12.01.2016

the start of an end - December

Sia's Cheap Thrills is on repeat and I am thinking about a number of things. One of them is the definitely December.
If there's a month I like after my birthday month (that's August btw), it's December. I remember loving Taylor Swift's Back To December and Miley Cyrus' Permanent December only because they had this month's name incorporated in them. Umm, well it almost was the reason, the songs were really cool too. There was this Demi Lovato song with December in it as well, but it was way too noisy to secure a spot in my playlist.

It feels like a month of ends and upcoming starts. 2016 was particularly a very strange year but in a very good way. I still cannot wrap my head around some of the major events of this year. Now that the end of this very strange year has arrived at a relatively strange speed, it's even more hard to believe that everything happened and a lot is yet to happen. This post is not a farewell letter to 2016, I still have so many days to prepare a draft for it (that, of course, I will write a night before publishing it so let's just say these days are for thinking about it).

I love the idea of welcoming December. It brings the cold winds from other parts of the country, end of a long long year, songs from the past and a ton of nostalgia. I probably would never be able to get rid of all the emotions this month provokes yet still, it doesn't feel heavy or melancholic at all.
There was a short piece of Urdu poetry at the end of my favorite novel. It was about December. I still have it written somewhere. I never got around remembering the lines but it went on like someone asking December to bring back all the people they lost during the year. I didn't think what it could mean back then, but now it seems like that writer was asking for all the memories from December; a month that keeps the record of every start to bring at the end.
The first day of December would already be finished when I type and publish this post. But here's to the start of an end; an end of the year that only gave and gave generously. But when it took, it also took without caring too much. Here's to December; a month I would always wait for. Each year, each time.
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11.28.2016

a lil guide of city roasts in Pakistan

the contrast between different cities of Pakistan is so stark, one could almost remember each of them by their certain qualities rather than their names. Some cities are famous for their sweets, some are famous for their buildings, and some are famous because a historical event happened there. I like to remember cities by their famous foods, though. It's easy to remember, food is closer to my heart.

When it comes to big cities, things go on a bigger level as well. The main 'big' or let's say mainstream cities of Pakistan are Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad; the spoiled rich brats of the country. Growing up, I would always hear things like 'MY CITY IS BETTER SO BACK OFF' when people talked about their cities. Normal blah-blah conversations would take 0.2 seconds to turn into warssss. We like to call them city wars and we're too loyal to our cities.

I am a Karachitie with sea-water-like blood running in my blood (Karachi is famous for its sea thus the reference) so when Twitter broke into Pakistani cities war after a video of city roasts went viral with the hashtag #OyeKuchKarGuzar (that mean hey do something in urdu - PROVOCATIVE) then i knew i had to be a part of it, too.
I'm writing this post as a guide to the current and future generations to let them know how to roast big cities, with the targeted 'keywords' that would trigger the well-facade emotions of general population *muhahahahas*

Starting from Karachi, this city doesn't take anything personally. So in order to roast Karachi or any Karachitie, use the following:

TRY TO HURT SEA 
Yeah, the big glorious Arabian sea. Some of the shores of Karachi beach aren't in the best of condition these days. So non-karachities can go and attack the fact that even though their cities aren't blessed with sea, they can still feel better about the contaminated karachi beaches.
The new language 
 People of Karachi have a self-proclaimed passion for speaking the finest of Urdu (which definitely isn't finest but one could pretend). Urdu is the national language of Pakistan so finer = the better. However, the other cities and their residents could disagree. When you can't understand a Karachitie's urdu, you can make fun of it, like the rest of Pakistan.

Then there comes Lahore. To be honest, out of every city, Lahore is far easier to roast. You could say 'oh this city is so full of fog' in a nicest and a-weather-compliment kinda way to a Lahori and they will take it very very personally. But the key points are:

Lahori accent
 People of Lahore speak with a heavy influence of Punjaabi in their tones that it almost sounds like a new language. Non-Lahoris like to call it Lahori accent (available in urdu, English and 826 other languages *smirks*) when you can't think of anything to use in your Lahore roast, GO STRAIGHT FOR THE ACCENT.

The No-Sea hoot
Lahore doesn't have a sea. Karachi does. This, somehow, always comes up in the roasts and makes Karachi look like a winner. Now the competition between these two cities has always been quite intense. And since they don't have sea, they can't win. For every Lahore achievement, one can scream 'BUT YOU DON'T HAVE SEA' (esp if you're from Karachi) and it would help a lot.

(samandar = sea)

Then comes Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan and also a not so big city (it's literally so small). You can't even find anything to roast that easily. But don't worry, let me spill out some secrets.

MOCK THE PUNCTUALITY
well, it's a sad one. if you can't find something they're doing wrong, you're forced to mock something they're doing right (oh and it works). people of Islamabad sleep earlier than the rest of the country and yes it's absolutely not a myth. Other cities' night = 1 am / Islamabad's night = 10 or 9 PM
so before roasting, ask them if they can stay till 9 PM. LET THE ROAST BEGIN WITHOUT THEM.

THE SMALL-CITY CAPITAL
what seems to upset the people of islamabad is the objection on the total area covered by their city. Of course, it must sound like a terrible thing. But when you're roasting a city, you're roasting a city. 

so that's like the basic intro of roasting a big city in Pakistan. I would LUVVV to know how do you guys do the city roasts in your own country. SPILL THE SECRETS
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11.22.2016

book review: milk and honey by rupi kaur

Poetry is a whole another language for me. A language that helps me understand things when no other language makes sense, a language that's the most beautiful part of any language, a language that I can speak when I can't bring myself to speak any other language.

When I am not writing it, I am reading it. And today, I want to share one gem of a book that internet showed me and it didn't take long for me to fall in love with it.

it's Rupi Kaur's poetry collection Milk And Honey
I first saw it on tumblr. Black cover, illustrations, lower letter writing; it was perfect. I read some of the excerpts from the book randomly and they were beautiful. In fact, they weren't only beautiful. They felt raw and open yet calming. They sounded as if they were poured from a pen that was weak but wasn't willing to stop, to accept its weakness, to stay firm until the fear of being weak was gone. I knew I needed that book in my life.

I searched it in the local bookstores but it wasn't available there. The only known store selling this book was 2 hours flight away. Finding it was hard, but I waited. A few weeks ago, I went to the city that was 2 hours flight away (Lahore - read about the trip here) and finding this book there was on the top of to-get-stuff list. I bought it and read it in like two sittings.
The thing about Milk And Honey is that you cannot dislike it even when you want to. The poetry is written in the simplest way possible, there's no rhyming, some of the pieces are just phrases that are broken in poetic style. The synopsis states the poetry in this book is about love, loss, trauma, abuse, healing and femininity,
The book is divided into 4 chapters: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing

my favorite part has got to be the loving. All the pieces in that part are written simply, emotionally and are relatable. Another factor is that some of them are based on poetess' mother and I loved this fact the most. The whole book is filled with warm words that are welcoming, vulnerable, sad but what they are not in hopeless. This book is a masterpiece of optimism; it glows with it.

the piece I loved the most (it's from the loving part)
another piece that's just too fierce

I  a d o r e d  this book

Coming to the other side, there were things that I didn't like too much in the book. Some of the pieces were just too plain, some were the replica of the other poems in the book, and some were just there; without holding much of emotions like the rest of the mood. As much as I loved the whole milk and honey, this is something I felt too deeply as well.

But one thing is certain: it's one of those books I will read over and over again. I will bookmark the pieces I love, to return to them when everything in my head gets louder and poetry would be the only language that would make sense. I am so glad I finally got my hands on this book; a book I could say I needed in my life. Rupi Kaur is a poetic genius.

rating: 4/5 (highly recommended - some of the pieces are age restricted though)

what's your favorite poetry book? recommend me some
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