Daily Archives: October 23, 2021

Q) Describe an antique store. By Ayesha Amirzeb Sheikh

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I entered the store. The bell on the top of the door jingles informing the owner that another customer has entered the shops. As I enter and take my first few steps my nostrils and mouth are filled with the smell of dust. I can feel the dust particles go down my throat as I try to swallow the foul taste. There are shelves and shelves filled with unusual objects. The whole store seems to be covered with dust. This store has so much dust that you can actually see the dust in the air and will also notice the difference in color of the air. Outside the store the air is clean and fresh here the air is stale. The store is rather sad as there’s nothing which isn’t covered in dust. 

I move my index finger along the dust-colored walls to find it instantly turn black due to the amount of dust. Though everything here is covered in dust yet there seems to be some kind of magic in the air. 

The store is filled with amazing magical items. It almost seems like I’m Alice, and now I’ve entered Wonderland except this time through a door not a rabbit hole. Shelves filled with old treasured books, strange looking silverware, unusually looking clocks, some which are moving at two times the actual speed and even statues of strange people. There were statues of Greek Gods as well. A two faced statue, one face was smiling and the other crying. The marble was smooth under my fingers and I touched the statue. Beautiful paintings of different Lords of ancient time. Ancient radios, cycles, chairs, books and furniture. 

There were some… interesting things as well like pebbles, worn out summer gloves claiming to be powerful, hats claiming to make the wearer invisible, a broken umbrella which declared to protect the holder from bats. Clocks with five hands instead of two, one of which was moving at such a great speed you could barely see it.

There was a whole shelf for old books. Some books are declared to be read by famous Kings and Queens of the past. Books which were shelf-worn, having bumped corners covered in dust, the spine falling apart indicating how many times it had been read before. Some books I could recognize like Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice while others are foreign. 

One section was filled with instruments. Olden instruments were placed in that corner. Trumpets, drums, harmoniums, mouth organs, flutes and many more. Some are so tempting that I risk moving a finger against the strings of an old guitar. I can feel the deep vibrations as a beautiful sound is emitted. 

Some things actually catch my eye like silverware, suited for a Queen. In one corner there are jewellery said to be found from treasure chests of Queens. The jewelry was very catchy. Gold rings and necklaces, silver earrings and many more. There were rusted coins and stamps, sundials,water clocks and even some religious books.

There’s peace and quiet in the store. I can even hear the creak of wood under my feet as I move forward to explore. I can even hear the creaking of the not-properly oiled fan moving at such a slow pace yet still the store is rather cool.

This antique store is magical. You can feel the souls and spirits of the previous Lords, Ladies, Kings and Queens coming and going. The store might be empty yet it’s actually alive.

Paragraph Writing by Javeria Asif

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Ding Dong. The bell rang, it’s high pitched tones forcing their way into my eardrums, making themselves heard. Hastily, I dragged myself out of bed and padded towards the doorstep, my cat, Minnie trailing closely behind. Who could be at my house this early? I rarely had visitors and when I did, none of them had the audacity of showing up before the crack of dawn. Minnie, interrupting my curiosity, whined at my feet, demanding breakfast. Sighing, I took a quick detour to the kitchen and slapped some fresh fish into her bowl, which she seemed quite pleased with judging by the approving look she gave me – that cat! Finally reaching my door, I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes to see a great big brown box. I tried lifting it up, to no avail, so eventually I just dragged it inside. It was sealed as tightly as a caterpillar enclosed in its cocoon before metamorphosis into a butterfly. Once I managed to open it up, I was graced with a peculiar sight: the box was full to the brim with seashells and earrings;  an odd combination. 

Paragraph Writing By Marium Faisal

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I once went on a trip with my friends to the Southside Beach. We made a plan and settled for 17th October. We were excited to check the beach in winters. Sooner afterwards, James rang the bell in my house as I was the one who had to take all my friends to the beach. I took James and picked Sara as well as Arthur. It took us half an hour to reach there. We quickly ran to the beach in excitement and found a couple of sea shells. Sara collected the ones she really liked. We also discovered a dead fish in plan sight, it looked unsightly. However, even after that, we went to get some food as we were famished and then we headed back home. Later onwards, I realised I had lost one of my earrings back at the beach. I was upset but I refused to drive for half an hour again. 

‘Last night I dreamt…’ By Raasia Khan

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Last night I dreamt, well – a confusing nightmare, and less a dream. A simple, plain, empty pathway; a road, with the snow melting, and weeping willow trees slowly returning from a sublime white to a lush green. Not much happening that I could see, almost silent with small scuffles here and there; seemed like this would be one peaceful dream. But obviously, that had to change, Raasia can’t ever have even one good dream; I should’ve known.

 Unexpectedly – and annoyingly – I was jerked into another dimension, and so quickly that I almost fell back due to the inertia. Televisions, all around, news reporters, different languages and dialects, and the TV’s in all sizes and graphics, but all of them seemingly discussing the same thing. Flu? Well, flu wasn’t much of a serious issue anymore, so why were they still broadcasting clips of people hospitalised and on oxygen? Maybe I was seeing the past. But wait – pandemic, and I heard 2021? Influenza was a major issue back in the 1900s, so this couldn’t possibly be that. I turned my head toward a TV displaying what looked like a virus; the reporter called it the novel coronavirus? Looking around toward other screens; maybe some were broadcasting something I actually understood. But just as my eyes landed on a TV screen where the news reporter was shouting something in Urdu, there was another jerk, and instead of TV’s, there were fires. 

Deers running around, kangaroos – Australia? Why was it burning? I could see trees collapsing, sounds of animals in agony. I was so intrigued by the flaming red, and grasped by the scene around me, I forgot to watch out for myself and before I knew it, a huge bark, with its coarse wood on fire, was about to crash onto me. I froze in shock, my nerves not being able to react, but it somehow fell right through me. I was in this false reality but I was simply (and thankfully) in something of a viewing mode. Smoke going up, bushes ablaze, broken legs of limping marsupials and all I could do was watch. The grass beneath me lit up and burnt as I fell through into another scene.

Ah, people. People, but not society as I knew it.

 A lockdown. Shutters and blinds being shut, everyone with a mask on and those who weren’t, being fined by those who were. Everyone afraid of even a mere cough. As I walked along the pathway, I saw people hiding in rooms, isolating themselves. And as I was about to approach one of the open windows to discern what the situation was, I heard the blinds shut and suddenly, a new place. Again. 

Few people outside, no longer wearing masks, but still being tortured. Guns being fired, stones being thrown, even at women and children. People ordering others to get in their house right away, others begging. This was hard to see. 

I walked along, still seeing women being tortured, children reaching out for their mothers, and I flinched as they continued being hurt without mercy. 

All of a sudden, I’m in a room, a high ceiling, a desk, with the Afghan flag and some documents. A man, in a coat, at the desk, his eyebrows furrowed. Another man at the front of the desk. The man in the coat began speaking, 

‘I’m leaving. I have to resign. I’m done.’ He was making short anxious statements. ‘Taliban. They’re going to hurt us. Don’t believe a thing they say. I am leaving.’ 

Before I could hear what the other man had to say, I was in another place, and there’s now a car, with a person of colour being beaten by a white policeman. He was asking for mercy but received none. Racism. At least I knew what this was. 

It was like my head didn’t want to see what this was for longer. So, here we were, a different surrounding. Signs held up, people protesting, boards with a common hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. Many different diversities, ethnicities, accents, but all with the same goal, which as far as I could see, was getting justice for Floyd. As I shuffled along by the protest, the signs changed into ‘Freedom for Palestine’ or ‘Hands off Jerusalem.’ 

In the blink of an eye, silence. 

It was dark now, just an empty void. A few seconds of this and I began hearing some noises, my sisters singing, and my mom, my name. My eyes flicked open and as the wheels in my head started turning, I realised what I thought was simply a nightmare is actually reality. The world is in a bad place.