22 April 2017

she's doing it for the internet

I had always wondered how it felt like to write an apology on your blog for not being able to post because you had other things going on or you weren't just feeling (this sentence feels offensive to me) or you probably didn't care anymore (even more offensive). I think writing an apology for that feels awfully sad, but I'm here to do that before I start writing the actual post. I'm sorry to everyone who's been a reader. It's a sad sad sad thing that I took a long break that wasn't planned. I'm back, I'm sorry and I'm full of words. This blog is alive.

My life, since the past year, has been turned upside down because of many reasons. Many of them were cool, some of them weren't exactly cool and a few of them were heartbreakingly sad. Internet is one of the coolest reason. I've been freelancing, making art, working for a magazine (ROOEKIEEE!!!) and enjoying a bit of online fame sometimes. Internet world is a part of my life now. Or my life sometimes.

It was probably my mother or a woman from the family who said she's doing it for the internet for the first time when I was taking my outfit's pictures and someone asked why I was doing it. I heard her words but I had absolutely no idea that those words were going to be the headline of my life. 

I like to say that I have an internet based life and I'm loud about it in public. It is kind of like building your home in one corner of the web world and I'm proud of it. It's something I created for me and I'm comfortable there. What I didn't know that people had the potential to be offended by it. And the phrase she's doing it for the internet would turn into something bitter.

I have done stuff just for the internet. Like drinking coffee one morning with highlighter all over my life and sitting on the grass in my backyard and the sun shining on my face, because it was world coffee day & because I was going to do a sponsored post for coffee. I bought a pair of shoes for pictures. I love them and wearing them feels like I can conquer the world but the thing is I bought them for my instagram. I made a cake on Zayn Malik's birthday that had his picture on it and it looked so bloody instagramable. IT WAS FOR THE INTERNET. I wished he could see it.  

 To me, it's not pretentious anymore. Sometimes, the line between my internet life and my ~real life~ ~offline life~ blurs and it's too bloody normal. It's 2017, I have an online job and I like to spend at least 3 hours scrolling through twitter & tumblr & pinterest. Like a very normal human being of our time. 

So when someone tells me "social media isn't real", it sounds funny. Everyone knows it is not. But here's a respectable fact that some people decided to create a world of their own in this big scary world of internet. I do things for internet. To post on my instagram, to write about it on my blog, to film it for my youtube. It's kind of a lifestyle to me, to people like me. 

Tip: Don't compare your own life to somebody's instagram feed. We're working too hard to make it aesthetically pleasing. Real life isn't about aesthetics and number of likes. It's about surviving and moving forward. Practice that.


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13 February 2017

until you come back home

Home is probably my most used word. Partly because it leaves an unbelievably sweet taste in my mouth & mainly because I don't have a more warm and happy word in my vocabulary yet. There's something so comforting about saying it out loud, lovely but not romantic, soothing, occasionally giving me goosebumps and making me wonder is there's another word that makes me feel safe than this. How can someone say it out loud and feel nothing? Because I'm emotionally attached to it, probably clutching it too hard between my hands and my chest, never letting go of it.

Zayn and Taylor's new song, I Don't Wanna Live Forever, came out a little while ago and even though I had promised myself to stay away from ANYTHING 50SHADESOFGODDAMNGREY (sinister!!! we made a rule to never talk about it, maintaining a little grace) But there's also a rule of never missing anything Zayn does. I played the promos of the song with teary eyes, with the full volume. When the song first came out, fully for public, it was my birthday again. Let me explain, it's just about one lyric & one Zayn.


I've developed a deep emotional attachment with the idea of going back home and this lyric, this very lyric brings back everything I've ever felt about home. 
Bonus: Areeba's favorite singer sings about her favorite word, making it the best song ever (PUN INTENDED) the kind of song she can spend her last teenage year with, making her the 19 years old happy Areeba.

I'm deeply sorry to say it out loud but this isn't actually the best song ever, no puns intended, even though I love it so much that I've played it for hundred of times, this still isn't the best song ever, for me. I've stopped fangirling over Taylor LONG AGO and some other lyrics are too damn weak (I gave you something, but you gave me nothing - YOU KNOW GUYS, YOU COULD HAVE DONE BETTER THAN THIS) Maybe it's because I'm used to The 1975 + Lorde + Halsey's lyrics that are too bloody meaningful.

But I'm truly glad this song exists.


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24 January 2017

Muslim Artist

2016 was the year I realized I can be a better Muslim if I try harder. It was the same year I realized I can be an artist as well, the real one. And these two clash horribly together in real life sometimes, they could have torn me into pieces if I hadn't pretended to be balanced. 

Muslims and Islam prefer words for their art. I'm poetic sometimes but it's not my best quality when it comes to art. I like to draw. Faces aren't allowed in Muslim art and it can possibly lead to an eternal hell I'm truly afraid of. So it feels awfully weird when I'm being called a Muslim Artist for my illustrations because it's more of an oxymoron. These two words Muslim & Artist don't fit together if I don't behave. And let me tell you how I do it.

I'm a young person stuck between religion & the world. Islam is the religion and art is the world. The characters in my illustrations (the heart shaped sunglasses girl) never have eyes, I either cover them with glasses or draw her with her eyes closed. It probably doesn't make a difference but I'm one step closer to a calmed conscience and a lil balanced life. It helps me be okay with my art. I'm trying my best to create a balance that probably doesn't even exist.

2017 is the year for my art. It started with my art being published in a magazine (The issue came out on 1st January so it's literally the year of my art) 
And recently, I've started to mix religion & culture within my illustrations & journals. It's partly because they're closer to me than anything and mainly because I'm guilty. I'm just Areeba, born a female Muslim and wrapped in culture before anything else. Even the artist in me comes next.

So when people ask me why I blend religion & culture in my illustrations, I tell them that these two are the BIGGEST PART of my existence. I fail to tell them that I'm scared I might be over-stepping my boundaries and wrapping them in culture or religion is of a lot of help sometimes. 

I just hope you and I find the balance we're looking for.


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17 December 2016

sisters x sisters

It probably never occurred to my mother that I might turn into an internet obsessed psycho kid when she handed me a laptop a few years go and an internet connection. And last week when I was out in the city with other people to collaborate for a blog post, wearing an outfit based on a goddamn glorious moodboard with glitter under my eyes, chasing crazy cool walls in the city, I knew I was living the internet dreams of my bored high school self from 2011. And it felt great, for my-2011-self always needed emotional support and a future-self with glittery tears would have sounded like a relief to her. She wanted more of internet, while I'm living in it.

Me & my twin sister Noor collaborated with Amna & Atiya - a pair of sisters from The Good Life blog. And this collaboration included a mini tour of Karachi, fashion & food.

We decided to challenge each other with moodboards to make outfits on. Amna made a moodboard for me, I made one for Atiya, Noor made one for Amna and Atiya made one for Noor. 
\\ Me - Basic gothic mipster kid // 

// Noor - Kylie obsessed forever + pattern lover \\

// Atiya - brightest human being in love with museums \\

// Amna - the chic one + 2 cool 4 u \\

We started from Seaview (most essential place in Karachi) and then went to Roadside Cafe. This cafe has the coolest wall art I've ever seen. The walls are decorated with all of the important Pakistani stars and nostalgia kind of punches you in the stomach because some forgotten faces are there as well. I looked at the walls and I wanted to cry with happiness. Why I never went there before?

I first saw Troye Sivan wearing glittery tears and I was like LET'S DO WHAT TROYE DOES but I'm obsessed with them now. They are my way to say I'm 55% made of stardust and sea.

The Blogger Sisters.

And there we were, the blogger sisters, posing for Amna's camera which was set on a timer. And it felt perfect because a collaboration was possibly the best gift I could give to this blog before the year ended. Thanks to Amna and Atiya for making this possible, our blogs deserve much more creativity.

Then we made a trip to Chatterbox cafe for a lunch fix. This little cafe is so cozy and they have excellent food. 

It was such a nice weekend, again. God bless Karachi and internet.

How is life going, everyone?


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8 December 2016

do you ever think about death

I've been obsessing over the idea of "fear of death" lately. Growing up in a Muslim family where we're taught that death is just another form of future (in Muslim belief, this current life is just a short period of trial and the actual life starts after we die) I kind of stopped feeling anything about death. It is something that's supposed to happen one day, sometimes in horrible ways and sometimes in honorable ways. And in the frenzy of knowing more about how people think of death or other's dying , I started collecting death quotes. I came across Janne Teller's words, “From the moment we are born, we begin to die.” And it hard because HOLY SHIT we're simply running out of time but the only difference is that we don't know our clock. And The Book Thief made me see death as a sensible, hardworking, sad employee and I highlighted a good amount of death's words in my book. One line I can't forget, “It kills me sometimes, how people die.”

And then there's a quote from Matty Healy, the insane artist, the boy with uncontrollable hair and graceless walk: '"My biggest fear is death. The end of the Matty show.”

Maybe this is why many people politely refuse to imagine about death, what a pity to think about the ending of the great show. And this is the reason why many people make art, to linger around even when they can't anymore, to leave something behind to be a little close to staying alive when they're not.

And below is an example of what went in my mind a few days ago when I was talking to Matty Healy in my imagination. He's known for a suicide he hasn't committed. After Halsey's song Colors, we're afraid he might take his life to get a place in the 27 Club. Though he has said countless times that he isn't going to kill himself but you can't trust Matty. 

I had a feeling that he wouldn't want to discuss death because he's afraid of it so our topic was dead people. Dead people of Areeba's life.

Me: Dear Matty, what a great time in my head. Thank you for coming, let's start.

Matty Healy: Hi.

Me: That's a nice question. I think about death a great deal. not that I am suicidal or anything. Death only makes me feel guilty that one day I am going to die and embarrass myself in front of angels and God Himself. You know, they ask questions about religion and prayers and I haven't done very well in all of it. I'm not even making better progress. My only hope is my mother praying for me when I'm gone. Else I am going to be in a great trouble for the rest of the eternity. My grave will be flowerless. The hell before hell.

MH: It's weird you think about it, I don't casually give death much of a thought unless it's for a song or when someone gives me a death threat. 


MH: Because I'm exactly the kind of person people give death threats to


Me: ...................................

Me: You're way too controversial. It'd have been a shame if you hadn't gotten them in the first place.

MH: This is why it doesn't bother me anymore, I'm quite deserving. Worked very well for it. 

Me: Yeah.

MH: No more talk about your future death.
MH: Maybe some stories about dead people would work.
MH: No suicides. 

Me; I don't know much about real dead people, honestly. My grandmother died in a hospital hundreds of miles away from me, I was probably asleep at that time. Her death was the most real to me, my first time to lose an actual family member. But I didn't go to her funeral. I don't go to funerals. Not that they're depressing or anything. I just kind of go senseless there, I can't cry and it makes me feel guilty (death brings me guilt!?!?) I kind of force myself to cry if I ever end up going there and it makes me even more guilty that I can't bring one single tear to my eyes, not even forcefully, for a freshly dead human. So I try my best to avoid all of the funerals. But if you want to know more about fictional or popular dead people, I won't be a disappointment.

MH: Nice, just don't go mental. okay?

Me: Alright. Starting from Addams family. They give me hope to be a happy family, but first we all need to be dead (maybe this is the only way??!??) And my friends tell me that I'm Wednesday Addams, with shorter hair. I sometimes feel like that too. I fee like the way too religious version Wednesday Addams, born in the wrong era, in the wrong house and way more alive.

Then comes Benazir Bhutto, have you heard of her? She was the first ever female prime minister of Pakistan. Her murder changed my whole life. If it wasn't for her murder, I'd be a successful political science student, doing rebellious things in college, being arrested by women police for creating a chaos, proudly ruining my youth for politics, getting punched in the nose and bringing revolution . But she died 9 years ago by a bullet and ruined my career. Now I'm a purposeless teen hanging in a dark void with no aim to achieve in life.

ME: It's crazy, how did a dead woman ruin so much for you so easily? 

Me: The thing is, I was a politics-obsessed 10 years old that time. I thought I knew politics . I'd watch dozens of political talk shows and NEVER miss 9pm's news bulletin. I had memorized the names of all of our ministers and politicians of that time and kept track of what each political party was doing. I thought I knew where the politics of our country was going. A huge misunderstanding, obviously.

 So when Benazir Bhutto came back to Pakistan after years of exile, people went crazy. I knew she was going to flip the political game & win the elections and become our prime minister again. Her debates were fire. She was winning the game. She was supposed to be the winner but she was killed instead. A bullet killed her when she was meeting her supporters after another successful address in Karachi. She simply died. And that day, my grandfather told me that politics is just a dirty business, you can't know what's going to happen because it's not your game. And then my life shattered into pieces, I was so bitter that day. I was an honest kid and politics was too dirty, too hard, I couldn't play anymore. So I eliminated my intentions to be a part of any political shit from that moment in my life.  I haven't paid much attention to politics since then. A dead woman broke my heart and my life ambition, ta da!

MH: Anything else?

MH: It wasn't me but I'm still deeply sorry to you. I was actually asking for more stories.

Me: As if I don't know you, you live in my head for a reason. Anyway, here's another one. It's about Umar Jahangir. He's a character from an emotionally disturbing yet my most favorite novel (Amarbail) He dies in the very last chapter. I've never gotten over him.

MH: What's so special about this dead man?

Me: He's not your archetype hero or a villain. He's a hybrid of both. At one point you'd want to punch him in the face and in the next moment you'd want to rescue his broken nose and take care of him. He's a fool. Umar Jahangir is a fool. And he does everything to destroy himself. It's so painful to see something so regal being destroyed by insanity. He was born in a powerful family with troubled DNA. And did everything he shouldn't have done Plus he fell in love, which was the end of him.

MH: Sounds like me, I'm just more alive than him.

Me: You don't live in a book.

MH: I'm a fake, there's news on internet. I might be from a book.

Me: We all are pretentious shits, don't worry.

MH: Back to Umar?

Me: Right, when he dies (again, a bullet) I thought it was some kind of a joke because this meant I read 800+ pages just to find him dead in the end. If I could, I would totally pull him out of the book and assure him that he's safe now. Not even that goddamn writer can hurt him (not the goddamn writer, I love her so much, I'm just mad at her sometimes) I want her to write a sequel where she reveals that Umar faked his own death.

MH: But it'll never happen.

Me: Thanks for the hope.

MH: You're obsessed with dead people, is it healthy?

Me: My obsession with alive people isn't helping me either.

MH: Right!


It ends here. It's a work of pure fiction because I don't know if Matty actually got any death threats (he might have, he's got reputation) Thanks for reading, it got a little long.

Do you ever think about death?


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