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Creative Writing

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Literature

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Travel

Stream Of Consciousness.


Sometimes when struggling to write, I do this thing that I like to refer to as my ‘stream of consciousness’ where I sit and exude onto paper. Whilst a majority of it is sanctimonious nonsense, I am sometimes able to contrive and extract creative ideas.

Living In Your Hometown.


Living in your hometown is walking into the post office and being served by a boy that you went to mosque with, or going into a bar and the bartender being the guy that you once had a crush on, or going to a wedding and your cousin marrying the guy that you sat next to in class, or going into a pharmacy and having to talk to a girl that despised you for unknown reasons, or walking into a park that you loved as a child to find it having turned into a place where drunkards arrive to become merry.

Scrolling Through My Feed.


Every time I scroll through my feed, I stumble across pictures of people getting married, having children, being promoted at work, moving into new homes, settling into their lives. It's only human nature to go on to use these milestones as a metric for my own life. Am I a failure for not having a plan? Should I have proceeded with that PhD? Am I falling behind everyone else? Should I be looking for someone? Am I a failure for having no direction? Should I just settle in the UK? 

From Lisbon to Rome.

I have spent the last three weeks in Lisbon, Nice, Tende, Monaco, Amsterdam and Rome and wanted to share some of my Instagram images and captions.



The second oldest café in Italy where the likes of Lord Byron, John Keats and Hans Christian Andersen have had coffee. The entire place is filled with artwork and sculptures with waiters dressed in tuxedos bringing you coffee. This is what my dreams look like.

2016; the year of sanity.


This year, I abandoned a lot of my cultural and religious ideals. I abandoned people, habits, fears, friends. I said no, stopped caring. This year, I filtered out all of the noise and gave my needs precedence.

I packed up my suitcase, left the country and refuted everything that my religion and culture had instilled within me. I needed space to demonstrate to my body that I was capable of existing beyond my depression. I needed to find a way of steering myself without being interjected with other narratives. I needed to not have to pertain to an identity or pander to my relationships. I just needed to be Qurratulain, without expectation.

From Barcelona to Malta.

I have spent the last three weeks in Barcelona, Valencia and Malta and wanted to share some of my Instagram images and captions.


One of the best parts of travelling alone is that you have the capacity to stand and experience the depth of everything before deciding to move on. You get to absorb and sink into the entirety of your own thoughts & surroundings as history merges with the present and the two realities coalesce. You get to marvel at the intricacies of sculptures, feel and comprehend the magnificence that every space capacitates. You get to be alive in a different reality, become lost in a backdrop that your mind could never envision. You don't have to pertain to an identity, in fact you don't have to be anything. Being alone in an unknown country restores the inquisitiveness that helped us navigate our childhood. It revives curiosity and forces you to abandon the things that you know. Sure, you could do it all with someone else, but sometimes the things that you do alone are the most memorable, remarkable, meaningful.

The Impact of Gilmore Girls.



I was 13 years old when Gilmore Girls first aired on Nickelodeon and I will go as far as stating that the show significantly impacted my character and contributed to my identity. I was the first child of two adolescents; we were figuring out the world together. Gilmore Girls provided an education, a biblical premise on how to exist and navigate life. From evoking my love of coffee to instilling Lorelai's inexplicable need for independence inside my veins, Gilmore Girls taught me strength, perseverance. It showed me that it was okay to embrace my eccentricities.

I spent my teenage years pouring through episode transcripts, quoting them word for word and growing amid their realm. The show enriched my life and made me feel less isolated from my own landscape, it gave me people to connect to. Gilmore Girls gave me something to aspire to be.

Autumn; The Impending Gloom.


Autumn has always signified the loss of greenery; an affirmation of the colder months. It also acts as one of my main triggers, thereby marking the beginning of my cataclysmic mental breakdown.

I remember standing amid fallen leaves in the school playground, watching my friends throwing them into the air like remnants of wedding confetti being offered to the sky. I remember feeling consumed by inexplicable fear, sinking into myself until their voices merely became sound.

The Way They See Our Bodies.


If I walked into a family gathering showing ('revealing') that extra centimetre of skin, I'd be condemned.

If I walked into a community event, I'd be labelled as dressing 'provocatively.'

If I sat in a room with my father or brother, I'd be asked to cover it as not to be disrespectful. But you see, it's just skin.

On Being Open Online.


I've been thinking a lot about how I am so willingly open and honest about myself on Twitter in a way that I struggle to be in person. As I begin to unpack this, I realise that it is easier for me to share my problems in a space where I feel like people are not compelled to respond. The idea of throwing someone into a situation where they automatically feel as if they must sympathise or offer advice makes me feel quite uncomfortable. If I am to share something, it is not because I want to have a dialogue about it but instead because I need to speak it into existence as not to give it anymore precedence in my body. Tweeting is a means of lessening the burden without necessarily being equivalent to a conversation. I think that the conception of this makes it easier for me to candidly share my thoughts as they come, without having to pause and contemplate the repercussions of the ways that they may make people feel.

The Perception of Women in Pakistani Culture.


You need to learn to cook.’
Why?
So you can cook for your husband.

How To Be A Human Being.


I wanted to share the narrative that runs through my mind as I look at this picture.

The first thing that I notice is my nose, always my nose. It is my greatest insecurity and the one thing that I hate about myself enough to ever think about changing. However, they tell me that it is something I inherited from my grandfather and it therefore remains a homage to him. 
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