When The Plants Rose

What do you call it though?


Green plants?
They must have a complex name surely but in Karachi they got famous as Mustafa Kamal plants.
So, its these plants that are just everywhere now.
Quite literally everywhere.
Be it the ‘almost-suburb’ Malir Cantonmentt or the Karsaz road, those plants have grown at such a speedy rate that, in most places, have completely hidden the path they are planted on. With almost similar speed had a lot of rumors circulated about it. Some said they are poisonous while some said they suck away all the nutrition from the ground. Some also said they lessened the oxygen from the air. But she didn’t pay any attention to it because it didn’t concern her until… until that day.
That day strike had broken out instantaneously. Karachi was volatile like that a few years ago.
She was in her car when it had happened. Main Shahrah e Faisal road.
It had all happened at such a fast rate, but she remembers every single detail.
Something had hit her car’s windshield. The glass had broken into million pieces. The shards flew at her face.
She tried to get out of the car when some men with their faces covered rushed towards her. They were obviously not there to help.
When they were done beating the shit out of her, they left her.
That’s when she found the strength to crawl over towards those plants. She wanted to hide.
And somehow, she made it there. Blood oozing out of her, tired, she lay there in the midst of the plants camouflaged as one with them.
She had closed her eyes, but she was hearing everything.
She could even hear the rustle of the plants but she heard so much more: the pain, the screams, the angry shouts, and then sometime later, she also heard help coming. She heard police sirens and ambulances. But nobody came for her.
The leaves kept rustling.
It must have been a lot of hours when she felt she could get up and get some help. She opened her eyes and saw the plants hovering over her. She could swear they were hovering over her.
Realizing it wasn’t the time to prove or disprove her hallucinations, she focused on her injuries. The cuts on her hands. The gashes on her face. The scratches on her legs. She looked at her blood covered hands. The blood had dried by now. That weird copper tinge that forms, was visible.
The copper tinge that vampires must taste. But the blood wasn’t the issue. Or was it?
Because the blood was there. Just no injury.
There was no injury on her hands, no gash on her face, no scratches on her legs. How could it all disappear?
Mysteriously the cuts had healed.
A few days passed after that incident and then one day, she was going to the shop for a band-aid.
She had just gotten a papercut. As she walked, she moved towards the center isle of the road and raised her phone to type something. And in that light from the phone, she saw it, this time first-hand. The healing quickened and the skin, it seems, got sewed together.
She stopped in her tracks. What had just happened? What exactly had she witnessed? Why did it remind her of that day? the day of the strike. Was there any similarity? Both events happened on very different parts of Karachi. She could only think of external factors. And rightly so. Had there been intenral factors, she could have healed at home too. No. There was something more. The time of day wa also different. And then she heard the rustle of leaves. Indeed. It was the same rustlr. It was the same plants. The plants were indeed mysterious. They had healing power. They had to. What else could explain it? Something in those plants had healed her.

But she hadn’t planned to do anything with that information. Not when she saw the escalating crime numbers; not when robbers openly mugged people; not even when criminals openly harassed victims regardless of police presence.

And then one day as she stood outside her office, taking in the evening sun, she saw a man armed with a knife charging towards a woman. He was on a bike. The distance kept on lessening. He would have stabbed her.
And then she did it. She stepped forward. She got right between the knifeman and the stranger woman, grabbed his arm, and twisted it and rolled him over. The bike sped from underneath him. 10 year Taekwondo training could only help for that, not for what followed.
The pain seared through her hand.
The Knife had pierced through.
Men came rushing.
They grabbed him and held him down.
People came towards her as well… to help her I imagine, but she hurried away towards the footpath, towards the plants.
She had saved that woman.
She felt at the top of the world.

Karachi had gotten its own superhero.

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When There Was Mom And…

Alia slept that night like any other night. Nothing out of the ordinary. A peaceful sleep on a weekday? Stress of the university and yet, a peaceful sleep? That, itself, was extraordinary.

Comfy in the bed, with multiple alarms set, she had her self covered with a blanket. But these alarms were just a formality. Her mom was gonna come wake her up anyway for the morning prayer so despite all those wailing alarms she knew she could steal a few moment more’s sleep.

Her mom would get up, switch on the light of the corridor which connected Alia’s, Alia’s sisters’, and Alia’s parents’ room to the living room, and then get everybody up for the morning prayer.

And then before even any alarm went off, her mom was there waking her up. She didn’t say anything probably due to the multiple Quranic verses she recites after the morning prayers. She slowly removed the blanket from Alia’s face and indicated to her that it was time to wake up.

Alia who always wreaked havoc at being woken early morning when even the sun has not risen, woke up at the first try. So, her mom turned and exited the room and into the dark corridor towards the living room. She must have forgotten to switch on the light. Being an obedient little girl today, Alia got up from her bed and followed her out.

Her mom had already disappeared into the living room but Alia stopped at her door to switch on the corridor light because she was afraid of the dark. As she extended her hand towards the light switch, from her right she heard an alarm go off in her mother’s room and she heard her mom groan at her sleep being ruined.

Alia stopped dead.

Without looking toward the living room she squeaked, ‘Mooom!’

Her mom was so shocked that she forgot she was groaning.

Mom: You are up already? Are you feeling ok?

Alia: Did you just wake up?

Mom: Obviously.

Alia: Why did you not switch on the light?

Mom: I just woke up, Alia.

Alia slithered into her mom’s room and for one whole hour, took refuge on the couch.

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A Night of Surprises Indeed

It was a summer night. And you know how nights are windy, especially summer nights in not so developed areas because of fewer buildings? Well, it wasn’t. The air was still. So it was neither hot nor cold. Just dark. I had been working late at the office and being the scaredy cat I am, I asked my dad to pick me up. So I was sitting in the back of the car for some reason which is odd because I always sit in the passenger seat with my Dad.
Anyway, as we made our way from the office, my Dad took a short cut from an unpaved road which had no streetlights and no houses on either side for, I am guessing, miles. The car was new so at every bump my Dad would mutter angrily or make some kind of comment. He likes talking, my Dad. Naturally, the speed was slow
Suddenly we noticed three silhouettes. A woman with headscarf holding a 3-year-old kid in her arm and a 5-year-old kid by her side signaling for us to stop. My Dad being ever too altruistic stopped right next to her.

The woman: G mein Nadeem Hussain ki bewaa hoon. (I am Nadeem Hussain’s widow)

I don’t like such situations. Especially when I have my iPhone with me. I muttered to my Dad to please not stay long. he ignored me but something in his style, it changed. I could sense it.

The woman: hamein haspatal jana hai, ek emergency hogai hai. Lift de dain. (We have to go to the hospital, there has been an emergency, give us a ride)

I kept urging him quietly to not do that.

My Dad: g zurur bus zara gari pakki road pe le loon phir… (Yes sure. Just let me get onto the tarred road, then…)

And then he started driving at the same speed that he had been driving but this time completely silently. The silhouettes followed us at a short distance.
And then the road ended. The tarred road began. The moment our car got on the road and before I could say anything, my dad slammed his foot on the accelerator and we were off.
I turned to look at the failed hitchhikers and I saw them following us.
We made a turn. They were still following us. They weren’t even getting tired.

I turned to my dad: why did you do that? You never do that. You always help people out. She even introduced herself.

Dad: They have been following us for five minutes, why are they not getting tired? She even has a kid in her arm.

I turned and for sure they were still following us and I could even feel their speed increasing. Now I could feel anxiety kicking in.

Dad: And did you even look at her feet?
They were wrong. Just wrong.

Driving at the fastest speed possible for five minutes we started relaxing.

And then, from the window, I saw a kid’s hand on the edge…

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Hwayugi Replica: Review of DilNawaz

Da wassoyo

with another review!

And this one is about




Very anti-climactic, I know. Though not as anti-climactic as the Pakistani dramas.


More like a comparison where I will prove:


Before I begin let’s get one thing straight. Our understanding of djinn is different. The definition for djinn (singular), djinnat (plural), is that they are entities made of fire. They coexist in the realm with the humans. They have powers, and they choose to not interact with humans. The evil djinns do try to scare the humans when the humans try to take their property but on the whole, they have families, life, love, everything humans have, only they are fire and humans, clay.


Shijak… (let’s begin)

It happened when I was procrastinating on Youtube. I had to figure out my life, my quiz the other day, the interview transcription (thesis on Korean dramas, yayy), assignments due. Hence, I spent an entire day on Youtube.

*Did I just hear ‘justified’? I swear I did*

So here I am, scrolling through the suggested videos and I landed over this one video which had hints of horror in it.

Hwayugi had recently ended, and withdrawal symptoms were still raging, so I clicked it.

And I tell you. The song had me hooked.

Also, the girl, the supernatural entity seemed so sad. Not even evil. Just sad. I thought: what the hell. I have time. I need to see this. This might be breaking the mainstream Pakistani dramas about the supernatural. This might be like the Korean dramas where we actually root for a hooman and a ghost (Bring it on ghost), a mermaid and a hooman (Legend of the Blue Sea), an alien and a hooman (My Love from another star), and not to forget the great sage, a monkey, and a hooman (Hwayugi) to end up together.

So I started watching. The guy was a human. And in love with a human. I know. I know. We’ll get there. So eight episodes go by and when in our usual dramas its time to kiss, the human, Fawad, and the female djinn, Dil Nawaz, finally meet. Well, they don’t even meet. Dil Nawaz is under the control of evil human lady hungry for power. She can’t even show herself without the direct approval of her superior. And Fawad has left his mother’s house in anger for she is opposing his marriage with his beloved. So she just messes with Fawad when he is living alone in the house which has been claimed by the Djinn. First messing with him she manages to scare him, but he eventually gets used to a presence which he can’t even see. How cool is that?

She learns what love is when she sees his love for the girl. And then she falls for him. And when the evil human lady tells her to reveal herself to the human, she is happy. When the evil human lady orders her to bewitch him, she is overjoyed. When the evil human lady orders her to get married to the human keeping her under her spell, she is beyond the moon. But here, the drama creators just broke my heart. Reinforcing that djinns are bad and that them being together with a human is just not possible. They make the love of a human and the supernatural just fake. And the guy does not even take a stand. He forgets her and chooses the human girlfriend. He forgets the real feelings he had for her before she bewitches him on the orders of the evil human lady. He chooses to forget the marriage he shared with the djinn when the djinn purposefully lifted her magic at the ‘I do’ moment for she doesn’t want to force him.

And in the end, she leaves him, for his good.

2 years later, The intense love for Fawad eventually becomes her death. Fawad is informed of her worsening situation, and he meets her. And she parts from the world Goblin style.

The asshole even sees the man who had informed her of the djinn’s worsening situation with a baby. The scene implied that the djinn had a baby. But that unworthy human did nothing. Didn’t even own the baby!

I don’ like this

If you want to show a Pakistani geumganggo (the djinn gave Fawad a geumganggo, swear to God)

If you want to show supernatural entities with glowing eyes

If you want to show their departure goblin style

At least, at least, give respect to the love.

You clearly are very impressed by Korean dramas. And trust me, man, I approve!

If you are impressed by Korean dramas, you have to make sure you get the core belief of Kdramas right. THE LOVE HAS TO BE RESPECTED regardless of who you are.

Thank you

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