Monthly Archives: January 2016

“If it was not for that lone tree, I would…” By: Mehreen Tariq

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That lone tree, it always stood there, as far back as I can remember. Just atop the plain grass that covered the small hill like a blanket, it stood like a silent sentinel. Its brown oaken features were worn and weathered, but good-natured; its long curving arms were strong and reliable and its shock of green hair was dotted with crispy apples. My favourite fruit. I always played around it, whether it was swinging from its branches, or scaling its wooden length to snatch an apple or two, or just simply reading under its cool dappled shade. The tree was like an old friend, if I fell off, its branches would catch me. It would always be there.

It was a moonless night, chilly and unwelcoming. There was news going around the city about a mass murderer and we were advised to keep our doors locked. My parents were out of town, which meant that I was home alone. I was not sure when I fell asleep on the couch but the moment I awoke from my slumber is engraved deeply in my mind. When my eyes opened, still hazy from sleep, I hardly registered the glinting knife edging near me. It was then my mind shocked me into action. I leapt from my couch; I could hardly make out the killer’s face obscured in shadows. I did not think as I ran. I ran to the only safe haven I knew, my only refuge. I was out in the frigid night air that chilled me to the bone. I shivered violently but it was not from the cold. I was climbing the silent hill before I knew it and scaling familiar branches. Even in the dark I knew where to step and grab from memory.

I was safely atop the highest branch in the tree. My pursuer soon came looking for me, confused and agitated. I was safe, no one could reach me here, the danger had passed. But it was at that moment that fate decided to turn the tables. The branches that I relied and trusted so much gave away underneath my weight. They betrayed me. As I fell towards certain death the last image of my friend was etched upon my eyes. Its wooden trunk no longer soft and weathered, it was shadowed and deepened into a malevolent grimace. The long branches twisted and sinister, the green leaves limp and eerie as they swayed on a windless night. If it was not for that lone tree, I would be alive.

Journalist Interview by Maheen Khan

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Interviewer: Good afternoon Ellen MacArthur, It’s glad to know you arrived in one piece haha, hope you are alright now?

Ellen MacArthur: (laughing) yes I’m alright and fit to go on another adventure.

Interviewer: Well that’s good and thank you for coming!

Ellen MacArthur: My Pleasure…

Interviewer: Okay starting off; you climbed the mast on Christmas eve, even though you were well prepared but did it occur to you that the next day was the day of giving and happiness and what if you never came back, would it be right to give your family such loss?

Ellen MacArthur: Well…that is a very good point there but my family has always believed in me and if that ever happened they would have known I died doing the thing I loved…

Interviewer: Okay, yes of course but can you briefly describe what dangers you faced during that adventure that you nearly saw death?

Ellen MacArthur: Haha! Yeah thinking about it I really saw death however there were many problems for example when I was agonized for hours for how I should prepare the halyard so that it would stream out easily; then there was the time I couldn’t feel my fingers (sigh) and the tiredness of clinging on while the mast slices erratically through the air however these are only the minor ones but if I go on this will turn out to be a story telling session (laughing).

Interviewer: True that (laughing) so comparatively the most asked question is what was your reaction? Like how did you react facing these dangers?

Ellen MacArthur: Well umm it was quite normal as I was used to these problems but no doubt this roller coaster of a ride was a bit too harsh for what I expected, but there my reaction was like don’t worry you just have to do some more teeny weeny hard work It’ll be alright!

Interviewer: Like wow! That’s the spirit readers! If any one of you is interested in extreme sports have a motif like that! Okay rounding off this conversation how did you get such strength in your character? Any tips for the readers?

Ellen MacArthur: Everybody has the same kind of strength in themselves but all you have to do is let it out. Practice it out! It’s not only in extreme sports but we see an example everyday in normal people for example people living through natural disasters, through different crises.

Interviewer: There you have it people! Thank you Ellen for a fun conversation and such motivation hope you have a happy and healthy life.

Ellen MacArthur: Thank you! It was an honor.

‘Describe your Favorite Tree’ by Shehryar Mir

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They look like that always. Long bushy, bright white, leafy caps and long light powder covered green and brown barks. The tree’s branches are no where to be seen! They are hidden under the cone shaped green baskets of leaves, which are further hidden by pink flowers.

Their green color is very enthralling. The flat, round, bushy leaves look the same all year long. Their long leaves seem to have even smaller capsules of white coloured flowers. The tree bark is thick and also has traces of purple and ruddy hues, which look like powder green at a distance. The striking tree looks magnificent on the frozen ice follicles. The hidden brown branches glow under the layers of pink flowers. The brown bark has the same white glitter dusted all on its perimeter.

From a distance it is hard to comment if the leaves are flowers or the flowers are the leaves. The snow-white leaf of the luscious tree has roots coated in rosy hues. The delicate and intricate little pink flowers rest lightly on the white leaves. This is a match made in Heaven. The long barks have even longer flowering buds, which glow. The little rosy little pink flowers look alike. This gives a monochromatic picture of a tree.

There are long shoots, which have tiny little budding white flowers. The flowers add on a plethora of colors as it blooms, the pink being its finest. The long roots have the same crimson and brown hue of the bark, coated with layers of snow. The snow seems jealous of the rosy and lush tree. The large surface area of the rather basket shaped leaves catches the eye. The abundance of pink flower is not overpowering but rather compliments the whole visage of the tree.

There are little bean like structures next to some of the flowers; they are too in the same snow pink hue. The little flowers have lighter ends and darker in the middle.

The sweet smell hits everybody. The smell is reminiscent of candy. The lovely little tiny white leaves and little flowers frolic in the air when it hits them.

Looking at it brightens up the mood. Its adorned shiny bark can make anything silver jealous and every glitter envious. Its beauty feels ostentatious but it is not. This is the Japanese cherry blossom tree, my favourite tree.