Posts Tagged ‘Beyond Sanity Publishing’

Me, I started writing when I was in grade 6. I had so many troubles at home, that I always needed a way out, always looking for a way to escape the horrible tapestries on my bedroom wall and all the things around it. I wanted to change, yet I wanted to stay inside my comfort zone. My parents got divorced when I was a kid, I hated living in a house where you would listen to screams at 3 a.m. in the morning all the way to 7 a.m. in the beginning, it was just me writing concise sentences at the back of my school notebooks and it gradually turned into getting a spare notebook and keeping it with me at all times.

I later found out that there are things called diaries with beautiful covers that you can use to write in, all your thoughts, complaints about the things you don’t have and whining about the things you do have. I asked my mom, who happens to write in Urdu, to buy me one and she did next month. I started writing anything and everything about my life, my thoughts and my life at school and with the relatives at home in that little diary. I’ve been keeping a journal ever since. I have 15 diaries at the moment, and I just turned 26. I intend to get another one soon.

I’ve been fighting depression for as long as I can remember. I started getting migraines when I was 18 and till now, I feel like half of my productivity and creativity died because of the constant pain and agony. My writing habit is what helped me cope with it. I used to worry about the most trivial of things and now, I feel more in control of my life. I compiled all that I have written in a poetic manner and published my first book by the name ‘Psychaotic’. The reason why I’m telling you this is because it was something that I could call my own, something that made me feel like all my diaries are in the book and I can read and learn through my own experiences. I helped countless people fighting depression and bipolar disorder through that. Maybe you can too. Writing isn’t easy. Sometimes the words flow through you, sometimes, they break your back with pain. But when they do come, you can see what you wrote and you can feel it. You can find it in your heart that you need to forgive yourself and know that whatever happened isn’t your fault. The World works in strange ways. You just need to be able to understand and see where it takes you.

Today, when I write, after all that time, I feel a tingle in my hands that tells me that I need to take out my journal and my black pen. I write, for myself and for the people who will read it ages later and I pray and I hope that it makes them feel better. Somehow, someday. If you are fighting depression, I assure you that keeping a journal will make you feel better. You will be able to look at what you’ve been through and make yourself stronger and better. You’ll be able to fight distress and anxiety. I bet those panic and anxiety attacks keep you up at night. That’s okay. I have them too. More often than you think. But my writing habit helps, it really does. You should get a diary too, write the littlest of things that bother you and cram them up in your writing. You’ll feel the difference in your mood, your anxiety and your depression after that.

There is no keeping it inside. You have to channelize it. Best thing is to pour it out on paper. It will change your life, as it changed mine.

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Mother’s Day.

The one day we have specified for our moms. The reason why it all began was when some amazing social activist called Anna Jarvis decided to run a campaign to honor her mother by making Mother’s day a celebrated holiday in the US. And as history unfolded, we found out that rest of the countries started celebrating it too and so did everyone here in Pakistan.

What that woman started, we are carrying forward to honor our moms, because you know it is true when I tell you that we rarely have time to sit and talk to our moms. We always have work, meetings, events and friends every time our mom wants to sit and give a lecture on how bad the world is and how we are ‘just kids’ who don’t know what the world is capable of. No matter how strong and independent we are, deep down we know that our mom is the one person on earth who will stand with us if all the social image, finances and emotions fall from our hands.

The theory of us being ‘strong and independent’ became very relative when we realized that more and more women every day join the workforce of our country to add numbers to an existing percentage of 28% of the total women population. So how does this drastic change in the concept of our society impact mothers?

Not much, to be very honest. Our moms still scold us when we get home late, they still worry about our health and they still ask us if we want to get married soon. Perks?

We get late night oil massages in our hair with a handful of sarcastic comments

We get parathas and Churi for breakfast on normal days.

We get the most amazing ‘Churi’ in Ramzan and them Pakoras… Damn.

My mom, I always consider her to be the most strict mom in the history of moms and I still think that. I do, however, accept the fact that everything I am today, if my mom wasn’t there to teach me, the debates, the speeches, the love of books and poetry, I wouldn’t be who I am. She made me strong enough to stand in a crowd of thousands and not feel afraid and insecure. I am always confident, I am always proud and even in my darkest of days, I know that I will resurface as a survivor because my mom raised me like that. She is a librarian. A simple government librarian. Nothing fancy. But the way she brings books home and makes us read and find meanings of difficult words in the dictionary is why me and my sister (who happens to be studying law while being great at writing and drawing) Maham, are confident and like to read and write. I love my mom even though she drives me crazy mad sometimes( You know your mom does the same, don’t judge me). I do, because I know I am exactly like her. Lol.

About 5-6 years ago, I met this amazing young woman in a gorgeous house with a huge books cupboard in F-7. I saw her and I realized that I wanted to become like her when I grow professionally. Her name is Hira Ali and she has an event management company called Revelations. You might’ve seen my updates about the decor and event themes on my Instagram from her events. I decided to ask her some questions on her life as a working woman and her relationship with her mother for this Mother’s day.

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My first question from her was: How did your mom contribute in making you the woman you are today?

To which she smiled and replied:

“I owe it to my mom. Everything I am today, It is because of her. When she got married to my Agha (dad), she got an entire book library as a wedding gift from my grandfather. That is when I was raised between books and creativity which I portray in my work. She has always been there for me when I am running around crazy at the event, she makes sure I don’t lose it, (chuckle) she takes care of me and keeps me motivated. She is my role model and I think, she is perfect in every way and I’m glad I am her daughter”

Question 2: Do you think mothers in Pakistan are raising good daughters who will bring change in Pakistan and its culture?

“Well, our society made us realize that just the sons can do business and work successfully and for the last 5 years, I have seen a major change in that thinking. Now mothers encourage their daughters to get educated and learn the ways of the business so they never fail in their life. We now see more women getting into the business and our collective workforce. I think this is a great way of mothers showing the world that they are raising strong daughters because every woman can reshape the world”

Okay, final question. This is where I wanted to know how being married impacts her business.

Question 3: How does being married Influence your business?

“Ali(her husband) is so supportive. I thought when I’ll get married I’ll have to stop my passion for events and decor but that didn’t happen. Ali now supports me in every event I organize. He is part of the team now. He manages things in the business I used to neglect before. I think when two people love each other, they support each other too, in business, in life, and in a career. He is supportive in a way I never thought was possible and more husbands should be like him”

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While I agree with her, I still think if I’ll ever take that chance. Very unlikely, but sure. Maybe one day. Till then, I will rely on my sister and my mom for all the support I need to carry forward my love for literature and the trend of reading books.

Wherever you mom is, go give her a hug, buy her flowers. I’m planning to buy her Rus Malai and Gajray. She is old school. She will like it.

Happy Mother’s day to every amazing mother and mothers-to-be on the planet.

We’re having a book launch this Thursday, in Sattar Baksh F-7, Islamabad. You’re all welcome to join us celebrate literature. There will be poetry, prose, and music. I promise.

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  • Tell us about yourself?

I think it’s the most difficult question as still, I need to know a lot about myself. I belong to a middle-class family brought up by decent parents and I am grateful to them. I completed my primary from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. At a young age left for Pakistan and completed my Medical training as a doctor.  My first write-up was rather an opinion for how to keep city clean which came out in Dawn’s Young World. After that was busy in studies. I started writing again though with fits and starts from 2013

  • Why did you choose to write poetry?

I think it’s like poetry chose me, this genre of writing was new for me too and u will be surprised to know that I have lots of books which adorn my shelf and borrowed from friends too but none is the book of poetry. Though if I was reading poetry as part of my grade course I would be mesmerized with words.

  • When did you start working on your book?

I was writing mainly for relaxation just to vent out my feelings but credit for it goes to some of my colleagues who after reading my poems so much liked it that they encouraged me to go for a compilation of my writings and that’s how it came in my mind. I submitted poems in two competitions for one I was selected among commendable writers. I then compiled and sent a rough draft around April 2016 and there was no looking back.

  • Who are you currently reading?

I am currently reading the book version of  “Miss Peregrine’s Home for The Peculiar Children” penned by Ransom Riggs. It’s a light fantasy read.

  • How do you manage to write with your profession keeping you busy?

I think it’s a lot about prioritising. As my profession takes up a lot of my time. I feel for some poetry is practiced and learned but for me, its borne out of situations I see, feel or experience so I cannot particularly slot time that this time is for writing poetry. It depends on my mood.

  • Tell us about your upcoming book?

My upcoming book is “Reneging Quiescence”, the concoction of different experiences and common message in one way or other and that is a refusal to be silenced by wrong things. Sometimes we are aggressive in certain situations to criticise but where we can really help we just turn a blind eye.

  • What are your plans for this book?

I hope this book is able to reach out to maximum readers out there and also help those who are not voracious readers but can read it to get an inspiration. It will be released on Amazon and Kindle first, and then as a paperback.

  • Why do you think the culture of book reading declining in Pakistan?

There are obvious reasons like education being too much expensive so increase in illiteracy, from childhood not encouraged to read books, different aspects of social media like the net ,- television to keep families occupied so no one interested. Book fairs are being arranged in Karachi where a lot of old books exchanged but usually fewer crowds are willing to stand beneath the sun to buy books.

  • Do you prefer E-book or Paperback?

For me, the magic of Paper book cannot be compared with an Ebook ever. At Least for now and maybe in the future. Sitting on the computer for a long time is also damaging for eyes, your posture also.

  • As a writer and a poet, what is your message to the world?

My message to the world is happy it’s your right as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. Don’t stop dreaming. Be good where every where there seems to be so much rush its like time has bought us.

N remember as I said before AS WE LABEL THE SKY SO WE SET ITS LIMITS.

I want to thank Irum CEO of the publishing house and an  author in her right for asking me for her blog interview.

You can buy her book by placing an order here: beyondsanitybooks@gmail.com

Know more about her Here.

Know about Beyond Sanity Publishing 

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

Imagination jolts who want to measure the magnitude of intelligence this nation has, a nation that is already talented due to its forefather’s brilliant legacy. Aptitude this nation possesses can lead it to beyond the versatility.

It’s not a large shoe to fill to resurrect the felicity, because the wait for the knight in shining armor is over. Aspirants burns midnight oil to take this country to the next level of docility and demureness by getting rid of simulated fantasy and dead sleep.

The youth brighten up the way diligently by kick out the illiteracy and demonstrating its out of box potential globally. The generation now rushed to catch the level of versatility by introducing mind blowing efforts in the arena of science and technology. Innovation takes over the conventional learning system to build up a smart and sophisticated insight. Institution boost up the acumen and mentors are focused to deduce a creative mindset in order to live better tomorrow.

An unstoppable passion of being educated is prevailing under the roof of poverty, and destitution has been defeated by the assurgent intentions of generation. They step forwarded to setup new goals and destinations to blot out the night mares. The desire and dedication young one has inside, can be explicitly seen in his eyes. The young one has neglect the social hindrance and set off to embellish the destiny of this nation by saying good bye to despair. This is the era of generation fraught by the enthusiasm that is fully directed towards the accomplishment of what they dreamt.

Whenever and whatever obstacle will it be the quest of knowledge never dies.

People live pacific life under the shield of mighty custodians. No doubt, the armed forces of this country ruined the every evil eye intended to erode this land. Nasty conspiracies of foe inside and outside the country have always been futile.

The way our dauntless forces crippled the hostile, explicitly shows their valor and commitment to this nation.

 They are ready to shatter the every inch of malicious intentions of each and every extremist. The nation is contented to have a paragon force of the universe.

These invincible and immensely devoted forces of Pakistan took an oath to the loyalty and grace the dignity of this country by omitting their lives, personal priorities and families. The day is no longer when fiendish enemies will have no chance of redemption except extinction.

Today, every kid feels lively when he salutes to the sentinel of this nation and country as well.

With the passage of time, people have batter recognition about the leader who can sincerely interpret and preserve their rights in an optimum manner. Now the public don’t believe in traditional slogans and commitments and seeking for those who can take their voice and stance emphatically to the dukes of state.Public departed for the revival of the country, where the preaching and beliefs of Jinnah and Iqbal would bring in to enactment, where the priority is justice and serving the folks.

Nation knockout the system of capitalism and now every aristocrat must go through the phase of accountability. Leader who exploit the throne and botch the future of this country become a sign of admonition for the entire dynasty. Public needs a faithful and dynamic captain to raise the glory and demands nothing except service.

People of Pakistan are immensely blessed by the grace of Allah Almighty. They always eagerly ready to help the underprivileged people and leaves no stone unturned to impart good living standards and joys among down trodden class of society. Generous people of Pakistan feel spiritual satisfaction by having a smile on needy cheeks.

These affluent people devoted their lives to serve those who lives hand to mouth. Deserving and deprived people being cared in their lives and even after the death as well by these seraphic and big hearted humanitarian.

These caring and loving people never find any scarcity in their treasure. They have no motive behind this philanthropy, although it is a source of sheer bliss for them.

Each and every champ who came to adjure this nation was full of sincerity and determination. They could feel the agony the nation was going through. Their mission was not confined to the acquisition of land only, it was a strive for autonomy and empowerment as well to make the nation realize its actual worth and dexterity. These freedom fighters ignited the glim among the folks to live the life of fraternity and self-esteem. The role of each and every warrior who engaged in the battle of freedom and verity will always be indelible and exceptional in history.

This land keeps on producing the legendry icons who startled the world by their competency and majesty. This orientation by the pioneers of nation causes every today batter than the yesterday.

People are evoking the modules taught by the prestigious personalities to live a breezy and delightful life. They love to cheer and set to root out all the hostilities among themselves. In spite of many social glitches, the nation squeezing the dismay and welcome the optimistic attitude of society to greet the future full of golden celebrations. The perception of an individual is getting closer to rationality. Now people are eschewing from orthodox approaches and solutions to live a fruitful life and ready to stimulate innovative way of living.

This steady but immaculate transformation of this nation can be disparaging for the forlorn and downcast people but as a matter of fact nation has moved on, to reach the sky and no one will retreat now.

No doubt, the nation vowed to assuage the darkness and future is going to be Green. 

Article by Anas Alvi for Beyond Sanity Publishing