17 Quotes Before Starting 2017

And just like that, 2016 is almost over! For some, maybe it was the best year. For the rest, there’s always a new year to look forward to. So before jumping into 2017, let me share 17 quotes that I absolutely love, to keep you inspired and awed.

1. “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” – JK Rowling, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

2. “Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure.” – Jane Austen

3. “Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” – Franz Kafka
“Anyone can find the dirt in someone. Be the one that finds the gold.” – Proverbs 11:27

4. “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

5. “Learn to say ‘no’ – to yourself. Don’t keep wearing high heels if you hate them; don’t keep smoking if you’re disgusted by the way you smell the morning after; stop wasting entire days on your couch if you’re going to complain about missing the sun.” – Stephanie Georgopulos

6. “A good goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot.” – Chris Soriano

7. “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” –JK Rowling, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

8. “Fear doesn’t shut you down; it wakes you up.” – Veronica Roth, Divergent

9. “I am learning everyday to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be, to inspire me and not terrify me.” – Tracee Ellis Ross

10. “Do not think about failure. Remember that even stars fall sometimes. And when they do, people wish on them.” – Maddie Godfrey

11. “If you choose faith and love, if you strive for dignity and excellence, then there is absolutely nothing you can’t achieve.” – Michelle Obama

12. “You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.” -Abraham Lincoln
“It was not the thorn bending to the honeysuckles, but the honeysuckles embracing the thorn.” – Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

13. “Every song has a CODA, a final movement. Whether it fades out or crashes away. Every song ends. Is that any reason not to enjoy the music?” – One Tree Hill

14. “There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” – Sylvia Plath

15. “If you are a gifted person, it doesn’t mean that you have gained something. It means you have something to give back.” – Carl Jung

16. “If someone does not want me, it is not the end of the world. But if I do not want me, the world is nothing but endings.” – Nayyirah Waheed

And wrapping up with my favorite of all –

17. “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl, The Twits

BONUS –

18. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – JK Rowling, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

Happy New Year ’17! Make it the best that you can. x

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WHY I’M THANKFUL TO MY PARENTS FOR NOT PROVIDING ME WITH WHAT I WANT

In economic terms, “Human wants are unlimited but the means to satisfy them are limited.”

PROLOGUE
I’m 17 years, 4 months and 13 days young today. And today I’ve realized that I had been so wrong all this time. Well, it does take a lot of time to mature a bit, doesn’t it?

Bless my parents.

IMMATURITY
Ever since I was a kid, as far as I can remember, my parents never bought me anything that I asked for. Well, except for books. Later on, they put a stop on that too and instead told me to borrow from friends, the school libraries and the other libraries in town. I was and am fine with that because HELLO!? Books are bloody expensive, and I have limited pocket money to buy it on my own.

Oh yes, I was talking about the yesteryears. As a little girl of 7 or 8, everything I always demanded for wasn’t fulfilled. Well not always, but almost all the time. I wasn’t the only one; my elder sister was also a victim of this crisis. Crisis, if you can call it. But later on, after she matured, I was the only victim.

As an immature and stubborn little girl (mind you- very stubborn- a trait I still possess to this very day), growing up wasn’t all ‘pretty pink flowers’ for me. It was more of an ‘every rose has its thorns’ kind of experience, really. Everything I asked for, before I could even complete my sentence, they would say NO.

A FAILED CONVERSATION OF DEMAND 

“Papa! I want a new….” “NO!”
“Papa, can you buy me a …..” “NO!”
“Maa, please tell him, please…” “You heard him alright. NO!”
“DIDI, at least you tell them, please!” “NO!”

Not even the cutest of cutest facial expressions worked, I’m telling you. And I was very cute back then. I still am I think…

And what after that? Yes, yes. I know you can already picture that little cute girl getting all red, with her insides burning, slamming the door and weeping, because that’s exactly what I did. Oh how immature could I have been!

SOME MORE IMMATURITY
After stepping into my teen years, my wants doubled. I wanted everything I set my eyes on -new clothes, new watches, new shoes, new everything. But before I could even form a question asking for them, the answer would already be in front of it shouting “I won the race!” Such cruel mockery.

After a year of getting my first ever mobile phone, I wanted a new model. Well, mostly because all my friends had the latest models, and it felt so odd using an old model in front of them.

A CONVERSATION I THOUGHT I ALMOST WON AT

“Ummm… papa? Can I get a new phone?”
“New … what?”
“New phone.”
“It’s just been a year. NO.”
“But all my friends have new phones!”
“Do you need it or want it?”
“I want it.”
“NO.”

This happened when I was 15, I guess. How stupid of me!

Oh and in case you’re wondering, I could complete my question this time because he was watching football.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT MY DAD

My Dad is annoyingly the most difficult person on earth to convince. JESUS! PRABHU! BUDDHA! ALLAH! Till now, I haven’t been able to convince him for anything. When I do, that’s going to be one of the happiest days of life, I swear. I’ll even tweet about it.

As days turned into weeks and months, I knew better than to ask my parents for anything. So I always kept whatever I wanted to myself. One can only imagine the shame and stories I made up in front of my friends while having to use an old mobile set. JESUS! PRABHU! BUDDHA! ALLAH!

SOME INCONSIDERATE CRITERIA AND FAILURE

No, my parents weren’t that ‘inconsiderate’. Well not at all, I later realized. I’ll come to that later. They would set certain criteria for me in order to get what I wanted. Sometimes I got what I wanted when I did well on my tests. But I failed miserably at most of them like cleaning my room, waking up early, and ummm … not fighting with my sister?

DOSE OF REALITY
When my parents thought I was mature enough to understand things, they struck me with a dose of reality. They were firm on the principle of rather investing on our education than on luxuries. They wanted us to value hard work, money and the returns it would bring. Oh why hadn’t I ever thought of it this way? But wait, I was just a kid.

REALIZATION AND GRATITUDE
Today, I have realized that somewhere along the line, amongst all that adolescent and teenage angst, I learnt how to remain humble, and how to value money. I have learnt what it is to work hard in order to achieve what I want. I have learnt the struggles my parents have gone through to provide us the best that they can. And I have learnt how lucky I am to have parents as ‘considerate’ as them. Above all, I am glad I grew up and am growing up the hard way. ‘Thank you’ will never be enough.

LEVEL UP.
So the other day, my dad entered the room and asked me if I wanted a television in my room?
“Thanks dad, but I think I only need a new phone for now.”
And we both smiled.

Peshawar Attack: A Letter from 8-year old Bilal to his Mother

This broke my heart. I fail to understand how someone with a human heart can possibly do such act!

Syed Ammar memoirs

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It was a bright and a very beautiful morning in the city of Peshawar. The mid-december brought with it really cold weather. The usual morning rush hour had started. Little kids carrying school bags which were bigger and heavier than themselves were coming out of their houses. They looked funny but cute. All the kids were wearing those warm woollen hats, gloves and warm jackets.  Some were waiting for their vans alongside their parents and crying too. The mothers were , as always, persuading their kids to go to school. Their usual comforting line would be,” Beta, it’s gonna be fun, you’ll enjoy with your friends at your school, and while returning I shall prepare for you a delicious meal.” Some kids were comforted by this, while others were not. Everything seemed completely calm. The Warsak Street was filled with little and big feets making there way to their school…

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From ‘Uh oh’ to ‘Hello’.

Uh oh. It can’t be him. It ‘just cannot’ be.

Just a while back, I had this huge smile on my face. I was at this event which I had wanted to attend for so long, but after seeing that particular guy, it was as if I did not know what a smile meant. It was as if I had forgotten how to smile. A look of stress took over my face. Urghh, I did not want to know if it was him or not so I started talking to my friend beside me.

After a few minutes, guess what? I realized that he had taken a seat just in front of me. Oh wow, amazing! But my only worry was that I couldn’t figure out if it was Ben. The lights were dim, and I just couldn’t make out his face. From the back of his head, he looked exactly like Ben. It had been a long time since I last met him, but I still did remember the shape of his head, how his hands looked, and how tall he was. He was distracting me like crazy! It seemed so ironic that the person who used to be an inexpressible source of comfort to me was just the opposite now- an inexpressible source of discomfort. Every time he glanced sideways, I craned my neck to at least a better look of his face, but I could only see his side profile, from where he looked just like ‘him’. But if it really was Ben, he would have talked to me. I know that, I just know. Wouldn’t he? Or was he really avoiding me? May be he changed in the months that went by? And that was all it took to take my focus elsewhere. My mind wandered a long way from the event, back to the days we spent together. But that was the past, and it belonged there.

After a few moments of recollecting old memories, my mind came back to the event, and I convinced myself to focus on it. It took me all the power that I could muster, which, of course, included stealing quick glances at him once or twice, or maybe even thrice. Come on, he was right in front of me, and I couldn’t fight that urge.

One hour, and twenty seven minutes gone; the event was over.  It was time to get up and leave. You do know what it means? Maybe, maybe I’ll get to see his face now? Oh no. But I still couldn’t see his face properly. I should probably just go and exchange ‘Hellos’. Without thinking further, I went up to him, and greeted him. “Hello.” “Hello.” He greeted me back, and commented that I asked a really interesting question in between the event. We talked for some time, and then parted our ways.

I made a new friend that day. His name was Wesley, and he wasn’t somebody that I used to know.

  OBLIVIATE THE MEMORY

It made me think of that day. ‘Today’ made me think of that day. ‘The prospect of getting a scolding’ made me think of that day. It made me think of the memory I loathed so much. *Unlock memory.* And it came back with such visceral force … BAM! Gosh, I hated whatever I was feeling!

Nope, I did not want to be scolded … at least not for the ‘same reason’ again. And nope, I did not want to think of any of it – the scolding, or that memory. But you know, the brain can be such an ass by giving the wrong output at times, and it was doing that for me today. Yeah thank you so much.

I did not want to think of it, yet the bits and pieces of the tarnished yet loathed memory kept on playing again and again as if someone was pressing the replay button for like a gazillion times in my brain. Oh god, somebody stop it already.

*Inside my mind* “Oh no. Now comes the time for the scolding. Oh no, oh no, oh no. No I am not prepared for it. Shiiiiiiit.”

But … you know what? I got a smile back. Things have changed. Life is good. Goodbye memory. See you never. *Flushes it down the toilet.* *Smiles.*

She.

 Fear. All along ‘she’ had feared for this moment. She was always wondering how to react when that moment finally arrived, though she had never really thought of what to really do. The prospect of that very moment scared the living daylights out of her. ‘He’ scared her. ‘He’ was just a ‘once upon a time’ of her life. He of all, he who had taught her beautiful things, he who had made her believe in herself, in love, in all things good, yes that very ‘he’ scared her today.

While ‘he’ and ‘she’ were together, it was NOT a bed of roses. Yes, they never quarreled.  *CLICHÉ ALERT 1*: They understood each other in ways no one else could. They were perfect together, yet they weren’t. The time wasn’t. Five minutes of a previous mistake had ruined it for them. She had a lot going on internally. He, perhaps, he just wasn’t ‘the one’ as he thought or called himself. After almost 10 months of inseparableness, nobody knows where the stars went off beam for them. After holding ‘hope’ in both of their hands, after believing that there would be another chance, yes after that, it all ended for them.

She was lost. She was scared. She was confused. She barely held it all together.  He fought, although without success for her. He thought he saw a silver lining in the sky, but unfortunately it was not that. A lightning it was, that tore them apart, for better or for worse.

After the chapter of ‘he’ got over, the girl changed. Completely. The girl who used to think a lot and make herself feel so so so low all the time, the girl who used to care a lot about everything, yes that girl- she didn’t care at all, she didn’t give a damn about anything. She untied herself from her emotions. She left her past right out there, but did not dare go near it.  *CLICHÉ ALERT 2*: She emerged a strong girl; nothing could shake her, not even ‘him.’ But she was always scared of that moment. She did not want to be broken again, and she couldn’t afford to think how it would affect her again.

Apart from that, life had been good to her. Everything was back to normal. No news, no signs of him. All was well. Until one day, until that moment arrived. Just like an uninvited guest. ‘He’ was right in front of her. *LONG AWKWARD SILENCE.* “Hi”, was all she was able to say. (What else could they say in such an awkward moment?)

*CLICHÉ ALERT 3*: She had been suppressing it all in, and all it took was one glimpse of him to bring it back.  Everything just hit her so hard. They talked for an hour. About you know, stuff.

That night, she wanted to get back in touch with her emotions. She tried to tie her emotions back, but she couldn’t. She wanted to let all of it out. But thanks to the fault in her stars (wuh?), she failed miserably. She wanted to cry, but her tears seemed dead. She slept, disturbed. Her worst fears had come alive.

‘She’ is I. I am ‘she’. Y’all know what I’m talking about, honey.

P.S: This may or may not be related to my life. I choose the latter.

If you ask me my opinion on Valentine’s Day, I do not like it because it is that day when most feel ‘unwanted.’ But you don’t need a man to ‘call’ you beautiful to ‘feel’ beautiful, and vice-versa. One if the most smartest things a woman can learn is to never need a man. But anyhoo, since it’s the day of love, let love flourish. Let the world’s dire need for love be fulfilled even if just for a day. (This is the full article, the editors shortened the one published in the newspaper.) Spread your love, be happy and make others happy! V’Day greetings to ‘each and everyone’ of you! Hugs and kisses.

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So Valentine’s Day is here and everyone is fussing about what outfit to wear and whom to ask out for a certain party. Open your Facebook account and your homepage is literally decorated with hearts, love songs, cute pictures and lovey-dovey posts, sigh!
Almost everyone is up to something or the other for this special day, be it practicing the best way to confess their feelings to their oh-so-cute crushes, or be it how to surprise their better halves in the best way possible. BEHOLD. I just wrote ‘almost everyone’, not everyone. Of course not everyone is fascinated by this whole ‘lovey-dovey mushy -mushy’ feeling. There are some people who are totally against this whole concept of Valentine’s Day. Anti-Valentines, as they call themselves. And of course there are many singles out there that do not have that special someone, like me for instance. Sad story, no? NO. Honeys, you can always have yourself a Happy Singles Valentine’s Day by pampering yourself with enough love and chocolates of the world!
Now did I miss some people out? You might think no, but yes I did miss some people out. Ever heard of people who are attracted towards someone of their own gender? Oh wait, who am I kidding? Talking about one of the most controversial issues of the world in general i.e. LGBT rights, I think that it’s unfair to suppress such people for not being like the rest of us. It’s perfectly fine to be who you are- it defines you. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender are humans, just like every one of us. Who they fall in love with does not matter because love is an emotion that nobody has control upon. Every person is entitled to their own human rights and LGBT rights also comes under it. Going against LGBT rights basically means going against human rights, which can turn out to be a punishable offence once LGBT rights gets legalized. Falling in love is a beautiful feeling. Imagine people making a joke out of it- not pleasant right?
So people, if you are afraid to be yourself just because of the fear of society, don’t give a hoot about what they have to say. This Valentine’s Day enjoy yourself just like the rest of the world. Show your pride, share your love. Be proud of who you love, but most importantly be proud of yourself. If someone is rude to you, be rude to them as well. Naah, just kidding. Just smile at them, because as long as you are happy with yourself the opinions of others do not matter. This Valentine’s Day come out of the dark; speak up for your stand in the society and dance along the tunes of love!