Cricket; not just a game..

As long as my memory holds, whenever someone asks me about who i am and what defines me best, one word , one interest , one hobby , one passion would be ; cricket. Never knew this passion for cricket will come a long way throughout my life and would make me understand what life is. Cricket has taught me how to deal with failure, how to work hard, how to work as a team and most importantly it has taught me how to be a leader.

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It all started off at a very early age when i used to watch cricket matches with my dad. Little did i know then , it would bring in this undying passion of cricket in me. My dad would gift me new bats and would always tell me to play the ball on it’s merit and not going for rash shots. He had developed such craziness in my mind about the game itself that from that moment i always wanted to play at a professional level. I started playing at school and soon became the captain of my team. Moving to Lahore after my A levels was a new experience all together . I luckily got a place in my university team at my freshmen year and since then i have had massive exposure which has made my game a lot more mature. I Play for team Retro flyers in LSE and we have won 3 league trophies since i came here.

Team Retros

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Yes I have worked hard and dedicated myself to get better at the game so I can make my dreams come true. Cricket is a beautiful art that takes focus and concentration. My love for the game keeps me on the field and I honestly wouldn’t know what I would do with myself if cricket didn’t exist. In cricket, your mental stability is your greatest gift. It is about calmness and the right time to get aggressive which gives you success at any level. For me my aggressive nature  has always been the key to whatever success i have achieved in and off the field. My idol is the one and only , Shahid Afridi who has been an inspiration throughout with his all round capabilities. He doesn’t need an introduction as he is loved my billions.

Shahid Afridi official

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Over the coming years, I would come to realize that even beyond being the most fun I had ever had, cricket was an incredibly important influence on my life. It kept me in better shape than I would have been in otherwise, and while that benefit is somewhat obvious, cricket has also influenced me in more subtle ways. Although playing cricket didn’t stop everything bad from happening to me, it gave me the confidence to handle situations with more maturity and poise. Like if i could win a game by just staying on the wicket and playing a sensible innings, that way i can tackle every problem in life by just staying calm and not just running away from it. If I could ball in the right areas and wait for the batsman to make a mistake , that way I would wait for the other person to make a mistake and then cash in on anything.

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I love cricket, not just for the successful play, a six, a wicket or a catch . I love cricket because playing the game has taught me, like many others, how to be physically fit, mentally sharp, and an independent player within a working team. I learned to persevere in order to overcome adversity and achieve goals. It taught me how to succeed in life.

Seeker? Innovator? anything but Common

Who am I? Maybe a somebody, maybe a nobody or maybe someone in making. I am no master of life lessons but I have learned to live my life my way as much as I can. As far as I can remember, I’ve been beating all the stereotypical stuff and always making my way into innovating something or trying something different. I had a dream of working in the field of media and arts mostly media; art is just there to make the thing look impactful.

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After completing my O-Levels from BSS AITC, I went on to Beaconhouse Defence Campus for further studies. Fresh out form a middle classed area into an upper class lifestyle, I wouldn’t say that my life took a huge twist in the tale. First things were a little different given my surroundings were changed and even at first that red brick building became such a miserable place that I wanted that old life back at any cost. I still remember staying up all night thinking about where life is going to take me and how will I manage everything on my school farewell night. But I didn’t know that BDC would actually turn out to be the best time of my life in which obviously if I could I would change a few details but that is the time where I would reset my life to every time if I ever had that kind of option or luck. I grew up watching all kind of Bollywood and Hollywood movies which somehow took me so close to this part of universe that nothing else could interest me more than this and I made that part my world. In BDC I opted to study media which wasn’t a very popular subject but that didn’t reduce my interest in it, I went through with it. Believe me that class was the best thing about studying, I have been studies Economics, Accounting, History but nothing was more satisfying than studying media.

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It taught me a lot of thing and further cleared my vision about what to actually do in future. Call it coincidence or just pure luck but soon I emerged as the New President of Media Society which was both a surprise and a huge responsibility to me. After getting this huge responsibility, I started working really hard towards my goal. I joined up an independent production house “Itsmarka Productions” (go ahead, give it a Facebook search).

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Soon after joining I worked in a couple of projects hence soon became a vital member of the group. Mostly I went for acting but soon I emerged into a writer too. Almost all the projects in which I worked, I wrote the script on my own with a little help from my group members.  When I graduated to the second year of my A-levels, I had a lot of experience and hard work with me. All this time spent in media lab actually brought a lot of success. We won a lot of awards from our short film/advertisements/ documentaries.

 

 

I then focused towards my final media project which was a lot harder than these small independent projects however with proper guidance and focus we managed to pull off that hence got a decent grade in the subject. After BDC, I wanted to pursue my career more in media but you know what they say “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” so I opted to join LSE instead hence still pursued my work through working in media minors, it wasn’t that much impactful but helped with time.

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My Journey hasn’t been very easy or straight forward but it have had its moments, sometimes it has been amazingly charming while sometimes it have had its fair share of bad moments but all together, life has taught me so much. I know one thing for sure, never plan your life, it never goes that way, every little detail will change because that is what life does to you, it takes your vision screws with it and puts up a more realistic version in front of your eyes.

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Someone once told me ” What you’re seeking is seeking you” that what keeps me going….

Hafsa (Arabic: [ħaːfsˁa])

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The meaning of my name is young lioness.
They say that your name plays an important role in shaping your personality. I have always hoped and prayed for myself to be fearless and strong but empathetic and nurturing.

The most difficult time of my life was June, 2012. I moved to Lahore after spending 17 years of my life in Karachi. Having so much love for the city made it absolutely difficult for me to adjust here. There was so much chaos in my life; I felt completely lost. I went through a conflict of identity during this time. I went to college and I felt like the education system was so corrupt that I’d die. I felt like the people were so censorious of my personality; I lost track of who I was. During those 2 years, I stopped writing, studying, socializing and just mostly living. Fortunately, at the end of year 2, I became friends with Aqsa; who is now my best friend. It is very difficult for me to tell her how much she means to me even when I am so overly expressive and loquacious all the time. As Solene says in the movie ‘A Summer’s Tale,’ “Friendship’s serious. Maybe more than love.”

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Apart from friends; I value family. I believe that family plays one of the most important roles in shaping your personality. Being the youngest, I have always been pampered immensely not just by my parents but by my elder sister and brother. I have always looked up to my parents because I have seen how they’ve fought the hardships of their lives and how much they’ve evolved. I wish I have that kind of courage one day to fight my issues and complications. Family has taught me a great deal about life.

One of the most important thing family has taught me is to read. My mother used to write poetry, short stories and articles when she was my age. My sister and my brother are frequent readers. Even though, they all prefer different genres, this is the most rewarding habit ever. I enjoy every genre as long as the book is well written and the plot is unassailable. I enjoy reading the work of great authors like Jon Elia, Khaled Hosseini, Paulo Coelho and Mohsin Hamid. I follow Paulo Coelho’s blog, too (http://paulocoelhoblog.com/)

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Everyone has that one thing or activity in their lives that brings them peace or calms their nerves. For me it is the sky. I have immense love for the sky. I love how it can exist in so many patterns and colors. It changes. From the very first glimmer of the sun in the morning to when it submerges in the west, the sky continuously evolves. I feel like that is a metaphor for our lives. We live, we learn, we grow and we change. It might not always be easy but at the end of the day we learn. We become beautiful entities because we blossom. I post a lot of sky and nature related pictures on my Instagram profile (https://www.instagram.com/hafafaa/).
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When I started out at LSE in 2014, I was a completely different person. My self confidence was shattered and my perspective was blurred; basically I had no vision (because of the shoddy college life). Fast forward to today, everything has changed. I have accepted a lot of harsh realities and my viewpoint towards life has changed drastically. I am proud of myself today only because I have moved towards being a more helpful and better person. I have grown. I have been loved and I have loved. I have started to cherish the little things in life.

Tumbling down the Rabbit hole

Dear reader, I am generally irked when asked to describe or introduce myself. So bear with me if this turns out to be awkward since that seems to be the story of my lifeIMG_20161012_143623

I have a lot of passions, hobbies, interests but we’re not going to get into most of those because I don’t want to make my other classmates look bad (no problem guys, thank me later). Rather, I’m going to share with you my partial thirst for knowledge, I say partial because no level of thirst will make me want to gain knowledge about subjects like Maths. I’m a novice scholar, I love studying about politics, psychology, English literature and as of lately- history too. However, this love for knowledge should not be confused with academics.

I like pretentious poetry, imagery, art and beauty. I love to read and through reading, I discovered entire worlds unexplored.

“I have lived lives more than my own and there are many more to come.” Ayesha Shams

The previous sentence was solely for the purpose of reiterating the fact that I am a pretentious sucker. I was just boasting about reading.  On a serious note, some of the books that have had a profound impact on me are:

  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • Lord of Flies by William Golding
  • Alice in the wonderland by Lewis Carol
  • 1984- George Orwell

(read them if you want to be a little cultured)

At the risk of being mocked by actual photographers(I know you guys are sensitive about it), I would also like to admit that I love photography and that I wish I was good at it. Since, I am not exactly in a place that cultivates creativity or the aforementioned skill, I do the best I can. These are some of the photos that I have taken.

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For more photographs, you can check out my Instagram: A.shums

Or my photo blog on Tumblr here.

There are a few social causes that I feel very strongly towards, they are; Women rights and empowerment, Minority rights and Environmental preservation and protection. I try to be as vocal about these issues as possible, if given the opportunity- I would actively engage in social work for them. I have taken part in multiple environmental clean ups. The picture below is from a clean up initiative in Sheesh Mehal.

 

 

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Sheesh Mahal                                                                                                         Me as Mancini  

 

Coming to my beliefs, there are few things more important to me than kindness, acceptance and tolerance. I abhor (irony intended) people who try to bring others down or are needlessly rude to others. I’m not mother Teresa reincarnated but I truly believe in the saying ‘live and let live’. And not only because of the inherent virtue of the saying but also because it’s extremely exhausting to stick your nose in everybody’s business and bother yourself with it. You’ll find that life might be a tad bit easier if you mind your own business and keep the dirt of personal politics off your shoulders. So take my unsolicited advice and chill out.
One of the earliest lesson that I remember my father teaching me is that, you should never judge a person on anything other than the strength and quality of their character. That nothing matters more than their integrity and dignity. And through that, he taught me that every person deserves respect unless they prove otherwise. Fortunately for me, that lesson stuck with me into my adulthood and that is why I strongly believe that one owes respect to everyone- big or small. This is one of my most fundamental belief and I shun people who think otherwise.

Thank you for reading my post, I hope you found it entertaining. I would like to clear- the sarcasm was intended.

Ayesha Shams

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I am who I am!

I AM WHO I AM NVogue

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Every single journey in our life begins with the question, who am I? I am the person who everyone goes to for advice, for motivation, for help, for anything they need help with in general. My life revolves around that idea of creating an ease for people that struggle throughout their life in particular. I am a motivator, I am a realist, I am a an introvert, and trust me, the people that know me, they prefer me as being an introvert, because once I show them my true self, Oh GOD how they wish that did not happen; in simple words, I AM WHO I AM.

Our life is filled with missed opportunities, failed attempts, judgmental slurs, anxiety’s, stress, frustration, depression, mental breakdowns, so on and so forth. My idea of life is to treat it with the same attitude that we treat others around us. I mean, all we want from others is respect, right? Then why not simply treat others with respect, even though many people would differ with me with this idea because they have been slashed into pieces by having this sort of a positive attitude for others. But trust me, even though you struggle to have respect in your life, things will turn your way even, believe it.
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“Live your life like is the last thing you’re ever going to do in this world.”

Let’s begin with a little insight of my life and my story.

IMG_1298 From the beginning of my life, I was loved with everything and anything my family had. My life started of firstly by helping my brother into finally stop crying and actually letting my mother sleep for a change. As told by my mother, my brother was a mess before I was born, and by mess I mean, all the yelling, crying, forcing things to be his way or the highway. And then finally came an angel in his life which helped him into being a better child for my mother to handle. This went on for about 3 years, and after that we shifted to another city once again which caused everything to disperse into ash like particles floating into thin air. After coming into this whole new world with a completely new environment of it’s own and not actually knowing anything at all since I was 4 years old, I bound to know nothing.

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My schooling started from Jhelum, where my father had his business, and after shifting from Lahore, our struggles continued. We moved back to Jhelum, because of a couple of reasons, the first was of course my father’s business, the second reason was that my father wanted a better future for me and my brother, and to not witness all of the problems that my father faced in his life; he wanted to get over and done with this small city and move back to our original home, Lahore. After working through blood and sweat, we finally moved back to Lahore. This time he wanted to make sure that everything was done accordingly so we can live an easy life, and through hard-work and determination, my father achieved that goal within a couple of years, and once again we were finally stable.

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All of it was a dream until it was finally achieved. A little you should know about my father, he is the kind of man who doesn’t save for a rainy day, instead he lives in the present and spends it with great joy. As soon as our life came back on track, he spent on us like his livelihood depended on it. He took us on trips to London, Malaysia, Bahrain, and Thailand. And we felt like we were on top of the world. He gave us everything that we never even asked for, and yet they were always there as soon as we came home.

Then came a life altering moment that we were not ready for. They say, “What goes up, must come down.” We faced an economic downturn that we did not expect to come soon, but it was bound to happen. After the fall of 2007, we faced a crisis on our hands. My father, and my entire family faced this trauma with a zero percent of optimism. Unfortunately we were never able to get back from it. My father taught me many things in my life, and some of those things were related to the crisis we faced. I held myself high throughout the years, but was never able to recover from the psychological stress it caused me.

“In the dark path lies ahead greater light than what is expected.”

My life took a turn when this crisis was upon my like a brick being slapped across my face. I used to be this happy child, with no worries in the world, and always entertaining every single person I met. I used to be the clown of the family, and there wasn’t a day that my friends and family didn’t enjoy my stupidity and my jokes. And then the crisis came upon me. Facing this crisis at the age of 11 and for the following years was and still is the hardest thing that I ever had to face. Just imagine, an 11 year old facing this crisis after his father telling him everything that they faced, and for him to even digest this after having everything, into losing everything he ever had, his childhood, his friends, his belongings, and most importantly his life.

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During this time period, I never celebrated my birthday, I never once tried to make a joke or even laugh with a true heart. Everything was finished and done with. I changed as a human being. I became more cruel then I could even imagine, I never spoke until I was spoken to, I lost my life in a blink of an eye. I became more and more depressed and frustrated with everything that has been happening in my life. I lost the site of happiness at a very young age. And there are a couple of problems with me that I wish I could have gotten rid of, but no matter how hard I tried, they became bigger and bigger until finally they blew up in my face. I have this problem of thinking, and not just thinking about my life, if anyone came to me with a problem of their own, I kept on thinking about it until or unless it was finished, and I still have this problem, I overthink. This has caused me more problems then this whole crisis all together. I had and still have a severe back problem. I developed this problem at the age of 7 and it never ended. And on top of it all, I had a serious high blood pressure problem.

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“I don’t know anything anymore. Is that normal? Is it normal to notice the enormity of everything and just go blank?”
A.M. Homes

Throughout my life, I learned that you have to be prepared for everything that your life comes up with. I LOST!

Then came a huge overturn in my life. I was still facing the crisis, but now except for being alone, there were a couple of people that helped me into becoming a more positive person and to help me face my problems with great hope for the betterment of my future. I still remember the day when I met them at first, excluding my parents and brother, I asked them once that what did they see when they first met me, and most of them respondent that, they saw this broken person who fixed himself up with regular scotch tapes, and I’m not making up this up, these are the words of my friends. They helped me into fixing this broken person with concrete.

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I’ve known some of these people for the past 13 years, 7 years, and 3 years. And it seems like they were the only ones that I ever needed in my entire life. They did what no other human being could do, what I couldn’t do myself, they made a better human being.

All of this is only meaningful if you understand the point of it all. There are a couple of things that I wanted to let people know.

– Live your life like its the last thing you’ll ever do.

– Don’t lose hope, we all struggle, just lift yourself up and be as bold as you can be.

– Don’t be afraid of people judging you, because whether you have it all or, when you have nothing, they will still judge you.

– Never lose out on those people that have changed your life completely.

–  Don’t be afraid to let everything out, those that matter to you will always be by your side.

– And lastly,  Just Live.

I am Mian Muhammad Awais Sajjad, I’m an introvert, a broken man that is healed on a daily basis, a man trying to fix what was never his to heal, I am in a struggle between either helping myself or helping others; and I choose helping others every time. And lastly, I have a heart as big as the ocean, and if you don’t believe me just ask the people that know me.

I AM WHO I AM!

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Winking at life

Not everyone has their whole life planned out from the moment they were born. We all go through the moments when choosing what’s right and wrong, what’s better or best and what’s more important, becomes the most difficult step. We have blurry visions for our future because most of us can’t find the person to stand in our shoes and guide us.

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My parents had decided an entirely different career for me that I had no interest in. I was a pre-medical student with zero ambition. One question in my blurry vision was why pursue your career in something least of your interest. So at that point my life changed when I took a stand for myself, and began to realize that I am capable of much more things, all one needs is better exposure to locate what they actually want for themselves.

Stay positive and be real because this way, I believe no force will be able to hold you back. I’ve made my own tool from positivity, Humor. Because lecturing people about positivity only gets boring, I tend to spread it with humor and I have come to the realization that this tool urges me to live the excitement boosted up in me, It helps me to light up my mood and those who surround me.12417941_923151921071495_2836722806315940469_n

“Embrace the glorious mess that you are.”-Elizabeth Gilbert

Learning is a continuous process and it has helped me in exploring the unique aspects of my personality. Joining Lahore School Of Economics was one of the best decisions of my life. “Three years of grooming” I would say, it has been a roller coaster ride, full of amazing experiences followed by few falls that will always be remembered as a lesson.Through out this time I have learned to  be  more confident and self explicit.

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 Since I love travelling, I always try to cut things on my bucket-list. It became essential for me as it reveals my inner strengths and weaknesses. I have overcome my greatest fears such as water and heights and it has fearlessly made me live life to the fullest. I believe for me exposure to different cultures, societies not only broadens your mind but it helps you build a new personality and self-confidence.

 “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

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Girls love to dress up nice, look pretty , follow the fashion trends but unlike other girls, I would like to be the trend. I would rather design my own clothes than wear a designer’s. One thing I have aimed for sure is to open up my own boutique store someday. I’d like to add it in my little hobbies because I find excitement and joy in designing clothes just like travelling and I practically do it all the time, I dress up my sisters, my mom and design there clothes most of the time.  I am not trying to brag about it but when it comes to fashion advise in my family, they all know where to go.

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Moving on towards my love for the entertainment industry. I love acting and  if my family would have given me the liberty to join film industry , I would have definitely joined it and who knows what would have happened. But not everything you wish for comes true. And I genuinely believe that whatever happens, happens for a reason and for our own good. However I fulfill a chunk of my  dream by acting into a movie named “Four walls of sin” in a media course offered to us.

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I think this title perfectly suits my life because i have keen interest in numerous things and I try to work these things out side by side to figure out where  I truly want to pursue my career.

“You should never regret anything in life. If its good, its wonderful. If its bad, its experience.”-Victoria Holt

 

Who am I?

Well lets begin with the obvious, I’m introvert, I have been always shy, a little on the reserved side especially when meeting new people and socializing undeniably has been a big obstacle which I have tried to overcome in the recent few years. Even as a child, I liked the company of a few people, while the rest of the time I was immersed in books, cartoons; my own tiny world in other words. My world consists of a few people, family and close friends and I believe that is the best way to live a life. As I grew up, my personality developed allowing me to recognize that I am indeed someone with a different outlook on life. I dwell on little things, which bring me happiness, simple things, uncomplicated are always the best in my dictionary.

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Having completed my O and A levels from Lahore Grammar School, 55-Main, I joined Lahore School of Economics where I discovered that my interest in International Relations and Psychology amplified. These courses allowed me to broaden and improve my horizon in terms of my writing skills and understanding of the world and human body.

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Apart from academics, I like reading books. Be it autobiographies or fiction; although my all time favorite books would be the Harry Potter series and Khaled Hosseini’s books. Moving on, history also fascinates me, which is why I like watching films about the world wars such as Schindler’s List,  rise to power or even the formation of Pakistan where Qaid-e-Azam’s struggled to help monitories gain an independent homeland was captivating. My passion to gain more insight about the world’s history is something, which has been constant ever since I discovered it.

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I am absolutely in love with the idea of travelling. Travelling to places I have never been is something I enjoy doing. Discovering new people, gaining an insight into the peoples’ lives, the cuisines, the architecture, all of it leaves me in awe of every place I have travelled to. Rome and Paris have been my favorite up till now. Walking through the Colosseum, looking down at the arena where the gladiators once used to fight was all a bit too intriguing. The Palace of Versailles is also a beautiful sight, one that is beyond allowing any description to do it justice and one that surely made my trip to France worthwhile back in the day.

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I have yet to discover more of the world, not just through travelling but also through books, music, different perspectives and opinions and I hope to do it all soon, a little each and everyday.

That’s all for now.