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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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.

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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‘Moments’

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This article is about my self-expression through photography.

 

 

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 From one corner of Lahore to another you will be dazzled by the Mughal art and architecture, with spectacular domes and gardens.

 

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Islamabad a city of wonder- beauties of Saidpur village and the view from Monal.

 

 

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Lahore in the spring season – The polo matches

 

 

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IMG_7649         The abstract nature of life is fully expressed only by the right click at the right moment. 🙂

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Pakistan kay funkaar

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Pakistan is an absolutely wonderful country where you are bound to find something interesting and entertaining in one form or the other. If you are having a dull day, be sure to check you are in the right country because every day of the week in Pakistan is ridden with a wide spectrum of events. All this is thanks to (no, not Almighty Allah) the wonderful, colorful and ever so enthusiastic people who inhabit this lovely place. The level at which the minds of our people function is something which I feel is not stressed upon enough. To make it simpler for you and in spirit of being more specific (something which I battle with on a day to day basis, but that is a story for another day) I am talking about the tag lines seen on the back of cars and rickshaws, amongst other things. Call it their sense of humor or a serious form of self-expression, it is something that has never failed and will never cease to make me give a silent applaud to the dexterity and genius of our people. The day I realized the worth of these, I decided to forever capture these works of art in pictures so that at some point in time I could go through them, have a good laugh and just appreciate the amount of creativity ordinary citizens on the roads are inundated with.

Besides, talking about the funniest and strangest things you have seen on the back of vehicles is actually a good topic for conversation (again, something I struggle with but we will get to that someday. If you are lucky).

Here I share with you my collection; a plethora of pictures I was lucky enough to capture with my forever loyal companion; my dearest cell phone. I have had to tailgate cars to get good pictures so do not think of this as an ordinary endeavour but the height of an enthusiast’s love for art. This is where I shut up and let the people speak for themselves. I hope you all enjoy these as much as I did.

 

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Let’s start with the most common one. “That’s all dua to my parents” is probably the most used line and it’s such a hot favourite that it has become a classic. “It’s all prayers of my parents” is another take on the original version but with of course the same idea. May we all be blessed with such grateful offspring.

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Sometimes you come across names that really make you curious as to who that person is and what he/she looks like. “Bablu”,  “Bhalu Don” & “Teddy Pehelwan” are actually very interesting names. I might just name my kids something of the sort.  

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Well, if this guy says he’s not a terrorist because his name is Vicky, who are we to argue? He sure convinced me.

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Have you ever seen someone with a stick figure haircut? If no, here’s your first. If yes, you can still admire this work of art.

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.   I guess this is pretty self-explanatory

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Only in Pakistan will you find Uncle Sam on the back of a garbage truck asking you what you have done for mother nature.

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I’m not sure I want to know what they put in their shawarmas.

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I guess when Saith tells you not to mess with him, you don’t.

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Zidi Rajpoot wants his lover back because; well, he needs her love.