I’ve been standing at a crossroad in this phase of my life for a very long time now. And I guess, I’ve procrastinated a little (okay, a lot). And it hasn’t helped. Neither has family for that matter.

When should parents back off from trying to control their child’s life? I feel as if I am still their puppet. I try to break free but they won’t keep their hands off of me, and I just trip over and fall each time I make a run for it.

Asian parents are more controlling than the average parent, and I guess one can’t really get them off their backs so easily. Especially Brown parents. Also, especially in a stupid society like Pakistan’s.

But when is enough enough? When do we finally say no? When do we take back our own lives? I want to be the grownup they’ve raised me to be. But HOW do I get this past the thick skulls of theirs? My parents are full of contradictions. On one hand, I am old enough to have 3 kids by now, a house and a husband of my own. But, yet, I am too naive to make my own decisions and too young to take control of my life.

When will parents let their kids finally grow up?


The Wizarding School of my Dreams

What to do when your dream school rejects you?

I always knew Durham as Hogwarts, as parts of the Harry Potter films were shot there, such as this famous scene from the first movie.


However, it was my last year at college, and my Advanced English teacher, born and raised in UK, asked me about my majors for undergrad university. It was a routine check up for the whole class.

Since I was a shy student, she barely knew anything about me. I told her I wanted to study Creative Writing, and that I was passionate about it, and so, she asked to read my poems.

Later, she called me to the teacher’s room, and we talked for a long time. She was the first and only one to recommend Durham. It’s been almost 6 years since we had that talk, and however I don’t recall much, I do remember her exact words: Durham is Harvard for writers. 

And so, keeping in mind our conversation, I applied to Durham University last month for their Masters program. I was unsure, of course, because Durham is one of the best institutions in the UK.

I hadn’t received a word on the update of my application, and it had been over the usual 6-month period, so I emailed them today. I woke up to find their very bittersweet rejection.

Sure, I am not the best writer out there, but a part of me wasn’t expecting it… Sigh.

There could have been a hundred things they didn’t like about me and honestly, I would have preferred if they had disclosed the reason why I didn’t make the cut.

Was it my writing style, was it boring? Were my poems not professional enough? Dear God, I hope there weren’t any grammatical mistakes. Did my personal essay put them to sleep? Was it my IELTS score? Was my resume not up to point, or was it just me in general? The fact I am an international student and of Pakistani origin?

Any of these could be the reason I didn’t make the final decision, and I really wish they had disclosed what it was. Because these questions will definitely haunt me for a long, long time.

Back in Pakistan 

Hey guys. I’m home now. My days in UK were quite busy, had no time to post. We just got home and the flight from Istanbul to Karachi was horrible. HORRIBLE. My legs are cramping, my upper body is stiff and my neck hurts. 😫😫😫

We always fly with Emirates, but Turkish Airlines was cheaper, and so dad decided to book that. But never again am I setting foot in that plane again. 😒 Especially the one that goes to Pakistan. Because I’ve seen that the plane from London to Istanbul, and vice versa, is really nice with spacious seats and huge leg room space. But they give us the pathetic planes from Karachi to Istanbul and vice versa. The seats are not meant for a tall person, especially on long flights such as this one.  😕😕😕


Oh hello 

I just realized that all the posts I wrote during my trip to UK got saved as drafts instead of being published. Ahh. Okay.

I’m home now. It’s been 2 weeks since we’ve been back. I haven’t opened this site ever since. I haven’t been busy with anything, except for my gnawing and growing depression. 😐😐😐

Tonight is the worst. It’s 4:25 am and I can’t sleep. Tomorrow, I graduate from undergrad university. Yes I know, it’s one year late. All my friends graduated last year without me because my university decided to screw with me and mismanage my credit hours. 

Anyway. Maybe this is why I’m feeling so sad tonight. I’m afraid of being alone at the graduation ceremony. I will be alone duh. All my friends, all the people I have known, have already graduated. And I have this social anxiety, oh my god. 

I decided weeks ago that I won’t attend it and I’ll just collect my degree in a few days long after the ceremony, and tell whoever asks that I wasn’t in town. Well nobody would ask, I know that for sure, because I don’t know anyone other than the teachers whom I’m never going to see again anyway. Sigh. 

Sorry for this rant. 

Marriages in Pakistan: what it really feels like

Marriages, in Pakistan, are made in drawing rooms. Also known as hellholes. And auction houses. 

The whole experience leaves a girl feeling as if she is no more than a commodity, that she is being auctioned off to the highest bidder. Some men will have better degrees, some will have looks and some will have more money, and for the girl’s auctioneers, who are also her family, that is a huge deal to ponder over. 

What and how the girl feels doesn’t matter. She is required to dress up specifically to attract people, just like shopkeepers make things pretty to get more buyers. 

The whole process of getting ready, as if she is being displayed and sold off, is pretty demeaning. But do people care? Not the pathetic guests who come over to eat food like hungry apes and scrutinise her to the flesh and bone, and certainly not the family who gave birth to her. 

This is part of life,” the mothers would say, “We went through this exact same thing and so did our mothers before us, and we never complained.”

Once she hits puberty, your daughter is no longer a human being. And the priority is showcasing her to the world like she is a porcelain doll, something that can be bought and sold. If she bags a good proposal, wow, if she bags two, good job to her beauty and no brains. It’s always the more, the better. 

“My Shumaila got 3 proposals from very rich and handsome doctor boys. They wanted a thin tall fair young innocent pretty girl and are heads over heels for my beautiful Shumaila. The boys are just so divine. One lives in Amrika, one in London, and the other in Australia! Oh, however will we choose from 3 saint boys?” Gabba gabba, yak yak. 

This is common practice in our society. And as sad as it sounds, it is deemed quite normal, too.

Beauty and no brains. Plastic and fake beauty too, what with all the bleaching the skin and caking her face with every makeup product known to man. 

And if, God forbid, IF a girl complains, she is accused of being many things. Promiscuous, foolish, and corrupt are just to name a few. 

This. This is one of the many reasons why Pakistan can never grow and will always remain backward in every aspect of life. 

Girls are not commodities. They are not things. You do not own them and have a million “guests” over just to auction off your daughter. Guests, who viciously scrutinise her and discard her once they find “faults” in their perception of beauty. 

When will you ever learn? 

How is a girl ever supposed to be okay with this? 

Needless to say I died.

And cried.

My family thinks I was being too childish and very immature. But they don’t understand. The Harry Potter books have been my solace…my escape. Some get addicted to drugs, some to food, and some to music. Harry Potter was my addiction. Still is. And I can’t tell you how much I was dreaming to visit The Warner Brothers Studio Tour London ever since it opened in 2012.

And at last, I went there two days ago.

And it was very overwhelming for me. The books are not just books for me. It’s a world that’s very much dear to me. All the characters feel like family. And the books, home.

The whole tour was supposed to start at 11 am and end at 5 pm. I got up extra early that day so as not to miss the bus. My sister and parents also got ready on time. But my brothers didn’t. And we missed the 11 am bus. By the time we arrived at the tour office, it was after 1. So we had to travel underground to get to the station where there was a 2:10 pm tour bus.

So, by the time I arrived at the Warner Brothers Studio, it was well after 3. The whole ticket thing/queue/waiting and I got inside at almost 4. Also, later that evening, we had to see The Lion King musical at the Lyceum Theatre, so that only gave me an hour inside because the next bus to take us back, so we don’t miss the musical, was leaving at 5:15 pm sharp.

I didn’t have much time to see all of the things as I had to rush through it all. My family really hated it as they were very much bored. And they’re still holding that against me. Because of the one hour to see everything, I didn’t get to take many pictures. None of my siblings would take my picture either. They just went to the cafe and had lunch. :/ And my parents kept pestering me the WHOLE time to hurry up as they wanted to leave. So, I couldn’t really admire it all properly.

At the souvenir shop, I really wanted to browse without any haste. But my dad was waiting outside with my brother and he was really impatient with me, so I just grabbed whatever I could see. I bought two T-shirts, Harry’s wand, a Gryffindor hoodie, a 9 3/4 pillow and the Deathly Hallows necklace. I wanted to spend more time in there and get more stuff. Because I have been saving up for this for a long time.

Now I want a Hogwarts mug, a snowglobe and maybe one or two T-shirts more.

Other than that, I really think a second visit is due. Obviously. Maybe, in December. And this time I’d want to go alone. Or maybe with a Harry Potter fan. So that I can experience the magic again. And properly this time, too.

Also, did I mention that I didn’t get to go inside the Hogwarts Express? And try the cool Broomstick flying thing? Okay, maybe I’m too old for the broomstick part, and I wasn’t really interested in that, but The Hogwarts Express was a must!

Well, anyway. I will visit again soon. Insha Allah.

These are all the pictures that I took:


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So, I had a very tiring day today. In the last 24 hours, I have had only 2 hours of sleep. :/ I went shopping for Eid (which is only 10 days away 😮 ) with mom and we had so much to do in so little time. Then it was time for iftar, and I helped mom prepare the food etc, AND I babysat my little nephew and baby niece ( ❤ ) so that their mum (my cousin) could study for a bit. Oh, and later, all my family gathered at my house for dinner, and I’m so effing exhausted. *falls to the ground*

My leg hurts like hell, and my family JUST went back to their own houses, and since I was so busy serving family, I didn’t have time to eat dinner. And now I’m starving.

My brothers are out shopping for their clothes for Eid as we speak. And they will obviously have burgers and fries or pizza on their way home. Obviously. They’re boys. >.> And I just called my brother to ask him to get me something to eat, too. And you know what he did? He hung up on me. -.- No, there wasn’t bad service, and no, he didn’t cut the call by accident. He actually hung up on me. I feel as if I have been rejected again. :/