So Much Going On!

No matter how much I say to myself “I won’t let life come in between my blogging…“, but unfortunately it always does. Life does come in between, and you’re left feeling guilty and shitty that you’ve abandoned the one thing in your life that gave you absolute JOY. I miss doing this. Hitting my two index fingers on the keyboard (yeah I type like a child) and pouring my heart out. Anyway, this is a “lame-excuse post“, a post describing the things that have happened to me and my family (don’t worry it’s all good news) over the last couple of days, and how I am always NOT-HERE anymore. Let’s get started, shall we?

1. MY BROTHER GOT ENGAGED!!

YAASS! The one thing my family was anxiously waiting for finally happened! We found my Bro’s Miss Right 😀 And God, she is…. AHMAZING. I couldn’t have asked for a better sister-in-law. She is not only a talented writer (anyone who can write well is a winner in my books) but she’s also THE most compassionate person ON EARTH. She has great taste in movies, music and novels (thank God for that). And she is gorgeous. My little future nephews and nieces are gonna be soooo cute 😛 Hahaha I’m really excited for the wedding. It’s gonna happen in next year’s February most probably.

She has already become my sister/best friend in this one month, and I absolutely LOVE her. I don’t wanna get into the specifics, coz she is like a really private person when it comes to her own life, so that’s why I’m not gonna reveal too much 😀 But just know this, me and my family are the luckiest people on Earth to have her in our family. We all love ya so much Amna, you dash insaan. :3

Love Ya

2. I GOT A GREAT NEW JOB!

Alhamdulillah I got a really cool kickass new job. Well actually two. The thing is, I got a really great offer from this company called RepairDesk; it was sort of a startup that sells point of sale systems for repair shops, and they were huge overseas, especially in the UK and USA. I loved the work there, and the team was such a delight to work with.

But then I got another job offer for a Social Media position from this bigger multinational company, called Cresset Technology. CressetTech is one of the oldest and biggest digital agencies in my country. And they deal with a heck load of huge clients, mostly the biggest fashion brands of the country. So they offered me better pay and more exposure, therefore I decided to pursue that instead. So now I’m currently working there. The work is so amazing, I’m getting to learn new stuff everyday. I really do see myself building a career here. Before this I didn’t know the F of Fashion 😀 but now I’m getting the hang of it and love the work they do. I sometimes feel like Anne Hathaway from The Devil Wears Prada 😛 Yes, I’m that clueless, but it’s so much fun 😀

Clueless Me

3. I GOT A NEW PHONE!

Well, technically speaking this isn’t a part of the lame excuse 😀 I just feel like showing off :’) Actually my previous phone Motorola Moto G was acting out and had become a pain in the arse, so my Dad decided to gift me a new phone. Yes, HE IS the best Dad in the world.

I selected the LG G3. And aahhh man, it’s the best decision of my life. I actually wanted a phone that took kickass pictures and this was the best in the market within the price range. Take a look at this picture I took. It’s like top notch DSLR quality, right? *beaming with happiness*

LG G3 Camera
*heavy breathing*

4. GETTING NEW DECORATIONS FOR MY ROOM!

Well, now because I have some spare money lying around I decided to spice up my room. I won’t show it to you until it’s finished so stay tuned :3

5. Well that’s pretty much it.

Told you, it’s a lame excuse post. These aren’t reasons enough to abandon writing. I used to think that when I start with my job I’ll get the free time to write at night, but right now my body isn’t accepting this new routine. I get home by 7pm and sleep by 11. In between I try to take out time to do some reading and spend time with my family. I’ll try my best to keep up with you guys on the weekends at least. Almost everyday I experience something that I wanna write about. I note down those ideas in my post-its, but then again, I never have the time anymore to dedicate half an hour to you. That’s so pathetic on so many levels. I’ll try guys, I’ll try my best. I miss you all so much.

Papa bless. ❤

“Firewatch”: A Beautiful Exploration of Love, Commitment and Isolation

When we were kids, playing games on our lovely Sega and Nintendo consoles, did we ever imagine there will come a time when gaming will become a medium as deeply impactful and moving as most great books and movies are?

Well ladies and gentlemen, we are living in that time now. And Firewatch is the perfect (living) proof of it. I don’t remember being so profoundly touched by a game in my entire life. And that’s saying something because I’ve been gaming since I was 5 years old.

Firewatch Poster
Image Courtesy: http://www.blurppy.com

The Plot:

Excerpt taken from IGN.com

Firewatch is a mystery set in the woods of Wyoming, where your only emotional lifeline is the person on the other end of a handheld radio. You play as a man named Henry who has retreated from his messy life to work as a fire lookout in the wilderness. Perched high atop a mountain, it’s your job to look for smoke and keep the wilderness safe. An especially hot and dry summer has everyone on edge. Your supervisor, a woman named Delilah, is available to you at all times over a small, handheld radio – and is your only contact with the world you’ve left behind. But when something strange draws you out of your lookout tower and into the world, you’ll explore a wild and unknown environment, facing questions and making interpersonal choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship you have.

My Take on the Game:

The only thing I knew about Firewatch before starting it was that it’s based on exploring wilderness. I didn’t read about the story, or the characters. I went in completely blank. I thought it was a National Park Ranger Simulator. And well, that was reason enough for me to be excited about it because 1. I love nature, and 2. I love nature VERY MUCH.

So when it started off, I rubbed my hands together all giddy like a child, thinking “This is gonna be so exciting walking around the woods.” And then suddenly in the very first 5 seconds, a written narration starts. Telling me about a clumsy but charming guy (Henry), and a sweet and confident girl (Julia), and their meet-cute in a bar. And at this point I say to myself with sudden realization “Oohhh, I think I’m gonna fall in love with this game.

Now the question arises; if this guy has such a perfect life with Julia, why would he move to a dead-end job as a lookout out in the woods?

Wanna know the reason? Please purchase the game. This game deserves to be purchased IMMEDIATELY.

[The screenshots I’ll be sharing in this post are of the actual gameplay. Yes, the beauty of it leaves you speechless.]

Firewatch Sunset
Image Courtesy: http://www.superbwallpapers.com

Firewatch is perfection in every single aspect. The way this game deals with adult issues through world-class storytelling with the support of a hilarious and heart-wrenching script along with some of the most amazing voice-acting I’ve ever heard in my life makes Firewatch easily my most memorable interactive gaming experience. And how can one forget the perfection of the art direction and gorgeous visuals. It literally blows away your mind.

As I’ve already discussed, the game is completely narrative driven. You, as Henry, work under your supervisor Delilah, and 95% of Firewatch is based on the dialogues of these two individuals over the handheld radio. And that’s where the beauty of this game lies. Just like when reading from a book, you get to enter the minds of these two people who have both run away from something from their life back at home. Along the way, you do run into some trouble. Firewatch goes from something moving to something harrowing in just a couple of chapters, and there are times when you are scared to go out in the dark because of the lurking danger and the terrifying conspiracies surrounding you.

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At A Crossroads; Or Maybe Not

We all see bloggers taking a few weeks off, leaving their blogs/websites alone and isolated in the overcrowded wasteland of the internet. Once they come back, they apologize and give some totally justifiable reasons for their absence. But I’m not gonna apologize. Why?

BECAUSE I SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED MY MASTERS DEGREE!! THAT’S WHY!!

I just got the final result today in the mail and I’m now officially a Master of Business and Information Technology!

Can't Touch This

[Word of Caution: The following content may sound a little “braggy”. But dammit I deserve this!]

So where were you exactly these two months?

Oh I was busy finishing up a few projects, getting over a ton of assignments, giving quizzes, preparing for the final academic exams of my life, and NAILING those exams! Boo-Yah!

Well what’s your final CGPA Miss Smarty Pants?

Ah you know, just 3.80. 😉 Nothing big, nothing big. :3
(my country follows the 4 grade point system tho)

What are your plans now? Did you get any job offers? HAH!

Actually I got two really good offers in the past two weeks. One was from my own professor Sir Umer who taught me the course of Enterprise Resource Planning and he runs his own software house – MindWorks Systems. The offer was extremely tempting and an amazing opportunity for me, but unfortunately I had to decline. The other one was from another software house, ICM, and the salary they were offering was pretty nifty. But I declined that one as well.

BUT WHY? I don’t mean this as an insult but are you mentally challenged or something?

Lol no I turned them down for two reasons:

  1. I want to give some time to a few courses of my own choice right now. I want to invest a little time in the things I WANT to learn, not what I HAVE to learn. Most of all I want to continue sharpening my skills in Graphic Design and Web Dev.
  2. I’ve spent the last 18 years of my life being a Miss Goody Two Shoes, getting straight A’s, conforming to the system, being constricted within a time table etc. But now I think I deserve a little bit time off for myself. Learn at my own pace and procrastinate without feeling guilty. Go out more and just have FUN without any repercussions. I’ve also stock-piled a shit-ton of movies, bought myself a Netflix subscription, bought and downloaded almost 70 books, and I’m planning to get through all of this in the coming 5 months. After that it’ll probably be time to be serious again. But for now, my only objective for these couple of months is to “Nurture Abeeha.

So that’s why I was gone for so long. The past few days were a little hard for my tiny cute little brain, because I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. Every graduate goes through this once the studies end. But now that I’ve got a blueprint made out, I’m feeling a lot more relieved and relaxed. In fact, the most relaxed I’ve felt in YEARS. F*ck Adult Responsibilities (for now)!

Wait For All of This to Blow Over

As for the blog, oh I’m back for good. I’ll be irritating ya’ll with my useless opinion more frequently because I’ve got a lot of free time on my hands now ^_^ And hey, I’m almost about to touch 300 subscribers! Yay!!

It’s so good to be back ❤

Thank You 2015

[Note: Yeah, I couldn’t come up with a more clever way to title this post. Sigh. Please bear with me.]

We all know 2015 was a year filled with tragedies for so many people; lives were lost, people were banished from their homeland, families were torn apart. But this year also taught us the power of endurance of the human spirit. It taught us that people are still kind and generous regardless of what race, creed or religion the helpless belong to. It taught us that our enemies sure can hurt us but they can’t break us. So before going any further, look back to the year and focus on the positive. Focus on the GOOD in humanity. There’s plenty of it in this world 🙂

Now let’s get to why I wanna thank 2015, speaking from personal experience.

THANK YOU!

When 2014 was nearing the end, I was at the lowest possible point in my life, and I had no clue whatsoever that the coming year will prove to be by far the absolute best year of my entire existence. I was told since I was a kid that when it feels like life SUCKS – that it’s not giving you lemons, it’s throwing huge ass watermelons right at your nose – THAT’S the point where you should be relaxed that things are now gonna turn for the better. I didn’t quite believe it back then but now I’ve learnt that the best thing about a bad patch in your life is that it doesn’t last forever.

Mine didn’t as well, and I am eternally thankful for this year which has been the pinnacle of my personal growth.

Nah, I didn’t land a big job, or get thousands of followers on this blog, or did anything that quantifies material success. What I achieved was far more fulfilling than that. What I feel today, this satisfaction, this hope, this calmness, this can never be achieved by money or fame. Yeah sure, everyone has their own definition of happiness; if money and fame makes someone happy then good for them. Heck, for the past 4 years even I myself used to think of money and success as the ultimate answer. But this year changed me as a person. I am NOTHING like I was a year before, and believe me, that’s a really good thing.

My personal achievements in 2015 might seem laughable to some people, but let’s just say they’re a pretty huge deal for me. 🙂

Alright without further ado, here’s my year in review 😉

(oh snap that rhymed)

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Changing the Race of One of the Most Beloved Characters in Literature. Does It Matter?

For the past few weeks I’ve been on a Social Media hiatus, due to my midterms – they went completely awesome by the way – and also because right after exams I was involved in some personal matter that I’ll share in the upcoming post; let’s just say it involves me making a new best friend after 7 years. Big achievement for me! Yay!

Anyway, as soon as I got up to speed to the online world, this news made my jaw drop: Idris Elba is the Frontrunner in portraying the role of Roland Deschain in the Movie-TV Show adaptation of The Dark Tower series written by Stephen King.

The Dark Tower

Now let me discuss how this issue might affect the book readers and how the non-readers shouldn’t be too quick in judging them wrongly.

  • These 7 books were published in a span of 22 years, so they are probably the entire LIFE for some adults and for me they have been my entire teenage. I have finished all seven of these 5 times, EACH. This series was the reason I developed a passion for writing, although I sucked at it but I wrote a LOT of fan-fiction based on Roland and his Ka-Tet. Those were my first projects on serious and focused writing. I also developed a fan-site for TDT, but it bombed. Anyway, at the time when teenagers are going through issues related to puberty, hormones and self-esteem problems at school, for me The Dark Tower series were my life; so I know what being passionate about a particular series feels like. People obsessed about Star Wars, I obsessed about The Dark Tower.
  • I NEVER wanted it to be adapted to the big (or small) screen. I know, everything is “sell-able” in this world, but this was the ONE thing I never wanted Mr. King to give away his rights to. I usually love it when any of his work gets picked up by a great studio and they do justice to it, like The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Shining, Misery, Stand By Me, Carrie, The Dark Half, The Mist and a few more. BUT we also have the examples like the Dreamcatcher, Thinner, Sleepwalkers, Maximum Overdrive, Graveyard Shift. Yikes. So I hope these directors understand how emotional we fans can get when they screw with some work from our favorite authors. Especially when it comes to Mr. King’s magnum opus; The Dark frikkin Tower.
  • Another reason for The Dark Tower having problems with adaptation for SO many years (the project got picked up and dropped by numerous directors and studios) is just because… it’s a little too much. Here, we are talking about a world that is more complex, enriching (and horrifying) then the one’s portrayed in Lord of the Rings or The Song of Ice and Fire. This bizarre world was only meant to exist in us readers’ minds! Directors have quit (even J. J. Abrams backed off) because the The Dark Tower Universe was too big for them to handle. Therefore, I have severe doubts with this Nikolaj Arcel person who is only popularly known for his work as a screenwriter on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Now that I’ve made it clear why I hate the idea of these movies and/or show, let’s get to the issue of “race”.

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“25” by Adele: The Wait Was Worth It

The most anticipated album of 2015 was released three days ago, and then suddenly, life was the right amount of perfect. Adele’s “25” is currently shattering all records, and for good reason: it’s the best thing that has happened to the music industry in the past 4 years.

Adele 25 Cover
Image Courtesy: http://www.digitalspy.com

The thing that I loved the most about 25 was that it was so… optimistic. I was expecting a LOT of tear-jerkers (“Hello” and “When We Were Young” being the only ones that made me ugly-cry) but most of the songs in it are about celebrating love, not brooding over it. I was continuously smiling while listening to this entire album.

Next came the challenge: to shortlist my Top 5 Favorite songs from it. Ergh, that was one of the toughest things I’ve had to do this year, only because no track – and I mean NOT A SINGLE TRACK – was mediocre. Nope. That’s a rarity.

So without further ado, let me share which 5 songs I think are the ones that I’ll keep listening to all my entire life.

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Another Year Has Gone By

No, this post isn’t about the Celine Dion song. It’s about the day I said hello to this world. Yeah guys, I just got a year older today! Hooray for me!

I stopped celebrating my birthday a few years ago. For those of you who have been with me on this blog since the beginning know that I’ve went through some really shitty years. Years in which I made bad friends, trusted the wrong people, and let them take complete control over my life. Those are the people who made me hate my birthday. It was like the one day in the entire year when I could feel absolutely horrible about myself.

Crying Clown

Once I got over that terrible period in my life I decided to no longer give a shit about this day. I started to hide my D.O.B from my new friends, hid it from all my online profiles, and strictly told my family to respect my wishes and never indulge in any celebration. All of their efforts to make me happy on this day were futile because I was too stuck up on the past.

But 2015 has been a life-changing year for me. It has been by far the happiest year of my life (the reasons of which are exclusive to me, myself and I). A few days ago my Mom came to me and said, “Stop being such a tight-ass. Let us celebrate this year. I don’t give a damn what other people say but you are special to us; this day is special to ALL OF US.” As usual, I protested at first, but I just couldn’t let her down (she was looking so excited), so I promised that I’ll be on my best – and happiest – behavior on the “big day”.

*Warning: This post might turn a little “Facebook-y”. I don’t mean to rub in my happiness in anyone’s face, I just want to save this feeling in writing so that when I look back I know how happy I was.*

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