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Founder of Surkh | Educator | Engineer| I try to comprehend the two sides of an oreo through my work.

Leaning into faith and leaving behind anxiety

Hae Green Dal in About things that shall pass

A YouTuber, an influencer, and an anxiety-ridden insomniac met online. The Youtuber taught the insomniac how to let go and live. The influencer checked on her with powerful affirmations every few hours. Thus the anxiety-ridden insomniac slowly peeled away layers of anxiety and began to replace them with layers of serenity.

Last March, I wrote a letter to myself here. Just in case, I told myself. Anxiety is a slow pain killer. It works its way across your mind, unobtrusive to your logic, spider-like, weaving its trap of fear. The fear I felt that month was unparalleled to any I…


I let them tell their truth

Photo by Egor Myznik on Unsplash

When I first came across it, I stared at the screen in pure shock before bursting into a long tirade of how I had foolishly ignored all the red flags queuing at my doorstep like neat, uniformed school girls. I read the article again. The want of an explanation raging in my bones. The tea tasted cold and bitter.

For lack of a better word, plagiarism put a rift between me and a long-term friend. The word to me brings vivid unpleasant connotations, so I hope the reader will excuse me for avoiding it.

For hours I sat hoping those…


Two Words: Eleanor Roosevelt

Newlyweds Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt | Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum

We have seen many brilliant women act as first ladies in the course of the American presidency but one lady beats them all: Eleanor Roosevelt. Not only was she ranked as one of the most influential people of the twentieth century but she also transformed the role of a First Lady by pushing unprecedented limits.

As Doris Kearns writes in her book, No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt:

“She shattered the ceremonial mold in which the role of the first lady had been traditionally fashioned and reshaped it around her own skills and commitments to social reform.”

What set…


The Evolution of the Colonial Tongue

It has been less than a century since the last of the British Administration left South Asia at the brink of extinction. The soldier sahibs left no stone unturned for their motherland before quitting the once rich, tropical peninsula.

Jan Gemerle on Unsplash

Amidst the twenty-first century crises, the cries for freedom from the colonizers have been reduced to legends of the past. There is, however, a sardonic truth to the history of colonialism; language betrays the silence of our ancestors. The British left behind railways and angrezi.

I speak two tongues; my colonizer’s better than my mother’s…


What did you place in the Cradle of Life?

Nynne Schrøder | Unsplash

In this past year, I learned that most of us do not want much from life. Yet, all of us choose something to place in its cradle. For me, it has always been my career and for you, it might be something else.

Decembers mark the growth of this thing we place in our cradles. Imagine; having to look at bubbling, innocent baby dreams, caressing them all around the year, coming back to them, morning and evening, soothing them when they cry, only to see that at the end of December, they haven’t grown a bit. That there will be…


Understanding the “femme boucher” through classic literature

Jacques Butcher on Unsplash

The decline of the femme boucher over the course of time in modern-day England is one of the most interesting cultural phenomena. Before the in-demand culture of butchers, farmer’s wives took care of their household meat supplies without flinching at the idea of blood. While some attribute the art of butchery to be unappealing as the reason behind a few women in the industry, it is ludicrous to think as such.

The demand for meat saw a spike in the nineteenth century as it became more affordable for the underclass. Butchers thrived in nineteenth-century Europe despite politics and famine. …


The Difference Between Inspiration and Imitation

Sergio Capuzzimati on Unsplash

The life of an author in the twenty-first century is not inhibited by the dark, damp walls of a poorly furnished apartment unless someone decides to flex their art the tough way.

We have full-time jobs, side-hustles, foolproof backup plans in case things don’t work out. However, those who dip their pens in the pool of ingenuity and reflection; carrying the burden of cultural revolution on their broken backs, have at some point been deceived by fellow writers who decide to take the short route to success, thanks to the age of the internet. …

Asfia Aleem

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