Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Land Of Confusion

The Land of Confusion is a vast land where you’ll find many people having blank expressions on their faces and big question marks dangling above their heads. They look harassed and tensed …a lost look on their faces tells you how hard they’re finding this life! Everybody visits this confusing land once in a lifetime, some people, many me. I’m often there, searching for any clue that’ll help me to find a way out of this land. And the only way out is to make a decision, be it any; right or wrong, a decision is a decision...even if later it throws you back in the Land of Confusion! I’m saying this as few days ago I read a quote ‘Making a right choice is not as important as making the choice. One way or another, the rightness will show up’ so, well, I’m really hopeful that I’d come out all right. I just have to make a choice to get out of the Land of Confusion or else I’d be stuck there forever. But I don’t even know what my problem is. Maybe there isn’t any. I’m confused about my life, like, should I do this or that? Then I think about that quote, I say to myself, do anything. But where are the choices? I can’t see any. And poor me stuck in this Land alone, no friends to console me, they all know what they’re gonna do. I wish I could do anything I like. Fly and touch the sky, twinkle with the stars, take a jump from the cliff and land on the ground with no injuries, eat anything and everything without the fear of getting fat, take a tour of the galaxy and spend a weekend on my favorite planet, Jupiter, swim with the fishes freely breathing in water, and talk to animals like Pocahontas (she talks, right? Or, well, maybe I’m wrong)...and many things I know I can never do!
Sometimes I don’t like my name it’s so common and many people forget to put an ‘H’ in my name which annoys me but it’s not their fault as most people spell it ‘Sidra’ ..Oh well!! I’m totally confused about the meaning of my name. Some says that it means ‘a tree in the heaven’ and some says ‘a fruit of heaven’. I hope it means tree, I love trees. Sometimes I talk to them too (if nobody is looking) and I wish I were an elf! If I could change my name it’d be Juniper (after this cartoon character, Juniper Lee). I don’t know the meaning but I if you do then please tell me (I hope it’s good)

I’m confused why I wrote this. I’m confused about being confused. I’m confused why on earth I’m posting this confusing thing. Hope you’re not confused...I think I just saw some people scratching their heads with their
eyebrows raised! I know this is ridiculous! But, not my fault, I’m confused with capital C!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Revolutionary Resolutions

1) Try 2 watch all the movies I bought, lyk, ages ago (including Nim’s island, Definitely maybe, Spiderwick and 27 Dresses)
2) Try 2 stop listening 2 radio as I always send tons of message and finish my balance! (Thank God am too shy 2 call)
3) Stop crushing on Zac Efron n Nick Jonas. They distract me in studies.
4) Stop crushing on current CrushBoy. Anyways, he doesn’t know I exist! He distracts me in the class.
5) Try 2 listen 2 sad songs n dance lyk there’s no 2morrow!
6) Laugh on lame jokes lyk there’s no 2morrow.
7) “Only 5 posts a month” …that shud be my motto
8) Be online only for half an hour n only on weekends.
9) Stop eating Jam hearts as they can make me fat! (only 2 jam hearts a day)
10) Stop sending forward msgs.
11) No missed calls frm 2day!
12) Socialize with people and discuss current topics (discussions on Orkut and Facebook forums not included)
13) Try not 2 whine when I want something badly instead talk 2 mum & dad in a grown up way.
14) Help mum in clearing the table after lunch/dinner and try my best not 2 eat the leftovers!
15) Go out with friends to the mall or something (Sana, u rolling ur eyes?)
16) When go 2 Jumbo’s Book Sale, dun buy more than 6 books, make that 10.
17) Be nice 2 my brothers so that they wud respect me more.
18) Study 4 the test … “Study all day n night” shud be my motto
19) Buy a Zong sim
20) Dun waste money over stupid n silly things lyk an extra sim!
21) Stop praying 2 God that He’d make me an elf. U never know when ur wish can come true …I might regret it later!
22) Be naturally Bridget Jones.
23) Listen 2 mum when she says ‘Eat ur veggies’ in this way I won’t get fat!
24) Try 2 watch channels other than Disney.
25) “Nobody is thinking abt u as everybody is thinking abt themselves”…shud be my motto (read it in a book called ‘Olivia Joules’)
26) Dun post Blog URL on Orkut Blogger communities daily (I do it lyk 10 times a day)…wishing that people wud come and comment on my pointless posts.
27) Stop giving Blog URl on MIRC this way it’ll also prevent me frm getting kicked or banned.
28) Popularize ur Blog. ‘All is fair in love and blogging’ ..That shud be my motto.
29) Be more optimistic. People will love my blog eventually.
30) Stop telling people that I’ll go 2 Bermuda n solve the mystery when I’ll be 50.
31) Have fun!!
32) Love urself and smile a lot, it’ll make others wonder what I am up to! Smiling is also a good exercise for cheeks muscles.
33) Create a mysterious aura around myself .. that’ll also make people wonder!
34) Stop writing things on the desk lyk ‘bored 2 death’ n my blog URL, instead, concentrate on the lecture.

35) No more resolutions!!

P.S: If I keep the above resolutions, in no time I’ll be organized, rich, talented and most responsible person in this world! Wish me luck!!

Friday, August 15, 2008


I was about 3 years old when my dad bought me my first book. It was called ‘Just so Stories’. I loved it! Of course I didn’t read the stories myself; I’d ask my parents to read them for me. I loved looking at the pictures. And sometimes when my parents weren’t looking, I’d color the pictures too. Seeing that I love books my dad got me another one, Around the World in Eighty days. But the funny thing is I still have not read it. I’ve this feeling it’d be really boring. I still got that same copy which is now old and battered but I don’t have a heart to throw it away or give it to someone else. By the way I’ve seen ‘around the world in eighty days’ Disney version, starring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy! It was good!
The first book I read all by myself was ‘The Gulliver’s Travels’ ...With a dictionary beside me^_^ …followed by Oliver Twist, The Secret Garden, Robinson’s Cruise, Emma, Heidi, Jane Eyre, Treasure Island, The Tempest, Tom Sawyer (I think Huckleberry Finn is better) ..Ok there are just so many and I just love to show off! I missed those moments when I’d curl up in my sofa at nights, when my noisy brothers would be sound sleep, reading a book and drinking warm milk. Gone are the days when I used to read Famous Five, Nancy Drew, Roald Dahl, Sweet Valley series, The Baby Sitters club etc etc …I also loved to read Sidney Sheldon’s novel. They were oh-so-mesmerizing! I’ve read all of them (told you I love to show off!) Nowadays I’ve become Bridget Jones, Jenny Colgan and Marian Keyes type fan. I’ve got so many books that I could open my own library, which annoys my mum very much as I’ve taken almost every single shelf in my house for books (no place left in my room)
My all time favorite book is ‘The Faraway Tree’ by Enid Blyton. When I read it the first time, I was so fantasized by it. Every second I’d pray to God that I’d get to live in Enchanted Wood and meet Jo, Fanny and Bessie, some elves, brownies and imps. And of course Moon-Face, Saucepan man and Silky! Once I’d this wonderful dream in which I saw that my family and I had moved to a country side. We’d a big farm and a pond. There were cows, ducks and hens (which lay golden eggs) …and in the middle of the farm stood a large tree which was supposed to be the magical Faraway tree. I visited every land by climbing through the cloud (My favorite land was the land of tea parties!) Thank God I didn’t get stuck in Dame Slap’s school!! Well, when I woke up, I was really disappointed to find myself in my own oh-so-boring home! Lol!
And oh yes! How could I forget three such famous and best books! You’re right! They’re Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Eragon! I really miss Harry Potter series; I’ve read all the parts so many times that I don’t want to read anymore, want something new! Eragon’s third part will be out in September, I can hardly wait! Something to look forward to….!

Okay, that’s it! Wondering why I wrote all this? Simple...Was BORED, as usual! I’ve this big test coming up in September and I’ve not read a single word yet...But I’ll start studying from tomorrow, seriously I’ll. Honest! (Just hope I’d!)

Holidays; Goodbye!

‘Sidrah! Wake up!!’ someone was slapping me. That hurts! I thought sleepily and covered my face to protect it from further harm. I was dreaming that I was lost in a tunnel and there was a wild boar out to eat me and my cookies. Dreams can be stupid sometimes.
SLAP! Aww! That was painful. I opened one eye and found three faces staring at me.
‘She’s alive,’ Somia looked happy to see me awake.
‘Who’s alive?’ I asked. My back ached and I’d a splitting headache. And yeah, I was thirsty too and hungry, of course.
‘You!’ they saw me in wonder as I sat up
‘Why are you looking at me like this?’ I asked, slightly irritated ‘I’m not some mummy’
‘We thought you died,’ Fat remarked.
‘Oh I was just sleeping,’ I mimicked Fat’s voice, the way she’d said in the train. She pursed her lips.
‘Oh no’ my dream came true, I was in a tunnel as I looked around ‘I thought I was dreaming’
‘I thought that too,’ Somia said. She looked horrible, dirt and mad covered her face, her hairs, which were usually clean and shiny looked dusty and dry. I checked my hands and nails. They were also dirty. Weird. Where are we? Suddenly it all came back; the tunnel trip, boars, cookies, flash lights and Blue.
The candle will be out in about half an hour, I thought looking at the candle. Its flame was getting bigger and bigger.
‘Let’s try to open the door,’ I said getting up. My legs were numb. I sat back hard again.
‘We tried, it was no use,’ Sana said, fiddling with a rock.
Minutes passed by and we talked. The candle burned out and we talked about Zac Efron. Our stomachs demanded food we talked about Boars. Then we couldn’t talk anymore. We’d talked about almost everything.
‘Let’s play a game,’ Sana said ‘I say a thing starting with A, let’s say Apple, and you’ll say a thing with E now, got it?’
Even when we didn’t want to play we’d no choice. We played and played until we were bored out of our skulls.
‘Let’s sing,’ Somia clapped her Hands. We moaned at this but sang anyway.

“We’re all in this together
And it shows…when we stand
Hand in hand…make our dreams come true”

We sounded horrible but didn’t have the energy to laugh. I was beginning to feel hopeless.
We’re all in this together
Once we know…that we are
We’re all stars…and we see …..SQUEAK!
‘What was that,’ Sana whispered. I heard it too, a squeak.
‘Maybe it’s the boar,’ Somia said fearfully.
We all listened quietly. There it was again. Squeak. Squeak.
Suddenly the room was alight. I looked up at the ceiling door and saw Blue looking down at us, looking grubby.
‘Come out now,’ he urged.
‘Yay!’ Fat cheered, we cheered with her and climbed out. It was so bright outside that my eyes hurt. I squinted. I looked upwards and a saw puffy cloud passing through the sky. I looked at Blue. I took a really good look at him. He didn’t look like he’d slept as he’d dark circles under his eyes and his hair wild and uncombed. Our hero, our savior! I’m gonna worship him, I thought smiling happily. Then it dawned on me that he was the one who lured us in the tunnel. Because of him we were looking so ugly right now. And that wild boar! It was a narrow escape. We could have died. My smile turned upside down.
‘Where were you?’ Somia demanded angrily brushing away the cobwebs from her face.
Blue ran his fingers through his hair and looked at his feet ‘Sorry’ he grunted.
‘Sorry?’ we yelled at him. We yelled and yelled and told him all the horrible things we went through and all he’d to say was just stupid old plain sorry? Humph!
He confessed that he escaped through another trapdoor when he saw the boar, he was about to come back to help us but Mr. Sajid caught him. That was his story.
‘What a coward,’ Somia remarked as were going back to the camp. I didn’t say anything but I knew she was upset and fuming inside. She liked him. Poor Somia!

‘Whatever happened to you??’ Sk exclaimed in disbelief and came running to us as we stepped inside the camp. We told her our story and Blue’s. Her eyes were wide open with shock. She thought we were making it up all. But she believed us when we insisted.
‘I told you guys not to go!’ she hugged us. We hugged her back. I was so happy to be alive I can’t tell you.
‘Come on. Get ready. The bus will be going in an hour,’ she said stuffing her things in her bag ‘I packed your bags’ she gestured towards our bags neatly zipped standing in the corner.
‘Thanks’ we washed ourselves and got ready. Mr. Sajid collected our bags from us and told us to wait 10 minutes.
‘Would you guys come with me,’ Sk pointed over the bushes where we’d found Dan-Bug. Sk was carrying the jar with Dan-Bug in it.
‘So?’ I asked when we reached there.
‘I’m gonna release Dan-bug’ Sk said, tears in her eyes “Ms.Orla was right’
‘But first take my picture with Dan-Bug.’ She wiped her tears away and handed Sana a camera. We squealed when Sk took out the Dan-Bug which flew and sat on her cheek.
‘Say cheese, we tease!’ Sana said. Click. Flash!
‘Now go Dan-bug. Be happy,’ Sk shouted as Dan-bug flew away ‘I’ll miss you’
‘We’ll miss you!’ this time we all shouted. After taking some more pictures with Fat and Somia, we went to the bus which was waiting for us.
‘Where were you, girls?’ Ms. Orla barked ‘And why are you so untidy’ we cringed and quietly sat in the backseat. We reached the station after 40 minutes. Farhan laughed out loud when we saw us.
‘So you went, huh? Farhan asked Fat ‘Told you not to go. Now look what happened to you all’ he faked a sad face. Fat threw him a violent look.
God! We must be looking really horrible, I thought, I wanted to go home quickly! What will my brothers say? But I didn’t get to brood for too long as we were quickly ushered in the train by the teachers. We all exchanged numbers. Interestingly Somia lived in our town! Fat was from another but what cell phones and internet are for?! I didn’t hate Fat anymore, she was really fun if you get know her better.
‘We’ll be home in two hours!’ Sana exclaimed ‘I missed my family very much’
‘I missed good food’ I said eating a disgusting chicken roll.
‘I missed Dan-Boy,’ Sk smiled dreamily ‘He didn’t call’ she pouted.
‘I missed my cat’ Somia added and we all looked at Fat. But she was busy watching Blue who was talking animatedly to a girl outside the compartment.
Fat got up and walked towards them
‘Hey Tarzan!’ she thumped him on his back ‘This is your Jane?’ Fat was all cutesy. She was smiling so sweetly that you could get diabetes! Blue went red and his eyes fell on me. I feigned an innocent expression. The girl was confused and walked away. Blue gave Fat something, said something and also walked away.
‘This is for you,’ she handed the chit to Somia. We eagerly watched as she unfolded it.
‘It’s his number!’ Somia waved the chit happily ‘and he says he’s really sorry!’ I hoped Somia wouldn’t turn into another Sk. Farhan came in some after sometime and invited us to a party in the compartment next door. We’d so much fun and we ate some yummy things too. We all exchanged numbers. Blue said sorry once again, this time he looked sorry too. We again told him what happened in front of everybody and forgave him. I don’t think they believe us. The story sounded too far fetched now, even to me. And I think Farhan is kind of good looking. Oh well!
So right now, I’m at home lying peacefully in my warm bed...Chatting with Fat, Farhan, Blue, Camper and Coral. Oh I almost forgot to tell you one thing; I and my family might go to Malta as Jane invited us. I’m looking forward to it! I don’t want to admit it but I missed Camper and Coral!

P.S: Sana, i know the ending is really crap but i got bored!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

An Ode To Friendship!

Just imagine your life without friends. Weird, isn’t it? I take my friends for granted, I think everybody does. But life would be so empty without them. Nobody calling you for hours to talk about random things, nobody there to whom you can tell some juicy piece of gossip, nobody there sharing your joys and sorrows, nobody lending you notes, books, Cds, jewelry and stuff, nobody helping you in studies, nobody calling your name the way your friends do, nobody laughing at your lame jokes, no shoulder to cry on, nobody waiting for you when you go to college, school and the kind, nobody suddenly appearing behind your back, startling you but making you smile at the same time …there’re million, no trillions of good things about friends which we ignore, never taking them seriously, thinking that they’re just small things but in reality they’re the things which make our day.
I don’t have many friends, actually only four but they’re my real friends. I can trust them. That’s the best thing about friends; you can count on them to help you! I never had a real one until I was in class 10th; there I met Maria and Sk. Hey guys! I love you both!! (I know you’re not reading this but I’ll make you. Ha-ha). And then there’s Iqra, my quiet friend, who never tells me her dark secrets! =( but I wish she’d someday! And at last but not the least, yes you’re right, it’s you Sana. I know you were waiting for your name to come along. So there you’re! More about you?? Well ……I met Sana four years ago in coaching. We performed a practical together, exchanged numbers and for two years we never saw each other, just talked on phone for few seconds. Then luckily we got admission the same college and TADA we became fast friends! We still are. Sana, stop grinning. I wrote about you because you comment on my posts and let me borrow your books (so what, you borrow mine too!) …just kidding! You’re my special friend and I’m really glad I met you!! ^_^ ok this is getting corny …
So guys, cherish the moments you spend with your friends. Treat them nicely (but don’t let them empty your pockets). Show them that you love and care; tell them that you’re lucky to have such nice friends (Like I’m doing right now! Sorry, just joking!!) …and never talk about them behind their backs; spare them, don’t make them the subject of your gossip! And never, as in never ever, break their trust because once the trust is broken it’s impossible to fix the bond of friendship (umm... I’m not good at quoting) and two more important things about friends:
* They send you forward sms on Friendship’s day!
* They also comment on your blog making it quite popular! (Thanks Sana!)

That’s it! It’s 2am right now and I’m wide awake. If my mum would see me here sitting on PC so late, she’d have a fit (I’m exaggerating) ….and well, I hope you like it, the post I mean. Bye now!

Holidays; The Tunnel Trip

‘What’s that?’ I nudged Sana, pointing towards the bag she was carrying on her back.
‘My backpack’, she replied
‘I know that! But why have you brought it? It looks heavy’ I explained impatiently.
Sana shook her head and gave me her look which said that I was being extremely foolish and slow.
‘What?’ I asked and tripped over a rock ‘Ouch’ I quickly scrambled to my feet.
‘Be careful’ Blue turned to look at me. Fat sniggered.
‘I’ve to bring few essential things’ Sana explained when I was once again on my feet.
‘Like what?’
“Like maybe a torch, water bottle, cookies, match-sticks...’ Sana trailed off.
‘Oh no’ I slapped my forehead, ‘I forgot to bring my flash light and water bottle’
‘It’s ok, you can share with me’ Sana offered.
‘Can I share too?’ Somia asked, appearing behind us
‘You didn’t bring your torch too?’ Sana asked, giving her a surprised look. I’ve to admit I was also surprised, Somia was such a neat and responsible person; I’d have thought she’d brought everything for everyone.
‘No’ she admitted sheepishly.
‘Well!’ Sana let out a short laugh ‘just hope we don’t need any of this stuff. I brought it just in case, you know’
‘Just in case? What do you mean?’
‘In case we get stuck or something…..’ Sana said lightly. Suddenly I’d butterflies in my stomach. I was excited and afraid at the same time, the feeling when you’re doing something wrong. I saw Blue and Fat talking in low voices ahead, they were moving really fast, occasionally turning around to see us as if they were afraid we were eavesdropping on their conversation. To tell you the truth, I’d have loved to know what they were talking about.
Blue and Fat stopped in the middle of their tracks, they were looking angry. We walked towards them.
‘Hey, you two okay?’ Somia asked, lifting her eyebrows.
They both turned to look at us.
‘Don’t go’ Fat said shortly, crossing her arms.
‘I’m telling you, it’s completely safe down there!’ Blue sounded tired.
‘How come then Farhan told me that there are wild boars looming around?’ she said coldly.
‘Mr. Sajid told that just to scare us, Farhan took it seriously,’ Blue winked at her and smiled. Trying to charm her, I gave Sana a knowing look.
But Fat wasn’t like us, she didn’t get charmed so easily.
‘Blue, tell us the truth. Don’t try to be a hero, if it’s not really safe, just tell us,’ Fat argued. She sounded like she knew what she was talking about. And weird enough, I felt she was right. I looked into Blue’s eyes, which were black as coal. He didn’t meet my eyes; he blinked rapidly and glanced away. It was then I was sure Fat was completely right.
‘Come on’ Blue waved his hands ‘you guys coming or not?’
‘Sure we’re,’ Somia smiled at him sweetly. Sana nodded.
Their heads turned to me. I was speechless. Part of me was saying that Fat was right; it was forbidding me to go. But the other part, the bigger one, was shouting ‘Go! Have fun, you silly girl!’
‘Yup, I’m coming’ I gave in and laughed nervously.
‘I’ll come too, then’ Fat said calmly
‘Why?’ Blue asked ungraciously.
‘Just because! Maybe to save our hero’ she laughed which sounded like a bark. Blue grudgingly smiled and started to walk. He was taking long strides; while we were trying our best not to get tangled in the creepers hanging from the trees.
‘That’s the place,’ Blue rubbed his hands, there was a wild gleam in his eyes which I didn’t like. The moon shone above us and dark trees surrounded us.
I looked down on the ground and saw a metal trapdoor. Blue heaved with all his might on the trapdoor. It squeaked but didn’t move an inch.
‘Come on,’ said Blue. We all pulled on the trapdoor. It hinges cracked loudly and slowly it stood open.
‘Wow, that was really heavy’ I panted. My hands were greasy. Sana took out her flashlight proudly and shone it downwards. Blue gave her an approving nod. All I could see was the top of the ladder and then all darkness.
Blue climbed down, motioning us to follow him. Somia went down next, then Sana trying to hold her torch steadily. I glanced at Fat who was tying her hairs in a pony tail and then also climbed down. I put my foot at the wrong place and the next second I was hanging on the rungs of the ladder.
‘Jump down’ Somia yelled at me. I did what she told me, I let go of the ladder and landed on the ground with a bump. It didn’t hurt but my heart beat was so fast that I was afraid I’d have a heart attack. I slowly stood up, dusting off my clothes. It was a small room, its ceiling really low, the room was opening to four tunnels. The room was filled with damp odour. Sana handed me a flashlight.
Fat jumped gracefully, landing beside me.
‘Now what?’ she said to Blue. She was challenging him.
Blue walked towards one of the tunnels and got on his knees and hands
‘We’ve to crawl?’ Somia groaned.
‘Yeah’ Blue didn’t look happy himself, he signaled us to follow him. We all got down on our knees and hands and crawled. The light was dim, I’d trouble seeing things. The tunnel seemed to go on and on. Blue, Sana and Somia disappeared completely. At one place the ceiling was so low I’d to duck down, completely, my face pressed against the ground.
‘Sana, what was that.’ I stopped suddenly. I heard somebody whispering ‘Sana?’ I called out loudly.
‘I think she can’t hear you,’ Fat bumped into me ‘Move on. We don’t want to be left alone here’ I started to move, all ears. I heard it again.
‘Did you hear that?’ my voice wavered slightly ‘Somebody was whispering’
‘Sidrah, it was just the wind blowing through the cracks’ Fat said gently. Yup! Of course, it was just the wind, I was relieved. Whoosh whoosh, just the wind. The tunnel abruptly opened into a place where I could stand.
‘Where are the others?’ I asked Fat, trying to keep the fear out of my voice. Fat got up and looked around; the room branched into many directions.
‘I don’t know,’ Fat said helplessly. I shone the torch into one of the tunnels and saw nothing. It looked like big hole. Then I shone it to the other one.
‘Sana?’ I yelled, my voice echoed loudly. I jumped at my own sound. ‘Somia?’
‘Blueeeeeee...’ Fat also started to yell. Somehow, her yelling didn’t comfort me. I wanted her to remain quiet like always. Then I’d know everything is okay. But it’s not; I said to myself, we’re trapped in an infinite tunnel.
‘Claudia, what are we gonna do now?’ I had almost called her Fat but I caught myself in time, I didn’t want her to be mad at me. Certainly not then. She exhaled sharply and looked at me as if she were trying to figure out something.
‘Let’s sit down and think for a moment,’ I obeyed her sat down, leaning against the wall ‘don’t panic’ I was trying my best not to cry, ‘Switch off the flashlight, we’ll need it later’ I turned it off wordlessly. Darkness closed in around us. It was pitching black; I can swear I never saw such darkness before. And for the first I was fearful, really fearful for my life.
‘Now let’s talk’ I could hear the water dripping somewhere. Fat began to tell me about her hometown. I listened vaguely but my mind was somewhere else. I felt hopeless, we’d come so far that I was sure we’ll never find our way out of the tunnel.
‘It’s useless! We can’t talk about how cute Zac Efron is when we’re stuck here,’ Fat exclaimed after a while. I giggled at this. I giggled a little more and suddenly my giggles converted into laughter. The situation seemed awfully funny, an hour ago I’d have never thought I’d be here sitting in some tunnel with total darkness surrounding me and funniest of all talking with Fat in such a friendly way!
‘Oh Sidrah,’ Fat said worryingly ‘don’t get hysterical’ that made me laugh more. I laughed so hard that my stomach began to get hurt.
‘Sidrah!’ Fat was laughing too. We laughed and laughed until I heard a loud scream followed by a roar.
‘What was that?’ my hands groped in the dark for the flashlight ‘Where’s the flashlight?”
‘I’m looking for it,’ we were dead serious now. The scream sounded like Somia’s. I fumbled for the flashlight some more and found it, I switched it on and shone towards the source of scream.
‘Come on,’ Fat said, running towards the tunnel. I ran after her. We came to an opening and found Sana and Somia huddled into a corner. I open my mouth to scream but Fat put her hand on my mouth.
‘Don’t scream!’ She whispered into my ear furiously. I saw a black animal advancing towards them. Its body was covered in bristles. It roared loudly. I winced. My knees were trembling and my teeth were chattering. I missed sitting in the darkness of the tunnel, it seemed so peaceful now. I looked at them and saw Sana pointing towards her bag which was lying nearby on the ground. Fat saw her pointing too and moved quickly and got the bag.
‘Come here,’ she pulled me back in the tunnel and emptied the bag.
‘Does she have a match-stick?’ she asked looking through the objects.
‘Yes, yes she said she brought it,’ I also started to search. The light was getting dimmer and dimmer. I saw a candle in the pile and put it in my pocket.
‘There it is,’ Fat stood up and took out one match stick from the box.
‘What are you doing?’ I asked her when I saw her going back to that creature.
‘Boars are afraid of fire,’ she smiled thinly ‘take a rock or something and throw it at the boar’
‘Are you mad, it’ll eat us alive’, I was crying now ‘I think we should get help’
‘How?’ she was right. How? I nodded and took a box from the pile and threw it at the boar. It roared loudly and turned towards us. It has red beady eyes and sharp tusks which can rip you apart.
Fat was trembling and trying to light the match-stick. It fell from her hand. The boar was really close now; I could hear its rasp breath. Suddenly Fat stood straight, took a deep breath and then really calmly lighted the match. I was holding my breath. She took a step towards the boar, the match in her hand. The boar took a step backwards. Sana and Somia then very quietly circled around the room and came towards the tunnel. Fat holding the match took another step towards the animal. Unfortunately at the same time, the match-stick burned out. My heart stopped beating. The flashlight was almost dead. In a second we’d be in the total darkness with a wild animal. The candle, you silly girl, the voice said in my head which sounded like Camper’s. My heart started to beat again. I took it out and handed it to Fat. She sighed relieved and lit it again. Then she did the bravest thing of all, she ran towards the boar at full speed. It oinked and ran away. I began to breathe calmly. For a while we didn’t say anything to each other. Then Sana broke the silence by coughing loudly. For a moment we thought the animal was back again and then began to laugh as we realized it was Sana. We went back to the same place where Fat and I were sitting before and blocked the tunnel by putting some rocks against it.
‘Where’s Blue?’ Fat asked, taking a big gulp from the water bottle.
‘He went to check on you. When you guys didn’t come, we were quite worried,’ Sana said checking her backpack ‘Where’s that blue box?’ she muttered
‘Oh, I threw it at the boar. What was in it?’ I told her.
‘It was the cookie box,’ we all groaned and realized we were terribly hungry.
'How did you know boars are afraid of fire?' i asked Sana and Fat.

"Weren't you listening to Ms. Orla the other day' I shook my head 'she told us stuff, useful stuff!' Fat smirked, the type i hated, but I wasn't hating her right then.
‘So where did Blue go,’ I wondered aloud.
‘He tricked us,’ Fat ruefully smiled.
‘But why would he do that?’ Somia looked sad, I knew she liked him ‘We didn’t do anything to him’
‘Oh Somia! He’s just like that. Farhan said he often play cruel pranks on people and thinks its funny,’ Fat gestured impatiently.
‘He told me that he was going to be a Tarzan of Changa Manga,’ I blurted out foolishly.
‘What?’ they giggled.
‘Yeah,’ I rolled my eyes, blushing furiously ‘and he said he might find his Jane here’ I added, looking meaningfully at Somia.
At this point Somia blushed. I laughed at her; she stuck out her tongue at me.
‘What should we do now,’ Sana said, breaking the awkward silence that followed ‘Blue won’t leave us here forever, will he’ she said doubtfully. We had no answer. I began to wonder. We’d be stuck here forever. Eating dirt and mud, sipping drops of water that was dripping from the walls, and later we’d be friends with that boar. The thought was awful. After resting a while, Fat suggested that we should try to find our way out. We agreed with her. With the candle in Sana’s hand we walked the tunnel.
‘Hey, wait a minute,’ Fat stopped and faced us, her face shining.
‘We’re walking! Didn’t you notice?’ she pointed to our feet.
‘Yes? So?’ Fat is losing her mind, I thought.
‘Oh Guys!’ she was already going back to the room ‘the tunnel we came from was really low. We’d to crawl, remember?’
Now that made sense. We ran back to the room and checked all the tunnels, luckily only one has low ceiling. We’d to crawl in total darkness. I closed my eyes as cobwebs brushed against my face. And then we were there. Sana lit the candle again, which was now kind of broken. Fat climbed the ladder and pushed the trapdoor. It didn’t budge.
‘Guys, we’re still stuck!’ she jumped down. We all sat quietly waiting for someone to help us.
‘Sk knows,’ Sana mumbled ‘and Farhan knows too’
‘Don’t forget Blue,’ Somia added.
So there we were sitting in an underground tunnel, with wild boars and one broken candle. Waiting for someone to help us….with no food and water!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mandy's Unusual Day

Mandy woke up with a start and threw the blanket away. She glanced at the clock. It read 7:30. She was going to be late, she realized. She jumped from her bed and ran to the bathroom. Took a quick shower, got dressed and went downstairs. Grabbed the jacket from the closet and was about to open the door when her Mum called her name.
‘Oh God,’ she sighed ‘Hurry up, mum! I’m going to be late’ she said as Mum appeared from the kitchen, wiping her hands from the apron.
‘Late for what, Mandy?’ she asked, looking amused.
‘Late for school,’ she explained patiently.
‘Today is Saturday’ she said in a bewildered voice, ‘Are you okay?’ she put her hand on Mandy’s forehead.
‘No, it’s not! It’s Friday. I checked the calendar,’ she said pushing her hand away and ran outside. Her mum stood there at the doorway calling her name. But Mandy ignored her. Her school was at the walking distance. Usually she walked slowly enjoying the day but today wasn’t usual, she was late so she’d to run fastly. She loved the town where she lived, it was called Robbins Lane. She was sure that no one in this world will be able to find a place as beautiful as Robbins Lane. They say nothing is perfect but this town is, Mandy thought happily. The way the flowers bloom here, the way the birds chirp, such lovely people who’re always jolly, the river flowing down the bridge making beautiful splashing noises, the peace here and the most important the love for each other, nobody would find such peace and love all over the world.
‘Hello, young lady,’ Freddie waved at her from his window. She waved back. Even the old people here are always lively, she thought as she saw Mrs. Robert riding her bicycle like a young girl. She smiled at Julian, the hotdog guy. Debb the local dog came running to her and licked her hands. Debb was loved by all. Mandy patted Debb’s head and walked fastly with Debb on her feet, wagging her tail.
She looked for John, her best friend, but couldn’t find him anywhere. He must be in school, she told herself. She reached the school just five minutes before the first class. But something wasn’t right, she thought. She saw nobody outside the school. William, the school guard was nowhere to be seen. She walked towards the school gate which was usually wide open, it was locked.
‘Hello! Where’s everybody?’ She called out to no one in particular. Everything was unusually quiet. She couldn’t hear the birds chirping. She looked at trees; there were not a single bird. No birds flying on the sky either. No sound of car’s engine. Not a sound of people talking or laughing. No William humming his favorite songs. She slowly sat on the grass, it felt cold. The coldest thing she’d ever felt in her life, so unnatural. She took out her cell phone from the bag and tried to call John. No network coverage. She exhaled sharply. Something was wrong, really wrong. Mandy slowly stood up and walked around. The bridge was vacant, no cars, trucks, nothing. She walked on the bridge and watched the river, it was unnaturally calm. Her eyes searched for Freddie and Mrs. Robert. No sign of them. The sun looked grey; she squinted as she looked at the sky, no clouds passing through the sky. The town had suddenly become lifeless. Mandy couldn’t see a single being. She ran back to her home and opened up the door. Nothing.
‘Mum’ she said. She knew there’d be no reply. She slumped wearily into the couch which was, too, dead cold. What happened, she asked herself again and again. She was all alone in this town. She looked at the calendar. Her mum was right, today was Saturday. Then she’d this perfect idea. She ran upstairs. Set the alarm at 7:30 am, jumped into her bed, which was, surprisingly, not cold. Cuddling under the warm blanket she sighed happily and slept. Mandy dreamt of the town. She saw it alive, once again. The birds were chirping, the day was warm and sunny. Freddie was waving at her. Mrs. Robert was riding her bicycle. A delicious aroma came from the Hotdog Stand. Julian flipped the buns, whistling. Debb barked happily. The river splashed noisily. Horns, laughter, babies crying, mothers crooning. The town was alive….. She sang happily and everybody sang with her…..
‘Mandy! Wake up,’ her mum yelled at ‘you’re going to be late for school’
‘Late for school?’ she rubbed her eyes; sitting up ‘Today is Saturday Mum’ she exclaimed and went back to the land of dreams. Her mum stood there, speechless. Mandy didn’t move again…

P.S: I know this story doesn’t make sense at all. I just typed and typed and created this senseless thing. Hope you weren’t bored while reading this!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Emo; Hugs!

Crush Mania!

‘Crush: a strong, foolish and short-lived love for someonesays my Longman Dictionary. Such a simple meaning! But not in my case, if someone asks me to define crush, I’d say ‘a sudden and strong love cycle which can alter your course of life making you a useless person until someone else comes in your life and then the cycle repeats itself’
…when I’m crushing on someone, it’s like nothing else is important except for the crushBoy. And also, unfortunately I crush a lot. Say, I’d be buying something in a store, a guy would come and I’d look at him and then the CrushAttack attacks! All day long I’d fantasize about him and during nights I’d ‘daydream’ about him, this’d go on until the next crushBoy comes along. Last year there was this guy I used to chat with. He was a big bore but on his display picture Jesse McCartney was flashing his cute smile, the type for which you can die for. So, I just imagined that the boy also looked like him but I never got to see his face as eventually Jesse McCartney was replaced by some wrestler, which put me off and I defriended the boy. Simple. No hard feelings. No crying, no sobbing. It was like I never knew the boy.
I never talk about my crushes to my friends, only sometimes when I’m crushing on some book character I’d tell them. I’m embarrassed to (Sana, stop smiling!). But writing all this is so much easier than telling someone face to face. You people, who’re reading this, don’t know me personally (only few of you do), so even if you’re laughing at me or saying things about me like what this silly girl is talking about, I wouldn’t care (ok, maybe a little bit) but it won’t make me a laughing stock!

Sometimes I wish I wouldn’t crush this much. Crushing on celebrities is harmless (for me it is!) but crushing on real people, I mean the people you see everyday, is way too dangerous for me! I try to avoid meeting people whom I can crush on but I meet those people a lot, anywhere at any moment (once I met the CrushBoy in a funeral! How weird is that?) , like this boy in the institute I’m going nowadays, I don’t even know his name and I’m sure he doesn’t even know that I exist but still I, like a big fool, sit in the last row so that I could watch him (Oh my! How embarrassing!). He has nice hair, a little curly and unruly like Nick Jonas, and he’s really thin like a match-stick, not too tall but neither short. He’s aquiline nose (the kind I like!) and he uses Sony Ericsson and well, he’s nice. He talks a lot (and a little too loudly) but he’s a nice voice, I bet he can sing too. So, anyways, I know I’ll, probably, never see this boy again after I leave this institute (and would forget him too) but nowadays he’s all I think about. In the class, when I should be listening to the chemistry sir who’s trying his best to explain what intermolecular forces are, I’m watching the boy! Oh I almost forgot to tell you one thing, the boy with his friends makes stupid remarks while sir is teaching and then they all look around to see if we’re laughing. Too bad we are, even sir is laughing! Maybe he’s too shallow to see that he’s being insulted or maybe he’s trying to be ‘I’m-jolly-n-funny-I’ve-pateince-too-I’m-your-chemistry-sir-too-good-to-be-true! I don’t usually like hooligan-type boys, I like quiet ones, but for now its ok, who knows I might I join this hooligan group too. In this way I’d get to meet my current CrushBoy!!

Apart from the CrushBoy, I'm in love with Zac Efron (which is quite harmless, believe me)
He's cute, right?? I know he's not looking too good in the pictures but that's camera's fault!

And sometimes, I like this guy, lucas, too

Sigh! Ok, that’s it for now! My brothers are really snoopy, you know, if they read this, they’d never let me hear the end of it. Hmm. And people if you’re wondering why I wrote this crushing story of life? Well, the answer is simple, I was bored, had nothing else to do. And guys, I’d to take my mind off the CrushBoy!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Holidays; This and That

‘You’re so cute! I hope you don’t miss your family too much’ Sk cooed to a glass jar ‘but you won’t miss them for too long, I’m gonna love you so much my dear Dan-Bug’ she hugged the jar.
‘Dan-Bug!’ I scoffed. Sk made a face at me. I put on my earphones and played my current favorite song ‘Our Song’ by Taylor Swift and closed my eyes. If Fat weren’t there, I’d have sung along, I might have even danced a little but I didn’t want to make a fool of myself in front of her. I imagined myself singing the song on the stage; causing thousands of people a sheer delight. ‘Encore! Encore!’ they shouted when I was finished. I flashed my famous smile at them and sang the song in my beautiful voice again. The crowd went wild. Hmm. This’d be just too nice. But that is never gonna happen. My voice, if not horrible, isn’t ‘singing’ type. It’s too high-pitched. I erased the image of myself singing the song and handed the mike back to Taylor swift.
‘Sidrah!!!’ someone snatched my MP4 away from me, causing me to fall flat on my face,
‘What the ….’ I started but saw Somia excited expression and stopped myself.
‘What? What’s the news??’ I asked, grabbing her by shoulders. Blue sent us the note last night that we won’t be able to go to the tunnel trip. We were like OH-NO!!-NO-FUN!-LIFE-ISN’T-FAIR!
‘He said we’ll go on Thursday morning at four’ she said, pulling herself free of my grip.
‘On Thursday?’ I was agitated ‘at four? 4 am? That’s night. It’ll be so dark’ Somia was looking at me, confused.
‘And on Thursday?’ I repeated ‘We’re going back on that day! Ms. Orla would be watching us like a hawk watches its prey’ but I was talking to myself as nobody took notice of me. Somia, who looked indifferent, was applying a red nail-polish on her nails. Sk busy with Dan-Bug, Sana was engrossed in a book and Fat eating a chocolate (yummy!).
‘Guys?’ I stamped my foot loudly. They all looked up, impatient and annoyed , as I just intruded one of those most peaceful moments of life which you’re never, as in never ever, supposed to ruin. I sighed heavily and gave up. Once again I switched on my MP4 and got lost in my ‘Rock star –Pop Star’ world.


It was dinner time. We were sitting on the wet grass waiting to get served. No waiters (of course!) but Sana and Somia would serve us. They’d gone to take food from the ‘kitchen’, which was also in a camp.
‘Thank God, we don’t have to make food here ourselves’ I tried to converse with Sk, who was busy watching her Dan-Bug ‘You know, like in books or movies where you hunt something and then roast it on the fire. That’d be gross. But roasting marshmallows is just so romantic’
‘Yeah’ Sk said absent mindedly and then ‘You know, I might give Dan-Bug to Dan’ a smile lighted her face ‘he’ll love it, won’t he!’
‘I don’t think so’ I was being harsh but I’d to say, ‘Dan is not responsible kind of person. He’d lose him or kill him. Dan-bug is okay with you’
Sk didn’t say anything but she knew I was right. She continued watching the bug. The other when we went to study insects, Sk found this lovely colorful bug and fell in love with it. We helped her to capture it. Actually Somia was the one who captured it, but Sana and I did all the yelling. We were cheerleaders and Somia was the player. Ms. Orla didn’t approve when she found out.
‘Living things should be free of all limits. They’re meant to be. This bug needs nature, don’t deprive it of its rights’ she spoke reprovingly; her face determined and her voice strong. Sk looked doubtful but she didn’t let go, she was too much in love to think about the rights of an insect.
‘I’m still itchy’ I heard Sana talking to Somia ‘but it’s getting better. Dr. Stitch is AWESOME! And that lotion was also AWESOME! I look okay now, right?’
‘Yup, you look fine’ Somia affirmed.
‘Hey’ Sana said to us and settled herself on the clean spot and gave each of us a box. I opened mine reluctantly knowing what’d be inside it. A little hopeful that tonight they’d cooked something else. No such luck. Boiled rice, stale bread and watery stew greeted me. And an apple!!! I cheered up when I saw a familiar greenish yellow fruit.

‘Yay! I got an apple’ I said, holding the apple like a prized possession.
‘So do I’ Sk said, showing her apple. Hers was larger. Sana and Somia took out their apples too.
‘Oh’ I said ‘Lucky us!’ I shrugged and ate my food quietly. As you know, dinner with friends is gossip time too. We gossiped about Fat, Ms. Orla, Mr. Sajid, Dan-boy, Dan-bug, Farhan and Blue.
‘Farhan is such a wannabe,’ Somia was telling us about her meeting with Farhan and Blue, ‘always telling jokes, which are not even funny. He tries too hard!’
‘Poor boy’ that was our Sk, always feeling sorry for others.
‘Sk, you still haven’t decided, have you? You coming with us or not?’ I said bringing up the subject of tunnel-trip.
She bit her lip. We waited impatiently watching her to say something. But when minutes passed by and she was still thinking, we cried out ‘Sk!’
‘Sorry, sorry’ she was back on earth ‘I was just thinking’
‘We guess’ Somia gave her usual lopsided grin which means that she’s being sarcastic.
‘Guys, I was thinking that ..that if I come who’d take care of Dan-bug?’ she took a deep breathe, then continued ‘And beside I think it’s not safe to go, what if we get lost? Nobody would know, we’d be rotting inside the tunnel and no one would know. No one’ she said darkly, in the dark her face looked white.
‘Don’t be silly’ said Sana, slapping Sk on her knee ‘we won’t get lost. Blue knows the way inside out. He went there on Monday 10 times!’
‘Yup, that’s right’ I said
‘C’mon Sk! Show us that fun-girl in you!’ Somia pleaded.
‘But what if Ms. Orla find out? Sk was serious ‘she’d tell our parents and that’d mean double trouble, and triple if we get lost! Sorry, but I’m not coming. I’d be happy if you guys don’t go too but if you’re I won’t tell on you’ she smiled tentatively.
Sk had made up her mind and now it’d be impossible to persuade her.
‘Okay’ Sana and I said in little voices.
‘What?’ Somia said in ‘THAT-IS-SO-UNBELIEVINGLY-RIDICULOUS’ style, ‘You’re not going to persuade her?’
‘She’s made up her mind. We can’t do anything now’, I said, defeated.
‘Yeah, you can try if you want to’ Sana said, eating her apple.
‘I’ll’ Somia grinned ‘I’ll make her come’
‘You bet?’ I challenged her.
‘Yes. I bet’ she nodded
‘You’re on’ we shook hands.
‘You two are mad’ said Sk, laughing.

Wednesday went by quickly. I asked Blue to change the time. He agreed and said 4:05 am would be great. The nerve of him! It was 3:45 am when Somia woke me up. I was so sleepy that I almost said that I wasn’t coming. Somehow I got up and got dressed. I was awfully drowsy.
‘I’m going to wash my face’ I whispered to Somia who was on her mission to wake Sana and Sk. I went out, it was dark as hell. I went to the lake and washed my face, singing a song.
‘Would you shut up?’ I glanced upwards and saw Fat’s furious face, her hands on her hips ‘You’ll wake everybody up in that horrible voice of yours’
‘Oh its you’ I said getting up and trying my best to ignore the insult ‘I forgot you were coming too’
‘You should let Dr Stitch check your head then, forgetting things so young’ she said, faking a concerned face.
‘Thanks for the tip, Fat’ I smiled sweetly ‘I might’
‘I’m not fat’ she said, indignantly
‘Oh Claudia!’ I put on my sympathizing voice ‘Don’t you know that! Everybody here calls you Fat because you’re! I’m so sorry. I thought you knew’ I patted on her back and went back to the camp, leaving behind a worried Fat, who was examining her waist.
‘Sk, Come on’ Somia was moaning ‘you’ve to come. Please!’
‘Somia, you can’t make her come’ Sana was telling her, ‘I’m telling you. Just come on’
‘She’s right’ I said cheerfully.
Somia pouted and let go of Sk’s hand.
‘I won’ I sang, and did a little dance, ‘you lost, I won’
‘Don’t push it’ Sana elbowed me. Ouch, I yelled silently, grabbing my ribs.
Blue was waiting for us when we went to Lunar Lake. He was wearing black clothes. To think of it, I said to myself, everybody is wearing dark clothes expect me. I felt awkward and silly in my bright pink shirt.
‘Where is Farhan?’ Somia asked Blue.
‘He chickened out,’ Blue remarked snidely 'where's Sk, your friend?' we all looked at each other.
‘Chickened out too?' He laughed. We shrugged.
'So ,what we’re waiting for? Let’s go!’ Blue winked.
Then we were on our way. I was excited but if I’d known what was waiting for me inside, I’d have never dared to go..

Friday, August 8, 2008

Emo - Dead Pet

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I Am Me ...And i Love "Me"

When I was in ninth grade, there was a festival in our school. I came wearing a simple yellow T-shirt and jeans, a touch of lip gloss and my hair tied back in a pony tail. My mum said I looked good. When my classmates saw me, they squealed and told me that I looked like a kid of primary section. I’d an urge to run back home change my dress. All the time during the function, I’d this feeling that everybody is laughing at me. I saw my classmates wearing tight tops and loose baggy jeans held by silver belts, their streaked hair, cascading down their shoulders and tons of jewelry. I wished I could look like them, wishing that my mum would stop thinking I’m a kid. I was 13, for god sake! I’d real bad time and it was my own fault. I’m 17 now, but I still dress the same way, my hair are still natural brown and my mum still thinks that I’m a kid and some people even say I look like a kid. But I don’t feel so bad now. I might not look like those girls but in no way I’m less than them. Looking good is essential, of course. But why make it extravagant? Why become obsessed with fashion and always trying to look sexy? Why some people think using bad language and swearing make you look cool? Sometimes I have this sudden urge to dye my hair all blue and get a tattoo on my arm (I’d love being an EMO!!) but I fight it back. Now I love being me. I’m glad that my parents are strict with me, scolding me whenever I’d do something wrong, not letting me use internet all night long when I was in school, not letting me have my own TV and not giving me a cell phone until I was in college. I wanted to watch all those star plus soap operas the girls gossiped about in school, I’d argue with my mum allowing me to watch them and eventually she did. But they were not as special as my classmate had told me, I think Disney channel is way better (yeah, go and laugh, I still watch Disney and it ROCKS!)
So, guys if someone says you look like a baby, weird, odd or something equally like that don’t feel bad, if you think you’re good then you’re. Be yourself and don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. I’m happy that I was wearing that simple yellow T-shirt and jeans at the festival when I was in ninth grade.

P.S: I was inspired to write this when I read my friend, Sana’s post ‘Different is okay’!!

Holidays; Scratch

Scratch. Scratch. Scratch. This time I didn’t bother to see who was being tortured by those merciless bugs. This dream trip was already turning into a nightmare. When dinner was served, we all became a little cheerful but our cheerfulness was short-lived, it evaporated as soon as we saw our plates, being filled with tasteless boiled rice, hot salty watery stew and hard rock bread. Even the water was weird; sweet and salty. I felt like we were serving in a prison. I think Ms. Orla lied to us when she said there were no fruits left. What could we do? She hated us! Somia murmured something in sleep. She was also in our group. We met her when our names were called out. Good thing, she isn’t a bit like Claudia. Yeah, you guess right, Claudia, Fat ..same person. But no way I’m gonna call her Claudia; it doesn’t suit her at all. Fat is perfect for her. Anyways, I was telling you about Somia. When we met her, we felt as if we’ve known her forever. We just hit it off. And she’s brave too, not afraid of spiders and lizards. She even killed one spider for us!

Scratch. Scratch. Oh God! Something is crawling on me, I screamed inside. I wanted to run away, free of insects, like crazy, jumping up and down. After dinner I’d almost said to Sk ‘I want my mummy’, see, I was this bad.
I couldn’t sleep. Whenever I closed my eyes I saw myself being eaten alive by a giant spider. I shuddered at the thought of it. I turned around restlessly and saw a mosquito dancing on my arm as if though my arm was its land. A sudden fear struck me. What if I got malaria? Or even worse, dengue? Mosquito repellent, you silly girl, Camper voice said in my head. I obeyed and reached for my bag, opened it and saw my precious stuff lying there. I’d brought my party dresses too, I laughed wearily when I saw my blue sequined dress. What was I thinking? Mosquito repellent was buried under my clothes. I took it out and sprayed all over me, hoping that it’d also protect me from lions and bears and giant spiders. It’s a nice scent, I sniffed. Scratch. Scratch. Poor Sana, I thought as I saw her scratching her cheek and I sprayed the repellent on her too. She stopped scratching immediately. I smiled triumphly and sprayed all over the tent, until the bottle was empty. I put the empty bottle in the bag and slept happily.


I opened my eyes and saw a red creature crying. Sk was sitting quietly in the corner, she’d had covered her mouth with her hands, her eyes squeezed shut as if couldn’t bear to look. I rubbed my eyes and peered closely at creature. I yelped when I realized it was Sana.
‘OMG! What the hell happened to you?’ I cried with shock.
‘I don’t know’ she sobbed, looked at mirror and cried loudly ‘they’ve ruined my face, I feel like I’m on fire’ she scratched on her cheek, then on her arm, again on her cheeks making them more scarlet.

‘Don’t do that’ a familiar voice said. I turned around and saw Fat, eating her gum.
‘What?’ Sana said scratching.
‘Don’t scratch!’ Fat said calmly ‘It’ll get worse’ I’d to agree with her. I shook my head when Sana raised her hand to scratch her forehead. She sighed and dropped her hand and cried. Sk slowly uncovered her face and opened her eyes. I looked at her helplessly.

‘Somia has gone to fetch Ms. Orla’ Fat assured us. I wondered why she was being so nice. Maybe she did something to Sana. I watched her suspiciously, trying to find a trace of guilt on her face. She saw me looking at her and smirked. We held each other gaze. It was like a competition, who’d turn away first, making other a winner. My eyes began to water but I didn’t blink. I was trying too hard. On the other hand, Fat was staring at me calmly, smirking at the same time. Thankfully Ms. Orla arrived with her paid servants; I mean the two boys and Somia. We both blinked at the same time and looked at Ms. Orla.

‘Good God! This batch is cursed, I think’ she muttered under breath but a bit too loudly. The two boys laughed. Ms. Orla glared at them.
‘What happened to you?’ Ms. Orla asked, checking Sana’s hands, which I noticed were also red and blotchy. Sana shrugged.
‘Farhan, Call Dr. Stitch’, now’ she shouted to one of boy. Farhan saluted her and ran off.
We waited for Dr. Stitch to come. I noticed the other boy, who’d winked at us, looked like Nick, one of those cute Jonas Brothers. He looked really cool in his black t-shirt and rugged grey jeans.
‘He’s cute, isn’t he?’ Somia giggled. I was surprised, Somia was a total tomboy, and she didn’t strike me as ‘crushing’ type girl. I nodded, both staring at him. He caught us looking and winked his oh-so-cute-and-famous-wink. We blushed and looked away. But no, I wasn’t crushing on him, if that’s what you’re thinking. He wasn’t my type, he wasn’t Zac Efron.
Farhan came back with Dr. Stitch. He was one hefty man. He was bald and shiny and dark. He was also grinning; his teeth were all white and clean, sparkling now and then. Maybe he used to work in toothpaste advertisement.
‘So, what have we got here, huh?’ he grinned at Sana but when he saw her crying he replaced it with a gentle smile.
‘Hmm’ he put on his glasses and examined her, ‘Did you use some perfume or anything which you’re allergic to?’ he asked.
‘No, I didn’t’ Sana said.
‘Are you allergic to something?’ He asked. Sana closed her eyes to think.
‘When I was six, I used a raspberry perfume. Same thing had happened’ Sana told him. Suddenly I’d a very bad feeling. I wanted to get away. I slowly stood up with my bag and crept away outside towards the lake, I splashed some water on my face. Took out the empty bottle and read the ingredients: alcohol, isopropyl myristate, blah, blah, blah and then my heart thumped loudly when I read the next word: raspberry flavored aqua. I dropped the bottle in the lake, hoping some big whale would eat it and cursed Summer Fun Classes. If I’d not joined those classes I would have never met Camper and his repellent. And then I wouldn’t have met Mrs. Habib, and I wouldn’t have come here and used this stupid repellent and Sana wouldn’t have got allergic. But why cry over spilt milk? All’s done now.
I’d a feeling that someone was watching me; I looked around and saw Nick-look alike grinning at me.
‘Are you okay?’ he asked, dropping beside me.
I nodded. Why did he have to come now? Why wouldn’t he just go away and leave me alone?
‘You don’t look ok’ he said, concerned.
‘Why?’ I asked, annoyed.
‘You look like some mad person on runaway,’ he laughed ‘your hairs are sticking out from here and there. Your face is so pale like you haven’t seen the sun for ages’. I didn’t say anything. I was too tired to retort back.
‘Hey sorry, I was just joking’ he did sound sorry ‘you look fine’ when I still didn’t say anything he extended his hand to shake mine ‘I’m Blue’
‘Blue?’ my voice came out like a croak.
‘You need water?’ I began to say no, then changed my mind and nodded. He handed me a bottle. I took a big gulp. The sweet and salty water somehow tasted delicious.
‘Yeah, Blue’ he grinned ‘Nice isn’t it?’ I smiled.
‘And what’s your name? ’I told him mine. I wasn’t in a mood to talk. He started telling me about the lake and some train service. I tried my best to listen. He caught my attention when he said the word ‘lion’.
‘Sorry, what?’ I asked, alert.
‘I said there are no lions here. It’s not a big forest, you’ll find only a few wild cats and boars and some deer. And you see this lake? It’s called Lunar Lake. The boating is possible here, I tried to talk Mr. Sajid into it but he didn’t agree’
‘Mr. Sajid?’ I asked curiously.
‘He’s our incharge, a tough cookie’ he laughed ‘have you seen that cranky baldy man, that’s the one’
‘Yeah, I met him on the train, he was really ...’ I searched for the right word then gave up ‘cranky, as you said’
We remained silent for a moment then he said in this oh-so-serious voice ‘You know what, I’ve this feeling that I could trust you’ I raised an eyebrow.
‘I’m going to tell you a secret but don’t say a word, ok?’ I nodded solemnly even though I can’t keep a single secret. I’ve a big mouth, and sometimes while gossiping I exaggerate too.
‘When you guys will be going, I won’t join you. This is my home. I come here during every vacation but I’m not going to go back now. I’ll be a Tarzan’
‘Tarzan!’ I snorted and quickly changed into a cough. He looked hurt.
‘Everybody laughs at me when I tell them that I’m going to be a Tarzan of Changa Manga’ he sighed exasperatedly. Then back to his spunky manner, he said ‘and who knows I might find my Jane’ this time I laughed freely and he joined me too.
‘Hey, I almost forgot to tell you, I found this underground tunnel near those trees’ he pointed towards the tress who were swaying in the wind faraway ‘we are gonna get in there. Somia and Claudia agreed to come, would you join us too?’
I was tempted. ‘Can I ask my friends, too?’
‘Yes, of course. My friend, Farhan, might come too. But not a word to the teachers’
‘Yeah, it’s a deal’ we shook hands.
‘So be there tomorrow at 5am’ he said getting up ‘have to go now, or Baldy’ll be mad. Catch you tomorrow’
‘Yeah, sure. Bye’ I smiled. When he was gone I began to plan my apologizing- speech to Sana. I knew she’d forgive but I couldn’t help feeling bad. I got up and slowly walked towards our tent. I went inside, dreading the moment when i'd tell her that it was all my fault. Sana and Sk were alone. Sana was rubbing a lotion on her arms and face. Sk, reading a magazine.
‘It was the mosquito repellent’ I said to Sana, meekly.
‘Yeah, I noticed’ she smiled ‘Silly me’
‘What? You’re not mad at me?’ I asked, surprised.
‘Why should I be mad at you? You didn’t know I was allergic. And beside, I put on the spray myself’ then I remembered that I’d given the other two bottles to Sana and Sk. I told Sana and Sk about how I’d emptied the bottle on Sana the other night. We all laughed heartily. I didn’t tell them about tunnel-trip. I’d tell them later I thought, at the right moment.
Fat barged in suddenly and said ‘we’re gonna Insect study now, come you two’ she said to Sk and me ‘You can stay if you want’ she nodded to Sana.
We all looked at each other, when Fat was gone.
‘If you guys are going, I’ll come too’ Sana said. We three got up and got dressed in our most comfortable clothes and went to study insects.

A lot happened then! But my hands are tired now, so later! Cya!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Holidays; The Little fat Woman (2)

‘I think we should call someone’, I said, getting up from my seat. Sk nodded and Sana shrugged. I noticed that I’d lost my grin. It was replaced by a grim expression. Halfway through the door, I asked myself ‘where am I going to get help?’
Me: ‘Where is the teacher’s compartment?’
Sana (whispering): It’s the last one.
Sk (gloomily): Good luck.
I nodded and went out to begin my journey, fearless and determined to save the Little Fat Woman, until some people started to follow me, trying to sell me some weird stuff and some asking for money. I tried to shrug them off and walked fastly towards my destination i.e. the last compartment. At last I reached there, knocked on the door and waited patiently. A man who was all bald expect for a patch of ginger hair resting on the center of his head looked annoyingly at me.

Bald man (rudely): Yeah, little girl?
Me (confidently): One of the student is not…..
Bald Man (bored): Wait
He shut the door on my face. I could hear the voices of many people talking. After few seconds the door was opened again, this time by a woman, who was called Ms. Orla. She was our incharge.
Ms. Orla (smiling pleasantly): Yes? How can I help you?
Me: Something happened to one of the students. She screamed and she died!!
Ok, now I made it sound like real big emergency. Ms. Orla looked alarmed.
Ms. Orla: Follow me!
Follow her? But why? I know the way to our compartment, not her. Nevertheless I followed her and someone was following me too, a little boy selling pâtés. Ms. Orla stopped and went to a compartment where some party was going on. Music was real loud; I couldn't tell how many people were in there because the compartment was really small. The little boy also went in and came out wearing a happy expression. I think he got some money. The music stopped and Ms. Orla came out with two boys, who were looking really reluctant.
Ms. Orla: Lead the way, girly. Girly!? Well, I led them to our compartment.
We entered. The scene I saw almost broke my heat. The Little fat Woman was still lying on the floor, her mouth wide open and her face, I hoped not, looked kind of blue. Sana was holding her had, her face expressionless. Sk was praying, tears streaming down her cheeks. They looked like parents whose child was on deathbed. Sheesh! Such a mean thought!
Ms. Orla (running to Fat): What happened to her?
Sk (crying): She was standing there, and then she screamed and died.
Ms Orla was just about to say something when Fat stirred and came to life. I don’t know why, but I screamed. Sana and Sk screamed too. We stopped and looked at each other, confused. Then Fat screamed, or should I say howled. We screamed again. Two boys joined us in our screams; maybe they were just mocking us as they were laughing too.
Ms. Orla (madly, stamping her foot): Stop!
We stopped.
Ms. Orla (yelling): What’s with you people? Where are your manners?
We all put on our ‘I’m -sorry,-ma’am-I’m-so-ashamed’ face.
Ms. Orla (to Fat): Are you right, girly?
Fat (sitting up, nervous): Yes. Yes, I’m all right.
Sana (accusingly): We thought you died.
Fat (snorting): Died? I was just, like, sleeping.
‘Why did you scream?’ I demanded
The Little fat woman shrugged ‘You weren’t letting me sit; I was tired and sleepy so I slept on the floor. And I didn’t, like, scream’
I was dumbfounded. She tricked us! She made a fool of us! She …now I wish she’d died! I thought.
Ms: Orla (sternly): If this was some kind of joke I didn’t like it. Next time, make sure that there is some real emergency. And if it happens again you all would be expelled. Come on, boys. Some people have already wasted enough time ’she went out; the two boys following her like devoted servants or maybe, paid servants. One of them turned around and winked at us. I was so furious that I didn’t notice how cute he was.
‘…have already wasted my time’ Sana was mimicking her.
Little fat women sat on my seat. I didn’t do anything and quietly sat beside Sk. But I was thinking. Thinking how to get revenge on the Little Fat Women. After a while she stood up and went outside.
‘That little…’ I began, angrily.
‘Fat…’ Sk offered.
‘Woman’ Sana finished.
‘Yeah! That’s what we’re gonna call her. Little fat woman. Perfect’ I smiled satisfyingly.
The rest of our trip was normal. I mean nothing unusual happened; the young boy who was following me earlier came and tried to sell us some pâtés. We were hungry so we bought some. They were disgusting. Little fat woman came back, sat on the floor (God knows why!) and starting reading a suspense novel called ‘The Seat’. Then we reached our destination, the station, I mean. We got off the train and followed Ms. Orla and five other teachers (including the bald man) to the bus. There were about 30 students. Then we were on our way to Changa Manga, some boys were singing a horrible song in horrible voices. And then we were there, at Changa Manga. We were filthy. I was dying to have a shower but what I saw confirmed my fears, which I’d buried deep in my heart, we were going to have a camp, not expensive and stylish hotels but stupid and cheap tents. With mosquitoes, spiders, bugs, bats, snails, lizards and maybe with lions and bears too! This as not looking so good! Oh well, I have my mosquito repellent, I thought.

Well, will tell you the rest later. Cya!

Emo- Pretty GF

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Holidays; The Little fat Woman

I grinned at my friends, Sana and Sk, who were sitting across me. I couldn’t stop grinning no matter how I hard I’d try. Last night, I slept with a big grin on my face and woke up with a big grin. And I think in my dreams I saw grinning yellow faces too. But no one can question my grinning. Anybody who’d be my place would be grinning like me.

Sana (excited): Is the train really moving, or I’m just imagining it?
Me (looking outside the window): People and roads are moving so that means the train is really moving.
Sana: Awesome!
Sana has developed a habit of saying ‘awesome’ since she’s been watching ‘Cory in the house, I wanted to say ‘awesome’ too, as I really like Newt, but now as Sana had chosen it I’d to take something different and its ‘It’s so wickedly awesome!’ like Hannah Montana says.
Me: ‘Yeah, it’s so wickedly awesome!’ Sana rolled her eyes. I just grinned. I glanced around and saw my family waving frantically trying to catch my eye. I waved them back and stuck my tongue out at my brothers. My mum looked disapprovingly at me smiling at the same time and my dad, hidden behind a newspaper waved too. I waved until I couldn’t see them anymore (not because the train had gone too fastly but because they’d gone). I leaned back and saw Sana and Sk still waving goodbye to their family. So I leaned outside again and waved at random people. A boy of about 5 starting running with the train to shake my hand. His mother shouted at him and looked madly at me. I drew the curtain (which was really dirty) for few minutes and laughed silently. Sana and Sk were looking at me oddly.

Me: What?
Sana & Sk: Nothing!
Me: No, really, tell me?
Sk: You were practically outside the window.
Sana: We thought you were falling.
Sk & Sana: We were going to pull you back.
Me (laughing nervously): Oh, how embarrassing!
I WAS embarrassed. Why do you always make a fool of yourself, Sidrah? I asked myself. Got no answer. We were quite for few minutes. Looking around our compartment, or should I say a box as it was really small. I drew back the curtain and thankfully saw no over-excited child or some angry mom; instead I saw a vast green landscape dotted with trees and cows (or were they horses, or maybe donkeys.) and occasionally, some homes.

Sk (dreamily): ‘Do you think he’d call me?’

Sana & Me (groaning): Sk, not again! Not NOW!

SK (still dreamily, oblivious of our groans): He said he’d, but I’m not sure. If he wouldn’t then I’d call him myself and give him piece of mind.

Sana & I looked at each other, shaking our heads sadly, like we’d just lost some big case. Since Sk has fallen in love with Dan-boy, as she claimed, she talks about him non-stop. If we’re talking about someone, say Zac Efron, she’d cut in and would go and on about Dan-boy. This gets on my nerves.
Sana (ignoring Sk): So what have you brought?
Me: Lots of stuff and my Mosquito Repellent. Or, oh, should I say ‘Coral’s Mosquito repellent’.
Sana (eyes wide open): You brought the repellent? But how? And why on earth have you named it ‘Coral’s’?’

Me: I asked Camper for the formula. He said he’d only agree to give me on one condition that I name it ‘Coral’s’. I agreed. He sent me a formula AND three mosquito repellents! He said he’d been working on it; James has made him a whole laboratory on his birthday.

Sana (shocked): A lab? A whole REAL LAB?

Me (nodding): Yeah! James has gotten lucky. He got, like, millions of dollars from his company. So, Camper said that he loves to invent stuff and he’s giving me the formula for free as I saved his imaginary pals!’

Sana (whistling): Wow!

We were all quiet; Sana and I thinking about Camper, repellents and that kind of stuff. And Sk staring into a space and humming a song. Then there was a loud bang on the door. We all looked at each other, puzzled and confused. Sk thinking that’s she some brave soldier went to open the door and was greeted by the Little Fat Woman. No, she wasn’t fat or little and nor she was a woman, she must about our age. She was quite pretty but had manners like a caveman. She was chewing a gum loudly. She eyed us and her eyes stopped on me. I felt I was a prisoner in the war a now it was my turn to die. But, no, I wasn’t afraid of her. No one can frighten me that easily.

Little Fat Woman: ‘I wanna have that seat’ Weird noises were emitting from her, I wish I were eating a bubble gum too so that I could match those noises

Me (crossing my arms, staring at her coldly): ‘Sorry, you can’t.’

Little Fat Woman: I wanna have that seat.

This time I ignored her. I started to talk with Sk, not caring about the topic. Sana joined us too. All was well until there was a loud agonized howl. We went rigid with shock.

Sk (fearful): Have we killed her?
Little Fat Woman was lying on the floor, her face pale.
Me (irritatingly): Don’t be silly, we haven’t even touched her.’
Sana (off handily): She’s faking it.

I knew she was right. But inside, really deep inside, guilt was creeping inside me, getting bigger and bigger by time. I didn’t kill her, I told myself. But what if she was suffering from a disease in which you just have to sit on the window seat. Or maybe I killed by just looking at her. I mean, I did give her a murderous glance. I’m not a murderer. I’m just a 17 years old girl who became a little bit selfish. Oh God! Please don’t kill her, I promise I’ll be a good girl.

Oops! This post is getting a bit too long! Rest, later!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Holidays; I Got Lucky

Holidays! Yay!! Woohoo! Ok, sorry’s just that I’m so excited about holidays. Since Camper and Coral have gone to Malta, Lady Luck has been shining on me. I’m not exactly happy that they’ve gone but ..well, I’m not complaining. Oh yes, I almost forgot, I got a new bike too! Poor Sana, her bike didn’t get stolen so she’s still riding her old one! *Ha-ha …lucky me!*Actually these holidays are a study trip, we’re going to some place called ‘Changa Manga’ it’s a forest of some kind …I know the name is unusual and it’s a study trip but think …just think...a week with your best friends and away from your family is like …heaven! *Hope my mum is not reading this* Anyways, the other day I went to Summer Fun Classes to collect my certificate. Unfortunately or fortunately I collided with Mr. Flight …the scene was like that:I was running at my full speed while on the other side Mr. Flight was walking slowly drinking his coffee...well ….we went CRASH!! ….he fell down, broke his glasses and spilled the coffee on his already-yellowish brown lab-coat …and I was ok [thank God!], standing there, red with embarrassment …if those people hadn’t gathered around us I’d have run away not caring for the certificate or whatever. He got up with the help of thousands of people and glared at me and said some thing which sounded like that: ‘comtoffs’ …what he’d actually said was ‘Come to my office’ …so I was stuck there. I felt like I was some criminal and they were treating me like one too. One lady there, who was all red, had shouted ‘She could have killed him!’ I mean, come on it was an accident! And even if he’d died, it’d have been ok...he’s like …ancient, really! Ok, where was I? Yeah, so I went to his office with that lady in red, she was red …her dress was red, hair was red, sandals were red, lipstick was red and she was red with anger! Simply red, Lol! When we went inside Mr. Flight thundered ‘Young lady, where are your manners? Do you think you can just stamp on innocent people and get away with it?’ I bit my lip and tried to look sorry. I WAS feeling sorry. *For myself. He-he.* So, I said ‘I’m so sorry, Mr. Flight. Truly I’m sorry …I was just in a hurry… so..’ I put on my ‘I’m-going-to-cry’ face. This worked! His horrible expression softened ….and from some cruel teacher he suddenly looked like somebody’s grandpa. ‘Aren’t you the girl who made the perfume?’ he smiled at me. The lady in red suddenly looked interested in me. .‘Umm …. It was my partner …’ I was going to say but why give Camper the credit now that he’s in Malta so I said ‘Yeah, it was me’ I said proudly, my head held high, then added ‘My partner, Camper, helped me’The lady in red eyed me suspiciously ‘Do you know the recipe?’ she stared at me. Yikes!‘Yes, I’ve written in my notebook’, I stared back. I can always ask Camper! The lady in red smiled slightly. Mr. Flight was looking at me like a proud parent.‘Well, young lady first tell me why are you here?’ he asked‘To collect my certificate’ he nodded as if he was expecting me.‘Yes the certificate, what’s your name? He asked me. I told him then he went outside muttering under his breath. The lady in red and I looked around the office. It was like Mr. Flight; ancient. There was an old white box, which I think was a computer. A golden telephone, you know that weird thing you see in old movies. The desk and other furniture were all brown like Mr. Flight’s lab coat. The only thing which was new was the calendar, which looked out of place. Then the lady broke the silence by saying: ‘So, how did you make the perfume?’ she asked me. Oh God!‘Umm…ahh ...well …it was an accident’ I said, lamely.‘Accident?’‘Yeah, I added some stuff, colorful stuff’ I said what Camper had told me.‘Do you know that it’s not a perfume?’‘Huh?’‘Young lady, you’ve accidentally made a mosquito repellent’‘Oh’ I was at loss for words.’And it’s very useful. Especially for researchers in Changa Manga’Changa Manga? What’s THAT? But I didn’t ask as I knew she’d explain it.‘It’s a forest. The organizers of Summer Fun Classes are very happy with you. The repellent you’ve invented is effective, has a nice smell and also it’s easy to make!’ she stopped to catch her breath, ‘I’m Mrs. Habib, the manager of Fun Knowledge Organization. It’s the same company who organized Summer Fun Classes. We’d like to buy your formula’ she waited for an answer. I felt like I was in some movie. A good movie, where I’m going to be rich!‘It’s ok. I’ll give you some time to think about it’ she smiled ‘You can discuss with your parents too. But don’t say a word to anyone else, especially Mr. Flight’ I nodded silentlyMr. Flight came in with my certificate. He gave it to me without saying anything and sat down on his chair. I think he was in a really bad mood. God knows why.Then Mrs. Habib said to me ‘Some of our students are going to Changa Manga for research, you can come too. It’s free’ Free. Hmm. It means free HOLIDAY! A holiday! Wow!! *But alone!?*‘Can I bring my friends too?’ I asked hopefully. At first she looked uncertain then she must have thought about the repellent, I mean if she offends me I won’t sell her my formula! ‘Sure, but only two friends.’ I gave her my angelic smile ‘Thanks Mrs. Habib. And I’ll think about the “perfume’’ I said them goodbye and went home. Called my two friends, Sana & SK, they said yes. My parents were doubtful but they agreed after a long talk with Mrs. Habib. Thankfully she didn’t mention anything about the repellent neither did I. I’m not sure if I should tell them or not. I’ll have to talk to Camper first. Ok, so got to go now; have to buy lots of stuff! One more day then we’ll be off. Cya!

Friday, August 1, 2008

If Time Were Mine

If time were mine then I’d never bother to study.

If time were mine then I’d sleep as long as I’d like to.

If time were mine I’d spend more time having fun than getting bored.

If time were mine I’d get to watch all my favorite TV shows.

If time were mine then I’d travel back in time.

If time were mine then I’d watch pyramids being built.

If time were mine then I’d stay online 24/7

If time were mine then I’d have lunch/dinner whenever I’d like to.

If time were mine then I’d go to Jupiter in less than a second.

If time were mine then I’d know everybody’s future, including mine.

If time were mine then I’d delete al the bad stuff in the world.

If time were mine then I’d never die. Lol!

If time were mine then I’d what’s gonna come in exams.

If time were mine I’d live my favorite moments again and again.

If time were mine then I’d undone all the wrong I’ve done.

If time were mine then I’d get to meet Einstein and Sydney Sheldon.

If time were mine then there would far less physics formulae.

If time were mine then I’d live happily ever after.

I'd have been so much fun if we were free of time, right?!..too bad we're not....