Categories
Prose

a cliffhanging passage

We dodged through the rickshaws, the donkey carts and the gaudily decorated buses and headed to the bazar

We had to reach the bazaar , in which our old school stood,  before the policeman, even though it was a Saturday. If we were to describe a situation it would be something like this: We were flying through the busiest road in all of Lahore on a vehicle which we had constructed only less than an hour ago, rushing to the school library before an overweight traffic policeman reached there. It was a Saturday but so it was even busier. How we were going to get into the heavily guarded school building was still a mystery. I could see in the side view mirror that the policeman was closing up behind us, stuffing his face with chocolate frosted donuts as his figure became bigger and bigger in the side view mirror…

Categories
Prose

Autobiography of a Leaf

Hanging from the leaves, so quietly. People pass by us all the time but we are just an extra part of people’s lives. I just hang there, slightly swaying in the breeze. Yet my friends and I make the most beautiful lush green trees. I start out small, like all the others, but then grow all big green and delicate.

But then the autumn came, the time we all wait for our whole lives. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. First one of my friend from the higher branches turned brown and withered up and then flew into the sky as the wind blew and landed softly in the grass. We all were amazed. After him many others left the same way, but my turn never came. And then suddenly I noticed a corner turning brown. and then before I knew it I was like the others; brown, withered and crumpled up. Now all what was left was for the wind to blow and I fly away to discover the mysterious world. I felt cozy and my body was even more delicate. I felt myself loosening from the branches and with a sudden gush of wind I blew away.

I first fell to the ground with some of the others. Then once another strong, windy day came and then we flew with the wind. I felt like laughing and crying at the same time. We flew over the seas and mountains. We travelled to the wonders of the world before finally settling down on the hard pavement on which we would twist and crackle under people’s feet.

This would be our graveyard.

Categories
Cooking

Caramel Sauce

Caramel is one of life’s blessings and every blessing ignored becomes a curse. All the more reasons to make it and be thankful to whoever invented caramel.

Ingredients:

1 cup white sugar

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk

Method:

Place the sugar in a deep pan on medium-low heat and stir continuously. After 5-7 minutes the sugar should have melted completely*. Once it has, add in the butter and mix until combined. Now this step is a bit scary so it would be better to heat up the milk. Add the warm milk bit by bit into the sugar mixture. The sugar may look as if it has clumped up but keep faith and keep on stirring. Add a bit then stir. Add a bit more and stir again until you have used all our milk. Add in the salt. The mixture should be pretty runny and don’t worry because it will thicken up once it cools down. Cook it for precisely 1 minute 34 seconds, stirring constantly and immediately take off heat and pour into a heatproof container and LET IT COOL COMPLETELY** before going in with a spoon.

*You may add a bit of water if you are having trouble melting the sugar down but only a bit, maybe a tablespoon or two. It would have no effect on the recipes since the water would evaporate away.

**NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER TOUCH EAT OR IN ANYWAY LET THE CARAMEL COME IN CONTACT WITH YOUR BODY UNLESS AT LEAST 15-20 MINUTES OF COOLOING AFTER TAKING OFF HEAT. NEVER

Categories
Poetry

Random Poems

I have a bunch of sponges

stacked in a tower

we use it in the shower

the more it gets wet the more it dries

really a sponge in disguise

(towel)

It hangs like christmas lights

glimmering oh so bright

loosely around my neck

like a beautiful trek

for the eyes to feast upon

(necklace)

Categories
Prose

/the social dilemma_

Social Media is a marketplace that trades in humans.

Today there are hundreds of social media networks, some of the most popular being Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram,Tictok and Youtube, and they all are competing against each other to see which is the most popular and which will become the next “trend”.

Social networks are platforms where people share content such as entertainment videos, pictures, political or religious information or news and sometimes educational content. Like mentioned earlier there are so many different platforms and all of them have different trends such as different challenges, tricks, dances, pranks and so on depending on what features the network contains.

These networks were made on the basis of what people are interested in, what is the latest craze.These social networks are in a steady war which is hidden for a normal user. The war is all about how many people prefer using whatever network over any other network. But in the bigger picture the only thing they are interested in is the money and how much money.

On the topic of money another question arises that where are they getting all of these trillions of dollars from anyways. The users aren’t paying. Well, when we use these social media networks, they have our attention and here they can pop up anything they want us to see, so basically they are selling our attention. They are selling our attention to the adverts. They pay to the big companies like facebook, instagram tictok and endless more for our attention. And when you think about it sometimes different platforms provide an option to go “premium”. In which in most cases they ask you for a monthly pay and one of the features of this premium mode is that you don’t get advertisements which is why they ask you to pay. To make up for the money they lose by not showing you ads.

“If you are not paying for the product, you are the product.”

The most interesting part hasn’t even happened yet. If you have an account in any big social media network you know that your homepage is going to be filled with recommendations that they know you like; they know what ads or video get you hooked up and they know for how long you look at you screen day and how long you look at each post  and which ones you enjoy best and which person or thing are you interested in which is kind of creepy that they are spying on you.

Everyone in your newsfeed sounds just like you”

These can make you like things you generally hated before or hate things that you loved before. They can predict and control your actions and most people don’t see this because this is done indirectly. After a few hours of scrolling through whatever network you prefer it is very easy to convince or persuade things to you and this again is sometimes done indirectly. Your opinions are valuable to you and you are enthusiastic about them too and anything or anyone that says otherwise is wrong. People aren’t ready to reconcile. They have been brainwashed.

We have a team of engineers whose job is just to monitor your daily activity.”

“We want to psychologically figure out how to manipulate you as fast as possible.”

Social media has its own goals. We want them to keep using it with their fingers so that you are being programmed at a deeper level.”

“Facebook discovered that they were able to defect real world behaviors and emotions without triggering the users awareness.”

Social media is a drug”

Categories
Poetry

Arrogant Flower; a poem

I start out as a seed

Never getting much attention

But my luxurous life starts

When I hit the ground

But once I do I’m bound

But I don’t really mind

As long as I get what I need

It’s nothing from which I hide

It is a few weeks before I see light again

But it is worth it because;

I am taller and stronger

And ridden of most flaws

No one ran me over with a lawn mower

Or pluck my fragrant petals

Or add me to a dainty

Table décor flower bouquet

I gave respect to who earned

And disgraced those who deserved it

I earned respect I respect

but rarely ever got any

So, yes I help a grudge

No pleading would make me budge

I made sure they were sick of me

Before returning to the original me.

But one horrible, horrible day

all the sunlight faded away

It left nothing but gloom and despair

But my actions are what led me here

All the others ran away

leaving the arrogant version of me

here where I deserved to be

Oh! Why did I do what I did!

And then the lighting struck.

I cried and cried for help

But why, why would anyone help

After all here’s what happened;

I held a grudge when they were in trouble

They’re holding a grugde when I am in trouble

after all fair is fair

nothing I will do will repair

At last I would like to apologize

To everyone I have hurt,

For being so very ignorant,

Just remember “I’m Sorry” are powerful words

Categories
Prose

my essay for nestle

Winning the Nestle scaryammi essay writing competition has been the biggest achievement of my life.

results and my essay here:

https://www.nestle.pk/stories/nestle-for-healthier-kids-announces-essay-writing-contest-winners

Categories
Cooking

A Few Rules I’ve Learned While Cooking

These are just very very basic rules and tips that I’ve learned while cooking

1.How to make a cake rise without leavening agents (baking powder and soda)

There are actually a few ways to make a cake rise without leavening agents . One is to whip up the egg whites and fold into the rest of the batter. You could also use self rising flour which is flour, baking powder and salt, I also heard there’s a gadget in which you put your cake batter and it sort of aerates the mixture ( I think?) which is similar to the egg whites one.

2.Holding some liquid back

This applies to baking any baked good(Mostly) which is while adding your wet ingredients to the dry, always hold some liquid back or add some more. This is because different flours absorb liquids differently. You might need a bit more or less just make sure you have the consistency the recipe requires.

3.Read the recipe all the way through before starting

This is actually a really helpful one because you know if you even have all the equipment or ingredients. And also sort of gives you a head-start on the recipe so can plan ahead and manage your time.

4. Cook something for less time than the recipe requires

This is because different ovens heat differently and anyways you can always fixed raw food but you can’t fix burnt food. Also you never really know how yours will handle a new protein or new veggie.

5.Season everything with salt( Yes I said Everything)

That’s because salt is a flavor enhancer. Salt and sugar go well together (I’m sure you’ve heard of salted caramel) The winner of master chef season 5 Courtney Lapresi, made a dessert of cherry meringue, salted chocolate and spiced almonds and she salted the cherries. Yes cherries.

6.Don’t always season everything with salt

Yes I know this the exact opposite of the last rule. What I mean is that don’t always rely on salt to make you food better. Sometimes a recipes needs some other flavors as well. Try adding some lemon juice or soy sauce or any other type of sauce etc.

I mostly do use these tips (if I remember:p) and I find these very helpful and I hope you do too.

Categories
Cooking

Best Chocolate Cake Recipe.

What you’ll need

1 and 1/4 cup of all purpose flour

1/4 cup of cocoa powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of cold water

1 tablespoon of plain white vinegar

1/2 cup of cooking oil

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Method

Sift the flour cocoa powder and baking soda. add in the sugar. in a separate bowl combline the rest of the ingredients……..and your done! Now you can cook this several ways

First just bake at 180 degrees C OR 356 degrees F or about 10 minutes… just keep an eye on and bake for longer if you think is raw or , don’t bake that long if you think it’s done.

Or you take a heavy bottomed saucepan in which your cake pan will fit lay a cup of salt at the bottom. Then put a steel stand and lay you cake on it. Cover and let it do its thing for around 25 minutes.(don’t forget to preheat your setup)

And my favorite is to microwave it. I did it for exactly four and a half minutes but it depends on your microwave this is the quickest way so I prefer this one.

I suggest you don’t skip the vanilla it really bring out all those flavors.

Categories
Poetry

VOICE OF THE CLOUDS

I used to live at the bottom of the sea

In the shadows , in the breeze

Down the canals , all alone

In the seashells on the shore

One day the naughty sun rays

Come to me to luringly say

“Come with us to touch the stars

Soar across the planet Mars”

Hypnotized by their luring speech

I followed them to the Hawaiian beach

Statue of Liberty , Greece and Rome ,

Never once thinking about my forgotten home

Gaining power and confidence galore

But carefully storing it for when I’m alone

Power from Confidence , Confidence from Power

Everything else from just looking at towers

As we reached the mountain top ,

My betraying companions made a sudden stop

“Go show us your power you’ve recently earned ,

Go fight against the mountains and show what you’ve learned”

We fought. He was proud , a stone for a heart

I was soft , like cotton , a generous heart

He roared , I Shrunk , He pounced I leapt

Quietly leaving without a fight too big

I was blue , so should have been the world below

I cried , the world grinning below

I had had enough! I could take no more

That’s when I made them regret their actions

I roared I roared and made every thing fly,

I cried and cried and flared my eyes,

I showed the my power , my strength , my confidence,

I showed them my everything to prove who I am

At last after everything I slowly settled down

My tears dissolving me in within them

Falling down to the rock hard earth

My everything was lost , but my eyes still gems,

I had washed everything on the world below,

My tears in seas , canals and shadows,

Hidden in in seashells on the beautiful shore,

I was once again home, all alone.

By Fareeha Salman 6 novenber2019

I actually wrote this poem by myself! I admit not all credit goes to me-I sort of inspired by the Urdu poem “Badal ka Geat” which means song of the cloud. BUT STILL! Finding of all the rhyming words and finding the right phrases takes effort!