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8.3/10
Fire Boy – Review
Fantasy, Fiction, High Fantasy / June 5, 2016

There are times when you come across a work of fiction that is authentic to the core and a breath of fresh air. Sami Shah’s ‘Fire Boy’ is one such work which is not only a pleasant surprise but also grounded to the folklore of subcontinent. The novel belongs to High Fantasy category where it explores the life of a young man named Wahid who doesn’t know he is half Djinn. There have been works of fiction that tried to tackle the fabled Djinns of the Islamic belief system. Even Hollywood tried its hand with the movie ‘Jin’ with impressive graphics, but it failed to gain mainstream approval. Sami Shah dealt with various folklore elements, famous in this part of the world, expertly to really feel the moments of panic, wonder and even lust. Wahid, a person who is made of both clay and fire, is in search of Djinns when a powerful Djinn vanishes, taking away the soul of his love, Maheen. The story explores Karachi’s underbelly when Wahid is suggested he may find his answer from the King of Karachi. He also gets to see the inside life of Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s Mazaar and spends time at the…

NaNoWriMo Pakistan Experience
NaNoWriMo / December 12, 2015

I came to know about NaNoWriMo few years ago through social media. The idea of writing a novel of 50k words in a month seemed, at the same time, daunting and exciting. Daunting because taking out time to write an essay of 2000 words is an effort in itself, requiring careful flow of ideas and proper planning of objectives to achieve from the write-up. It was not the case with NaNoWriMo, because writing 50,000 words novel in 30 days just did not seem possible. But it was exciting at the same time, the sheer joy of writing that story that has been brewing in your mind for a long time. So, in the year 2014, I tried my hand at NaNoWriMo’s challenge and began working on a sci-fi novel set in Karachi. I was excited, and scared, and was determined to see it through. It did not last long. I could not continue beyond 5,000 words. This probably is not for me, I thought. I am one of those who need a long time to write such a large piece. And the story remained there, on my laptop, untouched, for nearly a year. And I was reminded of it by Desi Writers Lounge…

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7.9/10
Undying Affinity – Review
Fiction, Romance / October 12, 2015

First published in 2014, Undying Affinity by Sara Naveed is a romantic novel set in Lahore where it explores blossoming relationship between two souls at a university. The love, however, is not between two students but between a young professor and her student. Synopsis Twenty two year old, Zarish Munawwar, has everything in life she could ever ask for; an elite family, a high profile status, a bunch of good friends and a childhood sweetheart. Being childish, stubborn, imperious, extravagant and a bit impulsive at making important decisions pertaining to her life, is what perfectly describes her overall personality. She takes life easily and can get anything she desires. To her, life is a bed of roses. It is only when she meets, Ahmar Muraad, her mentor and finance professor at university, her perspective towards life completely changes. He looks quite young for his age as every girl at the university thinks he is attractive, seductive, intellectual and rather intimidating. This charming man is every girl’s fantasy and Zarish also finds it hard to resist him. But is he fascinated by her? Little did Zarish know how one little interaction could bring about so many twists and turns in her…

Soft launch of Pakistan’s first Citizen Journalism Platform
General Musings / October 8, 2015

Press Release Since a couple of years, we have been hearing about change and how change has eventually hit the alienated planet Pakistan. Yes, Pakistan seems like an alienated planet to which things get time to reach particularly if they are coming all the way from the civilized earth. This may make little sense, but a website is gradually spreading right to free speech awareness to the masses through the country’s first and only Citizen Journalism website that exists in Pakistan as of today. PotDrum has its own unique fan base that is interested to know about stories that go missing from the mainstream media, commonly known as electronic and print media. The website houses a list of contributors that report on fronts that may be taboo or lack interest of big pocketed media houses. In the digital age, a lot of news is scattered on the Internet, blog and social media. At PotDrum contributors and public at large are free to send in their stories. The aim of the website is to collect verify and publish news story. PotDrum does not at any instance report any news story. It may publish opinion articles and research material but with news…