Category Archives: Self-Expression

Sky-High

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I hurled across the road , took a leap of faith and jumped high in the air. I was touching the skies , I was in the air and what I had in my hand was a string. Euphoria had stricken , how ? It was my hand it had a string , I had caught it it had managed to get hold of the loose end of the string hissing across the ground. I was flying a kite , I had caught one. The feeling cannot be exasperated in words I was deluded with this love for over six years and now my adrenaline jumped to astounding heights. Blood was flowing faster than in my fingers , as I pulled the string. The sense of achievement at first with getting hold of the kite and then , the way I controlled it’s every direction.Image

There was more to follow , I wasn’t the only one who was commanding a warrior in the skies , there were hundreds of these glittering entities ruling the skies. Yes kites , kites , kites here there everywhere.
Basant was being celebrated after years my memories had faded and I had lost hope of ever commanding the skies again but today the unimaginable has happened. Lucky was a word too less to describe my feelings. Passing by a park in the capital and a banner with basant written on it what were the odds I would be able to see it in an unknown city park my car and jump into the celebrations.

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Strawberry Fields

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ImageAnd in that void, I swayed. To the beauty of the moment that embraced me. The breeze of silent whispers that softly hit my drums like a soft love song sung behind closed doors and thick walls. And as I closed my eyes, and breathed stronger till my nose converged within itself, I let my worries out through a whiff of air that escaped my mouth. And I was there..

I walked through the garden, sunlit green. Rose kissed trees smiling at me, reaching out for an embrace.

‘Can you walk here to me?’, I asked.

And they swayed their head in melancholy. How unfair life is, isn’t it? To build a desire you simply can not please? Their roots held them back, so I could see. Like most of you, and I, him and she. So I walked to her, so tall and pink and green. And as I melted into the bark of the tree, her twiggy arms encircled me. And as I let go, all dusty and pink, she gave me a strawberry which made me think..

I wonder how she knew I wanted one, so juicy and sweet?

As I treaded on the infinite stone path that didn’t seem to end, I held the strawberry in my hand. And pondered if I hadn’t walked to the tree, if my desire to have one would be in vain? That would’ve been a shame..

So I looked at the vultures that orbited me, and I gulped down the berry before they could see.

My berry, my berry, all mine” was all I could think..

And as the berry struggled through my pipe, and bounced inside me, my vision became clearer and I could finally see. Did the sun just become brighter, or is it just me? I thought to myself..

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The sun indeed was livelier, the veins of the flowers pursed like a lady’s lips to kiss her beloved, the grass became younger than I last remembered..

It was a breakthrough, that much I could see. Closed doors opened, visions got clearer, things started to unravel.. And did life suddenly make more sense that it ever did to me?

And as I stared at the gold butterfly that sat on my nose, and flapped its wings to synchronize with my lashes, the voices called out to me.

Wake up, wake up, have you fallen asleep?’.

I felt a tug on my arm, though I could not see. And I reached out to the branch of the tree, to save me. The pull became stronger, and as I let out a scream.. The butterfly turned to dust, the tree fell apart, the sun deceased. The darkness sucked me in through a straw I didn’t fit in to, but such is darkness, and such it has always been..


 

Inspiration:

 

Vertigo

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Come here.

Sit.

 

How did we get here? When we stopped looking for monsters underneath our beds, and started looking for them within and around?

Don’t make a sound. They’re listening.

 

Did you check for the ones hidden beneath the sheets of your bed? The ones that hold you close on a winter’s night, warm their bodies, until summer arrives? Did you hunt them down?

 

How did we get here? When dreams stretched longer than a night, and reality came a bit too soon..but still too late?

Open your eyes.

 

Do you want me to pinch you now, so you know what is true and that which is not? But didn’t you ask for that pinch when nothing seemed real? I believe you felt the pinch too late, my dear. Wait..

How did we get here?

 

Are you out of colors, yet again? The black, the blue, the green, the grey.

Prick your finger with a needle sharp, and paint your wall with blood so dark..

Wrap it with a chain and lock, not a door this time..

Remember the last knock?

 

Nothing is true, did I tell you not? Not the words spoken, or the purple rock.  God died in all the battles that were fought, the devil crawled out of him, I kid you not..

 

A sweet demise this shall be one, a revival, a reform? Or maybe none..

A cliff you’re standing on, yes, right there..

 

Wait..

How did we get here?

 


 

Inspiration:

 

Pep Talk from fruits

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Its funny how sometimes we personify inanimate objects. Giving them human expressions and making them more life like. I happened to make the ‘scary’ faced fruit and from there it just spiraled on. Inspired by youtube’s famous ‘Kid President’, here’s a little video for the downcast – to, hopefully, bring a smile to your face.

For those of you who do not speak Urdu, “akela” is a pun. We call banana in Urdu “kela” whereas “akela” means “alone”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-gQLqv9f4o – ‘A Pep Talk from Kid President’

The First of March

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ImageLike glittering pixels,Image

the floor shines,

rippling as the wind blows,

a mirrored light.

As the gentle breeze caresses your flushed cheeks,

a warmth emanates from the core of your bosom,

Imagewhen you think of the of the pink blossoms,Image

or the fluffy skies.

Good morning dear, sweet sparrow,

welcome baby leaves,

and a Hello to you,

                                                                               the First of March.

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.

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.

 

 

Lahore Eating Spree – Love of all Things FOOD!

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Lahore Eating Spree – Love of all Things FOOD!

Every year my best friend from USA visits me (more like surprises me) and together we explore the food scene in Lahore and the test the limits of our appetites.

Saharish and I share a love for all things food and we spend her entire vacation in Pakistan gorging down on foods from all the restaurants in Lahore we can reach. Here are some of our favorites:

The first one on our list was Nandos; our favorite spot to for the spicy! We’ve tried to decipher exactly what goes into this potion of mirchi  called the Perri-perri sauce but alas, it’s still a mystery. We’re under it’s spicy spell and no matter how teary eyed or runny nosed it makes us we just can’t get enough of it.

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One night we made the mistake of watching Dhoom3 in DHA Cinema, and we just had to wash that down with a delicious treat or that day would have been a total waste. So we headed on over to Gun Smoke for their famous steaks and burgers. Yum!

 

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And of course no meal is complete without desert and the recent top restaurant that has attracted the Lahori food junkies is  Butlers Chocolate Cafe. That was definitely our favorite this year. It was surprising to see how packed full of people it was no matter what time you went. Their chocolate deserts are the best I’ve had anywhere and the ambiance just adds to the amazing experience.

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We came!
We saw!
We ate and conquered!

The week long food fest had sadly come to an end and Saharish had to go back to the States, after destroying my diet and any future plans thereof! But a refreshing vacation and time well spent. I enjoyed every morsel of it. And so we parted once again with heavy hearts but full bellies and already excited about the eating spree we’re hoping to have again next year. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attack of the Tyrannosaurus in the 21st Century

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One of my biggest obsessions is the T-Rex. T-Rex tees, bottles, puppets, you name it I got it! It all started obviously with Jurassic Park, which is one of my most favourite movies ever. I saw that movie as a child when it first released in Pakistan a couple of years after its original release, even though I was only a few years old then. One of my fondest childhood memories was seeing the Jurassic Park poster plastered over all over the wall of a local cinema and watching cinema and watching all the three movies with my family whenever they made their way to Pakistan’s  movie theaters.  Image The coolest thing about the Tyrannosaurus is that besides being severely handicapped by its tiny arms it’s one of the greatest movie monsters ever. From the moment that you hear the slight thump and the rings in the glass of water you know that some serious carnage is about to happen. I crack up every time I hear a T-Rex joke about it having tiny arms. The image of a Tyrannosaurus making a bed routinely makes me laugh out loud.  Image

My T-Rex obsession may strike most people as odd. I mean what’s there to like about an ugly gigantic lizard which roars and eats people? But to me that’s the best thing I could see on a movie theatre screen. Over the years people around me have learned to indulge my T-Rex obsession and I have gained even more merchandise. I simply love the way in which the T-Rex has come from just being one of the all time favourite movie monster to becoming a popular culture statement.

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For The Love of Everything Korean

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Right to Ricochet

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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