The cover for the novel, ‘Not Quite Out’. By SRL Publishing.

Trigger Warning: the novel represents things that sometimes happen in the real world and contains scenes of self-harm, drug addiction, domestic abuse, and trauma. This review only makes some mentions of them.

Finding a good slow-burn romance novel isn’t too hard — it’s a pretty common trope that’s used in…

A photo of the City Watch force, featuring (from the left) Cheery, Angua, Sybil, Vimes, Detritus, and Carrot. Via BBC America

Sir Terry Pratchett’s City Watch series is one of his most successful, within the larger Discworld universe. The series revolves around the city of Ankh-Morpok, Discworld’s largest city, and the small police force within. The City Watch is comprised of an ex-alcoholic captain, a starry-eyed constable, a sergeant who’s a werewolf, and a forensic scientist who’s a dwarf, but different from the rest. This colorful medley is the reason why I love this series and its characters, particularly Captain Sam Vimes.

City Watch’s popularity also garnered a BBC adaptation, one that’s taken inspiration from the characters, rather than creating a series that closely matches the books. This is a stark contrast to the earlier Discworld adaptations that stayed true to the source text.

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An illustration of the City Watch during a revolution in Ankh-Morpok, in the novel ‘Night Watch’. Illustration was done by Paul Kidby.

The series by Sir Terry Pratchett is pretty old; it started in 1983, ended in 2015, and has over 40 novels. The popular comedy fantasy takes place in a world that’s flat and rests on the backs of four elephants that stand on a giant turtle’s shell, as the turtle swims through space. It’s amazing.

The series breaks off into mini-series that cover various facets. Discworld includes the series that looks at the city’s police force, the series on wizards, the self-explanatory series, and a series on (its personification). The series is a comprehensive exploration into a world that’s similar to ours, yet so far apart.

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The posters for the ‘Star Wars’ sequel trilogy. Via IMDb.

I fell in love with the universe a few years ago; my brother introduced me to the series. The original trilogy made me fall in love with space and with technology. I dove into the hype around that universe; the animated series and the LEGO games were particularly memorable. I made fun of the prequels and is one of my favourite movies ever.

When the sequel trilogy was announced, I was honestly excited — a female Jedi, with a whole trilogy to herself? It sounded incredible, and I was glad that Disney took steps to make diverse. It’s been a year since the final part of the trilogy released. Though I was expecting quite a bit, I can now say that I have been thoroughly disillusioned by the end of it.

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By Mahmud Ridwan on Toptal

One of the overriding principles here at Lock&Stock is pretty straightforward — it’s to ‘better student lives’. Though this can mean a number of different things, Lock&Stock defines this with a down-to-earth response that can significantly change a student’s future.

Higher education has become saturated with colleges and universities, each…

Cover of Black Canary: Breaking Silence, by Alexandra Monir. Via Amazon.

Picture a world where women just don’t have a voice. It’s disheartening to realize that it’s not too much of a stretch from reality, but just picture it. …

The cover of the novel ‘Goat Days’ be Benyamin.
A cover of ‘Goat Days’ by Benyamin. Via Amazon.

Migration from Kerala to the Gulf is a decades-old phenomenon, beginning in the 1960s when the Persian Gulf called for labour for its oil wells (Sasandakumar, 2015). Beginning with travelling by boats and dhows, the mass waves of migration have resulted in multiple international airports being built in Kerala to…

A portrait of Pocahontas by Simon van de Passe. Via National Portrait Gallery.

Pocahontas seems to be immortalized thanks to the rendition and to countless history books. We know Pocahontas to be a young woman who fell in love with a European settler and eventually dove off the cliffs of Virginia. That’s just a story. Her true history is very different and much darker.

Tales have been spun about her rescuing John Smith, an English adventurer, from certain execution. This idea, that Pocahontas turned allies with the English, is one that captured the public’s imagination for centuries. Maybe because stories of star-crossed lovers are bound to fascinate humanity. However, the idea that Pocahontas turned her back on her own people to single-handedly help ‘bridge’ two cultures is not historically true. There isn’t much evidence of Pocahontas rescuing the soldier at all.

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The promotional poster for season 15 of ‘Supernatural’

Well, this is surprising to discuss, but ‘Destiel’ is trending, and it shot me into the past. It sounds impossible, but the long-lived CW show Supernatural is ending after 15 seasons, running from 2005 to 2020. The decision taken by the show’s writers to address the growing relationship between Dean and Castiel left some fans elated, while others walked away with a bitter taste in their mouths.

For the uninitiated, Supernatural is a fantasy show about two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, trained by their father to hunt monsters, demons, werewolves, and other fantastic creatures. In season 4, we see the introduction of a new character — Castiel, an angel. Dean is sent to Hell, and season 4 begins with Castiel pulled Dean out of Hell, and saving him.

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Photo by from Pexels

Television played an interesting role in my life. Of course, as a toddler I had my favorite shows — I even had a ‘Barney’ doll that I would sit with any time came on. However, as I got older, I stopped watching TV as much. With a dad and an older brother who didn’t share my television tastes, I preferred to read books instead or watch the odd movie with them. As the Internet got more extensive, streaming movies and TV shows became easy. It opened a world of viewing without Barney and Friends commercial breaks, and I loved it.

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Natalia Nazeem Ahmed

A young English graduate who’s trying to share her thoughts with the world. Still a work in progress. For short fiction, visit

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