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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...

Sunday, 28 August 2016


At a local cafĂ© 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!