All posts by Armaan

Flight to India – Part 2

On the plane, my family and I sat together in the same row. As we were getting comfortable in our seats we heard the captain’s voice on the speaker. He was telling us to make sure that we have our seatbelts on and to enjoy the flight. At 9:10 am the plane began to move quickly down the open lane and took off. I looked out the window with my back pressed against the seat and saw the plane rising higher and higher into the sky. Looking down at the airport from within the plane made it look quite small. In some time the plane reached the required altitude and I felt my back ease from the seat. Then again we heard the captain’s voice: Please remove your seatbelts and enjoy the ride. Enjoy? I laughed when thinking of the word because my past experiences being on a plane were far from being enjoyable…

There were all these small things that irritated me on a plane. Like when the flight attendant brings the cart filled with food and drinks around and ends up skipping your row. Or when a baby starts crying and you realize you left your headphones in your handbag above your seat. Another thing I hate is personal space. Almost always, the person sitting in front of me decides to recline their seat into my face and when I try to do the same, it turns out the seat I’m in doesn’t even recline…

 

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PW: Flight to India

Last year I had gone on a flight to India with my family. When I found out that we were going to India I was very happy because it meant that I would get to see my cousins. This happiness had died the day I got up to catch the flight with my parents…

At 5:00 am, I had woken up to get ready along with the rest of my family. Our flight was at 9:00 am but we went early to make sure that we do not miss the flight. It is often said that being early is better compared to being late, but when we arrived at the airport that morning at 6:30, I was very annoyed. Not only because we were there early but because I was tired. There was not even a rush to go through security because there were very few people at the airport.

Once 9:00 AM came around me and my family were seated on the plane, which was scheduled to leave at 9:10. I noticed that aside from my family on the plane there were the flight attendants and a few other families as well. From how many seats were unoccupied, I thought that maybe I could get a whole row to myself. But just as I was thinking this, I heard a small noise which was getting louder and louder, it was coming from the front of the plane. I looked down towards the front of the plane and saw many people quickly walking down the thin ally way and getting into their seats. As the once open seats were being taken one by one I grabbed my phone and looked at the time, it was going to be a long flight…

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A day to Remember

In The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, Hassan is found knocking on Amir’s bedroom door. He was about to go and buy naan and was hoping that Amir would join him. Amir told Hassan that he would prefer to stay in his room and read. When Hassan heard this his forehead thumped on Amir’s door…

“It’s a sunny day.”  . . .

“I can see that.” . . .

“Might be fun to go for a walk.” . . .

“You go.” . . .

“I wish you’d come along.” . . .

The few quotes above tell us that Hassan misses spending time with Amir. But Amir feels quite the opposite because he does not want to see Hassan or even talk to him. Often, whenever Hassan is around, Amir tends to get a headache.  This is because Amir still feels guilty for what had happened and for what he did and did not do.

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A Broken Friendship

In The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, Hassan has slightly recovered from the incident and has begun to show himself in front of Amir. While Amir was eating breakfast Hassan was washing the dishes. After some time Amir got up and began to go up to his room, which is when Hassan asked his friend Amir if he would like to go for a walk. Amir said he was tired, but after being asked a second time, he agreed. Together they walked up a hill in complete silence. There at the top of the hill was the pomegranate tree which they had visited many times together, in the past. Amir looked at the tree and felt guilt overcome him he had made a mistake going up that hill with Hassan. On the tree, there was a carving that Amir had previously made.

“Amir and Hassan: The Sultans of Kabul.”

I find this quite important because when Amir looked at the tree, he saw his past. He remembered spending time with Hassan, playing games and reading stories to one another while sitting around the pomegranate tree. This had made Amir feel even worse about the situation he was in, he kept telling himself to speak the truth. To say that he was sorry to Hassan, but the words never came out. Instead, he decided to go back home and disregard what he had just seen.

 

 

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My Everyday Life

Every school day I wake up to the same irritating alarm and struggle to get out of bed. Once I do get up I begin to get ready for my day. After I finish all the necessary things I head over to the kitchen and begin to eat breakfast. Following breakfast is the ride to school, which takes around 10 to 15 minutes. Once I arrive at school, often 10 minutes before class starts, I go across the bridge and view on my way to the front door the nature around the school. Now inside the school, I check my timetable on Managebac and make my way to class. After my 4 classes, I head back across the bridge and get a ride back home. When I arrive back at my house at 3:40 I eat lunch, which is always some type of delicious Indian food. After lunch, I either begin to study for upcoming school assignments or go outside and play Basketball. At 8:00 I have dinner with my family, again being Indian food which I love! Once I finish eating at around 9:00 I take a shower and then study for another 30 minutes, making sure that I have at least caught up with all past or present assignments. Then at 10:00, I get ready for bed and go to sleep at around 10:30. The same process is repeated almost every school day. This works best for me since it keeps me organized and ready for school.

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Reflection on War

Our world has changed over the years because of many different things. War is one of the reasons for a significant change in our society. Thinking back on World War I and World War II we can see that so much has evolved. Our society has grown, and there have been so many new advancements in technology. Hearing this, you could say that war helps us to grow, but the damage it causes affects many people’s lives. In most wars, people are often killed and families are left to suffer. Young men who joined the army during these times put themselves at major risk since the wars attacked them physically, mentally, and emotionally as well.

In All Quiet on the Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarque, when Paul is given leave and returns home he feels uneasy, the war had changed him. The experiences he had faced made him stronger but they had affected him emotionally. When he saw civilians amongst the streets on his way home, they greeted him since he was in uniform. Paul disliked these interactions since he felt that emotionally, these civilians could in no way relate to the people who fought in the war. This is important because if there wasn’t anyone willing to risk their own lives in war, then there would only be more damage done. With no one to support one another, people are bound to fall.

Looking back on these past wars, we must remember the people who risked their own lives to create a more sustained future for us. We must use these past wars to educate ourselves on how people lived during those times, the violence which occurred, and what the result was. To help ourselves change our thoughts on war, we must look more towards the negative effects of war. Then people will begin to believe that there are no benefits that come from it. This will help us prevent wars from occurring in the future and advance together as a society. There will always be people in this world who will not agree with this, but I believe that if we work together we will succeed in creating a safe future for generations to come.

Every year on November 11, we have Remembrance Day. On this day we acknowledge the armistice of the end of World War I. Most people wear a red poppy which symbolizes the lives of the men and women who fought during the war, we wear the poppy to show that we care. After the war had ended, poppies grew where the battle had taken place, which is why it is used as a symbol on this day. The poem “In Flanders Fields,” written by John McRae was inspired by the poppies which grew on the battlefield.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

From these few lines within the poem, we are listening to the voices of the soldiers who had fallen on the battleground. They are sharing with us their lives, what they used to feel with warmth, how they were once loved, and where they now lie. They are trying to teach us to take advantage of every day, to spend more time with those you love, and to follow what you feel is right. Life is valuable, and we can’t take advantage of it, but we can use it to do the right thing.

This poem is often chosen to be read during ceremonies on remembrance day since it talks about World War I from the perspective of the soldiers. It addresses the battlefield where the war had been fought and how it had been such a life-altering incident for many individuals across the world. If I was to ever be given the privilege of organizing a remembrance day ceremony I would decorate the area of the event with poppies, and give every individual who comes to support the event a red poppy. To help symbolize hope and respect shown by everyone there. There would also be various flags that represented where the soldiers who fought in the war came from. The ceremony would begin with an acknowledgment of the land we are currently occupying, which is Songhees and First Nations land. There would then be a speech by a government official on the war, who would reflect on how it had greatly affected our society. After this speech, we would have 2 minutes of silence to reflect on the war ourselves. Then there would be the reading of “Flanders Fields,” by a young school student. Once this reading is finished we would end the ceremony and say thank you to all who came and supported the cause alongside us.

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The Truth

In The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, a week has passed since the incident between Hassan and Assef. Amir has not seen Hassan for a week but has woken up every day with breakfast already made, along with his clothes ironed and folded. In the past, Hassan would wait for Amir to get up, then he would start ironing clothes and talk with him. One dull morning Ali walked into the kitchen, Amir asked him where Hassan was. Ali looked at Amir with a worried look on his face and told him that Hassan had gone back to sleep…

“Lately, it seems all he wants to do is sleep. He does his chores—I see to that—but then he just wants to crawl under his blanket. Can I ask you something?” (p. 85)

I feel that this quote is important because it tells us that Hassan has yet to tell his father what had happened to him. Instead of telling the truth, Hassan hides under his blanket and gets up to only complete his chores and nothing else. He chooses to get up earlier to avoid Amir. After he completes the job he goes back to the shed outside and stays there until the next morning. I believe that Hassan does this to protect himself from the outside world. This abrupt change in behavior makes Ali worry about Hassan. In time, we will see that the truth will be let out, but from whom? Will it be Hassan or Amir? Is the truth going to be enough to restore their friendship? Only time will tell…

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All Quiet on the Western Front

In All Quiet on the Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarque, we follow the life of a young man named Paul Baumer. Who is an enlisted soldier in the German army fighting during the time of World War I. Paul narrates not only his own life but the life of his friends as well, who had joined the army alongside him. They had all been greatly influenced to join the army by their former school teacher, Kantorek.

During drill-time Kantorek gave us long lectures until the whole of our class went, under his shepherding, to the District Commandant and volunteered. (p. 11)

The quote above reveals what Paul and his classmates experienced while in lessons with Kantorek. Lessons which often encouraged them towards joining the army. I feel that Kantorek had an endless fire burning inside him, which was used to teach the youth and support the German army in any way he could. Kantorek was the reason why Paul and many of his friends volunteered towards serving the army, but after spending several weeks away from home, Paul viewed Kantorek as an ignorant fool.

With Kantorek, I believe that he is one of the reasons why Paul and his friends had been caught in such a mess. While in the war they had endured so much pain. Sustained not only by stress but by witnessing death as well. Death was common in the War, and with it followed depression and anger by those who yet lived. It is important for us to take into mind, not only the deaths which have occurred within the book but how the soldiers must have felt after Kemmerich had died. They knew that he would be better off without feeling any more pain but still, they mourned because he was no longer with them. With this novel, I don’t believe that many of us can relate to the characters’ experiences. Since they have been through so much at such a young age. But what we can do is try and utilize these characters’ experiences to help inspire us to keep fighting. Towards building a more sustainable future for not only ourselves but for generations to come.

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A Dark and Stormy Night

It was a dark and stormy night, I could hear the wind howling, see streaks of lightning coming down from the sky, and feel the rain as it made contact against the ceiling. All this while I sat near the fireplace surrounded by walls protecting me from the outside world. But still, I felt chill, a sign that something was going to happen to me. I closed my eyes hoping that my fear of not knowing would go away. Now I opened my eyes, stood up and walked over to the window. There I continued to see darkness, lightning, and rain, absorbing the outside world. Now raising my right hand, I brought it close to the window, and I could feel the cold outside engulf me. As my hand came ever closer to the edge of the window, I felt more cold, depressed, and tired. But the very second I placed my hand against the window, I realized that the darkness, lightning, and rain was all just a figment of my imagination. All of a sudden I felt awake, alive, and free. Now staring at a bright and beautiful world, which was consumed by people, greenery, and an endless light blue sky.

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Nothing More Than a Hazara

In The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, Amir is peering down an ally-way to his best friend Hassan who is being sexually abused by an older boy named Assef. He has a decision to make, either stand up for Hassan, who had always stood up for him, or run. Amir chose to run, mainly because he was afraid of what would happen to him. While he ran he thought if he had done the right thing, and for the first time in his life, he thought of Hassan as a Hazara and nothing more. After about fifteen minutes he forced himself to walk back to where he had deserted his friend. Amir spotted Hassan walking away from the ally and ran towards him, they met underneath a decaying birch tree. In Hassan’s hands was the blue kite Amir had cut down earlier that day with his kite to win the kite-fighting tournament. Amir then said the following to Hassan with immense difficulty because it was all but a lie to cover up the truth…

“Where were you? I looked for you.” (p. 83)

I feel that this quote is significant not because Amir uttered a lie to Hassan, but because he still chose to talk to Hassan after what had happened. Even though he had left his friend to the hands of god, Amir felt guilt for his cowardice. But he did not apologize by saying sorry, instead, he acted as if nothing had happened. Was this a decision that Amir thought to be the best to stay friends with Hassan or was it for another reason? To hide what he saw, what he did, and what he will never be able to forget.

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My Summer Trip to Toronto

Over the summer I did numerous things such as working on my Personal Project, helping my Mother at her fabric shop and spending time with my family. One of the more exciting things I had done was going to Toronto for a week. Before the trip though, my cousin came from Australia and stayed with me and my family for a week. After the enjoyable week we had in Victoria, the two of us went on a plane ride to Toronto. The plane ride was very boring, sleep-depriving, and long. We had taken a direct plane to Toronto, which was around a four-hour flight. Once we had arrived in Toronto, we were picked up by one of my cousins there and he brought us to his house to stay for the next few days. On the first day we spent most of our time at my cousin’s home, but later in the day, we went to watch a movie called “Chal Mera Putt”, which was very funny and enjoyable. After the movie, we went to an Indian restaurant called King Tandoor, we had arrived there at around 10 pm and left there at 1:30 am. The food was of high quality and it was a very enjoyable night for everyone.

On the second day, we went to Downtown Toronto. While in Downtown we went to see the CN Tower and we also went to Ripleys Aquarium. The next several days consisted of us spending time with family, going to Niagra Falls to see the fireworks, and going back to Downtown to see the Kingston market as well as the underground mall. On our last day in Toronto, we spent a couple of hours getting ready for our trip back to Victoria. We left the house early for the flight and made it on time. Another tedious flight and we landed back in Victoria. I then said goodbye to my cousin and he left for his flight back to Australia and I headed back home with my Father.

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The Dream of Ghargha Lake

In The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, Hassan, who is the son of Ali, Amir’s father’s servant, is brewing black tea for breakfast. Once Hassan had concluded making the tea, he walked over to Amir and began telling him about a dream he’d had the other night. With Hassan’s dream, the meaning behind it was unclear to Hassan, he was hoping that Amir would be able to tell him what it meant. But Amir, just like Hassan, did not understand the meaning behind the dream. Amir told Hassan that it was just a dumb dream because nothing happens in it. Hassan then told  Amir what his father had said to him about dreams, that they all mean something.

“We were at Ghargha Lake, you, me, Father, Agha sahib, Rahim Khan, and thousands of other people.”  . . .

“It was warm and sunny, and the lake was clear like a mirror. But no one was swimming because they said a monster had come to the lake. It was swimming at the bottom, waiting.” . . .

“So everyone is scared to get in the water, and suddenly you kick off your shoes, Amir agha, and take off your shirt. ‘There’s no monster,’ you say ‘I’ll show you all.’ And before anyone can stop you, you dive into the water, start swimming away. I follow you in and we’re both swimming.” . . .

“But you can’t swim.” . . .

“It’s a dream, Amir agha, you can do anything. Anyway, everyone is screaming, ‘Get out! Get out!’ but we just swim in the cold water. We make it way out to the middle of the lake and we stop swimming. We turn toward the shore and wave to the people. They look small like ants, but we can hear them clapping. They see now. There is no monster, just water. They change the name of the lake after that, and call it the ‘Lake of Amir and Hassan, Sultans of Kabul,’ and we get to charge people money for swimming in it.” (pp. 63-64)

With the quotes displayed above, they tell us of the entire dream Hassan had, and how there was no monster at the bottom of the lake. But it is relevant to look into this dream now because later in the story we will be able to see that there was a monster in Hassan’s dream, and within Hassan’s life as well. Which, like the dream, was waiting, waiting for the opportunity to drag him down, into the bottom of the lake. Where he would finally realize, in his last breath, the truth behind friendship.

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The One-Way Alley

 

“I won’t do it, and you can’t make me!”

I remember saying these exact words around twenty-six years ago, even though my memory is blurry, I am able to recall of the time, when I was only a 12-year-old boy facing the wrath of my childhood enemy Aazar along with my friend Lucas. Aazar was only a year older than me but looked like a fully grown man. I despised him because he would always bully my best friend Lucas, who was the same age as me but was very fragile. We both came from poor family’s and often struggled with life.

Aazar had been chasing after us along with his friends, Mo and Alnoor because we had accidentally spilled dirty water on him. After we had drenched their shirts with dirty water Aazar stepped toward us and we stepped back, he stuck his hand in his pocket and pulled out a silver brass knuckle, that’s when we ran and found ourselves cornered minutes later in a slightly dark one-way alley. Aazar had begun to laugh in a very menacing way. He would usually do this to indicate his friends to beat up his captured prey, but today he was the one who stepped forward. We had our backs glued to the end of the alley and I could feel a chill running down my spine. I was scared but when I looked over at my friend, he appeared petrified. With no way of escape, we knew we were in trouble. That’s when Aazar began talking to us: “I’m in a good mood today which is why I’m going to give you a simple task”. He was staring into my eyes with a wide grin on his face and said to me: Break his leg in half.” He was pointing at Lucas. That’s when I said: I won’t do it, and you can’t make me!” “Do it now or you’ll wish you had!” That’s when I had enough, I charged directly at Aazar, next thing I knew it was pitch black outside, I was on the ground in the alleyway. I then got up with difficulty and felt pain on the left side of my head. Now looking at the beginning of the alleyway, everything seemed normal as if it had just been a dream. I began walking up to the open end of the alley, stepping away from the alley now, I looked back once more to the end of the alley and was engulfed with fear…

At the end of that alley is something I will never forget, my friend Lucas was lying unconscious on the ground. At that moment, I had started running towards my friend, nothing mattered now, not my family, not even my own life, the only thing that mattered was my best friend. Now holding him in my arms I yelled at him to wake up, but he neither moved or spoke. Tears had begun falling down my face, and I had started screaming for him to wake up. Having no idea what to do I continued to cry, that’s when I heard scuffling from the other end of the alley, “what is going on over here,” said an old man who was startled to see me crying and holding on to what looked like a dead body. “What happened to him?” Said the old man. “I don’t know.” That’s when he picked up my friend and carried him over his back towards the opening of the alley. I got up and followed the old man, I asked him: “where are you taking my friend?” He responded in a reassuring way, “To the Hospital.”

 

 

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The Kite Runner

In The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, a boy named Amir and Hassan are high up in a tree, sitting on two separate branches. The two of them have been best friends since they were kids. Up in the tree, they are playing a game where they try to hit their neighbor’s German Shepard by using a slingshot which is loaded with Walnuts. Often being caught by Hassan’s father Ali, who would yell at his son for doing such mischevious things. Even though it was Amir’s idea, Hassan would never tell on Amir. This goes to show how strong their friendship was.

“And he laughs while he does it.” {4}

“The smoking room.” {4}

“Fattening the pipe.” {5}

“The Wall of Ailing Corn.” {6}

“This is grown-ups time.” {5}

This last quote tells us of the time when Amir asked his father Baba if he could sit with him and his friends while they stuffed their pipes, and discussed politics, business, and soccer. But his father just stood in front of the doorway and told him to: “go on, now.”

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