Samiha Zubair: Author of “Reneging Quiescence”

An Interview I conducted for Youth Times, a website I work with, that’s definitely going to inspire you to pursue your dream. All it takes is a leap of faith, we all have that innate spirit and potential that needs to be unleashed. Know more about Samiha Zubair here:

It’s a great honor for Youth Times to interview an emerging Pakistani writer, more particularly a poet. A lot of people would love to hear about your story as a poet and as an author of a book.

Q1.  Tell us about yourself first?

My name is Samiha Zubair. I was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In my early years, I shifted with my family to Pakistan where I completed my education and graduated as a Medical Doctor. For two years, I taught students of O-levels. In writing, I found my second love which I have been pursuing somewhat regularly for few years now. My first write-up achievement was an opinionated article about how to keep the city clean which got published in Dawn Young World during my secondary school years.

 

Q2. It may sound a bit personal but what made you become a poet, some bad experiences with people or the society?

 

My loneliness hasn’t made me a poet rather it’s about hardships of life. Who hasn’t faced hard days but this is for sure that such moments have only strengthened me. Our situations and surroundings change us and we reciprocate them by evolving and being better than our prior selves. It just depends on how we harness them.

 

Q3. How would you define a “writer” and a “poet”?

A writer is the one who can express thoughts whichever genre selected while poet has only one form of genre to write on. If I say, that I know a lot about poets it will be wrong. There are many changes in how the poets can express themselves like haiku, prose etc. Poets are experimenting with new styles and are setting standards to freely express themselves.

 

Q4. Which poets and writers are your favorite and why?

Well you will be surprised to know that as regards poetry, I only read various poetry posted in on-net groups otherwise you will not find any poetry book embracing my book shelf. Amongst my favorite writers are Jeffery Archer, Paulo Coelho and even Stephen King for how they describe their characters and web stories around is worth applauding. Especially Paulo Coelho is my favourite one.

 

Q5. How did it all begin? Did you work as a published writer before publishing your book “Reneging Quiescence?” What made you realize your hidden potential other than your profession as a doctor?

It’s a difficult question as my writings were inked down by me depending on my mood and they were just few subtle feeling but I never imagined that they could ever take the form of a book. I wrote my first poem about 6-7 years before and then continued to write them till 2014, I really got into it and began jotting down my feelings on paper. I felt like an aphrodisiac then.

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 Q6. If you have to describe “Reneging Quiescence” in a single line, how would you describe it?

“Refusing to be silent for wrong things is a real solution to many problems” Is what defines the book.

 

Q7.  What was your motivation for composition of your book? How much support did you get from people?

 It was a regurgitation of my surroundings and how they shaped me. If the past is past we can still make for a better future and vicious cycle can be broken. I got support from my mother and a few colleagues who believed that i could achieve something.

 

Q8. What message would you like to give to all those yet unpublished writers out there? How can they climb up the ladder and overcome their fears to come on the front?

To all writers who want to make a change I would say that believe in the fact that ‘Word is mightier than sword’. Its true and we should realize its strength. It’s hard work, prioritization and the biggest shield against your fears I repeat is hope that can help you ace in your writing profession. Never loose hope.

 

Q9. Do you think reading culture is dying gradually in our society?

Yes, it is. Especially in the fast paced present society where one can be abreast with global transitions just by a click, reading even on net seems like a slow paced hobby.

 

Q10. What has been the best part of your life? Was it in becoming a doctor or a poet?

I learnt from both professions and both inspired and changed me. This phrase will seem quite mundane, but its true neverthless, that since young age I was inspired by my mother who is a doctor herself. Poetry also changed my perception so both of the aspects run parallel and are equally dear to me though poetry became my companion only recently.

‘Doctor is to life as poetry is to living ‘

 

Q11. Are you enjoying the recognition that you are getting after publishing your work

“Reneging Quiescence”?

Yes, it makes you feel good though, its still in infancy stage. More is the satisfaction that I was able to express something which can light others path.

 

Q12. What’s your favorite poem or stanza from the book “Reneging Quiescence?”

Whole book is my baby as its my creation but my favourite poem is ‘FLIGHT’ and the words:

As how you soar is just one law of perception

For if denied landing even flight becomes an inescapable prison

 

 

Q13. Are you looking forward to publishing another book and continuing your career as a poet?

It’s still too early to say anything. You can say that poetry adopted me so let’s see how I am nourished by it.

 

10 Baseless Superstitions of Pakistani Society

It is really interesting to know how these mysterious baseless stereotypical superstitions control our minds and lives. Are we still living in the dark ages of ignorance? Or Have we really moved on?

Superstitions are part of every literate as well as illiterate society. They are cultural and traditional believes that mould the thoughts and actions of society. They make up our ancient belief system and are being questioned by modern more rational and tech-oriented community.

As it is an unproved African stereotypical taboo that drinking of milk by a child will make the little mind reckless, many such believes hinder our progress and development of mind as well.

In our Pakistani community, a lot of stereotypes are common though rootless and lame. Let me tell you how many of them are true and have really worked.

  1. LOOKING INTO THE MIRROR AT MIDNIGHT:

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It is believed to be not good to look in the mirror at midnight according to some rustic believes. I remember being warned by one of my relatives from seeing my reflection at night. She reasoned that you may see a ghost. Such a lame and silly logic, Isn’t it? It was unbelievable for me in my childhood and being curious I never let myself get feared by a mere belief or more appropriately a superstition.

  1. SWEEPING IN THE EVENING:

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This superstition was adopted from Indian culture as it was a taboo for them. It was said that sweeping the floor in evening time brings bad luck. There is another believe linked with the act, saying that it sweeps away “rizq” from home.

Well, these superstitions only create phobias which lead to occurrence of certain things in a chain. So, people’s faith is strengthened by this action and outcome relationship. They just attract the consequences by the power of their believes.

  1. CROSSING OF A BLACK CAT:

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Crossing of the path by a black cat is one prominent superstition that exists even in the educated community. It is believed to be symbol of impending trouble. It sometimes proves right because of firm belief of people, who then link bad things up with this widespread superstition.

These superstitions are more like predicting future or providing foresight that comes from wisdom of our ancestors.

Let’s suppose, “what if we cross the path of a black cat?” Is the cat then is going to have a bad day?   

 

We need not to forget that good and bad fortunes come from ALLAH and no one else.

  1. MILK AFTER FISH:

One more very common superstition that has plagued our minds is taking milk after eating fish. It is believed to cause Vitilago. Vitilago is a disease which causes white patches on skin. For your relief, let me tell you, it is a particular kind of fish that leads to Vitilago which is not even available here in Pakistan. So, free your minds from this fear.

 

  1. UNLUCKY 13:

 

There are few numbers like 9, 13, 17 which aren’t believed to be good times or dates to begin something new. They are the unlucky numbers which bring trouble and bad luck. So, we have a good reason to blame our worst outcomes on such numbers.

  1. THE CROW AT YOUR ROOF:

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After a lot of bad luck charmers, the crow is cawing to deliver the message of arrival of the guests soon enough. As guests are considered blessings in disguise according to dictates of our religion, crow brings with it the good news.

  1. SNEEZE OF REMEMBRANCE:

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Sneezes are thought to be symbolic of the fact that the person is being remembered by someone. Though, I don’t remember of it becoming a fact. Rather it is now considered to be a point when we are saved from death.

  1. ITHCY PALM:

 

Itchy palms are believed to bring money soon enough to the person. Unfortunately, so far it never worked for me.

  1. CROSSING FINGER:

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Crossing of fingers at the moment of trouble helps in avoiding bad luck. People also cross fingers while making promises believing that this will not let the promise be made. They feel free from the responsibility of fulfilling it and make a fool of people. Thus it helps in telling of lies as well.

  1. SWINGING OF AN EMPTY SWING:

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Swinging of the empty swing in the air causes ghosts to sit on them and they do not stop swinging afterwards. This is fearful yet another superstition.

Mind Control Through Yoga

“To perform to unite” is what defines yoga in its traditional purpose of practice.”

 Yoga is analogical to Sufi dance practice with the aspiration of achievement of oneness with the self, the aura and God. They come with the effort to concentrate at the center and forget about one’s existence to reach for the higher world. Although former does it through immobility and later through circular movements.

That is one perspective to it; Yoga comes with myriad of posture and positions with primary goal to gain focus of one’s self through mind control. This has gained fame in 1980’s in the western world. Science has been doing research on beneficial effects of these slow movements, stretches and body postures. They have been proved to be helping in psychological as well as bodily health. It cures not only externally but internally. It comes with a package of gifts in the hectic yet busy lives of modern world human species. ADHD, Autism, cancer, depression, respiratory disorders, heart ailments, digestion problems, arthritis, bone and muscle weaknesses have now got one potent curative remedy of yoga. Yoga’s growing importance is because of its diverse therapeutic effects.

These stretches are painful at first because of rigidity of long deteriorating stagnated body, but gradually flexibility is enhanced and expansion in one’s ability to have control over mind and body is achieved without any kind of pain. Rather it helps fight back aches and other kinds of pain with which most people are usually dealing with currently. With higher blood circulation level, this physical exercise helps in faster brain activity followed by better awareness of the surroundings.

Why mind control is important:

Mind control is one milestone that is highly recommended in all self-help books that deal with changing our lives by expanding our psychic dimensions. Everyone takes different amount of time and effort to attain control of psyche and mental processes. Only this mind makes man to excel all other non-human creation of God and be referred to as complex entity. In yoga, mind control is practiced to enhance focus and attention through deep breathing, awareness of whole internal as well as external existence, relaxation of all muscles and control over one’s body.

Effects of mind control:

  • With mind control, Yoga helps in expanding mental serenity and creates peaceful aura on the inside. This relaxes mind and body which fixes sleep disorders, insomnia, stress, depression, and migraines etc. Mind control comes with better focus and involvement in anything you do.

  • It cures ADHD resulting in increased attention spans.

  • It aids in autism with its emotional insensitivity and rigidity.

  • With mind control one can rein one’s thinking processes shifting it towards positivity. It thus helps fight anger, fatigue, frustration and other most common mental illnesses. Positivity also helps in boosting one’s energy as it gets saved from psychic ailments. It thus helps in building better personal and professional relationships.

  • Mind control helps to create an aura of peace and they have the key of their tranquility only in their own hands.

  • Better focus and mind control help in boosting self confidence.

All this helps in improved emotional, creative and cognitive intelligences.

Yoga with its powerful metanoia through mind control helps one to be aware of one’s potential through positivity, quietude, composure, form and pattern and a better hold of the real world.

Musical Effects-How Music Aids Efficiency and Productivity

Music has been an age old institution in every culture concerning rhythm, beauty, and mind, body, soul of life. It has been another art form that connects nature with soul. Those pre-historic men had flutes in their hands in all those carved stories on bones. It has developed real importance in everyone’s life. Let’s discover about the effects it has on mind and body.

Studies have shown how it works in developing our emotional intelligence, cognitive ability via media of music learning and listening.

Effects on Mind

Music activates motor, auditory, and limbic regions of brain. Motor cortex perceives rhythm, auditory region catches the sound signals and limbic region containing amygdala reacts to emotions accordingly. So music optimizes and energizes different parts of brain at one time. This enhances learning ability and memory.

Effect on Learning and Memory

Albert Einstein, one of the smartest men, was a violin player. Thomas Jefferson wrote his Declaration of Independence in the company of music to keep him motivated.

How did music help them?

During learning process, Music activates right part of brain and all the information being taken in activates the left brain part. This optimizes brain activity by engaging both the regions of mind. Learning and playing music helps in developing technical skills and ability to look into details to create perfect harmony among discordant parts. Classical music has been proved to enhance learning skills and memory. According to experiments, whenever the learner was made to hear the same music it brought back memory of all those things that he learnt because of its beat and rhythm linked with learnt material.

According to experimental research done by the centre of new discoveries in learning, learning potential has increased five times by using 60 beats per minute .

How singing it all helps?

Ancient Greeks use to sing their dramas, being effective for memory. Better retention of events and learning material has been observed through this technique of singing and creating rhythm of things to be memorized. It works even for the dumbest of child. It also creates a sense of joy and enthusiasm in a child. And another amazing fact is that it is a long-term impactful memory.

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Music Gives You a Better Focus

Often when you are doing your mathematics or any kind of work that needs your focus whether art, writing or something else, putting on some music keeps you from getting distracted. Music alerts your mind by an energy boost which helps in improving concentration.

Music Helps Our Mind to Relax

Music affects the amplitude and frequency of brain waves. It has soothing and fortifying effects on mind and body during the phase of exhaustion at the end of the day.

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How Can We Ignore the Importance of Choice of Music

But choice of right kind of music is important. Different kinds of music have different kind of effect on your moods and memory. Like Jazz won’t be a good choice while you are learning something, your brain will have to struggle between processing the information as well as the cascade of auditory signals. For exercise or an energy boost, pop-rock-jazz works and helps us work efficiently. Moderate sound level music was proved to optimize creativity. And mood is either rejuvenated or toned down because of the music being played.

 

Music Aids Patients of TBI

According to scientific research on TBI (traumatic brain injuries) inflicted patients had their autobiographical memories revived as an outcome of playing the no 1 hits on their playlists for them.

Thus music has some healthy effects as we look at its brighter perspective. I am not denying the harmful effects but in a positive trifocal manner it hits us physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Coffee Trend as an Energy Drink

 

More than a just being hype, coffee has a lot of proven work backing it as stimulating, activating, and healthy.

According to an estimate average coffee intake among Americans is almost 300mg per day and 25% of this populace drinks more than 600mg daily. There must be a secret unveiled behind its so much popularity and consumption. With all those antagonistic school of thoughts about health benefits of coffee, there is an undeniable stream of research on how it works inside the brain.

 And what is that irrefutable fact?

Let’s look at the functioning of brain before and after this seemingly miraculous energizer. During your waking hours, there’s constant firing away of neurons inside your brain ending up with an emergence of adenosine. CNS is on watch of level of adenosine, which when reaches a required level triggers mind to sleep.keurig

Caffeine mimics adenosine:

When you drink coffee, Caffeine being a stealthy imposter, in a clandestine manner presents itself for adenosine receptors (mostly A1 receptors) to be accepted. Receptors get easily deceived by caffeine’s similarity to adenosine. This acts as an receptor antagonist, clogging receptors from adenosine triggers.

Arousal of stimulating neurotransmitters:

Along with that caffeine boosts production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine. They act as profiteers in the whole situation as adenosine opposition gets to a halt. These are basically aiming at energy levels boost in brain. Dopamine is primarily concerned with concentration level thus helping in better performance and upgraded brain activity.

Adrenaline boost:

Caffeine also stimulates release of catecholamines like adrenaline along sympathetic nervous system. This is a “fight or flight” activator in exhilarating or terrifying moments. Being initiated by caffeine it builds up heart rate side by side blood circulation. It also stimulates liver for sugar release in bloodstream for energy boost to deal with appalling or exciting situations. Adrenaline has been observed to be a memory enhancer as we remember more of those events that either frighten us or thrilled us.

Coffee’s anti-oxidizing function: 

Caffeine has also shown evidence of acting as an antioxidant in our body. An antioxidant is one that sacrifices its existence by getting oxidized and saving cells from being oxidized. Thus it proves to be a life saver. It is an inhibitor of chain reactions taking place as a result of oxidation inside the cell with production of free radicals. This harmful process is terminated and averted by none other than charismatic caffeine. Consequently, it gives hand in preserving energy for other mental or physical functions of body. And That is another reason of energy boost of body as a result of coffee consumption.

Antioxidants are popular in our daily diet supplements. It has been testified that how they help in prevention of many kinds of epidemically damaging diseases like cancer, coronary heart disease etc.

Enhanced tolerance and resistance of body:

Studies have shown that excessive intake of coffee makes mind tolerant and resistant towards its trigger. With more adenosine suppression by caffeine, receptors increase in body for adenosine to keep working. Thus you need more coffee to repress it completely. Even if you get energized with more coffee, those sleep stimulators haven’t left your body thus leaving your body doubly enervated as soon as the effect of caffeine reduces.

Use this energy drink with choice not with habit to keep it stimulating you harmlessly and effectively. Stay energized with today’s most wanted and marvelled beverage. 

Imprisoning labyrinth- Anxiety

ZAINEB HASHMI

Nobody knows the struggle that takes place between you and your anxiety at 5am. This is the hour that forces you to fight it after going through a long day of anxiety. No one can ever possibly know. Incomputable times you try to shrug off your anxiety yet you are unsuccessful in doing so. Your heart is exploding, you are screaming inside, you secretly harbor the desire to set fire to the world, yet there is a calm expression with a gentle smile on your face. Your inner war will never reveal itself to the outer world because you know it doesn’t matter. You want to do so much yet you end up staring at the walls of your room for longer periods of time. You don’t want that hour to arrive yet daily you have to face it.

Every night. Same hour.  Same feeling.

Regardless of wherever you are sitting…

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