Archive for November, 2016

There’s a tale, a tale buried under the constellation of maps draping on my flesh, it’s hidden in my pale ( fractured ) bones about a boy who fell in love with the sun. It’s a tale ( a myth to be precise ) about a boy with eyes so dark they could consume your heart and spit it on heated pavements, it’s about a boy with wild curls that he wears flowers in.
The boy was twelve when his mother used to braid (or weave I don’t remember) stories of the immortal bleeding sun and weeping stories of burning gods and goddesses and how their hearts had been punched so many times they couldn’t be counted on fingers, why burning the boy had asked pieces of puzzles peeking into his dark eyes, the mother never answered ( perhaps the gods had devoured her once apricot heart with rushing flames ).
The boy was thirteen he created castles made of dollar bills and crowns made of stolen jewels why do you steal my boy his mother asked him on a dreary evening father has carved it into my flesh oh dear mother. The boy was thirteen and instead of kicking balls under the sun kissed sky he was  skipping in people’s backyards under the teary moon. The boy was thirteen when he wished his fate wasn’t carved into his flesh.
The boy was fourteen when his sister had thorns in her hair, she’d tell him about the immortal ambrosia coated lips ( they tasted like the sugar melted on yellow fire ) and rich ( golden bright golden ) ichor dripping from the skin of their tongues, how did you know their lips tasted sweet the boy had asked ( curiosity always sat on the tips of his eyelashes and the creases of his lips ) no they had always tasted like honeyed sorrow and sugar-coated kisses.
The boy was fifteen and his wild curls started to go limp and press against his cheeks, the boy was fifteen when his mother used to choke up dust and blood into thin tissues and his cheeks would stay damp throughout the night, he’d stay beside his mother’s bed and read stories about never ending lives of empty-chested immortals, I wish you were immortal mother his voice lacked rest and his eyes drooped with sleep, oh no my dear I would tear apart the skin from my flesh and the flesh from my  bones before I empty my soul of humanity and memories.
The boy was seventeen and there was a six feet deep hole in the damp brown earth, a crater in which his mother rested eyes closed ( there was blood and grime under her eyelids, his heart had buzzed with a hope of his mother’s eyelids being coated with sunshine tears and tingling water droplets ). The boy was seventeen when he wished he could drag out his mother from under her coffin and have her hands run through his dark curls. The boy was seventeen when his tears flooded the soil
The boy was eighteen when he fell in love with the immortal sun with the amber eyes that ignited with fire and crackled with rising embers, with flushed cheeks and hair spun with gold, the boy was eighteen when he dreamt  of kissing those bronze cheeks and rose lips, the boy was eighteen when he dreamt of swallowing the sun and feeling it burn and chew his stomach into ashes.
The boy was nineteen when he collected broken and forgotten feathers from dirty floor, he was eighteen when he cleansed the feathers with honey and water dripping from his fingers onto his brown palms, the boy was nineteen when he melted was from candles onto his calloused palms and he would paste the feathers with was together until his hands would ache and fingers would bleed. ( He wants to escape the mortal world ). The boy was nineteen when his soften into the soil he walks on. It’s filthy his father mocks.
Icarus ( the wild-haired boy ) is twenty one and he’s flying near to the sun. Icarus’s twenty-one and he’s kissing the sun ( the sun is repeating his name like it’s a holy prayer on the sun’s lips and Icarus is a God ) and, oh, the sun’s lips are ripe flesh and they taste like poetry. Icarus’s lips are red and raw and they are cracking open with ichor, is he a god the sun thinks.
Their names are repeating prayers on each other’s lips.

Hamnah Manfood for Beyond Sanity Publishing

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Here is what they said on their official Facebook Event Page.:

“It’s the year 2030, and the country is under a full martial law. Things are at peace and prosperous, political players are all in different professions, and the media is on complete lock-down and only theater is allowed now as a means of entertainment. When a production loses its entire cast in a tragic accident ten days before opening night, they have to take drastic measures to recast the show. Watch the mayhem unfold as the worlds of theater and politics collide in this new comedy, as everyone scrambles to make the show a success – a relative term for those involved. After all, what impact can a play actually have?”

So what happens in Bananistan?

Tell you what, I was expecting a play that has lame punch lines over politics jokes that we’ve been hearing for years with actors we repeatedly see on TV. But No.

I was surprised by the  uncanny resembling costumes and makeup and hilarious impressions. This play made me think why our politics is on a repeat mode. Everyone gets a share, everyone gets their part in making or breaking the country. They retire and then they come back to ruin us some more. 

Bananistan shows exactly what happens to us every day in the politics of our country and brings out the tidbits of fun and humor all mixed in one. Mustapha Chaudhry was outstanding. I couldn’t keep my face straight!

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In the press conference, Saqib Sumeer said that it was difficult for them to write down Bananistan as they had to make it resemble people we know while making them entirely new. It took them 3-4 months to perfect the script.

Another exciting fact about this play is the way it has included Ahsan Bari’s genius music mind in the presentation. And that’s not it, this play will be the longest running play in Pakistan as this year, Kopykats has aimed to grace Faisalabad, Multan and Sialkot as well as Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi with their performance.

“Our sole purpose is Entertainment”, said Dawar, the creative genius and the person behind Bananistan. He also stated that in the next 2 years, they launch 5 plays in collaboration with Telenor.

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The element of grace came when Iman Shahid hit a note so beautiful, that everyone in the audience paused for good 15 Seconds and then burst into an applause. Dawar has indeed picked the best for the play. 

Every actor in the theater play represented the best of their expertise and It was enlightening to see the revival of Theater and art. Tickets are going all out as everyone wants to see the marvel of comedy presented at National Library of Pakistan. The show will continue till 4th December 2016.

I’m proud to tell you that Beyond Sanity Publishing is one of the media partners and will be publishing interviews with the cast soon!

To know the details, call or text 0321-2049423 or visit Facebook.

Peace is proving to be one of the most endangered elements on our dear planet these days.
Why? Because instead of tolerance and patience, we are choosing to fight, ignore and blame each other.
Every day more of us become victims of extremism and violence. 

Peace, something the whole word is craving for at the moment. In a world like this, where seasons go by, loved one’s bid farewell and the innocent blood goes worthless- we need a break. To be more precise, we owe a lot to this world. Yet, we sit back and let it deteriorate gradually. Why?

Indifference is productive as long as things are not under one’s control but, when they are, why don’t we contribute some part?

This world is heading towards an unfathomable end. The earth weeps each day when a drop of innocent blood hits the ground. The Mother Nature- the trees, herbs, and shrubs, the mountains and seas; complain mankind for each wound Humans inflict upon them.

Pakistan is a third world country. Incompetent in a lot of areas, but illiteracy itself is not the factor behind it. Terrorism is at its peak in Pakistan. People have even forgotten what peace is like? In fact, we hardly remember when was the last time we witnessed peace in our country.

The one thing every culture, every artist, every tradition, every musician, every nation promotes is Peace. This world needs to focus on the significance of tolerance and peace because that is what transforms our decisions in the real world. We step according to the political stability, economic stability, finances etc. but most of all, if we see ourselves surrounded by components that invoke extremism or terror rather than peace and harmony, we are reluctant to take any decision. 

Unfortunately, it is not just about Pakistan but all other countries around the globe where roots of barbarism are spreading deeper and deeper. In this situation, at least we, the youth of Pakistan, need to pull in the reins and start working towards eliminating violence as much as possible. Be it through writing, workshops, processions or social media promotion. In a nutshell, peace has to prevail and the opposite has to be annihilated.

We are not perfect, we rely on our perceptions and studies to determine how we ‘SHOULD’ act, or how we CAN bring peace when what we really should be doing is looking at ourselves and how we can change our surroundings by changing OURSELVES. 

‘Gnothi Seauton’

(Greek) ‘Know Thyself’

Article by Beyond Sanity Publishing for Peace Without Borders