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Chill and Euphoria

It was winter. The air was chilly and the sky was hazy blue. There was a mist surrounding the busy city of Lahore. I could here birds chirping here and there. A few black ravens could be heard also but the sweet sound of the birds drowned out the voices of the ugly black crows.
It was 7 a.m, just the perfect time for a walk. I woke up early in the morning to go for my walk in the park near my house. The road was quiet and serene. Sundays are usually peaceful because people like to sleep till late. There is just one day off from work and that day is meant to be enjoyed. My idea of holiday is to go on a walk and come back and read. Read and read till you are tired and easily fall asleep. I enjoyed my morning walk observing the beauty of nature around me. Marigolds and roses, greenery and crisp autumn leaves were the center of attraction. I took pleasure in the scenery and landscape as I took my rounds. It was time to go. I did not want to leave the track. The sun was out and the experience of the cold mixed with the warmth was refreshing. As I glided back home, the butterflies flitted around me. I thought of breakfast. It would be nice to have a Spanish omelette with toasted bread. It was a Sunday and one deserves to be pampered on a Sunday. Eating a luxurious breakfast and doing household chores such as cleaning and cooking are the main activities around which a holiday is usually structured.
But today I just wanted to relax. I just wanted to read and write. I was hungry for knowledge. My thirst for knowledge was not yet quenched. As I read about the upcoming films in the paper such as ‘Happy Ending’ and ‘Kill Dil’, I wanted to watch all of them. It was interesting to know about these movies and I wanted some entertainment. I made a plan to see my friend from school. As I talked to her about the things I read about, I felt elated. The power of knowledge makes you a conversationist and a meaningful conversationist as well. One feels the confidence growing when one looks and talks good.
I let all positive thoughts enter my body and I felt at ease. It was a beautiful feeling. I felt euphoric.

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Cut in oil prices.

Pakistani consumers should expect a hefty cut in fuel prices following a sharp decline in the value of Brent crude, which plunged to a new low on Thursday.
A decrease of up to Rs10 per litre is likely to come into effect next month, The Express Tribune has learnt. Earlier this month, the government slashed fuel prices by up to Rs14.68 per litre after crude prices dipped in the international market.
With a glut of crude oil coming out of the US shale reservoirs, crude prices, which dropped to $77.75 per barrel on Thursday, have provided enough breathing space for the government to reduce fuel prices in the country.
Commenting on the global trend, government officials said that domestic oil prices were likely to come down by Rs10 per litre for the month of December.
However, they said, the final calculation is to be made by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) on Friday (today).
Following the expected cuts next month, the price of High Speed Diesel (HSD), which is widely used in heavy transport vehicles and the agriculture sector, is likely to come down by Rs6 per litre. Currently, it is sold at Rs101.21 per litre.
Similarly, the price of petrol could witness a cut of Rs9 per litre against its current price of Rs94.19 per litre. Kerosene oil, which is used as kitchen fuel in remote areas of the country, may record a decrease of Rs4 per litre. Its current price is Rs87.52 per litre.
Likewise, consumers of High Octane Blending Component (HOBC), used mainly in luxury vehicles, are likely to enjoy a reduction of Rs10 per litre against the current price of Rs116.45 per litre.
The 30 per cent drop in the value of Brent crude, triggered by a sharp rise in US shale oil output, has provided an unparalleled opportunity for governments across the globe to slash rising fuel prices.

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It was tough, it was slippery, it was square and untidy. Can you guess what it was? No!I am not going to let you know that easy. Hold your horses! Okay. Let me give you some hints.
It is brownish white in colour.
It has to be cooked over high flame. But then everything needs to be cooked over fire.:(
What is it?
Ideally it is supposed to be round and thin. It should bloat like an arrogant person. Now you can guess, now can you? It is pretty simple.
It fills your stomach. Not too much of it should be eaten. Don’t eat it greedily. Avarice is the one of the seven deadly sins. So beware!
It is usually eaten with curry. It is a produced in the South Asian countries. It is their staple diet.
It helps ease constipation. AARGH! I can hear someone in pain.
My shit is not coming out. It is stuck!
Oh my! My patience is being tested. What is it? I can’t seem to guess.
Okay. Relax. I will ease your pain and bring you out of the misery of ignorance.
It is ……. Hahaha
I leave it to you to guess.

The upside down worldmap

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SAARC

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation abbreviated to SAARC was first established on December 8th 1985. Its aim was to unite and to encourage and promote mutual development and progress between its seven original members, namely Pakistan, India, Maldives, Srilanka, Bangladesh, Bhuttan and Nepal and Now Afghanistan.
The head of state/head of government of the SAARC states are as follows:
The head of state in a republic is usually the president. In a monarchy the reigning monarch is the head of state.
SAARC members

Member Represented by Title
Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani
President

Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister

Bhutan Tshering Tobgay
Prime Minister

India Narendra Modi
Prime Minister

Maldives Abdulla Yameen
President

Nepal Sushil Koirala
Prime Minister

Pakistan Nawaz Sharif
Prime Minister

Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa
President

The SAARC summit 2014 held in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal was unsuccessful in reaching a mutual agreement on regional trade between the ever bickering leaders of India and Pakistan.

The Indian and Nepalese officials were quoted that Pakistan failed to sign multilateral pacts which included boosting road trade and electricity sharing across the Pakistani border into India.

However, this is only one view.

According to the Prime Minister, he wanted to see a dispute free South Asia where the south Asian countries united to put an end to ills such as poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, diseases and unemployment.

The Prime Minister said that he wanted to minimize divergences and achieve convergence between the SAARC nations.

In the 18th SAARC summit that kicked off on Wednesday (26th Sept 2014) the Prime Minister said the gap between promises made and promises fulfilled should be bridged.

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Glaciers & climate change.

There are 3 main mountain ranges in Pakistan-the Himalayas, the Karakoram and the Hindukush. K2, the second highest peak in the world lies in the mountain range of Himalayas whilst Nanga Parbat is the highest peak of the Karakoram range.
The climate in these areas is extremely cold. The peaks are snowcapped and there are many glaciers lying on these peaks. According to ICIMOD estimates Pakistan is home to around 5218 glaciers with a total area of 15040 sq km and in addition around 2420 glacial lakes are also identified and mapped in Pakistan. Karakorum Range has the greatest share in hosting much of the glaciated ice where almost 37% of the region is under the glaciers.
The Siachen glacier is the second longest glacier in the world. It lies in the disputed territory between India and Pakistan.
These glaciers are a major source of water for agriculture and domestic use. However, because of climate change these glaciers are melting fast causing a halt in the supply of fresh drinking water, water for agriculture and hydro- electric power.
Despite all these odds glaciers add to the scenic beauty of the area.
Despite natural disasters Pakistan has still survived. This is owing to the fact that Pakistanis have faith in the Almighty. Natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, draught, famine, floods have struck Pakistan endlessly. Yet Pakistan seems to come out of the disasters because of the help and faith in the Almighty.
The more one spends in the name of charity and for humanitarian causes, the more his pocket is widened. So don’t be stingy and spend in the name of Allah.

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The New School

It was the summer of 1969. Haha. No it was the summer of 2014.
The sun was scorching hot. Intense heat waves were being transmitted from the east. Power breakouts were taking their toll on the masses. The sound of generators was spreading noise pollution making it impossible to nap in the afternoons. The circumstances in Lahore were testing the patience of the common masses. It was a ridiculous summer, nothing like the summer of ’69, full of fun and frolick.
Mona had started her job as assistant librarian at one of the noblest institute’s of Pakistan-The New School abbreviated TNS. The school had a massive building. Blue, orange and grey were the primary colours of the building. It had an international baccalaureate system. A project based learning school where the comprehension of the students was tested and provided them with an understanding of the practical world. It was an institute which was high in demand. All the parents wanted to enroll their children here.
Started in 2007, TNS had achieved a spectacular reputation and had become highly competitive. Where once they were seeking to build their student body now they had the power to either accept a student or vice versa.
The library had been built on three floors. It was a huge project. The topmost floor was meant for the Middle Years Programme, the second floor for the Primary Years and the first floor for the Early Years. The library was going to start functioning from September 2014.
Mona was responsible for the Early Years Program. She worked relentlessly in the unbearable heat to establish the catalogue system of the library. Once all the books were entered into the catalogue, Mona moved on to do the décor. She searched for ideas on Pinterest and other websites on how to furnish and adorn the floor such that it would interest the children. Creative ideas such as building a vocabulary wall, stringing quotes by dr seuss and other authors, setting up a world map, and hanging book covers and paper flags from the roof all came in a flux. She executed the ideas working hard to achieve perfection.
She then established the E-library adding all types of games, documentaries and recipes for small children. She worked long hours and with resilience. The library was established with in no time. The heads came to see the work done and appreciated it.
However, there is dirty politics everywhere. The colleagues who were once friends started getting jealous of the ideas being put forward by Mona. Mona was bipolar. However she struggled hard to overcome her problem. When finally she had settled in well the game began. People began to hide her efforts and misguide her with the result that she was terminated. Mona was a bright girl. However, successive firings had left her far behind in the race against time. Whilst in other cases her depression ate her up, in this case she was genuinely working hard. She was enjoying her work and she stayed away from all sorts of politics and bad things.
She had just picked up pace when she was asked to leave. Mona was upset and shattered. Each time she climbed one step, people threw her back 10 steps.
Mona was a straightforward girl. She did not know how to lie or be diplomatic. She was honest and a workaholic. She did not even demand a figure of salary. She accepted whatever they gave her. She was just hungry for knowledge and appreciation. She just wanted to receive some sort of recognition for the efforts she had put in. People were stealing her ideas and passing them off as their own. It was after being terminated that she realized, the game that had been played with her.
But Mona did not let the perpetrators of crime get away that easily. She continued to email her heads till she got justice. She understood the fact that without raising her voice against injustice, she will be used as a doormat over and over again. She wanted justice and she wanted those who hurt her to be punished.
Moral: Always ask for justice. There are people who will try to bring your morale down. Don’t let them win. Be strong and fight for your right.

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the grasshopper, the butterfly and the honeybee.

It was a clear sunny morning of January. Birds were chirping here and there. A pale yellow butterfly flitted from one flower to another and the grasshopper hopped from leaf to leaf. Clearly it was spring.
There was a silent dialogue going on between the two insects.
“Dearest grasshopper do you like flowers?”
“Chirp Chirp Chirp “, went the birds.
“No I am asking grasshopper”, said the naughty butterfly
“Who doesn’t like flowers my dear butterfly”, murmured the grasshopper in a teasing tone.
The dialogue ended here and both insects were busied in their jobs when all of a sudden, honey bee came. “I want to drink the pollen from the flowers” she said angrily.
“Go away you silly butterfly.”
“This is my territory.”
The humble butterfly left the scene. In less than a minute a 100 butterflies came and told the honey bee to shove off.
“We are small and delicate but we are united. You honeybee may sting us and use a shrill tone but where is the rest of your swarm. You stand alone“
The honey bee flushed with embarrassment hid in a corner. Her internal dialogue began to sweep through her brain.
‘I should not have done this. It was wrong of me to assume power on the basis of might. I should apologize.’
‘Noooo’, said another voice. You are big and mighty. You don’t need to step back. Answer the butterfly with arrogance. You have all the power in the world. Sting her. Make her die.”
‘NOOO don’t listen to your desires. Control your nafs and prepare for personal jihad. Shed off your wrong defense and listen to your heart.”
‘NOOO’ ‘ YESSSS’ ‘Do This’ ‘No choose this;’ a clamour of voices began to swirl through her mind.
“STOP!”, shrieked the honey bee. Be quiet. Let me decide what to do.”
The grasshopper was a silent spectator to the entire scene. He observed and listened patiently.
It was the break of dawn. The entire day had passed in an uneasiness that was sapping the energy from the souls of the insect kingdom. Dew drops rested heavily on the plants, bending the stems with its weight. The mood was melancholy.
The grasshopper assumed his seat as the judge. The entire insect kingdom had gathered to face the trial of the honeybee and butterfly.
‘Order, Order’, echoed in the hall as the grasshopper hit the gavel onto the desk. The trial had begun.
Grasshopper: What would you like to say in your defense, honeybee.
Honeybee: Your Honour I would like to apologize to the butterfly for my arrogant behavior. I was taken over by demonic forces and could not suppress my desires and pride. I understand might is not right. I should not use my power against the tiny and meek. Rather I should support them. Please exempt me from punishment.
Grasshopper: Butterfly what do you have to say?
Butterfly: I am vibrant and delicate but I am not proud like the honeybee. I like to learn to share and care. And for this very reason I forgive the honeybee. I have nothing more to say.
Grasshopper smiling amicably says: I am proud of the wisdom shown by both of you. But, I would like to give you a piece of advice. Do not act on impulse. When the mind and the heart are caught in a battle, take your time to decide. It is wise to consult your mentor. Make an informed decision rather than one that is spontaneous.
Now go to your homes and ponder over the events of today. Reflect for reflection is very important. Life is like a roller coaster ride with ups and downs. It is a struggle and those who are positive in difficult times will emerge successful as opposed to the failures who though only negative.

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