Interviews

“MeeshaSlays is mine; it is where I am allowed to be myself” – Rameesha Syed

“Piñata Magazine is all about everything bright and happy,” says Rameesha Syed, CEO, Piñata and blogger at MeeshaSlays in this exclusive interview with MOIWrites

1. Define yourself?

I am the most confused person you will ever meet. Usually, it is very hard for me to make meager decisions like what to eat, what to watch, where to go etc. but when it comes to work, I know what I am doing and I am very sure of my decisions.

Rameesha-Syed

2. What is the story behind MeeshaSlays? How did you come with this name?

I always wanted to write. I have been writing ever since a kid. I was writing books on Wattpad (none that I completed, by the way) when I realized that I wanted to change my medium to something much more accessible to the audience and easier for me to use.

It has never been about the people. MeeshaSlays is mine; it is where I am allowed to be myself without caring about the likes and the audience.

How I came up with the name? Well, Meesha is my nickname since forever. As you can see, it is right there in my name. Slays came from the fact that my initials are RS and I wanted to keep the S at the end here as well. And then, my obsession with Shay Mitchell, who is at times referred to as Slay Mitchell, just made my inclination stronger.

3. What is the concept behind Piñata Magazine and how is Piñata different from its competition?

Piñata is different because it is the first e-zine in Pakistan that does it all. We cover everything, really. We make vlogs; we write articles; we pose for our website and sometimes we even share bits and pieces of ourselves. The concept behind it is that we wanted the world to be able to connect with Pakistan in a very positive and personal way. Piñata Magazine is all about everything bright and happy.

4. Tell us about the team of Piñata?

Oh, they are the best people I know! They have turned into friends in less than a year. I really got lucky with this bunch. They are hardworking and very passionate and also, ‘nice and responsive.’ This is an inside joke so pardon me for not sharing it with you, haha. The level of respect, friendship, and love we have for one another is just amazing – Ma sha Allah.

5. What challenges do you face in day-to-day operations of Piñata Magazine?

There’s so much going on all the time that it gets hard for me sometimes to manage it. But as they say, if you do what you love, you’ll never have to ‘work’ again.

6. What is your aspiration in life?

My aspiration is to be independent and completely reliant on myself.

7. Your message for the youth of Pakistan?

Please do something with your life. Be true to yourself and others and work hard to achieve your goals.

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Interviews

I want to motivate people by my quotes and stories: Sajal Shaikh

Sajal Shaikh is the youngest author of Sindh, who holds this status with her friend, Lareb Soomro. Both have co-written “The Secrets of Spring”. Sajal talks to MOIWrites in this exclusive interview.

1. Tell us about yourself?

I am Sajal Shaikh, a student of class 10 at Indus Girls College, Larkana, Sindh. My favorite subjects are Physics and Mathematics. Writing is not just my hobby but it also gives relief to my soul.

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2. How does it feel to be the youngest novelist of Sindh?

It feels amazing to be the youngest novelist of Sindh. It gives me happiness. It was never planned by me that I  would be the youngest novelist of Sindh because it is said that every single movement is planned by Allah. I want to say thanks to Almighty Allah who gave me this glorious status. I cannot describe this feeling.

3  What is the name of your novel? Share a brief synopsis of it?

The name of my novel is “The Secrets of Spring” which I have co-written with my friend, Lareb Soomro. This story revolves around a girl spring. You will find many secrets on every page of it. The life of spring is very mysterious and interesting.

4. How did you develop an interest in writing?

I started writing at the age of 13 as my hobby. I began with prose writing. Whenever I am happy or sad I start writing quotes, passages, and poetry. Actually, writing is a source of expressing your thoughts and gives relief to your soul.

5. What motivates you to write?

I enjoy writing. My father is also very supportive in my interest to write and he also supported me in my endeavors. My younger sister, Sara, also motivates me to write. However, I could become the youngest novelist of Sindh because of my dear friend, Lareb Soomro, with whom I share this unique status. Lareb is an amazing person.

6. What are your academic and writing plans?

I am very interested in machinery. If I will become a mechanical engineer then I will create common machines on slat energy. And if I will choose bio-engineering, I will find the treatment of pancreatic cancer. As a writer, I want to motivate people by my quotes and stories. I also want to write scripts for dramas and films. I love my country so patriotic writings are my goal.

7. What message will you give to aspiring writers?

My message is to work hard and never give up on writing. However, aspiring writers should also focus on their studies.

MOIWrites interviews Lareb Soomro for Super Saturday Interviews on Saturday, February 24, 2018. Read Lareb Soomro’s interview here: Lareb Soomro

 

 

Opinion

The vision known as YBQ!

Image Source: facebook.com/yousuf.b.qureshi

He is not just a man, he is a vision. He is not just a designer, he is the epitome of style. He is our very own Yousuf Bashir Qureshi (YBQ). What YBQ represents is innately Pakistani from the heart and desi from the soul. Everything that he does or says has Pakistan written all over it. Even the main entrance door of Commune Artist Colony, his office, his home, is colored with the Pakistani flag. There is no address of his office, which is his second home and reflects the artisit within him. The only address is the Pakistani flag.

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Imagerce: ybq.com.pk/images/commune.jpg

What YBQ represents is an attitude that is purely ours. Even his attire is so natural, you feel as if Pakistan itself has been sent on Earth in a human form. And when YBQ speaks, the world actually stops to listen. His deep voice, his logical words and his wise statements compel you to go into introspection. You do ask questions to yourself based on YBQ’s talk. He makes you think from the heart, that is his power. That is how he talks to you.

Image Source: facebook.com/yousuf.b.qureshi

YBQ’s aesthetic sense in designing wardrobe and his creative instincts that he pours in his art reveals much about his personality. He sees beyond the fabric that we call clothing and he feels beyond what we perceive as an art form. His message of  love is engraved in his every creation be it a piece of attire or the beautifully designed Daastan, the rustic leather diary I am in love with.

During a video interview posted on Youtube by Adam bro, YBQ shared his philosophy of why he opted to return to Pakistan from the USA. YBQ said, “Sub atay hain marnay kaylye, hum nay kaha sara zinda rehlain” (Everyone returns home to die, I thought of living in my home).

He further shared with us the secret to success. He said, “When we use our information, we receive benefit out of it. Once we gain benefit of that information, we convert it into knowledge. You spread that knowledge to the world and it turns into wisdom. You will receive intuition from the divine only when you face your fear and give the knowledge you gained to the world. Do not fear that your knowledge will reduce if you share it with others. It is in giving this knowledge to the world that will give you more power in return. It will give you faith. Why should we hide such information or knowledge from others when no one can change our destiny? If something is destined to come in our life, no one can stop it from coming. If something is not destined to come in our life, no one can grant us, then why hide information from others.”

 

 

When talking about his decision to return to Pakistan, he said that he used to wonder what is the scope of fashion designing in Pakistan? He thought “what is the scope of anything in Pakistan or in the world?” YBQ said, “The scope is only for the best. If you are the best, you will always be in the mind. I thought of becoming the best. The best humans are those who are courageous and they never lie. I vowed never to tell a lie so to become the best.”

YBQ has become the definition of his own legacy: courageous, original and creative. There is no one like YBQ because he is following his own path. He is always experimenting with his designs and his craft and expanding his mental horizon to touch new heights of excellence. YBQ is the man with a plan and that plan is to be the best in what he does. And he is doing it like a boss!

Stay blessed, YBQ. Today, forever!

Movie Preview

Will “The Mountain Between Us” reach to the top of viewer’s expectations?

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Image Source: http://bit.ly/2xPHDnM

Disaster movies are always a challenge to produce because of the life-threatening scenes along with emotions that run around characters. However, the actors of such movies also add value to the narrative. The upcoming movie The Mountain Between Us could be an appealing actor for it stars Idris Elba, who plays Dr. Ben Bass, a surgeon by profession. He will share the screen with Kate Winslet as Alex Martin, a photojournalist. Winslet was last seen in Collateral Beauty (2016) alongside Will Smith. However, this is the first time Winslet will be seen with Elba on the big screen and this duo will be the one to watch for their diverse acting skills.

The movie will show Idris Elba and Kate Winslet play complete strangers on board a small charter plane, which crashes on an icy mountainous terrain in the Arctic region. Idris Elba is considered to be one of the charismatic actors in Hollywood with his deep voice and facial expressions. It is expected he will create magic on the screen along with the damsel in distress, Winslet, who too has a personality that blends in various roles. According to the official trailer of the movie, there are three people who comprise majority of the on-screen time of the movie including Elba, Winslet and the Beau Bridges, who plays the role of the plane’s pilot.

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Image Source: http://fox.co/2wHVEn4

A movie with two or three character with a compelling story always attracts the attention of the viewers for there is less distraction as the number of characters and viewpoints is less and focus on the plot is strong. Viewers will expect action, drama, thrill, suspense, wildlife, and danger looming over the characters as they struggle for survival. Will Idris Elba do justice with his role and will Kate Winslet create an on-screen chemistry with Elba is yet to be seen. I am personally waiting to watch this movie.

News and Happenings

Daastan: Spearheading Pakistan’s literary revolution; one book at a time!

It is an admirable example of teamwork at Daastan, with the Board of Directors working in unision with the Editors, Creative Team and the Marketeers, in providing a platform for authors to showcase their work to the world, while also facilitating Daastan in achieving its vision and mission of touching literary excellence.

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What do you get when you combine vision to begin a literary journey, the mission to provide aspiring writers with opportunities to get published and an idea to create an online self-publishing platform that can also monetize the author’s work? You get Daastan, the literary revolution that began in 2015 by Syed Ommer Amer. He was fortunate to have the company of like-minded friends, including Nauman Shahid, Managing Editor, Daastan, who shared and owned his vision and mission of bringing a literary revolution in Pakistan.

What Ommer and his team of literary activists began from their humble origins is reaching new heights and touching milestones which they would not even have imagined at the time of Daastan’s inception. Now that this platform is a reality, more writers are having their work published through Daastan’s MeraQissa initiative.

Daastan has been holding it’s The Stories Untold – theme-based story writing competitions. Three such events have been held so far. The theme for The Stories Untold – 1 was Imperfect Perfections; the theme for The Stories Untold – 2 addressed issues of Youth Radicalization and their affect on society. However, the recently concluded, The Stories Untold – 3 competition, invited stories based on magic.

Fortunately, I have been part of all three editions of The Stories Untold competitions as an author and I must say the qualities of stories, as I guessed from their blurbs, have been increasing with each competition. Moreover,  the cover designs of these stories, which are designed in-house by Daastan’s amazing team of designers, have evolved in terms of aesthetic sense and detailing to highlights that must be part of each book’s cover. The editors of both English and Urdu, including Aimen Siddiqui, Sidra Amin, Safwa Mir, Zahra Akbar, Bushra Mustafa and Tehreem Hassan, have been working deligently with authors in improving their stories’ writing expression and style. It is a teamwork at Daastan with the Board of Directors working in unision with the Editors, Creative Team and the Marketeers to provide a platform for authors to showcase their work to the world while also facilitating Daastan in achieving its vision and mission of touching literary excellence. Many media outlets have covered Daastan’s rise to glory. Dawn.com posted an exclusive, detailed story on Daastan. I personally want to congratulate the entire team at Daastan for moving forward with their vision and on holding their third consecutive The Stories Untold competition.

Apart from Ommer and Nauman, Daastan’s team includes the following members, as per the details available on Daastan’s website:

Board of Directors 1

Board of Editors 1

Board of Creatives 1

Board of Marketeers

Muhammad Omar Iftikhar is a Karachi-based columnist, author, short story writer and blogger at Express Tribune Blogs. He has over 300 articles publsihed to his name in leading English-language newspapers and magazines of Pakistan including Dawn, The News, Daily Times, Pakistan Observer, Frontier Post and South Asia Magazine. He has been a three-time finalist at Daastan’s The Stories Untold – Nationwide Story Writing Competition. For more info: www.facebook.com/moiwrites

Movie Review

Will Xander Cage become a memorable character?

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Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XXX:_Return_of_Xander_Cage#/media/File:Xxx_return_of_xander_cage_film_poster.jpeg

Vin Diesel made a name for himself by appearing in the Fast and the Furious franchise. However, keeping his adventurous persona alive, he appeared in XXX (2002) as Xander Cage, a thrill seeking enthusiast, who becomes a spy for the National Security Agency (NSA). After a hiatus of 15 years, Vin Diesel reprises his role as Xander Cage in the sequel, XXX: Return of Xander Cage.

The movie shows XXX perform his tricks with the motorcycle and the skateboard where he even skis through a rainforest. XXX: Return on Xander Cage is a sort of movie that has two kinds of audiences. One, those who cheer on every move that Xander make, even if it is lighting up a cigarette. Second are those who want to sleep throughout the movie. Perhaps the hype for XXX: Return of Xander Cage across social media was because of Deepika Padukone playing the role of Serena Unger. What part she plays in the world of espionage is for you to find out.

Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi8e0iOVk1fEOogdfu4YgfA

However, even with often-time goofy stunts and the essence of predictability evident in some stunt scenes which Xander performs, you cannot get a better action-adventure movie like this. Perhaps it is the aura, appeal, and persona of Vin Diesel that he can create any stunt look top-class, which would receive enormous applause from Vin Diesel fans.

If you want to see a movie showing stunts that are explainable and logical, then do not watch this movie. However, if you want to see Diesel and Padukone on the same screen and stunts that keep you at the edge of the chair then XXX: Return of Xander Cage is a must watch.