Waqas Hassan’s WebPress!

My Interview In Us Magazine

Posted on: November 2, 2008

Tea with Us!

It is a law of nature. The sun will rise. The tides will flow. Fans want to know more about their stars. Where celebrities are concerned, the tabloids fulfill this demand, but what about the fans of Us? Something had to be done.

And done it was. It took some doing, but I managed to book Café Online. I sent out the invites and got my notebook and pen ready. I didn’t know any shorthand, but I was going to get those interviews!

Us is made of regular sections and contributions. I couldn’t invite everyone who’d ever contributed, but I invited those who had carved their own niche in Us and earned appreciation from the readers in doing so, both senior and relatively new writers.

And not only this; for today, the interviewees will be available live at http://thenews.jang.com.pk/Tea_with_Us

I chose to begin with none other than our very own Lubna Jerar Naqvi, at a table away from the noise of the others.

Lubna Jerar Naqvi

Occupation: I have been a journalist since the age of 9. (No, no, you are forgetful! Your 1st article was published when you were about to grace this earth with your presence!)

City: Karachi (still wonder why bomb blasts occur here?)

Educational institutions: I was born in Manchester, UK (should have stayed there instead of plaguing the 4th floor) and studied (what?) in St Peter’s High School, St Lawrence and St Joseph’s college for women.

Zodiac sign: Gemini (incidentally, she shares not only her name but her date of birth with the Editor of Us, too!)

First article: I don’t remember, I used to write short stories for a magazine called “Mirror” in the early 1980s and then worked for Us magazine as sub-editor. (sigh)

The best thing about writing: I love writing, so I always wanted to become an “author” when other kids wanted to be doctors, teachers etc. It makes me feel so happy because I write from my heart. (And talks from? Others write with their thumbs) Which is why most of the time my editors have trouble with my highly emotionally pieces (perorations) and want me to tone down. (Impossible!) But I can’t write without feeling, and it shows. (you bet)

What I do in my spare time: Read, write, watch a lot of TV and play with my kids (this not only includes my own kids but the other kids in my life). (Naturally one plays with one’s own age group)

Highlight of life: Being a mother.

Low point in life: Many.

My defining characteristic: Hmm….I’d say my high IQ, good taste in fashion and of course my awesome personality and good looks, only if other people who knew me weren’t reading this. So I’ll settle with friendliness and good humour (hope my family isn’t reading this). (But what of Us, we are editing it!)

Best part of my day: Food time…and when I get to talk….hey that means all day and night.

A favourite something: My favourite anything is my family, friends, books and freedom….and the book and movie ‘Gone with the wind’.

It was a task in itself, tearing Nabeel away from the football game on the café TV long enough to take his interview, and even then I was threatened to be charged with damages if a goal occurred in his absence. Thankfully, the goalkeepers did their job, allowing me to do mine.

Nabeel Naqvi

Occupation: OK, here goes nothing; I work at Us (when :-o) as a sub-editor. I think that explains everything. Yes, that “relentless knife” is in my hands sometimes! (He uses it to stab Us!)

Age: 23 (Liar!)

D.O.B: 28th November (1975)

Educational Institution: Business Administration Department, Karachi University. (Never set foot in it. Didn’t get time, actually. Had to visit so many ‘other’ places :P)

City: Karachi

First article: Well, I don’t really remember because it was a long time ago, probably 12 years back! (All our writers start before they are born)

The best thing about writing: You can vent your feelings out; you can bring your thoughts and ideas to life. (And bore everyone with horrendous exploits of Ronaldos)

What I do in my spare time: I celebrate! Something you get so seldom (another lie!) is worth celebrating. Anyway, if I get some spare time I splurge it watching TV! (That means 24/7)

Highlight of life: There have been so many high points in my life, so, I cannot be specific here. (wonder what ‘she’ will say to it)

Low point in life: Whenever I have felt that I have disappointed my parents in any way, it is a low point for me.

My defining characteristic: Self-assurance. (ahem)

Best part of my day: When I am going back home from work, lol.

My favourite personality: Hazrat Ali (RA), his personality is so charismatic; his wisdom, his sayings, his eloquence and most of all his bravery, every aspect of his life is unbelievably inspirational.

In Nabeel’s absence, Arees had pounced upon the remote control and switched to HBO, an act considered by Nabeel to be no less than high treason. Arees decided to take shelter from Nabeel’s wrath at the interview table.

Arees Zafar

Date of Birth: 12th of July

City: Lahore.

Occupation: In the daytime, I work at Pakistan’s leading cellular company. At night, I put on a bat suit and fight crime. Also trying to find a job in the ‘Men in Black’ to monitor and fight Alien scum on Earth.

What I do in my spare time: Watch movies (currently in my DVD player is the Korean horror ‘The Host’.) Read books (presently reading William Peter Blatty’s ‘The Exorcist’.), visit the library (my second most favourite place), play games on the PC (almost ending F.E.A.R) and surf the Internet (‘Wikipedia’ is the most informative site ever!).

First article: For Us, my very first article was ‘Movie Previews’ published in April 2002.

Best thing about writing: Writing is cool! Writing is fun! Writing lets your creativity flow. Writing makes you let go of reality and lets you enter into a whole new world! You make up new things, you start paving your own path. Writing is one of the best forms of expression. Simply incredible what can be achieved just by stringing together the pearls of words…writing rules!

Highlight of life: Thanks to the Almighty…many. Like the day when I bought my very own car or when I wrote my very first story ‘Afraid’ that then got published in the magazine, but in relevance to the presently discussed theme I would say that one highpoint of my life was when I initiated the idea to start the movie page. I would say that it was one eminent highpoint of my life. It was back in October 2004 when I observed that Us catered to every need of the reader, but had nothing on movies. I used to wonder that why didn’t anyone write on movies? And then it finally hit me….why not I be the one to take it up. So I e-mailed the idea to Us editor and sent a sample “movie page”. I knew that the problem would be of space in Us for such a page. So I also sent in the suggestion to run the “music page” and “the movie page” alternately. A couple of weeks later I got the reply from the Us team: they had decided to start the “movie page”, giving it its very own slot. In January 2005, ‘the movie page’ was started, which still continues.

Low point in life: When nothing goes my way. But there’s a deep meaning in the quote, “We’re like teabags whose strength comes out when we are put in hot water. So if problems upset you, just think, you must be God’s favourite cup of tea.” Indeed, smooth roads do not make good drivers. Don’t ask life “Why Me?” Instead say, “Try me!”

Best part of my day: Literally speaking, I would say that I really like the time from 7.15 am – 8 am. I don’t know why, but I find this time most peaceful and relaxing, sort of the lull before the storm; the calm before the start of the hustle-bustle of life. While metaphorically speaking, the best part of the day would be the time when I’m free doing nothing or the time when I’m watching a good movie…that would be the best part of my day.

A favourite something: Book: Stephen King’s ‘It’. Movie: James Cameron’s Aliens. Superhero: Superman. Author: Stephen King. Movie monster: zombies. Food: biryani. Pastime: watching movies. Quote: “Nothing happens without a reason…”, “There is no escaping reason; no denying purpose.” – from The Matrix Reloaded.

It took some time to communicate to Sameen that I was going to take her interview, but once she unplugged her portable music player, we made significant progress.

Sameen Amer

City: Lahore

Date of birth: May 25th

Educational institution/alma mater: FAST-NU, from where I’ve previously done BS(CS) and am currently in the fourth (and final!) semester of MBA.

First article: My first article for Us was Cyberia. It was on search engines, if I remember correctly; I’m a bit sketchy on details as it was about a hundred years ago.

The best thing about writing: is that it’s better than reading what others have written? :p

But other than that… :p

I guess writing for me has been more about escapism than anything else. Plus, I got the chance to meet some very interesting people and even made some awesome friends along the way, so that’s been an added bonus.

What I do in my spare time: What spare time?!! Yet to experience this oft-mentioned yet seemingly mythical concept.

Highlight of life: The fact that my parents and my friends love me and care about me… that’s the highlight of my life!

Low point in life: Oh where to begin! At times life seems like one big low point, made up of lots of tiny little low points; but at the same time, each low point has, in one way or another, led to something totally incredible. Absolutely no regrets, and I wouldn’t change a thing even if I could.

My defining characteristic: I just asked a couple of friends what my defining characteristic is, and here are their replies:

– “Being a workaholic, because you work all the time.”

– “That you’re Curt Cobain’s fan.”

– “You’re amazing!”

So this must mean that I’m a totally amazing, Nirvana-obsessed workaholic. Either that, or it could just mean that my friends don’t know how to spell Kurt Cobain’s name.

Best part of my day: When I’m sleeping! (which is not very often)

A superpower I’d like to have: The ability to freeze time (à la Evie from ‘Out Of This World’); there’s some sleep I need to catch up on!

Favourite snack/drink: Coffeeeee!! Lots and lots of coffee!! (Hmmm, perhaps that might have something to do with the sleep thing, hey?)

Arees’ discovery of a second TV in the café turned the power struggle into a competition of might. As the increasing volume of a Matrix film tried to outdo that of the football commentary, I spied Naeema taking refuge on the café balcony and hurried to join her.

Naeema Akram

Occupation: A learner (my lifetime occupation).

City: Karachi

First article: An article based on the theme of co-curricular activities. It was published in Us.

The best thing about managing the poetry section: I get to read all kinds of poetry, which helps me analyze the ever-changing trends in the thought pattern of our youth. It also provides me with an opportunity to interact with “our” talent and good poetry always makes me feel happy about the fact that amongst Us only we have people with great potential for writing and most importantly, thinking.

I started compiling the “Poets’ Corner” when I joined Us as a trainee sub-ed. At that time, Us had stopped publishing the page and I, who had always loved it, greatly felt the need for at least one page being devoted to literature (poetry, in particular). Thus, I requested the Ed to begin printing it once again and so it all started. I still continue with the compilation work, although I am no more officially working at the Us desk.

What do I do in my spare time: Reading – the only pastime that I would always want to have!

Highlight of life: The company of some of the best people in society.

Low point in life: The great tide of materialism that seems to be readily sweeping away our society and its values.

Best part of my day: Early morning.

Favourite books/authors: The most difficult thing to do on earth is to make a list of one’s favourite books because there are so many books that one simply loves. My all-time favourites, however, include Siddhartha, Wuthering Heights, The Mill on the Floss, To Kill a Mockingbird, Hamlet and Dr Faustus. Poetical works by Maulana Rumi, Iqbal, Faiz, Ghalib and Tagore are indeed irresistible.

When we went back in, a truce had been called and peace had been restored. It was time to call it quits, until next week. What–you thought I was going to invite everyone in one go? See you next Friday!

P.S.: You didn’t fall for that online link, now, did you?

I managed to book Café Online again, on the terms that there would be no tinkering with the TVs this time.

Haseeb was unable to make it to Café Online due to personal reasons, but it wouldn’t do to go without a mention of him. Excuse me while I go dig out my riot shield.

Now for the whole shebang.

Here are, to use his own words, his “irrelevant details of a writer that readers find interesting”.

BILAL TANWEER

Occupation: Trying to write, study

City: New York

First article: Don’t really remember. I think it was the one in Us, ‘The Rebel’ (I think this was the caption).

The best thing about writing: It helps me discover things I don’t know.

What I do in my spare time: Spare time?

Highlight of life: They could be many, none or to come. All of these would be valid and true.

Low point in life: Again, these could be innumerable or none.

My defining characteristic: I am impulsive.

Best part of my day: Time I spend thinking, reading and writing.

A favourite something: Novel: Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino; Website: 3quarksdaily.com; History book: The Ornament of the World by Maria Rosa Menocal.

Now for two versatile and prolific pens of Us. But I had to wait while the ones who wrote with them returned with their cups of tea.

KANZA TARIQ

D.O.B: October 11th

Occupation: Student, freelancer.

City: Keeps on changing, Rawalpindi for now.

First article: I started off with a poem that was published in 2002. Then I started writing for ‘a page of my diary’ on and off. My first full page article appeared on January 16, 2004, titled ‘Flunked, yet again?’. (It was quite an achievement for the 14 year old me, lol.)

The best thing about writing: The best thing I find about writing is that I have a platform to reach out to people and touch their lives in any way; make them laugh through humour, make them ponder over issues by serious writing, and raise my voice against problems prevailing in the society. It serves as a catharsis for me in the form of poetic verses but at the same time I feel writing is a huge responsibility, so sometimes I actually fear writing.

What I do in my spare time: I absolutely love reading the dictionary.

Highlight of life: Of abstract things, it’s love of all the people who are in my life. Apart from that my academic achievements gave a direction to my life, the main ones being my overall topping the province of my educational board in grade 10 and then two years later securing admission in the professional college of my dreams.

Low point in life: Whenever I lose faith in myself.

My defining characteristic: Being extremely strong and sensitive at the same time.

Best part of my day: I love the night for its peace, calm and solitude.

A favourite something: A perfume called ‘Cherie’ by Christian Dior.

HAFSA AHSAN

Occupation: Student of Master’s. Majoring in Mass Communications.

Educational institutions: I did my O’ Level from The Mama Parsi Girls’ Secondary School and A’ Level from Foundation Public School.

City: Karachi

First article: ‘Be an online student writer’ – it was published in the section ‘crash course’ on 28th May 2004.

The best thing about writing: For me, writing is an outlet for my thoughts and opinions on various issues around me that I feel strongly about. I am quite an introvert by nature, so it is only through writing that I express my feelings and emotions. Also, a lot of things happen around us over which we have no control. We feel so helpless. But once you start writing about them, you feel that you’re doing at least something to make things better.

What I do in my spare time: I read, watch some TV, do some household chores etc. I also try and get my writing done.

Highlight of life: All my achievements: Getting printed in different publications, getting a High Achiever in both O and A Levels, getting a first position in my Honors at University, and of course all the support and encouragement that I have received from my family along the way.

Low point in life: Both in my O and A Levels I got a ‘B’ in English with an 89 percentile. That was definitely a low point – considering how shocked and disappointed my teachers were.

My defining characteristic: I am quite an introvert; if someone talks to me via email/SMS/chat, I will be able to talk very easily. But in person or on the phone, shyness overcomes me to such an extent that I get tongue-tied. Also, while I am travelling in a bus or something, I prefer to read a book or magazine.

Best part of my day: I love very early mornings. The Internet works fine. There are no phones or doorbells ringing. You can totally concentrate on your work at that time.

A favourite something: I am a total bookworm. I really like books by Lucy Maud Montgomery and Mary Higgins Clark. Classics like Jane Austen and Daphne Du Maurier are always a must-have. I am into contemporary books as well, like Harry Potter, Paulo Coelho etc.

Beauty is not the only thing in the eye of the beholder. Saad’s ability to drape everyday situations in humour and insight has won him acclaim, fans and even a heartthrob status (not too shabby, eh?)

SAAD JAVED

Age: 20!

Institution: King Edward Medical University, Lahore.

Occupation: I’m striving to become a person who kills your ills by pills, and kills you with his bills…yes, I’m wrestling with medical studies nowadays.

City: Lahore

First article: The issue of September 29, 2000. I wrote a silly little piece ‘An Amusing Adventure’ for ‘a page of my diary’. I made sure the whole senior school read it.

The best thing about writing: Writing is something you can never be ashamed of! Even after writing a positively ghastly piece of literature, the fulfillment is so immense, the illusion of control is so enormous; you just end up patting your own back.

What I do in my spare time: I do the grocery. Or I receive and impart knowledge and share information for the gratification of soul (NO! It’s NOT gossip!). Or I cook deep-fried, high-cholesterol, artery-clogging snacks. Or I just sit back and unwind and read some cheap fiction.

Highlight of life: I think I have more than just one happy, highlighted event to talk about. Every moment spent with family and friends would make a fine cushion for my old age, I guess.

Low point in life: Losing my Naani Maa to Cancer. February 2007.

My defining characteristic: People say it’s my sense of humour; impish, greasy, cheeky and very deceptive.

Best part of my day: Early mornings! I love my newspapers “fresh” and crisp, and my egg sunny-side-up!

A favourite movie quote: An enchanting monologue at the end of the movie ‘The Hours’ in which Virginia Woolf, played by Nicole Kidman, says (or thinks) before drowning herself into River Ouse:

“Dear Leonard. To look life in the face, always, to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away. Leonard, always the years between us, always the years. Always the love. Always the hours.”

A movie couldn’t have a better, sadder ending.

Ayesha was combating jet lag with strong tea. After three-and-a-half cups, she declared herself awake enough to be interviewed.

AYESHA PERVEZ

Occupation: A writer who gets most of her ideas while in the shower or in bed at night 🙂

City: Karachi-Islamabad-Toronto.

First Article: About beauty contests, in 1999.

The best thing about writing: Feedback (criticism included), the ability to move or influence someone by your words and seeing your name in print isn’t a bad feeling either. 😀

What I do in my spare time: Read, write, talk with my sister, hang out with family, drive, bike, draw and clean. I love cleaning and sorting out rooms, drawers, cupboards… it gives me a sense of being together.

Highlight of Life: I don’t know how to say this without sounding a bit you know…but I guess it would have to be getting first position in Honours at Karachi University.

Low point in life: Grade 4 when my best friend left for another country! Can you imagine anything more tragic for a little girl?

My defining characteristic: Gosh a toughie…I was voted most helpful in my class at University… so I would hope it’s the one, though I’m doubtful.

Best part of my day: It’s either when I wake up in the morning when I’m looking forward to something ahead in the day or when I’m about to sleep at night after a hectic day. Oh, and tea time in the evening is something I take great joy in too!

Favourite colour: I just love pink! More than half of my wardrobe is this colour!

Dure was demanding to know how come a café of any repute didn’t serve saag. I had to wait for her indignation to subside before I could interview her.

DURE AZIZ AMNA

Occupation: Busy in the endeavors to keep a balance between what I want to do and what I have to do. :s

First article: ‘Life in a girls-only school’. (Dure sheepishly covers her face)

The best thing about writing: Knowing that you can inform, amuse and enrage (;p) people through just a pen.

What I do in my spare time: Sleep, procrastinate… Also, dream about a world devoid of football and vilayti songs…Aah! ;p

Highlight of life: Oh, small variable moments…the glimmer of respect in someone’s eyes, the magical taste of saag on a Sunday afternoon, laughing alone like a maniac in a group of people…

Low point in life: The now frequent news of killings of my countrymen. On a lighter note, early winter mornings and the discovery of a new pimple.

My defining characteristic: My highly irrational ego.

Best part of my day: The evening, when I am with people who mean the world to me.

My favourite colour: Black

Waqas showed up sporting an extremely fake moustache. He insisted on keeping it on even though it looked downright ridiculous. He said it was his idea of humour.

WAQAS HASSAN SHARIF

Occupation: Trying to pursue one!

City: The city of lights, but without electricity: Karachi!

First article: An Exclusive interview with President General Pervez Musharaf, Saddar not Tariq Road of Islami Jamhoria-e-Pakistan . The only problem was that he was missing all the time.

The best thing about writing: Well, the Us magazine sends cheque after 6 MONTHS, so money is out of the question. The best thing about my writings is the humour. I love humour.

What I do in my spare time: Study!

Highlight of life: My articles are specially read by Editor, The News International. The editor goes through them to ensure that there is nothing in them that the Supreme Court can take exception to and take any legal action!

Low point in life: The low point of my life is my surname SHARIF, which didn’t catch the attention of President Musharraf when he was exiling Nawaz Sharif and family. What do I have to do to live in a luxurious palace abroad, hijack airplanes? Just kidding, Pakistan rocks!

Actually, my low point is the day when my university announces the examination results.

My defining characteristic: I can take any edible food item and convert it into the spiciest meal ever.

Best part of my day: When my mom comes home from work and I give her a nice cup of tea, which is “nice” according to her!

A favourite something: It’s not exactly a favourite, but I like the freedom that this government has given to the media. You can bash them any way you like.

Omar’s pen explores the vistas of various youth interests. We all need a break from issues and discussions from time to time!

M. OMAR IFTIKHAR

Age: 25 years, but with the heart of a ten year old!

Date of Birth: November 19, 1982

Occupation: Student, freelance writer, visionary

City: The city of Quaid

First article: July 10, 2004

The best thing about writing: Whenever I write an article, or whenever one gets published, it feels like I’m doing it for the first time.

What I do in my spare time: Brainstorm for my next article, watch cartoons and movies.

Highlight of life: When my first cover story was published in Us.

Low point in life: I believe all low points in life are an opportunity to achieve a highlight of life.

My defining characteristic(s): Imaginative, curious, observant, simple, motivated, unpredictable and humorous.

Best part of my day: When I come back home.

A favourite something: As a Man Thinketh – by James Allen; I recommend all to read it.

Most of his work is based on covering different topics of interest, but he sometimes also writes to amuse.

ARIF IFTIKHAR

Occupation: I would love to say writing but alas! Chartered Accountancy.

City: Lahore

First article: ‘The World is not Enough’ (14-04-2000)

The best thing about writing: “Like everyone else, I am going to die. But the words – the words live on for as long as there are readers to see them, audiences to hear them. It is immortality by proxy. It is not really a bad deal, all things considered.”

J. Michael Straczynski

What I do in my spare time: Write!

Highlight of life: Holding my newly born nephew in my arms.

Low point in life: None.

My defining characteristic: Courage

Best part of my day: When I am writing.

A favourite quotation: Your limitations are imaginary.

Aliza is known for her heartfelt (though infrequent) pieces that that strike a chord within the reader.

ALIZA BATOOL NAQVI

Occupation: Searching the trivial most stuff out there, from the darkness and presenting it with a new bright touch. Yes, I am a student of literature.

City: Karachi

D.O.B.: 26th July

Educational institute: Department of English, Karachi University.

First article: ‘Relationships’, Us magazine.

What I do in my spare time: As if I get any – to remind you, I am a student of literature.

Highlight of life: “Move aside, you may be crushed”.

Low point in Life: Monotony, when at times it comes.

Defining characteristic: Resilience

Best part of the day: Night

Favourite something: Us and everything (SOMEONE) related to it!

At this point, there was some disturbance caused by a certain Labeeb ur Rehman who wished to gain entry to air his views on the situation, but he was told that admission was restricted and he had to go back disappointed.

Ah, yes. Yours truly also makes an appearance in this venture, though purely on readers’ request.

IQRA ASAD

Occupation: Student

City: Lahore

First article: ‘She is a girl’ (September 2006)

The best thing about writing: Being able to make people laugh and/or think, exploring the limitations and possibilities of this flexible medium, portraying something to one’s satisfaction, giving shape to a strike of inspiration, the feeling of purpose and achievement. If I can make a difference for just one person even, my effort has not gone to waste.

What I do in my spare time: Read, write, daydream, relax. Spend time with family.

Highlight of life: Meaning something to others, whether it is my family, friends or even my dog who delivers elaborate welcomes when I come home. I can’t thank Allah enough.

Low point in life: Seeing so many bad things happen in the world. On a personal level, whenever my time mismanagement catches up with me.

My defining characteristic(s): Creativity, conscience, perception, consideration.

Best part of my day: Weekday evenings (finally get to be with my family) and weekend mornings (an entire day ahead to spend as you please).

A favourite something: Comic strips. While the rest of the school would be crowding around the horoscope section at the newspaper stand, I would be perusing the comics page.

Mansoor writes in many modes; reflective, creative or any other according to his mood. All are effective.

MANSOOR RATHORE

Occupation: Student of O level, final year.

City: Rawalpindi

First article: ‘When will we wake up?’ (October 13, 2006)

The best thing about writing: It gives a profound sense of self achievement and confidence to see your work published.

What I do in my spare time: Spend as much time as I can with my family (they are always disgruntled whenever I fail to show them my face for days when my work load is virtually crushing me), reading, writing for Us, television, music and of course, hanging out of with friends.

Highlight of life: The time when I became the Head Boy of my primary school back in grade 5. It was a much dreamed about dream come true. I was overjoyed (read frenzied).

Low point of life: I was really depressed the day I was changing my school after completing grade 5 (most of the golden memories are restricted to that school, now that I come to think of it!)

My defining characteristic: I am ambitious; this shapes and influences the rest of my character traits and flaws.

Best part of my day: I always find the evening tea time most soothing and jovial.

A favourite author: Dan Brown, J. K. Rowling and Jane Austen (couldn’t name just one).

Farhan prefers to spend time and thought on different issues and events. Farhan who? Readers know him better as FD Sheikh. Now that’s one mystery we solved without Scotland Yard.

FARHAN DILAWAR SHEIKH

Occupation: Appointed to course books.

City: The heart of Pakistan

DOB: 19 October, 19** (year censored) 🙂

The best thing about writing: A tremendous opportunity to set free one’s feelings and notions.

First article: ‘The relation of Heart & Mind’.

What I do in my spare time: Dil ke batain with my diary and articulation as well.

Highlight of life: Moralities

Low point in life: Today, almost everyone wants to make his/her own way only. Egoism in the attitude of people is quite depressing.

My defining characteristic: Humbleness, I think.

Best part of my day: When successfully done with the entire tasks of the day.

Favourite personality: Not a specific one. I appreciate different traits in different people, as one might be experienced but never be perfect in all aspects.

Maryam here discusses things very relevant to the average teenager, and that too with zeal.

MARYAM BAQIR

Occupation: Just a student right now

City: Karachi (duh!)

First article: I seriously don’t remember…

The best thing about writing: Provides me a channel that I can drain all my tensions into, a platform through which I can express general opinions to the masses and the only way which makes it possible for me to learn how a kidney functions and what drama chromosomes create during mitosis and meiosis! hehe..

What I do in my spare time: Hardly get any!

Highlight of life: I have just the right mass yet I am going bonkers after burning pounds. Lactic acid roars in my muscles and an empty stomach growls. The highlight of life is…ungratefulness!

Low point in life: When the weighing balance needle does not move to the left, no matter how hard I try!

My defining characteristic: Loud, outspoken and forgetful, yet very considerate, trustworthy and social and not rude…ok, these are characteristics and not characteristic!

Best part of my day: Midnight….time for sleep!

A favourite something: The colour blood red!

His collaboration with Saad on ‘Distrust Us’ propelled him to stardom, but unfortunately (or fortunately?) he fell short of heart throb status. Undaunted by his failure to secure female fandom, he proceeded to churn out pieces on art and literature. Winning hearts isn’t everything, after all.

M. AWAIS AFTAB

Occupation: Dissecting human bodies and human souls; a medical student.

Age: 20

Date of Birth: 8th August 1987

Educational Institution: King Edward Medical University

City: Lahore

First article: My first poem ‘The Rain Within’ came in 2004. First article was a part of a cover story on Tuitions.

The best thing about writing: The ability to influence people, and touch their hearts and minds.

What I do in my spare time: Read books, chat with my friends, write on my blog, or listen to music.

Highlight of life: Getting a position in FSc and highest marks in medical college entry test.

Low point in life: My first heart-break!

My defining characteristic: An inordinate passion for philosophy.

Best part of my day: Afternoons

My favourite writer: Bertrand Russell. Few writers have influenced me more than him. His views on religion, politics, logic, and ethics have provided a foundation to my own thoughts. The influence can be safely summed up by his quote: “The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.”

Sehar singularly conquered the contemporary Pakistani love story with her moving piece, which received tremendous appreciation. The capability with which she handled this work, of which type one sees very rare quality specimens, earned her an invite to Café Online.

SEHAR SHEIKH

Occupation: I’m a student of finance.

City: The city of live-hearted people, Lahore.

First article: My first article in Us was the life account of Charlie Chaplin (April 20, 2007).

Best thing about writing: Writing is the expression of thoughts of the writer. It’s about giving vent to one’s feeling. I wish my writings to be influencing enough to make readers laugh or cry.

Low point in life: It was the sad demise of my beloved aunt. She was my best friend, my childhood playmate, my confidant and the best thing I could ever have. Her sudden death was shocking to me. It took me quite some time to get out of that trauma.

What I do in my spare time: I play piano in my spare time. I’m not very good at it, but my brother is an expert. I’m taking classes from him :p

Favourite book: Alchemist by Paulo Coelho…it was suggested to me by my best friend. Otherwise I’m not much into reading books.

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