R.I.P. Hipster…Hello Hamster!

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#SquareTale by O. Mukhtar

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A Night In Stratford-upon-Avon…

Wednesday was our last day in school before the Christmas holidays, and it’s sure been a busy first term for me at King Edward’s School, but nevertheless an enjoyable one. Since it was Christmas, the school treated the Shells (this is what KES calls Year 7) to a special night out at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon to watch a performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’!

The show is based on the book by Charles Dickens, and it was a hugely entertaining show! But before the actual show started, entering the auditorium itself was really exciting. It was packed with people, and the 120 or so boys from KES took up only just about a quarter of the total seats! I was sitting in a seat high up, and I had a great view of everything happening on stage – lucky me!

When the lights finally went up on stage, I saw the set for the first time, and I can tell you one thing: it. Was. Amazing! The play was set in the Victorian times, and the team did a brilliant job of recreating the cobblestoned streets lined with cramped little houses! The set really made it look like another world!

The story follows Ebenezer Scrooge, a grumpy, grouchy old miser who is more in love with money than any other person. When he comes back home on the night of Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghost of his dead business partner, Marley, that foretells the visit of three more spirits in the night. When these Ghosts – the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Christmas Yet To Come – arrive at Scrooge’s household, they attempt to encourage him to become a kind, generous man like he used to be as a child. But will old Scrooge change his ways in time to celebrate Christmas?

To go with the great actors were great costumes! The traditional Victorian attire was amazing, but not only that, I particularly liked the great green gown that the Ghost of Christmas Present wore! It reminded me of a real forest with berries and bushes!

Special effects were also top notch; there are brilliant fog and ice effects, ‘snow’ falling from the ceiling, and even a bed that rose out of the stage floor! I especially enjoyed the moment when Scrooge put his hand right through the ghost of Marley, his dead business partner! I still can’t figure out how they did it, but I guess that’s the magic of it all! The dance numbers were also well-practised and ‘funky’, as you might say!

I really enjoyed watching ‘A Christmas Carol’. It was heartwarming, funny and magical all at the same time! With astounding actors, brilliant costumes and tremendous special effects, it was a truly PAWSOME show!

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*Media Source: Google Images*

Romeo & Juliet: A Twisted Tale

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Romeo was a Montague. Juliet was a Capulet. Romeo and Juliet loved each other. But the Montagues and Capulets loathed each other. They were indeed ‘star-crossed’, as Shakespeare describes it, plagued by bad luck. But old Shakespeare told an embroidered tale, not one entirely true. So listen closely, my friends, as I tell you the real story of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet.

It was a favourite thing of theirs, the lovers, to sneak out of the house every night and meet up at an abandoned tower on the edge of Verona. They’d often fantasise about running away from all the hate and dispute of their families, and live in peace with each other.

The Italian night sky was normally filled with stars, but on this particular night, when Romeo and Juliet met, the sky was dominated by clouds, and there was not so much as a twinkle in sight. From the top of the tower, Juliet looked out at the open land, with its rolling hills, and carpet of green grass, and sighed.

“Oh, Romeo, we’re always talking about how we want to run away and leave this life behind. Why don’t we ever do it?”

Romeo didn’t know the answer to it himself. “It is not the right time yet.” That was all he could say. “But one day we will.”

“Mmm,” Juliet sighed again, “One day.”

They stood next to each other, looking out at the countryside from their tower. Then they heard a scream. They turned around to look at the city, and another scream was heard. They were sure it was coming from the Capulet household.

Juliet normally wasn’t fast on feet, but tonight, she ran faster than ever through the candlelit cobblestone streets. When she reached the house of the Capulets, she pushed open the heavy wooden doors to find her parents, Lord and Lady Capulet, lying on the floor, their lips abnormally blue. They were dead. Beside them, a sobbing man sat on his knees.

“Cousin Tybalt!” cried Juliet. “What’s wrong? What happened to Mother and Father?”

Tybalt, in a shaky voice, replied, “Killed. Poisoned! Someone dared to take their lives, to take your dear Mother and Father…but Juliet, who is that man that stands next to you? Is that not the young son of the Lord and Lady Montague? Why are you with him, Juliet? Stay away! Get out, filth, get out!”

Romeo and Juliet had left the tower in such haste that they had forgotten to hide Romeo. And now they had been seen together, the consequences were going to be far from good. Tybalt stood up and drew a dagger. He menacingly made his way towards the couple, baring the dagger like a set of claws. Romeo edged in front of Juliet, ready for the attack. But an unexpected voice came from behind.

“Romeo, my son, where have you-!?”

Tybalt threw the dagger with great accuracy, and it just missed Romeo, flying past his ear, but instead hitting his mother squarely in the stomach. Her mouth was gaping open in pain, and the black dress she wore became wet and shiny with blood. She fell to the ground, dead.

Romeo was speechless. Anger blinded him, and he ran towards Tybalt, roaring. But Juliet pulled him back, and cried “Please, no, Romeo! No good will come out of more killing!” She pushed Romeo back and pleaded with Tybalt to leave him alone. Romeo gained back his senses, and ran outside to see his mother. Holding back tears, he gave her one last kiss on the forehead.

Just then, Juliet caught a glimpse of a bottle in the folds of Romeo’s clothes. She swiped it from him and read the label.

“Poison?” Juliet was taken aback. “Romeo, why do you have this?”

Romeo looked uneasy. He didn’t answer. Then it dawned on Juliet. “Romeo, you didn’t…you couldn’t have…” She looked back at her parents, lying lifelessly on the floor.

“I had to.” Romeo finally spoke. “If we were ever to marry, then our parents would have been in the way.”

“So what? You killed my parents! Are you planning to kill your father too? I never thought you would stoop so low!” Juliet screamed.

“But Juliet-!”

Whoosh! A piece of flaming wood came flying through the air and landed just metres away from the Capulet household. Then a chair set alight was thrown from one of its windows. The families were trying to set each other on fire.

Juliet couldn’t take it any more. “STOP! Just stop!” She was losing control. Soon, she was in tears, overwhelmed by everything. The trees in the courtyard caught fire, and flaming debris surrounded Romeo and Juliet. Before long, they were sitting in a ring of fire. The flames leaped out at them, and streams of fire were overhead.

Romeo made to comfort Juliet, but she pushed him away. “I’m sorry,” she said through tears, “I just can’t.” The fire grew bigger, and the safe space got smaller. Screams rose from both the Capulets and Montagues. Juliet spoke one last time before the flames swallowed them both.

“Goodbye – forever”

– Juliet’s last words

Moral of the story: No good ever comes from violence.

Author’s note: ‘Romeo & Juliet’ is one of Shakespeare’s greatest works. The story of the two star-crossed lovers from two feuding families is known worldwide, and the tale has influenced me so much that it inspired me to get writing! So here it is, inspired by William Shakespeare himself, my very own version of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ – with a twist!

Double Blessing…

K3Z

It’s been almost 4 months since I started my life at KES. FYI, I’m studying 15 core and creative subjects: English, Maths, Science, Geography, Art, Design and Technology, Computing, French, Latin, History, Music, Drama, RS, PE and Rugby/Hockey.

King Edward’s School also uses a credit system. Credits are kind of like points that you get awarded if you do a good piece of work. I actually achieved my first 10 credits way back on 24th October, and I got a certificate to mark the achievement too.

But when you go on to achieve 25 credits, or do an outstanding piece of work, then you get an entry in what they call the GOLDEN BOOK, which is a special book in the Chief Master’s study. Every student looks forward to getting an entry in the Golden Book, because it’s a very big achievement!

The good news is that I was blessed with a DOUBLE GOLDEN BOOK ENTRY last week! The first one was on Wednesday 5th December for my Geography project, and I went to visit the Chief Master to get my name signed in the Golden Book. And right after that, on Thursday 6th December, I got my second Golden Book entry for attaining 25 credits! Not only that, I also got £20 worth of Amazon gift cards!

I can’t describe how proud I was, looking at my name in the Golden Book, and not just once, but two days in a row! Alhamdulillah, I can’t thank God enough for the endless blessings. And of course, I couldn’t possibly have done it without the support and prayers from my PAWSOME parents!!

Pawsome regards,

Omar Mukhtar a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion

ROOM

Room

It is dark. It is cold. I am scared.

I can’t remember anything but it all seems familiar. The grey stone walls, the weird mossy smell, the chains. The chains on my stomach. Why are they there? I can’t get out. There are no windows. The only light comes from the few cracks in the wall. There is a rectangular outline in the wall. A door? Yes, a door! I get up and walk towards it. I grab the handle. It’s locked. I shake and pull, but still it doesn’t budge. I huff and stomp my feet in frustration.

Clank! There is a noise behind me. I whip around. Nothing is there except for the chains. The chains. They’ve moved. They’re right at my feet. I kick them away and turn back to the door. I am about to drive my foot into it when something drags me from behind into the darkness of the corner of the room.

I wake up. It is dark. It is cold. I am scared.

The chains are there in front of me. I get up and go to the door. I try the handle again. Still nothing. I push and pull. Then I have an idea. I grab the chains of the floor. They are cold. And heavy. Very heavy. I whip them against the door. The sound of the metal against the wood is eerie, like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Cracks are starting to appear in the door. I raise my hands above my head for one last effort. I throw the chains against the door. I miss. Somehow. The chains wrap around me and knock me off my feet. I fall through the stone floor into the darkness.

I wake up. It is dark. It is cold. But I am not scared. I am angry. Angry at the chains. Angry at the door. Angry at myself. I’m going crazy. The chains are not there anymore. But the door is. I stand up and make my way towards it. Then I punch it. I punch and punch until my fists go red and my knuckles bleed. Then I scream. My throat is raw, but I keep on screaming. Then I drop to the floor, out of breath. If the door won’t give way, then I shall start on the wall. I’ll claw my way out through the cracks.

No. That won’t work. Wow. I am going crazy. I laugh. I laugh at how stupid I am. Soon the laughter turns into crying. Crying into screaming. Screaming into anger. Anger into one final push.

I grit my teeth and press my hands up against the door. The cracks in the wood grow, until at last, it shatters, like glass. I lose my balance and fall into the nothingness beyond.

Thud! I land on my feet. There is a slight pain in my legs. I can’t see anything. Everything is pitch black. The only sound that can be heard is my heavy breathing. But then there’s a thump. It comes from behind me. What is it? Whatever it is, I’m not going to wait for it to come get me. I start to edge away, trying my best to be silent. But that thing in the darkness pushes me to the floor. I have no other choice. I run. I run as fast as my legs can carry me. But I’m not fast enough. I feel it dragging me back by the collar. My strain to get away. But my efforts don’t work. It picks me up then throws me to the floor. My whole body throbs with pain. Quietly sobbing, I drag myself across the ground. I am desperate to get away.

The thing hisses threateningly behind me. It sounds demonic, deathly. I just know it wants to kill me. But why? No time to find out.

Crawling, crawling, crawling. Like a worthless little bug. I have never had to crawl for my life before, but I had never imagined it could be so terrifying. Gradually, I slow down. I am running out of breath. This is hopeless. I might as well die. I lie on the floor, waiting for the beast to take me and kill me. But then I see a glint of light. Daylight. A doorway. Hope.

Groaning, I pull myself onto my knees and drag myself closer to the heavenly light. I want to escape, but at the same time, I want to die from the pain. It’s just too much. But no. I can’t give up. Crawl, crawl, crawl. Crawl to safety, I hope. I hope. Just hope.

I am nearly there. Just a little more. But I don’t make it. My legs buckle. I drop to the floor and lie there, sobbing. It hurts so, so much. Soon, the deathly hissing surrounds me. It’s so loud it’s like it’s like is coming from my own mouth. The light fades. My limbs go numb. The hissing grows quieter. Then, emptiness.

I wake up. It is bright. It is warm. I’m in bed.

I look around. Everything seems normal. Just a bad dream. But where am I? How did I get here? I look down at my legs. They’re in thick layers of bandages. Did I have an accident? Am I in some kind of nursing home?

I get out of bed to investigate, but I can’t even walk to the door. My hands are chained to the bed. Those chains look familiar. I know them. I’ve seen them. But where? Then I remember, and a pang of fear hits me. These are the chains that I used to escape that dreary grey room. These are the chains that hunted me down. These are the chains that I dreamed of, but was it even a dream?

It is no longer bright, but grey and insipid. I take a look around the room. My eyes rest on the wooden desk in front of me. Piles upon piles of documents are stacked on top of each other. I read through them. I see my name at the top of one. They’re about me. I read on.

PATIENT SHOWS SIGNS OF SLIGHT DISORIENTATION. UNFOCUSSED, FREQUENTLY FORGETS CURRENT SITUATION. SCHEDULED FOR MORE APPOINTMENTS, WILL RECORD PROGRESS THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF THE WEEKS.

Strange. I look to the other pieces of paper.

DAY 1:

PATIENT IS STILL DISORIENTED, DOES NOT RESPOND WHEN CALLED. EXPRESSIONLESS. MINIMAL SPEECH.

DAY 2:

PATIENT CANNOT RECALL BASIC FACTS ABOUT SELF, DOES NOT KNOW CURRENT SITUATION HE IS IN. SEEMS WARY OF OTHER PEOPLE. RECLUSIVE.

DAY 5:

DELUSIONAL. CALLS OTHERS BY MADE-UP NAMES. IS UNSURE OF OWN IDENTITY. HALLUCINATIONS OF INTRUDERS. PILLS PRESCRIBED.

DAY 10:

PATIENT HAS REFUSED TO TAKE PILLS. FREQUENT MOOD SWINGS. CLAIMS THAT HE IS BEING HUNTED DOWN BY “IT”, AN IMAGINARY BEING WITH CHAINS. ENJOYS VIOLENT ACTIVITY. TALKS ABOUT SUICIDE.

DAY 25:

PATIENT MUMBLES INCOHERENT WORDS. REACTS VIOLENTLY WHEN INTERRUPTED. ATTEMPTED ESCAPE. INJURED SEVERAL PEOPLE. HE MUST BE RESTRAINED.

DIAGNOSIS: PATIENT IS SCHIZOPHRENIC – LEVEL: DANGEROUS

I pull away from the desk. My head is spinning. I’m confused. Can I even trust myself? My inner voices become real, and they taunt me, tell me to get out. I’m not the person I know anymore. I don’t think I ever really knew myself before. I look at the chains and think, I’ve done this to myself. I look up to the mirror hanging on the wall, and my heart nearly stops. My reflection doesn’t look like the me I know. It hisses back at me, but this time in despair. The story is clear. I am my own victim. I am the beast.

Written by O. Mukhtar O. Mukhlis

26th October 2018

Giving Thanks On This Special Day!

 

 

Twelve years ago, I was sent as a blessing from God to an amazing couple who I am now proud to call Mrs Mom and Mr Dad. They said I was their #LuckyNumber1, but really I am the one who is blessed to have such PAWSOME parents!

Some may think I was born with intelligence, but that’s not the truth at all! My parents were the soul source of all my skills. They identified my interests, and from day 1, they guided me and eventually helped to shape me into who I am today! I am often complimented for my skills, and I really appreciate it! But I must say, all this praise should be going to my parents! Behind every great child, there are two even greater parents! In my case, that is Mrs Mom and Mr Dad! They have made a lot of sacrifices to make my future as bright as it can be!

 

 

So for my birthday, I insisted my parents not to get me any gifts or even a cake. Anyway, it feels wrong after knowing that Mrs Mom endured more than 24 hours of labour pain to bring me into this world! Not forgotten, my parents had to go through a lot of challenges to raise me in a foreign country away from their families. If I told you all the things they did for me, from pregnancy until now, it would be endless! I couldn’t possibly repay them enough!

So today, on my twelfth birthday, I humbly ask everyone to pray for my wonderful parents, Mrs Mom and Mr Dad! All acknowledgement is due to them! Because honestly, they’re the ones who deserve it, not me! I mean, look at all the things that they have cherished over the years. They still kept most of the things from the pregnancy days up until now! Believe it or not, they have my lock of hair from my first haircut and even the pregnancy test! Not only that, there are lots of other bits and bobs too!

As for me, I’d like to give my parents a great big THANK YOU, a warm hug, kisses and prayers and, most importantly, the sincere love that only a truly grateful son can give! Thank you, Mrs Mom and Mr Dad! You’re the greatest gifts that any child could ever get on his birthday!

“The best presents are those that are given to you on the day you are born: your MOTHER and FATHER!”

– Omar Mukhtar
a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion
Sunday 2nd September 2018

 

 

The Lemon & Banana Boy!

Lemons are sour but this boy is sweet,

Ali’s his name, his cuteness can’t be beat!

Ali’s so sweet he makes sour lemons,

Sweeter than sugar, as sweet as a melon!

Ali love bananas, he loves them a lot!

He finds them so tasty, you should give them a shot!

This cute little boy just can’t live without

A banana a day, without it he’ll pout!

Bananas and lemons, both yellow in colour,

One is sweet, though, and the other’s sour…

But look what Ali’s done, it’s such a wonder!

He’s totally rocking this stylish T-shirt,

(the fruits are making me hungry for dessert!)

Bananas and lemons, who’d have thought,

Somebody could flaunt such a style?

The sweet with the sour, it just doesn’t click,

But Ali can make anything fit!

Ali, of course! His cuteness is great!

That and his new look, impossible to hate!

Bananas and lemons, sour and sweet,

Ali is WEARING them – isn’t that neat?

A poem by Omar Mukhtar a.k.a. The Pawsome Lion

Written for my little brother Ali!

My Last School Report!

Is there such a thing as school-sick? Because if there is, then I am SCHOOL-SICK! This was my last school report, written by my class teacher, Miss Patrick. As you can see, it is very detailed! When I first received it, I was awed, not by the length of it, but by the fact that she didn’t miss a single detail about me! Just thinking about the amount of effort she put into it touched me! This is something that I will never forget. I will definitely treasure this forever! And in case you’re wondering, yes, that bouquet of flowers that Miss Patrick is holding was from me! 😊

Have a pawsome Wednesday,

Omar Mukhtar

a.k.a. The Pawsome Lionlast school report

miss patrick last day

Books, Glorious Books!

Holidays are the best times for you to READ! Don’t just sit around playing games, spend time with your nose in a phone or watch Netflix day in, day out! Make the most of that free time and get stuck in a good book! And if you’re travelling to spend the holidays someplace away from home, even better! Kill time by reading a book! Whether you’re on a plane, in a car, travelling by bus or cruising in the sea, read! You can read anywhere: in the kitchen, in the garden, at the park, at the beach, or even in the bathroom!

Here’s my latest catch, some of which were bought by Mr Dad (thank you so much!), but most borrowed from my local library. So far, I have managed to read 8 of them, which leaves me with another 9 to go! Stay tuned for my next posts, I’ll be sharing more about the books I’ve read with all of you fellow bookworms!

“When people ask me if I like reading, it’s like asking me if I like breathing.”

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Here’s a complete list of the books as seen in the picture, from top to bottom:

  1. Through The Mirror Door – Sarah Baker
  2. Grandpa’s Great Escape – David Walliams
  3. The Wonderling – Mira Bartok
  4. The Bolds In Trouble – Julian Clary
  5. Book 3 of All The Wrong Questions: “Shouldn’t You Be In School?” – Lemony Snicket
  6. Wildwood – Colin Meloy
  7. Under Wildwood – Colin Meloy
  8. The Midnight Gang – David Walliams
  9. My Arch-Enemy is a Brain in a Jar – David Solomons
  10. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
  11. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  12. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  13. The Song From Somewhere Else – A.F. Harrold
  14. The Tiffin – Mahtab Narsimhan
  15. Wilderness – Roddy Doyle
  16. Where The World Ends – Geraldine McCaughrean
  17. Where My Wellies Take Me – Michael Morpurgo *missing from the picture*