Thursday, January 28, 2016

What's in my Bag

So I figured I should kind of tell you guys more about the kind of random things I do. For example, I usually stuck to a normal, grey messenger bag but the problem with that bag was that every time I put it on the shelf outside the library, it would disappear. Imagine looking for a dark grey bag in a little corner of shelves, filled with bags and it's not exactly the brightest place you've ever been to. People tended to assume my bag was owned by a male student and therefore, could be tossed out of the shelf and onto the ground to fit in, oh I don't know, a particularly feminine looking bag?

I put up with this three times, each time I'd been close to tears, convinced my bag had been stolen and would I really have to lug these books around in my arms all day? I'd had to dig through piles of bags on the floor to find mine always on the very bottom. Talk about rude people, throwing bags out of their shelves.

So anyway, back to the point. I decided to bring this bag out again (I'm pretty sure most of you probably saw this before because I bought it last year and had posted about it) and I figured I'd share what it was that I usually carry around.

But in case you guys can't remember it, I'll share another picture here, although you can also find the blogpost I'm talking about over here.

Okay so it might look pretty and decent but this bag kind of gave me a hard time. First of all, the books I take with me and bring back are pretty big, such that it's almost impossible to zip the bag shut. As a result, I'm often walking around with the bag wide open and things literally spilling out of it and while I might look like some sort of cool person with a bag of chaos, I really don't like the headache of worrying about anything that I might have lost. For example, my keys and my favorite pencil slid out of my bag and onto the tarmac road when I was getting inside the taxi.

Apart from that, when I do carry my books in my bag, the straps have a tendency to snap. So I ended up using key rings to hold it together because I just can't be bothered to go buy a new bag, there's just too much work involved in going to the bazaar and wandering the shops and having a 70% chance of not finding anything you like, which is awfully high. So yes, I've pretty much been dragging this bag of problems around and it pretty much sums up quite a bit about me.

As you can see here, I throw in a lot of junk. There are keys and a lock for my locker. My locker is usually empty and unlocked and I don't really use it, ever, because the locker is too far away from my classes and I don't like going all the way to the basement just to pick up or deposit something from my locker. So I only use it to keep my bag inside when I'm having an exam. I also don't like taking my pencil pouch in and out of the bag so that's why I keep a standard arsenal in the coat of my pocket consisting of a highlighter, a pen, a pencil and a colorful pointer. Oh and that yellow box is my lunch box which I will introduce you to at the end.

Okay so these three are standard things I will be carrying with me everywhere. Initially I used to carry my wallet around too but then I realized it wasn't very efficient- I didn't need my wallet every day and it was a hassle keeping my eye on it in case someone tried to take a swipe. So I'll just start out by introducing my pencil pouch.

It's a mess really. All those candy wrappers you see there are empty because I ate all of them and shoved the wrappers in the only place I could for the moment. Then there are little sticky notes, a bunch of colored felt-tip pens, three highlighters (yellow&pink are Sharpie, orange is Schneider), the there are two pencils I carry for histology drawings (haemotoxylin and eosin pencils), then because I love the color purple, there's a specifically purple ink pen. At the side you can see the usual ball-points I carry and a pair of headphones I barely use.

Net up is my owl planner. It's actually just a normal looking notebook of a decent size I got from Walmart during their school sale. Anyway, I've divided it and everything myself and this is the only page that looks aesthetically pretty because of the pink. I was a little stressed that week so that explains the big pink text on the side. Otherwise it's usually like this.

So that's the planner. The last, most essential thing I carry in my bag is my notes. As you guys must have noticed, I have a different notebook for every module, especially since every module is usually about an entire organ system. The current module I'm in is called Endocrinology and Reproduction, so there's a lot of physiology and anatomy involved.

This on the other hand is a page about biochemistry, or more specifically, synthesis of steroid hormones which includes adrenalcortical hormones like glucocorticoids and cortisol as well as sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Anyway, this looks like a small notebook but I've managed to fill it up with all my notes, save the ones I missed when I had gone to Karachi. I don't really write anatomy notes though because anatomy is mostly pictures and my book already has concise information about clinical applications.

The notebook itself is SIST (Shifa Inter-Scholastic Tournament) merchandise I got last year in 2015. I ended up using this one for academic purposes because I ended up with two of these notebooks, one from my father and the other from the SIST team since I had volunteered for the event and helped organize some of it. While this one has been fully utilized for Endocrinology and Reproduction, the other has been used for blogging purposes ;D

Here's my lunchbox! Don't laugh! It's very cute! I'd like to see any of you carry something like this around! Anyway, my mother had bought four of these boxes for each of us, yellow, blue, pink, and green. Sometimes I get the yellow the one and sometimes the pink one.

Last but not least comes all the random things in my bag. There's chewing gum, sanitizer, notes I wrote on small bits of paper for revision, and my locker keys! These are the things I end up needing occasionally so they're usually placed in the side pockets for easy access.


Well, that's mostly the interesting things in my bag! I didn't even talk about the books that I have to lug around- textbooks of physiology, anatomy, biochemistry and histology! Perhaps I could talk about them in another post, what do you say?

Have a nice day!

**Announcement! Teenage Blogger Central will be hosting its very first pilot twitter chat on Friday evening! For more details, tweet to @_TheSilverKing or @Envy_Fisher! See you there!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

BookShelf: Every Patient Tells a Story(Lisa Sanders)

6085146A riveting exploration of the most difficult and important part of what doctors do, by Yale School of Medicine physician Dr. Lisa Sanders, author of the monthly New York Times Magazine column "Diagnosis," the inspiration for the hit Fox TV series House, M.D. 

"The experience of being ill can be like waking up in a foreign country. Life, as you formerly knew it, is on hold while you travel through this other world as unknown as it is unexpected. When I see patients in the hospital or in my office who are suddenly, surprisingly ill, what they really want to know is, ‘What is wrong with me?’ They want a road map that will help them manage their new surroundings. The ability to give this unnerving and unfamiliar place a name, to know it–on some level–restores a measure of control, independent of whether or not that diagnosis comes attached to a cure. Because, even today, a diagnosis is frequently all a good doctor has to offer."

A healthy young man suddenly loses his memory–making him unable to remember the events of each passing hour. Two patients diagnosed with Lyme disease improve after antibiotic treatment–only to have their symptoms mysteriously return. A young woman lies dying in the ICU–bleeding, jaundiced, incoherent–and none of her doctors know what is killing her. In Every Patient Tells a Story, Dr. Lisa Sanders takes us bedside to witness the process of solving these and other diagnostic dilemmas, providing a firsthand account of the expertise and intuition that lead a doctor to make the right diagnosis.
Never in human history have doctors had the knowledge, the tools, and the skills that they have today to diagnose illness and disease. And yet mistakes are made, diagnoses missed, symptoms or tests misunderstood. In this high-tech world of modern medicine, Sanders shows us that knowledge, while essential, is not sufficient to unravel the complexities of illness. She presents an unflinching look inside the detective story that marks nearly every illness–the diagnosis–revealing the combination of uncertainty and intrigue that doctors face when confronting patients who are sick or dying. Through dramatic stories of patients with baffling symptoms, Sanders portrays the absolute necessity and surprising difficulties of getting the patient’s story, the challenges of the physical exam, the pitfalls of doctor-to-doctor communication, the vagaries of tests, and the near calamity of diagnostic errors. In Every Patient Tells a Story, Dr. Sanders chronicles the real-life drama of doctors solving these difficult medical mysteries that not only illustrate the art and science of diagnosis, but often save the patients’ lives.

Okay, so this books sounds kind of ehh but it's actually really interesting. Lisa Sanders presents interesting cases that all revolve around the crafting of a patient's diagnosis. When a sick person walks into a hospital, they are essentially a puzzle that the doctor must solve by thoroughly investigating and looking for all the clues they can find before reaching to a conclusion that would help treat the malady.

Unfortunately, when the puzzle is a person, you can expect two things. One, no two puzzles will be the same. And two, each puzzle has several layers of complexity. Oh, and also, there is a time limit for how long you can spend with one puzzle since there's a lot waiting in line to be solved before the day is done. No pressure.

In their haste to clear as many levels as possible, doctors have a tendency to glance over important clues and discard them. Who wants to physically examine the patient? Too time consuming- let's go directly for a CT or MRI instead. It takes more time and our patient might develop complications as we wait for results, but at least we'd get done with more patients, right?


While reading this book, one of the main things I understood and grasped for myself was the importance of a good physical examination. During the practical exams of my first year of med school, out of seventeen stations, there would be at least one station that had the command of physically examining a patient, while other block examinations would have as many as 10 stations with physical examinations.

At the start, I used to be really squeamish about touching people. I had never touched anyone unnecessarily, let alone a man I had never seen in my life, and the first time I was told "Examine the lymph nodes" I just stared at the examiner, flabbergasted. How was I supposed to prod a stranger's face and neck for lymph nodes that I knew would not be enlarged? It wasn't a surprise that I failed that station.

And yet, a year later, I found examinations to be quite simple- I've had to palpate and locate the apex beat of the heart on chests, tried to bimanually palpate the kidney in an obese man and prodded people's feet to find their dorsalis pedis arteries, not to mention swab cotton on legs and hold hands for nerve injuries. So reading this book made all the effort seem like it really was helpful- that I really could save someone's life just by using my hands to form a quick and likely diagnosis. While such a conclusion cannot be applied everywhere, it still gives me the motivation to keep on learning the steps for each type of examination.

Isn't that what a book is supposed to do? Inspire you and motivate you? This was definitely that kind of book for me.

I'd give Every Patient Tells a Story a 4/5 and tag it under "Definitely going to re-read again".

What have you been reading these days?

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Not-So-Average Day in the Life of a Pakistani Med Student

[Warning: Terrorism, Long Post]

When I think I've finally gotten into a routine of studying, something always happens that breaks the mental schedule I have set for myself. For example, before this week had even started, I had decided that I would spend my free time in the library, trying to catch up on all the work that I had gotten behind on when I had went to Karachi. Things seemed to go great until the middle of the week when some very freaky rumors started spreading in the institute..

This story of sorts unravels on the morning of 20th January, 2016. There are three main events that I will relate to you. I hope this doesn't alarm you, I just want to convey what kind of things tend to happen in my country.

The First Incident

Imagine a classroom with a strength of students numbered between 90 and 95, sitting in silence as the class representative takes the attendance, reading off names from the list and searching for raised hands indicating their presence. As soon as the last name is called, the class dissolves into loud, rambunctious talking and bustling as students get up to greet the friends they couldn't greet before class and make their way outside with their cliques. Until one student gets their hands on the mike.

"Guys, this might sound like a joke, but it's not a joke" she starts, standing in front of the class. No one really pays attention and all the loud students are making their way outside. Once there is some semblance of hushed silence, she continues, "If you see anyone strange or suspicious, or if anyone threatens you in the hospital, please call this extension and have the guards come to that place immediately. Thanks"

She's put down the mike and I wait for her to walk down the aisle where several curious girls wait to hear what that announcement was all about. What could possibly have triggered her to make such a vague announcement, denouncing it as a joke? She stops and begins to tell her tale on our insistence.

I wasn't there when this happened, but I heard it from a few girls in third year. They were in the hospital when this guy walks up to them. Apparently he's wearing a shalwar kameez and has this beard and walks up to them saying something along the lines of "Rejoice, for I am Osama and we are here". Nobody takes him seriously at first until he repeats "Rejoice, for we are here" once, twice and then thrice. By this time, the girls are freaked out and he can see that they are scared. He walks away, leaving them alone.

"That sounds threatening" one girl beside me says. "Does the hospital know this happened?"

"Did the security camera catch him on tape?"

"What are we going to do? Are the guards here even suited for this?"

"Relax" one of the male students says from the back. "Just don't walk around alone and stay in a crowd. If anything weird does happen, call over your friends"

That sounds like a ridiculous plan, I think to myself. Most terrorist attacks are suicide bombers and having more people around someone suspicious would just add to the casualties, if there would be any such event. I don't voice this out loud though.

The girl who had made the announcement talks again. "Take this seriously though, everyone. There's an attack going on in a university right now. We could be next"

I don't voice my own thoughts out loud- the atmosphere sounds perfect for developing mass hysteria. What were a bunch of scared medical students going to do? Start calling the police on every man they come across wearing a shalwar kameez with a beard? I make my way to the library with my books, settle into one of the single desks, pulling out my phone to check up on this university attack that she had spoken of.

Bacha Khan University. A professor and a couple of students dead. My connection is too slow to get any more information and I shut my phone and try to focus on the anatomy in front of me. Whether consciously or unconsciously, I find myself thinking, "What would I do if someone barged into the library right now and wanted to kill everyone?". I can already see myself ducking under the desk I sat at that very moment, pulling out my phone and calling my dad, telling him not to worry about me, to please stay away from the hospital, and that if I would die, I would die a Muslim and I'd see everyone in Heaven.

I mentally slap myself out of that depressing vision and almost angrily blink away the tears that hadn't fallen out just yet. My focus is hard to direct and I am disrupted again by voices coming from outside the library. I can hear my classmates, talking loudly, almost urgently about Bacha Khan. As if they could do anything except fuel fear and hysteria. They stand outside and talk for five minutes, about 40 casualties, university students, dead professors and yet those five minutes span an eternity.

When they are gone, I focus on my book and am disrupted again by my friend, tapping my shoulder.

"Can you come out for a second?" she whispers, not wanting to break the silence of the library.

"Sure" I said, getting up and following her outside.

The Second Incident

"What's going on?" I asked, finding a group of my friends outside.

"What's going on at Bacha Khan?" is the answer I receive when our discussion is interrupted by the class representative and one of our friends. The class rep has a story to tell.

There are these two guys sitting in the cafe right outside the lobby. They're both big and with shalwar kameez and I heard one of them take out his phone- it was a gold iPhone, mind you- and say "I'm here". And then he stared at me with this really creepy look on his face- I think he's really suspicious.

The first question I ask is "Did you call security?"

"The security staff is lazy, they're going to say everything is okay"

"I really think you should tell someone about this-"

"Why are you worrying? Come on guys, repeat after me. Ashhadu... Allah... Illaha..." he says, reciting the kalimah for us to repeat after him. When everyone gives him a deadpan stare, he gets the message and stops.

(Before dying, a Muslim's goal should be to recite the Kalimah, "I bear witness there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah". Basically, he's implying that dying isn't so bad if you prepare for it right now).

Just as this discussion goes on, the class rep stops and says with a hushed voice "That's them"

I look to see two large men wearing shalwaar kameez and dress vests, one man carrying a blue shopping bag. All I can see is their back as they turn the corner and make their way towards the main hall that leads to the entrance of the hospital.

Before I can say anything else, the class rep says "I'm going to go follow them" and runs after them, joined by the friend who had been accompanying him.

"That's something really stupid to do" is all I can say, still unable to process what had just happened.

"Our class rep is stupid- and what will happen if he gets into trouble? [Our friend] is smart, she's going to have to save him in case something happens!"

Someone else gives a brilliant idea. "There's a television in the hospital lobby, there's got to be something on the news!"

There's a large group of students- all wearing white coats and appearing more as junior irresponsible doctors than anything else. We're crowded in the middle of the patient seating arrangement in front of the screen with the news on but sound off.

"What does it say?" I ask. My Urdu reading is decent but I cannot read as fast as the television scrolls. "Read it out loud for me"

"It says the terrorists took advantage of the fog and got in. They're holding the place hostage. The authorities have the place surrounded and snipers have already shot two terrorists"

That's all that is on the news for now and everyone retreats back to the college. I'm walking with my friend who has been getting phone calls from her relatives- she has come from outside the country and those outside tend to be more fearful for loved ones inside. I want to say something comforting to her but her phone rings and she is busy again. The class rep and my friend are back safe with nothing substantial to say of their attempt of playing the hero and getting glory from spying on suspected terrorists.

The Third Incident

It's 22nd January 2016 and I'm early for class. As soon as I walk in, I greet the first person in front of me who in turn greets me with "This could be my last day on earth"

"Why's that?" I asked, thinking that she might be joking, that perhaps she was just in a mild depressive phase or perhaps she had a lot of studying to do.

"Don't you know about the threats? Islamabad is on the list. And remember the third year girls who were approached by that stranger? They've got security footage of him and they're going to try to track down who he is. And you know what else? One of those girls was outside the library when two men went up to her and asked if you needed to show your college ID to enter the library"

"Stop it" I find myself saying sharply. "That's enough. You're freaking me out"

"You should freak out" is all she says as we settle for class.

As soon as the session is over, the discussion I had had is wiped clean out of my mind and I'm hurrying down the hallway to the library to study again. I stop outside to dig through my bag and I notice that there are very few bags outside the library- that meant very few people were sitting inside and the chances of finding a good seat was pretty high. That's when I remembered what I had been told this morning.

"I can't go in there" I said out loud, driving myself in reverse, straight outside and back down the corridors to where I had came from. The library almost always had a large population inside, students and doctors alike, studying for exams like the USMLE or reading medical journals or just generally studying. The more I thought about it, the more dangerous it seemed.

The conclusion I reached at the end of the week was that I need a new place to crash my books in and study. The library, despite the silence, the reference books and the free wifi, sounds like a place I'm going to have to avoid for a few days now.


That's a precise summary of things that happened to me this week. I know it sounds freaky or scary, but that's just how things are.

How has your week been going?

Monday, January 18, 2016

My Favorite YouTubers #1

There are a variety of things I do on the internet to amuse myself with and one of my favorite pastimes is to watch playlists on YouTube. At first, YouTube was banned in Pakistan, thanks to anti-Islamic movies that YouTube was hosting. In an effort to condemn it, the government of Pakistan decided to ban the website. I have no idea why YouTube is back, but I certainly am not complaining!
With such a vast community on YouTube, it's only fair that I dedicate one post to each of the people who created videos that I enjoy watching. There is a lot of effort and creativity that goes into creating quality content. I know because I've tried to make my own videos at least three times and I quit at each attempt because Windows Movie Maker kept corrupting my video files...

(In case you're interested, the first movie I tried to make and quit at was a short five-minute skit my friends I were making for a movie competition. We had spent an entire day outside, filming ourselves. When I tried to turn it into a coherent movie, my files kept corrupting on the program and we ended up backing out of the competition. The second movie I didn't make was a vlog about bazaars and general shopping in Pakistan. I had spent a good two hours walking around Mangal Bazaar with a big camera in my hands, making a video about the general atmosphere of the market. I had planned on narrating the video but needless to say, that failed too. The last attempt was another shot at the movie competition. Again, Windows Movie Maker kept corrupting my files and someone else made the movie. It was a good attempt, but there was absolutely no background music so the silences between conversations was devastating and the glitch when videos switched was awfully obvious...)

So when I say that I appreciate someone's videos, I really do appreciate them! Making even a simple video is hard work!

Alright, so this series I'm writing is in no particular order, I just write about whichever YouTuber I happen to be liking at the time. So it's not very surprising that the first person I decide to write about- that's right-

I've ranted about one of his playlists about SCP Containment Breach before, so I'm guessing most of my readers get the gist of what kind of videos he makes. Basically, he records himself playing video games. Now that might sound rather ridiculous like "why would you record yourself playing a game" or "who would even watch this" but these questions would be answered once you start watching his videos because 1. recording yourself playing a game for the first time is actually pretty fun and 2. you're the one watching it.
Personally, I like watching Markiplier play horror games. There is something inherently fascinating about watching someone play a horror game as a spectator- not only do you get to see the horror game for yourself but you also get a partner when it comes to screaming incoherently at the screen, something you would probably appreciate if you get involved enough in the game.

Another reason why I like watching these game plays is because I don't get time to play these games myself, I would probably rage-quit and never get to see the end and besides, watching someone else play sounds much more efficient when it comes to time management. (Markiplier's voice and commentary is a plus-point too).
The play-throughs I've watched so far are SCP Containment Breach, Five Night's at Freddy's, Undertale, Knock Knock and Curse of Blackwater, not to mention his one video on Dota 2. Most of the games I listed are horror because like I said before, I find it amusing to watch him scream and panic when faced with the monsters. Games are not the only things he posts though, there are comedy videos and other random things he posts (which I haven't exactly seen yet because there are sooo many game videos I haven't seen yet!) and those really emotional milestone videos he makes. He has this way of conveying this feeling of importance to his viewers and I think that's pretty amazing.

Overall, Markiplier is THE YouTuber I end up watching after a long day at med school and when I just want to rewind and relax. I've also managed to convert Envy Fisher into the Markiplier fandom, so if you give Markiplier a chance, you'll probably end up in the fandom just like us.

So what kind of YouTube videos do you watch? Have you seen Markiplier's videos? Who are your favorite YouTubers? Comment below and I'll check them out!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Review: Native Deen

AssalamuAlaikum! I've recently joined the fan base for this music group and I thought it'd be really nice if I shared it with you all. Native Deen is basically a three-man group which has already released three albums. Now I haven't had the opportunity to listen to all of their works, but whichever ones I have heard, have simply blown me away. You can learn more about Native Deen here.

The lyrics are awesome. The rhythm is great. And I've decided to share my favorites so far with you.

My Faith, My Voice

Me, my community we work hard,
Every opportunity to break walls,
Fighting all the lunacy that they cause,
Respect here, to you and me, the same God.

Giving you the right facts,
We keep repeating that Islam has been hijacked,
We ain’t like that,
Then some lunatic goes on a rampage,
Using violence and I’m outraged

This is senseless, and its gruesome,
Please don’t let this, be a Muslim.
Awww maaan… We’re all vilified,
They’re saying we’re savages, uncivilized

Islam means peace? na thats a front!
Its all a deceit, till they get what want
Dont trust them, even the nice ones
Wait till the bite comes – Mike Tyson

Not fair. The KKKs, Timothy McVeighs,
Militia Brigades, the old crusades,
They’re all renegades, from the faith that you claim,
Its them we should blame
I dont blame you, You should refrain too
Believe when we say that it aint true.

I know what they call us, uh huh
They try to blame all us,
But I know how the Prophet lived and I know what he taught us

its… my faith, my voice,
its… my faith, my voice,
Don’t care what they say, this is my voice….
my faith, my voice

Come youre invited to see the real picture
Nothing hiding, here’s a free scripture
We ain’t gonna hurt you, try to convert you
Just so you know how easily they tricked ya

That all us Muslims are those 19 men
Don’t build that mosque cause it might be them
Its the same kinda talk of Bin Laden
Get’em – guilt by association

Mosques being vandalized, cats being stabbed at night
The bigots and racist like zombies they come to life
Stop the hate ya'll, lets join the same team
I love this land, my people, our dream

Go use the same steam, for youth to stay clean
Our earth to stay green, we want the same thing
‘Stead of burning books, extinguish disease
Help spark the flame to help children in need

You will be your faith, I will be mine
Lets live in peace, ma’asalaam
Peace all the time, for all of mankind,
thats on my mind. my masterplan.. check it,
that’s my master plan, yeah that’s my master plan

I know what they call us, uh huh
They try to blame all us,
But I know how the Prophet lived and I know what he taught us

its… my faith, my voice,
its… my faith, my voice,
Don’t care what they say, this is my voice….
my faith, my voice

Stand Alone

I am not afraid to stand alone.
I am not afraid to stand alone. If Allah is by my side
I am not afraid to stand alone. Everything will be alright
I am not afraid to stand alone. Gonna keep my head up high

Single mother raising her children
And now she’s a Muslim
Started praying and wearing a headscarf
Was a healing for her heart

Struggling with no one to lean on
But with prayer she would be strong
Got a job but then she was laid off
Got a better education and it paid off

She was called for a job that she dreamed of
Close by, great pay -she was in love – 
They brought her in, said she’s the number one pick
"You got the job, but you gotta lose the outfit”

It’s a tough position that you've put me in
Cause I've been struggling with my two children
But I’ll continue looking for a job again
My faith in my religion now will never bend

I am not afraid to stand alone.
I am not afraid to stand alone. If Allah is by my side
I am not afraid to stand alone. Everything will be alright
I am not afraid to stand alone. Gonna keep my head up high

Peer pressure, they were insisting
And I was resisting
Some days I felt I would give in
Just wanted to fit in

I know when I’m praying and fasting’
They be teasing and laughing
So I called to my Lord for the power
For the strength every day, every hour…

Then one day there’s a new Muslim teacher
Single mom and the people respect her
Just seeing her strength I get stronger
They can break my will no longer

You don’t see me sweating when they’re jokes’re cracking
Never see me cussing’ with my pants saggin’
I aint never running yo I’m still standing
I ride with Allah to the very end

I am not afraid to stand alone.
I am not afraid to stand alone. If Allah is by my side
I am not afraid to stand alone. Everything will be alright
I am not afraid to stand alone. Gonna keep my head up high

I am not afraid to stand alone…

Now, I’m a tough one, who can bear their blows
The rest play dumb, they don’t dare say no
Scared of being shunned, but its clear they know
I aint never gonna run, I aint scared no more.

Man, these sisters be resolute
Never stressed when the rest say they wasn’t cute
And they get the respect of the other youth
Come best with the dress yo and that’s the truth

These sisters are strong gotta hand it down
So me I’m a brotha gotta stand my ground
I aint gonna shudder, when the gangs around
Peer pressure whatever, its my planet now

Others may fall, I’mma hold my own
With Allah’s help I’ll be strong as stone
And I’mma be brave and let Islam be shown
Cause you I know I not afraid to stand alone

I am not afraid to stand alone.
I am not afraid to stand alone. If Allah is by my side
I am not afraid to stand alone. Everything will be alright
I am not afraid to stand alone. Gonna keep my head up high


So here are my top two favorites from Native Deen! I'm really picky with Islamic music because I prefer things with a fast beat and lyrics that I can relate to in some sort of way. I liked the music of this group because (1) catchy lyrics and good beats (2) decent, relevant message and (3) the above two combined makes it sound soothing. 

What kind of music do you like?

One last thing! If any of you are reading this from Islamabad, there's SIST 2016 on this weekend! Join the event on Facebook and see you at Pak-China Friendship Center! Have a nice day!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Spic & Span

It's been a while! I should have told you all before, but I had gone on a short trip to Karachi! My flight was on the morning of 4th of January and I returned to my city on the night of the 10th- making a total of 7 days. While among all my little cousins, I had the chance to relax a bit and think of what to write for my blog. No, I was totally not pressured into thinking of what to write by my mother sharing flattering descriptions of my rising writing career as a famous blogger to various relatives.

And here you can see that Islamabad is all the way at the top near the mountains and Karachi is all the way at the bottom near the Arabian Sea. Also, Pakistan is not in Arabia or the Middle East. I thought everyone knew Pakistan was in South East Asia until SnapChat uploaded a story on Karachi, labeling it as "Middle East". Pfft, geography illiterates.
So when I came back, I figure the best way to get back into action was to clean out my things! I came home from med school, pulled up my sleeves and decided to get to work. There was a lot of junk mixed u with my things because- here comes my honest confession- I am a hoarder. There was an unimaginable amount of stuff I found- things I had thought would come in useful some day but that was almost two years ago and I still haven't found anything useful for them to be.

I threw out my planners from 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. I found a bunch of airplane tickets, zoo maps, cinema tickets, random fliers, informative pamphlets, musings published by other people, school magazines, my old report cards, student IDs, a math worksheet, psychology notes, unfinished artwork, broken jewelry, old passport/identity photographs, tape, lots of leads, even more sticky notes and not to mention, quite a few pieces of paper money.

Okay these might look like a measly amount of notes but I assure you, it felt like quite a lot especially when I found the places where I stashed the larger notes.
Now while all these discoveries sounds great, it was still a hassle separating things from "I'm okay with throwing this out" and "I definitely NEED to keep this". I had to think about what I was going to do with the plane tickets and interesting fliers. I certainly didn't NEED them and yet I wasn't okay with throwing them out. That's when I remembered about the art journals that Noor and Areeba were working on. I could do a similar journal, but with all the paper memories I brought from my travels. I haven't started on the journal yet but I've gathered together all the material I intend to save.

I also thought I'd found the perfect container for the Happy Jar project. Originally a pen holder, it's a normal glass jar that my aunt and I had decorated together by wrapping construction paper around it, gluing on decorated slips and sticking on cute little stickers. I think we made it together at least seven years ago. Ever since then, it had just been sitting in the back of my closet as a decorative item, holding up a small fake bouquet and paintbrushes and stuff. I took it out, cleaned it and set it aside for it to become a Happy Jar.

My artistic 'holding a jar' photograph. Are you judging my fashion taste! I was 13 years old at the very most >.>
Then I found an old perfume can- the can that carried the perfume. Incidentally, the perfume itself was called "Happy" and had been a gift from one of my friends. Unfortunately, it was filled with things I didn't NEED and I was OKAY with throwing out. Namely, it contained a bunch of bracelets. Now I used to have a thing for bracelets, back in the day where little girls around the world liked to make their own bracelets and wear them and give them to friends.

However, all good things come to an end. I think the first time I got a negative comment about my bracelets was the day I started thinking that maybe bracelets weren't my thing. It happened during the last few days of Grade 12, when my class was the senior most class in the school and we got to break a lot of rules, like shoes and stuff because we were the outgoing class and nobody really wanted to ruin the last year of school for us. So I had this really pretty watch that was all rainbow and multi-colored and the plate behind the numbers would change colors according to your mood (now that I'm grown up, I know it's because of temperature, but okay) and I had crafted the perfect beaded bracelets to match the watch. Now there was this one teacher that everyone seemed to really like and I guess that wasn't the case for me. I'm a really shy person, so it hurt when she sat down in class and everyone is sitting in their seats and talking to her and she stops and looks at my wrist and verbally drags me into the spotlight, talking about how flashy my 'jewelry' is and that it looked near gaudy, comparing it the more fashionable, make-up included squad in the junior class. Mortified, I set my gaze on the floor and waited for the topic to move on before hastily stuffing the rainbows back into my bag. As small an event as this might be, I think my lack of enthusiasm for bracelets began from here.

I told my sister to take all the bracelets and she could give them to her friends since they are probably still capable of liking bracelets.

Now,where was I? Oh right, my new Happy Jar! It's bright orange and I have a feeling I don't like the brightness that much, so I was thinking about redesigning it a bit to tone it down. So far, I've put inside two paper cranes, both of which my Japanese friend and classmate made for me. She's a really nice person and says a lot of random nice things so I'm sure the cranes certainly count as something happy!


So how have you guys been? How are your New Year's Resolutions going? 

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 & 2016

It's that time of the year again!
(Throughout the year, I felt like I was stupid but I tried really hard not to feel that way by talking about it. It helped when my classmates also shared similar feelings. Resolution #3 is also something I couldn't do at all, considering the depression/anorexia phases I had- about three in total, which is an awful lot. My 2014 journal is still terribly empty. I haven't been drawing or doodling or reading all year.)

Well, that's the 2015 revision! I guess I've done quite a bit of my resolutions- yet I feel like I am exactly the same as I was when I wrote them. But have no fear! 2016 is here for fresh resolutions!

  1. Say one genuine nice thing to someone every day and spread positive vibes.
  2. Read 50 books by the end of 2016.
  3. Write my blog regularly.
  4. Learn how to handle anxiety and stress
  5. Talk to different people and increase my threshold for social interaction.
  6. Get 50 followers on my blog.
  7. Draw/doodle more. And buy that sketchbook already!!
  8. Keep a happiness jar for when my mood is on a low note.
  9. Try not to be too harsh on myself when it comes to academics.
  10. Do tafsir of the 29th chapter of the Quran.
(I tried to keep things realistic when I wrote this- of course with some help from a friend.)

Happy New Year to my amazing followers! Have you written about your resolutions? Share them in the comments below!
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