Monthly Archives: March 2014

Fluttering Wings

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Is it like when winter wind blows?
No matter now for no one knows
My eyes dart from darkness to darkness
In my trembling body, my fright shows

I hear voices, echoing screams
And something white, a light it seems
Fluttering wings I vaguely see
Like those I remember from the first of my dreams

It is time to leave this cave of darkness
To a place where nothing dwells but lightness
I am no longer what I knew myself to be
Spirit of the heavens; my new identity

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Four chords that made a million

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Four chords that made a million

People express themselves in different ways. Self-expression takes up a unique and interesting form for each individual. Whether it is the conventional use of words (more appropriate for the eloquent) or with the help of the seven colours, everyone has their own personal arsenal. For me, the best way has been through music or rather, by playing music. The instrument of choice for me has been the guitar. It all started 9 years ago when I bought my first guitar and it has been a crazy, to say the least, journey since then. During the summer I took guitar lessons for 2 months and after that, it was a year after year routine of sitting in front of the computer screen for countless hours, looking up tutorials to learn the songs that had inspired me to pick up the guitar. Today, this is going to help me finish a college project and frankly, let me show off a little. Two birds with one stone, right?

Apart from the initial push, I am a self-taught guitarist. I studied some basic music theory, as much as I could on my own, after which all the pieces fell in their own respective places. Besides that, it was just hours long of practice that helped me unlock the ethereal world of music. In retrospect, all those sore fingers were well worth it and my battle wounds; the callouses on my fingers (I love being dramatic) are a constant reminder of how nothing is served to you on a silver platter. For me, playing music is an incredible way to express because by toying with several genres, I have been able to vent a wide spectrum of moods just by picking up my guitar and letting the chords do all the “talking” for me.

Now that I have filled you in with my arduous quest to enlightenment, let’s get down to business. I will be done with college in a few weeks. It has been 4 insane years at LSE. Unfortunately, the “London wala nahi, Lahore wala” LSE is not the best college in the world (surprise, surprise). But at the end of the day, you have to make do with what you have. These were 4 important years of my life and like everything else, it had to end some day (thank God).

These are very rough because my playing is rusty these days. Apologies.

 

This is an instrumental and it is called “Farewell Ballad”, originally by Zakk Wylde, which I’ve played over a backing track with a little improvisation. It is my way of saying goodbye to college. So yeah, I bid you farewell, LSE.

 

One the greatest rock solos of all time. “Stairway to heaven” was one of the songs that inspired me to learn the instrument. Thank you Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page for creating such a powerful piece of music.

 

Here’s a beautiful song, called “Babe I’m gonna leave you”. Just because I felt like giving this post an acoustic touch as well.

And She Knew No More

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By Fatima Ebadat Khan

“Get up! You worthless woman! Get up now!” the drunken shouts of Tehmina’s husband mingled with her terrified, blood curling screams of last night echoed in her ears.
As her eyes snapped open, it took her a minute or two to take in her surroundings. She found herself lying on the cold marble floor, wearing what remained of her already tattered clothes, which were now in shreds.
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Tehmina tried to lift herself up but regretted this almost immediately as this slight movement made every nerve in her body twist and agonizing pain rippled through her body. Screams escaped her lips as she mustered the strength to lift herself from the floor. At once she collapsed onto the hard sofa. Tehmina peered at the blackish – blue bruises that her husband had inflicted upon her in his last night’s fit of rage. Carefully avoiding her face and…

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They Do Not Leave

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By Myra Jafri

 

They leave without a trace –

No fleeting embrace,

No peck on the cheek or a squeeze of the hand,

No warm whispering breath bidding you farewell.

But you can hear them still

   In the lull of leaves,

      In the whirling of winds,

         In the tossing of tides –

You can hear them.

You can smell them still

   In the just-watered grass,

      In the rusting of brass –

You can smell them.

You can see them still

   In the searing sun,

      In the dusty clouds,

         In a flickering flame –

You can see them.

They do not leave.

   They have simply set sail,

      Trailing behind them pieces of themselves

For us to keep.

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 (Dedicated to Nana Abu)

For The Love of Everything Korean

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By  Asiya Shoaib Ismail

It’s something that started rather reluctantly, really. There was this dread attached to somebody forcing me to sit through a 16-episode Korean drama, just because he found the lead girl adorable. Though I was in fits for the very first episode staring at a highly caked-up lead male who looked too effeminate for any girl’s taste, but oddly the first episode ended at this amazing note that I sat through all the 1-hour-long episodes in 2 sittings. This drama was called Heartstrings (넌 내게 반했어/You’ve Fallen For Me). You-ve-Fallen-For-Me-Heartstrings-youve-fallen-for-me-heartstrings-23591556-1280-1024

Highly caked-up lead (aka Jung YongHwa) Highly caked-up lead (aka Jung YongHwa)

This was just the start of an immensely severe addiction for everything that is Korean, from the plethora of good music, talented singers and dancers, the well-scripted Korean dramas, as well as the language and the connection I feel to their culture being from Asia, albeit a separate region of the continent.

There…

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Utopia

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Astronomica

 

Faith.

Ever had that feeling, when you’re lying on the hospital bed, and you just know who you want to see when you wake up; That one person who’d make it all better? Have you ever had that moment when you’re treading but you can’t stop yourself from turning around expecting to lay your eyes on something other than your shadow? Have you ever hoped to feel a warm embrace when you’re sitting alone crying?

 

Ever looked into someone’s eyes, wanting to see love? And have you ever led yourself to think that it’s there? Ever come across an episode when you see the knife, but you let your back turn anyway? And have you pretended like your loved one didn’t tear your spine with it? Ever been in a state when you can’t embrace the truth because it’s too harsh? And have you ever knowingly let go of the truth, and embraced the lies because they give you a reason to smile?

 

Ever lived in a time when humanity perished and greed prevailed? Have you ever been a part of the system, even though you hated it? Ever become the person you dreaded the most? Have you ever reaped your soul to have a little power? And have you ever sadistically liked being superior, while crushing your fellows beneath your feet?

 

Ever come across a point in time when you think you’re special to god? Have you ever had the faith to nullify the fact that he’d let you get hurt? Have you ever told yourself that it’s going to be okay, when you know it isn’t? Have you ever lied about how you’re grateful to god, when you really aren’t? Have you ever fashioned a facade, believing that god will give you the answer, when you can’t find it? And have you almost always known that that isn’t going to happen?

 

Faith is a funny thing. A state of intoxication, an eternal beauty where reason has drowned and lies have succumbed. A beautiful denial; A beautiful lie; A beautiful utopia. Faith is what all of us need. A reason to decline, a reason to believe in good when there isn’t any, a reason to smile when there is none. Faith, like utopia, is not wanting to know the truth because the lies are better.

 

 

Apathy

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By  Asiya Shoaib Ismail

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People expect most of those around them to be concerned and sympathetic to the troubles that others face, and it is, I guess, the most natural and humane response to incidents of violence or hurt. But what does one do if they stop giving the normally expected response?

Clearly that is, what I appear to be going through. As a child and a teenager, I was rather impassioned, full of patriotism and this hope that I could fix things, fix my society of its ills and evils. I had grown up expose to many realities of my country but still viewed them in a very idealistic light. The mere fact that I have given up even before I have graduated is a shame, and I am truly embarrassed to admit that I am, in fact, apathetic.

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It’s worth addressing why I have become so. Being exposed to…

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Insignificant Life

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This is a post regarding the worthlessness and insignificance of life

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By  Asiya Shoaib Ismail

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Humankind are the most selfish of all living creatures, not possessing the capability to live beyond themselves. This is defined by the way they sit and nurse grievances or mourn those who have passed away. This nature of man is the one thing that goes against him in most cases. The ability to remember some of the most hurtful or embarrassing incidents of the past life sometimes lead onto feelings of hate or regret which are detrimental to the growth of humans. The power to let go is what truly lacks in us, and therefore the concept of ‘forgiving and forgetting’ is unachievable because we cannot forget; not unless we all get amnesia and forget ourselves and those around us.

Another side to this idea is that from the day we gain consciousness, most of us develop certain ideals of what we think is right and…

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