Cloudy With A Hope for Joy

For the past few days, Karachi sky more often than not is covered with thick and dark clouds. Everyone is anxiously waiting for the arrival of rain which seems content in keeping the Karachiites in humid air for now.

Karachi Sky at 1700 hours

Every few hours, the skies clear; leaving no sign of clouds at all. Just like everything else in life, the weather too is continuously changing. 

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Strangest Words in English

There are times when I am trying to get a message across to someone but just can’t find the right words to express myself. At times like these (in an informal setting), I even make up my own words. For obvious reasons they sound gibberish to others but to me they make perfect sense. 

However there are words present in the English language that may sound made-up even when they’re not. They have proper meanings, usage, everything.

Let me share a few of them with you that, for me at least, are borderline crazy!

1. Argle-bargle (Noun)

copious but meaningless talk or writing; nonsense.

2. Borborygmus (Noun)

a rumbling or gurgling noise made by the movement of fluid and gas in the intestines.

3. Flibbertigibbet (Noun)

a frivolous, flighty, or excessive talkative person 

4. Gobbledygook (Noun)

language that is made meaningless or is made unintelligible by excessive use of technical terms; nonsense.

5. Hwyl (Noun)

(in Welsh use) a stirring feeling of emotional motivation and energy. 

6. Kerfuffle (Noun)

a commotion or fuss, especially one caused by conflicting views. 

7. Nudiustertian (Adjective)

of or relating to the day before yesterday.

8. Suedehead (Noun)

a young person of a subculture characterised by an appearance similar to that of skinheads but generally with slightly longer hair and smarter clothes.

9. Syzygy (Noun)

a conjunction or opposition, especially of the moon with the sun.

10. Tittynope (Noun)

a small quantity of anything left over.

11. Wayzgoose (Noun)

an annual summer dinner or outing held by a printing house for its employees. 

12. Widdershins (Adverb)

in a direction contrary to the sun’s course; anticlockwise.

How many of these did you know already? I hope it’s not all just argle-bargle to you guys!

12

You Told Me..

You told me you were fine

Yet your eyes told a different story

You told me you wanted to be alone

Yet your body twitched to be held

You told me everyone has problems 

Yet the lines on your face said something else

You told me you don’t care

Yet you stopped me from leaving

You told me to move on

Yet your heart chose to stay

You told me not to meddle

Yet my love for you said otherwise. 

This Father’s Day

Dear Baba,

I know I’m not the kind of person who is able to express my emotions really well and so I’m writing you this letter instead. This may make me a coward but at least I will be able to get it off my chest.

I don’t know if you realize this, but I do. Our relationship is way different than the relationship between you and my siblings. We don’t just sit and talk like you do with my eldest sister, nor do we discuss my day like you do with my brother. You don’t pick up little reasons to tease me or goad me into an argument like you do with baji (sister), nor do you ask someone else to do a chore originally assigned to me like you do with behn (sister). 

Our relationship consists of me handing you the tools you need when you’re building back your car, giving you your medicine, or going through those 40 minutes long journey when you are dropping me off at university – with none of us ever saying a single word to each other. 

Saying that my dad doesn’t love me sounds like something straight out of a drama. And I get that in your own way perhaps you do love me. Maybe you are unable to express your feelings as well or maybe this is just my wishful thinking. I just wish there was a way you could somehow show that you do care about me. Tell me that you are proud of me. Tell me that you see how much I have improved in my academics. Tell me you are happy with the field I have chosen. Tell me I can do it. Teach me how to drive. Give me advice. Ask me questions. Show interest in my life. Motivate me. Hug me. Love me.

Happy Father’s day.

Love,

Your Beti.

The Miracle of Ramadan 

​A week before Ramadan started, the weather of Karachi was so hot you could have fried eggs on the sidewalk. The temperature ranged from 35°C to 46°C with increased humidity level and little to no chances of precipitation. Due to this, several Karachiites (including me) started worrying about how fasting during this kind of weather will become possible.

Despite these concerns, Ramadan was welcomed with open arms and with the same zeal as every year. The sun remained stubborn, shining in all its glory and continuing to cast its heat wave on all of Karachi.

For me, the beginning was the toughest. Since it was only the first week, my body had been out of practice from abstaining food and drink. The week also included some of the hottest days of the month which only made fasting more challenging. However, soon after that the temperature in Karachi gradually started going down and my body too started adapting to the new routine.

Tomorrow will be the 19th of Ramadan in Karachi and I still find that hard to believe. It seems like only yesterday I was worried about having to fast in the sizzling heat, and yet here I am now, just around the corner from welcoming the last ten days of this blessed month.

It is nothing short of a miracle how easily I was able to breeze through my fasting days without any issues – medical or otherwise. Perhaps this is how Ramadan strengthens our faith. Not only does it create a sense of togetherness among Musims, it also makes everyday tasks during fasts seem almost effortless.

I wish all of you countless blessings in this holy month of Ramadan.

10 Reasons Why Books Are So Much Better Than Movies 

Yesterday, I asked one of my friends to read The Kite Runner since it is one of my top favourite reads of all times.

His response?

Isn’t there a movie based on that book? I’d much rather watch that instead.

This felt like a personal attack against me, leaving me utterly speechless (as well as making me question our friendship). It got me thinking on why I always prefer a paperback instead of just watching the screenplay, and while there are several reasons that come to mind, these are the ones I believe stand out the most.

1. The characters in the story emerge just the way you want them to; be it looks, sounds, actions or even the costumes. In movies you aren’t given much of an option – the image is already there and you have to deal with it even if it doesn’t make sense.

2. You are constantly aware of what is going inside your main character’s head and hence there are no missing chunks of the story (unless it’s very poor writing) that leave you second guessing about what just happened.

3. In books, your story slowly and gradually builds. You grow up right along your characters and when the story is exceptionally good, you start building a connection with them. Most movies only last an hour or two and so the story has to be confined in a very limited time, giving the audience very little chance to relate to the characters.

4. Even though movies too play a big role in improving your language skills, it is actually the books that create a major impact. By reading books written by various authors, you are able to learn the best bits from them and develop amazing writing skills.

5. Watching movies means increased screen time and research has shown that artificial light from your computer screens has a negative effect on your sleep cycle. Reading paperbacks in broad daylight or under a lamp creates no such problems.

6. For some people, following dialogues during a movie proves to be a bit challenging especially when English (if they are watching an English movie) is not their first language. Books, however, let you re-read the same paragraph infinite times.

7. Paperbacks, hard cover, ebooks – whatever the shape or form of your book, you get to keep it with you; maybe even pass it down to the next generation. The very unique smell of books and the worn out edges from countless turning of pages gives it its very own distinctiveness.

8. You don’t have to worry about things such as charging your device or poor Internet connection when reading a book.

9. Whether you are travelling, waiting for your bus, putting your child to sleep or even just curling around on the sofa – books can be your constant companion.

10. Books let you LIVE everything.

There is a quote by George R.R. Martin that I think explains a reader’s life, really well:

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

My Three Moments of Triumph

There are days when most of us (or at least I do) feel like we haven’t really acheived anything which is significant enough to someone else. It is important, on these days especially, that you remind yourself that no matter how mundane another person may think your achievement is; you should be the one feeling triumph over it. And that is all that matters.

For me, these have been my top 3 moments of triumph:

1. When I volunteered at The Indus Hospital and in the pediatrics ward the children’s faces lit up after I helped them blow balloons. We passed them around and played “catch catch” for some time.

2. In my second semester, I gave the final presentation on a topic assigned by our sociology professor. He later remarked that I had been one of the best presenters of the day and have what it takes to do great things in life. 

3. That time I made my first perfect cheese omelette without scrambling it even a tiny bit(!) This happened only recently (at the age of 19) but it filled me with glee nonetheless.

Feel free to share your triumph in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

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