August 07, 2017

The Joker

by , in

The curtains went down, 
the actors were praised. 
In the changing room, 
the transformation took place. 

The shimmer removed, 
the darkness glowed. 
The scars were revealed, 
narrating incidents with lips sealed. 

The crowd went home, 
so they felt so safe. 
They could come out naked. 
They could leave their cave. 

On the dark streets, 
their feet were dancing,
creating the magic, 
with tranquility enhancing. 

The twinkling smile of their soul, 
made them so brightened, 
as if stars had come down, 
their territory widened. 

That act was natural, 
because it had no spectators. 
That purity was factual 
hiding from evil eyes of haters. 

Little did the crowd care, 
they were fooled, but were unaware.

- Aiman Sheikh (Class of 2019)


August 03, 2017

Home; a different perspective

by , in
*This is an entry for the July Blog of the Month Competition

One busy day while driving around, I decided to meet someone very special as I was very exhausted.  As I stepped out of the car and my feet touched the green grass, I felt a slight breeze calming my body. And suddenly my tiredness vanished. Getting closer to him made me feel better.  And then I had a flashback of all the time I had spent with him.

Two years ago, when my parents and my brother went to hajj, I was sent to his house to stay there -- my khala's house. 

I've stayed there many times but this time it was different.  I had to stay there for two months and guess what? My finals were in 3 weeks. At first I was a bit shy but then he (my khalo) made this place a comfortable home for me. He used to get up early in the morning to drop me to university and looked after every little detail. He even sometimes used to wake me up in the morning so I wouldn't get late. We had breakfast together and having tea with him was the best part. Oh, and how can I forget him giving me his water bottle every morning filled with refreshing juice and he even checked that I took it with me. I don't know why but that bottle meant a lot to me. Some days,I became so possessive about it that I didn't even allow anyone to touch it.

Days passed by and I became part of the family.  I knew everything about my new home. I remember one day, I came from my university and was very tired so I directly went into the room without having lunch. He came into my room several times, I was a bit sleepy so I was lying in the bed, I thought he was searching for something. I was staying in my cousins room. Both of them worked so they went earlier to office. It was just me, khala and khalo only. After some time I slept. When I woke up  I asked khala about khalo coming to my room. She told me that my khalo was checking on me whether I was fine or not.
And suddenly I stepped over a rock and tried to maintain my balance. There was this smile on my face.

It was the day before my anatomy paper.  I was very worried because it was evening and I had a lot left to revise. And to add to my misery, the electricity went out. I took my books and sat in my khala's room. Talking and gossiping with khala and khalo, my time passed.  It was 7 pm and suddenly our UPS passed away as well. We all were drenched in our sweat. And obviously lesco people weren't cooperative enough.  So khalo went to the car. Turned on the Ac and called me to sit next to him and study.  He saw me read some pages but then he realized that i was exhausted, so he called khala as well and we went on a short drive around the lane. That short drive was so exciting,  i closed my book and started talking to khalo. Then he took us to have dahi bhalas and gol gappas. Believe me that gol gappas were the most delicious one I've ever had. Then we went on shopping and by the time we came back light had come back as well.  My mind was so refreshed that i revised everything so quickly after that.I really miss that drive sometimes. 

And Finally my exams were over. We all used to go out and tried new restaurants and different cuisines. One day we decided to watch a new movie. As we entered the cinema,  khalo told us that this movie is an adaptation of his childhood action crime series. And he even remembered every single character so he told us about then during the movie. It was also my one of the best memories. 

Making new memories is easy but forgetting old ones is impossible.  Last but not the least,  it was eid and he bought me a new dress which was lovely. After one week, my family came back and it was time to leave my new family. Then came the celebration dinner, i was very surprised when khalo ordered my favorite ice cream without letting me know and i realized he certainly knew every small details about me.

That's how my khalo whom i called uncle papa because he was more than an uncle to me and loved me like his own daughters made his house a home for me. I never felt homesick there because it became my home. Home, home is a place where you feel protected and comfortable,  where you live carelessly and where you grow with love and care.

Standing next to him now, i pulled out the roses and put it on his grave. I never imagined something like this can happen,  but life goes on giving you some regrets. It's been seven months and i visit him almost every few days.

I want to write more about him but my hands are trembling and as tears are going down my cheeks i can't concentrate.  I'm here, uncle papa - standing next to your ultimate home.

- Amna Imtiaz (4th Year)


July 31, 2017

Home is where the heart lies -- by Farwa Nisa

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*This is an entry for the July Blog of the Month Competition
As the golden rays of sunshine penetrated my window, rolling on my bed I heard the kids down the street rushing and screaming with joy, I smiled inwardly. 
Moving back a year, the same situation would have irked me and provoked me to send the flower pot flying down the window. A change of perspective like this is worth penning down.
So it all begins after A levels or FSc, the hustle and bustle of preparing for the entry test. How many of us would want to go back to that stage. The utterly baffled and perplexed freshmen to be. Scattered thoughts, wild insecurities, crazy expectations from the parents and the phase where a stethoscope would look as precious as the most sought after Koh-e-Noor.
It’s okay! I can literally see you all nodding your head solemnly. Now hails to us all who passed this stage and here we are, the doctors to be. Initially completely excited, breathing the air of freedom, away from house; No restrictions from mum and dad is how I describe my initial days. Happy days.
Going for shopping with friends, having luncheon and dinner at a variety of restaurants, the birthday bashes, the new besties and all. Like the tortuous course of the splenic artery with all the highs, there were lows too. So there would be time when sitting in the dorm, the lonely feeling would sink in causing hopelessness as if one is surrounded by a bunch of dementors. Then like a patronus charm, I would feel my sister whispering ‘’you can do it’’ and ‘’everything would be fine’’.
Something that would remind me of home. Whilst shopping, the sudden desire to stand alongside my beloved sister would take me back in time where I would simply hop tirelessly shop to shop with my sisters.
After a long day in college, getting back to hostel would remind me of the freshly prepared warm food by mom. The mere presence of my father that would bring with itself security and reassurance. And the times when you would miss the laughing fits one would have with your sisters, where the joke would hardly make any sense yet you’d laugh until all the air escapes your lungs. The late night gossips we would have, discussing everything and nothing, cupping each other’s mouth so that the weird sound we make while laughing won’t disturb mom and dad next door. Even the fights we would have was a mere bliss, and the topic would always be the same, “Who wore my shoes!!! A bead is missing’’. The silent black walls would remind me of my brother’s timeless, self-indulged activities whilst his laughter would be consumed by the walls of the home.
Yes, the word home made sense now. It’s not merely a house made of bricks but the lively, enchanting blood relations with their ever sweetness that magically transforms it into home sweet home. Because the home where your heart lies no matter where you go.
- Farwa Nisa (Class of 2021)




July 12, 2017

LESSONS ON THE GEOGRAPHY OF HOME

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*This is an entry for the July Blog of the Month Competition

Growing up, home was constant. It had one name, and it never changed.

As I went through the cumbersome task of growing up and learning that friendships didn't last forever, home became a little less constant. I learned to associate certain things with home, like the beaches and the corniche, barbeques with the salty air a blissful certainty. Tall buildings and that specific brown school uniform, and regular visits to the cultural center in the neighborhood.

When circumstances lead to Baba's transfer to another city, home became a yearning, a reluctant shifting of address, a process of dethroning and rebellion, but with the passage of time, home became more than it ever was before. It became the red sand dunes, constantly shifting, yet somehow always the same. It moved to the freshness of green mubazzarah and the slightly chilly air at the top of jebel hafeet. The tall buildings morphed into small ones, the bigger, buzzing city into a quiet, residential one.

Yet, home still encompassed them both. And then it came to painful goodbyes, no longer just moving cities but moving countries. It became more than just a change of address, it became a change of customs, of culture. It became shock, which manifested into intense dislike and a heart wrenching need for everything I'd ever defined as home.

And like every instance before, time interfered and left it's mark. The longing for the old never disappeared, but in time, it was replaced by the glee that came with every monsoon rain, the wonder that accompanied the cold every winter, it became new experiences and falling in love with another place that became a part of home.

However, it seems wanderlust had a way of forcing itself upon me. With university came another geographical location, this time it meant a change of faces as well. At first, leaving behind family meant opening the gateways to freedom, an independence that beckoned and screamed glory.

Before the first month away from home had passed, it had become an entirely different feeling, one of melancholy and a longing so strong, it resembled physical pain.

It didn't take long for the realization to set in then, home wasn't just a manifest of all the coordinates you had previously resided in, home was the people whose hearts yours constantly beat in sync with.

- Izza Afzal (Class of 2018)



July 09, 2017

Home is Where Your Heart is

by , in
*This is an entry for the July Blog of the Month Competition

Home has always been a hard word to define by someone who keeps travelling. As an army brat, I have been a victim of the very same complication. It has always been a sensitive subject for me. Whenever I came across this word, or a concept of having a home, I always felt a feeling of sadness creeping up my heart. To me, home was a place that remains constant in your life, no matter where you are travelling or what are you doing. The concept of coming back home was a fantasy to me.
  
I would say that during the lifetime of various army transfers, I tried to make every place a home; but the fear of loosing it one day and moving on, with probably no chance of returning, has always kept that struggle at bay. There has always been a concept of hometown, where your grandparents live, but it's hard to call some place home if you visit it once a year on Eid for not more than 3 days and knowing practically no one there. 

So no matter, how adventurous army life could be, I always longed for a constant home. A place I can always go back to. 

That wish remained a wish even after my father retired as an army doctor, because within few years I have been admitted to FJ and of course the hostels, and my parents decided to move on from cities to cities rather than making home in one. I should clarify before going on that this is not the case with all army brats. My family could be an exception.


Hostel life opened a new chapter in my life. I probably learned more in one year than all my previous life. One of the most important things I realized was that home is not actually a place. Home is a concept. A concept of comfort and peace.

Home is somewhere and anywhere you are comfortable. Home is your mother. Home is your father. Home is your quarreling siblings. Home is your old friends. Home is the people you love. Home is the places you know. Anywhere could be home because home is in your heart.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said and I quote:
"What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you."

I realized that every place I spend my childhood had been a home. Because loosing it felt like loosing a piece of my heart. Now, whenever I enter the gates of FJ hostels, I don't feel homeless. I feel welcomed. Welcomed by the familiar faces and buildings. 

Home is where your heart is. 

And making a home for somebody is making their place in your heart even if you don't have acres.

- Ifrah Tahir (Class of 2019)