My Best Friend, My Worst Enemy, My Unbiological Sister, My Partner in Joy and in Crime

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“The only reason God didn’t make us sisters, is because one mom couldn’t handle us both.” -Unknown

I am sister-less and yet, I have her:
She who removes all my fears away;
With her golden smile, to die for
She cheerfully lights up every day.

My decade-old best friend is she,
Ever since we first met in Grade One.
She’s crazy, but really sweet;
Like the wind she can (read: could 😛 ) run

Despite our many differences,
We are one and the same.
And when the artist in her finally steps out,
Trust me, she will rise to fame!

Cooking is my passion, eating is hers
So we definitely make a very good pair.
Give her choc.chip pie, and she’ll be yours,
But remember to handle with love and care!

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When Best Friends Tear You Apart

In such instances, I like to quote Ajay Devgn’s character Prithviraj from Bol Bachchan: “Tum logon ne meray dil ko kuchla hai, ronda hai, tora hai! Ab yeh pehalwan…tum logon ki hadiyaan toray ga! I will put the last nailpolish in the coffin KYON KAAAYYY (and then something like) ataa maaji satak li hai!!”

This translates into: “You people have trampled on my heart, ripped it apart, broken it! Now this mighty…will break your bones! I will put the last nail’polish’ in the coffin BECAUSE I have lost it!!”

Okay, the situation is not so melodramatic. It’s nothing to do with my real best friend in fact…Just that ‘Best Friends’ fits in better than ‘Friends’ or ‘Good Friends’. This talks about multiple incidents with quite a few people, that have taken place over the past 2-3 years.

WHEN BEST FRIENDS TEAR YOU APART

When Best Friends tear you apart
And your world is falling down,
Take a deep breath and relax.
‘Cause there’s a new world to be found.

When Best Friends bail on you
And you turn into a laughing-stock,
Gather up your courage.
It’s high time they got a shock.

When Best Friends take offence
And petty things don’t seem so trivial anymore,
Leave them, it’s for the best.
After all, it’s your heart they tore.

When Best Friends spread rumours, untrue
And you’re suspected for things you’d never do,
Boldly, take up a stand.
JUST DUMP THEIR HEADS DOWN THE LOO!

When Best Friends tear you apart
And your world is falling down,
Take a deep breath and relax.
‘Cause there’s a new world to be found.

 

Media Influences the Youth in an Adverse Manner: Oh really?

A famous man, known to many as Malcolm X, once said: “The media’s the most powerful entity on Earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and the guilty innocent, and that’s power, because they control the minds of the masses.”

Most people do believe that media, in any form, is negative. It corrupts the ‘innocent’ minds of the younger generation. Vulgarity, violence, and hatred are all that are depicted nowadays. The teens choose to follow the latest fashion trends, at the expense of their innocence and purity. The gap between them and their parents is an ever-widening one. The media definitely influences the youth in an adverse manner.

Nonetheless, as Aesop declared: “Every truth has two sides; it is as well to look at both before we commit ourselves to either.” I, thus, believe that media is not always a bad influence. If we look at the flip-side of the coin, it is pretty beneficial to adults and to youth.

Everyone is aware of the daily happenings in the city, the chaos and turmoil that is prevalent since the start of 2013 and people are taking the necessary precautions. My question is, what made them aware of all this? It was the media. News channels keep us aware of not only local happenings but global issues as well. People rushed forward to donate when the Japanese tsunami was projected by the media. News of inventions and new technology is brought to us by none other than the media.

People highlight that media entertainment is not age or culture appropriate. But I say, watching movies like ‘Taare Zameen Par’, which focuses on dyslexic children, is an excellent and very informative way to spend quality family time. I can vouch for current Pakistani drama serials at least, that they are a very accurate mirror-image of daily life. They promote many priceless messages, which are necessary, especially for teenage girls. While advertisements may be irritating, the PSAs-about issues like smoking, frequent mobile usage, conserving water and electricity and common diseases-that pop up from time to time, between shows on television, are helpful and enlightening.

Moreover, cooking shows, such as those aired on ‘Masala TV’ are useful for new brides, or brides-to-be. Watching healthy sports like cricket, football, hockey and the Olympic games encourages the youth, and especially the boys, to live a healthy, playful life, because we all know that: “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.”

Besides television, cell phones and the internet are also advantageous, if used suitably. Cell phones connect you to your family and friends, and ease contact within times of emergency. Social networking websites, like Facebook and Orkut, can help establish connections with family members abroad. Other websites like LinkedIn can assist in finding jobs. Tutorials on YouTube, such as those for software like Adobe Photoshop and Flash, are very handy and instructive.

Therefore, the media will always be an influence, but it cannot control us unless we ourselves hand it over control. In essence, there is a vast difference between influence and control. The media can be a good thing-if we let it be so.

Floating Islands

I made this totally amazing dish for Eid this year (Technically, by the Islamic lunar calendar, it was last year.) And well, I loved it. My mother didn’t. But I did receive compliments from a few other people as well. Although, I do suspect most of them were just to keep me happy. So I want you all to try it and give me some REAL feedback. Please. 🙂

Floating Islands are basically poached meringues floating on a pool of liquid. In most recipes, the liquid has the thin consistency of milk (somewhat like it), but in this recipe, it’s more custard-ish.

So here goes:

Ingredients:
500 ml milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 eggs, separated
A pinch of salt
70 grams caster sugar
100 ml cream
Caramel syrup, to serve

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You are gonna need at least (The recipe called for even less. But it began finishing so I added more and it turned out perfect.) 500 ml of milk (I used normal, full-fat, pasteurized milk that comes in the box, like the Tetra-Pak packaging.) Add 1 tsp of vanilla essence and heat the mixture on a stove for at least 3-4 minutes. Keep aside.

Whisk the whites of 3 eggs (like MAD) until fully frothy (you know what it looks like). Now add a pinch of salt and approximately, half (or a little less) of 70 grams of caster sugar. Whisk like mad again.

Now for the tough part! Put the milk on the stove again at low heat. Using a rounded tablespoon, spoon 3-4 balls of the egg white mixture onto the milk, gently. Cook for around a minute. Turn over using a silicon/plastic spatula (rubber is too flexible for easy handling and metal destroys everything). Cook for around a minute more. You’ll know when it’s done, because the colour changes slightly and it becomes ‘solid’ (You’ll understand when you see it.) Take the meringues out on a paper towel to dry. Repeat until all the egg whites have been used up.

Strain the milk.

Beat the yolks of the three eggs and the remaining sugar.

Simmer the milk and the sugar-yolk mixture. STIR CONSTANTLY AND DO NOT LEAVE FOR EVEN A FEW SECONDS. That is the only mistake I made, and I ended up with a very lumpy custard. It almost totally destroyed the look. *sniff* 😥 But it made no difference to the taste, thank God!

Remove it from a heat after sometime (4-5 minutes). Let it cool until it’s totally at room temperature. Add 100 ml of cream and mix well.

Pour the custardish liquid out into the glass serving bowl. Put the meringues on the top. Pour caramel syrup on the top (Just heat 150 grams of sugar+100 ml of water until very very light golden, and pour immediately). Serve, Enjoy! Oh…and give me honest feedback please 😛

 

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The Spoiled Birthday

“Hmm…All of you are invited to my 6th birthday party, held on the day after tomorrow. There will be cakes, and ribbons, and balloons. Please wear blue-and-white clothes like Cinderella and do bring my gift along. Entrance by invitation only!” jotted down my sister, in her loopy, scrawling handwriting, pronouncing each word carefully with her little tongue stuck out and her dark-brown bangs falling over her face.

“Hey girl! What are you doing?” I said as I walked in the room.

“Writing out invitations to my birthday party on Saturday,” she replied. “Will you please, please, pretty please post these for me today?”

“Sure I will!” I ruffled her hair playfully, and took the pile of brightly coloured envelopes from her. My sister could be a total brat sometimes, but she was, after all, my younger sister and I was almost always ready to do anything for her.

It was thus, that I made the biggest mistake of my life. I forgot! It totally escaped my mind that the invitations had to be posted today, and it was not until the next day that I remembered that I had yet to post them. As soon as I did remember, I rushed to the post office and completed my task, heaving a sigh of relief. Thank God I remembered, otherwise, my sister’s anger could be a really terrible thing to face.

The house became a zoo, as we started the decorations for the party. My mother, brother, father and I worked endlessly to hang up the never-ending bunch of ribbons in exactly the ‘right’ places, as our little Ms. Bossy birthday girl, stood supervising, hand placed on her hip, and ordered us about. Our lungs hurt from blowing up the millions of balloons that we had to, just because the birthday girl wanted them.

Even the menu had to be perfect! “I shall want pizza, lemon slush, strawberries with chocolate fondue, chips, brownies, oh…and gingerbread men, and your chocolate chip cookies, Mama,” she ordered, as we stared at her helplessly. “And, I want my birthday cake (and it should be Cinderella) from you!” she turned on to me.

The day arrived, as our tension mounted up to the peak. However, I could not help smiling as she pranced about in her gleaming, white Cinderella costume, while I layered the blue fondant onto the magnificent two-tier cake. It had hundreds and thousands, edible fairy pearls, and an edible Cinderella figurine on top. It was my best creation so far, and I could not wait to show it off!

Time ticked by, but the doorbell never rang. My sister had resorted to sitting glum on the sofa, awaiting her guests, but they never came. We were all pretty disappointed. I could sense danger approaching when I saw her lips quivering, her cheeks bright red, and her pupils getting all watery. It did come! “Nobody likes me!” she wailed out. I tried consoling her but in vain. Upset, we left the decorations as they were, deciding we would take them off the next day.

But, the next day turned out to be a bigger surprise for all of us. As the clock struck twelve in the noon, voices started singing “Happy Birthday to you!” outside our home. As I went to open the door, a flock of Cinderella-idolizing girls rushed in, with a couple of mothers following behind. The Birthday Guests were here!

My sister, who had till then been sulking around in her pyjamas, was dumbstruck. We later discovered from one of the mothers that they had received the letter only two days ago, and thus they assumed that ‘day after tomorrow’ was today. “Oh My God! I forgot!” I cursed myself, praying at the same time that nobody would question me. But, the Truth had to come out, and it did. My sister glared at me with a look of murderous rage in her eyes, as I stood, blushing furiously with embarrassment. The rest of the people were laughing so hard that they were unable to speak. As we later termed it, it was indeed an amusing misunderstanding. But not so amusing for me, because I was the one who had to face the brunt for my carelessness and my sister gave me THE silent treatment for weeks after the incident. Never am I, ever, going to procrastinate again!

Dreams of A Brighter Future

!روشن مستقبل کا خواب

دورِ غلامی ہو یا حکومت ہو مسلمانوں کی

اصل طاقت ہوتی ہے قوم کے نوجوانوں کی

ہوں اگر یہ نوجوان زیورِ تعلیم سے بہرمند

روشن ہوگا نام، سنور جائی گی قسمت اس قوم کی

ستاروں پی جا کے ڈالیں گے کمند یہ نوجوان بالآخر

پیچھے نہ رہیں گی دخترانِ ملّت بھی اس قوم کی

کٹ مریں گے ملّت کی آبرو کی لئے

سر اٹھا کے جی سکیں گی بچیاں اس قوم کی

استفادہ حاصل کریں گے جدید سائنسی تعلیم سے

ہر بچی بننا چاہے گی پھر ارفع اس قوم کی

ہر بچہ بننا چاہے گا پھر عبدالقدیر خان

ایٹمی طاقت بن جائی گی شناخت اس قوم کی

چیر ڈالیں گے زمین کو اور سمندر کو

ڈھونڈ نکالیں گے پھر چھپی دولت اس قوم کی

لہلہائیں گے کھیت، سر سبز ہوں گی وادیاں

روزی ملے گی دہقان کو، پھر ترقی ہوگی اس قوم کی

اتر آئین گے میدان میں ناجانے کتنے ہی میر جعفر و صادق

نہ ٹوٹے گی، نہ مرے گی ہمّت اس قوم کی

 تحریم خان –

Translation:

Daur-e-Ghulami ho, ya hukoomat ho musalmanon ki
Asal taqat hoti hai qaum ke naujawanon ki
Be it the era of slavery, or be Muslims in power
The real power lies in the hands of the youth of the nation

Hon agar yeh naujwana zaiwar-e-taleem se beher amand
Roshan hoga naam, sanwar jai gi qismat is qaum ki
If these youth are provided with the jewel of education
The nation’s name will be known (in a good way), and its destiny will be better

Sitaron pe jaa ke daalain ge kamand yeh naujawan bil aakhir
Peeche na rahin gi dukhtaran-e-millat bhi is qaum ki
The youth will eventually reach up high to the stars
The women of nation will not be left behind either

Kat marain ge millat ki aabro ke liye
Sar utha ke jee sakain gi bachiyan is qaum ki
They will die for the honour of the nation
The girls of this nation will be able to lead respectable lives

Istifaada haasil karain ge jadeed sciencie taleem se
Har bachi banna chahay gi phir Arfa is qaum ki
We will benefit from modern scientific education
Every girl will want to be like Arfa (Karim)

Har bacha banna chahay ga phir Abdul Qadeer Khan
Aitmi taqat ban jai gi shinakht is qaum ki
Every boy will want to be like (Dr.) Abdul Qadeer Khan
This nation (or country) will be then recognized as a Nuclear power

Cheer daalain ge zameen ko aur samandar ko
Dhoond nikalain ge phir chupi daulat us qaum ki
We will tear apart (metaphorically) the earth and the skies
We will then discover the hidden wealth of this nation

Lehlahain ge khait, sar sabz hoon gi wadiyan
Rozi milay gi dehqan ko, phir taraqqi hogi is qaum ki
The agricultural lands will flourish, the valleys will bloom
The farmer will get his rightful wages, the nation will then develop

Utar aain ge maidan mein naajaane kitne hi Meer Jafar o Sadiq
Na toote gi, na maray gi himmat is qaum ki
Nobody knows how many Mir Jafars and Mir Sadiqs (treacherous generals of history) will arrive
But the nation will not be demoralized 

COMMENT PLEASE 🙂