Creatives Oct-Nov 2019




Oct-Nov 2019 Issue 5 Vol2

Special Feature

Teen Depression

Inside the mind of a Depressed Teen




Exam Stress:

Blanked out

Mood Swings Madness

Breast Cancer Awareness

An interview with an Oncologist

Dr Samina Khokher

An Exclusive

Teen Issue

The Creatives is a publication by Ray Academics

for children and young adults.

Learn to Reimagine your Future



First Anniversary


Marital Issues


A Letter to Kashmir


The Unexpected


The Journey of Self Growth


Blanked Out





Mood Swings Madness

Do Scars ever Fade Away?


Inside the mind of a

Depressed Teen

20 Young Poet’s Corner


Handwriting Analysis

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

24 An interview with Samina Khoker

Breast Cancer Expert


Other Countries



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The Creatives|2

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Dear Readers,

It has been a year of great accomplishments for us here at Ray

Academics. We are proud to announce that “The Creatives”, is

officially one year old. We have not only produced a range of

issues but we have also been able to put together a talented

editorial team. All of the members of this team have worked

relentlessly towards the perfection of each issue.

We have tried our utmost to give young adults and children

an opportunity to express their ideas that they otherwise

did not have a platform for. So far, they have spoken about

many sensitive topics and in various issues. In this issue, you

will find bold contributions addressing mental health issues

like teen depression and even topics such as self-harm.

Nowadays, teenagers and their parents are overwhelmed by

these increasingly common problems that have seeped deep

into our society. We encourage young adults to express their

concerns of this harsh reality that they are facing in their lives


On a lighter note, we are all geared up for some more

creativity for the approaching year. We welcome contributions

from everyone! Please do not hesitate if you have written

something that you would like to share. We are always on the

lookout for young writers!

We wish you all a wonderful year ahead!

Bushra Ehsan


CEO Ray Academics


Parveen Akhtar

Editorial Board


Amn Zain ul Abidin

Zainab Imran

Assistant Editors:

Ryaan Mirza

Maheen Salman

Event Manager:

Damia Nauman


Aaiza Zafar

Distributed by

Ray Academics

21 Bank Square Market

Model Town

Lahore, Pakistan

Ph: +92-302-8556771



RN Digital Printers

First Anniversary of The Creatives

by Urooshah Shahzad

About a year ago, a team of enthusiastic writers were brought together by one person, Ms

Bushra Ehsan, the founder of “The Creatives”. The writers were given one task; to begin

working on ‘The Creatives’. A growing editorial board, flaws and breaks, this is what it took.

And a lot of hard work and dedication was put into this project. This month we are thankful

to say that our magazine is officially one year old!

This magazine wasn’t created as just another project for Ray Academics. It is what we

are known for. This magazine is an insight into the minds of young readers, a chance

for everyone to be introduced to someone else’s world. It is an opportunity for YOU to

contribute whatever you want. It can be art, poems, stories or just your opinion. This

magazine allows you to be yourself and to express your opinions with freedom.

Whether it would be the middle of our exams, the starting point of vacation, or just another

nerve-wracking school day, our team has been there. We have stood our ground for an

official 365-day rollercoaster of proofreading articles, fitting in submissions and compiling

the final piece. And sooner or later this bundle of joy will reach your house.

By the end of the day, when we all get home, this magazine awaits your mind, to be

devoured. It is the effort and strain put into it that makes it worthwhile for you to read. And

it is the smile on your faces that makes our it all worth it.

So smile on! We are more than happy to provide you with more insight and more jokes. It

is an opportunity to introduce you to the world of authors, artists, poets and influencers.

Hopefully, another year of beams awaits you, and us, as we carry onwards this mission of

spreading the love for writing amongst our generation. And we faithfully live by this motto:

‘Creativity is contagious. Pass it on’- Albert Einstein

Because we are not just another magazine. We are a group of young writers


By Amn Zain ul Abidin

13 years old, LGS 55 Main, Lahore

The Creatives|4

Photo Credits: Zain-ul-Abidin

Dear Kashmir,

A Letter to Kashmir

My hands tremble as the nib of my pen touches this paper. I write this letter, not

knowing whether you will be alive to read it. For the past few days, I have only

been thinking of you, my old friend, but failed to bring my emotions into words.

And today, here I am, wiping my tears and burying my fears. With every minute,

thousands of precious lives are lost because of a petty war between long lost


I remember the day when the announcement for the creation of Pakistan was made,

I came running to you and pulled you into a warm embrace. For finally, brother, both

our dreams were coming true; we were gaining freedom. The same day, you made

me promise that I would protect you with my life. And I replied, “Always.”

Now, it has been months since the lockdown took place. Uncountable days, since

you have been barely surviving, or in other words, wailing in agony. The valleys

which once oozed with sparkling blue water have now become red pools of misery.

The lullabies you once sang to your children are now deafened by the sound of

firing guns. The snowy mountains once crowded with rosy-cheeked youngsters are

now a picture of isolation and darkness. The air that once gave off a fragrance of joy

and melody has now been coated with grief and melancholy. My soul is tormented

by the thought of your youths, who leave the house in the morning and fail to find

their way back home ever again. I am unable to sleep at night, as howls of innocent

children, calling for help echo in the room; praying to God for a miracle which can

change their life and help them find refuge from all the trauma. I mourn the death of

every Kashmiri, who has given up their life because of traditional hostility. It kills me

to even think about all of this.

Every day, at dawn, I kneel down on my prayer mat and ask my Lord to keep you

safe; to keep your children safe. I am sorry brother, that I was unable to keep my

promise to you. I was not able to become your companion, your supporter, I left you

alone to fight wars which never concerned you.

But I believe in miracles and that tough times always end. And when they do, bliss

takes their place. I have faith that the same will happen for you. Today, I am using

my pen to warn the enemies, tomorrow I will be using my sword to finish the threat

for once and for all. I will fight for you, Kashmir, and this time I will succeed in

getting you free.

Remember brother, one day you will be saved.



By Zainab Imran

LGS 55 Main, Lahore

The Creatives|6

The Journey of Self Growth

Be yourself. Most of us have heard these two words

almost all our lives. Sometimes they were said to us

as words of wisdom and other times, as a revelation.

But I never really gave it importance. Usually, I would

brush them off, just like any other rebellious and naive

teenager, on a journey to find themselves.

And now I’m sixteen years old, more than half of my

teenage life has passed by and I think it’s safe to say

that I’ve matured as a person. My perspective of events

that happened in the past is distinctly different from

what it is present day. Words which would have hurt or

upset me back then, don’t even affect me anymore. I’ve

come to accept the fact that specific events in my life

have shaped and moulded my thoughts and personality.

If three years ago, someone would have narrated these

exact words to me, then I would’ve certainly laughed.

And thought to myself ‘easy for you to say, you’ve

already been through it.’ I agree, anyone in my position

would have done the same but during these years we

experience different things and most of all learn. Every

single day, we overcome new hurdles, which lead us

towards the road of success. Thus teenage years can be

looked upon as a staircase; with every year, we climb a

step higher and higher. Until a time comes when we are

at the top and from there we become free to discover,

grow and learn.

By Najwa Moin

LGS 55 Main, Lahore

The Creatives|7

Mood Swings Madness

When we are all reaching the verge of

being tweens, or teens or maybe nearto-adults,

we start getting moody. I feel

that there are times when all 11 to 16

years olds reach a point that we don’t

even understand our OWN emotions.

At times we are horribly angry and

irritated at everything. Then again, we

can be very happy for no reason, yet

the pettiest arguments make us cry.

Own up. At least there is one time in a

month when we all feel this way. I have

mood swings just like this. So do my

friends. All teenagers do.

Ask yourself these questions if you are a

teen experiencing mood swings. IS THIS




Answers: Yes. No. Maybe?

Mood swings for teenagers are

perfectly normal. Everyone gets them.

I apologize but -as usual- science plays

a big part. This is all due to biology.

It isn’t our fault, or at least most of

the time. When we all hit the stage

of becoming adults, our body needs

to create new hormones, in order to

survive. Most days we just feel cranky

because of a few chemical changes

occurring inside our brains.

This isn’t to be considered as an illness.

Some of the time our parents don’t

understand the changes in our behavior.

They love us more than ever, but they

also start realizing that we are growing

up, that we can’t stay tied with their

apron strings forever. Now, this leads to

a whole new chapter in our minds. Who

am I? Why can’t I do this myself? What

does life have in store for me? All these

surges of independence are a sign of

healthy adolescent behavior. Switching

choices, for example, show that we

are taking charge of our lives, and

being unable to understand anything,

identifies the chemical reactions in our

brain, that make us cranky.

But this doesn’t mean we should be

throwing ourselves pity parties all the

time. There are still ways to overcome

these mood swings. Exercising helps

cool our minds. If we reduce our intake

of caffeine, and eat regular meals, we

might not have such a high boost, and

then sudden drop of energy. However,

mostly, we should definitely improve

our sleeping habits, so we won’t feel

tired or cranky the next day.

Moving on to the last question. DO

WE NEED HELP? Watch it fellow

teens. Don’t let your mood swings take

too much control of your emotions.

Overcome them. Smile, be brave, and

live through these few years. Because

later onwards, severe mood swings can

lead to depression, anxiety issues and

health diseases. You definitely don’t

want your age to control you. But if

mood swings are way too frequent,

talk to your parents, or maybe a child

psychologist. They really can help!!

Au revoir for now!

Stay headstrong through adolescence…

By Amn Zain-ul-Abidin

13 years old, LGS 55-Main, Lahore

The Creatives|8

Do the Scars ever Fade Away??

Self-harm is something which is very

common in today’s world. Not a day

goes by and you hear yet another tragic

story. From a teenager’s perspective,

harming oneself seems not only

rebellious but also a way of easing your

pain. Some people leave it to God to

help them with the rage that they feel,

while others take matters into their own

hands. About four years ago, I tried to

fill the hollow pit in my heart, desperate

to control some part of my life, whether

it be a minor dilemma or a life-changing

decision. A few days passed in relief

until everything went downhill. That

same satisfaction turned into shame that

I wasn’t even able to look my parents

in the eye; how could I tell them that

their love and support was not enough

to prevent me from harming myself. I

was repulsed by my negative thoughts

which took over my well-being like a

beast, encouraging me to do something

outrageous. I felt disgusted by my hands

which had committed the very sin.

question my worth. Because I knew that

this girl who was constantly battling with

herself, was so strong that she wouldn’t

abide by decisions that she would later

live to regret. This girl cared about

her parents who had invested all their

energy, trying to provide a stable life for

their child. She realised that her family

never deserved this and nor did she.

This girl was so strong that no demon

in her mind could convince her to be so


From that day, I learned that everyone

in this world is always trying to fight

different battles in different ways.

But what we all have in common is

the courage, patience and most of

all resilience to survive through all of

it. My scars may never fade away but

they are a reminder of my dark times

and how I morphed into a strong and

indestructible girl, who learned to fight

for herself.

I felt weak. I felt destructive.

You see, all my life I have lived under this

shadow of perfection; the daughter with

the good grades and a bright smile. But

who knew that under this facade there

was a girl who had lost herself. Millions

of thoughts paced in my mind, making

me feel restless. So I did the only thing

I could think of at that moment: I called

my friend and told her everything. She

helped me in an extraordinary way by

giving the most helpful and practical

advice. Doing everything as she said,

I went and stood in front of my mirror

and looked at my scars; the same scars

that I designed myself, on my own skin.

In a soft tone, I took an oath to never

harm my body, my mind or to ever even

Photo Credits: Damia Nauman

The Creatives|9

We should remember, that life isn’t just about pain, it’s about counting the stars in

the darkness of the night. So go, look for your stars, you won’t be disappointed

By Zainab Imran, LGS 55 Main, Lahore, Pakistan

When we hear the word depression, we probably always think we know what it

means. We might even use the word casually in our daily conversations with our

friends, “Oh yeah, I’m feeling so depressed today. I don’t want to be here.” But

do we really know what depression is, and how it affects people, physically and


What is Depression?

While we may think being depressed means being sad, depression is more than just

a normal emotion. It is actually a serious mental illness which affects how you feel,

think, and act. Just like other illnesses, depression can happen to anyone and is

cured with time.

Depression symptoms can include:

-Deep feelings of sadness or grief

-Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed

-Changes in appetite, behavior or speech

-Increased fatigue or unnecessary physical activity

-Low self esteem (feeling of worthlessness)

-Thoughts of suicide

These symptoms continue over long periods of time in order to be ruled out as




People can undergo depression for numerous reasons. For example,the death of

a loved one can cause someone to fall into depression. However, depression in

teenagers has become a pressing and unfortunately very common issue all over

the world. It is one of the leading causes of death in adolescents. About one in six

teenagers withstand depression.

But why is this type of depression most common? This is because the world has

expanded so much in social life and education. Adolescents are being pressured in

The Creatives|10

schools and are expected to do more than they are up against.

Social media has a very strong influence in today’s world, thus people use the chance

to post hurtful things about others behind their backs or often in their faces. These

strains can be extremely hard to endure, especially when we are changing mentally and

figuring out what we want to become in the future. On top of that, tobacco and drug

abuse affects the developing mind and increases the risk of depression.

The Solution:

So what can we do? How can we help the people around us? It is very important to

understand and be able to detect the signs of depression. Teens in this world don’t

always receive the help they need, and are being taken lightly when they ask for

it. Having a healthy diet and getting enough sleep helps decrease stress. But most

importantly, talking about our worries to someone we trust, is a great start to address

mental health and making ourselves happier.

We may never know what someone is going through, so it’s crucial to be empathetic

and kind towards others. Just being there to listen to someone’s worries can really help

the person to understand that they are not alone. One should have courage and be


Always remember:

‘Kindness is seeing the best in others when they cannot see it in their selves’


Rahmah Waseem

13 years old

Ashton, Maryland,USA

The Creatives|11

The Creatives|12

Inside the Mind of a Depressed Teen

Anaya, a bubbly 16 year old, trying to cope with social pressure, depicts the life of

a normal teenager in today’s world. Many years ago, Anaya suffered from clinical

depression and anxiety, but managed to pull through all of it. An interview with her

was conducted, to help people understand mental illness and to remove the taboo

around it.

Q) How old were you when you started feeling depressed?

Most teenagers get depressed when they are fifteen years old, but I became

depressed at the age of twelve. It was a crucial time in my life, when nobody in my

family really understood what mental illness was nor was there much awareness

about it in Pakistan.

Q) How did you feel during depression?

I was in absolute chaos, my mind was cluttered with insecurities regarding my

grades and appearance. The worst part was staring at myself in the mirror, which

reflected an image of a girl with pudgy thighs, acne and a bulging belly. At school,

I would feel conscious around my friends and at home, I would feel alone and

isolated. There were multiple voices in my head, screaming and shrieking for help

and comfort, but nobody could hear them except for me.

Q) How did you realise that you were suffering from depression?

I’ve always had a love for psychology so I used to read articles and books about

it. And when I started feeling disturbed and distressed, I realised that it was

depression which grew more and more serious, with the passing of days.

Q) How did depression affect your relationships with family and friends?

When I was depressed, I drifted away from my loved ones, which was a wrong thing

to do because at the end of the day, they were the ones who were standing by

my side, helping me through thick and thin. Although I kept a smile on my face all

the time, everyone was still able to see the cracks in my facade. After overcoming

depression, I became the person that everyone discussed their problems with

because I could understand their pain. So overall, depression taught me more than I

expected it to in a good way.

Q) How did you diagnose your mental illness?

I started to find peace in my faith by praying and depending on my God for a better

tomorrow. All the while, I started therapy and it helped me overcome my fears and

anxieties. I found comfort by believing in myself and slowly but gently, I started to


Q) According to you what does mental illness mean?

To me, Mental illness means the state of a person in which he or she loses their

sanity and peace of mind. It’s when everything in one’s life appears in black and

white, the perfect picture of dreariness. Mental illness is a very serious issue which is

becoming increasingly common in Pakistan and should be treated immediately.

Q) What should be done to remove the taboo around mental illness?

Everyone should start sharing their experiences on large platforms with huge

audiences or on social media. Mental Illness Organisations should conduct

seminars in schools and universities and make sure that their best therapists are

available for service at all times. People should not shy away from the fact that

they need therapy or are visiting a therapist. Parents should start taking their

child to the therapist (if needed) the same way they take their child to a physician.

Always keep in mind that a disturbed mind is just as worse as an aching joint.

Q) How did you change after going through depression?

I changed in so many ways that it was insane. My mind matured so much and I

started to understand the saying ‘Time is the best healer.’ I began to accept life

with all its happy and unhappy moments. After depression, I was finally able to

identify myself as a strong, resilient woman who could overcome anything. I would

look at the mirror once again and smile at my appearance instead of flinching like I

used to.

Q) Do you have any advice for people to help others in depression?

The best thing that anyone can do for a person in depression, is to help them heal

by giving them time and by being patient. Sometimes even holding their hand

makes a world worth of difference. Or even whispering a few kind words can help

uplift their spirit.

Q) Do you have any advice for people going through depression?

I would tell them to hold on and fight with all their might. And to remember that

this hard time that they are going through will also end and when it does then they

will finally find peace.


Zainab Imran

16 years old

LGS 55 Main

Lahore, Pakistan

The Creatives|13

How are they affecting your child’s mental health?

It is quite normal for parents to argue, but their impact on a child’s mental

health is quite extensive. Although parents try not to have a row in front of their

adolescents, sometimes, it is, in fact, inevitable.

In a research, it was deduced by the University of York that the children whose

parents are divorced are most affected by the arguments that led to the divorce,

rather than being affected by the annulment itself. Furthermore, in the research,

it was concluded that by witnessing a fight at home, the children are 30% more

likely to develop certain behavioral issues than those children with happily married


It is healthy and normal for parents to sometimes argue with each other. What

harms the child’s mind is the part where the argument is left inconclusive .

Children learn from this experience and sometimes are unable to have constructive

arguments. This affects their ability to resolve conflicts in their personal life.

As unbelievable as it may sound, children as young as six months show corporeal

symptoms such as having a higher pulse rate being in front of parents fighting,

whereas, their pulse rate is lower when any other adults are arguing.

These symptoms get worse as the child grows. An adolescent may show external

changes such as sudden waves of aggression and by becoming hostile and violent.

Some of the internal changes that take place are that children begin to suffer from

anxiety, depression and having low self-esteem. In extreme cases, however, the

child may also have suicidal thoughts.

To prevent taking multiple trips to the therapist, it is important for the parent(s)

to recognize the noticeable signs of mental instability. In a blog-post by National

Alliance on Mental Illness, it was said that the signs the children of different grades

displayed, required psychological assistance. According to the post, students

from kindergarten till the third grade blame their own selves or their misbehaviour

for the divorce. More signs include complaints of headaches and stomach

pains. With students from fourth to sixth grade, multiple signs can be observed,

concerning the abrupt rise in conflicts with peers and the sudden occurence of

anger, embarrassment or frustration. Moving towards older students until the

twelfth grade display extreme mood swings and demonstrate a lack of interest in

schoolwork and extracurricular activities.

By Damia Nauman

16 years old

LGS 55 Main, Lahore, Pakistan

Marital Issues?

The Creatives|14

The Unexpected

I sat down at my desk and sifted through the mail that had been placed in front

of my computer. All junk of course. I was about to dump it all in the recycling bin

when I saw my favorite magazine at the bottom of the pile. Tossing the rest aside,

I snatched it but something unexpected fell out from between the pages- divorce

papers. The smooth white paper suddenly felt heavy in my hands. I dropped the

bag in the bin with the silky paper still in my hand. I adjusted my glasses to make

sure I was reading it carefully. As I once again read the title on the paper: “Divorce

filed” written in bold and underlined.

Shazia and I have been married for over five years now, and we have a two year

old son, Abdullah. It seemed absurd for her to file for divorce, we have been a

happy married couple, and I’ve always tried to be a rational husband, straying away

from the conventional depictions of a desi husband. We never quarrelled over

unnecessary issues, and tried to make the most of our little time together, as she

was a full time neurosurgeon. Although I had observed that lately Shazia had been

taking advantage of my leverage. She disliked spending time with Abdullah and on

the weekends she had started to become too occupied with her friends. I pointed

that out on multiple occasions, and I remember her being argumentative about it

and calling me, “narrow minded”. But I never expected her to file for divorce.

Just like any other couple we have had our share of problems. I also have my own

set of issues, but there was nothing that can not be resolved.

I refuse to let my son grow without the affection of both, his mum and dad, he is a

two year old. I can not put Abdullah through the misery of having divorced parents.

I took him in my arms, stroking his face lightly, and brushing his auburn colored hair

from his face, he looked so peaceful as he sucked on his pacifier, so tranquil even in

times of utter chaos. I pressed him against my chest, gently cradling him. What have

I not done to be a good husband? What do I have to pay the price of being a bad


I clenched the divorce paper and grabbed the car keys from the coffee table. I

called out, “Ruqayya! Stop washing the dishes and please look after Abdullah, while

I go run some errands.” Ruqayya immediately catered to Abdullah. Ruqayya was a

maid that had been working at our house for a year and a half as Shazia was always

too busy with work to look after our child.

Grief stricken, I started the car, breathing heavily as I steadied my hands on the

steering wheel. Yes, Shazia had been busy, but she had never been disrespectful.

She was humble and loving, this seemed out of character. I was overwhelmed with

rage, as I slammed the sheet of paper on the passenger seat pressing it down from

the center.

The Creatives|15

Eventually I reached the hospital. I stepped out of the car as apprehension took over me. I

was fidgeting with the paper, unknowingly tearing the top of it. I took slow heavy footsteps to

her office. Without feeling the need to knock, I barged in. I did not mutter a word, but waved

the page incredulously, as if it were a red flag.

She straightened her back, and stood up. She pushed her chair back, and approached me.

“Oh this? I had been thinking about talking to you about this for quite a while now.” I felt sick

at heart by what she had just said, my mouth went dry and turned bitter. It felt as though my

heart was throbbing in my throat, as I murmured, “Why?”

She let out a nervous laughter, her eyebrows arched as she exclaimed, “Why? Taimur are

you asking me why? Have you forgotten about your bad drinking habits? Do you remember

slapping me twice this week while you were drunk?I do not want Abdullah to grow up in such

an environment.”

All the color from my face drained as I heard the harsh truth. “Shazia we can change that. I

can change,” I pleaded. She shook her head vigorously while rummaging through her drawers

only to pull out a brown manilla envelope. She replied, “Taimur, this has been going on for far

too long, and on multiple occasions I’ve tried to stop you, but you are stubborn and strong.

You said this then, and you are saying the same thing now.” She pulled out the signed divorce

papers and handed me a pen. “I’ve signed mine, please do me a favor and sign yours.”

I knew I had put her through a lot and there is no denying that I had hurt her on several

occasions. Swallowing my pride, I tightened my grip on the blue pen. And that was that. She

had divorced me.


Rija Naeem

14 years old

LGS 55 Main, Lahore

The Creatives|16

Blanked Out

My hands were trembling out of angst;

I was most definitely not prepared

for this exam.I had been known to

top most subjects all my life. Yet I

sat there, doodling with my pen still

without a thought processing in my

mind. I had already thought of the vile

repercussions I would have to face in this

moment of failure. I spent my whole life,

devoting all my efforts and time to this

particular moment. I was bewildered

by how my mind had gone blank, as if

I had appeared for a different subject

altogether. My heart began sinking

as it dawned upon me; I was going to

fail. This would be one of the defining

points of my entire career, one of the

most crucial initial steps for success.

Unfortunately, I was already failing at


I felt suffocated by the eerie silence that

filled the room. I looked around, meeting

the gaze of few other candidates who

also seemed perplexed by the paper in

front of them. The rest were hurriedly

writing down answers. This seemed

to be a common phenomenon that a

student would forget all the information

that they had prepared. Up until now,

I was fortunate enough to be immune

to ‘blanking out’. But there I was, blank

as a slate. The invigilator announced

that out of the two hours allotted for

the exam, one hour had already passed.

The candidates around me were clicking

their pens fervently showing how fast

solutions were pouring into their minds.

This ear piercing sound made me feel

more inadequate than ever before.

As I accepted my fate as a failure,

I slumped into my chair and let all the

disappointment engulf me. I walked

through all the conversations that I

likely would have to encounter. My

heart ached as I visualized the disdain

on parents’ faces. I looked through my

half-answered paper one last time and

as I was about to hand it in; a question

popped at me. Suddenly, I was struck by

the influx of information that I felt I had

forgotten completely. Afraid that I would

forget it again, I grabbed my pen. It felt

as if my pen could not keep up with the

thoughts racing through my mind.

As time was winding down I

began answering all the questions in an

attempt to finish my paper onS time.

My mind was overwhelmed with all the

information which was pouring in all at

once. I tried my best to organize my

thoughts and to answer all the questions

as precisely as possible. I could feel my

stiff body begin to relax as I neared the

end of my paper. I finished my exam

moments before time was up. I glanced

down at my hands and saw how swollen

and sweaty they were after completing

the paper.

The hall erupted in chatter as

candidates were instructed to exit. As

I walked out of the hall, I became even

more aware of my convoluted thoughts.

The built up anxiety of exam preparation

and performance had almost pushed me

to failure. Once I had faced my fears, I

relaxed and could recall all of the learned

information. I made a mental note to

never let fear overcome me and make

it difficult to work on the task at hand. I

walked out with the firm determination

to never allow this to happen to me



Ryaan Mirza

14 years old

Learning Alliance (Gulberg), Lahore

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Winners of Harry Potter Competition

Namwar Ahmed

LGS 30 Main

First Prize

Junior Category

Hassan Raza Shirazi

Learning Alliance DHA

Second prize

Junior Category

Rayyan Rashid


Third prize

Junior Category

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Shanzay Khan

LGS 55 Main

First Prize

Senior Category

Nawaal Shirazi

Learning Alliance (DHA)

Second prize

Senior Category

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Photo Credits: Damia Nauman

Ahmed Ejaz


Third prize

Senior Category

Young Poet's Corner

Her Hidden Pain

To the world she shows only happiness,

Whether at life’s worst or best.

But behind the mask is endless pain,

When she sees where her father was once lain.

Now, he’s forever gone,

She says it feels like there’s no dawn.

It unbearable, the pain, the grief,

Shaking hard in the wind like a leaf.

I hold her close, try to soothe her,

And realize there’s no one I know who’s stronger

By Maheen Salman Ahmad

12 years old

SCIL, Lahore

From the Eyes of a Teenager

I Don’t Know it Myself!

Screams and cries, arguments galore,

I want to howl, don’t want this anymore,

My emotions are scattered across the room,

I’m shrieking, trapped in a depressing gloom.

Wish my world was as organized as my shelf,

Ask me the cause, I wouldn’t know it myself,

Now I look at today, I’m all smiles and laughter,

Yesterday’s mood hanging from the rafters,

The world is great and my life is better,

Forget all those tears, burn my devastating letter,

I feel like jumping for joy and dancing like an elf,

Ask me the cause, I don’t know it myself,

But now, here I am, crying in the shower,

My mind is blank, before my own self I cower,

Don’t want to go on, just want to stay here,

My independence is crushed by this world full of fear,

What is my fault, that I was amazing the day before?

And the day before that, wanted to bolt, wanted to roar?

I’m confined in this body, for God knows how many years

Ask me the cause, I don’t know it myself.

By Amn Zain ul Abidin, 12 years old, LGS 55 Main

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Handwriting Analysis

Have you tried Graphology?

The human mind remains a mystery to us till this day. It is as perplexing as ever

despite all the advances that have been made to solve this mystery. Handwriting

analysis has intrigued many people and they speculate why two signatures do not

look exactly alike. There are many questions.‘Why is everyone’s handwriting unique?

Is it because of a connection between the mind and body?

You must have heard about instances in which the handwriting of suspects are

used as evidence in a crime investigation. This study of handwriting is called

graphoanalysis; which allows analysts to prevent forgeries and investigate crimes

etc. Graphology, in other words, is learning to identify the psychological state of

a writer and evaluate their personality. It is usually considered a pseudoscience (a

collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific

method). Many people believe that one’s personality cannot be described by solely

looking at their handwriting. They believe graphology falls in the same category as

palm-reading and astrology. People who take up graphology as a profession are

called graphologists. However, if you are looking for some fun then you can sit with

your friends to have a look at each other’s handwriting! Who knows? There might

be some truth to it.

There are still many people who believe that this science can help you read the

mind of a person. Graphologists look distinctively at your slants, angles and letter

spacing. They observe the three main elements of handwriting: movement, spacing

and form. A graphologist would study these aspects and associate them with

psychological interpretations.

Look at some of the general handwriting analysis tips:

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It is an amazing phenomena, right?

However, this does not mean that we discriminate each other based exclusively on

their handwriting. Remember that this analysis is highly generalized and does not

apply to every individual. We must learn that every person has their own personality

and unique qualities.

What’s yours?

By Damia Nauman

16 years old

LGS 55 Main, Lahore, Pakistan

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In Pakistan, one in nine women develops breast

cancer at some stage of their lives. Every year

thousands of females lose their lives due to lack

of awareness, several women do not share their

health issues with others and are shy to go for any

kind of breast examination. Not only elder women

but it has affected younger too. Around 77 percent

of women with breast cancer are over the age of

50. From age 40 till she is physically active, every

woman should have a mammogram and a physical

exam by a doctor at least every two years.

Source: Shaukat Khanum Website

More information is available at

An Interview with Dr Samina Khokher

An Expert on Breast Cancer


Dr Samina Khokher, MBBS, FCPS, PhD

Dr Samina Khokher topped Lahore Board in FSc and graduated from King Edward Medical

College in 1982. She chose to specialize in General Surgery and qualified FCPS in 1987.

Later she had training in Plastic Surgery from Malmo General hospital Sweden and took

Breast Surgery as Super speciality. She was awarded the first PhD in Surgery by University of

Health Sciences Lahore for research on Breast Cancer. Currently she is practicing as “Breast

Surgeon” at Faisal Hospital Lahore and is actively involved in the Breast Cancer awareness

activities in the various educational institutions.

What is Breast Cancer, in the view of an expert?

In simple terms, cancer is the uncontrolled growth and spread of cells in any part of the body.

So, to be specific, breast cancer is the development of cancer in the breast. It can develop

in women at any age after the age of 18. Maximum number of women are affected between

40 to 50 years in Pakistan. Breast cancer consists of four stages: In the first, it is barely even

there and with treatment it is easy to completely eradicate. In stage two, it has increased

in size but still there are high chances of cure with treatment. With the correct treatment,

it can be cured and the patient can make a full recovery. In the third stage, however, it has

spread locally in the breast and also to the armpits. At this stage the chancestage chance of

full recovery is less. In the fourth stage the cancer has spread beyond the breast to any other

part of the body, like lungs, liver or bones and chances of cure are negligible. All we can do at

this stage is to ease the patient and relieve them of pain. We help them as much as we can to

help them live the remainder of their lives surrounded by their family and friends in a happy


At what age should girls be educated about breast cancer awareness and begin


As breast cancer starts to appear at the age of eighteen, girls should be made aware of it

around this age. They should be instructed on how to examine themselves once in a while,

as well as when to go to get a professional opinion. It is safe to get clinical evaluation once

every three years, and self-examination once every month till the age of 40 years. Advanced

countries like America and England have developed a system called ‘screening’ which is

based on periodic X-Ray of breasts called “Mammography” and this contributes greatly to

the early diagnosis of breast cancer.

What is the incidence rate of breast cancer in Pakistan?

Pakistan alone has the highest rate of Breast Cancer than any other Asian country as one out

of every nine women develops breast cancer in her lifetime. It is the commonest cancer in

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women as it accounts for 48% of all cancers of women and it is also the commonest cause

of cancer related deaths of women in Pakistan. It is extremely common, in simple words.

It is mainly because of unawareness. Women do not know how to pick up on it. Illiteracy

has a big part in this. When it is not identified, it grows until ultimately, it is fatal.

Should teams of doctors and nurses visit schools and offer free sessions and free

evaluations at their clinics?

Yes, but not exactly at schools more than colleges. Schoolgirls are a little too young to

know the details of breast cancer. Early overexposure can lead to trauma and fear, so

we avoid making that negative impression on such young minds. In colleges, however,

girls are old enough to be made aware. Free sessions and evaluations should not only be

offered at colleges but also to uneducated, poor women in order to lessen the biggest

hurdle to early diagnosis of breast cancer. If we raise breast cancer awareness, we could

lessen the frequency in which breast cancer is diagnosed at late stages in Pakistan, and

with appropriate treatment these cancers can then be cured.

By Maheen Salman

11 years old

SCIL, Lahore, Pakistan

The Creatives|27

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