Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Pan'ris Review

Monday night party of 11 people at Pan'ris for a birthday dinner. We chose the place because a friend who was joining us gave excellent reviews. When we reached only a two or three tables were occupied. So the place was pretty much empty.

The menu was nothing out of the blue. I played very safe though and ordered Chicken with crumbs and parmesan, sideline mashed potatoes. It was well cooked, the cheese sauce had a pinch more of salt than I would have liked. I also tasted Grilled Chicken in Verde sauce which had a spicy kick (reminded me of lesser tangy peri peri sauce). A friend ordered Beef Steak (it looked well) and she commented it tasted fine but could have been little more juicer.

First turnoff half of the drinks written on the menu were not available. Later the drinks arrived almost after we were done with food.

Second turnoff it took them good 35-40 minutes to serve the order.

Third turnoff bought one order wrong. So they gave the wrong dish complimentary but the original entrée took another 25mins to arrive

Forth turnoff terribly slow service and by slow service nowhere I mean the staff wasn't courteous. They took good 20 minutes to bring the cake (placing spoons and bringing in dishes after we asked them thrice).

Over all the place is beautiful, minimalistic and gives an overall elegant feel (a must go for candlelight dinner for two) but if the service continues to remain so slow it won't we able to thrive.

Bill was somewhere near 12.5k in which we had about 10 entrées and 11 drinks.

Food 7 out of 10
Service 4 out of 10
Overall experience 6 out of 10

Pan'ris is located in Clifton Block 4, Karachi.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Follow the plan

One minute you are there. You have figured it all out. You know the plan, you have packed the bag and are ready to move. And then all of a sudden you are standing dead on the track. What was the plan again? Was it right turn or the left?  Why is the bag heavy on your back all of a sudden? Slowly and gradually the destination which was within the sight starts to get blurred. One minute everything was sorted out. You were happy and the journey was easy. But the very next minute you are dragging that baggage behind you on the muddy ground. Your feet are tired and there is nothing else except to follow the misleading road.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Diamond in the rough, Ghorak

The problem with living in Pakistan is we have limited options for traveling within budget. Adventure traveling becomes trickier than a normal road trip. Some of my friends were craving to go out of the city life and experience something different. Since I am always up for traveling I became part of the plan. After discussing several options we opted to take a group tour to Ghorak. We consulted Royal Tourism (Check their Facebook Page, link share in the end) and booked a tour with them and our problem of a sasta and tikkau (cheap and convenient) trip was solved there and then. 

The tour started at 1 in the morning (actually 1:30 cause our group was late and the tour group was very sweet to wait for us) Saturday. My first stop was at Sewhan Shareef for breakfast. Beady eyed tired from the road journey in bus I was extremely excited to get off from the bus and explore the small highway restaurant. A picture here and there, tummy full of hot breakfast and I was all set to go to Ghorak.

At Johi (a small town) the group switched from bus to jeeps. So far I wasn't able see the road because of night but after breakfast when the light had seeped in the horizon I could see properly where we were. To be honest it was slightly disappointing for me. All I could see was rocky dusty road with wheat fields on one side. I have been to rural areas many times so this wasn't exciting for me at all. The road went on with nothing else but barren hills in distance. 

Very slowly the road started to incline and before I knew our jeep was in first gear and with all its might trying to climb higher on the steep road. Sharp twists and turns, steep rocky road and cold wind completely changed my perspective about the barren hills. They had a strange beauty which green mountains of Himalayas don't offer. The beauty was not of peace but had vibe of adventure around it. A thrill, an adrenaline rush which one doesn't find easily.

After 12 hours journey from Karachi the group finally reached to (much discussed among us friends) Ghorak. I have always been fan of mountains but this northern jagged side of Kirthar range took my breath away. The raw untouched beauty, archs and layers of rock, muted sunlight and chilly weather all combined to make the scenario perfect for me. 
To watch the sunset I climbed up another hill where I could enjoy a better view which was the camping site for some as well (I opted for a room instead of camp and yes I enjoy comfort of a bed instead of sleeping bag). Huffing and puffing I completed my short yet difficult trek and what a welcoming sight greeted my eyes. Words really cannot describe the untouched beauty of hills of Ghorak. It was like all of our life we praise the rose but never appreciate thorns for their beauty. Because without the thorns the rose would never be complete. 

Sunset at Ghorak was something out of a painting. Horizon splashed with colors of dusk, gold and orange, reds blending with blues and the rocks absorbing last rays of the day. The temperature dropped drastically and I was freezing. I went back towards my rest house rested for a bit and then started the most magical time of life. Stargazing.
Lying on cotton mattress underneath millions of sparkling stars nothing but darkness around on chilly night. The moon came out pretty late giving me plenty of time to gaze clusters of stars. I was shivering and counting all the shooting stars, mesmerized by the beauty of night and listening to music. For a minute or two all that I could think of was if the world can be so flawless what heaven would be like.

After two hours session of star gazing session I went for dinner and then back up where I went to watch the sunset. There the group which I went with had organized a small bonfire. We sat around it and started sharing stories. Some shared their work life while others talked about other adventures that they have done in their lives. The temperature was below
freezing point at that time yet we all were having a great time underneath the starlit sky.
After midnight I came back to my room and rested. Unfortunately I missed the sunrise because I was extremely tired and couldn't get up on time for it. We had our breakfast and headed back for Karachi around 10:30am.

Overall hats off to our tour group for organizing the trip as I faced no security or food related issues. The tour was pretty much on time and well managed. The slight difficulty that I faced was of no electricity at the rest house (some major transformer issue, can't do anything about it #WeLiveInPakistan) and extremely cold water in the taps. I am supremely pissed off at the government officials for no proper garbage disposal facility there.

If you are planning a trip to Ghork some of the must things that you should take along with are a torch light, hard sole joggers, portable speakers (I tell you music makes everything better), a power bank (you never know the electricity situation there), energy bars, hand sanitizer, wet tissues, a scarf (it's a must in jeep to protect one from all the dust), first aid, dark sunglasses and a comforter. You can get all the snacks from the canteen there so don't stock eatables for the rest house. Pack light, do not I repeat DO NOT take a week worth's of clothes just for a weekend. Take plenty of rest before the journey starts and be mentally prepared that the journey is going to be long (but totally worth it).

Tour organized by Royal Tourism Pakistan: 

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Doll Face

Just a few months back I got on the wagon of makeup madness. I started following groups and pages dedicated to makeup and cosmetics of Facebook. Followed few makeup artists on Instagram and started to invest a small fortune on my personal makeup collection.

What made me write this blog is a hyper lapse video of a makeup artist. I saw that video at least six times. And then I stopped. This girl took out an hour of her life to doll up her face and fix her hair using worth thousands of rupees of products and all for what?

I remember just a few months back I used to be very comfortable in my own skin. I never felt the need of putting kajal or wearing lipstick because I was happy just the way I was. I am a human and defiantly will have flaws as well but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be comfortable the way I am. Makeup changed it. I started using it often and then felt liked I am hooked to it. Leaving my home without putting lipstick on would make me feel uncomfortable. Why it should be that way?

Problem here isn't of makeup or dressing up but of how it makes us feel and how we make the girl doing all this feel. Both genders are equally to be blamed. A girl spends hours in front of the mirror doing makeup and fixing her hair because the society doesn't really accepts her the way she is. Ultimately she gets addicted to makeup/makeovers using several hours of her life and hard earned money on it. Still the feeling of satisfaction is not achieved.

My only request would be do make up if you like to but also learn to be comfortable in your own skin. And for others to accept and appreciate the person the way they look. If you don’t like their face without makeup I guess you don't deserve them when they are all dressed up as well. 

Makeup or dressing up isn't bad but the extraordinary importance we give it is unhealthy.