4.25.2016

Instameet Thatta | an adventure

On 23rd April, a fine Saturday, a bunch of the coolest Instagrammers and I set off for the Instameet Thatta that was themed in contrast with Earth Day. I was hosting this trip with Areeba and Farman, we had been planning this trip from March and it finally fell into place.

If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you might have seen the updates already. It was a road trip from Karachi to the historical city of Thatta, a place so stunning and super close to my heart, where we were going to observe the natural beauty of Keenjhar Lake whose history goes back to 300 years in the ancient times of the glorious state of Sindh. We also went to the necropolis of Makli in the spare time. Now I'll let the photos talk (and they're pretty rad tbh):

The temperature was nearly 38C when we reached Keenjhar Lake. I was worried about the roughness of weather, but thankfully, it all went well. Only we had to keep drinking glass after glass of water to stay hydrated.
We took a boat ride to the grave of Noori Jam Tamachi who was the wife of an ancient Sindhi rule Jam Tamachi. Her grave is in the middle of the lake. It appears to be a mystery why it was built there. The local guides couldn't tell about it so I assumed it was probably a way of giving her the eternal peace in the very middle of soothing waves. Her story is also one of the most famous folk stories in Sindhi history. I remember reading about it back in 9th grade, but it vanished away from my memory, never to return. There was another grave right next to Noori's, a fairly famous saint named Shah Hundro.

Thatta has a very rich history. The more you dig, the more mysterious it becomes. Back in time, it was the capital of nearly every ruling emperor. Thousands of saints resided here. It's nothing but a skeleton of glorious old days now. But the past cannot be removed and seems like it would always keep this city going with the glow it once held brightly.




Keenjher is such a beauty. The water at its shore isn't as good as in the middle. It was almost turquoise, glittering with the sun rays, making me want to stay there for hours.
The mandatory #FromWhereIStand shot
Returning back, I did a quick doodle, hosted the introductions + distributed the goodies that I had wrapped in ribbons and packed with a to-do task, then wandered around the lake to do what we were supposed to do; observing. The lake was alive with the hustle and bustle of people and I was glad to be there, doing nothing, just seeing.
#WWIM13Thatta SQUAD [photo by Farman Shams]

What's happening in this photo: a bunch of Instagrammers trying their best to form a cool-looking human beings' arrow whilst trying not to tumble by the pebbles underneath the water.

We left Keenjhar by midday to have lunch at one of the busy dhaaba hotels on the national highway. There was still some time left, so everyone voted for visiting Makli Graveyard. We went there on a previous Instameet, too. It's such a gorgeous location. Though badly hit by the cruelness of time, its symmetrical patterns are sort of alive on the walls of this necropolis.
Areeba, Jadirah (Blogger behind http://www.jasminecatchesbutterflies.com/) , and I - blog gurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrlssss *drum rolls*



CANDID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maham is taking Areeba's photo and I'm taking Maham + Areeba's photo and Jadirah took this photo of us taking photos of each other

It was a day full of adventures, loud waves of laughter, and overly-bright sun. I am soooooo glad Instagram exists and how it helped all of us travel/photography/socializing enthusiasts to gather, do something together, and just not tap words behind our phone screens.

For more photos, you can search #InstameetThatta& #WWIM13Thatta.

Have you ever been to an Instameet?

My exams are starting in two days so I'm going on a two weeks blog break. It's the final exam of college and I'll be a graduate after that. Keep me in your prayers pls as I get ready for the battlefield. Wink.

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4.21.2016

4 Minutes For The Sky

I was feeling uninspired after a whole hectic week of wedding shenanigans in the family and a come back to blog seemed utterly hopeless. Writers' block was waving at me and all I wanted to do was creeping back to my bed and sleep for a year or two. Anxiety kicked in, everything I tried doing seemed gray and not worthy.

Such moments would always make me want to vanish from the surface of the earth.

I started thinking about inspirations, why I started, why I had to do something. It didn't help, but I could divert my thoughts into something other than pounding over how miserable it was to not being able to do what you want to. I went outside for a stroll to busy myself. Sun was setting and the whole sky was gleaming with colors and leftovers of trails of clouds. I remembered watching a video where people were asked to stare at each other for 4 minutes. And the result was incredibly beautiful. I hadn't tried that, so I did it for the sky then. I kept on staring it.
The clouds were weaved in a cotton candy like manner. Their shades were changing as the lights escaped and darkness started taking over the sky. Sun seemed like an old friend who would have a hard time leaving after meeting for so long. I realized I hadn't looked at it this way before. I strolled outside every day, with a phone in my hand and thousands of thoughts clouding my head or earphones plugged in my ears, playing a repeated symphony. 4 minutes for the sky were too much to spare.

Sun eventually went back to where it was destined to be, brightening up someone else's day at the other side of the world. I walked back, thinking of all the possible words I could write for those 4 minutes that dragged me out of my melancholy. I'm putting them in small black letters on my screen right now.
Give your 4 minutes, wholeheartedly, to something. A book, a person, a sky or anything!!!!! It will change a thing or two for you too.
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4.13.2016

Book Review: Me Before You

There's a lot of hype going around for the novel Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Its movie is coming out soon in June so I thought I better read it before the movie hits the cinema. I am not a big fan of romantic reads, but to have a break from my usual reading list that's mostly filled with thrillers, I picked it up anyways.
SYNOPSIS:
The story revolves around a small town girl Louisa Clark who lived in a bubble of her rather small world. She has a below-average job, an average relationship, and a family to care about. Then out of the blue, she loses her job and her financial condition won't let her stay jobless. So all she can manage is a career's job to a quadriplegic Will Traynor, who's a bit hopeless to live with the dark shadows of her mega-successful past life after a horrible accident . With Lou's efforts and care, things start changing for both Will and Lou. It's the story about two people who aren't living the way they should. And it's also the story about how they change afterward.

REVIEW TIME!
It's not a typical romance novel, in fact, it's more of a self-recovery based story that's emotional and somehow heartbreaking at the same time. There is a plot twist that better not get revealed.

Small town, boxed dreams, tragedies in the past, lack of decision making were ruling the protagonist Lou Clark. She didn't try to break through. To her, it seemed like a lot of work.
Past life's grand adventures, memories, broken dreams and many broken bones were ruling Will Traynor.

Since Lou was a carer for Will, she tried everything she could to make him happy. To make him feel lively. Though Will's character was sarcastic, grumpy, and nothing near lively. But I couldn't blame him. With a life he had lived before the accident, it seemed a bit hard to get back.

As Will was living in the ghost town of his past, so was Lou. Their circumstances were different but that familiar feeling of loss connected, eventually. Together, they stepped out of their comfort zones and lived a little more than before.

End of the good part.
The characters in this book were cruelly realistic and this realism was what made it a real like story, despite it being a work of fiction. Though most of the time, they came off as pure selfish people who thought only about themselves. It's somehow the raw reality of human life. We think about ourselves. And sometimes, only about ourselves.

There were parts when the story was told by other characters, from their own point of view. It was a good addition, to take a break from the protagonist's narration and shift to someone else. 

This book made me cry. Weeping and sobbing kinda cry. When I finished reading, I couldn't speak. I was crying and trying to get the story out of my mind, which was an impossible task. Some books leave you speechless, it was one of those books. Moyes possesses a beautiful writing style. I felt lost in the kingdom of her words.

I have to disagree with some points of the book. The life of a quadriplegic is indeed hard, even to imagine. But this book was determined to tell how it was IMPOSSIBLE for Will to live. I wonder how it would affect someone with a disability. It's not a cheery read.
A rollercoaster of emotions & tragedy and a tale of growing out of the swamp of past, it's a must read. I am glad I got to read it. There were things I didn't want to read and there were things I re-read in this story, and if I could summarize it in one line, it would be "beautifully heartbreaking".

FAVORITE QUOTES:
"You only get one life. It's actually your duty to live it as fully as possible."
"Push yourself. Don't Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE."
"I will never, ever regret the things I've done. Because most days, all you have are places in your memory that you can go to."
"Hey Clark', he said.'Tell me something good'. I stared out of the window at the bright-blue Swiss sky and I told him a story of two people. Two people who shouldn't have met, and who didn't like each other much when they did, but who found they were the only two people in the world who could possibly have understood each other. And I told him of the adventures they had, the places they had gone, and the things I had seen that I had never expected to. I conjured for him electric skies and iridescent seas and evenings full of laughter and silly jokes. I drew a world for him, a world far from a Swiss industrial estate, a world in which he was still somehow the person he had wanted to be. I drew the world he had created for me, full of wonder and possibility."
"You can only actually help someone who wants to be helped."

I have been rewatching the trailer of Me Before You on Youtube. The cast is purrrrrrrfect. I can't wait for it to hit the cinema.

My rating: 4/5 (it's worth a read. Might include excessive crying, based on your emotional state)

Have you read Me Before You? What's your most recent read?

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