27 September 2015

Book Review: The Lost Concerto

This is my most recent read and it's a mystery thriller. 

The story is about a woman Maggie who has lost her husband & her best friend and her godson is missing. She's a musician, but the deaths and sufferings are tearing her apart from her music. She couldn't feel it anymore. The worst thing that can happen to someone who loves art or music.

 The story is about loss, revenge, nightmares and past. Set in France, Maggie with the company of a military man, Colonel Beckett, starts her adventure. Including classical music, CIA, WWII stolen art pieces and dark secrets, Maggie is on her to find her godson, search for a long lost loved one and find herself & her music again. My favorite part would be the heroin is not some twenty-something but a grown 48 years old smart woman with a son who's going to be a father.

This book is divided into 3 parts. 

Coming over her greatest fears & nightmares, Maggie will have to stay strong and keep searching for her godson. So so so many plot twists and turns in the story that I couldn't put it down. Starting was a little bit slow, the Lost part. But the Found part is definitely is my favorite. SO many things happening and so many secrets being revealed. This is why I love this genre.

I've never listened to any classical music before but I did listen to Beethoven's music after reading this novel and I'm already obsessed with Beethoven's 5th symphony. It's dark & beautiful. There are so many parts in the novel where classical music is included in the most beautiful way, if you love classical music, THIS NOVEL IS A MUST. 

My favorite words from the Colonel Beckett.

I'd rate this book 4.5/5. Definitely suggest to read this guys!

Have you read this book? What's your favorite book genre?

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23 September 2015

Why Manto is one of Urdu’s Greatest Writers Ever

I'm an avid Urdu literature reader and I highly appreciate that finally the people of my country are promoting it more & more nowadays, god bless. Just a few days ago, a movie based on Manto, a vvv famous yet controversial writer from the past, came out and GUYS IT IS FAB. I'm going to watch it as soon as I get a chance. For today, my friend Jamal has a guest post for y'all about this writer. While I sit back and plan my zine, have a read about Saadat Hasan Manto, the unappreciated hero we had.
Urdu literature has produced some fine writers which have captured the minds and imaginations of masses. They have played role in moving people’s emotions and inspiring them in time of independence and war. These writers have inspired generations after generations and educated Pakistanis about their traditions and cultures through their writing. One name among the greats of Urdu literature is that of Saadat Hasan Manto.
Manto mostly wrote quality short stories. Some of them like Toba Tek Singh are absolute classics. One has to read Manto to understand how his work back in the partition days was well ahead of its time. Thanks to a much more tolerant society and wider acceptance diverse literature, you can find Manto’s works in libraries as well as online on shopping websites like Kaymu.

Rebel at heart!
Known more for his controversial works, Manto was a rebel at heart. Perhaps this is what made him into a notable literary figure that he is now. This was not the case back in his time, where he was branded as being “obscene” in his work. Though he was tried 6 times on this charge, he was never convicted. He was criticized for writing sexually explicit content which, even in today’s subcontinent, is considered a taboo. He also criticized the injustices against women and the interference of religion in state affairs.
Manto’s work is different than other Urdu writers. He always went against the flow of things and presented the other side of the picture. This habit of his also got him into trouble many a times. His work was well ahead of time, and it was after his demise that people actually realized the depth of his literary work.

Hit Morality Issues with a Bang!
Manto’s work around the partition era is unparalleled. He highlighted various issues faced by the people of subcontinent at that time. Being a critic of partition, Manto viewed the unity of the subcontinent its biggest strength. His short stories carried a strong message on this issue. Using his personal experiences as well as observing the events unfolding in lives of his friends and colleagues at the time of partition, Manto was able to highlight the issues faced in the plight of Muslims and Hindus to their respective majority areas.

Manto was a strong advocate of equal rights for women and minorities. Exploring the psyche of women is extremely difficult and expressing it in words is unheard of, but Manto managed to highlight the issues of women in his work with ease. He was branded an infidel for highlighting the plight of minorities and women in subcontinent. The cruelty faced by women in Punjab and minorities in the whole subcontinent is widely discussed in his work. People don’t like to hear the bitter truth. This is why he always invited unjust criticism at his work.
Manto is as much Indian as he is Pakistani. This is because most of his famous work was before the time of partition in British India. After partition, he migrated to Pakistan, his new homeland, along with millions of other Muslims. Though he was never acknowledged for his work in his lifetime, he received Nishan-e-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s highest civil award, posthumously in 2012. 


Have you ever read any of his work? It's also available in English if you want to give it a read. I'm currently reading some of his afsany (short stories) so that I can know him & completely understand the film and get the Manto vibes.
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20 September 2015

Important stuff like WORK & EMOTIONS etc

The basic golden rule to live life is still unknown to me. Each day, I'm trying to be better at life by very random ways like waking up early and not stop my alarm and enjoy beautiful mornings. Or making so many glorious plans for life in my head. Or tell people how to fix their skins & their lives. I realized I give good tips & advices and even write good stuff sometimes, but there's a BIG PIECE missing. Like something inside my head or something in god knows where but something is missing for sure. And I think I figured it out yesterday, WORK ON WHAT YOU THINK. This might be my vvv own golden rule for life from now, today, this moment. I haven't planned what I'm going to write in this post but I'm sure of one thing, I'm going to preach WORK BABE WORK.

So this is how it works:
Want good sweaters? WORK ON THOSE LEFT PATCHES.
Remember that zine idea you needed to apply on your own blog zine? WORK ON IT
It's deeply simple and I'm actually very sorry for myself for coming up with this just a day ago. 2015 miracle. I can't believe this year has been vvv complicated and yet my favorite of all.

So I'm working outside of my head. Patches for my future cute sweaters, working on this blog post, working on my mail and working on my state of being emotionally unavailable. Emotions, those little tiny earthquacks inside of you. Feelings, Terrible terrible terrible feelings. The ups & downs and lefts & rights in this rough path of emotions are horrible. Maybe this is the side effect of being young. Maybe I should just read a little more psychological thriller and be Amazing Amy [Gone Girl reference] for a week or two.

And more important stuff:


I need more submissions to publish a monthly zine with different topics each month. Right now, I am looking for a little team and monthly contributors to help me with the zine. I'm looking for illustrators, photographers and writers. The positions are unpaid as it's a vvv tiny project (i hope to see it grow) and I'd love you your support and contribution.

WHAT: A collection of words, raw thoughts, ideas, art, photographs, digital illustrations by the bloggers, no matter what type of blogger are you and where are you based, this blog zine is everyone who has a blog and understands the life of a blogger.

HOW: First issue's topic is "Relationship With Your Blog", you can write/photograph/draw about what do you think of your relationship with your blog and this blogging community. How do you see other bloggers? How your blog made a difference in your life? How things were different when you didn't have a blog? What does your blog mean to you? And everything else you think might fit for the issue.
WHEN: The deadline is 28 September. First shiny new zine out on 1st October.

Let me know if you're up and into making good good good stuff together.

How are work & emotions going for you?

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17 September 2015

Diyar e Dil - FANGIRLING

I believe in fangirling with such great interest that the imaginary/unreal people become my actual friends and their stories/lives moves around my head and ruin my senses at some point. Sometimes I call it my second life. Well, I prefer living in it more often than the real ones. It's fun here, trust me.

This week's Dayar e Dil (which is my MOST favorite drama rn) was overwhelmingly emotional and LOVELY. I mean, all Fara scenes, Zarminay finally befriending Faraa, Fara finally seeing everything completely clear. EVERYTHING. So I made some fanart to celebrate all the feels this drama has brought me in all past episodes.

Emotions overloaded

 Cheesy, right? But God bless fictional crushes. Stay safe from real human beings.

 Arjmand's wedding was HARD TO SEE TBVH

 THE BEST MAN OF THE SHOW. Well, he died. Usually my favorites die. Like Sirius Black died. And Umar Jahangir died, haven't really recovered from his death tho.

 Well, I get it. I take fangirling vvvv seriously. 

What kind of fangirl are you?

PS: Guys, from next week we'll be doing #bloglanders on 8pm Pakistan time, 4pm as London time and 11 am as New York time. But tomorrow will be the same timings. MARK YOUR REMINDERS!!
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14 September 2015

I just want to sleep and regret everything

I woke up this morning, 8 am, no college on Monday and absolutely no feelings of a new week. I'm happily ignoring every responsibility for a week and I'll try to be better at life some other time. And I realized there was a voice in my head that was probably telling me to go back to sleep and regret everything later. I was almost going to do that, but I tried making my first ever photo diary for this blog post. Let's give you a tour of my very uninspired Monday morning.

My shiny sheets that gives almost royal vibes.

Trying to make a connection with the outer world

Well, no.

This feels like a scene taken from tumblr and stitched in my morning. I highly appreciate the view, god bless.

IMPORTANT: She woke up one day and threw away all her excuses. The tiny card over there.

This is the latest book I've started reading. A musical mystery. I like the way the writer is unwrapping an old affair, twisted with love and loss. I will write a review on this big beautiful book.  

On my way to an undamaged skin with these pills. Me & dermatitis are old friends.


How was your Monday?
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13 September 2015

First Thousand Days

 Yesterday me and Noor went to Nestle's #First1000Days event. It was basically about all the nutritious that a new born baby needs from the first day to the 1000th day, DOs and DON'Ts for mothers, Nestle's policies and etc. 

As I have to watch over so many new born baby cousins, I actually think I will be preaching all the stuff I learned at this event to all my aunts who are new mothers.

Before the event was actually started, we all were asked to close our eyes and remember the best moments of our lives nd then share them. Well I closed mine and I couldn't think of anything. Maybe that's what always happen when I try to remember something and my mind is like HAH. Or the best moments are yet to happen. I highly prefer this second option.

Nestle's officials briefed us. Here's Shah Mujeeb-ud-din, who is the country compliance manager briefing about WHO code.

Knowing that the Pakistani nation has lost 4 inches in height over 5 decades was quite terrifying. WE ARE GETTING SHORTER. Our 50% height is determined in the age of 2 so this is where the mothers have to pay attention more. First 1000 days are vvvv important.

PC: Hina
Filling this made me feel like I was at my science examination, again. 

These blogger events are crazy cool. You look at some person and tell them you know them but you actually can't figure out where/how you know them but you just do. I met this cutie Kashaf yesterday and realized we follow each other on Instagram. Plus there were so many known faces around that it almost made me feel like I was at home. Wow, internet.

I'll try taking nice food photos next time. 

 With the people. 

Thank you Nestle Pakistan for the goodies & TDF team for inviting me. It was fab!

Linking up with
#iGraphy - A Photography link up

Have you attended any bloggers event?
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9 September 2015

An ode to Umar Jahangir

Umar Jahangir, a fictional character that I can never hate and a part of one of my most favorite novel Amarbail written by Umera Ahmed. Not just favorite, it's that kind of book I ask about first when I hint someone reads Urdu books. So the thing is, HE DIES IN ON THE LAST PAGE and I'm still recovering from this news.
Here's an illustration in honor of him
He loved a girl Alizay. And he sacrificed all of his feelings for her (I LOVEHATE THIS PART) and he dies on the last page from a bullet (I HATE THIS PART) and everything is so complicated. Love, rage, family, disappointments and being so powerful that it gets out of hands. This all makes Umar all whole. 

After reading hundreds of pages of this novel, I expected good things to happen. I mean, when you start liking a book while in the middle of it and get inappropriately attached with the characters, you want them to be healthy and happy and perfect. But the writer had other plans and she ruined a part of my emotions for the rest of my life. 

I cried, cried, cried until I was sure it's real. He died. He ACTUALLY died. My shrine of emotions had another grave of another fictional character that I loved. Writers know how to disturb their readers in the most beautiful way that we can't even complain but remember the story and maybe live it a little.

 If Umar Jahangir looked like an emotion on my face, it'd look like this. Umera's vvv bad joke, tears and grief and an unknown satisfaction that I quite never understood. Maybe it was that Alizay would lead a normal happy life. Or it was because she finally knew he cared. But there's a deep void in everything about it.

Still, Amarbail is my favorite book and I don't think I would stop looking at some parts of it time after time. 

Fangirling, forever.
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