Sunday, 21 May 2017

Say it with a Smile

When words fail then only a smile can weave the magic. Lays Pakistan this summer brings 25 unique and beautiful smile packs for all those who want to bring a little extra sparkle in their smiles.

These unique 25 smiles are inspired by different movies and characters which can literally fit in any situation and scenario. Be it a comical smile to cheer your angry mom, or your better half can receive the romantic Lays smile. All you got to do is get the Lays 'Say it with a Smile' pack! 

The best part is our very favorite Lala aka Shahid Afridi wants to give us all a Lays Smile as well!! Check him out here


I almost forgot the best part. Lays is not only spreading smiles through packs but surprise. You can win a brand new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge daily by simply scratching the code on the pack of Lays and SMSing the code to 9005. Each SMS counts as an individual entry. So keep on spreading smiles with Lays.

#LaysPakistan #SayItWithASmile 

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Love Thy Neighbors

I was in grade 1 when I became friend with a boy in my neighborhood. We went in the same school which made us even better friends. He had no siblings and I had a lot of them (elder sisters). We had no brother, so the bond with him was immediate. He was just like our own brother. Soon we became fast family friends as well and his parents considered us sisters as their daughters as well. Though I changed my school in 5th grade we still are friends. He has a daughter now (though I haven’t met her yet) but that little girl has given me the chance to be a phupoo.

I used to spend all my summer and winter vacations at my Nani’s apartment in Karachi ( I grew up in Hyderabad). Those days were the best as I had a gang of girl friends on the same floor. Although all of them were from a different religion than mine but never once my mother or any family member stopped me for being friends with them. I went to a temple with them and once Ami took us all to sea view. We used to play on all the floors and go buy ice cream together.  They were like sisters to me.

Just a few days back on Shab-E-Barat our neighbors sent us Kheer, Biryani and Zarda.  I had just gotten back from office after a hectic day and the food made me so happy. My neighbors cared about me, that’s what made me happy.

That’s how strong neighborhood relationships are. Although we aren’t related by blood but we treat each other as family.

The recent Shan’s ad Khaana With Parosi, that triggered so many childhood memories. Though we didn’t have Chinese neighbors back then but I remember how on every festive occasion we used to send Biryani and Meetha to our neighbors.


I was recently staying at my sister’s place and my niece who is 13 years old has a best friend in the neighborhood as well. But her friend never stays for dinner. My niece Fatima told me how her friend loves Haleem. Guess what? I got all the Haleem essentials, lentils, Shan Haleem Masala, Chicken (YES I DON’T EAT BEEF HALEEM) and asked our cook to make Haleem for us. That day Fatima’s neighborhood best friend came as well. Her eyes literally shone when she saw Haleem on the table. She couldn’t resist saying no to it and we all had it together. It reminded me of my childhood and all the beautiful memories with my neighbors.

#KhaanWithParosi #ChildHoodMemories 

Picture Credits: Google because I took terrible Biryani and Haleem pictures

Monday, 8 May 2017

Burning Brownie

When I asked people which places are a must to visit while in Islamabad they all had one name in the list i.e. Burning Brownie. They said Burning Brownie serves best desserts in the capital.
I visited the one in F-11 and chose to sit outside after a quick peek inside. I loved the thematic décor & the friendly servers. The menu was limited so after quick consultation with the server, I settled for cheesecake. My friends ordered chocolate fudge cake & some other chocolate cake ( can’t remember the name).
The cheesecake though looks super plain but don’t literally don’t judge here the book by its cover. Hands down it is one of the best cheesecakes I have ever had (& I have had one from The Cheesecake factory, this one is WAY better). Paired with strawberry sauce this baby is a slice of heaven.
The chocolate cakes were delicious, moist & fresh.
Loved the overall experience. If you are planning a trip to Islamabad soon do enjoy desserts from Burning Brownie.


Sunday, 30 April 2017

Chapter One: Karachi Heat

My alarm rings every weekday thrice in the morning, 8:20 am, 8:30 am and 8:40 am. But this was not the case since the beginning. Khair, we will talk about that some other time. As every other day I kicked sheets, A.C was already off (I have set a timer so it automatically closes at 6 in the morning, bijli ka bill itna kon dey ga?) so the room was already getting warm. I opened the door of my bathroom and then only realized that this day is going to be really hot.
It’s not even May yet and the temperature outside is already 41C. I turn on the tap and jet of steamy water pours. I had to wait for a few minutes to adjust myself to the warmth of the water. Fast forward 15 minutes and I was on my way to work.

The car was blazing as always. Bosco (my office driver) has a different (read weird) sense of car décor. Black leather seats, tinted black glasses, black velvet cushions and a plush tiger (which needs to be washed) on the dashboard.  I sit uncomfortably in the stifling car and open the window. A polluted pale blue sky welcomes my gaze. One could feel that they are inhaling dust and one could see sidewalks begging for cleanup. Withering shrubs and limp trees are all one can see. 

Inside the office, there is no relief as well as the chillers stopped working cause of the intense heat. From 9:15 till one my eyes are glued to a laptop screen occasionally flicking on the phone a well.  Two back to back meetings are setup after lunch. That means I will have to go out again.

I could see sweat trickling down the neck of the tea boy as he was carrying a heavy tray full of tea mugs. He swiftly moves across the hall handing everyone steaming mugs of tea. It feels like even he wants to end his shift as soon as possible.

I close my eyes at 4:30 for a minute and dream of diving in the sparkling blue pool outside( our office has a gigantic pool which we never use). I wonder how cold the chlorine filled water would be.

It’s 6:20 pm. I pack my bags, sling them off my shoulder and dump them in the car. It’s not so hot anymore. The car has it's tinted window rolled down. I can hear hundreds of birds chirping, heading back to their homes as the dusk approaches. Sun is set low in the sky and the wind is now a welcoming friend. I can feel it on my face and in my hair. I can smell the salt from the sea. The sky has an explosion of colors. Blues, pinks, oranges, reds and faint purples. The traffic sounds fade in the background as I drink in what mother nature has to offer. 


Karachi is not so suffocating anymore.  The heat is bearable. 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Criteria of Pride in Pakistan

Child will qualify for Pride Certificate if he/she converses in English all the time. The criteria of good education in Pakistan is only English.
This child who is in grade one has more than 6 books for English and 3 different exams for the same subject. This convent school encourages to cram as much as possible and doesn't give 2 cents for concept building.
Why we cannot have one centralized education system in Pakistan with addition of languages according to the region? Why do we have to give importance to one language only? Why aren't we questioning our government? Where is our ministry of education? Why isn't there any regulation?
We as a nation are in such deep complex that while am writing this I won't dare to write this in Urdu or Sindhi because that might not classify me as a person with a sane opinion. That might make me sound as a 'paindu'. We are still in the colonel mindset. English is only a method of communication. It's not the communication itself.
Hamari zahanat ka mayar srif angrazi hai.

#Education #Pakistan 

Monday, 10 April 2017

Tu hai Kahan?

I tried to find Him on the Christian cross, but He
was not there; I went to the Temple of the
Hindus and to the old pagodas, but I could not
find a trace of Him anywhere.

I searched on the mountains and in the valleys
but neither in the heights nor in the depths was I
able to find Him. I went to the Ka'bah in Mecca,
but He was not there either.

I questioned the scholars and philosophers but
He was beyond their understanding.

I then looked into my heart and it was there
where He dwelled that I saw Him; He was
nowhere else to be found.

- Rumi

#NathiaGali #Rumi #WanderingSoul #Darvesh#Wanderlust #Church #Pakistan #LonelyPlanet #Travel #FilmyJoyoTravels 

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Shield Your Smile

My sister is a dentist and on daily basis, she tells us the horrors he faces in the hospital.  She faces people with their teeth literally falling off because of plague. Imagine living without teeth. How on earth will we be able to flash that amazing smile or eat all the yummylicious food.


In a place like Pakistan where people usually are not careful about their hygiene Shield Pakistan took an initiative on World Oral Health Day i.e. increases awareness about oral hygiene in different schools & hospitals. A lot of people don’t take care of their oral hygiene because of lack of awareness or they believe that it is too expensive. However there are many government run programs in hospitals where dental checkups are affordable. One of such hospital is Hamdard University Dental Hosptial

Shield Pakistan broke the myth and educated people specially children how easy it is to

actually take care of their precious smiles. Hands on tooth brushing activities were conducted to encourage children to brush their teeth on daily basis. I also attended a camp they set up at Ziauddin University Hosptial where people came in for a free dental checkup.

Some tips to take care of your oral hygine

1.       Always brush your teeth twice in a day
2.       Use a good toothpaste as well as tooth brush such as Shield for proper clean up

3.       Use a medium sized tooth brush with soft bristles  



Also watch the video for a detailed question answer session on oral hygiene conducted by Shield Pakistan.
https://www.facebook.com/ShieldMuskurahat/videos/1504055939614682/

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

No Men without Women

I shared a post which angered many men out there. They thought the statement ‘No Men Without Women’ is to demean men. I ask them all to resolve a simple query of mine, Is it ok for men to let women not take control of their health & bodies? Is it ok for women to bear children one after another & risk her life? Is it alright if the mother cannot fully take care of her child and herself because she is expecting another one?

Though it brings immense joy that today girls are more empowered, they are more educated and they are leaving a positive mark in the society more than ever. But on the same side, many of them are deprived of the basic right of having a control over own body and planning her pregnancy. Not only the society pressurizes her to have a child as soon as she gets married but also wants her to have another one even before the first one is able to stand on his/her own two tiny feet.  


The purpose of this campaign ‘No Men without Women’ by Greenstar Pakistan is to raise awareness in favor of planned pregnancies so the health & safety of the mother and child can be assured. And not only health but also mental peace, were the parents can give all their love & attention to one child at a time.  This campaign highlights the fact that a decision of women should be trusted & respected. If she has a say in her own health and body then in no way it is wrong or it should be ignored. 

#NoMenWithoutWomen