Monthly Archives: January 2016

‘Write the text of a talk given by a journalist to a group of teenagers’ by Shehryar Mir


“My name is George Alagiah, and I am a reporter for BBC. Today I would like to talk to you young folk about my trip to Africa for the coverage of the Somalian War.

My journey never really stopped the second I had step foot there. Thin, haggard faces were thrown about. Thin, poverty stricken bodies with sunken white eyes stared at me. The scene was unfathomable.

I had walked around to find myself in Gufgadud, a village that was perpetual dread. I walked past a lot of the journalists, and cameramen hustling about. We were looking for striking and grotesque scenes to picture.

There was a woman, I remember, Amina, who had gone out to try her luck on finding anything edible. She had left her young girls on the ground of her hut. They were undeniably hungry. They were careworn and scrawny. They were just slowly dying.

There was an old woman who lied at one place and could not muster up the energy to find anything edible. The smell of her premises was just perilous. It all smelt and looked malodorous. I still remember that she had a putrefied, large wound on her shinbone.

The whole time, I found myself thinking, “how could have this happened?” there were young infants dying and grown men in there last days. I felt sorry for everyone living there. I felt bad for their lack of sustenance. Yet, I also felt disgust.

Even though everyone there was going through the obvious, they still carried their dignity. For example women there, even though careworn, still covered themselves when someone looked at them.

The moving aspect of my coverage was when a disheveled, lean, tired and scrawny old man looked at me with a blank face, and turned away to smiling. Now, the smile was not a happy smile, nor was it any form of greeting. Later, through my translator, I found out that that brief smile was a smile of embarrassment. That made me think about the rich and the poor.

Now lets all try and make a difference. This was my realization; what was yours?

Thank you for letting me speak today. I really appreciate this.”


‘Why and how do people change in life?’ by Umair Shah


The human nature has been made in such a way that the people change with time changing their habits, and this is due to the physical and mental change. As the person grows, his body changes in size and height, he becomes mature. Just as the person becomes mature his way of talking, thinking becomes different. And the reason for this is in biological books and explanations. Other than that, money changes a person’s life in so many ways such as the person becomes greedy for more money or he becomes charitable and spread part of his wealth among the poor and needy. Most importantly, marriage has a great effect. The person being married becomes more responsible and much wiser. He then understands the need to stand on his own feet. All the above aspects bring a great change in our hearts and lives describing the motions of human nature.

‘Keeping Fit’ by Umair Shah


In order to avoid a short life and a quick death a person needs to keep fit in all possible aspects such as physical fitness, mental fitness and spiritual fitness. In order to improve the physical fitness, the person needs regular exercise and a balanced diet, and this will not only help to maintain fitness but also has a psychological and mental effect. To relax the mind and soul, the person can either read or write or watch the television, etc; furthermore, a holiday from regular work can also be effective. Then, regular practice of prayers and a human’s touch or presence can keep you fit spiritually, for example, cracking a joke among friends can lead to laughter which suggested by the doctors is good for health. Thus, to be safe from regular old age checkups and to live a longer life, the person needs to stay fit.

Journalistic Talk by Umair Shah


“My name is George Alagiah and I am a journalist for the BBC news channel. And I would like to share my experiences when I was in Africa covering the civil war in Somalia for the BBC. My experiences were ghastly and I have been asked to come here and share my moments spent in Africa.

I saw many weak, hungry and scared faces that can never be erased from my memories. There was Amina who had gone to look for food for her two daughters, who were near the point of death due to hunger. When she returned, one daughter had died, and the look on her was heart-touching.

The place had the smell of decaying flesh. As I neared the door of the hut of an old lady, the smell was more than ever. The woman was weak since she was shot in the leg. Her painful face with sick, yellow eyes was never to be forgotten.

My reaction to everyone else I met on the scene was a mixture of pity and revulsion as the human life was sucked by hunger and illness.

The most important face was of the person with a betrayed and uncanny smile. The face is what I cannot describe properly for I saw it only for a brief moment. That smile posed a question whether he was embarrassed to be seen in this way affected by thirst, hunger and disease. The moment that I regret the most is that I did not even ask his name.

It specifically, was this face that led me to write this story. Thank you for listening; I hope my talk had a positive impact in your hearts, and I hope you felt what I felt. Good bye!”

Journalistic interview: “Taking on the world” by Mairaj Khalid


Ellen: So! Shall we begin?

Interviewer: We already have! And I have to say that it is a pleasure to have a woman, such as you, for this interview.

E: The pleasure is mine.

I: The first thing I would like to ask is that, what compelled you to take on this journey?

E: As always, it is my love of sailing.

I: Ah! As others may have their own interests; yours is an interesting one. Also, during your voyage, it is known that something extraordinary occurred. I would like to know what had happened.

E: Well, this is the part of the ship, which required my utmost attention, for the ship’s mast was badly damaged and could only be repaired by attaching the new halyard right till the top of the mast. As you may know that a ninety foot tall mast, on a moving ship, is no easy job to climb.

I: A large task indeed, but surely you must have had some equipment to help you in this climb and; also, planned it before you attempted it.

E: Indeed I did! For with them, I took well over four hours to complete this job, who knows how I would have taken without them. I spent the night before the climb, preparing myself with what I could, such as taking certain tools, mouse lines for safety and other things that might come in handy. I also planned for hours on how to effectively use the halyard by its placement on the ground.

I: Safety first I would say, but did you still encounter difficulties during your climb and did you overcome them?

E: Many problems came during that climb, mostly which originated from the ship knocking against waves, which at times, almost sent me falling off the mast, made me lose almost all my tools, and getting the halyard stuck for a while, during the middle of the climb. Though, these problems were hard to overcome; I never lost my determination, and forced myself to complete this task with a single thought, “Not far now, kiddo…”

I: Through determination and maybe some luck, can we achieve our goals. Though, what did you feel after completing the job on the mast, and when you came down?

E: At both I felt tired and weary, but the only difference was that the job was incomplete, until I got down, as that is what I thought, “Not until you reach the deck, kiddo…”

I: It seems that it is time to put this interview at an end, and once again I must thank you for agreeing to it. Also will you be continuing your sea adventures?

E: Welcome, and you will be seeing me back on the ship again!

‘If it was not for that lone tree, I would…’ by Roha Khan


I looked down. The beast was jumping up and down, clawing to gain ground but to no avail. My heart was in my mouth and blood was pumping in my ears. My head was swirling and the earth seemed to be bouncing up and down. I wanted to close my eyes but I refused to give up to the darkness that was ready to engulf me….

I was out for my evening walk. The weather was nice, the sky was clear; everything was in order. It was the time when most people used to be out for a walk.

There were very few trees in the neighborhood, but one of them was very tall. It had a huge canopy and gave you the impression that it was dominant. It had always creeped me out so I stayed away from it, but today’s events proved otherwise.

There was a mad dog that used to roam area. It was a huge black beast with gleaming eyes. We were all told to keep away from it and there was no telling me twice- I was scared of that thing.

So I was walking, minding my own business, with not a concern in my mind. Why should I? The weather was cool, no clouds, no homework, and no test; so why not enjoy life while you could?

But my enjoyment was drilled out of me when I turned a corner. The idea of spending the rest of my life in harmony came to an end in a jiffy: standing right before me was the black dog, teeth bared, eyes wide, ready to pounce on me.

I always thought that if I ever faced such a situation would be unable to move. So I surprised even myself when I felt adrenaline coursing through me. I looked at the beast once and took off, flying as if I had grown wings.

I ran as fast as I could but the beast was still gaining on me fast. Soon I would be in his clutches. I pictured the whole scene: he will pounce on me from behind and take me down. I will try to fight but he will claw, scratch, and bite me. Then I will die before anyone will find me; such bright thoughts for a fifteen-year-old. Maybe it was because of all the depressing movies and novels.

But yes, these were my thoughts as I ran. Then I saw the ‘tree’ in front of me. First I felt dread. Okay, the tree looked haunted, and the beast was nearly on me. My energy was failing fast and I was fatigued.

Hmm, I choose getting frightened to death by ghosts rather than getting eaten alive by a crazy dog. So I started to scale the tree just as the beast scratched my heels. It took my shoe away but I did not care.

The initial burst of adrenaline was over, leaving me tired and shivering. The dog patrolled the base of the tree and would not go away. So I decided to wait it out and camp in the tree. The ghosts can go and find themselves a new tree.

But I was scared and dizzy, and I knew I would fall any second if I loosened my grip. After a while my brother came looking for me. He assessed the situation, picked up a stone and attacked the dog. It ran away. I was so joyful that I jumped….

So now I am in bed, with broken ribs, a dislocated elbow and a sprained ankle. Yes, I am totally enjoying life with bed rest for two months.

“Journalistic Interview” by Daniyal Durrani

Christine(interviewer)- C, Ellen McArthur- E

C: Pleased to welcome Ms. Ellen McArthur onto our show; thank you Ellen, for joining us for this interview.

E: Thank you Christine for inviting me; I am looking forward to this interview.
C: Alright, Ellen, let us get straight to it; so I am going to start by asking the dangers you faced on your little adventure? I am sure it was very challenging experience.
E: Uhhh, it indeed was very challenging, climbing up the mast to fix the sail all by myself. I had the potential risk of losing my life but i tried preparing for every bad scenario that could have occured.
C: (surprised) So you were all alone in the middle of the sea, putting your life at risk? That is simply amazing!
E: (flattered; with a smile on her face) I would not say ‘amazing’; I had to carry out this act as it was an important thing to do at that time and I am certain anyone with the will to live would have done something similar…
C: (interrupts) “Desperate times call for desperate measures.”
E: (amused) Precisely!
C: Were you faced by exigent tasks and threats?
E: Obviously, even though it was a somewhat impulsive action, I had horrible thoughts of worst possible outcomes running through my mind. However, I tried my best to stay focused and was determined to accomplish the task one way or another.
E: I did what was necessary.
C: Your story, umm, Ellen, is very inspiring especially for the younger generation of girls; a great example of bravery and resilience.
E: There was honestly a very low chance of me surviving but I thought to myself repeatedly that the outcome would be the same if I try to fix the sail and not fix it, the only difference being that if I tried to, I would have some chances of survival so I decided to take the chance without another thought.
E: A rather amusing yet terrifying thing happened the first time I tried climbing, I forgot to wear any sort of safety gloves, so MY FINGERS (lightly raises hands and diverts attention to them) started hurting after a couple of meters of climbing. I mean it is not a child’s play climbing up a nearly ninety feet tall mast in sever conditions.
C: I love how you enjoy retelling your adventure even though you had to go through hours of agonising pain. That is the attitude we need to see in every child, in our young women, to carry on with the will to achieve your goal even if the current circumstances do not make it very apparent. Ultimately you will reach your destination (goal).
E: Exactly, I have always wanted to be a role model for someone in some way, and I seem to have achieved it! (smiles)
C: Well Ellen, thank you for coming and sharing your adventurous story with us and being a delightful guest!
E: It is my pleasure!
(shakes hand)



“A person who inspired you” written by Koodoruth Idriss


Since my tender childhood, many were those who inspired me. But if I had to tell who inspired me the most, I would say it was my father.

My father, a diplomat working for the Government of Mauritius, was the person I knew the most after my mother. He was a middle-sized man, short haired and clean shaven, having a serious but serene face upon which were painted two burning, piercing eyes topped by two dark, thick eyebrows between which was a long, crooked nose under which a tight-lipped mouth was drawn. At the end of his muscular arms were two rugged hands and in contact with the ground were two thick-skinned feet, harmoniously shaped by walking barefooted on the streets during his childhood.

My father is a strong follower of the proverb: “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” If he ever found anyone staying up late in the night, he would become red of anger. No hint of anger would ever show in his voice or manners, but you could feel the two glinting eyes staring at you, tearing through your flesh….

In the morning, you would be nudged by his strong hand, his gentle voice soothing the sudden alertness grasping you, with the call to prayer during which, one better not intend to fall asleep. He would then begin the recitation of the Quran until the sun pinned at the horizon.

He would then close the Holy Book and place it back on its shelf with utmost respect. Thereafter, he would retrieve to his room for a little rest before proceeding to his office for a hard day’s work. But before he could put a foot into his bed, I would appear, asking him to help me with my homework, begging him in my heart, not to let me down. He would sigh deeply, and with an air of resignation, say: “Show me your problem, quick!” I would hurry to my room, gather my stuff and pile it all up on the table, creaking under the weight. I would then unveil a colossal amount of difficult questions that seemed improbable to solve.

However, my dad would not give up. Rather, he would patiently try to address each challenge until he is satisfied with his comprehension. Then he would dictate me the answer; a whole paragraph half a page in length, filled with words I never heard of before.

When he finally finished helping me, it would be time for school. I did not rest nor did he, but he would not complain about anything. Instead, he would open the gate when the driver arrives to pick me and drop me at school.