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Best Italian Ever!

Ciao a tutti!

When I’m starving, there is this gorgeous restaurant here in Hyderabad that I frequent a lot. Situated on the 5th floor of The Empire Square Building, Jubilee Hills, is The Pasta Bar Veneto- an Italian rooftop haven for all food lovers! I am a sucker for Italian cuisine- it’s my comfort food and my salvation from hunger.

Though there are a variety of other Italian restaurants here- Via Milano, Little Italy and my once favourite Peperoncino (which currently has been shut down), nothing beats TPBV.

For me, it is the perfect place to spend time with my friends over scrumptious food or to spend an evening all by myself after a hectic week of gruelling exams. Moreover, they play awesome music here which makes the atmosphere even more relaxing.

I have lost count of the number of times I’ve visited this place. It is just beautiful. Both indoors and outdoors (although, I’d really avoid sitting outside on a hot scorching day). The stone and pebble pathway flanked by pretty shrubs and flowers leading to the inside of this pretty little place is my favourite.

The interiors are subtle, air-conditioned and amply spaced for a good number of customers. So are the exterior seatings strategically placed, giving you a breath-taking view of this beautiful city.

Moving on to the highlight of the place – the lip smacking food. The quantity and quality of the dishes is bound to satisfy your taste buds and the bucks you shell out here are totally worth it. Trust me the chefs here will NOT disappoint you. They have always been consistent in what they serve.

Here on, I’ll let the food speak for itself.

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These are not even a quarter of the dishes present on their endless menu, just a few of my personal favourite binge-ons. Coupled with a great ambience, generous staff and exceptional food, this place will leave you salivating for more. So go ahead, order yourself some appetisers, a pasta, a mocktail and bueno appetito.

Addio!

To infinity and back,

Maliha Taqui.

Posted in Inspirational, News, Primary, Thoughts

The Paradox (redirected)

I have been so far away from blogging and journalling in general, that I forgot I owed this blog some dedication and time. The past lot of months were ridiculously fun- so obviously I was too caught up. Now that I have a little me-time and not much to do let’s get back on the field, shall we?

Today’s post is just a redirected (first) post from my other, more informal, personal, sister blog Read it here.

I’ve always been a shy, reserved person to a good 50% of the people I’ve met/known in my life. To the remaining 50% who happen to know me more than what meets the eye, I’m a completely different (read crazy) person. To call me a bundle of contradictions would be an understatement. Excuse me for saying this out loud but aren’t all of us like this (even if remotely)?!

I am a simple yet complicated being, leading a monotonous ordinary life who believes under no circumstances that she is not extraordinary. (Yes, you have no idea how important I think I am). 

I am a situational pessimist and an eternal optimist, knowing that there is going to be sunshine after each rain, a lot of relief following agony and pain.

I am a laughter riot and a weeping mess, realising I’m most alive in these forms, and I’m just human to feel so much.

I am a solid rock with the softest core maintaining a balance between emotion and rationale. 

I am a raging bull and a mewing kitten all bundled up as one.

I am a needy wreck just as I am an independent queen , depending on how my moods swing. 

I am fiercely loyal to and frighteningly dependent on my loved ones.

I love without regrets and hate without meaning- I am just who I want to be. 

I am a hopeless sinner and a seeker of my Lord, having faith that He is capable of endless mercy and boundless love.

I am a little bit of you, a lot of me and a lot of you and very little of myself.

I am just a Paradox. Of my own being.

Admit it, we all are things we say we are and we say we aren’t (even if slightly). And it is all a 100% true. There’s not much difference between we the people, is it?! In fact this is the only connecting link amongst us all –  the paradox.

To infinity and back,

Maliha Taqui. 🙂

Posted in Books, Literature, Quotes, World

Book Review : They Do It With Mirrors – Agatha Christie

This particular Agatha pick was not really a treat-read for me. It is not bad either. I suggest you pick this if you are looking for a quick read (say when you’re travelling). For once, this is my first Miss Marple mystery (I’ve always favoured Hercule Poirot’s adventures better). Although I’m a huge Agatha fan, I’ll just be straight honest with this review.

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1. The Plot

For the shared concern of a mutual friend, Mrs.Van Rodryck asks her dear friend- clever old Miss Marple for a favour to which she obliges. When Miss Marple reaches Stoneygates- a rehabilitation centre for delinquents, she instantly senses danger in the air. Two bullet shots, perfectly timed, are fired simultaneously under the same roof, killing an unexpected guest. This risks the life of her friend Carrie Louise further more as she is the most anticipated victim (being the heiress of a vast fortune). With confusing, bitter-sweet family ties and multiple suspects-each more or less a part of the family with justifiable motives of their own, the case gets complicated. How Miss Marple helps the police in revealing the actual murderer makes for an interesting read.

2. The Plus Points

  • The pace of the book is steady. Nothing is rushed into or taken too long to unfold.
  • The various characters introduced are realistic in their sketches.
  • The setting in and around which the crime takes place, is well described and easy to imagine.
  • Little relevant details are not left out. Instead, they are mentioned to the point.
  • Multiple suspects and their motives initially confuse you since every suspect seems to be a potential murderer – which is an excellent thing.
  • The victim is kind of unexpected which took me by surprise a little but that hardly matters.

3. The Pits And The Falls

  • I was not very impressed with how the plot unfolded. Basic and predictable.
  • The identity of the criminal did not come as a surprise to me. So many characters and yet your first guess hits bull’s eye?! Mysterious much? Not!
  • Some characters are pretty abrupt.
  • I found it a little boring to be honest. It was not one of those mysteries which tend to linger in your thoughts for a while and leave you wanting for more from the author. 

To infinity and back,

Maliha Taqui

Posted in Articles, Culture, Lifestyle, News, Op ed, People

Whirlpool Of The Web

Greetings to you!

Today is an exceptionally hot, drabby day. I did make some plans but well, Mr. Sun with his super hot rays managed to deter my spirits. So I ended up canceling them. Instead I rejoined Twitter (had made the account ages ago) and literally felt like a noob. A good15 minutes went by screening the settings and figuring out how it worked. Almost considered deleting the Twitter handle because I’m seriously not very regular with my social activities. But then, I let it be.

Now who doesn’t want to know what film Shahrukh Khan is filming for currently or which part of the world is Narendra Modi tourist-ing right now ( 😉 ) or which new person KRK has managed to piss off or what the celebrities are wearing at the Cannes or how the Royal princess looks like or what worthy serious, practical news the tabloids have to offer?!  

Despite a time-craving career to focus on (because apparently doctors are supposed to study all day and all night) you’ll find me browsing on various platforms (Google, Wiki, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube et al #entertainment #selfawareness) and shockingly losing track of time. And I’m sure most of you relate to me. Since everyone is a cool Mr/Miss know it all these days, the least we can do is, keep up with them right?! :P.  

On a serious note, the advent of the Internet has had mortifying effects on us and the society we live in. What started off as a luxury has now become a utility,just a few steps short of becoming a necessity coupled with new-age smart-phones- a tool you cannot do without. It is easily accessible these days. Don’t be surprised when you see your 5 year old nephew deriving entertainment,information,knowledge out of an Ipad or Iphone next time round. At that age I was probably learning how to form sentences, write and speak proper English. 

On the plus side, life has become easier in the sense that everything is available at a click or a swipe. The Internet has made life a tad too easy when I compare it to how it was as I was growing up. I barely had access to the Internet till I was in 5th grade and I was in 7th or 8th grade by the time I had learned how to use it properly for my purposes. I certainly don’t need to tell you how the scene is today.

Though it is an EXCELLENT medium transcending communication,cultural and regional/national boundaries and barriers; by providing an infinite source of vast information,learning and awareness and all sorts of entertainment one can possibly fathom, you cannot turn a blind-eye to the collateral damage it has done.

The more we’ve connected to the web the more we have disconnected from our real lives to the point of becoming dependent on it which is not that good an idea. Some of us have completely got lost in this whirlpool while some of us have succumbed to it in one or the other way. The ones who have learned to strike a balance between the virtuality and reality are the wise owls here.

Like everything, even the Web has its pros and cons.Neither requires mention as we are all well aware of it. As much as it has helped us to reach out to the world, it has equally distanced us from ourselves if we look keenly. Just remember that anything in excess is bad. And once something is on the Internet it stays on the net. Excercise caution especially when you are social networking. It is in your hands how you make use of this wonder web. If it’s a blessing or a curse, boon or bane,

You determine. You decide.

To infinity and back,

Maliha Taqui

Posted in Lifestyle, Op ed, People, Thoughts

My Summer So Far!

Amidst a scorching summer and a much awaited-cum-delayed vacation ( by a good ten days :/ ), I finally pushed myself to get up here. The soaring temperatures are messing up big time with my holiday (and blogging) plans. I just do not feel like doing anything but slumbering all day hoping that one fine morning, the clouds will greet me with fresh showers, triggering the monsoon. With it being only mid-May so far, I think I’m pushing my expectations a bit too much.

Well, I have no idea whatsoever where I’m headed towards with this as 7 pm is usually not my ideal time to flex fingers and also, I have not given a thought to the title of this post yet. I continue to stare at the screen in desperation as I type this. Think I’ve officially hit a thought block! Sigh!

After a delicious biryani break for dinner, I thought I’d make this time’s post ridiculously personal about how my summer has been of late. I’m pretty much aware that I’ve got a few pending tasks on the blog like reviewing my February (damn! too late!) reads and a few others recommended by friends and other bloggers. I sincerely promise that I’m going to do all of those by the end of this month. Right now, I intend on proceeding with my Summer So Far.

So here’s what happened so far:

  1. My summer kick-started officially the day my Final MBBS – Part 1 results came out in the positive. All the hard work, anxiety and paranoia paid off well. Also, I saw improvement in my academic performance which relieved my folks .
  2. My birthday co-incidentally fell on the same day the results were announced, resulting in a double celebration.
  3. My childhood friend got happily married. She was one beautiful bride brimming with joy. Plus her wedding day seconded as a school re-union of sorts. I honestly didn’t meet so many people even at the Alumni Meet. It was one memorable night.
  4. I’m a chronic binge-watcher. I managed to catch up on the latest seasons of TV shows like Castle, The Originals, The Vampire Diaries, The Flash, New Girl, of course THE Game of Thrones and re-runs of Friends.Yes, I’m THAT free but frankly I lack quick productivity. 😛 .
  5. My shopping expeditions. I cannot tell you how much of a de-stressing chore shopping has been to me, especially this time round.
  6. And back to the professional front. Apart from fun-tastic days so far, I started spending a decent amount of time in college attending lectures and clinical postings as holidays finally became a distant dream come true. Whew!

That’s the gist so far. I’d tell you of my further plans lined up for the rest of this hot season but I’m afraid you’d yawn away to sleep. 😛 Today’s post wasn’t any bit philosophical or preachy or inspiring or interesting as such and pretty much pointless I know. But hey, sultry summer does that to me okay?! So I guess I’ll catch you people next time with something more relevant and meaningful. 

Wrapping up by wishing a sunny, exciting summer for you. 🙂

To infinity and back,

Maliha Taqui.

Posted in Articles, Lifestyle, People, Quotes, Thoughts

Don’t Kill That Spirit!

THE SPIRIT STANDS!

“Set me free,” it roared

The binding girdles heckled loud,

Deep down in the dungeons, the Spirit stood

Lost, forgotten and forlorn.

Flashed before its misty eyes- clear and bright

How once the beating of the heart,

Gave it wings, brought it to life

And just as quickly, let it devour.

To break the shackles of the mind

The mighty Spirit surged anew,

Towards the freedom-promising light

Claim all liberty, this time it would.

All the blithe, he mistook for light 

Haughtily, burned it to soot,

‘Twas an endless battle it knew

And incessantly it ought to move! 

Weak and sore from all the pain

To let go of the controlling mind’s chains

From the ashes, the Phoenix rose

Only to be caged once again.

Against the feeble whisperings of the heart

Also, the malicious suppression of mind,

Prepared to battle another time 

Aching to be wild and free

Once again, the Spirit stood!

Hello my beautiful people!

All of us have that innate desire to be happy. Now happiness comes in all forms, one of them being  to succeed or being known for something we absolutely love doing- something which makes us a peaceful, contented kind of happy. Basically, in doing what we love.

But, oh but (I hate buts, don’t you too? 😦 ), not all of us do what we want or get what we want. Hell, some of us don’t even realize until it’s too late to know what we love doing and what makes us happy (whether it’s a job, a home, a dress, a person- anything)!

There is an inherent quality- a spirit in every single one of you out there which makes you different from the rest. Something which affects your drive to achieve your wants or desires. It could be relentless, dogmatic, sharp, laid-back, the Phoenix-like, the ‘try and try until you die’ one (probably my kind) and so on. Whatever it is, just don’t kill it.

Your spirits go through rises and falls just like your moods. Sometimes they function at an all time low where you almost believe you can go nowhere. At times, you feel so exhilarated that you feel you are the king of the world (I’m a die-hard SRK fan btw 😀 ).

However, your heart and mind play a huge vicious tug-of-war with your spirit. The heart may want what it wants but the mind has a mind of its own. Your heart may give birth to a wish and a desire and before you know it, your mind has convinced your heart that it is not good for you.

This might literally crush your spirit of doing the thing you love from the bottom of your heart, to pieces. Chances are, you won’t feel like doing it again at all, once that desire is suppressed which is SO SO wrong. It will eventually keep you from being happy or cause you to unravel emotionally in extreme cases. Be like a phoenix that rises from its ashes each time it dies.

So keep your spirits up and fighting. Don’t let anybody kill it through their criticism of you. You will have to tread cautiously, steadily, serenely, wisely and patiently at all times (especially during failures). They say, you lose some, you win some. But I would say, you go,get some! 🙂

To infinity and back,

Maliha Taqui.

Posted in Inspirational, Lifestyle, News, Op ed, People, Quotes, Thoughts

Attitude Adjustment!

Over the years, if there is one thing in me that has been subjected to constant metamorphoses, it is my general disposition towards people, phases of crises, euphoria et al. And at times, it fascinates me how quickly my attitude breaks and builds, assuming a different mold every time it changes.

I wasn’t born with the best attitude towards life. Nor were you. It is not something congenital. It is acquired through habits outgrown, lessons learnt, in adversity and prosperity, mistakes made and corrected and through love gained, given and lost.

I have been through my fair share of embarrassments, confusions, frights and fights growing up. I’m pretty sure all of us do. I was touchy, insecure, impatient, short-tempered, suppressive of myself, et cetera. Today, a completely different girl looks back at me in the mirror, who is way more confident, secure and accepting of herself and others- flaws and all. Someone who laughs at the confusion, speaks up when she has to, owns up to mistakes and deals realistically with her strengths and weaknesses and one who realizes what strings are to be cut off and what to be held on to fiercely.

Because life is a bed of roses with thorns. And there’s really no point in hiding what you feel as things WILL keep changing forever. I am personally not a fan of change and that my dear reader, is the irony of my life – it keeps changing and never ceases to transform me in good ways and sometimes bad. Either way I learn and that is all needed to keep me growing and upgrading my version of self.

Our lives are beset with umpteen plot twists and how far would we go by being someone we’re not. People would see through you and I right away. Cribbing doesn’t work you know. But a cheerful outlook on situations most definitely does.

Learn to remind yourself of your greatness (Don’t roam around with an edematous head stuffed with arrogance and pride :/ 😛 ), be happy with who you are, care less about what others think of you and value what has to be valued. And if something in your life goes wrong, chalk it up to experience, let it go and move on. In any way, understand what makes you wonderful. Be true. Be you! A little attitude adjustment goes a long way. 🙂

Look at the good things in your life. Look at the good things in you.

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To infinity and back,

Maliha Taqui.

Posted in Articles, Books, Literature, People, Primary

Book Review : Tell Me Your Dreams – Sidney Sheldon

I know it’s been a month and over since I last updated the blog and I’m extremely sorry for the delays with the reviews. Hopefully, I’m going to dedicate  a little more time to my baby blog. So without wasting any more of your precious time, I shall begin.

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Okay so to define the book Tell me your dreams in one word would be to call it simply FANTASTIC. That is what I expect of Sidney Sheldon when I pick his works and he has not disappointed me with this one either. Here below, I’ll cut it down for you guys.

1. The Plot : 

One of the main protagonists frequently wakes up to chilling nightmares and she cannot explain what triggers those dreams she does not want to see. In addition to this, she senses someone following her everywhere. She wonders who.

The chilling piece revolves around three extremely attractive looking girls working for Global Computer Graphics, the three of them distinctive in their ethnicities and personalities. They are parallel lines which cannot meet. Or so it seems. Surprisingly, the Fates entwine them as suspects in a series of alarming and blood curdling murders across London, Rome, Quebec city and San Francisco which leaves the police confused and shocked at the same time. Their arrest leads to a crazy murder trial- the final hearing of which and its terrifying aftermath forms the crux of the story.

2. The Plus Points :

  • The character sketches of the three ‘suspect’ girls is very good.
  • The murders – CHILLING. Point made.
  • The murder trial – Brilliantly portrayed by Mr. Sheldon.
  • The motive, after-trial and anti-climax – traumatized me (in a good way).
  • The real life connect – I’m a big fan of the combination reel-cum-real. The book’s association with real life medical criminal cases was the cherry on the cake. It was my most favorite thing about the book.

3. The Pits And The Falls :

  • Etching of other characters – The mother and father of one of the girls had fairly adequate history and etching but personally, I was expecting a little more to unfold. That said, there were a few other characters whose details I’d have wanted to skip.
  • The murder trial – Yes, i said above that it was brilliantly portrayed but I felt it was a little longer than I wanted it to be.
  • The after trial – It tested both- my patience and curiosity. After going through so much, I just wanted the cat to be out of the bag.
  • The final climax – It is definitely good but a wee bit predictable. Or maybe it’s just me because I have the curiosity of a spy or probably just by reading a lot of Sheldon’s work I kind of know where it’s headed. BUT THIS SHOULD NOT STOP YOU FROM READING IT. There’s more to it than it seems. 🙂

To sum it up, it is a terrifying and worthy read. Sidney Sheldon  caters to my need of thrill and curiosity and terrifies me in different ways with each book.  This one left me mentally traumatized for almost a week 😦 . I wouldn’t say Tell me your dreams is his best work but it definitely counts among his top 5 in my opinion.

If you haven’t already read this one, I hope you do so soon because it is a perfect mix of mystery-fear-thrill and you will not want to put it down.

To infinity and back,

Maliha Taqui.

Posted in Articles, Books, People, Thoughts, World

Book Haul (February)

There’s always one habit I will never out-grow, whether it was back when I was a ten year old or today or even some forty years later when I’d be rocking in my chair, graying – reading. Over the years I have read a lot of fiction ,non-fiction, the junk of the Book World( the comics of course!) and my academic books which I am certainly not referring to in today’s post.

Doubtlessly, the library was one of my favorite places at school. Sifting through the colorful, endless rows of books, each waiting to be taken off the shelf, waiting to be flipped through, to unfold their story, was in mere three alphabets- joy. I have lost count of the number of books I had borrowed and I recall right now how I never wanted to return a good book (but I did of course 😦 ). Why part with a character who became your friend, engaged you so deeply, made you laugh and cry with him/her when you can go back to them, right? Maybe that is how I turned into a chronic (and proud) bibliophile.

I guess all you book-worms (apologies for the stereotyping) can understand what I’m trying to say. Oh I must admit how much I admire people who read. Just a lot more than the usual crowd. Nup. It does not make you look “nerdy” – it makes you so much more attractive! 😉

So today I’ve decided to make another addition to my blog – Book hauls and reviews. In other words, a list of books I intend to read over a month or so and as and when I finish it, I’d review it up here. I’d love to share my experiences with others out there looking for a good read.

Here’s a list of my books to be read (TBR) for the month of February:

1) Tell Me Your Dreams by Sidney Sheldon – He is one of my MOST FAVORITE writers. This was on my TBR list for a long long time.

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2) They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie – A book haul is incomplete without an Agatha pick, right? Right.

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3) Gone Girl by Gilian Fynn – Just had to give in to the hype and find out what was so different about this one.

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4) Paths Of Glory by Jefferey Archer – I read this one long ago and just felt like reading it again, so that’s why it features on my list.

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5) The Associate by John Grisham – This AUTHOR was on my TBR from a long time so yeah!

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The reviews to the books mentioned above will be uploaded as and when possible. Hopefully, soon.

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
Ernest Hemingway

P.S- You can leave a list of your favorite books in the comments section. 🙂

To infinity and back,

Maliha Taqui.

Posted in Articles, Culture, Lifestyle, People, Thoughts

Perfectly Imperfect!

After a tedious hiatus of ten or so days I’m happy to be back to the blogosphere. I am one of the lot of habitual over-thinkers strewn across this mighty planet. Last night, I happened to just ponder about the icky judgemental nature of we humans.

Ever wondered how much a person goes through in life  to be what he is today and what he will be tomorrow?! It is a pretty long struggle you know. And since homo sapiens cannot survive in isolation as has been reiterated from Adam and Eve’s time, we know how much the people around us impact us- starting from our family, to our friends, to spouses, etc. And to be judged by them? Imagine that!

What do we know of each others’ lives and everyday struggles to be subjected to blatant remarks with no pause whatsoever to our endless imagination? The answer you all know is- nothing! You are not making things any better by calling them names. I don’t understand how somebody’s life can affect yours when you are not even a part of their struggles. Do we really want to create bonds out of love or just picture a slideshow of people with quirky captions in our heads to make our life seem better. Or do we empathize with them genuinely? Either put a foot forward to embrace them and love them with their so-called shortcomings or leave them the hell alone.

Every one of us has been created in the same mould of clay but our souls are poles apart- the way we feel, we react, we laugh- each one of us differs from the other in every way possible. Nobody’s life is blessed with flawless-ness. Some of us are better looking, better versed, better clothed, better provided than the others. Whatever quality we lack, is compensated by God in some other facet which becomes specific of us and makes us imperfectly perfect. And we ought to be grateful for that.

We need to just focus beyond what we see through our naked eyes and penetrate a little through the soul of another and be more accepting of what does not necessarily please us. It is really a very easy thing to do if we just set our egos, insecurities, complexes aside and consider everybody our equal and not turn this into a competition of sorts.

The definition of what is perfect is totally subjective. What is good enough for me might not be up to the mark or just plain bad for you. The point is no matter how much you try to conceal or enhance your flaws, you are always going to let a part of yourself out to the world and open to judgement. And it is sad how it is all about sizes, numbers, appearances, bank balances, marks at school, social fame and other materialistic things which people chase today, blissfully unaware of missing out on something- much much much more meaningful.

Isn’t it the character we should be really vouching for?! I think it is.
You would not drive a potential good friend away because she doesn’t have the same phone as yours, would you?! Hell no. All these figures are just attributes to enhance your place in the society you live in. Please do not make this your criteria in determining somebody’s character.

Anybody or anything making you feel small or unworthy in ANY little or majorly hurtful kind of way needs to be shown the door out of your life. It is the right way to rid yourself of all the negativity you(or anyone else) does NOT deserve. Better alone than with those constantly putting you down. If in case  it’s your own bout of self-pity, ask that inner critic of yours to take a hike.

Don’t expect a flawless person in your life. You are most likely NOT to find one. Because no matter how hard we try and how many rules we bend or set up, there is nobody who is going to be 100 % right and you will land up alone. And I guarantee you that you WILL be judged- for all the good you do and all the bad you do. So better soak in that imperfection. If I had obsessed so much on finding the perfect people over all these years, I would have not been a part of the lives of SO many beautiful people I call my family and friends today.

I am a product of uncountable imperfections and through my bunch of imperfectly perfect family and friends, I have learned to look past the short-comings of people because all of us are amazing just the way we are – perfectly imperfect!

I think every single imperfection adds to your beauty. I’d rather be imperfect than perfect.

(Bollywood Actress)
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To infinity and back,

Maliha Taqui.