Saturday, April 16, 2016

Impromptu Himmafushi Trip

I've been an island hopper every chance I get and these last two years have been great, traveling to so many amazing local islands. Himmafushi always holds a special place in my heart, it feels like my 4th home and I feel so myself there.

My friends and I just came back from an impromptu one day trip to Himmafushi. I've been trying to get my friends to go for about a month now and finally we just basically went without really planning much. Spontaneous trips are mostly the best, isn't it.

The island is so beautiful with its colorful walls that tell so many stories (hello so many pretty pictures) and its filled to the brim with souvenir shops and so many beach side seats (so that you can always stay by the sea, soaking up the sun) that you and your friends will never get tired of. 

How adorable is this? So many amazing wallart, ahh 

This is Elle, my doll partner in crime. She loves island hopping too. 

We did miss the sunrise because it was too cloudy but it was still beautiful nonetheless. Definitely worth waking up at the wee hours of the morning. 

I have a thing for bicycles parked near walls. I just have to take a picture of them. 

This was the funniest campaign slogan. It kinda sounds like asking bae for a second chance hahaha. 

With exams coming next week this was really the break I needed. I hope you guys are having a wonderful weekend. Stay cool. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

5 Reasons Why Yanew Should Join Twitter

1. Meme Haven

I mean come on! This place is filled to the brim with memes and you will love all the silly GIFS, and puns!

2. Polls



4. You basically will be talking to yourself but others will join even when you dont want them to


lots of pizza

pls join k bye

Friday, March 25, 2016

5 New TV Shows To Catch Up On

I love new TV shows because it means I can quickly catch up with them and the magic of finding new people to adore, new families to laugh together with and new adventures to go is just amazing. I've been watching quite a lot of new TV shows recently and loving some of them. Here are 5 new TV shows that are still in Season 1 so you can quickly catch up with the new episodes. 

1. Crazy Ex-girlfriend

I can't rave about this show enough. It's a musical comedy (juts in time to fill the hole Glee left) about an impulsive girl who moves to a small town on a whim to find love and meets a bunch of funny characters who has problems of their own. You'll love Rebecca Bunch who is smart and funny but completely crazy. The show is just hilarious and each episode has at least one musical number as she moves along finding out who she is and what she needs in life. You'll laugh along and ship her either with Josh, Greg or therapy. 

2. Grandfathered

This is such a sweet and funny comedy about a family (sort of) featuring Josh Peck (from Drake and Josh) and John Stamos (hello Uncle Jesse, and how are you still so hot, ugh) as the unlikely father son duo. So Jimmy is a bachelor who finds that he has a son and a grand daughter and this new family basically brings a lot of changes to his life. You'll love the little girl Edie and all the funny references and guest stars (both Danny and Joe from Full House as well as Drake!). It's lovely and sweet and funny and makes you miss the nostalgia of shows like Full House. 

3. The Magicians

This is Harry Potter + Chronicles of Narnia for grown-ups. It's not kid magic. It's not oh happily ever after and fairy godmothers. This is dark and explicit with gruesome death, sex and consequences. I love this show so much. Every episode is filled with adventure and danger and it is basically the drug we all need after Harry Potter ended. It revolves around the students in Breakbills, a magical school and around Filary which is sort of like Narnia. I don't want to give too much away into the story but it's absolutely addictive and fantastic. 

4.  Quantico

I'm a sucker for police procedure-ish stuff and while this isn't exactly a case by case show, it has the danger and drama of one. As a huge Bollywood nut, I am so happy to see Prinyanka as the lead in this show, she's killing it plus there's a hijab clad girl. Hello inclusion. It's nerve kicking, completely insane at times and absolutely brilliantly told in the most suspenseful manner. I can't get enough of this show and its diverse cast. 

5. Supergirl

I'm not generally a huge superhero fan but I do love a woman superhero. Kara is adorable and funny. I absolutely love Winn and Kara but my favourite is Cat Grant. She's absolutely fantastic and inspirational. Love the romances and ofcourse the ass kicking action in this. 

So, what new TV shows are you loving?

Monday, March 21, 2016

To All the Misogynists I Know (and don't)

Dear all the misogynists I know who are men, 

I hope you're doing well. I hope you are blessed with good food, a caring family and friends because no matter what your beliefs are, you deserve good things, like all human beings. 

Firstly, I can't comprehend how you think women are beneath you when you came out of your mother, a woman who deserves the highest of respect. The mother upon whose feet heaven lies. How is it possible for you to think she's lesser than you or that she does not deserve respect? 

Secondly, did you choose to be a man? No. Did any of the women choose to be women? No. None of this was in our hands, we only live with what we are and so how dare you think that you're better because of some privilege that you didn't even earn? You don't need to think of us as your sisters or mothers to be able to respect us. Why is that we have to walk with our brothers, fathers, or male friends to get you to stop harassing us? 

And you expect to marry a woman. I find that quite funny because you think you are god's gift to women when we deserve to marry someone who respects us and thinks us more than childbearing machines. You don't need a woman, you need a robot. 

You use religion selectively when it benefits you. You justify harassment, rape, violence against women on the account that they were not properly dressed, that they didn't partake in religious activities, or any other reason you could use to try and blame it on anyone but yourself. Your definition of Islam I'm afraid is very different because my Islam teaches me to be humble and kind, to live peacefully and devote my life to good, to pray and recite Quran among others; not to belittle women or to blame them all that is wrong with the world

I am so sorry you weren't brought up to respect woman. I'm sorry your household or part of the society that you grew in didn't teach you to be a wonderful human being. I'm sorry you still fit into "boys will be boys" stamp and you didn't have strong women and men around as examples of how a collaborative and happy family is. I so wish you could have had a childhood where your mother and father took part in household chores, where you father loved and respected your mother and where you and your sisters were given equal standing and taught to be respectful to each other. I wish you could have experienced how absolutely amazing it is to be brought up to respect people of all genders and to see the best in people, not to belittle them. 

I hope you never become a father to a girl, because I fear for her life, for what she would have to go through not only on the streets, but also at home. I hope your daughter never finds out all the terrible things you say about women or what you really think of them. I hope your daughter finds it in her heart to forgive you even when you never apologize. 

You can still change. It's never too late for you. You have it in you, you always had. I pray that Allah bestows you with the clarity and knowledge to know you're capable of being so much more than what you're today. That YOU could change a cycle of vicious hate and smash the patriarchy, that you could let women into your life without feeling emasculated, that you could experience what it feels to think of women as human beings. 

I will pray for you. 

Dear all the misogynists I know who are women, 

Just because in your mind you can distance yourselves from the "other women" and hate them because you think you're more pious, or good than them doesn't mean that's the reality. Neither does it give you any place to judge them.

Maybe it's easier to just see other women as the enemy because it makes you feel better on the inside, that hey at least its not you getting hit on, or not you getting victimized but do you realize how harmful that is? How can you possibly hate your own gender? How do you justify this? Please enlighten me because I can't seem to wrap my brain around the fact that you think it's okay for women to get harassed or feel they deserve less pay for the same job as a man.

I know you get up when a man enters a room, because you feel like you have to. I know you wash the dirty coffee cups that men leave in the sink and think nothing of it. I know you look at women in tight clothing and say she is asking for it. I know you actually think she's asking for it. I know you justify it by saying you won't ever.

You know how it feels. You know what people of our gender has gone through, even though you may not have had to live through it. How could you be a woman and still not get it.

I'm sorry you didn't have empowering women role models in your life to teach you the value of women. I'm sorry you didn't learn it despite being a woman yourself. I'm sorry you were somehow brought to hate other people of your gender. I can't imagine how you can hold do much injustice inside of you.

I will pray for you. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

10 Things I Love About Living in Male'

If you ask anyone from Male' or who's been here, they are all going to have A LOT of negative things to say about Male' and while that is the case, there are some things that are great about Male'. Here are 10 of my favourite things about Male', in no particular order. (All images by local artists, check links in the caption!)

1. Sultan Park
This is my second favourite park in the city and while it's not nearly as grand as Hyde Park, it's cozy filled with trees and any Maldivian would have childhood memories of going to this park. The recent LED garden made for Minivan 50 adds a bit of artificial trees to the already amazing scene making it a children's light up dream. 

2. Republic Square
Image by Joozeen
Several changes happened to republic square in the past 5-10 years but it remains to this day one of the many modern tourist stops in the country as well as a cornucopia of pigeon feeders, skaters, running children and fountain climbers, thanks to the musical fountain. It's a great spot to go out and have a picnic in (if you're okay with everyone staring at you while you nibble on some bajiyaa and kalhusai)

3. Coffee Houses/Cafe's
The recent influx of speciality coffee houses has made Male' a great place for coffee lovers. You can find little coffee shops where they serve great brews along with delicacies. Coffee Culture is Maldives' national pastime, so you can often find young people going to coffees, chain smoking and talking about local politics. I haven't yet been to Meraki or Civil Coffee Society, but my favourite place to get an iced latte is Cafe'ier.

4. National Library
While the collection can't compare anywhere to most national libraries, it does justice to the country. The national collection has all the editions of Faiythoora and the most prominent Dhivehi novels as well as a nice collection of fiction and non-fiction for all ages. The Children's Multimedia Library has all of your faovurite classic children's books as well as learning materials. You can often find students, tourists, young couples reading or doing their homework. Plus, the staff and guards are super duper nice. 

5. National Museum and Cultural Places
Image by Izaja
The national Museum (Dhaarul Aasaaru) is filled with reminders of our ancestors and artifacts that tell the story of who we are and where we come from. The new building is beautiful and sparse making it very easy to tour the place in your own time. There are also so many great little spots of cultural importance such as Munnaaru and Medhu Ziyaaraiy which are always nice reminders that despite all the chaos, there are still places that stand still, a testament to time and history. 

6. Art Gallery and Art Gatherings
Image by Mahin Fayaz
Male' is filled to the brim with so much talent you can't contain it. From cool street graffiti to photographers lurking in every corner, you are bound to find inspiration even in this concrete jungle we call home. Art Gallery is a great place to visit, especially during art showcases to see Maldivian talent and whenever there are music festivals and art gatherings, you will find yourself immersed in great company, fascinating stories and an air of content which is what life's all about. Fannu Ge Dharin is one of my favourite consistent art gatherings where you can find cool new talent and enjoy great music. 

7. Food
Image by Nattu Adnan
Maldivians are known for our spicy food and our fish paste. While there are specific islands that specialize in the best kinds of food, you can find a mixture of all kinds of great food in Male'. From hotels and cafes selling Bodumasroshi to harbour cafes serving strong black tea, you can fill your gastronomic desire. I love Olive Garden's Maldivian breakfast and Zeeba's brownies, as well as Nashee Cakes Butter Cake. You can also find a mixture of Indian, Thai and Chinese Cuisines as well as Western food in most of the cafe's around. Nothing beats mum's homemade theluli rihaakuru and bashi mashuni tho. 

8. Walks around the City
Once you are able to maneuver the crowded roads, you will often find that Male' has some nice city walks. The beyru magu (outer road) is great for walking with your friends or going out on a date. You can see boats coming in and going out, hear the hustle bustle of the city and buy a kurumba from one of the gaadiyas (get two straws!) and make a day out of it. While the swimming spots aren't nearly as great, the hedhi bileiy and kulhi majaa will make you forget for a little while about how completely untidy and noisy this place is. 

9. Shopping Scene
Image by Masrahphotography
Male' is filled with boutiques and corner shops. Everywhere you turn, there is a shop which makes shopping experiences a workout. You start from our home, and head to the north and to the south, then west and east and by the time the shops close, you have an idea of what is available and then the next day you can go and buy the things you saw, it's really a workout for both the find and the body. I love going to places like Revenge, Closet and Finesse they have really cool clothes and shoes. Shopping on feet is definitely better than driving around because you will hardly find parking space. 

10. All the Urban-ness
image by Ashwa Faheem
Yes Male' is pretty shitty (for the lack of a more sophisticated word) and there are so many problems. It's over crowded, pollution levels are off the roof, there's nothing to do and it's dirty! It's the most densely populated capital city and also probably the smallest. It's extremely urban and you will find good phone network, you can get wi-fi and 3G almost everywhere and there are things to do for those of you who are interested in more than just coffees and shopping. Inside this little place you will find people whose dreams are bigger than the thousand plus islands, who are all trying to make a better life for themselves and if that's not every urban city's dream, then I don't know what is. When you are out with your friends, sipping your third vanilla tea cup, or out on a date with a nice girl at Salt, looking over at the beautiful harbour area you will see that despite how terrible it all is, Male' is still home and it's where you have so many memories. You'll come to appreciate the Male' life but still hope that it was better than this; that is the beauty of Male'.

Okay, after writing and reading through this several times I've realized that all this sounds great for tourists but for actual people living in Male' it might not. Sigh. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Art of Taylor Swifting

I am and have been a fan of Taylor Swift ever since hearing Love Story ages ago, when I was barely a fresh-faced teenager worrying about the big bad wolf of the world. The stages of becoming a fan of her was slightly slow but growing up, I felt like she was the older sister I never had; giving advice on love, finding a place in the world and learning the highs and lows of it. 

I'm normally a very critical fan of things, people, etc. I hardly feel like defending things/people I like but with Tay it has not only become difficult, but times it's just impossible not to. How big she has grown as a brand in the music industry is no news to anyone, and on the way she has collected many a fan, and also ultimately many a "hater". I'm not generally a fan of the word hater, it seems too vague and too broad.

image from GQ
Most of the time, I am very biased towards whatever Taylor does because it all seems so nice and "inspirational". Examples of this are her sending Christmas presents to her fans, learning the ways of Tumblr and replying back to people, donating money to charities, lifting up spirits, etc etc. As a celebrity, she has amassed the critical eye of too many people, and everyone seems to have an opinion on everything she does. Damned if she does, damned if she doesn't 

From fashion critics who used to talk about how her curls were her signature and how they were getting tired of her sparkly dresses, some people accusing her of only dating people to write songs about them and all the drama about her love life is excruciating. Most recently, there has been a LOT of articles about her labeling herself as a feminist and about her "squad" of thin, mostly white celebrity girlfriends and her use of feminism to fend herself against other women or to start a twitter fight between other artists; and ofcourse we can't forget her continuous "fights" with celebrities such as Kanye or Katy Perry. The power of Taylor Swift is evident. You can't escape her. 

Being on the public eye makes it easy for people to expect so much from her, to pick and dissect every single thing she does and to place accusations on where her intentions lie with every single decision she takes. 

I've seen a lot of her fans dwindle overtime, perhaps because she is no longer the all-American-dream-girl country singer with her guitar, blonde curls and cow-boy boots. I've seen her growth as seeing someone I know grow; leaving behind things she no longer likes and moving on to things. I see it as a human feature. Haven't we all moved on from things, developed better values and learnt how ignorant our younger selves were? 

Ofcourse, I personally do not agree with all the decisions she makes; in fact I'm very actively against her pitting women against other women (eg: The whole Amy/Tina fiasco) and as her using the analogy of coming from humble beginnings and being the underdog, and her using feminism when it seems relevant to her. I'm not going to decrease the negativity of any of this by saying she's human. As part of being the public eyes, there is a huge responsibility to carefully analyze your actions before you do something; it's the ultimate price of fame. 

What I'm most proud of is that she's growing and learning from her mistakes and she's trying to do the right thing. From the gloss-wearing bright eyed teenager singing about Drew not noticing her to the music sensation who can get Apple to change their policy, to the girl who despite all her fame still manages to stay best friends with her freshman classmate, she's an inspiration. 

Her music has been a very important part of my life, and I feel like it will be in future too. I'm not idolizing her. I accept her as who she is, with flaws and all. She's merely one of the many inspirations for me to be a better person, inside and out. 

and that is the art of Taylor Swifting. Realizing that you can be a fan of her even if there are things she does that personally don't match your value system. Taking her as an individual and not someone who has to always do what everyone expects her to do. It's learning that maybe one day I'll outgrow her and probably won't be a fan anymore but for now I'm so glad for her. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Thoughts on being 24

I just turned 24 yesterday so perhaps this should be thoughts on not being 23 anymore. 

I've always felt like I was growing up too fast, being with people 2 years older than me most of my life. It never dawned on me how much of an impact this had on my life. Being 23 felt like going through a roller coaster of everything. One moment, it all seems like you have your life figured out and the next it's as if you don't know anything anymore. 

You will lose a lot of people you were close with, it's inevitable. Maybe your values don't match or maybe you just don't feel like certain people are needed/wanted in your life anymore and it doesn't bother you anymore. Sure, you see them on Facebook getting on with their lives and you feel content knowing they are doing good but you don't feel the need to actively participate in their life. You're an onlooker and it doesn't affect your life anymore. 

You will gain a few new friendships. It's slightly harder to make friends as you get older because you realize the value of developing and nurturing friendships and sometimes you just don't have the time or energy or will to start a fresh foundation. You might still find people who click and makes it easier to include then in your life. 

Image from Tumblr 
You will realize that people can't be there for you all the time. That thought will first haunt you, then make you feel miserable but you will understand it when a friend asks you to accompany them somewhere but you can't because you have work and despite all that sayings that talk about how you should take time off to be with people who matter, you won't do it; and for a couple minutes you will feel bad but you'll realize there will be times other people will do that for you and that friendships are not always about sacrifices. You won't feel disappointed when people can't make it there for you sometimes because later they will surprise you by being there when you need them the most and you'll do the same. 

You will still carry regrets of everything you did in the past and I wish I could tell you it will be easier; it won't. On the bright side, you will be cautious. You will give people second chances because you'll no longer believe that people are only good or evil. 

You will learn to take more chances. You will take risks and you will be more open to things and people. You will also be more cynical and think a lot of negative thoughts about people's intentions and the world. You will find yourself hating on things just because other people do, but you'll also find yourself standing up for things you believe in. You'll learn to deal with bullshit by showing absolutely no grace. You will yell and fight for the right things.

Image from Tumblr
You will look at love either as something so far away, or something that hurts a lot. Or maybe somewhere in between. Everyone you know may look like they have it all figured out but you know that's not true. You will try to find less faults in people because you will realize the version of your future spouse for your 13 year old is not the same person you will think of now. You will laugh at how silly your 13 year old self was. You will start to accept that people you love has their own loves and it won't bother you anymore because you yourself has songs that remind you of past loves. 

You will value family but start to realize that they are not what your 8 year old self thought they were. You will realize they are also human and that they have their past regrets and mistakes and they were shaped by their generation and there will be things you don't like about them but at the end of the day those will the learning goals for you. You will start to accept them with faults, not as perfect human beings who will do no wrong. 

and lastly, you will think of yourself a lot more. You will try to always look out for you. You will learn to forgive for what and who you've been. You'll prioritize yourself gracefully and matter of factly and you won't feel sorry for it anymore. You'll learn how important self love is. 

Being 23 was not an easy feat but once you're 24, you'll realize, it's just one more year gone by. You will stop counting things in terms of years but in terms of how it made you feel and how you grew as a person. You'll learn to appreciate everything more. 

Here's to being another year older and hopefully wiser. 24, bring it on. I'm ready and I have all the fire I need. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Currently: February 2016

In between work and classes and other gazillion things I like to do, I seriously have been lacking in reading or watching but compared to last month I've actually been catching up to my fav shows and reading more books so that's pretty neat. 
Here are what I've been indulging in lately. 

90210 S5 | It's bittersweet because the series is ending but at the same time I'm glad its finally over, all that drama. After Gossip Girl, this was my drama fix and I really love Naomi and have been only following this show for her. Definitely enjoy all the excessive drama. 

Maleficent | Yes, I know. I've only recently gotten around to watching this magnificent movie and it was a blast from the start to end. Angelina was absolutely wonderful in her role and I LOVED the whole thing. I'll probably re-watch it because I can't get enough of it. 

Crazy Ex-girlfriend | I have been getting into a lot of new series and this is one of current favourites. Rebecca is such an adorable person and I love the music numbers in the series. The characters are quirky and funny and it's such a delight to watch this. 

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey | For Page Turner this month, we are reading this book and so far I think it's average. I'm still not too into the story but I like how it's going. The back and forth and lack of answers/world building bothers me a little. I hope it will pick up pace and excitement. 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah | This was last months book club book and I wasn't able to finish reading it but even the start of it is intriguing and I can't wait to finish this wonderful and nice book. I also adore Hannah's writing style. 

Sanam Teri Kasam Soundtrack | This movie isn't out yet but very few movies makes me want to check their soundtarck before the release but after seeing the trailer and sort of falling in love with a song in it, I had to get the entire soundtrack and all the songs are absolutely a joy! I have been playing this non-stop. 

What is keeping you entertained?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Re-reading Orwell with Context

Hi all. The following is a brilliant piece of writing by my Level 4 friend Mahid. He's a Conan loving typical engineering student with a penchant for using big words and is most known for his big hair. 

Image from GeckoandFly
I first read Animal Farm when I was 18 years old. I was unaware of George Orwell’s work and its lasting significance in geopolitics of the modern world. I also did not know anything about the Russian Revolution which is so wittily and meticulously satirised in Animal Farm. After having recently read a book by Abraham Ascher on The Russian Revolution I decided it was time I revisited the book.

With the second reading of the novel came the realisation that the pigs, Snowball and Napoleon were taking the roles of the revolutionaries Trotsky and Stalin. The former was a strict adherent to socialist ideals of Karl Marx, represented by Old Major in the book, but as his party gained power, he made devastating compromises on his ideals to the extent that the first principles were almost forgotten. Trotsky is described by Ascher as a remarkable orator and capable of uniting the agitated and the disenchanted. Stalin, after the revolution, climbed the ranks of the Bolshevik party through cunning and manipulation despite lacking any noteworthy charm. It was his brute that came in handy as he staged show trials and disposed his political rivals by exile or execution.

The Russian Revolution which began as a bold experiment to instil true Marxist communism after the removal of Tsar Nicholas II (Mr Jones of the Manor Farm), was disfigured into a Bolshevik obsession to gain ultimate and lasting power over the empire where dissent was deemed treason and dealt with using bayonets. Marxist doctrine was altered and reinterpreted to fit the Leader’s vision of a utopian state. In fact Marx’s Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, published posthumously, were suppressed in the post-revolutionary Russia. I doubt that the Stalinists appreciated the irony.  

In 1984, Orwell describes this as the infection of socialism with the vulgar utopianism. Utopia, almost by definition, is a soulless notion. Promises are made about the absolute eradication of all human suffering, leading to infinite happiness. By assuming and imagining a future where there are no more grievances, it becomes possible to justify any atrocities committed in the apparent pursuit of that future. In essence this was the philosophy of the Soviet Union and the provisional government that preceded it. Ironically the end result was in effect the recrudescence of Tsarist Russia where Stalin, the Leader, ruled with an iron fist and an elite class enjoyed a hedonistic life while the peasant majority starved. The pigs and the farmers had become indistinguishable.

"By assuming and imagining a future where there are no more grievances, it becomes possible to justify any atrocities committed in the apparent pursuit of that future."

While the novel does not tell us what became of Snowball, Trotsky found refuge in Mexico after he was exiled from Russia. Stalin not content with having his colleague exiled, and attempting to tarnish and diminish him further by issuing revised writings of the revolution, used the Secret Police to bribe a Mexican communist who attacked Trotsky in his study, hacking him to death.

Both Animal Farm and 1984 draws a lot from the Russian Revolution. The former has been described as satire on the period, solely because the totalitarian nature of what came out of the revolution could only be satirized by removing it from the human experience.  Any personal account of life under a totalitarian regime is bound to instil crippling fear –as 1984 does - rather than induce laughter.

Unlike the Stalinist Russia, what the Big Brother of 1984 achieves is far beyond the collectivisation of food. It is the collectivisation of thought itself. All music, poetry, and literature originate from the top and is distributed to the lower parts of the hierarchy. The result is the utter decimation of individuality, personal aspirations and thought, while flooding the society with faceless, nameless entities who speak not with the brain but with the larynx, as the novel describes. The mind becomes so disjoint from reality that it cannot be convinced that it is oppressed let alone asked to stand up against it.

The law that was passed not long ago by the Majlis, stating that all literary content should first be vetted by the government before being distributed or published, was very reminiscent of everything we would describe as “Orwellian”. The Youth Ministry (we will never find out how the onus fell on them) later issued a statement saying that social media was conveniently exempted from the law. I can only suspect that this exception was less of a testament to the government’s leniency but more of a realisation that the law would be impossible to enforce on the internet.

"You are asked to love the cruelty dictated on to you by the regime, leaving us with the the ugliest doublethink one can conceive and the worst form of denigration and abjection of the human spirit."

In essence, 1984 is about love. The snatching away of genuine love to be replaced by compulsory love, extorted from the subjects under the threat of torture and humiliation. You are demanded to love the Big Brother, while simultaneously fearing him. You are asked to love the cruelty dictated on to you by the regime, leaving us with the the ugliest doublethink one can conceive and the worst form of denigration and abjection of the human spirit.

Thank you Mahid for so eloquently putting this into words. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sunshine and Rain

Sometimes I write poetry. I'm not very good at it but I need words; words are all I've got. Here's a little poem about sunshine and rain; or more like two people who are like sunshine and rain.

Maybe I'll post some more poetry but I don't think I'm ready to let the world see my words. Posting this took a lot of courage. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

How to get more productive this new year

I am always on the lookout to increase my productivity and get more things done (which is what I tell myself when I eat dinner while catching up with TV shows, haha). The last couple of years I've sort of come to terms with a system that works really well for me (and I am constantly tweaking it to fit the ever changing tasks I do). 

1. Having a planner

This is a no-brainer for me because I love writing things down and I forget things plus if I note them down in my phone its unlikley for me to check it again. My planner set-up for this year is a week on 2 pages (so you see the entire week) and every weekend, I fill the next week with what I have to do (appointments, meetings, classes, to-do lists etc) so I know to never double-book myself. It also helps to keep a track of what I've been doing which is great for reflection and cutting things off to do list is motivational. 

2. Plan out your day the night before

I have a list app in my phone which is like a to-do list so I plan my day (pretty much every half-an hour) so I can fit the maximum amount of things in a day and also can feel pretty organized throughout. I find it easy to fit in time with friends and family int his format and planning the night before means by the morning my day is already planned and I feel super productive the whole day. 

3. Divide big tasks into bite-sized tasks

This is such a big help at work. I feel that I keep pushing the bigger things for later and always procrastinate on them so I started listing down all the small things I need to do in order to finish a huge task and it helps! That way I can finish some of it one day, another couple on the next day and so it doesn't feel too heavy and it helps in minimizing my procrastination. It works really well for assignments too (just start with things like finding reading materials, reading them, taking notes, drafting, writing chapter by chapter, reviewing, etc and in no time you'd have finished about 80% of it and wont have to do everything the last minute. 

4. Keep a track of the work you do at work/college

This is so helpful to me, seriously. I have an excel sheet where I keep tabs of every task I did that day just a list of everything so I can always check back and remember what day I did what. It also helps if you deal with customers so you can give them exact day that you attended to their call, etc. Just use Ctrl+F to find whatever and bam, you have it. I love it so so much and will continue doing it this year too. 

5. Take mini-breaks 

This is again something so important because the more you keep doing the same thing, the more exhausting it will get, so after every 45 minutes, I'll take a 10-15 min break and just read or make tea and drink it, anything but the work and by the time I finish and go back to finishing the work I would feel more energized. It's such a great tip if you're at a desk job sitting down all the time. 

I hope this year you become more productive and keep striking through your to-do list! How do you keep organized?

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 in a Nutshell

I do posts like these pretty much every year and its a great look back on all the great memories. You can check by 2014 posts HERE. 

Last year was a year of so many adventures. Honestly, I had a brilliant year. 
Keeping with my tradition of giving new year gifts to the 10 people who made my last year, I made personalized notebooks for friends and it was such a fun experience.

Then a bunch of my friends threw me a surprise party! (my first surprise party not by parents hahaha) It was such a blast with the fake snow and rounds of two truths and a lie. 

Then there were trips to islands on workshops. I always love outreach programs and forever grateful when I get to volunteer or take sessions. Travelling is one of my favourite things ever. 

How can I forget about Twitsal? It was this futsal competition and it was my first time actually playing in it. It was a blast. 

I was featured in a magazine! AHH good times. Thanks so much to the team at Veekly. It was nice hanging out with them and answering questions. 

I started making book reviews on YouTube which was fun. I'm hoping to continue this year too. My love for books just got ten times more intense, hahaha
MMKF was another fun trip that I'm so glad for. 

The highlight of my year was Eid trip because it was so much fun and I had a great time with my friends celebrating Eid.

So, here's to more fun stuff this year. I hope your year was filled with love, friendship, family and adventure. 
Here's to a fantastic year!