Monthly Archives: August 2015

‘An Unusual Person’ by Malaika Arshad

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There he sat, on the bench- his final disposition. His tousled, short hair covered his eyes, as he peeked through a portal located in his peculiar mind, leading him into a world of his own. Eyes squinting, he rested there, unaware of his surroundings; unaware of how I had been glaring at him for the past minutes, appreciating his existence.

God, something about him was oh-so captivating. I pondered to figure out what though, I mean, his looks were not those of a hunk who women would follow around. He was tall; tall for me, at least. His build was strong, yet he was not buff. Quite often engaged in his thoughts, he would purse his pink, plump lips, sending a trickle down my spine. He was somehow beautiful to me, yet physical appearance to him was not a worry, since his shiny, black locks were roughened and his untucked collar shirt was creased and unbuttoned.

It was during a free class today that I observed him. Call me a creep, but keeping my eyes off him seemed impossible. Even whilst I was among people, short glimpses at him were essential. He continued reading a book which lay open on the table as he yawned, his back leaning against the pillar that stood behind him.

Moment later some lad of around his age joined him as he got up to greet him with a half, shoulder-to-shoulder hug- an adolescent’s typical ‘cool’ demeanor. Unique, mysterious and interesting, he was a man of a few words. His thoughts were reserved and being alone and isolated did not seem to bother him. I could recall seeing him around a lot; the best of the memories was of him playing the keyboard: his fingers skimming over the keys so beautifully, so softly, reminding me of how silk has that indescribable flow to it. Sometimes, we perform certain tasks to escape the bitter reality one is tired of facing; to kill time. Perhaps playing the keyboard was his.

He smirked while chatting with his supposed friend. One could tell the guy’s company was liked by him, his gleaming eyes growing wider and bigger as he spoke. The way he spoke was so polite and soft that just hearing him could calm and soothe you. He rubbed his palms against his thighs- what I do when they sweat.

He was unusual, the lone wolf. Talking to him excited me, he made me wonder. He was like a precious book which not everyone got the chance to read. I felt immensely lucky, for he let me in his private life. Yes, we were friends, quite close friends. But I liked looking at him from a distance.

Q. Study the two passages and compare and contrast the writers’ views on taking risks and how each writer uses language to communicate their opinion effectively. Written by Rafia Sajjad.

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The theme of both the passages is same that is taking risks. In the first one, Humar decides to climb “Nanga Parbat” even though he was aware of the fact that it would be suicidal especially because of the bad weather. Suspense is one of the main elements of this text. In Passage B, divers dive for lobsters as this is a seafood on the Mosquito Coast of Nicaragua. This job is considered to be dangerous. This makes people wonder how many people would have died while searching for this creature.

Passage A’s content includes Humar climbing Nanga Parbat and later being trapped in the middle of his journey. He stayed in the snow hole he dug for several days, his rations running low. He even radioed the base camp for his rescue but the first few were not able to help due to the weather conditions. Later on in the passage, a helicopter returned and made an attempt to save Humar, which was successful. This passage consists of suspense and the reader empathizes for the climber as he had been through so much. Passage B tells us about the local people in Central America diving in deep water in search of lobsters. They are supplied with equipments that would help them through their search. Unfortunately, most of the divers did not return. Miskitos believed it was due to curse Liwamair. Because of this, people refused to dive in order to risk their lives. Readers would sympathize as they now realize that lots of lives had been taken during the search.

The purpose of Passage A is connative as well as informative as it consists of statistics like “8126 meters”, “14800 feet”, etc. We get to know about Nanga Parbat and Humar as well. People then empathize and think about what they would have done. Passage B is also informative and touches a bit of description as the second paragraph describes the deck for instance: “the wooden null was scuffed and battered.” The reader visualizes everything and now has a crystal clear image of the scene.

The audience for Passage A is adults as children would not understand the big figures and might get scared after reading about the risks of alpinism. Also they would not understand the vocabulary used in the passage. Alpinists all around the world have now recognized the dangers. The audience for Passage B is mainly adults because the elderly usually deal with these kinds of situations.

The style of Passage A is a bit narrative and connative as they affect the readers emotionally and empathize as well. Readers try to put themselves in his shoes for instance: “Humar fully expected the next day to be his last, but his uneasy sleep was broken by the sound of a helicopter…” makes us visualize everything in our minds. It is narrative in a way that the author writes about it just like telling a story. Passage B has a descriptive and an informative style. For example: “The wheelhouse windows had cracks repaired with bandages of plastic tape.” Readers now imagine the windows in the condition described. It feels like everything is right before their very eyes.

The attitude of Passage A is compassionate as Humar got detached from all his family and friends. This makes us feel sorry for the alpinist who got stuck in the middle of nowhere. For example: “he spent another night in his sleeping bag that was threatening to become a coffin of ice.” Passage B is more straight-forward as it is direct to the point and very detailed. For example: “The Liwamir is a pale-skinned mermaid who lurks in the depths of the sea.” This informs the reader of new terms and ideas.

The tone of the first text is intense as well as pensive as readers feel the urge to know what happened next for example: “Humar was reading thousands of emails from his fans and consulting with his team about further attempts.” People who read the extract would want to know what his future attempts were. Passage B, on the other hand, is rather melancholic because the author wrote about deaths and the hardships the Miskitos went through. For instance, “Divers were slowly poisoned by the foul air they inhaled from the bottles…”

A lot of F.O.S has been used, mostly being alliteration, in both the extracts. Like, from Passage A: “remained relentless”, “steel ice screws”, “dazzling day”, etc. passage B consists of similes like: “stacked on a deck like paper cups”, alliteration: “calamitous condition”, “crevices and crannies”, etc. Alliteration reinforces the meaning and adds emphasis. Simile clarifies the idea for reader. There is repetition of words like: “closer and closer” (Passage A), “deeper and deeper” (Passage B). This is also adds emphasis.

The linguistic features include a) sentence structure: both the passages have a variety of sentences that are simple like, “Occasionally a diver drowned” (Passage B), “This is show business, not alpinism” (Passage A), compound like: “he could neither ascend nor descend and so dug himself” (Passage A), “… packages of food and bundles of spare clothing…” (Passage B).b) vocabulary is neither heavy nor simple. Words like “precipitously”, “top out”, etc. are used in Text One. Text Two has words like “meager”, “drudgery”, “regime”, etc. Statistics have also been in the extracts that impress the reader.

‘My Favorite Hobby’ by Usman Zahid

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Have you ever felt that feeling, when you want to talk to someone about your life? This is when my hobby comes in. Some people write journals, record video logs, etc. You can say my hobby is somewhat related to writing. But, it is much more.

I express my feelings with the help of the hip-hop genre a.k.a. ‘raps’. I cannot say for sure that my parents approve of this habit, but as I am the only boy in the family, I do not really have anyone to talk to. So, I put pen to paper and rhyme words.

I started to develop this habit, by listening to Marshal Mathers. He wrote raps to express his feelings.

You can say that my family is perhaps judgmental, because they are. And that is a firm fact, which I cannot deny. I collect my work in tin boxes and sometimes show to friends who would understand my side of the story.

I was told to express my feelings on writing, but plain and simple writing did not cut it for me.

For example: when someone judges me, I would write something like,

“Don’t ever try to judge me dude,

you don’t know what the hell I’ve been through.”

And when I do not want to talk to anyone I would write,

“When I walk in the club

All eyes are on me

So I try to avoid

Any eye contact,

Cause if I do that

It opens the door to con-ver-sa-tion

Like I want that!”
Or when I’m happy or in a playful mood I would make an alphabetical rhyme

“I find

Artificial artists

Acting always amusing

Actually atomizing

And abusing.”

So if there is anyone out there having a hard time, my advice to them is to put pen to paper and rhyme words. If it helps me, it might help you too.