Ralph Breaks the Internet: A movie worth the wait

6 years ago, Disney gave us a movie that appealed to audiences of all ages. For kids, it was just another exciting animated world to dive into. For adults, the movie was a nostalgic trip to arcade games. The real charm, however, was the immense amount of imagination and creativity in the movie.  They were able to truly immerse its audience in the bizarre setting of the movie – gaming arcades. With its sequel Ralph Breaks The Internet, Disney has done the same thing again. But this time, with the internet.

A movie more for adults than for kids

Ralph breaks the internet-Is it worth the wait

Ralph Breaks the Internet is full of pop culture references. The name itself is a reference to Kim Kardashian’s viral Instagram caption “#BreakTheInternet” in 2014. From references to Bob Ross paintings (which you may recognize from the memes) to stormtroopers to Jasmine straight up asking Vanellope if she has daddy issues, the movie is jam-packed with pop culture references that kids will probably not fully understand. There was even a pop-up advert that crowds Ralph when he arrives at eBay, saying “desperate housewives in your area are dying to meet you”. Clearly, Disney understands perfectly well that a movie which explores the Internet as its own world would appeal way more to young adults. So, it’s really no wonder that the movie caters so well to young adults. Not just with non-kid-friendly jokes here and there, but with cameos too – from Eeyore to C3PO to Stan Lee.

Girls can drive – and be the best at it!

Ralph breaks the internet-Is it worth the wait

Ralph Breaks the Internet breaks many stereotypes through its characters. The most revolutionary one is Shank. She is the most badass racer in the most dangerous online racing game. While Vanellope was also a female racer since the first movie, Shank being female was even more groundbreaking. The game she is in is much more aggressive and masculine compared to Sugar Crush- a comparatively childish and feminine game. On top of this, Yesss, who is the head algorithm of one of the biggest video sharing sites online, is also female. A Disney animated motion picture featuring such strong characters who are at the top of the ladder in their respective fields is sure to change the perception of women in the boys who watch this movie. Moreover, since racing is a particularly male-dominated field, this is sure to be a kick in the face for anyone who still thinks along the lines of “girls can’t drive/race”.

Princesses, redefined

Ralph breaks the internet-Is it worth the wait

Another way that Disney addresses gender roles is through the inclusion of Disney princesses. Disney has a terrible reputation of portraying their princesses as damsels in distress. The scene where Vanellope meets the princesses addresses exactly that. It shows that Disney is self-aware that they have been imposing traditional gender roles in their works. More importantly, it spells out what is wrong with the trope. What’s even better is that Disney takes this self-awareness one step further by actualizing how strong and independent its princesses really are. While this itself is certainly not enough to make up for the “damsel in distress” trope that Disney itself has put out for so long, it certainly makes a stand for the characters who we perceive to be weak and dependent on males just for their feminine traits.

The verdict

Ralph breaks the internet-Is it worth the wait

For the first hour, the movie is certainly interesting in the way it presents the world of the internet to us. The movie manages to engross its audience in its imagination as well as it did in with the setting of the first movie. It certainly portrays the internet as realistically as possible. In terms of entertainment, the movie excels. But unlike the first instalment, it let us down in terms of emotions. We ended up with a somewhat predictable movie with the character arcs falling flat and feeling a little forced. But other than this, the movie was definitely enjoyable and had a fascinatingly intricate setting. If you’re looking for something light to entertain you for two hours, head over to STAR Cineplex to watch the movie and Ralph Breaks the Internet will not disappoint you. 

Get your tickets here.

5 signs that says your first date is going south

Ah, Love. That stomach-churning, heart-pounding, knee-buckling sensation you feel in the very core of your being whenever a pretty girl (or guy, or anyone because gender can be non-binary too and you shouldn’t be quick to impose predefined gender roles on any human being) comes up on your “people you may know.” And you immediately start wondering what you two could do together, achieve together if only she accepted your friend request.

Unfortunately, for most of us that is where the story ends- cause hot people tend to stick with hot people and make hot babies together (no matter how wrong that sounds, this is how it is) and someone like you (or me) often doesn’t stand a chance. But sometimes, that really lazy naked baby called Cupid tries to set two people up, and suddenly, miraculously, you end up with a date.

But that’s just the first step of the 1000 steps you have yet to climb. What if the love connection you feel is just your own desperate attempt to escape your loneliness and you’re simply projecting it on to others? How do you know whether this unbelievably gorgeous (to you) human being who decided to give your sorry soul a chance will stick around long enough to feel that connection too? How do you know if you’re going to have a second date?

Buckle up, people, because I am about to impart some wisdom. Here are 5 ways to know whether your first date is heading south.

1. They keep themselves away from you.

Invading somebody’s personal space might not be the best way to express your feelings, but if your date keeps jerking away from you at every little accidental touch, then he/she might not be the one for you. The opposite should be alarming too- if your date cannot keep his/her hand off of you, then you should be extra cautious because, well, the concept of consent doesn’t really exist in this part of the globe. People could get away with harassing you, and you will be the one to be blamed because who goes on dates without parental supervision?

2. Details, details, details.

Human beings are greatly controlled by the subconscious part of themselves. That’s why facial expressions and body-language gives away much more about your true feelings and intentions than you think. For example, a normal, right-handed person will usually look upward and right when trying to make up an answer, as opposed to looking left when they are trying to remember something that actually happened. So if your date is keeping their body faced in the opposite direction, or if their eyes keep darting to every pretty girl who walks by your table, they are probably just trying to distract themselves so that the time passes by quicker. Respect yourself. Don’t ask them out again.

3. Their phone holds more importance.

Of course, we are all socially connected and most of us are certainly addicted to it. However, if you’re at a nice place and trying to make a conversation while your companion absentmindedly nods at you while vigorously typing on his/her phone, chances are they hate you and they are planning to murder you and dispose of your body somewhere. And even if that was an exaggeration of how bad things can be, it sure is a clear sign that you should politely excuse yourself while you still have a shred of dignity left.

4. They check the time every 5 minutes

Do you know Einstein’s theory of relativity? Boring dates feel longer than they actually are, forcing people to check the time more than necessary. So if you’ve been together for an hour and your date stared at the clock the entire time you were together, then bad luck, brother. Move on.

5. There is no spark whatsoever.

Some people are just easy to be with. They are easy to talk to, the conversations are mind-boggling, and the chemistry is undeniable. Some people, on the other hand, ask the same “ki koro” until one of you dies. Awkward, heavy silences in a date are in no universe a good sign. And you probably shouldn’t pursue someone who doesn’t make your world 58 shades brighter, should you? You are a smart person. Use that pretty little head of yours. Be with someone who is a treat to your heart, not just the eyes.

So there you have it. Look out for the red flags. Save yourself from the landmines called “unfulfilling relationships” and “awkward breakups.” Find your one true love by rejecting a thousand other potential true loves and live happily ever after.


Seven ways to motivate yourself to workout

Working out may result to tons of mental and physical benefits, yet we’re still so reluctant to do it sometimes. Whether you’re a newbie struggling to find motivation or a gym junkie going through a rut, here are some tips and tricks to get you started with your workout or back in it.

New Workout Attire

New attire is always a great incentive! Revamp your workout with some new workout gear. The right and new workout attire can be encouraging, enhance your performance, and it’s always more fun to work out when you look good doing it. Enclothed cognition is the psychological influence our clothes have on us. Certain clothes can cause us to experience a mental shift when we wear them, changing our attitudes and behavior as they have symbolic meaning. In short-dressing for success is very real, so gear up for gains!

Hype Music

Create a playlist of songs to pump yourself up with before and during your workouts. Let them endorphins start rushing. You’re more likely to train like a beast when you feel like one! Music can be an empowering and performance boosting tool when it comes to exercise. Consider creating a few playlists so you can listen to one that fits the vibe of your workout that day.

Saree Season

Now here’s a lady who knows how to motivate herself to work out

To all my beautiful desi ladies reading this, remember saree season is around the corner and I know we’re trying to look good for those winter weddings (at least before kacchi). Work out now so you don’t have to hide your tagged photos later! It doesn’t have to be too late to say saree.

Mix up Your Workout Routine

Pro tip: If you’re doing the same workouts regularly, it might be time for a change. Not only will doing the same workouts cause your muscles to develop immunity and hinder growth, but it can become boring. Push yourself to do more reps or use heavier weights. Incorporate new variations and exercises. Try a scene change and workout in a different environment. Try running at the park if you’re always running on the treadmill. You’ll experience better results and having something new to look forward to can be a great motivator!

Buy Fitted Clothing

Buy some clothes that’ll perfectly hug and show off the fit body you’ll soon have. Imagine how good you’ll look in them once you reach your desired goals. Allow them to serve as a reminder to get in shape. Try them on from time to time. If they don’t quite fit you as you’d like them to, then it’s time to hit the gym and work harder to get your money’s worth! Remember, do it for the after picture!

Workout Apps

Self-motivation can be tough. So don’t do it yourself. There are so many cool apps which exist to remind and motivate you to workout. Most fitness goals require you to track your progress, which they’ve also made easy. Some apps assist you further by offering you work out guidance, which can especially be helpful if you’re new to the world of fitness. Try some and find which ones work best for you. They can definitely be handy and helpful tools to make your fitness journey a lot easier!

Plan Ahead

It can be incredibly demotivating to work out when you are unprepared. Prepare your gym bag the night before and clear out a time slot out in your schedule accordingly. Decide which muscle groups you will target or what kind of workouts you’ll be doing beforehand. Do your meal prep ahead of time. You’ll find it a lot easier to stay focused and motivated when you actually know what you are doing and when.

Modest influencers who rock Instagram

The one place where you can meet social influencers, talented photographers, artists, models and many more is Instagram. Each profile has something different to put out for their followers and this is where we get to see the individuality that resides upon each one of us. From the past few years, the Hijab community has successfully torn down all stereotypes and brought something new to the table. With charm and confidence, these women blend lifestyle and fashion only to bring out a new formula to the table!

Rock it all with Azrin Alom

The first one of the modest influencers on our list is the owner of Sciccoso, Azrin Alom is an entrepreneur, architect, mother, and a fashion blogger! This superwoman knows how to handle life the elegant way. With fresh ideas in mind for Sciccoso and new posts each week, she will definitely make you believe in having it all and still rocking it in your own way.

Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/azrinalom/?hl=en

Slay with Mumtahana Elahi

Modest influencers on instagram HiFi Public

Collaborating with companies like Sunsilk, Elle magazine, La Mode etc. Mumtahana Elahi has brought innovative ideas in Bangladeshi fashion industry with her magnetic personality. She has represented herself and the country in places including Singapore and Jakarta. Popularly known as Abayaholic on Instagram, her beige feed is an absolute pleasure to the eyes. Filled with fashion and lifestyle aesthetic if you want a change in your fashion this season, follow away because she is here to slay!

Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/abayaholic/?hl=en

Minimalistic-ally beautiful Aydha Mehnaz

Modest influencers on instagram HiFi Public

Fashion Marketing Strategist, Aydha Mehnaz believes in good work ethic and has an eye for creative corners everywhere. Currently studying in France, Aydha was born and raised in Bangladesh. She has a knack for flexible fashion ideas and has great tips for fashion and lifestyle. Her frequent participation in different Paris runways and fashion collaboration is what makes her different from the others. Her minimalistic feed will make you fall in love with the simple things in life. ‘

Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/aydhamehnaz/?hl=en

Fashion Website: https://www.aydhamehnaz.com/

Say Amen with Amena Khan!

A mother, wife and a fashion influencer, Amena has established her own fashion website and placed a name in the world of modest Instagrammers. Obsessed with skincare and fashion, Amena is all about a healthy lifestyle. She is globally known to be one of the most famous fashion influencers for giving her followers the confidence to be unapologetically loving towards themselves.

Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/amenakhan/?hl=en \

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/Amenakin

Smile with Sayeeba Islam


Known as Smiley Sayeeba, with currently about 10k subscribers on YouTube, Sayeeba has successfully established her contents with quirk, happiness, and fashion to her subscribers and followers. If you are a tea-holic and want your feed with great photos, subscribe away!

Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/smileysayeeba/?hl=en

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmljCKUl5xJnGDgwT6-O0sQ

Instagram has opened the horizons to different communities. These modest Instagrammers have put themselves on a position to not highlight their lifestyle, but also to share their fashion journey with the world. These beautiful ladies are creative content makers with brilliant ideas to showcase. Here’s to women who wrap their Hijabs with elegance and confidence!

Struggles of an older sibling

Anyone with siblings knows that life will be absolutely different without them. The older sibling has an experience that only other elder siblings can relate to. Here are the struggles that will certainly feel familiar if you are an elder sibling in your family:

1. The Guinea Pig:

For one, you’re the guinea pig of the family. Since your parents have never had kids before, they have a tendency to overdo things in their attempts to figure out what’s best for you, only to realize that the endeavor is worthless. So, now the younger siblings get the advantage of not going through all of that. Tasnova, the eldest among three sisters, shared her experience of shifting between 6 different schools as her parents figured out the best, while the other sisters got the stability of being in the same school all their lives.

2. You’re old news:

There is no way you cannot relate to this! The moment the younger sibling arrives, you’re old news. Your parents’ world that once used to revolve around you suddenly shifts. Everyone gets new stuff for the baby, while you still wait for your mom to maybe just notice you, let alone buy you that red jacket you asked for like three months ago. When I was 6 and my little sister was born, I was so frustrated I literally picked up my stuff (a red dress, an old sock, a Tk. 2 note, and my teddy) and ran away. I sat at the porch waiting for someone to come looking for me. After like an hour of waiting, I eventually had to get back home when I got hungry. So yeah.

3. A live-in babysitter:

You know what? You’re probably better at feeding babies and changing their diapers than your mom used to be. Because you are the most underrated and unappreciated goddamn live-in babysitter in the whole wide world! What’s worse is that sometimes you have to take them with you on your hangouts, so that they don’t feel left out while you feel left out from your hangout because you’ve brought a responsibility with you!

4. You’re a live-in tutor too:

Having been sent to like hundreds of tutors since you were a kid, you are now expected to be a live-in tutor for your siblings too. Like you did not have too much on your plate already.

5. Your thing is now their thing:

So that signature move that you had after saying something cool is not so awesome anymore because now it’s their thing too. No matter if you have a brother or a sister; they will try to follow every single thing you do. Whatever your favorite thing may be, it becomes their favorite thing too. You feel like their idol and it feels cute until it gets really annoying.

6. The responsible one:

The eldest is expected to be the responsible one in the bunch. Even when the little ones are fighting, the eldest must resolve things. While talking about how their fights used to end up, Maliha told us that when she and her younger sister were both fighting, she was the one who used to get in trouble. Why? Because she’s supposed to know better. Duh.

7. You’re the late bloomer:

You sit there clueless while your friends talk about all those cool retro bands they learned about from their older siblings. I mean your little siblings have you, who’ve you got?

8. Watching them get away with murder:

“Watching them get away with things that you used to get ‘Jharur barees’ for is the worst feeling ever” said Rayhan while he was telling us about the time his little brother Farhan got away with cigarettes in his pocket because according to his mom “He doesn’t know any better”. Like, mom, he’s 19. He DOES know better!

9. Absolutely no privacy for your things:

Finding your little brother wearing your favorite shirt, spilling soup all over it or finding your little sister chewing on your favorite lipstick and smearing it all over her face and teeth; all because ‘they want to be like you’. Been there? So have I?

10. You’re super protective:

You’re always cautious and protective about them so if you ever find someone hurting them, you just can’t take it. You want to probably break their face in half, whoever it is, and do anything to make your little bundle of joy feels better.

11. Watch them grow up to be adults:

Knowing that they will eventually grow up to be adults who have to take their own responsibilities one day is a mixed feeling. It’s just overwhelming that they will not be little forever and not need you anymore. They will have to face the world on their own.

Being an elder sibling is one of the toughest and most under-appreciated jobs in the world. No matter what struggles you may go through, you’ll probably not have it any other way. Because in the end, seeing the little ones do something right with their lives is the best feeling ever!

How to appear more confident

Confidence. The magic solution to every problem.  We have all heard, “Be confident, be you, and success will follow”. This seems to be the key concept of every motivational speech out there. Sounds easy, right?

It’s undeniable, confidence is crucial in every aspect of your life. But what if you are not comfortable in your own skin? What if you have issues like anxiety, depression, panic disorders, or other mental health issues that are not obvious at first glance? What if “being you” doesn’t always feel like an option? At those times, you have to take certain measures to mitigate the situation.

Here are a few tips and tricks to make yourself appear to be more confident.

Dress fashionably

Appearing confident-HiFi Publlic
Credit: Giphy

Dressing fashionably does not mean that you have to wear branded clothes at all times. You can wear cheap clothes and still look chic and put together. Take a little time for yourself in the morning. Think about the mood of the day, think about the social situations you might have to tackle throughout the day and dress accordingly. If you are a girl, take a little time for your hair, take a little time to put on a little makeup.  Being conscious about your appearance draws attention to you, and the first step to being an actually confident person is to become comfortable in your skin, regardless of the staring eyes and the hushed voices. It won’t come in a day, but if you continue practicing, you will get there.

Improve your posture

Appearing confident-HiFI Public
Credit: Giphy

A common trait in confident people is how they hold themselves. Square your shoulder, hold your head up high, and straighten your backbone. Poor posture makes you look sloppy. Make yourself look bigger and bolder. And once you see the effect it has on people, you will automatically feel more ready to take on the world.
Practice your speech in front of the mirror.

Suppose you have a big presentation coming up in a week. Start preparing now. Write down your speech, and make sure to practice every day in front of the mirror. Make a list of all possible questions that you might face, and practice the answers to those questions. Getting cold feet? If possible, go to your presentation venue a day before. Walk around, get the feel of that place, and practice your speech before an audience. It can be anyone, from the janitor to a passer-by to a friend. This will familiarize you to the situation that you’re about to put yourself in, and it will help you feel in more control of the situation.

Take help

Appearing confident-HiFI Public
Credit: Giphy

You do not have to do everything by yourself. If you don’t want to invest in leadership courses, don’t. But pay attention to the people around you. Everybody you come across has something to offer you. Listen to them, watch them, and take in what’s good. If you get confused, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember, most of the people will be happy to help you- and you are equipped with enough 6th sense to distinguish the ones that won’t. Trust your instincts, and you will be fine.

Learn to be comfortable around strangers

Appearing confident-HiFI Public
Credit: Tumblr

If you’re constantly afraid that the whole world is out to get you, then you will never truly experience the joy of life. So smile more. Breathe more deeply. If you see a stranger on the street who is wearing a pretty saree, stop and compliment them politely. Start hanging out with yourself, and with strangers. Having trouble maintaining eye contact? Look in between their eyebrows. Work continuously to be a better person every day. Practice does make a man perfect, so practice being confident. And in time you will thrive.

If you think I’m ripping these off from generic internet articles, then you are wrong. These are all tested on me, by me. I am certainly not a hundred per cent successful yet, but I am on my way. At the very least, I have turned into an ambivert from a regular, shy introvert. So why don’t you try these on yourself, and let me know the results?

I pray for your success.


Banned books you should read today

‘Tis the season of banned books, as we come out of International Banned books week. Let the inner rebel out and start reading.

Books have been getting banned or censored since people in authority realized the power of words and ideas. Banned Books Week is a campaign that celebrates the freedom and right to read and challenge censorship. Ironically banning booking draw attention to the ideas that were attempted in being silenced. Books can be banned because authorities may deem the content too controversial, too religious (or anti-religious), too immoral, too political (or not political enough), etc. We can derive a lot about the society and the authority banning books, from just seeing what is considered unacceptable. Reading banned books offers us different historical and international perspectives, and pushes us outside our comfort zones.

Here are five banned books you should definitely pick up if you haven’t already!

1. Bridge to Terabithia

Author: Katherine Paterson

This is a beautiful story of friendship between two fifth graders. Jess and Leslie made my 12-year old self dream of living in rural Virginia in my own magical kingdom in the woods. What is the reason to censoring a beautiful and innocent story about two kids? Well, Jess frequent usage of the word “Lord”,  in a non- religious way, i.e. not in prayers, was not acceptable. Apparently, their imaginary magical kingdom promotes secular humanism.

Following this logic, I wonder how Harry Potter remains in print? The same people banning ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ probably want to ban it for promoting witchcraft and sorcery!

2. Sons and Lovers

Author: D. H. Lawrence

D. H. Lawrence, a quintessential outsider, was often rejected by the establishment. and most of his works were banned or censored. Sons and Lovers is among his work that was banned immediately upon publication. Sons and Lovers tell the story of Paul Morel and his family in an autobiographical manner. The book alludes to Sigmund Freud’s Oedipus Complex theory, as Paul explores his many relationships. Even if one does not know the context of the Freudian theory,  one can see a reason for banning in the novel’s many explicit sex scenes (and lots of it). This was not a common aspect of books of that era. However, Lawrence’s characters frequently experience moments of transcendence as their emotions are conveyed through the literary technique of pathetic fallacy (the attribution of human feelings and responses to inanimate things or animals). Nature is symbolized masterfully.

3. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret

Author: Judy Blume

Blume takes on the topic of puberty through the eyes of her 12-year old protagonist Margaret. Such books are usually in The Young Adult category. However, this book has been banned in multiple states in the US citing reasons such as profanity and the godless child.  Margaret grows up without any religious affiliations due to her parents’ interfaith marriage; this deviance from the norm might just have had something to do the ban. She continuously feels like an outcast in her closely knit community and goes on a quest to explore her possibilities. This book continues to pave the way for dialogue between adolescent and pre-teen girls, and older women alike.

4. Persepolis

Author: Marjane Satrapi

The only graphic novel on this list, the protagonist of Persepolis is Satrapi. Satrapi gives an account of her life in Iran during and after the Islamic revolution. Expectedly, the book was banned in Iran, but rose to controversy when it was suddenly banned from public schools in Chicago. It was later revealed that it was banned because of “graphic illustrations and sexually explicit language”. Persepolis certainly includes an amount of violence and sex.  Satrapi talks about how her friends and relatives were tortured, both by the Shah and by the Revolutionary government. There are illustrations of people dismembered by the authorities and also of injured soldiers. Parents and administrators in Chicago may be justifying the ban by thinking that they’re protecting kids by limiting access to this controversial graphic memoir, but there is nothing to stopping you from picking it up for some food for thought.

5. The Kite Runner

Author: Khaled Hosseini

I will end my list with a very popular but a fantastic piece of contemporary lit nonetheless. Personally, I do not have many favorites written by contemporary writers and I prefer to read at least 3 classics to make the new pieces more palatable. However, Hosseini’s work is an exception. Hosseini brings forth his Afghan-American heritage to paint an immaculate picture of his native land Afghanistan. Many tumultuous events are at the backdrop of the story– the fall of Afghanistan’s monarchy, the Soviet intervention and the rise of the Taliban regime.The Kite Runner tells the tale of two boys, Amir and his friend Hassan.

The book is banned/challenged especially for the depiction of the ethnic feud between Pashtun and Hazara groups and for containing sexually violent content deemed age-inappropriate. The movie adaptation of the book was immediately banned in Afghanistan due to its “portrayal of Afghanis in a bad light”. Like Hosseini’s other books, it is bold and unadulterated, so if you haven’t read any of his work already, this is a great one to start with.

Read, discuss, dissuade and dissent!

Why everyone should watch anime

Remember when you were a kid and you used to wait for Pokemon and Digimon to come up on Toonami? You didn’t know back then, but these were “anime” and not cartoons. The basic difference? Cartoons usually do not have a story stream, while animes do. Each anime is based on a distinct plot, where you can find everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. But these are weeb materials, right? Cool people don’t watch animes, right?

Well, let me give you a few reasons why one should watch anime. You can decide for yourself whether animes are cool or not.

1. Curiosity

Don’t you want to know what the hype is all about? Does it not confuse you why so many people all over the world wept with nostalgia and sadness when Naruto came to an end? Do you really not want to know why people get hooked to these hand drawn pictures? If you are the human version of a cat, then let your curiosity get the best of you. It will NOT kill you, and you will get introduced to a world so vast, so endless that you will wish you could just stay there.

2. There’s something for everyone.

It doesn’t matter if you like horror, rom-coms, fantasy, sci-fi, comedy, tragedy- any genre you can name will have at least one masterpiece in it. You like short series that consumes less time? We’ve got you covered. You like to commit yourself to a show for years? We’ve got you covered on that too. You would like things to get a little heated along the way? We definitely have you covered. It’s simply impossible to not find what you’re looking for in the anime universe. If you’re still having trouble, ask me or anyone else.

3. The music.

If you have the ability to enjoy music despite not knowing the language, then you will definitely like the anime themes. I do not know Japanese at all, and I can sing the opening theme of “Your lie in April” without missing a single word. Just imagine how catchy a song has to be to get people to relate to it on that level. And it’s not just the upbeat, catchy music that grabs your heart. Try listening to “one more time, one more chance” from 5 centimetres per second. Turn the subtitle on, and if it doesn’t tug on your heartstrings, then you are made of stone, my friend.

4. Because of unadulterated entertainment.

It’s often hard to get into a few branches of art because you simply do not understand what the artist is trying to express. You don’t have to suffer through that in anime. Most animes are pretty straightforward, with predictable storylines and a few twists here and there. There are animes that require a higher level of concentration and thinking, just don’t start with those if you’re not up for it. You can start with a lighthearted series like “Barakamon” or “Usagi Drop” and slowly move onto “Steins Gate” and “Mirai Nikki”.

5. And it will leave you awed. Every time.

Starting from harmless magic to people killing each other for game points- each anime has a distinct flavor. Once you get into it, you will find masterpieces that nobody talks about. Tatami galaxy- for example. This beautifully sarcastic, slightly confusing, funny and agitating anime is not very well known. But once you get the hang of it, you will understand just how brilliant the entire work is.

I understand that there are many sub-par animes and it’s not always lucrative because everything is hand drawn. But once you get past that prejudice, you will see that art should have no distinct form of expression, and anime is just one of many. It has also been doing its job brilliantly.
So go ahead, my friend. Pick a series and start watching it. A world full of surprises is waiting for you.

Steps to convincing your parents to get you a pet

Convincing Bangladeshi parents on anything is harder than conquering the Mount Everest. If you want to climb the Everest, you know that you just have to train hard and start your journey. When it comes to your own parents, however, you will need thirty business days, elaborate PowerPoint presentations, an abundant amount of tissues, the mental preparation to climb the stairway to heaven through continuous prayers and day-long fasts, and there is a chance that they still might say no. If your parents are anything like mine, they will dismiss you the second you start saying, “so… I was thinking I’d like a pet” and they will say, “Stop thinking. You have low CGPA; you won’t get any job, so start being a halal girl so we can marry you off.”

Yes, I know. It’s very frustrating when you are an adult and your parents refuse to treat you like one. But you can’t really blame them, because you ARE their baby. You will always be their baby. Even when you’re old and wrinkled and you cannot walk without a walking stick anymore. Your mother will still say, “What posture is this? Straighten your backbone. Stop being a disgrace to our family and the Cow we just sacrificed”.

So is there no way to get that puppy you’ve been longing for ever since you discovered how much of an angel a dog is? Or that kitten that stares into your soul with her dead, watery eyes and still manages to make you feel loved and understood?

Manipulating human beings, especially mothers, is a very easy thing to do. So buckle up.

I am about to tell you how to get the permission to get a pet and make them love it more than they love you. The latter part is a tad easier cause literally everything else and everyone else is more appealing to your own children, from the parents perspective.
So here’s how you can get a pet without pissing your parents off.

1. Be a responsible adult first

Millennials have this tendency to stay up all night, sleep until 12 and get out of the house the second they open their eyes. Remember, the second you’re adopting a dog or a cat, you are taking the responsibility of a life. A life that cannot do ANYTHING on its own. And they will never learn how to clean after themselves, to not eat anything poisonous, they will never know the difference between work times and play times. So unless you yourself get into a proper adult routine, getting a pet is probably not the brightest idea you have had in your sorry life.

Show your parents that you can take care of yourself first, otherwise, they are going to end up taking care of you AND your cat. And since they can’t throw YOU out, they are going to throw your pet out. Do you want that on your conscience?

2. Ready to make sacrifices

So your mother doesn’t want a dog. Get a cat instead. Or a bunny. Maybe even birds. Or if the worst comes to the worst, get a plant. They are alive too, they want some love and affection and someone to take care of them too. But whatever you get, make sure that you take full responsibility for its actions, just like your parents apologized to your neighbours when you pooped on their bed. Your life Is going to be full of these apology sessions, but eventually, you will get terms with it.

3. Find out the reason for your parents to not keep a pet

Suppose you absolutely want a dog,. Nothing else will do. What do you do then? Find out the reason why they don’t want you to have a dog. Is it hygiene? Is it the religion? Because of preexisting allergies? Is it fear? Or is it just the sheer possibility of having a large animal roaming around your house? Get to the bottom of the problem, and solve it. At some point, your parents will give in because they will have nothing logical left to say against it.

4. Do your research

I cannot stress this enough, but information is power. The more you know about what you want, the more ways you can find out to get it. Plus, reading up on a particular animal gets you an idea of how its natural habitat is like, and you will be able to take better care of your pet. It will also give you a clear idea of what your responsibilities will be as a pet parent.

You might discover that you are not ready for that responsibility after all. Because having a pet is like having a kid- you can’t change your mind after the crying starts. Once you adopt one, you are bound to them for as long as they live. And there is nothing more heartbreaking than getting a pet, realizing that it’s not really your cup of tea, and abandoning them. There is a special place in hell for people who do that.

5. Make a PowerPoint presentation

Load it with information regarding the benefits of having a pet. For example, they are great companions; they help with depression, anxiety, stress, and multiple other mental health issues. Students who have pets actually perform better on tests compared to students who don’t. List down all the promises that you are willing to make in exchange for this one small kindness on their part, AND STICK TO THEM. Don’t forget to list down the challenges as well, and make clear points about how you plan on tackling those issues. Make yourself heard, be a good kid, and give your parents time to contemplate. They will eventually come around because they love you and they want the best for you. There’s no way that they will ignore all of the efforts that you are putting into this.

I might as well warn you, life is unfair. Sometimes, despite all your efforts and longings, you cannot get what you want. But you might as well try, because that way, at least you will know that you did everything in your power, and there is nothing else that you could have done. And that is a lot better than not trying at all.

I pray for your success.


4 Essential Tips to make cooking a little easier

Some of us know cooking as digging through bound books of Siddiqua Kabir or a collection of firsthand secrets from grandma to mom. Some of us watch too many episodes of Top Chef, Masterchef. Then we too want to curse like Gordon Ramsey over our scrambled eggs or charm like Jamie Oliver while drizzling balsamic vinegar. After countless nights of dining out or getting takeaway, we wish we could cook.

But, cooking can be daunting. Cooking can feel like risking this short life, the few limbs and the condition of the stomach. Cooking can be overwhelming to start and easy to get lost in because there are so many things to do.

Here are some few essential tips to make cooking a little easier:

Have the Right Equipment

Make sure you have the right kitchen utensils for the job.

The most basic ones are the pots, pans, colander, spatula, spoons, knives, to get you by for most recipes. However, if you want to try your hand your baking, you might need a grill oven, a mixer or food processor.

My personal recommendation for a grill oven: Miyako Grill Oven. This device is inexpensive, easy to use, has a good heating power and it comes with a rotisserie option.

Learn the Basics

Get acquainted with terms such as julienne, chop, mince, resting, blanching, etc. Youtube is great place to start. Find out what they mean, so that you don’t get intimidated if you come across the words in recipes.

My personal recommendation: Learn how to peel a vegetable first and then learn how to cut it. Do not peel with a knife like a Bangladeshi mom, use a peeler.

One of the best places to learn these techniques is the Allrecipes youtube page. 

Keep it Simple

After  your kitchen utensils are in order, check the ingredients. Find your recipes by googling your ingredients and browsing through your search results or check Allrecipes  or Tasty or Buzzfeed for easy facebook and youtube videos. Stick with recipes that are simpler–has few ingredients and the assembly requires simple techniques. Pick a recipe and go for it.

My personal recommendation: Italian pasta dishes are great for beginners. Boiling pasta is hard to mess up. Sauces for most of these dishes are easy to make.

Practice Makes Perfect

It is okay if you fail the first time around. You might misjudge a measurement, overcook, substitute the wrong ingredients. And THAT IS ABSOLUTELY OKAY.  Check where you went wrong and fix that the next time when you are making that dish again.

Happy cooking, just don’t give up and keep at it.