Movie review: IT (2017)

Before I enter my movie zone, I would just like to thank every follower for increasing my count to 100 followers. I’m thrilled to have reached this point so fast.

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Moving on, the long awaited movie, IT, hit the cinemas this weekend and it was not long till the critics began to praise the 1986 Stephen King’s book adaptation.

Summary:

Directed by Andrés Muschietti , the movie centers around seven kids all of whom have been a victim of bullying. After children of Derry town begin to go missing without a trace, the kids of the Loser club decide to face their fears to stop the shape-shifting clown, Pennywise (played by Bill Skarsgard), from resurrecting again.

Opinion:

With no comparisons to the famous novel or the 1990 movie, IT turned out to be quite different than my expectations. Seeing the trailers and previews gave the audience an impression of another regular creepy clown remake, but the movie managed to have a great balance between comedy and horror. Classic movie scenario where the actors must face their fears to beat the killer was portrayed in the film with great detail. Additionally, smooth transitions were made between the characters which gave the audience a chance to understand each kid’s story and their fear. The horror scale was really high due to the realistic reactions from the child actors and the creepy stare from Pennywise himself, was enough to make your skin crawl.

Furthermore, the banter bits between the kids of the Loser club were enough to send you hitting your friend out of laughter and were the highlights for me. What is more interesting was to see the diversity and the strong bond between the pre adolescents in the 80’s era which presented The Goonies and Stranger things vibes.

Who should watch it:

In my opinion, it can be classified as a PG 15+ movie. The adults can enjoy the frequent jokes and the terrifying imagery, which made the movie R-rated. If you’re not a fan of horror films, then I advise you not to watch it whatsoever as the scenes were nightmare-worthy. Also, for anyone who is not a fan of remakes, I would just like to point out that Stephen King liked this remake. Since the master, who introduced us to the blood-thirsty clown, enjoyed it then I believe everyone else can learn to like the movie too.

IMDB score: 8.3/10

Personal score: 8/10


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(Sisco, 2017)

Not to make anyone more frightened but it seems IT is more than just a figure in media. According to Daily touch (2014), the 1990 version of IT mirrored not only Stephen King’s horror book but also the real life murder incident where approximately 33 children had lost their lives because of  John Wayne Gacy, best known as the killer clown, who lured in young children using the clown guise.

As always please share your thoughts about this post and let me know how you felt about the movie. Till then I’ll be staying away from Clowns, and random floating balloons. Ciao.

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Things you should know as a Freshman

Around this time last year, I was going through articles to get tips to survive the first year at College. Since I’ve surpassed that stage, I decided to write this post for those who are starting University this year.

1. Sign up for the clubs

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(University of Nottingham Students’ union, n.d)

I know you’ve probably read this before but it’s mainly because signing up for different clubs helps you make friends and exposes you to many volunteering opportunities which can be mentioned in your resume.

2. Do not stay in a group just to have ‘friends’

(Pinterest)

Don’t hang out with a group of people if you start to feel uncomfortable at any point. A University is a big place. You can always make new friends and believe me; you will end up finding a friend with similar interests.

3. Work hard, Play hard

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(Giphy) 

The first year is like a foundation stage. Although it is important to maintain good grades so you can have a chance to get a scholarship, it is also important to not stress over it or cancel social plans to isolate yourself with the workload. Always remember that you still have 2-3 years more in which you can always improve.

4. Stay organised

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(Kat, 2015)

Create a separate folder to store all the college work for each module. Most professors upload the coming week’s work beforehand, so make sure to go through that. This way you’ll be prepared when the time comes. Keep in mind that staying organised doesn’t make you a nerd, it makes you appear professional.

5. Take advantage of the facilities

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(Cabra community college, 2016)

If your professor is willing to proofread your assignment and give you feedback; use up that opportunity. Always keep in mind that you’ve paid too much to be at the University, so start taking advantage of the libraries, the IT, University organised events and even free college merchandise. Career counsellors are also available to help you create a resume or even offer you part time job opportunities.

6. Do not skip college to work

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(ceepeeargh, n.d)

Studying and working simultaneously is impressive only if you can balance both sides equally. Many students tend to show up during the first few weeks of college, and then skip the rest of the term to work. In my opinion, paying for college but not attending it is extremely unwise. If you’re looking to earn extra pocket money, work at part-time events or take up a temporary job during winter/summer breaks.

7. Save money

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(Pinterest)

In college, the cash outflows from your wallet like water. It is very natural to spend a lot of money, unintentionally, to buy food or top up the metro/subway card. However, there are extra steps that can be taken which can help you save money.
• Have a weekly budget to stop yourself from overspending
• Bring lunch from home
• Eat from the food court once or twice a week rather than every day
• Limit the hangouts with friends to once a week
• Go on a budgeted shopping once a month only.

8. Comfort comes first

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(Pinterest)

Joining University can be exciting for many reasons such as, having the ability to wear whatever you want. I’ve seen plenty of girls in my campus who wore heels or did very extreme makeup, and that’s okay as long as you are just as fashionable for your grades too. I know I feel like when I enter the room everyone is looking at me in awe, but that’s in my head. In reality, no one cares about how I look because everyone is self-involved.

The bottom line is, instead of impressing others and wearing fancy outfits every day; be you, be comfortable, repeat clothes, and gain credits to impress yourself and your family.


Joining college is the first step to adulthood. Make things happen rather than waiting for things to happen. Always remember, Education will help you gain success and respect.

Like always please comment, I would love to know about your first year college experience. Until next time, ciao.

My trip to Thailand~ Kanchanaburi

In my previous post, I had described my trip to Bangkok. After a good long drive from Bangkok, and a stop-over at the floating market, we entered an isolated area called Kanchanaburi. Here are my highlights from the last area I visited in Thailand.

Floating rooms

 

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Our view from the hotel
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The Floating rooms

Instead of malls and kiosks, there were farms and jungles. Our hotel, River Kwai Village hotel, was one of the best resorts in that area. The hotel itself was a whole other destination to tour. As we walked towards the other side of the Lobby, there was a pathway above shallow waters in which frogs and fishes were seen. There were standard rooms on either side of the pathway, but we continued to a bridge which connected the actual hotel and the floating rooms. There wasn’t much after we crossed the bridge except a line of rooms on one side and a platform to register for water activities on the other side.

Our room had an antique look to it. There was a balcony from where there was a clear view of the lake and the forest on the other side. The only downside of the room was the number of insects. There were red ants on the ceiling which kept falling onto our bed. Moreover, Lizards were seen in every corner. We even had to keep the balcony door and windows shut for personal safety. Nonetheless, these minor setbacks were nothing compared to the beautiful view.

The other attractions in the hotel included bird aviary, a pool along with slides and a waterfall site.

Waterfalls

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Erawan National park
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Erawan Falls

 

The following day we went to Erawan National park, one of the most famous national parks in Thailand. The waterfall in this park known as Erawan falls is of seven levels and the top hill, the seventh level, is set to resemble an elephant’s head. It is impossible to go all the way up when you’re travelling with a big family and many kids including a set of two years old twins (my sisters of course). Even so, we did manage to climb countless stairs and managed to reach the fourth level. If you’re looking to swim in the waterfall or just sit on the rocks to enjoy the scenery, then the fourth level is perfect for you. Moreover, I ended up getting the best pedicure. A number of tiny fishes rushed over to my side and started to nibble on my feet. Not to worry, it’s safe. These fishes nibble on the dead skin from the person’s feet.  If you’re not into that, then you can always go for a good swim to beat the summer heat.

Cave tour

 

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Lawa cave (Vinnie O, 2012)

After an eventful morning spent at the Erawan national park, we headed back to our hotel for a quick break. Soon after, we went to a platform to register for cave tourism. The raft was provided from the hotel itself. Getting on that boat was tricky and extremely dangerous.

As soon as we reached the shore, we were immediately greeted by wild dogs. The forest was not tourist friendly, but it was almost evening, so I’m assuming we were pretty dumb not to call it a day after the waterfalls. It felt like I was in an amazon forest in a territory I didn’t belong in.

At last, we had arrived in front of the Lawa cave. You would expect benches and a proper line for tourists and lights all over the area, but it was the complete opposite. There was a small opening between the rocks, and that was the opening of the Lawa cave. Outside there was a map of the cave which showed the narrow passages which resulted in me skipping the tour because of claustrophobia.

According to my parents, the lights inside the cave were even dimmer than the light on a candle as it was pitch black inside. There were rattle snakes on the walls and countless bats on the top. There were many chambers within the cave, so it is quite easy to get lost. Main attractions within the cave included a deep chamber filled with bats, statues of Buddha and rock which had shaped out to be a mouth of a crocodile due to weathering.


The next day we had said our good-byes to this amazing destination and had headed back towards the airport. I recommend visiting Kanchanaburi to get an insight into Thai culture and its natural flora and fauna.

That’s all about my trip to Thailand. Thank you for taking the time to read, ciao.

 

 

Classroom

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(Cobb, 2011)

I hate the feeling of being in this classroom, where smiles are plastered on sad faces.

I hate the box that I am trapped in, for hours and hours without a halt.

She draws away to free her scars; he smokes away his pain.

The girl in yellow likes the boy in black but should I tell her about his dirty past?

A girl in saggy red hoodie laughs to drown her grief; the kid in the beanie dozes off to escape.

The clock looks broken, and so do the boards, but the ceiling is the sun over our drowsy eyes.

The walls plead for our freedom, and so do the tables but at the front stand a Berlin wall.

Too afraid to climb, too afraid to move,

We sit in the silence to go past the time.

Faded voices of kids, the dragging sound of the chalk, only noises echoing in this torture room

Yes, I long for the ringing bell like a drooling dog for a raw bone, so I write and write to escape this prison.

Movie review: To the Bone

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I recently came across the Netflix original ‘To the Bone’. I realise how sensitive this movie maybe for some people, including me, which is why I have decided to write my thoughts towards this film.

Summary:

A girl named Ellen (Lily Collins), who suffers from anorexia, transfers to different health programs throughout her teenage years. As a result, she becomes more rebellious. Later on, she meets a doctor (Keanu Reeves) who challenges her about her condition (IMDB, 2017). Moreover, she is required to stay in a recovery home where she engages with people with similar disorders and experiences love and goes on a journey of self-discovery.

Opinion:

I usually avoid watching movies of this genre (Drama), but I did not regret watching this. The film perfectly described how it is important to take anorexia as seriously as obesity or any other mental/physical illness. Behaviours such as hiding your body behind baggy clothes, calorie count during every meal, purging, feeling guilty about indulging sweet treats and excessively exercising were portrayed by the actors throughout the film. Besides that, the movie also described the way this disorder can be treated and the way Ellen’s life changed by just realising how much she’s missing on.

Although the movie is classified as a comedy and drama, I didn’t find the film qualifying as a comedy. However, there were certain scenes which helped lighten the story line.

Who should watch it:

I believe anyone who is constantly feeling body conscious should watch it and realise how such disorders can be extremely dangerous and what can be done to overcome such emotions. Also, Parents can watch it to understand that saying ‘eat’ or ‘go on a diet’ isn’t something a person going through body disorders wants to hear as it isn’t that simple to beat such conditions.

IMDB score: 7/10

Personal score: 7.5/10


According to the USA today (2017), Lily Collins did lose weight to play the role of Ellen. It was something incredibly scary and dangerous for her since she did suffer from anorexia at a certain point in her life but she did ensure she was regularly monitored by a nutritionist during the shooting of the film. Overall, the plot of the movie was very well carried out. If you’ve seen this movie, please comment about your thoughts towards this film.

My trip to Thailand~Bangkok

In my previous post about my visit to Pattaya, I got to share about the wonderful markets, beaches and fascinating attractions.  Bangkok was the next destination I visited, the capital of Thailand and although my stay was only of two nights, I did manage to visit several cool places.

  1. Food

Bangkok is known as the street food capital of Thailand. The variety served is truly endless, ranging from sour fruits to curry rice and seafood dishes. A lot of relatives, who had previously visited Thailand, had told that there was a lack of variety of Halal food. From my personal experience, there was no such problem. Thailand is very much developed and meets the food needs of every audience. Thailand’s KFC chicken is soft on the inside and perfectly crispy on the outside and does taste a lot different and better from the KFC that I indulge in every other weekend. Or maybe I believe that because Thailand’s KFC offers an unlimited supply of Ketchup to their customers. As for desserts, famous chain called Swensen’s is a choice to pick. They serve milkshakes, Ice-cream desserts and oh yes, the best option, Iced coffee. Till this day iced coffee is like water for me, but nothing compares to the perfect mocha blend offered at Swensen’s.

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Street food (Wilson,n.d)
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Swensen’s (Beverlys, 2014)
  1. Temples and Floating market

Temples play a significant role in this Buddhist country. On my second day in Bangkok, we had arranged a city tour. The hotel had provided a van, driver and a tour guide to make the travel comfortable. The city tour included stop-over’s to famous temples such as Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha) and Tiger cave temple. The temples were both a tourist site and an important religious site for the locals, hence we were required to follow some rules out of respect.

On the last day in Bangkok, we went on the journey towards the floating market. That place was vibrant and showcased the Thai culture. The markets were on either side of the stream, offering jewellery, home decors, food and clothing. The boat then took us to our preferred market sides. Since I had done a very reasonable shopping from Pattaya, the floating market did not offer something unique.

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Floating market (Meng, 2017)
  1. Safari ride

Upon our arrival in Bangkok, we went to a very famous zoo known as the Safari world. The distinguishing aspects of this zoo included circus and animal shows and the safari rides. The zoo is perfect to go to if you want to experience Thailand’s culture. The shows were empowering, and it showcased major historical events of Thailand. There were even Elephant rides in the middle of the huge zoo. Lastly, we got in the van with our tour guide, and she drove us for the safari. It was the best and most comfortable way to get close to jungle animals. However, there were some serious precautions that we had to maintain such as keeping the windows closed and not disturbing the animals even if they are in front of the jeep.


Destinations mentioned above and visits to some malls were the only places visited during the two nights stay in Bangkok. My family and I then continued our travel to the last destination, Kanchanaburi. Find out more in my next post.

My trip to Thailand~Pattaya

Thailand is known for its greenery, the temples, the night life, the street food and the most important, the islands. I toured three places across Thailand within 15 days, when I visited this beautiful country back in 2015.

Pattaya was the first destination we arrived at straight after the 5 hours journey from Pakistan. The city was filled with tuk-tuks and kiosks on the sidewalks of the road. I toured to some amazing spots in Pattaya and here are the highlights.

  1. The Beach

The Pattaya beach was the most beautiful scenery. The shore was lined with up rafts and electric boats. Kids were swimming, adults were jet-skiing, and the risk takers were in the sky, parasailing. Soon after, my entire family and I climbed in a boat which rushed across the sea and took us to a spot in the middle of the beach where parasailing activities took place. There were at least six men around me who buckled me tightly to the ropes connected to the parachute. At that moment, my heart was racing but as soon as that boat took off and my feet were high above the wooden ground, I felt very ecstatic. The weather was windy, and I was about 300 feet up, but the ride only lasted for 3 minutes. The experience was amazing.

Next, the boat took us to the other side of the Pattaya beach where more activities such as scuba-diving, jet skiing and canoeing took place. The relaxing thing was everything was extremely safe, and the people in that area were friendly.

  1. The Markets

If someone gives you an option to shop in either Pattaya or Bangkok, go for Pattaya because not only you get variety, but it is also very cost saving. The stalls on the street made it easy for me to put a tick mark on the shopping list that I carried. The shops offered distinctive lamps to bohemian clothes and handbags. The hand-made pieces of jewellery were colourful and unique. It took my mom and I only minutes for shopping for our friends and families as we found everything nearby. If any of you are blank on what to buy for your loved ones, look out for mini pouches and elephant key chains. They are super adorable and very affordable.

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an elephant necklace which is very close to my heart.
  1. Ripley’s believe it or not and Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks

I know spending time in malls can be a little dull since they are all the same but not Royal Garden shopping mall. This mall located in Pattaya consists of two major attractions. We first visited Ripley’s believe it or not. This museum was fascinating and equally creepy. It displayed haunted dolls, world’s tiniest man, world’s tallest man and it featured a lot more things from the show. Next, we were required to sit on a ride which took us inside a haunted house, and we had to shoot the famous serial killers with a gun to score points. I found the ride extremely entertaining, and I have to say, it’s fun killing bad guys.

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Moving on, we then went to visit a Thai version of the iconic Madame Tussauds, a place filled with wax figures of celebrities. All the wax figures were divided between nine zones: Pop Stars, Chamber of Secrets, British Royalty, Political & Humanitarian Leaders, Horror Den, Batman & Friends and Celebrates in Character.
PS. The Jason and Freddie wax figures scared the life out of me.

 


 

That was the end of my journey in Pattaya. No doubt, Pattaya is a spectacular destination. After a sad goodbye, we continued our travel to the capital city of Thailand. Find out more in my next post.

 

Pizza hut’s chocolate chip cookie dough

There comes a time when you just want to snuggle in your bed and watch endless amount of television without interruptions and indulge in warm gooey chocolate chip cookie dough. That is how I felt yesterday and decided to order myself Pizza hut’s cookie dough.

This cookie dough was not like the traditional ones. The hard corners which tasted like burnt chocolate made me realise it was slightly baked. In other words, it was like eating undercooked, very soft and gooey, chocolate chip cookie. In addition, It is important to note that the cookie dough is only available in selected Pizza hut chains across UAE. Moreover, paying AED 15 did not seem like a fair price to pay for a small serving.

However, Dubai’s lack of appreciation for cookie dough makes Pizza hut’s cookie dough a treat which most of us will definitely enjoy. Lastly, the best way to enjoy this treat would be with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to balance the rich flavour of the chocolate.

Rating: 8/10

Cost: AED 15

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Wonder

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(Yong, 2016)

Isn’t it weird how constructed our life on this planet is? As a Muslim, I have my own beliefs but that does not stop me from wondering about the loop we live in.

We’re born, we grow, we study, we learn, we work, we earn, we start a family.

Another person is brought to life who grows, who studies, who work, who learns, who earns and starts a family.

Don’t we wonder what would happen if that order was disturbed? Not possible, right?

Don’t we wonder what would happen if travelling between planets were like travelling between countries?

Don’t we wonder about equality? Don’t we wonder about the world if richness and poorness didn’t exist?

Don’t we wonder about the simple characteristics of life like water, food or talking? What if indulging could cause death instead of satisfaction; water was a luxury instead of an essential or silence would be the key to social interaction instead of talking?

Don’t we wonder how different things would be if ‘money’ wasn’t necessary?

Don’t we wonder how safe we would be if crime didn’t exist and positivity was the only feeling?

Don’t we wonder how different life would be if we could only depend on trust and happiness?

But don’t we wonder who started this all? Don’t we wonder who adopted this pattern and encouraged others?

Don’t we wonder? Don’t you wonder?

 

 

 

 

 

5 reasons to visit Al Noor Island

 

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(Bürklein, 2016)

Al Noor Island is one of the most recent tourist spot located in Sharjah. The island consists of Butterfly garden, Garden maze, sculptures, literature pavilion and a playground.

I visited Al Noor Island in July, during the time my family had come to UAE. After seeing a couple of pictures online, I decided it couldn’t be a bad place to visit with my family. So with no further delay, here are the top 5 reasons why I think Al Noor Island is a perfect getaway destination.

  1. The Island glows at night

I think it’s safe to assume that those of us residing in UAE leave our houses by 7 p.m. due to this region’s terrible heat. Keeping that in mind, the Island is equipped with RGB LED lights which starts operating by sunset. It was honestly the most beautiful sight.

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Glowing meadows (Andre Heller, n.d)

 

  1. A perfect place for Readaholics

The Island consists of a literature pavilion where the tourists can relax in the open air and read their favourite novels with no interruptions.

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Literature Pavilion (Al Noor Island, 2016)
  1. An Eco-friendly environment

The Island is surrounded with greenery, reducing the need for deforestation. Moreover, it is a home to more than 20 different species of butterflies.

 

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The Butterfly Garden (2017)
  1. You won’t get lost finding this Island

When you hear about an Island, we all naturally assume its going to be a long drive. However, the Island is connected by a bridge to one of Sharjah’s popular park, Al Majaz Waterfront.

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Al Noor Island bridge (Mohiudeen Wood, 2016)
  1. You’ll find amazing selfie spots

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‘Selfie spot’ (2017)

The perfect time to visit this Landmark is around the evening time (5 p.m. on-wards) because it gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy the scenery and well, the lighting enables them to produce amazing pictures.  In addition, ‘Selfie spot’ signs are located all over the Island so the visitors can capture pictures near unique backdrops and sculptures.


So here are the Top 5 reasons why I believe you should visit Al Noor Island. Once again do let me know what you think about this post and if there is any other attraction which you will like me to review. Ciao.


The  Island is open from 9:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. (Saturday-Wednesday) and 9:00 a.m.- midnight (Thursday – Friday). Admission fees are AED 50 for adults and AED 30 for children below 12. Entrance for children up to 3 years of age are free. For more information visit Al Noor Island.