Monthly Archives: June 2015

‘Favorite Hobby’ by Rafia Sajjad


Art and music are two of my hobbies. I am rather obsessed with both the acts. It has always been my passion to have a career related to art and music. A life full of creation and rhythm is a life full of bliss!

Imagining a place filled with unique pieces of art and making up song lyrics in my head have played a vital role in my life.

When I was younger, I was a habitual singer who never seemed to hold her tongue. Nobody seemed to mind me chanting all the time. It helped me be more focused, not like some children who used to wander about in class like sleepy bears. However, the teacher used to hear my childish voice every lesson and pretty much got irritated. I bet she envied my angelic voice and could not take it anymore.

Even though she made a fuss about me crooning most of the time, not concentrating on my work, it never seemed to change me until the time my teacher complained to my mom. That was when I got a whole lecture, thus, preventing me from singing in class

I felt as if my educator despised me of such a small thing. My mom gave me a cold glare as she was told about my behavior in class and from that time onwards I became a shy hamster.

But that certainly did not mean I lost my interest in humming along to the jolly, melodious tunes that filled me with content.

On the other hand, fine arts fascinated me as I saw people coloring, using different mediums. Going to art galleries and studying the paintings made me engrossed in the idea of me wanting to be an artist.

Thank God! None of the teachers seemed to have a problem in my liking of arts and crafts. My parents encouraged me to draw. It illuminated my life and seemed to draw a vivid picture of existence.

Watching others paint and embellish objects always grasped my attention and made me fall for it every time. As art is known as one of the major subjects in schools, I, now, take it and draw freehandedly.

I have learnt so much throughout the years about the ways, for instance; using pastels, water colors, acrylics and other mediums. As for music, I have had phases where I got intrigued with different genres like rock, pop and many others.

All of this has made me develop and grow up. These two, for me, are linked together with my life as music makes me feel more and more focused and art is like a part of me. When I attempt drawing while listening to an infinite amount of songs, I feel tranquil and composed as if I am an escapade into another world!


‘Favorite Hobby’ by Fatima Malik


Happiest Hello and hardest Goodbye – a phrase that describes my hobby perfectly. Leaving it means going away which is harder than words can describe and it just leads you to coming back again and again.

When you realize you have to leave, you have an inner debate with yourself or maybe debate is a small word to describe it, you start fighting a case against yourself in a court with the jury, the judge and a lawyer against you. Your lawyer has all the evidence against you and the jury supports him but in the end who wins? You win, like always.
See, you can win when all the odds are against you! I was never the one to like good byes, they just made me emotional, yet I guess you just get used to it when you got to say good bye daily. Huge thanks to mobile phone companies and the wifi due to which the good bye is even harder.

The sun shines, the smell of pancakes reach your nostrils but no, I do not like good byes.

“Come down already!” My Mom shouts daily.

Yet, how can I leave the one thing I enjoy the most? Do people not get how important it is to me? I cannot stop thinking about it, I think about it in school, during lunch, while swimming, while reading and even when I am with my beloved friends. It is addicting, is it not?

One more thing is for certain, I could not agree less with the people who say,
“Why fall in love, when you can fall asleep?”

Yes! Sleeping indeed is my favorite hobby. People may call me lazy and what not but honesty, I could not care any less. People will never understand how hard it is to leave my fluffy cushions and my comforter every morning. Monday mornings are the hardest.
That is why I tend to sleep till four on the weekends and every day, all I think about is getting back to my bed because sleeping makes me happy and I strongly believe in doing what makes you happy. I inherited this from my Grandmother who also believes in doing what you love. Hence, I shall sleep whenever I want to, wherever I want to – if only that was possible all the time.

‘Describe an important decision you had to make and its outcome’ by Rafia Sajjad


Zoned out, Tabitha stared at her aunt while she was yelling profanities at her. Once finished, Tabitha snapped back to reality as she realized her aunt was shaking her arm.

“But Aunt Mary it is my choice. I do not have to depend on anyone for anything. I am old enough.” Aunt Mary had been the cruelest person in Tabitha’s life since her parents had passed away. Aunt Mary shouted, ignoring her niece’s words of defense, “I. TOLD. YOU. THAT. YOU. WILL. STAY. IN. THIS. VERY. HOUSE. UNTIL. YOU. GET. MARRIED. That is it young lady! No ifs or buts.”

Teeth gritted, eyes bloodshot, face tense, Tabitha strode towards her room and sobbed. She felt as if her pitiless aunt dominated her life and would literally dictate her what to do.”

“I just want to be free,” she murmured, almost inaudible. Poor Tabitha could not even snooze after all the weeping. She could not stop thinking about this. Every day it was the same conversation about staying in a prison-like home with a sadistic human telling her what to do.

Until midnight, she considered the thought of staying home for the sake of her aunt or run to chase her wildest dreams. Finally, she realized why her strict relative wanted her to stay. It was obviously because she cared! Her aunt did not want her to be out there on her own all by herself because she was worried for her only niece.

Depression took over at this thought. She has to choose whether to fulfill her phantasms or sit at home and watch over her aunt. She deliberated about the same topic again and again until sleep took over and clouded her thoughts.

The next day, Aunt Mary sat on the sevenseater, leather covered sofa, daydreaming while sipping her morning decaffeinated coffee. As soon as she saw Tabitha, who had dark circles under her sunken eyes, looking like a pale ghost, Aunt Mary called her over, showing her sweet side.

“What?” Tabitha asked rudely. “Umm…look I am sorry for being a mean-green-bean…I want…you to live a better life but-” Before Aunt Mary could proceed, Tabitha interrupted, “Then why do you not let me make one choice of my own. I always agree with you, do everything you say.” Aunt Mary’s eyes widened and the only word that escaped her pursed lips were, “I…I am…” but her voice trailed off.

“Look, I thought about this, okay? I know you want me to stay because you are concerned,” Tabitha explained. “I want to go out there, explore the world, learn new things, and meet new people. This is my life! I want to be recognized, do something that would benefit people and I want to be a role-model for them. None of this would happen if I stayed at home and did absolutely nothing.” Her aunt remained silent the whole time, analyzing the desires of her trapped daughter-like niece. “You can come with me. I swear it will be fun.”

At that last sentence, Aunt Mary looked up, nodding, agreeing with her.

After a few months, Tabitha and her aunt had set off to live somewhere else. They, together, explored poorer cities and helped the people there as much as they could. Because of this, numerous people had begun to live a contended life with less hassles and anxieties.

Tabitha got and did what she wanted to and her aunt realized that freedom was important. She even perceived that she was wrong and Tabitha had always been right for her justice.

‘Describe a day in the life of a schoolgirl in the year 2040’ by Zoha Sarim


Danielle’s hand shot out from under the warm covers to brush over the touch-sensor of the beeping alarm pod. A chill crept over her bare arm as it registered the colder air outside the quilt. She slowly turned her head to see the time, her eyes moving sluggishly. 6:45, the clock projected on the wall in big red numbers. Rays of sunlight peeked through the light-sensitive windowpane, slightly illuminating the room. Danielle took a moment to compose her thoughts before springing out of bed and getting ready.

Covering up her scars and bruises was the most difficult thing when it came to school and the general public. Danielle looked down at her wrists that had multiple slits permanently etched on her skin. A fresh cut from last night throbbed with pain. It was still pinkish, and the skin around the cut was puffy and tender. The pain she got from cutting helped her deal with the pain of her life. She had been adopted by her aunt and uncle at the young age of three, a fact she found out on her twelfth birthday, two years ago; however, no one thought she knew. Her mother frequently beat her, leaving brown-black bruises and marks all over Dani’s body.

Ignoring the dull pangs she felt every time she moved her arms or shoulders, Dani used her spray-on cover-up gun to conceal the signs of her suffering. Tan cream covered up the scratch by her collarbone, the bruises down her arm, the slashes on her wrists. The cool spray made her skin prickle with goosebumps. Satisfied with the cover-up, she slipped into her drab school uniform: a stiff, starched white button-up tucked into the waistband of her black trousers. She slipped the blue windcheater over her head and stepped into a pair of black pumps that pinched her toes. She pulled her shiny, black hair into a tight ponytail, before slinging her bag over her shoulders and walking out the door.

The sun beat down with unrivalled intensity, making Danielle squint. She pressed her finger on the fingerprint sensor on her hoverboard, and the mini engine burst to life. Her hoverboard moved speedily and the wind whipped her hair. She saw the plain, square-shaped, many-windowed school in sight before her and sped towards the building.

The rest of her day passed by in a blur, her aches taking center stage. She remembered the smell of disinfectant and sweat in the gym; the cold steel of the tables in the biology lab, leeching the warmth from her hands, and the hard, unforgiving chairs of the classroom desks before she returned home.

‘An Emergency Medical Rescue’ by Rafia Sajjad


Everyone was running around, minds blank. Our rescue team was in a hustle and bustle. Even though I was just a newbie, they put me in the team. The call came at eight in the evening and that was when my mind turned paper white.

“Dr. Robert! You are supposed to be here. Why are you standing there?!” I paced towards the bus, bewildered as to what to do. Nobody knew me and I was oblivious of where the equipments were kept. But I kept calm and collected, not showing any signs of dread.

“…and the murderer tried to stab the girl with a knife. The neighbors heard screams and went over to check. They found her lying in the kitchen. Probably, she has a brain hemorrhage but we will figure it out.” It took us twenty minutes to reach the girl’s home.

The police was already at her doorstep. “Hey! Excuse me, I require some identity before I let you enter,” the policeman said as we moved in the direction of the spooky house. “Sure!” answered Connor, leader of the rescue team.

As soon as identities were proven, we barged through the creaky door, lights out. Police tapes surrounded the area in the kitchen.

The minute I caught a glimpse of the body, I gagged. A pool of blood surrounded the body. Think. Red. Blood! The girl’s heart appeared to be beating but she seemed to be brain dead. Detective Fletcher informed us about the girl and the whole scene but I did not appear to hear a thing as I was buried in a clouded mind full of bizarre thoughts.

“We have to take her back right now,” I said. Without any opposition, they carefully put the unconscious, ghostly mass on the stretcher and carried her to the ambulance.

We injected different tubes in her body. There was a deep gash on the side of her stomach. I could not look at it because parts of her ribs were visible and bloody flesh surrounded her porcelain skin. They appointed me to clean off her disgusting wound. Without being able to look at it, I dabbed the cotton which was dipped into antiseptic over the surface of her injury and bandaged her.

The insides were much clearer. “I expect you to be braver than that,” teased one of my colleagues. All I managed to do was give him a cold glance, reminding him that it was not a time to crack a joke.

When we reached the hospital, everyone rushed outside pulling the stretcher out. We all, together, picked the body up, and put her onto the gurney, being as vigilant as possible. As soon as we transferred her to a room, I stood next to her, waiting for everyone to leave.

Her heart beat was normal. I stayed there for a while, doleful for the young lady. Connor sneaked up behind me and patted me on the back, saying, “Do not worry, my friend. You will get used to seeing such stuff. Let’s go buddy!” I nodded in agreement. As we were about to turn in order to leave, her eyes flashed open, sweat beading from her forehead, and she jerked upwards. It was crystal clear that fear confined her face. The girl did not seem to feel any throbbing but she trembled due to the tremors of the incident.

‘The Midnight Visitor’ by Rafia Sajjad


Marlene went for a sleepover at her friend’s, Kylie, at the end of the week. Two of her other comrades, Sasha and Lily, were there as well. They had a whole plan set out for the weekend. For the first time, Marlene got a chance to loosen up, forgetting about the pressures of her job. She felt as if she deserved a break after all.

Sasha came over to pick her as Marlene did not have a car of her own yet. The assiduous damsel and they sat for a little while, talking about past memories, flashbacks clouding their thoughts. In the evening, they got dressed for dinner, arranged by Lily and departed.

As they reached the restaurant, they found their friends. Once finished with the lip smacking chow, they did some shopping, devoured homemade Turkish ice cream then set off for home.

The next thing on their agenda was to watch a movie. Kylie had picked out the best ones she had and they all ended up opting for “The Conjuring”. They made popcorns, took out chilled fizzy drinks from the refrigerator, multifarious chocolate bars and other snacks. Lily, the electronic expert, set up the theatre and they all sat in comfortable, soft sofas. As the movie began, nothing seemed scary but as the second half was reached, eye popping scenes that gave the jump scares began to screen.

It was about twelve o’clock, when the bell rang and the sharp, edgy “dinging” sound filled the room. That was when Marlene realized that she was the only one awake as she had been too engrossed in the film. Her face turned hard because of the tension and worry, and at that moment she regretted watching the horrendous silver screen.

She decided not to wake up her companions and started towards the door with vigilant, light footsteps. She carefully peeked through the eyehole first but did not see anyone!

Marlene reluctantly opened the door, hands shaking convulsively, and as soon as she did, she heard knocking on the kitchen window. Shivers crawling up her spine, the poor girl finally decided to arouse Kylie from her deep sleep. However when she spun around to stride to call her friends, a bulky man who was sheathed in black cloth, stood inside the house.

Marlene’s skin became as white as snow and her whole body as stiff as cardboard after the mysterious sight. She heard the words “I had been living in the basement……” before fear caught up to her and she blacked out.

‘A Scene from an Interesting Event’ by Raphael Khalid

‘A Scene from an Interesting Event’ by Raphael Khalid

starry starry night

Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ could not compare to the horizon on that day. The sky was a gentle black, like the mane of a wild black mare that rides the night. Dark clouds gathered round the early night. The glorious Beasts above grumbled with anticipation, wanting to rid themselves of their watery encumbrance, and we shared this anticipation. In a few moments time, the millennium would change into a fresh one, like the phoenix that rises from the ashes, moments after demise.

Often, the mountains in the distance materialized, only to be hidden by the clouds again. A bright, flamboyant, flame-white moon stared at us from its radiant zoo. Its light illuminated the cold, wet shards of grass, shining them up like the lights of old, distant stars twinkling in the unknown distance.

A cold aura had started to envelop the humid, sultry night. Soft winds whistled silently across the meadow I was in, it swayed the short towers of wheat in the direction of its thundering influence. I was with many other strange and unknown people in that meadow, but we all had the same, great expectations. And our hearts were in the same state, all beating with excitement, all screaming with the want anticipation, all on the brink of bursting with every emotion we had ever felt in our entire lives; and these emotions were expressed in happy ways.

We had no way of going astray from our paths there, as nothing there would pull us from it. Any time now….

Rain fell. It fell on the dry dirt, the grass, the plants. It fused with them. It emitted such a beautiful, powerful aroma that my brain just shut down for a moment and forgot all the pains and miseries I had to go back to. I breathed in the smell as much as I could, as if it would never to rain again.

The wind and rain, brothers-in-arms, hit my face and softly slid off, leaving behind only a perky feeling in me, one that raised the hair on my arms like little soldiers ready to fight a little battle.

The tall pines were scattered round the meadow waltzed with themselves, whenever the wind picked up strength momentarily. Even they knew that worries at that moment were non-existent, so they enjoyed, peacefully dancing to the songs of the howling wind and the drums of the rain.

As the time grew narrower, even the tiny angels falling from the sky seemed to fall faster and more vigorously. They absorbed themselves into my clothes, making me shiver. This was the moment the Earth and everything in and on it had been waiting for. And despite this vast number of them, I had felt like I had been the only one there.

Everyone around me seemed to have vaporized into the dark night, leaving only me to witness the ascension. And the demonic, blazing, furious angel rocketed up into the sky, it fought against gravity, it defied the falling rain, it was a wayward rebel. And the rocket burst. It burst out all of its suppressed anger and rage into a beautiful, luminous ball of fire and sparks. It threw itself everywhere into the night sky in complete sang-froid, and no sound came from the lights until a few moments after, a soft pop.

The rebel’s soldiers flew up in unison after it had burst, following their leader, even in death. Silent whistles came from them this time, not like the wind’s, but more concentrated, high-pitched ones. They brought about colour with their ends into the dark, melancholy sky.

The sky seemed to dance in the colour of the rainbows. It’s stars were vivified in the macabre of colours. These heroics all vanished in the sky, only to be replaced by more and more of the fireworks, and colours and light. This brightness in the sky lingered faintly, but surely, and it commemorated the dawn of a new age and era. And everyone at that moment, even if they felt as if they were as small as ants in a jungle, or even as small as humans in the world, they had felt a wave of importance wash over them as the day, year, century and millennium turned to face its new self. And at that moment, I felt true happiness.

‘Write about a Mischievous Child who got themselves into Serious Trouble’ by Zoha Sarim

‘Write about a Mischievous Child who got themselves into Serious Trouble’ by Zoha Sarim


Malcolm’s eyes inched open sluggishly as he saw a flickering shadow move down the hallway. A light grew brighter as a shadow moved down the hallway. A light grew brighter as it neared him, then dimmed as it bobbed away. A creak on the staircase snapped him out of his slumber and he became extremely aware of his surroundings. The faint smell of vanilla lingered in the air. Malcolm’s mouth split into a grin. Aria was going hunting.

Malcolm slipped out of his bed, silent as an owl, and changed into his day clothes: a rough, fawn-coloured shirt, brown leather breeches, a brown waistcoat, and a thick green belt. He pulled on some socks and laced up a pair of old, weather-beaten boots. He silently exited his room and made his way down the staircase, stepping past the fatal areas that would groan if he stepped on them, giving him away.

Malcolm paused by the wall and locked his eyes on his sister’s tall, lithe figure. With eagle eyes he watched her finish a hunk of cheese and slice of rye bread, before she slung a pack over her soldier and marched out the door, her long hair swinging behind her.

Malcolm picked up an apple and started munching on it, a crisp, sweet flavor tingling on his tongue. He washed the remains down with a glass of water. Peeking out of the window, Malcolm checked Aria’s position. She had finished the long walk from the house to the edge of the forest. He watched her look over her shoulder before she disappeared into the woods.

Grinning, Malcolm plunged further into the forest. After Aria stepped into the foliage, he had tiptoed out of the house and quietly scurried after her, taking care not to be seen. Mother and Aria had strictly forbidden him from venturing too near the forest, but he liked to anyway. Besides, it was not as if he was alone; he stayed close enough to Aria for her to remain in sight, but far away enough so that she would not see him.

This was not the first time he had followed her. Malcolm found it intriguing how the small animals caught in the delicately intricate traps could end up as a magnificent roast. He watched Aria skin and gut the kill before putting them in the sack slung over her shoulder. Her fingers were stained red with blood. Popping a plump berry in his mouth, Malcolm watched her wash the blood from her hands.

Malcolm savoured the tangy, sour taste of the wild blueberries and breathed in the cool, pine-needled scented air. Watery sunshine filtered through the thin clouds and stiff branches. He leant against a hard tree trunk, grinning mischievously to himself with pride. He was too clever to get caught, or so he thought.

His sister appeared out of nowhere, and grabbed his wrist. His mouth opened in shock. How had she caught him?

“I know you’ve been following me for the last few weeks,” she spoke, looming above him. Her face was set with disapproval and disappointment, anger flashing in her eyes.

“I thought you might realise your mistake and stop, but I guess not. Go home. We’ll deal with your punishment later, but I imagine you’ll get a mouthful from Mother once she finds out. Hurry along. I’ll see you in the evening.”

Malcolm hurried home. The expression on Aria’s face both worried and scared him. His fear sharpened his memory and he found his way home easily. When he got to the edge of the woods, he looked towards the house. Mother was standing at the kitchen door frowning, one hand shading her face from the sun.

As she saw Malcolm her scowl deepened, and he could tell what she meant from her expression: Get yourself over here now, young man. You are in serious trouble. He sighed deflatedly and trudged towards the cottage, his head hanging dejectedly.

‘Happiness’ by Zoha Sarim


Lily underwent heart surgery. She was only four years old when she was diagnosed with a rare heart disease. She was five years old when the surgery took place.


Lily woke up and started vomiting. Her parents ran to her. They took her to the hospital. Lily’s chest hurt. She cried silently and hugged her teddy bear. Her parents rushed her to the emergency room. These men in blue coats and green masks put something over her mouth and nose. Suddenly, she could breathe better. Then for a while, everything went hazy.

When she woke up, she was lying on a soft white bed, with her pink blanket, and her teddy bear next to her. Her parents were talking to a man in a white coat. Lily decided to go to sleep again.


Lily sat in the car with her bag filled with toys and books. The men in the blue coats were called doctors, and they were going to make her heart better again. She went into a room that was filled with toys and other children. She played with a girl named Angela whose arm was broken.

“They’re gonna take out my stitches today!” exclaimed Angela gleefully.

“I’m gonna get a better heart!” replied Lily, smiling goofily.

“Ooh, that sounds nice.”

“Lily!” A nurse called. “It’s your turn.”

“Bye Angela!”

“Bye Lily!”

The nurse led Lily to a room. The same man she had seen talking to her parents last year was standing there. He smiled.

“How are you, Lily? I’m Dr. Richard.”

“I’m fine.”

“I’ll be doing your surgery today.”


She lay down on the bed, and again a mask was put on her face. She closed her eyes and drifted into a warm sleep.

Lily woke up. Her room was empty. She had a big white cloth on her chest, under her nightie. She slowly got out of bed, and saw her slippers in the corner of the room. She shuffled over to them, and slipped them on. The door squeaked open. The nurse came in with a tray of food.

“Lily! What are you doing up so early!”

“I was looking for my Hello Kitty slippers. They make everything better!”

The nurse crouched down, a wide smile on her face. She laughed slightly and said, “Say that again, would you?”

The nurse took out her phone and pointed it at Lily, making a video. Lily repeated her words.

“Well. Would you like something to eat?”

“Yes! Do you have jelly?”
“I’ll see. You just made my day, with your words, you know that?”

“But what about the jelly?”

“You’ll get your jelly. Don’t worry.”

‘Emergency Medical Rescue’ by Fatima Malik

‘Emergency Medical Rescue’ by Fatima Malik
She loved cookies more than life.

She loved cookies more than life.

“Felicity! Wake Up!!”

I fell out of my bed at the sound of my name being screamed by a male voice. I dashed out of my room still in my pajamas towards the source of the mayhem. As I was about to enter, Leah, my roommate’s room, my eyes fell on the cupboard lying flat on the floor in our dining room. Next to the mahogany cupboard stood our co-worker, Louis, with his blue eyes wide at the sight in front of us. How did I not hear the cupboard fall during my sleep?
“How did this happen? Where is Leah?” I asked.

“Lea…h…Leah,” he pointed towards the ground.

As my eyes followed to where his fingers were pointed, I went into a state of shock, as I saw Leah’s arm and hand with the familiar red painted nails showing from underneath the cupboard.

“It was an accident, help me push the cupboard off,” Louis said with nervousness evident in his voice.

I pushed the thoughts of her being seriously injured to the back of my mind and helped Louis. Using all the strength I had in my body, Louis and I, were finally able to remove the cupboard off of Leah’s petite frame. Her eyes were shut and there were no signs of breathing. I quickly checked her pulse which was still beating, she had only fainted! God, she scared me.

“Quick! Grab my car keys. We need to get her to the hospital!” I screamed at Louis, feeling bad for him.

Finding my nearest shoes, I wore them and Louis and I quickly rushed towards the entrance with Leah in our arms. Getting into the car, my hands shivered as I tried to put the key inside. Finally after being able to bring the car to life, I drove like there was no tomorrow.

Entering the hospital’s emergency, two nurses with a stretcher ran towards us. Taking Leah out of the back seat, they rushed her towards the entrance. Louis and I made our way towards the waiting area when he finally said,
“She climbed on the top to get cookies.”

This made me laugh till my stomach hurt at my best friend who loved cookies more than life.