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Creative Writing

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Literature

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Travel

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.

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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.
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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.

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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.
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Qurratulain: The Coolness of The Eye.


Qurratulain. Kur-ah-tul-ayne. قرّة العين. Qurratulain. 

My name has always been a burden and I should have recognised it as being indicative of the way that my life would be spent. After all, with a name so difficult to pronounce, I was already at a disadvantage. My parents were young when I came along; my mother was 18, my father still at university. I was the first child, they were very enthusiastic. The name that they gave me was derived from Arabic, meaning 'the coolness of the eye.' Whilst some may liken it to the saying, 'you're the apple of my eye,' it capacitates so much more. 
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Boarding Pass For Heaven.


Rising towards the clouds, we pervaded them like they were perished angel wings of the dejected, shielding us from being able to make out glimmers of the rest of the universe.

Almost there, get your boarding passes ready,’ said the pilot amid his sermon.
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Bulgaria; life.

These are a few captions that I posted below pictures on Instagram, I wanted to share them with you.


Children played amongst the ruins whilst we marvelled at its grandeur (the microcosm of our future).
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Italy; beloved.

These are a few captions that I posted below pictures on Instagram, I wanted to share them with you.


Today I bonded with an Italian man over a turtle and ate the most spectacular gnocchi on the edge of the lake. I must hand it to life for not granting me the things that I wanted, because it has allowed me to be here experiencing Italy in all of its glory.
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Hold The Applause While We Dance.


I’ve been back from Madrid for two weeks and it has been a strange, perturbed feeling. Madrid was honestly one of the best decisions that I have ever made; it was beautiful and demonstrated to me that I am capable of existing outside of this psychological catastrophe. I am flying out to Italy on Monday and there are so many things that I want to write but the words do not fit or will not reach my fingertips.

Venlafaxine makes it difficult to hear myself, it almost creates a barrier between self and mind.
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Mourning Madrid.


How do you leave a city as beautiful as Madrid and not mourn the loss of something inside yourself?

Being in Madrid brought me back to life, showed me that I am capable of feeling happy through abandoning this mediocre existence and everything that I know. I have been back home for less than 24 hours and am already looking at flights to Italy due to the unbearable weight of being in the UK

I watched the luminous clouds change to grey and I immediately knew that we were descending over home; I felt the shift inside me. 
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Regeneration of The Dark Moon - Poem.


Sometimes it looked as if the moon was trapped inside his skin,
orbiting to the cadence of his blood flow,
pulsating only with the consent of my fingertips. 


Sometimes the moon illuminated each limb,
transfixed with the spectre of its pirouette
back to glory.

Sometimes the moon peaked through his silhouette,
creating indentations like the carvings of ancient scriptures in a forsaken tombstone.

Sometimes we remembered only in shades of blue black
where we were lost at sea
and the moon could not find its way home.

Sometimes the pandemic in his derma sang the angels to sleep,
tried to set fire to the moon,
(it would not be moved).

Sometimes his incandescent veins changed colour,
illustrated the directions back to his centre of gravity,
found the weeping moon 
(soaked in its own sin).

Save me from him.’
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Leaving The Country.


As you read these words, I am most likely standing in a museum in Madrid, marvelling at the works of Picasso and Dali.

Being able to travel the world alone is a dream that I have had since my father handed me my first atlas. I remember opening up the pages, admiring different continents, feeling captivated by the glory of an omnipresent world. I wanted to see it all, experience the intricacies of every culture, explore each monument of our forsaken ancestors, feel the presence of someone else’s earth beneath my soles.
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To The Rhythm of The Psychedelic Glass.


There was always something about being able to perceive the world through glass without participating that I found fascinating as a child. It was only later during my adolescence that I recognised this premise to be indicative of how I felt about my own existence. I often described it as not really being present in the room, in my own body, a harrowing sense of vacancy from my own self. I was always watching, advising, guiding, helping, being seen, but nobody was able to quite reach me because I was safeguarded behind layers of decadent glass. 

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Symphonies For The Undressed Angel In Command - Poem.

  1.  And I was too sad to sing (didn’t know how)
  2.  a lover without the love
  3.  what more could you possibly ask for?
  4.  My veins knew, tried to steer me away
  5.  (I just needed the idea of you).
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Sending Postcards From Heaven - Poem.


Sacred white hair, seraphic blue eyes, 
(I checked his back for wings). 
Face like a concertinaed masterpiece,
a fold for every story.
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Governing Our Words.


I was thinking about words and how they are all constant tangible letters that are our archaic guides to history. We breathe them into structure and give them life; we create their subtext and sustain them with our own ideologies and memories. Although our ancestors used them to sculpt our path, we have become the commanders of language.
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The Converse Milestone.



I remember the first time that I ever wore a pair of Converse. A boy from school saw them and started shouting 'punk shoes, punk shoes' as I walked along the street.

My school was heavily populated with South Asian children, they listened to Bollywood music, knew nothing but their own cultures and thus refused to accept anything outside of the norm. I was the weird one, the outsider. I listened to rock music, read books on the weekend. I wrote poetry in my spare time; I was not a part of them. 

But I wanted to fit in, I wanted to belong. 
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Between Patriarchy & Silent Shrouds.



The Sargasso Sea is the area of the North Atlantic Ocean that lies between Europe and the Caribbean. Ships often found themselves caught amid this space and it was concluded that the people on these ships would be stuck between two cultures, due to the central location of the sea. This centrality forms the basis of the novel Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, the protagonist residing in an unfeasible space between two cultures. The novel is about colonisation, a battle with identity and belonging. Upon reading through the narrative, I recognised the correlation between Antoinette’s life and my own.

My life has always been a perpetual navigation between two conflicting cultures.

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Inside The Bell Jar.


My earliest memory is of me sitting in my grandfather’s window, leaning against the glass, marvelling at what appeared to be life; the effervescent world outside.

My grandfather was a barber, the front of our house had been converted into his shop. It was positioned on a busy road with a convenient bus stop beside our front door. Sometimes the line of people awaiting the bus became so long that passing cars would slow down to inspect the source of commotion. Others walked by, momentarily glancing and then losing themselves in their strides.  
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Too High On Ourselves.



I immediately wondered why the bus driver could not have waited an extra few seconds for everyone to be seated before perilously manoeuvring the vehicle back onto the road. I held onto the metal pole for dear life, searching for the least suspicious-looking person to sit next to. I needed to make a quick decision because the driver was going to turn left in approximately three seconds and there was a high chance of me losing my balance and being unable to retain my composure. I fell onto the closest seat and greeted my neighbour who proceeded to unapologetically mock the vivacity of my hair. The scent of Calpol and cigarettes lingered on his leather jacket; it must have been a wild night.
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The Emotional Gauge.


I was thinking about our capacity to experience emotions, the extent to which we allow ourselves to feel them, the magnitude of their depth, and their transitory nature.

Emotions arrive in various intensities and frequencies, but how do we measure them? How do we establish whether to feed or disregard a sentiment? What is it that determines how much of the emotion we are going to allow ourselves to feel? Are we confining and desensitising ourselves from our own sentiments through this process of extraction? By eradicating our capacity to feel something or not feeling it in its entirety, are we internalising pain and storing it in our bodies?
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