Monday, 30 June 2014

Incorporating a little bit of Desi

 Desi [d̪eːsi] is a Sanskrit term for the people, cultures, and products of the Indian subcontinent or South Asia and, increasingly, for their diaspora. Desi nations include India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the Maldives.
                                                                             Definition taken from Wikipedia Dictionary.

I am not saying that any culture or any race is superior to another. I am trying my best to keep this post away from being controversial. But I have become dead serious about this one belief of mine. So very passionate about this belief.

And this belief is that everyone in the world needs a bit of Desi-ness in their life in order to live a culturally richer, more energetic, sexier life.

I’m not talking about just wearing saris and bindis simply for fashion purposes, which is something that I have been seeing a lot of lately. And I’m not talking about just Indian Desi culture, but Pakistani Desi culture as well. Both cultures as one make ‘Desi culture’.

Many people put Pakistan in the side lines. Many do because of the terrorism (or should I put that in inverted commas?) in this country. The dirt. The pollution. The danger on the streets. Yes, I get it, Pakistan seems terrifying to you but it’s not. Do you even know what Pakistan ACTUALLY looks like and not what the media is portraying it as. What, do you think there are blasts left, right and centre here, all the time? Do you think Pakistan is a self destructive battlefield? I never liked Pakistan. I always wanted to leave and live in some other country. Somewhere cleaner, somewhere where I could walk on the street in shorts. But what if Pakistan was just another place like Venice? Or Paris or China? Which IT IS.

What if Pakistan is just like a misunderstood child? A child who is never given the chance to show it’ true colours? I don’t think even Pakistanis know what their country’s true colours and potential are. They may love it, they may love the weather and the food, the culture, history and shopping, but they can’t envision the Pakistan I envision.

Now that I’ve spoken my mind about Pakistan, I’d like to talk about India and Pakistan’s culture together. I want to talk about Desi culture. Desi spirit. Desi strength.

I want you to take this post very seriously.
I want you to put away all bias.
I want you to clear your mind. Take your five minutes.
I want you to open up all your senses.
I want you to open up your heart.

And just listen. Listen to what I have to say. What life changing advice I’m about to give.

Start watching Desi movies. If you want to feel passion and happiness, pain and sympathy to a whole new level. A level that you have never reached. You know the feeling when all your feelings and emotions are stronger? Pulsing through your whole mind, your whole body. You know the feeling you have when you feel like you’ve reached utopia?

Desi movies make you feel ten times more than that. Desi movies open up your eyes. The aesthetics hypnotize you. The stories move you. Some of the dialogues awaken a part of you you didn’t even know about. I haven’t watched enough Pakistani movies, but we have finally started making more movies. And good ones. I’d like to introduce you to Bollywood movies, mostly.

World, drop everything and watch ‘Ek Villain’ (One Villain). Now. Those who do not understand Urdu/Hindi, watch it with subtitles. No, don’t argue with me. Don’t hesitate. Just don’t. Download it or buy it and watch it. And cry. It’s okay to cry. I want you to watch it with the most unbiased mind, the most open heart that you can manage to watch it with. And fall in love. Fall in love with the concept, the aesthetics, the music.

Fall in love with the music.

All the songs. I’d recommend the 'Gaana' app and website to listen to full Indian movie albums. Here is a link to Ek Villains soundtrack. Close your eyes, lie down with earphones on and lay the music as loud as possible. As loud as your ears can take.

 So in this post I have exposed you to two things, a movie and a music playlist. I’d like to add to your list, the other two favourite Bollywood movies of mine. They are Highway and Ramleela.
Highway will open your mind and teach you so many things. It feels unreal, but it gives you something so strong to believe in. Bout how love knows no age and no class. About how love wins against evil. About how materialistic possessions mean nothing at all.
Ramleela is a damn creepy and weird movie, but watch it because of its cultural riches and aesthetics. Especially the aesthetics. The carefully and intricately designed costumes and dresses. The music. The meaning of ‘sexy’ and ‘sensual’ in other cultures. The interiors and set that they have designed. The intricate  tribal tattoos. The dances. The colours and the stand out lines used in the movie.

Indian movies also give you a new sense of what sensuality is. And as much as I do love LBD’s and lace leggings, Desi sensuality will ALWAYS top it. If you took my advice and watched Ek Villain and reached the item number(song) you know what I’m talking about. Ramleela is a great example of Desi sensuality. If you get this new sense, achieve and develop it, you will NEVER look back.
Me, I like to mix it up you see. I’m currently into bad ass babe stuff, but I know that I just have to incorporate Desi sensuality into it. To me, sensuality means confidence. I know my future pictures will have that ‘tear this to the ground, burn that to ashes’, but I know that just as I can do that through leather jackets and red lipstick, I can also do that through a sleeveless kurta, chooriyan(bangles), cholis(crop top bodices), lehengas(Indian long skirts), matha pattis and tikkas(forehead jewels).

Just as I am currently in the process of creating a ’40 before 20’ bucket list, I am also going to start working on a Desi bucket list. It will be about developing my desi sensuality and alter ego, starting my own personal collection and maybe even line of Ramleela inspired clothes(a project I’m really serious about) and other personal, Desi projects, incorporating both what Pakistanis deem Desi as well as what Indians deem Desi. I am totally going to share that Desi bucket list with you guys. And there will be many more posts like this to come. The next post will be about either Pakistani food or Desi, Pakistani clothes.

Incorporate a little bit of Desi in your lifestyle people. This post focused mainly on Indian desi, the next will most probably be a guide to Pakistani food.

Learning about other people’s cultures is always a good thing! I’d love to learn about other people’s cultures. Areeba from 'I have a messy bun' has started a snail mail exchange programme with her blogger sister Noor. IT’s absolutely amazing and helps you make friends from different places and learn about their culture. Go check it out and sign up for it!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Messy and Imperfect bits


Jaded Positivity

picture is from here
Listen to comrade by Volcano Choir, All Tiny Creatures Remix while reading this post. Trust me on this.

I’m not here to be your friend. I’m not here to be the love of your life. I’m not here so that you have a shoulder to cry on. I’m not here for you. I am here for some kind of salvation. I’m here to feel the salt from the air settle on my skin. I am here to take in that ocean breeze, to inhale it and exhale it. I’m here to light a fire that spreads wherever I have let the gasoline drip. I’m here to ignite that path. I am here to close my eyes and feel the air on my face, rippling the sides of my mouth gently as I stick my head out of the fast moving truck. I am here to look out of that truck and up at the tall fir trees, and the sunlight being filtered through them and falling onto the ground as spots of light. I am here to run barefoot up the steep hill, to reach the top to the cliff, to watch the sunset from there as I pant and pant. I am here to jump from that cliff, into the pristine, blue water underneath me. I am here to be swallowed by the earth.
I can’t walk straight. The soles of my feet always bend in an awkward way. My nails are always small, nibbled on. I breathe abnormally. I breathe short, loud breaths, that sound like I’m constantly being suffocated. Every time I get scolded I keep a poker face, and instead of boiling with rage and rolling my eyes, I go to a quiet corner and break down. I fall to the floor and cry and cry.
I seem weak. But in fact I am warrior.
I am a warrior who has blisters on her fingers and small scars all over her back. They trace like constellations on skin. I am a warrior who has endured pain, great pain. A warrior who has her heart ripped out. A warrior who swam willingly in a black pool, and came out drained. But I did it. I did it all. And I lost all feelings of comfort.
I braided my own hair and made my own food and protected myself. I walked alone. I didn’t have an army to stand with me, I had my self. People I had comforted during their time of grief, left. They kept waving and smiling while I was stuck in a glass box that was slowly filling with water. They kept waving and smiling and becoming more distant. Fading away, and as soon as the last smiling face faded away I realized I needed to break out. I pounded the glass again and again, with more ferocity than the last time, until at last I shattered the glass. I shattered it and millions of glittering glass shards flew and water gushed out from my former torture chamber. I became free, and I became my very own savior. My very own army.  

So no, the weak, deranged, gasping girl does not need you. And neither does she need to be there for you as a friend, a lover or a shoulder to cry on. Go find someone else, because now, my only friend is me. My only shoulder to cry on is me. And my only love is me. It’s time to take care of myself and fall in love with myself and do what my soul lusts to do. It’ time for me to live that wanderer’s life, it’s time for me to jump and be swallowed by the crystal clear seas, to light that blazing fire and let that gasoline spread. Jaded positivity.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

This and That

Currently working on this^ alter ego project. Wanting to take out time to read this. Listening to this, and rereading that soon-to-be-take-down-most-probably blog. Getting inspired and wanting this. Lusting for all this.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Room Tour(sort of)

Listen to Ambarsariya by Sona Mohapatra

 I just came back home from a weekend stay over at my friend Mashaels house. We spent a lot of our time eating Thai, watching Sherlock and making up detailed stories of our dream lives and situations. Dreaming up stories with friends is the best. We also listened to a lot of Fall out Boy(now you know why I am friends with her).
I came home and decided to re-organize parts of my room. I moved around furniture while listening to some Florence and the Machine(I need new music). I am really happy with most of my room. It's finally started to shape up, it seems like it has it's own personality. It's not too messy and it's not too neat.
I love room tours a lot- I would watch so many in a go on YouTube. I absolutely love them, checking out a room tour is like getting to know bits of a person's personal life and character. This isn't exactly a room tour, it's just bits of my room that I organized and prettied up last night.

 My desk area is one of my favourite areas of my room. As you can see, Mr. Brightside and my other, unnamed guitar are propped up on the side. Moving left to right, the books I'm going to study from(hopefully) during the summers are stacked up on the side. They include Maths, Urdu Language and Environmental Management text books, and at the bottom, an excercise book to work math problems in. Then I have my Accessorize 'Union Jack' weekly planner which is so pretty and I love pretty stationery and supplies. Behind it is my Tate Museum watercolor sketchbook, which is made out of scraps of the most amazing watercolor sketchbook papers.
 I have my huge calender, and on top of it I have the cover of a sketchbook that I use as a base board for when I'm writing something, drawing etc. The 'Tostitos' jar was a salsa jar, but now I use it as my 'Adventure' jar. I am collecting money for future adventures that I want to have. A girl gotta be able to pay for herself. Behind it is another jar that hold my pens and pencils.
Next to it is an aluminum easel from Ikea, and propped on it are little cards and bits of paper for whenever I need to jot something down to remember or make a to do list. Next to it is a black box which contains all sorts of art paper that is now out of stock in Karachi. It was given to me by my aunt, who just recently got married. She is a graduate from an art school and so she gave me many things she had kept and doesn't need anymore. In fact, she gave me the planner, the sketchbook and the easel as well.
On top of the black box are loose A4 papers on which I write and brainstorm concepts, ideas and projects. I also have a couple of zine collaboration pages on top(another project). Lastly I have two books propped up on the box, The Fault in our Stars by John Green and Little Women. These are the two books that I've currently been reading. Actually I'm done with Tfios, but the cover is just really pretty, that's why it's still on the desk.

 This is my sofa bed. It converts into a bed, which is actually really handy for sleepovers and lounging on. The teddy bear was a birthday gift, the dotted cushion is from Khaadi, and the London cushions were given by my aunt, and so were the three small canvases. The big canvas painting is my own-I'm extremely proud of that piece. Like, extremely. There is a bundle of blankets, shawls and a prayer mat on the side.

 This is my..dresser? Vanity? Whatever you want to call it. I absolutely LOVE it because I can easily customize what is to be on the surface according to seasons and current muses, which I think will be great fun.

First off, there is a magazine propped up, which is extremely old, but I absolutely adore the Kate Hudson cover, I think it's gorgeous. Going left to right, I have my Fcuk bronzer, which I love and use a lot, even though I really don't need bronzer, with my uneven, tanned complexion. I have my Lo'real pressed powder, and on top of that, a crystal bowl with hair ties, barettes, clips and my two favourite necklaces in it. I have my Maybelline pot of black, gel eyeliner, my Body Shop's watermelon lip balm pot, my Body Shop eye cream, Marks and Spencer's Magnolia hand cream, a mini perfume called 'Insignia' by God knows whom, Marks and Spencer's shimmery pear blossom lotion, my Color Me deodrant and my Victoria's Secret 'Amber Romance' body mist.

I have a plastic blue bowl that holds my collection of mini perfumes, inherited by my mother. I have a Dior box that I covered with glitter(failed attempt at glittering) which holds my pills. I am not a druggie, I assure you. I have a Marks and Spencer's eye shadow palette with the prettiest box, and a really cute Ikea glass on top of it, that holds all my currently-in-use makeup and brushes.

  Here is just something I did in my washroom. I removed my handwash and put these fancy Marks and Spencer hand washes given as gifts that I have accumulated over time. I decided to use them otherwise they will always be lying around at the back of my wardrobe. Pretty packaging again!

My bathroom is always cluttered and disorganized because as a preteen I was a complete product junkie. It's getting better, I promise. I decided to put a black tray with my most used things on it, which are my lense kit, my face wash, my dry shampoo( at the back) and my Body Shop clay mask, moisturizer and toner from the seaweed collection.  It's like some sort of mini wake up, morning station.

That's pretty much it! I hope you enjoyed this post, and got some ideas from my bedroom for your own. I will leave you with a list of my favourite songs:

Or Nah by The Weeknd
Take Care cover by Florence Welch
Last to Know by Three Days Grace
Everybody's Fool by Evanescence.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

20 facts about me

1) I live in Karachi, Pakistan.
2) I am in high school, my last year. I'm going to be back in school in a bit more than a month, as a senior.
3) I am obsessed with the Indian Bollywood movie, Ramleela. And everyone knows it.
4)I love blogging. A lot.
5) I am in love with three guys. Theo James, Pete Wentz, and the guy who plays Hook in Once Upon a Time.
6) I have sung something that aired on Radio FM 89.
7) I suck at maintaining relationships with guys, even if it is just a friendship.
8) I don't like chocolate.
9) I listen to rock and alternative music.
10) I want to be a kitty mama. With 4-5 kitties.
11) I long to travel alone.
12) My favourite subject is Sociology.
13) I have done a few concerts.
14) My electric guitar is called Mr Brightside after the song by The Killers. It sounds so sadistic.
15) I love alter egos.
16) I really like clothes and dressing up.  A LOT.
17) My nickname is Mana. And I love that nickname.  A lot of people call me Mana now instead of Maham.
18) I am both very insecure and very confident and I don't know how that can be. I like to think that the confident part of me is my alter ego monster is trying to break out of it's cocoon.
19) I like being sad. It's my favourite past time.(Can you sense the bittersweet tone?)
20) I am selfish. I am brave.( Just kidding, Divergent anyone?)

Happy summer Days

 So yesterday I spent the day with my friend Kashang. She came over and it was just a day full of movies, a huge platter of biryani( spiced rice) with raita(seasoned, thinned, yogurt), vegetable salads and small glass bowls filled with ice cream. She let me do her makeup, and that is something I LOVE doing, but none of my friends let me do theirs, except two of my best friends, Mashael and Zahra. And now Kashang, of course. And just FYI, they said I do a brilliant job so world. PLEASE let me do your makeup from time to time. Then I took Kashang out in my balcony so that I could take some pictures. She also took some pictures of me and what I was wearing. It was great fun, and we ended the day out in the balcony, leaning over the railing looking at dog walkers and joggers go past us. The breeze felt so good against our skins.
 As you can see below, our balcony has potential to be extremely beautiful. The plants just need a little placement and grooming. I asked my mum, and she said I can help her design and landscape the balcony, and I'm excited to take on that project!

Yes i know my stomach is protuding's the biryani....and the ice cream. I'm wearing patterned pants I got from Mango, which look like ordinary pajamas. The shoes are from this really cool shoe shop in Singapore. The shop had a really cool name, but I forgot it..The shirt is some random shirt I have had for the longest time and the brass cuff is something I took from my mom.(Great first outfit post mana..)

 This is my gorgeous friend.
And this is me showing my true colors. Kashang started laughing while taking pictures of me cause I started dancing in the balcony like a freak.

-Maham xx

                                 Currently listening to Painkiller by Three Days Grace.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Follow me on Bloglovin.
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Monday, 16 June 2014

Making Progress

SO, I learnt a bit about graphic design. All I have to say is that my life has been TRANSORMED. I'm so happy right now! I'm a bit lazy to get pricey Photoshop and learn how to use it, so I've been using Pic Monkey, and I love it! It's been satisfying my photo editing needs so far(although I am going to invest in Photo Shop for that later), and self learning graphic design on it is the easiest thing ever, even for people who don't know a thing about technology(like me). 
GUYS, I have made progress with making my dreams a reality! Here is a sneak peek about what I'm working on. Yes, I made this simple poster and the logo myself.*gloats over her small victory*

 Until my 'thing'(I'm not telling you what it is yet!) is finished, I've been using my Tumblr as a mood board or 'The Mix tape Journals'. Yes, I have a Pinterest which is terribly unorganized, I don't know how. But mood boards have to be visually appealing, and that's why I use Tumblr instead. I pick certain muses and start a different Tumblr blog for each one. I am thinking of using the 'Paper' theme(specifically for writers) to work out big writing pieces before publishing them here on this blog or sending them for publication to some online magazine(Rookie, anyone?)
I've been working on photography and make up and styling, all that. I've also been working on my editing, using Pic Monkey. I have this tendency to over edit pictures. They lack that freshness and crispness that good pictures have. But hey, I'm still learning!
I like how my make up looks when I scrunch and close my eyes in the picture below. Yes, I look high, but I swear Mom, I don't do drugs! Also, I need subjects. People to photograph, who AREN'T me.

 Here are just some light, fun pictures from my weekend.

Till next time,

Friday, 13 June 2014

A fresh new start

 Listen to Bedroom Hymns by Florence and the Machine while reading this post.

A couple of little birdies told me that I'm worth it. They told me to keep dreaming, and to keep working hard. To practice what I love and ditch anything that is pulling me back from what I want. They told me that my blogs-those exact same blogs that are always angry, with extremely short, unstructured posts are 'a bit mystical, crazy..'. I don't want to walk away from blogging again. I didn't like doing it at that time, I don't want to do it now. I want to write and blog and find my voice, my perfect niche. I want to sing and play my guitars and I want to do beautiful, soul wrenching covers and I want to make hauntingly beautiful music. I want to be that girl who starts in silence, and everyone is anticipating-waiting for me to start. And I'd start playing and singing and the silence would be filled and my songs would cast whatever mood I want on my audience, just like magic.
But most of all, I want to develop my style as a photographer. I'm tired of taking pictures around my house, it feels like I have taken them from every single angle possible. I need to GO OUT, I'm craving adventures. I can't stay inside for too long without feeling severely depressed, and this has started happening a lot recently. I would be asked why I'm depressed and I would reply saying there's no reason, I just get depressed for absolutely no reason sometimes and it is normal.

But it isn't. It isn't normal.

There is always a reason. I just discovered the reason for my depression, and at the same time I discovered my 'thing' in life. In my culture and religion, it is good for women to get married early(early twenties), have children and start a good family, which sounds appealing, it really does, but not now and not soon. Not in my early twenties. I want to pack up one day, just one suitcase preferably, and my adventure bag, and wake up early before dawn. Make myself my own breakfast, in silence, stare outside of the window for a bit, and when the time comes, pick up my bag and be out the door. Take a breath of fresh air, my first taste of freedom, and then run down the stairs. No not run, but soar. Get in the cab waiting for me, get to the airport and start my new life from the minute I step on the plane to the beginning of my life.  A life in which I'm ALWAYS travelling, I'm exploring what else is out there, I have my own business that gives me the freedom to always travel and not stay in one place. I'd take pictures, wonderful, gorgeous, crisp photographs of EVERYTHING but especially of people. I want to be able to pack my business in my suitcase, or in a guitar case haha. I just don't want to accept the conventional way of life. I don't want these depression attacks to get worse, I can't take them anymore.
Well, at least now I know what I want. I hope these aren't just teenage dreams that are going to change later on and fade away. This post went really off topic, haha. Here are the last few edited pictures that I will take around my house(or at least I hope so). It's time for adventures.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Sleepless Nights and Mixtapes

I haven't been able to sleep at all, for the past few nights. I stay up late and thoughts keep coming to me. Ideas, Inspiration, Clarity of plans for my future. Finally. I love staying up. I love writing at this time, till the break of dawn. I love seeing the sun rise.
A fact about me: I cannot write without the presence of music. I just cant. Music playlists set up the mood for my writing. I mostly listen to alternative and rock(or just  those two words together), and my writing just takes flight from there. I like it. I like how the music is like the background music or theme music for my story, it makes the writing comes alive, it becomes a movie in my head. The words catch fire like this.
I came up with an idea, and that is to mail you guys 'love letters' that is, inspirational, angsty bull shit that maybe, just maybe awakens a part of you that you didn't know even exists because it has been dormant for so long. I am by no means an inspirational speaker or motivator, but just a person who isn't gonna act all fake, all smiles and all. What you're gonna get is a person who writes things that are raw and honest and real.
And now here's the thing: every 'love letter' will be accompanied by a virtual mix tape-a tape of all the song that I would be listening to while writing that exact love letter to you, in the middle of the night.
It would be great if you could blog or tweet about this! The more the magic of love letters and mix tapes sent  to strangers is spread, the better. Just comment below or email me for your first set. :)

This  is my first mix tape. Hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Leftover pieces of who used to be.

I don't want to write a mini biography about me. I don't want to explain myself, who I am, my back stories. I don't want to live in the past anymore. They say you can kill your old self and introduce a new one to the world, if you want to. That's exactly what i want. That's exactly what I'm going to do. I killed the old Maham. That girl was a frickin' mess, and that is the truth. She over complicated everything for herself, she had this 'thing' because of which she found it hard to live with herself, to be around her own self. 
Well, I thought I'd give you a peek into the life of the corpse in the ground, her life, her soul. So, here you are.