Why you should be reading more

Reading is a hobby which allows you to cut off from the world and immerse in a new, more exciting world. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably a regular reader. People do it for enjoyment purposes or to pass their time. But do you know why reading is important? Here are the top 4 reasons why you should be reading more.

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1. Reading reduces stress
This reason is no shocker to us as many of us, including myself, retreat to reading because I was some relaxation and quiet time. This is backed up by the fact that by reading a book or newspaper for just 6 minutes can lower people’s stress level by 68%. In fact, this is more effective than going for a walk, drinking tea of coffee or listening to music.

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2. Reading improves language skills
A human development professor named Donald Bolger says that reading is like a snowball effect. The more you read, the more words you learn. And the more words you learn, the better you are at reading and comprehending.

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3. Reading can shape a person
When you read, your mind expands and takes in different aspects of reading. While reading, you experience a spectrum of emotions, and you experience it very intensely. You learn about different personalities and how they feel throughout the book, hence you become more sensitive to other people and think twice about how your actions can affect them.

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4. Reading improves focus and concentration
One of the major contributors to short attention span and poor memory is the lack of concentration and focus. If you want to improve your concentration, then you should try reading. You’d be surprised how reading just for a few minutes improves your focus throughout the day.



Naml (review) 11-20

I’m glad that I didn’t start reading naml earlier as the suspense would have killed me.

Zumar and Faris get married and they feel rather awkward stuck together like this although it was an informed decision from both sides. Saadi confronted hashim and oblivious to the hidden pen camera, Hashim confesses to all his crimes. on top of that,  Hashim also informs Saadi how he helped haneen when she was ‘caught’ cheating. once back, Saadi speaks with haneen about the whole issue aggressively but zumar handles the situation intelligently. the whole family gathers on a dinner in honor of the newly weds and while waiting for dinner, they receive a phone call informing them that Saadi has been shot and has been taken to the hospital. shero had shot Saadi under the influence of drugs and Sara (waris’s widow) had witnessed it all but she was too afraid to admit anything. From the hospital, Hashim gets Saadi abducted and shifts him to a safe house in Sri Lanka. The safe house actually belongs to their family friend, Haroon obaid who thinks Saadi can help them as he is a young scientist. On the other hand, from the crime scene, Saadi’s young friend finds a Keychain that he hands over to zumar. the key chain has the pen camera too which haneen and zumar watch together and find out that hashim,and not Faris, is the culprit behind all. in the safe house, Mary takes care of Saadi but dreams of going back to her job at jawahirat’s place. Haroon obaid has a daughter roughly the same age as shero and Saadi who is a hypnotist and finds out that he father has Saadi as a captive. she has a crush on Faris and helps transferring a few things from Faris to Saadi. by the end of 20th episode, Saadi was a free man, zumar has started to like Faris as her husband, Faris has always been in love with zumar and haneen is trying to figure out her aim in life.

Overall, the story is quite captivating and with so much happening in every episode, the reader is hooked. I particularly like how nimra Ahmed has incorporated excerpts from famous writings (the one from Dante’s Inferno was my absolute favorite). also, the way Saadi speaks to Allah while reading the Quran is just awesome. it gives so many important lessons without being preachy. also, Haneen’s gradual transformation is being explained beautifully. however, some things felt completely over the top, like the telephone conversation between Saadi and hashim where hashim asks Saadi if there was a way for redemption. I loved hashim as the bad guy and I want him to be good at being the villain and it would be sad to see such a good character being wasted.

And yes, I hope nimra Ahmed let’s it being turned into a drama serial. hashim has to be Faisal qureshi. hashim has so many shades and Faisal qureshi would be perfect as hashim. as Faris finally had a role to play in the story  we found out a lot about him and that he isn’t sitting idle either. being the introvert, serious person he is, I think of him as someone who would look like hamza Ali Abbasi (with the same husky voice ;))


Naml (1-10) review

Naml has been rather popular lately among people who read urdu novels/stories. I had been avoiding it for the longest time. first of all, the wait for the new episode is too much to bear. secondly, I wanted to read some of the earlier work by nimra Ahmed to know whether it will be something I would enjoy or not.

After  finishing mushaf and jannat key Pattey, a friend suggested to give naml a try and I finally decided to. I have finished reading the first 10 episodes and it hasn’t disappointed at all so far.


Saadi is a simple young man and has two younger siblings: his evil genius sister haneen and the baby of the family, his little brother Sam. his father died when he was 13 years old in an accident and his mother has worked very hard to bring up the kids. his mother, nudrat, has a brother waris ghazi and a half brother Faris ghazi. waris works for nab and is married to Sara who is a scientist and has two daughters. Faris lives with his uncle, aurangzeb kardar (his mom’s brother) who are very well off. aurangzeb is married to the evil javahir and has two sons: the very handsome and cunning hashim (lawyer) and the spoiled brat naushervan (shero). Saadi has a phuppo, zumar who’s also a lawyer and is also saadi’s best friend. zumar lives with her dad.

Hashim and his mother are involved in some illegal activities behind aurangzeb’s back. waris finds out about it but before waris could take any action, hashim gets him killed by his personal guard, khawar. to protect himself, he plans to set up Faris as the murderer and succeeds by planting evidence in faris’s car. to make it look more believable, he also kills faris’s wife and shoots zumar too. zumar believes that Faris shot him as just minutes before she was shot, she received a fake call from someone who sounded just like and claimed to be Faris. he tells her that he had to kill waris as he was having an affair with his wife and so he will be killing zartasha too and to wipe out all evidences, he will have to kill zumar too. zumar was however shot in a way that she wouldn’t die and would testify against Faris.

Not too long ago, Faris had wished to get married to zumar but zumar got engaged to Hammad. after this accident, Hammad called off his engagement with zumar and Faris went to jail. zumar’s kidneys had been damaged and Saadi donates one of his kidneys to save zumar. Saadi goes to England to study and it’s only 2.5 years later when he returns, he starts trying to get Faris out of jail, in which he succeeds too. Saadi is the only person now who knows hashim is the real murderer but can’t do much because he must find evidence against hashim before taking any action. meanwhile, haneen who is addicted to TV and Internet becomes aurangzeb’s favorite due to her intelligence. as both Saadi and haneen grow closer to aurangzeb, shero becomes more insecure and his hatred towards Saadi grows.

By the end of 10th episode, zumar is now planning to avenge Faris by getting married to him. Haneen has stopped watching TV and using Internet as she has realized that her addiction is getting in her way of using her intellect in a better way. Saadi has some evidence against hashim in files he can’t seem to unlock but haneen doesn’t want to help as she has promised herself not to use computers ever again in her life. so far it seems only Faris is not doing anything at all although he is the one who should be doing the most.


There are lots of characters in the story but they are all related to Saadi in way or the other so it’s not too difficult to keep track after the first episode. also, unlike her previous work, nimra Ahmed’s characterization is much stronger here and none of the characters are half baked. there is enough backstory about everyone to help you understand the psyche of each one of them.

The story is full of emotional drama and although we all know who the bad guy is, it’s very interesting to read how they will actually find out. full marks to nimra Ahmed to have woven the Quranic verses beautifully into the story without making it sound like dars.

Right now I’m really nervous as the last episode ended with the prediction that Saadi might be killed. I think it will be up to haneen then to uncover everything but it will be a little difficult for her not only because of her promise of not using computers again but she also has a crush on hashim.

BTW, I like hashim’s character far more than the one dimensional Faris and all along I have been imagining Faisal qureshi to be playing the role of hashim if its ever turned into a drama serial. I think Faisal qureshi is the only actor who has the skill and the charm to look convincing as hashim and it’s anyway been so long to see him in a really good role.

I will now be reading the 11th episode! are you following naml?

Mushaf (overview / review)

So I read one more novel by nimra Ahmed. and this one only because I was recommended this one after my last review.

My verdict: did not like it much. it was good in parts but those parts were not enough for me.


The story: mehmil’s dad died when she was around 10 years old. she now lives with her mom in the house that her father had built but now other family members like her chacha and Taya have taken over their whole house and their factories. she and her mom are treated like servants and they are forced to stay in a room which was used for storage earlier. so she thinks of herself as Cinderella and tries to lure her taya’s son, fawad. it turns out that fawad is a bad guy and sells her off to one of her clients. the client turns out to be an under cover police officer who wanted proof against fawad. mehmil escapes from humayon’s place and ends up in a masjid/Institute for girls. here she meets farishtey. mehmil really likes farishtey and impressed by her Islamic knowledge decides to learn Arabic herself and read the Quran with tafseer herself.

On the other hand, fawad gets arrested for human trafficking and other crimes and mehmil’s family blames her for all this claiming that she was lying and instead she had an affair with humayon. humayon is farishtey’s cousin and as mehmil now studies in farishtey’s Institute, she ends up meeting humayon and starts liking him.

With turn of events, it is revealed that farishtey is mehmil’s half sister and she also helps her get married to humayon. mehmil continues studying the Quran and soon Quran becomes her best friend who helps her in the darkest most difficult times in her life.

I think the intention of the writer was really good but the story was not well woven. the characters were not etched out properly and a lot of things were not explained well. however, I loved how nimra Ahmed showed that Quran talks to you if you want to get guidance. it was also refreshing to read that all people who know or read the Quran are to be trusted as Quran only guides those who seek for it with a pure heart and not those who are doing it for showing off or for some other ulterior motive. I loved reading all those parts where mehmil’s ‘friendship’ with Quran is shown and I hope the writer could have given a few more pages of that.

Have you read this novel?


Jannat key Pattey (overview /review)

It wasn’t until 2012 that my mom gave me a copy of Peer e Kamil that I started taking urdu novels seriously. I have read peer e Kamil twice and both times I got emotionally charged. After that, I read several novels, many of them by umera Ahmed herself but nothing came even close. Peer e Kamil was just extra ordinary and incomparable to anything else that I was reading. I realized that most authors were using Islam to attract the readers and were unable to really incorporate it into the novel. Then someone recommended  nimra Ahmed to me. I read a lot of her work and I figured she was merely a teenager or just barely out of her teens when she wrote them so a lot of them were quite immaturity in terms of story line but I could see that she wrote with brilliance with lots of details.

Then I decided to read Jannat key Pattey. something that I wasn’t too keen on as it too had Islam at its core. I was pleasantly surprised.


Haya belongs to a rich business family. she is pretty and takes special care of how she looks. her make up and clothes are always on point and she gets lots of attention from everyone every where she goes. while boys can’t get their eyes off her, all the girls are jealous of her. she herself has never taken advantage of her looks in any way and is a ‘good’ girl.

She was betrothed to her cousin (phuppo ka beta), Jehan Sikander (yes another very handsome sikander but a little irritating unlike salar sikander) when she was 1 and he was only 8. Haya has always known about it and is very sincere to her husband but every one else thinks that as the Nikah was done when they were only children, it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. her parents have started looking for a rishta for her and they also have Waleed, haya’s dad’s business partner’s son, in their mind. however, Haya is not thrilled and tells him about his Nikah. Waleed tries to take ‘advantage’ of Haya and a Khwaja sira, Dolly saves her. Haya is petrified but still doesn’t want to befriend Dolly.

One of her videos, taken secretly by a mobile phone, gets leaked and she contacts cyber crime cell for help. Major Ahmed from cyber crime cell contacts her and helps her in removing the video.

Haya has recently received a scholarship from a Turkish University and she is very keen on going as she thinks it will be her only opportunity to meet Jehan, get to know him and also finally decide how their relationship should proceed. At the same time, she starts receiving bouquets of white roses from a secret admirer who seems to know pretty much everything about her.

She travels to Turkey with Khadija/Dj and the two become very good friends. she continues to receive bouquets from her secret admirer in Turkey too. however now he has told her his name, ARP or Abdul Rehman Pasha who is an underworld Don. Haya gets scared for her safety but doesn’t know who to confide in.

She meets Jehan too but is severely disappointed because she felt that Jehan hardly knows about her. she goes back to her dorm thinking that continuing the relationship with Jehan would be useless  however she runs into Jehan the next day on underground train and he helps her in such a way that she decides to give him another chance.

Over the course of time, she gets closer to Islam and starts understanding underlying meanings of various commandments. some horrible incidents bring her close to hijab and as it is her own decision rather than something imposed on her, she does everything she can to protect and honor it in the best possible manner.

Meanwhile, she visits Pakistan and receives a puzzle box from Dolly. on opening the box, she finds out how and why certain things happened in her life for the past few months. she also finds a lot about Dolly, major Ahmed, Abdul Rehman Pasha and also about Jehan through this puzzle box. the truth about Jehan makes her respect him a lot and ultimately they do fall in love too.

Overall, the way the novel has been written is quite good. as the story is mainly told from haya’s perspective, we find more about her personality than any other character and how she views things in general. the portion which tells jehan’s story is a little too verbose and I ended up skipping some portions and not losing anything. I would have liked Jehan to be a little more expressive than he was because that was something that I loved about salar sikander and found it lacking in Jehan Sikander but over all I liked him more than Haya. I quite liked that they both had a life of their own and shadi was not the ultimate aim of their lives. of course I loved how nimra Ahmed tried to explain some of the verses in the Quran and of course visiting Turkey has become one of the things in my bucket list.

So, have you read Jannat key Pattey?  if so, who was your favorite character?

The Book Project: First ABC Book (3)

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Last week K made a beautiful crescent moon in her playgroup class.

This motivated me to get back to the book project. Well yes, motivation is what I needed. You see K is too young right now to either participate too much or even appreciate all the effort that is going in to it. Thus, I need some sort of ‘push’ to continue working.

Any way, so this was supposed to be for Letter ‘C’ (Crescent) but as we already had the ‘Cloud’ for ‘C’, I decided to use it for ‘M’ (Moon).

The cover of the book is also nearly done. (The stickers were all put up by K)

The Book Project: First ABC Book (2)


So here is how the book is coming along:

The letters

The letters all cut up and pasted on another sheet of paper. I had already created these sheets by leaving enough space on the right for punching. Remember I mentioned in my previous post I want to join all the pages by filing all the pages into a folder.

The pictures stuck up on the pages corresponding the letters. The picture with the Sun on it has letter ‘T’ on the backside