Up, Up and Away

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If I could ever learn to fly
I’d fly so high, I’d touch the sky
With rolling hills and meadows lush
Things tall and small just passing by

As tears of joy stream through my eye
And clouds of gloom amass, oh my!
I’d force myself to face the wind
Above the storm, I would soar high

The turbulence I’d take in stride
Won’t let the lightning strike my pride
I’d flap my wings so hard it hurts
Keep moving on, nothing to hide

No one would stop me, rain or shine
I’d own the sky and make it mine
And leave all my troubles behind
While guided by the light divine

The pull of gravity I’d fight
Break free from its oppressive might
Mind over matter, will so strong
Won’t let it stop my maiden flight

– Yousuf Bawany, March 2017

Weekly Photo Challenge: Resilient

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Age isn’t just a number; it’s a reflection of the hardships we’ve faced, the laughs we’ve shared, the times we’ve fallen, the tears we’ve shed. In essence, it is a true measure of one’s resilience.

 

Life is an obstacle course, a test of endurance, if you may; it has its highs and lows, twists and turns. Each day brings with it new battles to fight and new reasons to celebrate, a roller coaster of surprises both good and bad; every passing year makes you more resilient.

 

This photo is an homage to life in all its glory.

Emotions on Sale

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Demons fighting in my sleep
Monsters rising from the heap

Nightmares keeping me awake
More of this, I cannot take

Wake up and I figure out
How to get rid of self-doubt

I will have a big yard sale
Set up everything to scale

Put my feelings on display
Everything must go today

Buckets of false hope for free
Jealousy in packs of three

Complex webs of greed hand-spun
Take the hatred, I am done

Get my worries, two for one
Bottled sadness, I want none

Stacks of guilt, I’m done with these
Paid all my subscription fees

What is left I will discard
Should not really be that hard

When my yard is all cleared up
Of this life I’ve had enough

I will pack up all my bags
Dress myself in simple rags

To the beach, I will head out
Take the solitary route

Won’t have anything to hide
Joy and I’ll enjoy the ride

Smile and sing along the way
Up until we reach the bay

Sip some sunshine from a glass
Watch the happy faces pass

Wash the remnants, dark and grim
In free waters, I shall swim

– Yousuf Bawany, June 2016

Adventures of The Wishing Chair

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I wish I had a wishing chair
That flew me right up in the air
I’d let it take me anywhere
Leave in plain sight, let people stare
Shrug off the aura of despair
Cast off my woes, for all I care

Caressing winds through silken hair
Look down upon the village square
A shining eye, a sun-lit flare
Feeling the clouds with hands all bare
Birds flirting by, fresh love affair
Just breathing in the care-free air

The past be a forgone nightmare
Explore new worlds, senses aware
Without having a day to spare
Won’t let anyone taint my flair
I’d go just about everywhere
Oh how I’d love a wishing chair!

– Yousuf Bawany, May 2016

Note: Enid Blyton was one of the first authors I fell in love with, and am still to this day. This poem is an homage to this great lady who has given us all such wonderful childhood memories filled with morals and ethics stitched within the fabric of fantasy and joy.

Carnivàle: Livin’ It Up!

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Parades are vibrant, lively affairs. The costumes, the glitz, the grandeur, the smiles, everything reminds you of life and how it is meant to be lived.

Here’s an homage to celebrating life to the fullest!

Insanity has a new home!

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Greetings Friends!

Today marks a big day for this blog. I’ve been thinking of getting my own domain but have always been skeptical about it. After a lot of deliberation (which took me almost 3 years), I finally indulged myself and bought www.yousufbawany.com. Hallelujah!

This could not have been accomplished without your support (yes, I’m referring to you, dear followers/fellow bloggers). The love that you have extended to me over the past few years has helped me progress on this journey of self-discovery and I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart. Your kind words have helped push me to my creative limits and beyond and I truly appreciate that; I’ve realized that making people happy is what makes me happy, and this is just the beginning.

The metamorphosis is complete; I’m ready to fly.

Cheers,
Yousuf

Bakestacy – Cumin-flavoured (Zeera) Biscuits

Food is something that I love (to cook as well as eat), but what I love more about food is the fact that it brings people closer; food has the power to make everything better. (un)Fortunately for me, my mom and my wife are much more seasoned chefs than I am, so I seldom set foot into the kitchen to cook; it’s been almost two months since I cooked something (microwaving instant noodles or popping corn doesn’t count).

Weekends are always fun – there’s never a dull moment, lots of leisure time and plenty of catching up on the past week’s lost sleep. Any special family activities that I can think of (be it an outing or doing something together), I save them for the weekend. After not being able to contain the urge to caress some utensils, I stormed into the kitchen with gusto to try out two tempting cookie recipes.

The first one of these two amazing recipes include Cumin seeds. Cumin seeds (or Zeera – as they are called in Urdu) are an integral part of Pakistani cooking; not only do they give a magnificent aroma to your food, they also help cure indigestion and acidity.

Here is a time-tested recipe (courtesy: Mrs. Yousuf Bawany). Again, it would be selfish of me to take all the credit; not my recipe, not my execution but I did help make them.

Ingredients

  • Flour – 4 oz
  • Castor sugar – 1 oz
  • Egg – 1/2
  • Baking Powder – 3/4 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds (crushed) – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Butter – 2 oz

Method

  1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt
  2. Beat butter and sugar till light and creamy
  3. Beat the egg lightly and add to the butter mixture; continue to beat
  4. Add the cumin seeds to the butter mixture
  5. Once the butter mixture is light and fluffy, fold in the flour mixture using a rubber spatula
  6. This mixture will turn into a soft dough
  7. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch thick sheet and using a cookie cutter, cut out the biscuits into your favorite shape(s); alternately, you can make little dough balls about 1 inch in diameter and flatten them with your hands to make these biscuits
  8. Spread these molded biscuits out onto a lightly greased baking sheet
  9. Preheat oven on gas mark 4 (180° C) and put them in for about 20 minutes
  10. After taking them out, let them cool down before serving

A batch of these delightful biscuits can make your tea-time extra special. These can last for quite some time if you put them in an air-tight container, so why not head into your kitchen and enjoy some right now?