Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

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

It is exciting to see people with talent and the will to write joining hands to create beautiful art and literature.

That being said, I announced last year that Beyond Sanity Publishing is accepting submissions for a paperback anthology of the best work submitted. Last date to submit was May 31st. So right now I am going through hundreds of different poems and stories to see what comes where. I will announce the final list on In July!

So that leaves us with little over a week. way too much to do, so little time. Beyond Sanity Publishing is currently working on the following projects:

  • The Youth Of Pakistan by Hafiza Noor.ul.Ain
  • Psychaotic by Irum Zahra (2nd Edition)
  • The Tales of Crucified Blunt by Areesh Fatmee
  • Five Wishes and the prophecy of the prince by Faran Kiani
  • Out of the labyrinth by Zoha Hidayat and Saja Ali
  • Reneging Quiescence by Dr. Samiha Zubair
  • Eliminating Riba- A Way Forward by Summan Waseem

Many other projects are in pipeline as well, including my personal favorite, Humans of ICG. I studied in Islamabad College for girls for 12 years and it was a long long time. I learnt so much and I went through so many emotional changes during that time. ICG was and is a place where we made friends, had endless gossip sessions, motivational pep talks sessions, Oh and the students week was the best of all. Funfairs, concerts, book fairs. What was not there?

Sadly, not me anymore. Everyone graduated and then their sisters are there and their cousins and the cycle goes on. The story goes on. So I decided to make a Facebook platform where everyone who has attended ICG can submit a story of their time in ICG and other students can read and share and relate to the same things. This project is lead by Maham Fatima, an excellent student of ICG and a very important member of Team Beyond Sanity.

We have also started a giveawayEnter Here! winner will get a free BOOK from us and an Eid gift! How cool is that. 

Then, we are currently taking submissions for book reviews ans marketing. If you’re already a published writer, let us help you in promoting your work to our audience.

Highlight of this week is Noor.ul.ain’s National Television Interview, that you can watch Here.  We are so proud of her. To order her book, please drop an email at beyondsanitybooks@gmail.com

SUMMERS! Send us your summer book collection. we want to know what you’e reading.

Have fun!

 

 

Don’t let a writer fall in love with you if you’re afraid of the attention.

Because they will notice everything – the way you wrinkle your forehead when completely clueless about something. How you absentmindedly scratch your knee when furiously scribbling notes. The soft sigh that escapes your lips when you lean back on your pillow, tired after a day’s work. They will notice the slightest of purrs that emanates from you as you pull a blanket over your body, and the softest of smiles in which your left dimple flashes merrily.

Don’t let a writer fall in love with you if you’re apprehensive of taking care.

They will be emotional – dramatic too, sometimes to the extent of driving you crazy. But don’t lose your cool when, and not if, they do that when you two fight. Look into their eyes and see past the heightened emotions within their soul. Don’t take offense when they make compare situations to some scene from some book they read in some bookstore. Instead, take their hand and convince them that you are not one of the bad guys they’ve read about. Emphasize on how you’re not Prince Charming, or a knight in shining Armour either – although they know for a fact that those don’t exist. Just tell them how you’re…you. And honestly, if you mean even a little bit to them, that is going to be much more than enough.

Don’t let a writer fall in love with you if you’re not going to let them know why.

Because they will be curious. Curious about why your eyes glitter magically when you see someone perform on stage. Inquisitive about why you steel you jaw every time the topic of childhood comes up in the most random of conversations, and why you quickly steer the topic away from yours. They will want to know why you hide the slightest of tremors in your fingers as you light a match. Be prepared to give an answer to their curious eyes when they see you pause for the smallest second at your ex-best friend’s contact – someone you haven’t talked to in months because of some small stupid fight you two had, but neither of you is willing to bow down – in your phone and scroll rapidly ahead.

Don’t let a writer fall in love with you if you’re afraid of the idea of Forever.

Because they will immortalize you with their words. If a sculptor loves you, they will chisel your face into stone. If a chef loves you, they will bake soufflés and tarts for you that are lighter than air, sinking under the weight of their own promise, melting into sweetness the moment you put them in your mouth. If a painter loves you, they will create magic with brush strokes and water and paint onto their canvas, your face hidden in the shadows of the sun hitting the mountains at sunset. But when a writer loves you, they create another You. You will be the muse behind so many of their poems, their pieces, their writings. Words are their weapons that they sharpen against the stone their experience, the sparks that fly off igniting inspiration in their mind. They will describe you and your actions in ways even you were unaware of. They will startle you with their observation, maybe even scare you by how open you were to them. They will take you by surprise, and will never stop for as long as you know them.

But while not letting a writer fall in love with you, be careful not to fall in love with them yourself.

Disclaimer: This piece was Submitted by Ananya Bhardwaj to The Artelier

Pushing the dark heavy gates open, she walked over the fallen dry leaves cracking them under her feet. The sun was walking away from the face of the world leaving behind a trail of burning orange.
There she was, in the graveyard. The very same one he wanted to be buried in. Approaching towards him she felt a gentle hug, a hug of the cool wind. She smiled and whispered ‘Your obsession with hugs are never gonna end’.
She was there. She was with him. Close to him. Watching him rest there. Sleeping deeply. She moved her hands over his tombstone caressing his beautiful face cut. Her stare was mad. She wanted to cage him in her eyes from his grave. The pearls in her eyes were making the grave saline with her sorrow.
She gently trailed her fingers over the damp moist soil admiring his chiseled body. She bent down as the hug of the wind grew tighter with clouds moaning. She bent and kissed him over his chest deeply and whispered ‘You still taste the same. Bitterly sweet and addicting’.
Written  by Muhammad Hamza

Are books your favorite thing? Do you absolutely adore bookshops? Is hanging out with literary people discussing their work your favorite way to spend your evenings? If you answered yes to all these questions then I can bet you rushed eagerly to the Book Launch and Reading Session by Beyond Sanity Publishing on the 9th of May, 2016, at London Book Company, Kohsar Market.

The turnout at this event was delightful. London Book Company was filled to the brim and people who came a bit later faced difficulty in finding a place to sit. The ambiance was perfect for all bookworms and lovers of literature – bookshelves on either side, dimmed lights and glittering stars amid a darkening evening sky outside.

The CEO of Beyond Sanity Publishing, Irum Zahra, came up with this event to ensure that the love of reading remains alive and thriving in Pakistan. Those who are linked with these events know that people love coming to such gatherings and there are so many writers, poets and artists in our midst who jump at the chance to share their creativity with others.

The Youth of Pakistan, a book by Noor ul Ain was launched at this event, with people eagerly buying copies and having them signed by her. It was the first book launched by Beyond Sanity Publishing. Irum Zahra, writer and Goodreads Award Semifinalist, read a few poems from her upcoming book, Invictus, full of full of thought provoking words. Saja Ali and Zoha Hidayat, coauthors of the mesmerizing book Out of the Labyrinth, read a chapter from it. Faran Kiani read some parts from his book Five Wishes and the Prophecy of the Prince, a novel which will take you down the road of magic and fantasy. Taqdees Alam read his poetry and also showcased his fabulous artwork. Hadiya Rehman, social activist and writer shared her views on women’s rights. Kamil Khan illuminated the audience with his stand up poetry on how technology has slowly managed to ruin our lives. Last but not the least, the special guest at this event was none other than Taimur Rehman, poet and storyteller, who captivated the audience with his beautifully spoken words in Urdu and created quite a magical atmosphere! After the conclusion of the reading session, there were enthralling musical performances by Sherry Bakshi, Abeer Ali Ikram, Uzair Idrees and 360 Degrees. All in all, it was the perfect combination of reading and music and definitely worth going to.

Anyone and everyone who came to this event must have gone home spared from the usual Monday blues. It was a refreshing event because everyone needs a good dose of reading every now and then. In an era where technology seems to have taken over everything else, there is nothing better than being in the midst of books and hearing people talk about their love of literature in all its forms. Being able to express feelings in words is fascinating, and anyone who can channel his emotions through this medium is indeed a lucky person. We look forward to more events like this one in the future.

Article written by Maria Mansoor for SpeechOfpak.com

 View the article here!

 

There are shelves full of books concerned about the diseases the humans suffer from but what astounds me is that only a meager portion is served to content related to those who suffer on the inside; those whose bruised souls lay restless in the presumably ‘healthy’ bodies. Medical facilities teach how to deal with those whose bodies have been hurt whilst those whose souls have gaping holes in them are left untreated.

I believe, each and every one of us suffers, some from a heart that is shattered while others from hopes that are battered. Suffering is the most exclusive kind of agony that one can be faced with. It is an pool of boiling lava that dwells only within the head of the sufferer, something that no one but they themselves can feel. No one can feel the excruciating pain with the same intensity that you feel, it is something that if different for everyone, like no two finger prints can match, neither can the suffering of two people be entirely the same It is sad how any ailment to the body shows up as signs and symptoms that can be seen and then treated in accord to that yet wounds to the soul remain bloodless and thus veiled. Ironically, this does not make the illness of the soul any let painful, in fact it holds in its fiery belly an array of venomous symptoms, that are concealed to anyone but one on whom this agony is unleashed. As a faux smile plays on their lips, many of these sufferers are dying away on the inside while their exterior plays a façade of joy.Most of these people , they are like a firecracker ; ashes on the inside and flames on the outside.

Hadiya  Rahman for Beyond Sanity Publishing

And I wrote, during conversation, about ‘A soft blow of grief’. Yes, it was real soft there was no lie about it. It was smooth like fluffy pillow and precious like pearl. It was indeed something out of the world. Her words about love impressed me so much that I felt, I should also write about it and so I wrote ‘It was not either money riding on a horse or some dead cat upon a dog. It was Love. Love…’ because love has always seem as a game of cat and dog. Sometimes, it seems as if it is a lust for money. But, believe me it was not about this thirst only, it was something out of the world… something ridiculous yet heavenly. Sometimes, it looked as if angels are hovering hover but then ‘A tweak in heart’ occurred and so I wrote, ‘It was not heaven, not even an angel. Neither sea nor any jewel. Something, like coarse rocks. Something, like melting gold’. Love is a field of study in which every human gets degree before their birth. After birth they pursue their profession in Love. They make relations. Try to steal hearts. Smack it down. Bring tears. So the heart asked, what does make a person love another person? And not the heart but the mind replied, it is ‘a single word of passion’. Ha, really! ‘you mean a single word, a weak, little, thin and meager word?’ that was exactly what I said. A word of passion is a sip of poison. So, ‘be not joyful/ For the poison I’ve sipped/ An acid –/ Of love –/ Of love indeed…’ See, it is something more than a word, something like ‘crashed soul’. Thus, ‘In fear I ran towards dusk/ The darkness came to capture/ But surrendered…/ For my pain was darker/ than the darkness’. The poor and the landlord, everyone was suffering from the disease of Love. On earth, the Love become infectious and so people started to misuse it. To treat it with disrespect and funny jokes. Now, love do not remained the same, tears roll down my cheeks, ‘ink rushes out of pen’ and so I wrote, ‘You are not the same to whom/ I loved once as my tears broom/ You have make me guilt/ On the pride that I had once in you’. Now, I have left everything to my Lord because still after times I wish, May Lord Listen and ‘let the child do what he desires’. May He ‘Listen to them once at night…’ and ‘…look at the heart that have been put upon words, such enchanted enthralled whisper that holds their breath’.

Maha Mujeeb for Beyond Sanity Publishing