even know what being incomplete human means?! Finally I decided to solve this agitating mystery once and for all.
First we will have to understand a human who is complete.

A complete man is a man who is conscious and awakened. Likewise a woman is said to be complete woman when she has evolved as a person. I think it’s the same development process only different routes since both genders have their own unique set of motives and responsibilities. Awakened man is the man who is confident and in control of his actions, he has no time to waste. He has been through fire to become the person he is today.

Hence I believe an awakened man and an evolved woman are both refined forms of the opposite genders at their best. They are whole as a person, mind, body and soul. They have survived and healed long time ago, now they only learn to grow and prosper in life. They learned to stay away from all that is negative. They have no reason not to love themselves and others. Also they have become healers and source of positive energy.
Negative energy attracts negative, and goodness in a person attracts whatever is good. Thus automatically they are at peace with themselves and others. There are already free from bad traits like greed, envy and unnecessary competitions. They are their own competitors in the struggle to become better humans.

Awakened man needs an evolved woman for the connection that is beyond the physical intimacy. Help him find that higher unworldly segment of us humans, called the soul. It is the chunk that differentiates a man from animals and makes him superior to all other creations of the Creator. Evolved woman allows her man to reach the top most need in the Maslow's hierarchy of needs of self actualization i.e. the fulfillment of one's talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone.

 A man can only work on his spiritual part once his worldly needs are more than satisfied. Then only he can find time and space to feed, repair and develop that non-material self of him. So that he can reach higher awareness and higher consciousness.

If these are complete humans, what are we? Not something that comes to our mind when we think about love, is it? Teens should be taught to become complete humans, instead of chasing incomplete lives, based on ‘Whatever-wood’ movies idea of love.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Poem: Deforestation

Written by Aliza Hasnain (6th Grader)

Oh! Little deer,
Why are you so sad?

I'll be honest,
There's no forest,

My home was in trees,
Now I am on streets. 

Oh! Little deer,
What can I do to help you? 

Do this please,
Plant more trees!

I'll spread the word and make you proud,
No deforestation is allowed.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Just get along...

Ever faced that awkward moment when you try to fix one thing but end up ruining ten other things? So much so that it starts to make you question all of your recent decisions. It becomes a chain of catastrophic reactions. Hence you are left with only two options; one: Run all over the place, screaming. Two: Sit back and watch it all collapse. Later one being the wiser option as it saves a total waste of energy. However it won’t be any productive for you. So maybe I am being wise lately.

Then in desperation you start to look for that one person you mess it up all for. Most likely that person would shut you out as always. We get used to of the pattern, don’t we? Beautiful truth that they keep talking about like some kind of mysterious, insightful, sophisticated geniuses is far from the dreadful distressing truth you get to live on the daily.
You wait by their door for days like a sad dog making all annoying sad sounds, begging for attention. It’s depressing to see how people treat you worst than a dog for you are not an animal after all. You are complex, egoist, selfish, strange thing that deserves to be left alone at times. Then this pattern becomes a routine, they keep doing it, you keep surviving it. If you don’t survive it, then that dog finds a better owner. If you can survive it then they probably condition you to it. Either way you can’t break the system as long as you are trying to be wise. For you know you’d be fooling yourself if you think this pattern would change for any better with other people.

Somehow punishments get easier once you accept that you deserve them. That acceptance may help you survive but it kills something else inside you. Oh well it’s not about you, is it? They know the dog isn’t going anywhere and being a guilty human you’d act far better than that.
That awkward moment when you try to explain things to them in your own artistic peculiar ways and they are like “I ain’t got no time for that!”
There’s no time for riddles and games as long as they didn’t design them.

No matter how unfair it may appear sometimes, just get along, it will go like it’s supposed to. 

Monday, 31 October 2016

Short Story: Fifteen Steps - Part 2

Written by: Zainab Waqar

He had been following her for quite some time now. A beautiful girl was walking beside a man, her husband he supposed. He carefully kept his distance about fifteen footsteps as he followed. Suddenly they stepped, her husband got busy on the phone while she started walking around aimlessly. He stood still just looking at her, wondering if she noticed him, and just then her eyes stopped wandering. She was looking straight at him, her gaze fixed. 
He wanted her to run into his arms, to recognize him. As she approached him step by step, he got lost in the past. She was everything he had ever wished for, his first true love. Under all these layers of wool he remembered her every curve, he has touched her smooth skin, every inch of it. How she loved and caressed him, their first kiss and all the others after. Why didn’t he fight for her, how did he gave her up that easy? All these questions were running through his mind. It was six years ago but felt as if it happened yesterday.

As she got near, her familiar fragrance struck him. She was so close, if he wanted he could hold her and never let go. He looked in her eyes and knew she still loved him. He wanted to tell her how he’s been what he has been up to and know everything about her but that moment in itself was perfect. Nothing needed to be said, they were able to read every expression of one another. She looked even more beautiful than before and her eyes sparkled with his reflection in them.

“Aleyana!” she turned around to see her husband looking for her. She had to go he knew that, no matter how much he wanted her to stay. He could see tears filling up her eyes. “I have to be strong for her.” he thought. So he smiled to let her know everything was okay, and it was okay to get back in her life, it was okay to leave. She gave him a broken smile back, they both knew she never wanted to go, but she turned around and started walking. As he saw her moving away he had tears in his eyes. She didn’t look back; neither did he want her to. He wanted to keep her close and caressed her for the rest of their lives. She went on and he stood there looking at her as she started to disappear in the crowd.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Short Story: Fifteen Steps

Written by: Zainab Waqar

She suddenly stopped, thought she saw something, someone. Yes, it was someone she had known, someone who had been close to her, but she wasn’t sure if it was real or an illusion of him. Should she approach him? This could turn her life upside down. Maybe act as you never noticed, but she did notice him. He was standing still; starring right back at her cause he knew that she did see him. As she started walking towards him her heart began to beat to the point of explosion, she felt sick in the stomach and everything from the beginning played in her mind.
Remembered his love and passion, how gorgeous he looked, tall and lean, with perfect sandy hair and the most amazing eyes. His every expression, everything they had been through. She recalled it in just fifteen steps, for now they were close, and she could inhale the same familiar smell that she loved. As they looked in each other’s eyes, it was like they have never been apart. Even after six years everything was the same every feeling was right there. They were still in love with one and another.

“Aleyanna” her name brought her back in present. Her husband just hung up the phone and now was looking for his wife. She looked over and then back at this man, who still hasn’t moved an inch. Nothing was needed to be said even though she wanted to tell him that she still loved him. And at times in the middle of the night she tosses and turns, she thinks of him. Perhaps they could read each other’s eyes; he smiled to assure her that it was okay. Okay to pretend she never saw him.
She gave him a broken smile as her eyes were now filled with tears. She turned and started walking away, away from him, away from all those memories, away from the shades of his love. She didn’t dare look back. She was beside her husband in exact fifteen steps. But no one could ever know what she had lived in those fifteen steps. She lived a lifetime. She went to everything wonderful and came back to everything ordinary.

Sunday, 28 August 2016


At a local café on her favorite spot Rafeya could see the beautiful beach. She was staring into the emptiness, slowly sipping on her coffee all alone.  Right then her childhood friend Sabiha taps on her shoulder and startled her.

“Oh you are here!” She says with a warm smile spreading on her face. Her friend who was sharp looking, smartly dressed tall girl, replied, “I’m here but where are you my darlin’?”
Rafeya passed a sheepish smile and continued gazing at the beautiful site outside the window as if it wasn’t enough to take it all in once glance. Thinking if she came prepared for the persuasion that was about to come up. For a moment they just sat there breathing in all that nature has to offer. As if lost in the sound of the waves and the frequent distant sounds of seagulls and the feel of the continuous cool breeze kissing their cheeks. 

Sabiha who was now staring at Rafeya, breaks the silence, “I’ll be straight to the point, girl”, then she bangs her palms on the table yelling, “ARE YOU INSANE?!”
People from other tables stopped and stared. Sabiha who didn’t seem to care, went on “this was your dream! Girl what is wrong with you? Isn’t this how we always defined our freedom?”
Rafeya looked up at her friend but before she could say a word, Sabiha continues “Freedom was never a stupid escape or a need to keep going, freedom for us was just freedom. You would regret your decision of giving up on your dreams for others.”
Her friend pause mid sentence as Refeya’s expressions turned from contentment to deep pensive one. As if she is far away, redoing all the mathematics to reach a sane decision. Busy in constant verification alongside, absorbing this new perspective shown to her.
Rafeya could feel her friend’s eyes on her face waiting on a response. She pulled out a glass jar from her purse and placed it on the table. The jar had a beautiful butterfly inside it, fluting and struggling to come out.
 “What is that? And why is it in your purse?!” Saibiha gasped.

Rafeya speaks up for the first time with the voice unusually calm, “Sabi, Define the word freedom for this butterfly. Tell me she doesn’t think of it anything other than getting out of this jar. Tell me her dream of escaping the jar is less important than the gardens and the flowers right now? ”
Sabiha just sit there dumbfounded. Rafeya went on with a Mona Lisa smile set on her face now “yes we had dreams larger than life but they are far less than my kids and my spouse now. My definition of the word changed. My family is my freedom, the significant dream and purpose that defines me.”
Sabiha who was now more sad than relaxed, faked a smile and looked away. Rafeya moved forward and place her hand on her friend’s and whispered “I can’t come with you now but I will always be here to support you. You go and live it up for both of us, Sweetheart”

Sabi smiled at her friend and pulled the glass jar towards her. She opened the jar and they looked at the butterfly flutter away. They sat there in silence which was more comfortable than ever before. Letting themselves be a part of that breathtaking sight of the sea. 

Friday, 19 August 2016

Weight Loss: Keeping it off!

 Written by: Zainab Waqar

Yay! I did it! I lost 65 lbs, which is almost 30kgs! Hats off to me!!

This was me six months ago: I was always the fat kid, and I struggled with weight all through my life up until now. It took me over sixteen months to reach my goals. Yes, this was a big deal to me!

Well, just then, out of the blue, I was offered a job as a teacher in a private school - with a handsome pay (just saying). And guess what. I accepted the offer and everything turned around but not necessarily for the better.

My schedule completely changed. I was not working out as much as I did before and some days no workout at all. The cherry on top: due to stress and workload, my bad habits of eating junk were coming back. I could feel my body changing and, after four months, I could see it in the mirror too.

No matter how hard I tried to keep up with my workout routine it was not working and I had to make a decision. I made the right one, which was to quit my job because nothing is more important than your health and my health was suffering. I missed working out and that great feeling of victory after a workout.

So here I start again, yes I have put on a few pounds but this is nothing to be depressed about. I’m happy that I made the decision early before all of it came back. I will just have to work harder. Honestly, if you want to keep the flab off you have to change your lifestyle because, if you don't, sooner or later you will be out of shape.

It all comes down to making the decision. Do you want to be healthy for the rest of your life or you only want to look good for a certain time period?

I made my decision and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. When you put yourself first it only means you love yourself enough. 

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Group chats these days...

The more social media advances, the more it gets easier to stay in touch with your friends, and not just friends, but your old friends, new friends, close friends, and barely friends.

Not that I’m ungrateful for this access to our childhood friends but in all honesty it can be pretty annoying at times. The first and the foremost dilemma come when your friends start to add their friends into your close group. In other words total strangers suddenly start crashing into your stupendous party. For some reason these new strangers-kind-of-friends will always become more active in the group than your actual friends. However these intruders most probably lack to understand your sophisticated level of humor.

Then there is usually an old friend who would call you out and then leave you hanging in the middle of the conversation, embarrassing you in front of all this new bizarre audience.

Soon this group has all sorts of people, and most probably your childhood bullies too. Yep, and that’s the height of awkwardness anyone can ever reach. Just when you start to think it cannot get more ridiculous than that, one of the members would start sending you selfies. Selfies of their car, of their bedroom, of the office, and kids and food and home supplies and what not!

It is frustrating having to go back in the phone memory and keep deleting the unreasonable pile of stranger’s assets in your phone, but be grateful that button exists.

Moreover the chat would become extremely fast paced that you start to lose track of everything. Check your phone and find another EIGHT HUNDRED MESSAGES to read after every five minutes. Meh! who has time for that? Just go with the flow and respond when you feel like.

So maybe one day you might feel the need to talk to one of your old friend from the group in a separate place, to avoid all this absurdity. Don’t even think about it! Even if this person is responding in the group chat but when you send them a private message, you are doomed. You will NEVER get a reply in the private and also this person might ignore you in the group after this mistake you made. This is some kind of a GROUP NORM or something. Once you break this rule you shall pay the price. Therefore beware of the undefined rules of the group chats; they can be anything, hiding in dark places, waiting for you. Oh well then there are always exceptions, we learn as we go. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes but then run as fast as lightening.

Happy chatting!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Motivation: The Letter

The girl walked to her room and opened a cupboard. With trembling hands she pulled out an envelope. Slowly she flipped it and saw her name written at the back. Carefully she unfolds the piece of paper she found inside.
Leaving the cupboard open she falls right there on the floor, holding tight on the letter. She starts to read…

Hi Nida,
How are you, Sweetheart? Since you are reading this letter, I don’t expect you to be okay. Oh that’s an understatement. You are probably drowning in the pound of your own tears. Alright that didn’t help much…. err just saying you did the right thing. Tell me you are smiling right now and I’m already half way there. Some persuader, huh?

The truth is you don’t have to tell me anything. I know you and you can go ahead and cry, shout, scream your lungs out. Do whatever it takes to keep you moving forward. I know sometimes it NOT easy to follow the ‘DON’T GIVE UP’ signs. Especially at times like these when you literally see your haters burn it all down to ashes. And you can’t do anything about it because all the damage is done indirectly. Leaves you confused and frustrated. If you ask me, Love, it’s not just external attacks but the internal fears, doubts and stress too. One can only break you down when the attacks are from all directions including the CORE.

All you need to know is its okay to press the PAUSE button some times. I have seen you fail, I’ve seen you breakdown and give up. But my dear girl, I have also seen you WIN, conquer and survive! I’ve seen the undying faith in you that kept you striving like a mad person who is blind to threats and distractions.
The faith that kept you going for years now, don’t let it fade away. You can’t quit when you are this close to your dream. Don’t let them win by losing the final battle to your own fears. Whatever lies inside of you, are the things you have complete control on. Get to work and mend your soul. Repair unlimited amount of faith you have always held in you. Never let something so soothing run short on space by negative burdens. Here’s the key: Keep the malicious of the foreign subsidiaries away from the headquarters, i.e. your Heart.

P.S: I will be waiting to see you there.



Friday, 8 January 2016

Stop Messing Up Your Kids

When I was 6 years old my mum and aunt told me if I pray for a brother I’ll be blessed with one. They made it an after school ritual for me. After ‘Salam’ and throwing my bag away, next came praying and crying to for a baby brother. 

Few weeks later I came home and there was GOOD NEWS! They told me now I have a baby brother! We excitedly went to the place where angels distribute babies. To my disappointment it turns out that my baby brother is my aunt’s new born. Before I could question anything, they told me, “He is your brother, it’s just angels accidentally gave him to your aunt.”
It might have made me happy at that age, but with time this lie started to mess things up for me. I mean for more than half of my life I believed with conviction that angels made a mistake! Not only that, to defend this lie I would fight with his siblings. Besides I was the one who asked ALLAH for him in the first place!

I would go check on him in kindergarten every day. The entire school believed Zafar is my brother and Zaib’s cousin, when it was the opposite. All of my time was spent with my little brother every single day of his childhood. In return naturally the kid started to stick with me, his Aapa, more than with anybody else. 
Nothing mattered until my aunt had to move out of town. What if it happened during my childhood? Wouldn’t the outcomes have been worse?
We don’t realize how the aftereffects of one stupid lies could be crippling and devastating. A part of your child would always stay stuck in it, disturbing their ability to deal with facts.

Parents and adults see lies as an easy way out. Anything that is not true may block pain for a short-period but that short-period would keep distorting the reality forever. This damage is continuous and it could be avoided if you care to explain things. When kids start to demand reasons they are at the age to learn to deal with truth and realities of life.
Parents are mostly the first people a kid trust wholeheartedly, don’t sabotage this beautiful faith they hold in you.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2016: New Year's Resolutions!!!

I was winding up work when I heard random happy people sharing their new year’s resolutions on TV. Few minutes later I saw long awkward posts of my friends on social media on the same topic. Everybody was mainly bragging about how previous year have made them “wiser”. Though it felt like Déjà vu. They’d probably make the same mistakes this New Year, only they made it public. How WISE is that?

To be honest I never thought 2016 would come so soon. I mean 2015 already felt so brand new whereas SIXTEEN felt so far away. It’s amazing as well as frightening to see how a year passes by like a day or even faster than that! For me this year went by fast, so fast that I am still dizzy. Still it’s always nice to see people happy however I don’t see a point in celebration. Why do people want to rejoice all the time they’ve lost? Don’t these NEW numbers make them feel old?

Oh well, we generally pursue dumb reasons to party.  And it’s about time I stop being a party pooper and be grateful. Grateful, as we are given another chance to achieve. Another shot to conquer dreams that got lost in the mist of needs for survival last year. New Year comes with new plans, new goals and of course with a bag full of lessons learned. Even if these plans seem like jokes and these lessons are only unwanted baggage. They still come with a burning hope.
It doesn’t matter how crazy your new year’s resolution maybe. If it’s a perfect body, healthy lifestyle, promotion, getting a degree, getting over an addiction, achieving your weird yet awesome dream. Even if you hardly stand a 5% chance, hold on to it and keep going. As the days unfold you will see sometimes that 5% is all you need.

“Ya ALLAH, may we be steadfast with our New Year’s Resolutions, Ameen”


Friday, 1 January 2016

Me Studying for Comprehensive Exam

I miss him so much.

You were talking to him 5 seconds ago, now it’s time to study.

Wait why do I have to study?

Cause you have your MBA Comprehensive Exam tomorrow.

Weird name for an exam but why do I have to pass it again?

Arrghh!! To get your MBA degree!

Aah right. Alright study first text later.

Good idea, let’s start from your favorite subject, History of ideas?

Nice, let’s start from Plato. I enjoyed that class discussion but what was that crazy Cave story? Caves remind me of bats. Haroon really likes Batman. I think I should buy him a batman mug. Would he think I am crazy if I send him too many mugs?

Focus! Besides that Cave story made sense!

Yeah, it did. Cave = Batman = Haroon. I wonder what he is doing right now. Like if he is thinking about me? I should text him to find if he misses me. We haven’t talked for like… ten minutes; he must be worried about me by now.

Hey! You have to study to pass this exam! Do you want to fail this test? How would Haroon feel about it?

Yeah you are right. I must pass this exam. I want him to be proud of me just like I am so very proud of him. He is just a gentleman. I like how he is so decent. Sometimes I wonder if our love is too platonic. Is that bad?

Fine, forget Plato. Let’s start from I.T.

Did you know Haroon knows computers a lot better than me? I mean isn’t that amazing? I’ll ask him to teach me this alien device because I use to get the best sleep of my life in I.T class.

How about starting from Human Resource Management?

I think Haroon would make a really good HR manager. You know why? Cause he is so nice to people. He understands them so well. He must be a mind reader. A friendly one though.

Do you know what a 360 degree Feedback is?

No, but it sounds pretty sexy if Haroon is the HR manager.

*Sigh* Go text him. We will study later…