Through his eyes

Source: Afghanistan in Photographs-Facebook

Source: Afghanistan in Photographs-Facebook

He raised his head and looked up at the sky in a desperate attempt to be rid of the hell he was living in. His face a mask of anguish, his eyes brimming with tears as he stared up into the dark night sky. He was not ashamed of the tears that rolled down his cheeks for he had been strong for much too long. His breath caught in his throat as he felt his strength slowly seep out of him.

Mustering all his energy he raised his hands and yelled in frustration. The pain gnawed at him eating away at his insides day by day yet there was nothing he could do but watch. Spread all around him were stacks of dead bodies and human remains, left so savagely in the streets, unclaimed, deserted and unburied.

Bread vendor, Kabul, Afghanistan, 1992 © Steve McCurry

Bread vendor, Kabul, Afghanistan, 1992
© Steve McCurry

The war had taken away from him, the very reason for his existence. His hopes and dreams crushed so brutally, he had become hardened by the physically demanding task of survival.

The human suffering and agony was unbearable to witness, a strong beautiful young man once so full of hope now a hollow mask of ruin and isolation along with the many other children of war…

Source: Afghanistan in Photographs-Facebook

Source: Afghanistan in Photographs-Facebook

Nadia Nawaz

As she lay dreaming

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” -Leonardo Da Vinci

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” -Leonardo Da Vinci

As she sat with her seatbelt tightly wrapped around her tiny waist and her feet firmly touching the interior carpeted floor, the engines began to hum.  With each breath she took, the sound became louder and louder until soon it became a deeply disturbing noise like that of a cow regurgitating. The wheels began to spin and the plane slowly but surely edged forward. Further and further it crept, like a new-born bird learning to fly; slowly and carefully it gathered speed and charged like an angry bull in a ring and with one last heavy sigh, it extended its wings completely and lifted itself up and off the ground, into the mid-morning sky.

Up it went, graceful like an eagle-fully aware and confident within its abilities. The windows rattled with the increasing wind pressure and she closed her eyes as she felt her stomach churn. She concentrated on random thoughts trying to keep her mind off the familiar tickling sensation in the pit of her stomach, willing herself not to throw up. As the plane reached its suitable height, it slowed down and settled into a regular pace of flight. By this time, the roar of the engine had become a familiar rumble and adjusting herself within her seat she slowly opened her eyes and took a deep breath.

She undid her seat belt and leaned forward in her chair. Looking out of the window she saw the clouds surrounding the tip of the wing. Fluffy and soft, they appeared like layers upon layers of cotton wool.  What lay beneath her was a wide expanse of blue. The ocean in all its might shimmered as the sun beams reflected off the water’s surface creating a mirage of sparkling crystals. A brilliant blue with a layer of golden glitter, it appeared mesmerizing from so high up. As she watched between the parted layers of clouds, a never-ending span of waves crashed over each other destroying the ones before but recreating new ones within the same instant.

Out onto the horizon her eyes followed the stretch of sea and she smiled to herself. Caught within the beauty of this moment she felt light as a feather, drifting through time and space. Her worries far behind her, swept away long before take-off. Her eyes shimmered with the intensity of her thoughts and she felt like a bird, soaring through the sky completely alone. An epic moment beyond the grasp of her rationality, she felt so free, for this was only the beginning of her adventure and the dreams she was in pursuit of…

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Nadia Nawaz

White beauty!

As I walked along the pavement, I felt something wet and soft brush my nose as it fell to the ground and melted away. I looked up puzzled, wondering whether it had started to rain as it often did in my part of the world, suddenly and unexpectedly just when you thought the weather was stable for once. But it wasn’t the rain and just as I realized this, I couldn’t help but exclaim and smile to myself as another big white flake lightly touched my nose and melted away into oblivion. As I looked on, more and more started to fall around me in a never-ending terrain, slowing settling down on the ground creating layer upon layer of white elegance. It was snowing!

Catch me!

Catch me!

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The sky, in all its glory, a huge expanse of never-ending white, looked staggeringly beautiful. The heavens which blanket the earth opened up as each flake gathered speed and settled upon the earth light as a feather forming a flawless white shimmering sheet.

A sight so beautiful to witness, covering everything within sight in a layer of silvery softness. I stood rooted to the spot, my arms stretched out as the little snow crystals began to cover my coat and hood, camouflaging me in their grace.

The beauty around me was so breath-taking I couldn’t help but think of the artist behind such a miracle. The human, an insignificant being could all but gape at the sight and appreciate Him.

Within half an hour everything around me was a stark white, glowing a yellow, gentle glow as the street lights came on and reflected off its surface. It was sight to behold, one that makes you stand in awe of God’s miracles and realise your own mere significance as a lowly venerable creature.

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I have always loved the snow. Having lived a major part of my life in a hot country and feeling the wrath of that baking hot sun shining down upon you is unbearable at times; winters hold a very special place in my heart. I’m even happy to tolerate the extremely cold feet with chilblains and a permanently red nose.

Hi, I'm lonely looney from last year!

Hi, I’m lonely looney from last year!

As per usual, the first snowfall of the winter had us all out in our woollen hats, gloves and boots ready to build a snow man and of course have that all important snow fight- more of a war in my house hold.

This year, a twenty year old me decided to do something slightly more grown up. We all joined in the quest to build an upside down snow man.

Hi, I'm SID-The upside down snowman! Pleased to meet you!

Hi, I’m SID-The upside down snowman! Pleased to meet you!

Turned out to be quite a failure, so we rescued it and made snowman number two which luckily turned out to be slightly more ‘normal looking’ despite having a nose like Pinocchio!!

Meet 'sitting down' Sidney!-Our ugly snowman!

Meet ‘sitting down’ Sidney!-Our ugly snowman!

I love writing in the snow!

I love writing in the snow!

nadia nawaz

Trust me!

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Trust me… Seems like a simple two-word sentence, regularly spoken and habitually used by almost all of us at some point in our lives. Yet this very sentence often tends to have the most lethal effects on people imaginable. Every human on this earth is born to expect something. It’s just the way we are. We have been programmed to rely on one another. All that “man is a social animal talk” we grow up hearing, it’s real. We can’t live alone and neither is how it should be. Reliance and trust is built up within us and our dependability on other people tends to grow as we move forward in life.

With every step we take we meet new people. We begin to get closer to them, slowly building up our sense of conviction and faith. Knowing we can count on them to stand by our side and always be there for us, we start to lay back and relax a little.

We begin to slowly shed that outer invisible wall we have erected over time. That hard shell, which keeps us detached from the rest of the world, gradually begins to weaken. As we begin to relax, we  become increasingly vulnerable, an easy target for the prey waiting to catch us when we least expect them to.

At times like these, that unexpected blow has the capability to shatter you. Being lied to and having your trust broken comes as a complete knock back. You begin to feel torn up inside and can soon float adrift in your confusion and pain. Quote-59

But with age comes maturity, a further in-sight and understanding about what people are about, what they stand for and what they’re willing to do just to get what they want.

We all make mistakes, trust the wrong people and in time realize who our true friends are. However the process no matter how painful can always lead to a path of healing and improvement. We come back more resolute and determined to face the world. We gain a sense of confidence which we may have previously lacked. We learn more about the world and our own selves than we would ever have cared to know.

The learning process is always hard and painful but necessary to pass through, just to make us better and stronger people at the end of it all, without which we would never appreciate the good times as much as we do.

Trust Quotes2- englishsmsquotes.blogspot.com

“Pain is a pesky part of being human, I’ve learned it feels like a stab wound to the heart, something I wish we could all do without, in our lives here. Pain is a sudden hurt that can’t be escaped. But then I have also learned that because of pain, I can feel the beauty, tenderness, and freedom of healing. Pain feels like a fast stab wound to the heart. But then healing feels like the wind against your face when you are spreading your wings and flying through the air! We may not have wings growing out of our backs, but healing is the closest thing that will give us that wind against our faces.”
― C. JoyBell C.

nadia nawaz

You’ll be missed one day!

Goodbye exams!!

Goodbye exams!!

The long hours in the library! The beautiful view kinda makes up for it..

The long hours in the library! The beautiful view kinda makes up for it..

It’s over!! The semester which seemed to take forever to pass has finally come to an end amid much anticipation and joy on my part. All exams have ended fairly well and I have to thank God for helping me to get all my submissions completed and submitted in time, regardless of it being by the skin of my teeth.

Despite marking another huge tick off my calendar towards an exceedingly fast approaching finishing line, I couldn’t help but be glad when I came out from the exam hall this Wednesday completely exhausted, entirely spent, yet over the moon! The subjects I had to complete as part of the core modules of my degree this time round were dry enough to have me weeping tears of frustration and gulping down lattes half way through the night, for the sheer lack of  focus and concentration I could barely muster. For the most part they consisted of three boring, theory based subjects relating to professional issues and legal aspects of computing, data modelling and Information technology infrastructure. At one point, the data protection act, its dates and amendment’s had me stuck on one single line for almost an hour-Yes it was THAT mind-numbingly tedious!

However, now that I look back over those weeks they seem nothing more than a blur. I spent the entire night and half the day catching up on lost sleep, woke up after 2 pm  and smiled at myself just thinking of the three weeks of holidays I now have left to enjoy before the next semester begins sometime next month.

Living on Latte's!!

Living on Latte’s!!

The first thing I did today was to transfer the tons of random pictures of friends I took these last couple of months from my phone onto my laptop. I have come to be known as the photographer of the group, based on my love for pictures. I just feel this need to ALWAYS take a picture of the moment; it’s like an urge to click away and capture it, simply helping me to stop time in its tracks and enclosing within it a memory which if treasured well enough can last a life time.

Looking through these pictures always gets me laughing. The funny faces, silly poses, and the very act of remembering that moment in its essence no matter how recent, is always so beautifully invigorating.

Any picture, however insignificant at the time stirs memories like no other. It brings back that smell of coffee on the morning of the exam day. The reminder of anxious, frustrated students, with filthy habits; smoking by the main entrance. That heavy stench of weed which fills the air often attempted to be concealed by chewing gum. The loud music blasting through the speakers in the early evening just as the sun begins to set and the Caribbean students come out with their roller blades, carefully manoeuvring through the outdoor benches, pulling somersaults in the air amid applause from other students.

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Nothing beats reminiscing over such instances which bring with them hope and faith for the future yet sorrow at how fast time seems to be passing.

I can’t help but think of how quickly I will be out of this place, away from all the people and moving onto the next phase of life. Though I may be happy this semester is over, I’m still sorry it went so fast…

“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.” ― C. JoyBell C.

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” -Leonardo Da Vinci

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” -Leonardo Da Vinci

Nadia Nawaz

Will you be hunted?

I was brought up being told to dream big. But simply dreaming big was not where it stopped. Following my dreams, trusting my instincts, and doing what was right was also mandatory.

I have always gone by this rule and followed my heart, doing things which make me happy all the while keeping within certain limitations and self-imposed boundaries. I have learnt to pick myself up along the way, never ever to back down once crushed and to plough ahead constantly replaying my moment of glory in my head. This has helped me a lot, especially during those tough times when I feel as though I’m alone out there, fighting a battle which refuses to end, daring me to make one wrong move; or maybe just a tiny slip.

But what if someone tells you that dreaming big is wrong, that your rule is faulty and your goals unrealistic and unattainable; that all your ambitions are way out of this world? They try their hardest to undermine you, and demoralize you with every step you take, waiting for the moment when you are most vulnerable.Seems like a huge slap across the face and an awful lot to swallow especially after all those years of envisioning the very dreams people now consider impractical and naive.

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You suddenly begin to go over and re-consider all your plans. You become unsure of yourself, your own abilities which you were so sure of before now seem to be flawed and incapable of helping you achieve your goals. Your targets begin to seem unattainable and those dreams which seemed so vivid before now become a hazy mirage at the back of your vision. You let other people weaken you and you lose.

The power they now have over you is so enormous; it has the magnitude to destroy all you set out to achieve. You begin to drown.

Word’s always have the impact to make or break a person. Letting someone’s words affect you in such a drastic way could be the stepping stone, which if allowed, could result in your downfall.

Though it may seem impossible and extremely hard at times, being strong and standing your ground is the only thing which can help keep us standing. The world is full of hungry vulture’s busy hunting. The question is this, will you allow yourself to become a victim; a prey to be hunted?

nadia nawaz

Musings of a sleep deprived, preoccupied student looking for an outlet!

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Exhausted is a word which barely begins to describe my state right now. To say I’m physically, emotionally and mentally spent would be an understatement. Yet here I am, busy hammering away at my keyboard despite having a back load of reading to catch up on, exam revisions to undertake, pages upon pages of learning to do and a million other things on my mind, which if I were to begin to explain, would literally take me the rest of the year maybe more.

As students we are given deadlines to work towards, assignments to complete, projects to undergo, presentations to give and of course the exams, which simply passing is never enough for me; I have to get that top mark or distinction. This need to excel and perform better than the rest is probably a genetic malfunction I would happily blame on my parents any day. But don’t take me wrong, I’m not complaining. In fact this growing sense of ambition which seems to get stronger day by day is one of the biggest blessings I have been given for which I am truly grateful.

Something which is completely beyond me however is my unwillingness and desire to revise. Throughout my education I have come to notice that whenever exam time approaches, each and every single student will do their hardest to make excuses for not sitting down to study. Be it catching up with old friends, replying to emails, sorting out your wardrobe, even doing house chores will seem more enticing than opening those bland text books or lecture notes and making yourself concentrate on them. Focusing at this time seems beyond us all. Facebook seems to be visited more frequently, mobile phones are checked every other minute for no reason other than to while away the hours and don’t forget the food; gouging on fast food, downing lattés like water and generally feasting on every single thing we can lay eyes on becomes something of a compulsion for students of all ages.

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It’s strange really. When being forced to do something, in this instance revising for an exam, we begin to resist and look for any outlet which will allow us to spend as little time in doing the very thing which ultimately needs to be done at every cost. However, be it any other day that very same activity will seem to capture our interest and cause time to pass us by without us caring. For example the subject we took a lecture on, will seem exceptionally interesting on any other day other than exam times ,so much so that we might spend an extra hour just reading through extra material for basic general knowledge. 252272_385510414830202_528117318_n

Being unable to grasp the strangeness of these occurrences, I will simply bring it down to the nature of human beings to resist any form of forceful constraints which we are bound by and must uphold. Either that, or a general unwillingness and fear of facing the consequences and results of our actions which are a part of every one of us. This trait is displayed particularly during the result announcement day.

As for me, for now I must tackle that back log once and for all!

nadia nawaz