Showing posts from April, 2015

Website review: Persona Paper

We writers are a nomadic lot. Just like a desert dweller in search of a green oasis in the midst of the wilderness, we also go here and there, always searching for a perfect site where we can unleash our creative side and earn to our heart's content. 

Earning money online has become both a necessity and a powerful tool to supplement personal income for millions of people around the globe. One of the best ways to earn online is to join a website that allows its members to write short, informative or personal articles and split the revenues generated with the members. 
I have also been a member of many online sites. Some ended their business (, a few refused to open their doors for the residents of Pakistan ( and others had admins who turned out to be liars, thieves and rogues (CGP Gallery, Elite Visitors, Day2Day Tips) who ran away with people's hard earned money without a word.
Persona Paper:
One site that has stood the test of time is Persona  Paper. I bec…

Plastic bags

Plastic bags, plastic bags, they are everywhere. We throw them, we burn them and they pollute the air. From rivers and oceans, they come ashore. They kill aquatic life and yet we ask for more.
Plastic bags, plastic bags, they are a disaster Using them is destroying our environment a lot faster. They clog the pipes and choke the drains. They contain lead that damages our brains.
Plastic bags, plastic bags, oh what a mess has been made Getting rid of them is a problem; they neither rot nor biodegrade Choking our earth and causing many diseases It is time that this madness ceases.
Plastic bags, plastic bags, what a source of pollution. Let us stop for a moment and think of a solution We have to stop spoiling our nature’s beauty. Because saving the Earth is everyone’s duty.
(Written for my son's grade 2 science project)
Most people think that a plastic bag is just a small thing that cannot have a big impact. In many third world countries, use of plastic bags is one of the major reasons why sewage sy…

Farmer Ted's Farm

Farmer Ted bought a new bull And tied it in the shed.
A little mouse squeaked at it And the bull saw red!
The bull bucked and roared And frightened the dainty little ducks.
They fled down the road And so collided the trucks.
The dogs barked, the donkeys brayed The geese cackled, the horses neighed.
The noise alarmed the farmer’s wife And she got up on a chair.
She clung to it for dear life And screamed for hubby dear.
The chair tripped and fell over And she broke her right arm.
Oh, what a terrible day it was For Farmer Ted’s farm!

Book review: The Citadel, by A.J. Cronin

I have just finished reading the book, “The Citadel” by A.J. Cronin. To say that the book was interesting or captivating would be a gross understatement.
It is the story of a young idealistic doctor, Doctor Andrew Manson, who starts his professional journey with only one intention...healing the sick and helping the unhealthy to get better.
However he soon finds out that being a doctor is much more than diagnosing diseases and handing out prescriptions. He has to contend with lazy medical officers, greedy committee members and stubborn people who thwart his every move to improve their condition.
He moves from the small Welsh mining village and finally reaches London where he is sucked into the glamorous world of deceit and avarice; where healing matters less than making money by pampering rich and old hypochondriac ladies, suggesting unnecessary medical treatments for spoiled brats of wealthy tycoons and referring cases to influential doctor friends who do the same for the portion of exor…

Splashing in Puddles

There was once a naughty little lad His tricks and jokes drove people mad
When it rained, he’d jump in puddles And splash water all over Mr. Cuddles.
More water over the neighbor’s cat And all over Mr. Hodge’s tall hat.
Murky water all over his sister’s toy. Oh, isn't he a naughty little boy?
He’d splash water over anyone who came near Got them all wet but he just didn't care.
“I won’t play with you”, said his friend. “You got me wet, your ways must mend.”
Little Tommy laughed and jumped from the wall Into muddy puddles, some big, others small
A big shiny red truck speedily roared by Making Tommy jump up with a loud cry
Its wheels churned up the puddle water Over Tommy, it all spluttered and spattered
Drenched and cold, dirty and draggled Poor Tommy went home, sad and straggled

An ode to pizza

A pizza for breakfast, a pizza for lunch
A pizza for dinner, I would love to munch

Let it be round, let it be square 
If it’s a pizza, I really don’t care

Pizza with pepperoni, pizza with cheese
I’ll have another and more of these.

My pizza is hot, my pizza is yummy 
Hear that growl? That’s my tummy.

Thin crust or deep pan, vegetable or meat 
Roasted or grilled, melting in the heat

Olives and tomatoes, onions and bell pepper 
On Parmesan or ricotta, mozzarella or cheddar

Top it with cheese, herbs and spices 
I’ll eat it whole, no need for slices.

Crispy and zesty, tasty and crunchy 
All these have made me a big pizza junky

Take my burger, have my sandwich 
Stare if you want, beg if you wish.

Smell the aroma, just don’t come near. 
That’s my pizza and I’ll never share.

My Purse

I looked and I searched, I moved my things around.
The keys did not materialize; They were nowhere to be found

“How shall we enter? The door is locked.
“We need a thief,” he gently mocked.

Tissues and cards, money and bills,
A paper and a pencil, a bottle of pills.

A packet of chips, a forgotten grocery list
A family photograph, a bracelet for my wrist.

A tiny sewing kit, some crayons and a band-aid
A receipt, lip-gloss and a bill that had not been paid.

Two lipsticks, some coins, a comb, a spray
Some toffees and Oreo cookies joined the fray.

As the pile grew, my husband looked inflamed.
“Goodness gracious!” he finally exclaimed.

“Is it a purse or do you carry a trunk?
How can you tolerate so much junk?”

“Just a few more things;” I barely mumbled.
I searched some more and more things tumbled.

My purse nearly empty, I felt no better
My fingers found something; it was a letter.

I opened it slowly; what joy it brought
Two sheets of love and a dreamy thought

Written by the man who stood by my side
Many years ag…

Book reviews: A Book of Brownies, by Enid Blyton

I am a big Enid Blyton fan and whenever I have a little time on my hands I always grab a book by her and escape into childhood.
A Book of Browniesis a classic example of Enid Blyton’s imagination and creativity as she tells the story of three very mischievous brownies named Hop, Jump and Skip who live in Crab Apple Cottage.
Due to their naughty behavior, they do not get invited to the party that is being hosted by the King of Fairyland in his grand castle. An old witch comes to their cottage and teaches them some magic tricks so that they can attend the party disguised as conjurers. Things go wrong as one of the magic tricks makes Princess Peronel disappear and they do not know the spell to get her back.
The angry King banishes the three brownies from Fairyland and forbids them to return until they have found their goodness. Their quest for their goodness takes them to exciting and dangerous places. First they are imprisoned by a bad wizard in the Cottage-Without-a-Door,
Then they meet th…

Book review: The Kite Runner, by Khalid Hosseini

"The Kite Runner" by Khalid Hosseini spent over two years on the New York Times bestseller list, and has been published in 42 different languages.

The story is about two Afghan boys, Amir, who belongs to a rich and affluent family and his servant boy Hassan who belongs to the ethnic minority Hazara. The novel explores the relationship between these two boys and how Amir's cowardice and Hassan's devotion to his master help shape their destiny.

Amir's father is disappointed in his only son who shows no interest in soccer and buzkushi, two sports all Afghans are crazy about. Amir is also jealous of Hassan's innate courage and the special place Hassan holds in his Baba's heart. To win his father's approval, Amir vows to win a local kite flying tournament and asks for Hassan's help.

After their victory, Amir witnesses a brutal crime being inflicted upon Hassan. He chooses not to intervene so as to avoid getting hurt. This incident changes him forever. He …

Shoe-Shine...a short story about honesty

Gul Zeb was only twelve years old when his entire world shattered around him. A powerful earthquake left him and his seven year old sister homeless, destitute and orphaned. Their house was reduced to a pile of rubble and along with their ailing grandfather; the two siblings were taken to a relief camp. Kind strangers took care of them, clothed and fed them as the two children and thousands others struggled to come to terms with their loss and misery.

Time passed and Gul Zeb and Zuhra came to Islamabad with their grandfather. They were placed in a temporary relief center. It was run by Mr. Azmat Ali, a kind man who tried to comfort them and ease their sufferings. Gul Zeb was sent to school but he hated living on charity. His father had always emphasized on hard work and Gul Zeb wanted to work for a living.

Seeing the young boy’s determination, Mr. Azmat gave him some money. Gul Zeb bought shoe brushes, polishes and some other supplies. Everyday after school, Gul Zeb would put his thin…

Adopt the Right Attitude

Ali and Ahmed were best friends. One day, the weather was very pleasant. The two friends decided to go to the park for some fun. When they reached the park, they found that it very crowded. Lots of people had come there to enjoy the good weather with their families. Many people had gathered outside the ticket booth at the main entrance of the park. 
 A young man kept asking the people to form a queue so that tickets could be issued quickly in a disciplined manner. Ahmed decided to help him but Ali was irritated. 
“What nuisance! It will take such a long time to get the tickets. I’ll push my way to the front,” he said. 
Ahmed stopped him. “Don’t be silly, Ali. Pushing and jostling will make matters worse. A fight might break out. If everyone makes a queue, things will proceed smoothly and people will get entry tickets quickly.” 
Ali grumbled but did not push matters. He stood in line and to his surprise, their turn came quite quickly and they were inside within minutes. When they reached t…

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