Food For Soul; Heaven For Book & Literature Lovers – 8th Karachi Literature Festival


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Karachi Literature Festival is the very festival that satisfies the craving of avid readers who have a huge interest in history and history of literature. Each year KLFKHI takes place to appreciate those who offered a perspective on the unique Pakistan society and culture, contributing to the development of the literary tradition in Pakistan. The purpose of this festival is to bring together those who appreciate the history of literature.

Day 1: The Inauguration Ceremony & Other Activities

February, 2017, kicked of with the 8th Karachi Literature Festival at the Beach Luxury Hotel. While addressing the inauguration ceremony, the Founder/Director of Karachi Literature Festival, Co-founder of children’s Literature Festival, and the Managing Director of Oxford University Press (OUP), Ms. Ameen Saiyid OBE expressed her thoughts:

“The KLF is held to celebrate the rich, ancient, and diverse cultures and literatures of Pakistan so that they flourish, bloom and make an impact by becoming accessible to a wider public”.

Further she added:

KLF creates spaces where cultural and intellectual energies gain release and knowledge and understanding, both about today’s world, ourselves, and our history and civilization, are not only disseminated but also questioned and debated critically. We are also taking the Karachi Literature Festival to London where it will be held at the Southbank Centre on 20 May 2017, to celebrate Pakistan’s culture and literature and the 70th anniversary of its creation,”

The very first activity was a performance by musician, Asif Sinan.

img_3279Sinan, specializes in bridging the East and the West through his musical innovations, first and foremost, presented the national anthem. It was a very unconventional presentation on the guitar. While the guitar strings were so different from the martial version that we all are accustomed to hearing, it was a nice and versatile rendition.

The next performance was an old Rafi-Lata duet, “Saavan Beeta Jai”, followed by other light Eastern and Western pieces.

Dr Asif Aslam Farrukhi, the co-founder of the festival, said

“Kites had gone out of the sky with the ban on Basant celebrations. The spring, according to weather pundits, had been shortened. So now, he said, we’d have a “Basant of books”. “

Further he added

“The KLF, he said, had added another facet to city life. He referred to the KLF as “the mother of all literature festivals”. “

Around 136 Pakistani and 40 international authors and speakers from ten countries participated this year. Mustansar Hussain Tarar and Ayesha Jalal were the keynote speakers at the inauguration.

Among the many literary luminaries, academics, and intellectuals participating, both from Pakistan and abroad, some of the notable names included Adeel Hashmi, Afzal Ahmed Syed, Ali Akbar Natiq, Amar Jaleel, Ahmed Rashid, Arfa Sayeda Zehra, Arif Hasan, Asif Noorani, Arshad Mahmud, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, Attiya Dawood, Ayesha Tammy Haq, Bina Shah, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, Christina Oesterheld, Fahmida Riaz, H.M. Naqvi, Hamid Khan, Harris Khalique, Imdad Hussaini, Jamsheed Marker, Kishwar Naheed, Mahtab Akbar Rashdi, Masood Ashar, Mian Raza Rabbani, Mirza Waheed, Mujahid Barelvi, Nadeem F. Paracha, Nafisa Shah, Najmuddin Shaikh, Nasira Iqbal, Noor ul Huda Shah, Omar Shahid Hamid, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Roger Long, Sabyn Javeri, Salima Hashmi, Sania Saeed, Shabnam, Shazia Omar, Sheema Kermani, Shandana Minhas, Shrabani Basu, Taimur Rahman, Tina Sani, Zafar Hilaly, Victoria Schofield, Zehra Nigah, Zia Mohyeddin, and Zoe Viccaji.

Prizes were announced and Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, a former ambassador who was the jury member, announced the winner of the prize for the non-fiction book of the year. The prize went to Yasmeen Khan for her book, “The Raj at War”. The Getz Pharma Prize for fiction went to Omar Shahid Hamid for his “The Spinner’s Tale”. The Infaq Urdu literature prize went to Nasir Abbas Nayyar and Admiral Baqir gave away the prize.

This year’s KLF activities includes 18 book launches and more than 70 sessions. A vibrant programme, encapsulating talks, panel discussions, readings, book launches, English and Urdu mushaira, stand-up comedy, author signings, performing arts, art exhibition, film screenings, art strand, book fair, literary awards, and a food court, has been lined up for the festival.

The first day of KLF-2017 ended by on a captivating ‘Kathak’ performance by Shayma Saiyid.

Day 2: Continuity Of Activities 

Second day of KLF started off with the same enthusiasm. This day was packed with with a varied range of sessions, one of them was Bringing the Past into the Present in which Dr.Framji Minwalla and Nomanul Haq conversed with Ayesha Jalal. “History is methodology to investigate evidence, not an ideology”, historian Ayesha Jalal defined. A professor at Tufts University in the United States, Jalal disapproved of being labeled as a historian of Pakistan alone.
Ayesha Jalal shared her views on the relations among and between the two countries, in fact amongst all the countries in South Asia that we need decolonization of the mind and by that we need to go beyond the British assumptions about this region, and this applies both to India and Pakistan. Further she highlighted the importance of religion and that this is what brought two nations into existence. “People have called me a historian of Pakistan but I am a historian of Southeast Asia,” stressed Jalal.
Another session Pakistan: A Fragile state or resilient state was moderated by one of the great minds of the country Mujahid Barelvi Sahab who is a well-known journalist, commentator and author, also known for the vigorous defender of the freedom of expression. The session was aimed to discuss the current situation of the state and its ability to stand still on its feet. After introducing the panelists for the session he opened the door of discussion with Kahan Qatil Badlte Hain Faqat Chehray Badalte Hain Ajab Apna Safar Hai Fasle Bi Sath Chalte Hain a verse from Hafiz Jalandharis poetry.
Opening the session on the topic Mian Raza Rabbani, the Chairman Senate, shed light upon our history as a resilient state which has been engaged in wars against terrorism from its very inception and then the economic turmoil that we as a nation have been through and are still struggling with. Encouraging the resilience of the intellectuals, labors and common men of the state he pointed out the fact that the state is eating this resilience of the nation by cutting their hands so that they don’t ask question or raise voices against the injustice by the state and become spectators’ or rather silent victims.
As he mentioned “The government in its deliberate attempt to change the ideology of the Pakistan has neglected the speeches of Quaid that projects Pakistan as a progressive state not a garrison state that it has become now”. Hamid Khan in his contribution to the discussion highlighted the fact that we, even after 70 years of our existence, are still not being able to face the truth and the facts, our ignorance had already led to the separation of Bengal in 1947, and he continued on a lighter note that “ Wo smajhtay hain k wo humse alag hue, main smjhta hun humne unhein alag kiya hai”. The session was concluded on the note that our issues aren’t external; in fact, the problems lie internally. Ahmed Rashid said, “The state now has far more control of foreign policy than ever before and as long as Pakistan uses extremist groups to project their foreign policy we’re in trouble.”
Ali Nobil Ahmad was awarded the 3rd KLF Peace Prize for Masculinity, sexuality and illegal migration, announced Pervez Hoodbhoy. Masculinity, sexuality and illegal migration explores the myth that economic pressures drive illegal migration, through 60 interviews. Ali Nobil said, “My book is an attempt to humanize migrants because they are more often demonized.”
Faraznaz Ispahani’s Purifying the Land of the Pure was the 2nd prize winner. Anum Zakaria won the first KLF Peace Prize for Footprints of Partition. The book weaves together her observations of contemporary Pakistan with memories of four generations of Pakistanis and Indians as they try to reflect and make sense of the past.
The session, International and Regional Politics impacting South Asia, was moderated by Dr. Huma Baqai and the panelists for this session were Mathew A. Cook, Zia Mian, Najmuddin Shaikh, and Asad Sayeed. The issue discussed was Pakistan’s strategic position in this fiasco of whether CPEC is in our favor or it’s just another attempt towards the development by our government. According to Mr. Zia Pakistan has become China’s Israel now as he mentioned that “Chinese see Pakistan as their military client”, and this is what we have had already experienced because of our brotherly and cordial relations with US, he said with a grin on his face. Answering the question asked by Huma Baqai, Mr. Najmuddin Shaikh said that we are looking at CPEC as one road belt and not pondering over the fact that it’s just an element of a bigger picture. He mentioned that the mindset behind the CPEC is the mentality that compels us to let others take care of our problems and not rectify our mistakes on our own.
The most awaited session and the highlight of today was Phool aur Shabnam hosted by the famous Bushra Ansari in the honor of Jharna Basak, better known by her stage name Shabnam, the famous Lollywood legendary artist. She last visited Pakistan in 2012 along with her husband where they both got the lifetime achievement award from the government of Pakistan. She was so delighted and overwhelmed by the response and love she received from her Pakistani fans.
During the session she had gone into the nostalgic feel of the older times and while talking about her memories she shared her experiences with the audience. “I would love to come back here and I will come whenever the people of Pakistan will call me,” she added. She respects the immense love that she received here and when the question was asked that would she accept the offer to work in a Pakistani movie, she said I’d love to.
Shabnam further said that “If an artist wants, he or she can learn any language for a film, you just need to have passion.” “Robinson never said no to me when it came to work. We both trusted each other and he never once asked me why I came home late,” she added.
“I don’t call our cinema a revival, I believe it is a new emerging cinema in Pakistan and the one place to have done this is Karachi,” said Bushra Ansari.
In a session on Cultural Heritage Preservation in Pakistan and South Asia, Sheema Kermani said about culture, “What we need to think about is that what exactly our cultural heritage is. We have not been able to resolve our cultural identity.”
Sneak Preview of The Selected Works of Abdullah the Cossack by H.M. Naqvi hosted by Dr. Framji Minwalla gave us an overview of the book, the passion of the writer for this city and how he looks at the development this city and its residents have made.
There were total of 11 books launched today at KLF that included High-Life in Pakistan by Regula Bubb, Nobody Killed Her by Sabyn Javeri, The Party Worker by Omar Shahid Hamid, Tum Kabeer and Qila-e-Faramoshi by Fahmida Riaz, Sadequain and the Culture of Enlightenment by Akbar Naqvi, How Pakistan Got Divided by Maj Gen ( R) Rao Farman Ali, August Voices by Sudheendra Kulkarni, Teesra Qadam by Nasira Zuberi, Kalaam-e-Aarifaan by Hasan Aziz, Crimson Papers: Reflections on Struggle, Suffering & Creativity in Pakistan by Harris Khalique and Erotext: Desire, Disease, Delusion, Dream, Downpour by Sudeep Sen.
The session Roshan Khayali: A Homage to Sibte Hasan included a 10 minutes documentary of the work of Sibte Hasan who is known to be the pioneer of the Socialism and Marxism in Pakistan.
The presence of the Mayor of Karachi, Waseem Akhtar, also created quite a stir. He spoke about how important it is for the love of literature to be encouraged in all socio- economic classes of the country. He praised the organizers for providing the city with a healthy activity. The mayor also floated the idea of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation participating in helping to host next year’s KLF.
Second Day of the event came to an end with a Mushaira in which renowned poets of the country like Kishwar Naheed, Anwar Shaoor, Fahmida Riaz, Peerzada Qasim, Imdaad Hussaini, Afzal Ahmad Syed, Naseem Syed, and many more participated.

 

Day 3: KLF Bids Farewell To Karachi

Last day of Karachi Literature Festival started with a Video competition “Making Change in Pakistan: What Works, and What doesn’t” Winners were announced by Sarmad Khoosat, Nadeem. F Paracha, and Parvez Hoodbhoy. Faisal Raza’s documentary on transgender issues won first place.
In the session The Empress and her Munshi, Shrabani Basu explains that researching for her book was a challenge because after Queen Victoria died her son destroyed all the letters. However, she found some of Abdul Kareem’s relatives which helped gather information. “Abdul Kareem had no children and he died 10 years after he returned to India after the Queen’s death. So I tried finding the letters and what not and there was a time I found no one and then all of a sudden all these extended family members started coming out of nowhere with diaries and letters and it was lovely, they’ve been my hosts in Karachi it’s been lovely and they helped me piece these things together,” she said.
The session “Celebrating Faiz” in which Adeel Hashmi took the opportunity to recite poetry to pay homage to his grandfather and master poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz. ZehraNigah shared her views on how simple Faiz was, she mentioned that “he was very patient and was known as a man of peace, he never complained about his imprisonment or his loneliness”.
In a way partition began in 1947, we’re just getting further away from one another,” said Ayesha Jalal in a session on The Birth of Two Nations. “Conflict resolution is one thing but partition was conflict management. Partition is not an event that happened in 47 but a process. Pakistan was created as a homeland for Muslims but not in the name of Islam. It was about political power,” she added. “Jinnah kept the definition of Pakistan vague and it came to mean different things to many people,” said Roger Long, professor of History at Eastern Michigan University.
The session “The Future of Pakistan’s Creative’s: Film, Fashion, and Music” led by dynamic and charismatic women of our Industry including Mansha Pasha, Pakistani drama artist; Maheen Karim, A fashion designer and none other than Zeb Bangash, who has touched the souls of many people across the globe with her voice. Zeb Bangash said, “Hania and I had nowhere to go during Thanksgiving break in one college year and we recorded a song
just for fun. Next thing we know, it was being played on the radio daily.”
The session included the discussion about the evolution of Pakistani Film Industry and the panelists also highlighted the issue of women empowerment in our society and that the only purpose of woman is not to get married, there is more to life than that. Talking about her start in the fashion world, designer Maheen Kareem said, “I was fortunate to come back to Pakistan at a time when fashion wasn’t considered a cottage industry anymore. The fashion industry has its politics and cliques and horror stories, but as long as you lay low and concentrate on your work, you can thrive.”
In the session on “Palestine, Syria: Where Doves Endlessly Weep” Laleh Khalili talked about the need to take a holistic approach to the understanding of the conflicts in Syria and Palestine. “There are political grievances other than geopolitical or regional problems. I can’t remember a more disparaging moment than this,” she said. Talking about stability Ashraf Jehangir Qazi said, “Palestine is worse. There is permanent, colossal tragedy that doesn’t seem to end.”
On the last day of KLF, 11 books were launched including, “Dear Heart: To Faiz in Prison, 1951-1955 and Over My Shoulder by Alys Faiz , Daddy’s Boy by Shandana Minhas, Fasana Raqam Karain by Mujahid Barelvi, Love in Chakiwara and Other Misadventures by Bilal Tanweer, Those Children by Shahbano Bilgrami, Ajmer Sharif: Awakening of Sufism in South Asia by Reema Abbasi, The Pakistan Anti-Hero: History of Pakistani Nationalism through the Lives of Iconoclasts by Nadeem F. Paracha, Interpreting Islam, Modernity, and Women’s Rights in Pakistan by Anita M. Weiss, Hybrid Tapestries: The Development of Pakistani Literature in English by Muneeza Shamsie, and Hindustan ki Mauseequi by Abdul Halim Sharar.
“Partition: Drawing Borders in Blood” the story that how a family that was separated at the time of Partition and its aftermath and was reunited because of the publication of the book by Ishtiaq Ahmed called the Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned, and Cleansed was narrated.
Harbhajan Kaur’s/ShehnazBegum the lady whose son Rizwan from whom she was separated, both were present at the session and were introduced to the audience.
On the lighter side of KLF, viral sensation Syed Shafaat Ali engaged the audience in the main garden with his witty jests. Ali said: “This is the first time he has been invited to host a session at the Karachi Literature Festival… before this I was one of the guys who came here and stood at the back or checked out girls.” “I never knew what is KLF…yes I was one of those guys…I never thought that there’d be a time when I’d be invited on stage at KLF…and big people would come to hear me…but it happens…” he added. His mimicry of the politicians and the singers provoked laughter from the crowd.
Around 200,000 people attended KLF this year which was an achievement unlocked for the whole KLF team. Ameena Saiyid Managing Director, Oxford University Press, and Founder/Director, Karachi and Islamabad Literature Festivals, in her closing ceremony speech thanked everyone for contributing towards the success of this event. She specifically thanked all the speakers and performers who set the underlying theme of the Festival. “Whether you have travelled all the way from Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Bangladesh, the UK, US, India, or Maldives, or other parts of Pakistan; or you have commuted from somewhere within this Karachi: thank you for being here to inspire and enlighten all of us”, she said.
“This is not the end but the beginning of another wonderful adventure, the preparation for the
next Islamabad Literature Festival to be held at Margala Hotel on 14, 15, and 16 April 2017 and the Karachi Literature Festival ‘London’ in partnership with Bloomsbury Pakistan and
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Southbank Centre London on 20
May 2017.
With an unparalleled creative culture and diverse communities, London is the ideal city for KLF to launch itself outside Pakistan. KLF London will offer a unique and inclusive experience at a mainstream venue. We plan to celebrate Pakistan’s 70 years of creation and complex history and culture through its literature and arts,” she added.
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8 Klf ended with remarkable classical dance performance by Shayma Saiyid and Suhaee
Abro, a concert by Saif Samejo and dhamaal by Sufi group.

Wafa Ka Mausam – A Freshly Baked Tale About To Hit The Silver Screen

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Almost every week we witness a drama coming to an end and a new one replacing an old one. I feel like nowadays every drama somehow revolves around the same plot. Rarely a drama beats every other drama by addressing a strong message or a social issue or even have a story. That is what breaks my heart for I grew up watching the classics which till date are my absolute favorite. Those were the drama that moved us, made us cry, laugh and feel proud that it’s a Pakistani drama.

TVOnePk recently launched a brand new drama titled ‘Wafa Ka Mausam’ . The cast includes actors we have loved over the years and have seen them play countless roles flawlessly. A few names include Aijaz Allah, Shafqat Cheema, Adnan Jeelani, Neelam Munir, and Haya.

The drama serial is about everyone claiming their live for each other; shot in the interior beauty of Punjab.

The bloggers’ Meetup at Patio was graced by the presence of the cast and the direct of the drama who shared their overall experience.

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While shedding a light on her character, actress Neelam Munir sai, that her character in this drama was by far the most challenging role of her career and she feels that she has done full justice to it. Well, we shall see.

The story revolves around a girl loved by two guys and as the story proceeds, we shall witness a lot of changes along with twist and turns of the story plot. This drama also shows the loved a father for his daughter. All in all, the story is about love at different stages of life but the core of the plot is how one’s ego overpowers the emotion of love and changes everything.

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#Sparkistan – The New Anthem Of Sparking Pakistanis

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There is no doubt that Pakistan is full of extremely talented and dedicated people. But I have always wondered that there must be some people who selflessly work solely to make Pakistan’s name shine bright. They might have not gotten the appropriation and recognition they deserve and they are okay with it for that’s not what motivates them. Fort, Atlas Battery took this amazing initiative to find these unsung heroes and bring forward the true spark of our nation. They travelled all over Pakistan to find these stars and record their sparking story. Altas Battery will be revealing the stories of 15 heroes who were never given the fame they truly deserved.

Atlas Battery released a Sparking Anthem that gave me goosebumps!

Atlas Battery has unveiled the first unsung hero of Sparkistan. His name is Dr. Naeem Taj. He is a surgeon who specialized in general/laparoscopic surgeries.

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img_1153The Guinness Book of World record has issued surgeon Dr. Naeem Taj of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Hospital a certificate recognizing his major achievement of removing the World’s Longest Gall Bladder (5,568 stones from a 25.5cm gall bladder) through laparoscopy. Not just that, after that he was awarded with another certificate for removing the Longest Appendix from a child which was 21cm long.

 

 

Watch the story of Dr. Naeem Taj:

Always On-The-Go? Make Your Travel Time Fun With Portable TV – #TapmadTV

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With our fast paced life and busy schedules, we have longed for something portable to help us keep up with our favorite TV shows, movies or watch live matches while on-the-go. Our prayers have been heard! Let me present the super cool application available on both iOS and Android stores that gives you access to entertainment on your fingertips. Tapmad TV app comes with upto 140 local and international TV channels providing you the opportunity to never miss your favorite TV shows. Even when you are out and about, you can easily stream LIVE Television no matter where you are. One can also listen to their favorite music, watch movies and documentaries.  The application comes with a ‘Catch Up’ feature, which enables the user to record and download content, and watch it later whenever they want.

The Launch: 

Pakistan’s first TV Application “Tapmad TV” was formally launched on the evening of 26th January, 2017, at Alliance Franchise, Karachi. The event was hosted by the charming Ayesha Omar. It was attended by Pakistan’s well-known people from media and technology industry as well as from the corporate world. A few names included Mr. naeem Hussain (Founder, Planet N), Zafar Siddiqui (CEO, Samaa TV), Shakespeare Masud (CEO, Dawn News), Sara Haider, Mahira Khan, Sikandar Rizvi and many other prominent faces.

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Yassir Pasha, Founder and CEO of Tapmad TV started briefing the audience about the concept behind the app stated that 2017 will be the year of mobile entertainment in Pakistan. He also shared an interesting fact that after sleeping and working, watching movies and videos is the third most popular activity amongst people in the world.

 

“With more than 1 million minutes of  data being  consumed in  our  app in  the  past  three  months, I expect Tapmad TV to  lead  this  change”

Mr. Pasha took pride in announcing that the  entire  team of  Tapmad TV were wholly and solely Pakistani.

“The app is by Pakistanis, for  Pakistanis”

Mr. Pasha, further revealed that Tapmad is going to be the official streaming partner of Quetta Gladiators in HBL PSL 2017, which means HD quality streaming of  the  app (in 4K quality) will  be available through Tapmad app and Web applications.

Next came Mr. Naeem Hussain, the founder of Planet N and the investor in Tapmad TV. He encouraged youngsters to come forward and explore the world of entrepreneurship.

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The closing of the event started with the performance of Pakistan’s first Mystery Man, Shaheer Khan, who left the audience astound with his mind-boggling talent! Here I would also like to mention that he is also Pakistan’s youngest mystery man.

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The event closed with the musical performance by Jimmy Khan singing the legendary song ‘Naddiya Paar Paar’ and some other hits.

Person of the Year 2016

No doubt she is the person of 2016! The writer did a great job with the post. Hira, I will ALWAYS call you ‘Heerious’ cuz for me it defines who you truly are: ” Hira Amjad Ali, who wins at every battlefield of life, fair and square!” 😊 <3

The SK

Everyone knows someone whom they would like to say the person of the year 2016 like Abdul Sattar Edhi (RIP), Junaid Jamshed (RIP), Amjad Sabri (RIP), Gen. Raheel Sharif, Misbah-ul-Haq, etc. Without any doubt, each individual is the person of the year.
I would also like to name someone as the person of the year.

{IN MY OPINION} The Person of the Year 2016 is HIRA AMJAD ALI.

Here is the story about her:

It was March 10th, 2016. Hira went to the Agha Khan University Hospital to collect her biopsy report, she had gone under a minor surgery recently to remove a lump on the right side of her neck.
She had been recently engaged three months back in December 2015 and was preparing for her wedding which is to be held in March 2017.
After few moments, the doctor entered the patient lounge and…

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City Wars Celebrity Roast: Top 10 Tweets From Twitter

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If you use Twitter on a daily basis then you must have seen the recent nationwide top trend #OyeKuchKarGuzar. At first you must have been surprised just like I was at first that what in the world is this all about? Upon going through the tweets you must have thought another one of those city wars have started as you would have seen everyone defending their cities. Well, here’s what actually happened. Mangobaaz a publishing website released a video staring Ushna Shah, Uzair Jaswal and Ali Safina; defending their respective cities. It was a fun video but that set Twitter on fire!

Here are my top 10 best picks from the trend:

Incase you missed the video, here it is:

Quarter Life Crisis – The Reality

So so so relatable!!!

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Growing older together or farther apart?

As you grow older, you’ll realize the people you love are getting farther apart. People who were the day and night of your life, just end up becoming some other name in your phone’s contact list. 

Part 1 – Change

Change is like the grain of sands escaping from your hands. It’s inescapable, unstoppable.

Change is inevitable. Change of heart? Not so sure.

As you begin to spend your days and nights rejoicing with the company of a person; getting to know them; knowing that they are around and hoping that they stay so. You open up a part of yourself and hand it over to them. Entrusting them with it. With the thing they refer to as a’special’ bond. It’s what connects you. Time passes by in the blink of an eye and you start counting age beginning with the digit…

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How Patriotics Reacted To An Article About Mental Disorders 

Dawn’s Facebook page shared a link to an article, “50 million people in Pakistan are suffering from mental disorder“. Guess what the comment box was filled with?

Pakistani: “waiting for mentally disordered Indians to start commenting on this post

Indians: “so basically 25% of Pakistani are mentally disordered. This is why I say don’t have a war with mentally disordered people”  
And it went on and on and on.

The people who were commenting called themselves ‘true patriotic’. What these so called ‘true patriotic’ forgot was there’s a thing above ‘patriotism’ which is ‘humanity’ and all of you, regardless of which country we belong to have completely lost it!

Whilst those so called ‘true patriotic’ ignored all the red flags that points towards an alarming situation and decided to challenge their opponents, I found out that a total of 400 trained professionals exist in Pakistan to treat those 50 million.

Dear ‘true patriotic’,

My intention isn’t to mock or even challenge your so called ‘true patriotism‘, I just want to tell you that you are the reason why people lose their brains or suffer from mental disorders. They can be cured but it’s you and you bloody demeaning illiterate mentality that stops them from seeking help. It’s you who trigger their craziness. It you labelling them ‘pagal’ (mad) that make them stay locked up in their houses.

Instead of mocking the article, flaunting your ‘patriotism’ and finding a great opportunity to challenge your neighboring countrymen, you could have tried to help at least one person suffering from what you can’t even imagine. You could have stepped forward and supported your fellow countrymen by telling them, “mental disorders or illness is nothing to be ashamed of.” 

If they still insisted on not visiting a professional, you could have at least brought them the booklets that are available in hospitals about various kind of mental disorders, their symptoms, and their cure. Before you ask me, let me quickly mention that those booklets are free, thus you can easily get them and share them with the patients. It will give them the strength to go seek help. There is no shame in seeking help when needed. Mental disorders/illness are just like any physical disorder/illness.

Let me tell you something I have learned from my mentors. The best thing you can do is invest time in people, help them when you can because when you fell, there were people who were there to help you. You can never pay them back and they wouldn’t even want to be paid for what they did. They’d rather want you to be consistent, show what their help did to you and pass it on to others.

I know my mentors/supporters/people who love me, care about me and we’re there for me would want me to do that.

Always remember, a little kindness goes a long way. You help someone today, you cannot even imagine how beautifully Allah will reward you.

Who Can Help Me With Making This Society A Little Better Place?

I have been avoiding posting on this blog about anything especially the incidents that have taken place and still are taking place since the night my father passed away. But it’s not that I am only remaining silent on the injustice and all the ridiculous stuff a female has to go through. I have been tweeting about it, also, I have been working on various projects which I want to be a reality one day. Why I want these projects to work is because I have observed A LOT and I strongly believe these are issues/areas we need to work on.

Two months, a girl who always told me that I am an inspiration for her lost her father. As strange as it may sound but it hit me harder than seeing my own father die right in front of my own eyes. I have a fair idea of why it was like that but I won’t talk about the reasons. Anyways, what that brave girl went through and the way she held up make me so proud of her! I won’t take her name since she don’t want more attention as she has gotten it both positively and negatively. She is the reason I decided now is the time I step in and ask about people who could actually help me with my projects. I know there are people but I want to connect with the right ones.

I haven’t shared this with anyone because its hard for me to talk about how my father died, what we went through and what we’re still going through. Each day we get a new blow from the society and so-called relative but we refuse to be a victim and stop fighting.
What I am about to share is different from that girl’s story but the questions she has raised, is what I having been trying to find solution of and I think I have a few.
Even though I live in the city of lights, Karachi, it was 2 am when my father complained about having trouble in breathing. I rushed him to the nearest hospital where my father went in walking on his feet, then he collapsed, started having fits and the process of him dying started. The doctor on duty literally kicked him out for he didn’t want a man to die peacefully on his watch. No other hospital nearby had an ICU for my father in his last moments. Yes, it wouldn’t have helped because it was time for my father to go but that night I realized 3 things:
  1. How selfish some doctors can; Some have even forgotten that they take an oath to serve humanity
  2. We need to work on building up at least 1 ICU in both govt. and Private hospitals just for the sake of those who can be saved.
  3. We need to get rid of this parchi/recommendation culture.

I have a sister who is almost a doctor now and we have raised her to be one of the finest doctor just so she can make a difference that she can make. Rest, I am willing to play my part to help, in any way I can. I just need to connect with the people who want can help me with my projects.

Ufone Celebrates The Unsung Heroes of Pakistan

At the start of September, Ufone arranged a bloggers’ meet to create awareness about the individuals who are the real heroes of our society. These unsung heroes are constantly and actively strive to reshape the society through their utmost efforts for humanity.

Ufone’s primary message has always been, ‘It’s all about U’, taking it forward, the telecom company extended it support to consumers and people around, making them the core focus so serve them right.

Ufone not just recognized but highlighted people who are true role models and epitome of the very message ‘It is all about U’. These are the people who regardless of what challenge or hardship or hurdle came in their way, did not stop but rose above and beyond to make them big in life. There are the true role models who true deserve all the appreciation there is. These are the people who not just this generation but the upcoming ones will look up to as an inspiration as their achievements sends out a clear message that you can reach your dreams and goals only if you keep on giving the best of your own capacity.

Four of these compassionate individuals were invited to share their inspirational stories and discuss about their endeavours in order to instill a higher sense of benevolence in people around. These included Muhammad Mohsin Ali, Shamim Akhtar, Saqib Ali Kazmi, and Sabia Abbat. Heroes in their respective areas, Ufone scouted them and picked them up to portray them as models of excellence to the society, so as to trigger the self-belief and inspiration needed to excel in life. Through TVCs and a comprehensive 360 degree campaign, the company has highlighted the life stories of these individuals, their struggles and their unparalleled achievements to inspire the nation and instill in them the belief that nothing is beyond their reach, provided they have the determination to make their dream come true.

DSC_0694 (NXPowerLite)Shamim Akhtar (who truly inspired me the most) is one of these heroes. At the age of 53 is Pakistan’s first female driver; she is one such example who decided to go against all odds to make both ends meet for her family and adapted to a role skewed toward gender based obstacles. She gives credit of her success to the Islamabad Traffic Police Training course that paved the way for her to show her the possibilities of being able to drive heavy vehicles as she had gained an excellent road sense and courage to defy all stereotypes associated with driving vehicles. Her untiring efforts later helped her gain a public service vehicle license, making her the first Pakistani woman licensed to drive trailers, tractors and trucks. Not only this, she is also running a driving school in Pindi to teach females how to drive. She is also pursuing education and just cleared her matriculation examination with flying colors.

DSC_0709 (NXPowerLite)Similarly, Muhammad Mohsin, son of a bread maker and resident of Hafizabad scored 688 points in his B.A exams through his uncanny efforts; thereby topping the list in B.A/B.Sc exams held by the Punjab University and made waves nationwide. Not being able to manage his college dues, he still had his motivation geared towards his goal of completing his graduation and therefore appeared for exams as a private candidate. Mohsin continued his quest for education while assisting his father to support his family and ensured that financial obstacles do not become the reason for a break in his education.

DSC_0707 (NXPowerLite)Sabia Abbat, on the other hand, is a 25 year old cyclist hailing from the village of Haripur and has also been handpicked by Ufone to brace its campaign. Within two years of her enthusiastic endeavors for sports, she became the national champion in Lahore; prior to this, she had been representing her college in regional events. She is now a professional cyclist and holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education.

DSC_0744 (NXPowerLite)Another flourishing example is of Saqib Ali Kazmi, an inspiring young entrepreneur and social worker from Karachi. From education to health, Kazmi works in the development sector to help the underprivileged of the society however he can. He started a project called “Mera Karachi Meri Zimmedari”. The name being self-explanatory focused on the role of each individual towards the society instead of relying on the politicians or ruling elites to facilitate people. Taking a leap forward, he worked in a small school and later with the help of his friends identified two areas of development in Interior Sindh, that is, water and education. To resolve the water crisis in the area, Saqib and his friends installed 320 hand pumps in different areas of Interior Sindh, particularly Gharo and Thatta. Saqib and the team also manage an educational venture in a village in Gharo. They provide books, free education, uniform and linguistic training to children to allow them to grow and prosper as well as make a difference.

As part of Ufone’s brand philosophy, it also supported people and organisations not generally known to the public but who all have been doing extra ordinary work for the betterment of the society. These were small scale philanthropic initiatives started by individuals on a personal basis who later went an extra mile, thus impacting their surroundings magnanimously. These include Operation Eid Child, Deewar-e-Mehrbani, and Khaana Ghar. All 3 initiatives have been conceived and are conducted by individuals in their personal capacities. These are being highlighted by Ufone to inspire similar ventures and to invite participation in the on-going activities. Ufone showcased these initiatives through a large electronic media campaign to share the message of goodness with all Pakistanis.

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Parveen Saeed of Khana Ghar also graced the event with her presence and explained how she was encouraged to pursue her mission of feeding the underprivileged when she heard of a mother having killed her two children as she was unable to feed them. It broke my heart when she was telling this story. I vividly remember her words that, “Eik maa ki mamta , jo kisi kay agay haar nhn manti, bhook kay agay haar maan gai” 

Those words shook me from the inside because even though I am not a mother myself but I understand that love, the purity of it and the power of it. It inspired me to do an entire series on Mother hence those words were very touchy to me.

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The discussion by these unsung heroes was followed by an interactive session with the bloggers whose keen interest in their endeavors revealed many more unsung heroes in the making!

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