Reviews on my Ebook -The Calling

Aoa everyone!

I am so humbled by the reviews I am getting regarding my ebook The Calling – Poetry Inspired Illustrations. It is really rewarding to know people from different walks of life are experiencing the energy.

One of my friends -who is also an avid reader, commented about The Calling, “What comes from the heart, goes to the heart.” An author can only connect with the audience if the content is coming truly from his heart. Sincerity has a magical  effect and I have found it to be so true.

Here are the reviews of readers on Amazon. You can view these reviews on Amazon http://goo.gl/kfdw0W

Review_3

review4

Another avid reader, Sanah, commented on my blog here :)

Review_1

A very sweet reader Muzna said the following.

Review_2

 

There is something special in the book which you too can experience. If you have still not accessed the ebook, here is the link again:

http://goo.gl/RILuoI

Happy reading ! Don’t forget to drop in a review :D

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The Calling – Published on Amazon Kindle

Finally my ebook -The Calling, has been published Alhamdulilah and is available worldwide for purchase. The book will be for FREE to access over the weekend (16th and 17th of April,2016). Grab your copy now! :D Here is the link:

http://goo.gl/BzH3Ef

When you access the link above, you shall see a Read with our Free App hyperlink under the book price. Download the free Kindle App and you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer via this app – no Kindle device is required. Alternately, you can also use the Kindle Cloud Reader to instantly read in your browser: https://read.amazon.com/

Do let me know how you like the book. You can drop in a review on Amazon under my book listing (http://goo.gl/BzH3Ef) Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Enjoy :)

P.S You will need to sign up for an Amazon account (Signing up for Amazon is also free).

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Going LIVE on 14th-April,2016

Aoa Everyone! I will be going live Insha’Allah on Thursday 14th of April,2016 at 12:30 p.m (GMT+5). You can watch my live broadcast on my Facebook fan page, comment and ask questions for around 30 minutes. I will answer you LIVE!:D

I will be sharing my first ebook -The Calling details with you. After the broadcast, I will ask a simple question on my wall. The first one to comment with the right answer WINS the FREE CASUAL SHOOT (applicable for Islamabad/Rawalpindi residents only). Friends, family  and fans in other countries/areas can enjoy details about my book.

Don’t forget to catch me LIVE and grab your chance to WIN a FREE Casual Shoot! See on you all on Thursday 12:30 p.m (Yes, that is afternoon. In case you guys mess up a.m/p.m like I do!)

See you all on Thursday! :D

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A sneak peek into my book cover :D

Aoa all you lovely people out there. I am totally excited to give you all a sneak peek into my book cover and title.

*drum roll*

Here it is. The Calling.

The calling of my heart, mind and soul. And, I am sure it will resonate with yours too. The book will be published soon Insha’Allah. In the meanwhile, feast your eyes on the dreamy book cover :D Let me know how you like it!

Centred_Final_1

The Calling

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My First ebook on Kindle *excited*

Greetings all you beautiful people out there! It happens to be a lovely spring season with so much inspiration all around.

Anyone who knows me since a long time now is aware of my love for writing poetry, sketching and painting -besides photography of course. No worries if you are unaware :D I am finally launching my very first ebook on Kindle. Yayyy!

This book is a beautiful combination of Illustrations and poetry. Most of the times I would sketch and then would write a poetry about the illustration. The interesting part is the abstract nature of the amalgamation. At times you will think you have figured it all out in the drawing -that is, if you have an eye for details. But, when you read the related poem, your mind will open to a deeper meaning held within.

My illustrations depict the struggles of life, love and apprehensions. If you enjoy artwork, sketches or paintings; this compilation is a treat to contemplate on. The objects and figures each denote a concept , a story and related emotions.

The poetry after each illustration is a crux of the elements hidden in the drawings and the implied connotations. They give insight into the secretive details which are otherwise represented in an abstract format.

I remember asking my friends to observe the images and try figure out the intent behind the figures. Each one of us is fighting his own battle in love and life in general. The beauty of art is how the same piece of art is perceived in a completely different manner by each individual. It is amazing how art echoes in our hearts and connects us all in a truly inspiring way.

Even if you are not an art person, I am sure you will find a part of you and your life emerging from the apparently still objects in the drawings.

 

The book will be available for FREE for a limited time period on kindle. I will make an announcement as soon as it is available so that my lovely followers can get a free copy :D Keep an eye out dear friends!

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How to recruit a Manager ~

With HR practices transforming around the globe, it is imperative to let go off some stringent policies and be more accepting of the evolving world around us. Millennials are now entering lead/ managerial positions in organizations which makes it even more important to attract the right kind of talent for sustained growth of your company. These managers will be taking over the reigns and the obscure, non-transparent and inflexible management which worked in the past, will no longer serve the purpose. In my opinion, the following might help in recruiting future leaders/managers.

Formal Training/ Certifications:
While a formal training and certification in management is a must-have for most managerial positions, I would mark them as ‘good to have, but not mandatory’. The reason behind is the fact that there might be candidates with solid leadership and management skills due to their prior experience in dealing with teams. And to be honest, there is no better way to learn management than by being in a role which required you to be one. There might not be a ‘Manager’ label attached to the candidates prior job position, and filtering out such a person’s resume’ would only result in a talent waste. So, before you just trash out such a candidate’s CV, give some benefit of doubt and look for more meaningful metrics -some of which are discussed below.

Years of experience:
Personally, I do not hold number of years of experience as a hard and fast criteria. Even if the company norm says 8 years of experience as a ‘Manager’, I would still consider someone a bit below the year count provided the candidate has a more diversity in the career path. There is a higher chance of such a person to have had exposure to varying work environments and consequently diverse people, processes, customers and stakeholders. Even if the candidate has not been in the defined department as per say throughout, he/she would have a broader perspective -which indeed is required for any good manager.

Travel experience:
Travel experience may or may not be evident from the resume’s, but it can be easily identified during an interview. Why I place importance to a manager’s travel experience is the fact that there is no alternative to the understanding one gains by face-to-face interaction. Candidates who have traveled to different places have more chances of encountering people at various levels in the society. This helps in broadening one’s vision and giving the hands-on experience in dealing with people -which in essence is essential for any manager to handle the stakeholders involved.

Linguistic Skills:
This has to be a key skill for any management role. Not only should the candidate should have exceptional speaking and writing skills in the language required, but also should have the capability to use the language effectively bearing in mind any cultural differences. Linguistic skills can be easily tested via a testing system prior to the interview and later interviewer can conveniently gauge this during the face-to-face evaluation.

Decision making skills:
Making decisions quickly and thinking on the feet is sometimes really crucial for managers. Effective decisions can make or break a deal, can retain or loose a key team member and even retain or put off a loyal customer. To evaluate a candidate, the human resources department can have a time-based testing system which could help figure out if a person’s thinking and decision making skills are quick and effective.

Leadership Skills:
There is certainly a difference in being just a manager and a leader. A leader leads by example. I would personally support somebody who has the capability to motivate and impart optimism. It is really important to have a leader to foster support and guidance, rather than to just have an authoritative figure. Leadership skills can be assessed initially by a screening questionnaire and later by evaluating the attitude of the candidate during the interview.

Emotional intelligence:
It is also important for a manager to possess emotional intelligence, by which I mean the ability to effectively understand his/her own emotions and channel them accordingly. Only if a manager is emotionally intelligent, he/she can keep poise and control under stressful circumstances and at the same time encourage the team members. Being empathetic is a part of emotional intelligence and helps one recognize others needs and consequently manage conflict well. This can be evaluated by encouraging a casual chat with the candidate and listening to his/her career progression or life story.

I truly believe the right talent with leadership skills can be attracted by a more open-minded approach with the ability to empower candidates rather than demotivate them with a list of must-have’s. You need to see between the lines and think outside the ‘known’ norm. The ‘leader’ will have a more holistic approach to life and will most probably be found conveniently making space in an absolute chaos (the image attached says it all).

SONY DSC

Making space -when there seems to be none ~!

What do you think? Please feel free to add to the list by commenting below :)

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Take a stand, Speak up!

How many times have we come across someone being wronged by someone. Yesterday? Today? Everyday?

What can I do, it is a norm in the society. Glad it didn’t happen to me though!

*sigh of relief*

Let us imagine, what if the one being wronged was you? Would you not want someone to side with you? Someone to at least say out loud what happened was wrong. Somebody?

The influx of dreadful news all over the media has somehow made us immune to a variety of atrocities in the society. I remember not being able to see the bloodshed and tears of oppressed people three years ago -I would get anxiety attacks. Now I can watch it all, hear it all and hardly shed a tear or two at the pain and suffering I witness. Glad it didn’t happen to me though, right? Should I be guilty about feeling so numb to it? I do at times, but what can I do alone?

Agreed. It is not something one can accomplish alone. The eradication of injustice is not a one-person task. It should be a collective effort. But that collective effort starts with one person -that ‘one’ person who dared to stand up and refused to comply. That ‘one’ person who spoke up, who stood for the truth. That ‘one’ person who could see he/she might be the only one treading on the path which nobody follows out of the fear of people who have declared themselves as gods on earth. After all they hold the power to make your life miserable, or even deprive you of the one you have.

Scary, right?

But what is scarier is the fact that these self-proclaimed gods on earth are not only the one’s holding reigns of the country, they are among us -our own relatives, siblings or even parents. Parents you say? How can parents harm their own children? *Astaghfirullah*

Welcome to the world of forced marriages.

Oh, forced marriage. *yawn*. I know it happens to the poor village girls. Honour killing etc, I know what you mean. Really sad. Parents can be really unfair. But hey, there are worse crimes and corruption in the society, all you could talk about was forced marriages. *bigger yawn*.

Well, to be honest, all these ‘little’ crimes in the society add up to form a big corrupt system. ‘Little’ is in parenthesis to mimic the significance of this act in our community. If you choose to stand against a ‘small’ cruel act, it will create a hollow in the ‘BIG’ dreadful transgression. And if each one of us keeps a stance, little by little, the BIG bubble will not be able to sustain with hollow insides.

I won’t go into details of how forced marriages are different from arranged marriages. You can conveniently google that up. All I am emphasizing upon at the moment is to speak up if you are being forced into a relationship you do not approve of, express your concerns and have a healthy conversation with your parents. If you are the parent, then please be understanding of your child’s needs, listen to the unspoken words, do not let those innate guilt feelings inside you die. Your child holds the ultimate decision -you know it. And I know you fear it. But please be mindful, even harmless sentences like ‘ baita hamari izzat ka khayal rakhna, no pressure, but please zara ehsas kerna hamari sacrifices ka’ are an undue psychological pressure that you are putting on them. And it is in no way justified to scare your child (who by the way is definitely an adult if you are considering him/her to be married).

I speak up today for the friends, acquaintances who consulted me in their tough times, and for those guys and girls who are suffering silently from this poisonous act. There are so many educated, apparently open-minded, even settled abroad families who force their children into unwanted marriages. I know you felt a bit guilty at the time of their nikkah ceremony, but the *sigh of relief* made all the worries go away. You saw that hurt in their eyes, but you chose to ignore in the name of ego and family status. You saw your child struggle and plunge into despair, but it was only for a few years and now the sight of your grandchildren makes it all worth it. Correct?

I fear the day when you and I shall be questioned for the acts we did in this world. No matter how ‘pure’ our intentions were regarding our children. It does not eliminate the fact that you took away their right to marry their own choice of spouse. I fear I would be questioned for the victims who approached me for help and I did not take a stand for them -on the very least speak up for them. There is so much I wish to say and do in support of these victims. And I will Insha’Allah, for the rest of my life, until this evil is there no more. Currently, I am in the process of writing a book on it. In the meantime, for those who understand Urdu, here is a poem I wrote regarding injustice in the society. It speaks my heart out at the moment. For anyone who is interested in an English translated version, please feel free to inbox me.

ہر نئ صبح یوں جلتی ہے
ہر رات ظلم میں ڈھلتی ہے

اس عاد ثمود کی دنیا میں
کب کسی کی کوئ چلتی ہے

جو حق کی آواز اٹھاے گا
وہ اسی جرمم میں مارا جاے گا

کسی زور آور کے دامن میں
اپنا سر نہ جو جھکاے گا

ان اونچے اونچے محلوں کی
ویرانی میں جو کرتے ہیں

اس ظلم کا بیاں جو سناے گا
وہ ظالم ہی کہلاے گا

سچ کا کون ساتھی ہے
اس عاد ثمود کی دنیا میں

جو کہے گا ہنسی اڑواے گا
اپنی نزروں میں گر جاے گا

شاید وہی سب ٹھیک ہیں
جو قوت زر زن رکھتے ہیں

شرفاء کا یہ دور نہیں
یہاں سب ایسے ہی چلتے ہیں

شاید اس مظلوم کے آنسؤ کا
خدا کسی دن بھرم رکھلے

اس عاد ثمود کی دنیا میں
کسی ایک کی صداء بلند رکھلے

۔۔۔۔۔ نداء راشد ۔۔۔۔۔۔

*Kindly do not copy/use any image or piece of writing without permission. 

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