Allah Mian is the coolest!

Dear Allah Mian,

Please forgive me if my words are not respectful & worthy enough to be addressed you with. I know this appears too casual…too conversational…But this is the only way I know of when talking to people I love.
Allah Mian Ji…you are the coolest!
The ultimate best..seriously..You Rock!
& I love you!
…& You know why, I can feel you smiling down on me with an “I-told-you-so look”
yes yes, I deserve that look because despite of you reminding me every time not to, my faith wavers & stumbles in hard times…
…I’m just human

But thank you for having faith in me!
Thank you for being there to catch me every time I stumble, Thank you for not just helping me stand back but for putting me back up there!

Yours ‘sincerely’
Puny Human 🙂

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I am an Emotional Hypochondriac.

Ironically for some of my life’s biggest choices, I’m stuck between a rock & a hard place.

I know which ever path I leave behind, I will live to regret it.

Regrets & what if’s are ugly.

They are also malignant.

Silently gnawing at relationships, unknown till you’re just hanging by a thread.

Each decision brings with itself,  immense joy for half of me & immense sorrow for the other half.

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The Unborn Orphan.

I thought I had lost all my poems when my hard disk crashed last year, but recently retrieved…Here it is!
Had been meaning to share this for quite some time!

Posted in Insomnia, poems, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 4 Comments

“Investing” in a dress @ Ayesha Khurram’s

I know, I know,
You all wanna bash me for writing a dress review right after I wrote the previous post of mine, but hey, since we are buying one dress ‘Less’ each month, why not choose better?

On a similar hunt myself, I found myself standing inside the new Brands Just Pret outlet at the seaview Dolmen (it seems to be my fave place lately). And when I say new, I mean so new that the fresh wood will make your eyes water!

Anyways, the pain of us chubby people is that we Ooh & Aah at all pretty dresses but keep moving forward till we see a size refreshingly different from the size zero shirts dominating the racks!

So I kept moving forward till I noticed dresses with delicate brooches pinned to the sides or on the collars in a fabric that was thin enough to suit the khi heat wave but also had a silky sheen to it.

That portion of the store showcased clothes by Ayesha Khurram, a veteran designer who recently decided to also own her own signature store. All her dresses were contemporary cuts for a summer eve outing, embellished with either laces with dashes of burnished gold or pins studded with diamontes.

After trying out Ayesha K’s designs I finally decided on a a lovely orange shirt with a 4 yard flounce and a gorgeous paisley brooch with diamontes and a Carnelian stone  on the top left.

wouldn’t that look lovely paired with plain white silk capris or a churidar!

The best thing about this was the facility to buy online after showing the dress to hubby dearest on their website!

So whenever you want to give in to the whims of retail therapy or necessary buying, Buy Smart so it lives with you longer!

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OMG you’re 30 & havent planned for retirement yet?

I know for most you young readers, the topic of retirement planning will not catch your interest only because a retirement isn’t even on the horizon for you at this point, but out-of-sigh-out-of-mind things don’t stop existing. Perhaps at your current stage in life your priorities might be starting a family and children’s education but trust me; life has a knack of sneaking up on you.

We live in a material world and our lives are consumed by material things. So many things beckon our attention today, moving from iPhones to Androids, new season shoes and clothes, Vitz to Corolla. As we move forward in life, the need to upgrade our standards of living from what it was last year becomes inescapable.

But let’s face it; your salary isn’t able to match the inflation rate, the value of your house is eroding with time and in your late 40s with children growing up, their college funding, marriages & your own standard of living biting a big chunk of your money every month, you’ll notice there is little room for savings.

If you just took a moment to reflect on your own financial position right now, then perhaps it’s time to tie in your expenses with your financial goals now.

Time is a luxury that people between 20-35 can afford while those between 36-50 can catch up with, if they try hard – but where you may have the time to plan for your future, don’t let the daily mundanities of life keep you distracted away from the bigger picture.

The paradox is that in your youth, you have the power of time compounding in your hands. This can be utilized, with just a little effort, to plan an ideal retirement – a time when one can be financially independent and free to follow one’s dreams – take up a hobby, travel the world, spend time with grandchildren or simply move to a hillside cottage in Nathiagali and watch the smog free diamond studded blue velvet sky.

The average inflation rate for Pakistan in 2011 was 12% and who knows what it would be 20-30 years from now. Unfortunately for us, with the rising inflation trend in the country the cost of living would keep going up rather then down; so imagine how much a tube of toothpaste that costs Rs. 200 today would be priced at in 2032!

However having said all of that, all is not lost if we start saving nominal amounts every month from this day onwards. It’s not as hard as it sounds, because even if you start small today over the years your money will grow.

Consider this: If you smoke one less pack of cigarette every day, it can lead to a monthly savings of Rs. 3000. These Rs. 3000 each month in a savings or an investing account (at an assumed rate of 14% ROI) will in 20 years become Rs. 34 lac!

Can’t relate to that?

One less lawn suit per month at Rs. 5000, invested every month at a safe average of 12% ROI in 20 years will have Rs. 1 Crore, 52 Lacs against a total investment of just Rs. 18 Lac.

Now does a sprawling house of your own and a cottage in Nathiagali seem unachievable?

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Nostalgic LAWN-ging

Back in the stone ages (year 2000) when the only Lawn prints were made by Gul Ahmed and Jubilee; a wave of WOW hit town when a who-is-he-again designer launched a series of designer lawn prints by the name of Mausummery.

For the first time, there was an exhibition of Lawn Prints held for 2-3 days in a 5 star hotel that had ladies stampeding and salivating. The Daddy of designer lawn prints as I like to call it, hence gave birth to the annual Lawn craze we are now victimized with.

Now although newer designers manage to block the entire horizon with their streamers and billboards, my recent visit to the new Mausummery store at the Sea view Dolmen felt like a wave of nostalgia.

Their knack for simple yet elegant prints with a tiny dash of lace or ribbon has not only managed to stay timeless but gives aesthetic relief to the eyes after the melange of print extensive suits this year.

I for one am in love with their plain black shirt with an embroidered neckline and cant wait to get it from the tailor who is actually breathing a sigh of relief for not having to manage a gazillion pieces that all fit in one suit!

Furthermore, amongst the highly priced suits by other designers, Mausummery is still priced between an amazing PKR 1300-3700. This comes as a pleasant surprise while comparing price tags

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Maya Khan pleads schizophrenia

How else can a person go from this…

to this…

Oh its not hypocrisy?

is it? *heartbroken*

 

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My servant is a Facebook user!

Seriously!

And No, I’m not being priggish and this is not a funny post either yet I may towards the end appear as if I’m not willing to let go of the social divide.

Anyways, this is how we found out.

After a month of being fraught with a new job and consequences of a runaway domestic help, I finally found 18 year old Hanif, who could drive and help around the house as well. His first impression came across as that of an honest and decent guy, thus got hired right away.

The evening he joined work, while making dinner I realized we were out of mayo; So I called out to Hanif and asked him to run & fetch a bottle from a nearby grocery store.

Used to explaining things or writing a chit in urdu for both the servant and shopkeepers benefit, I showed him an old empty bottle of a regular mayo brand. “eik choti botal maa-yo-neeese ki le ao.”
“Ma’am, Mayo? French’s ka le aoon?”

Both I and F, standing in the kitchen at that moment were stunned and delighted at his caliber. We could teach him in our free time and hopefully increase his prospects for a better job.

Later that evening, F asked Hanif about any schooling he got back at his village,

Hanif: “No sir, mai kabhi school nahi gaya, phir bhi thori bohat English parh leta hoon.”
“No sir, I have never been to a school though I can read and write some English”

F: “English seekhi kaise agar school nahi gaye? Kisi ne parhaya?
“Then how did you learn it? Did someone teach you?

Hanif: “Maine jo bhi seekha hai, mobile internet se seekha hai. Mere paas Z ki sim hai aur unka GPRS bohat sasta hai, us pe dekh dekh ke kafi kuch seekh liya. Meri Facebook ID bhi hai aur thori bohat chatting bhi karleta hoon”
“I learnt it off mobile internet. I have a Z sim which has a very inexpensive GPRS package so I tried browsing and that helped me to pick up quite a few things. Now I have a FB ID and can chat as well”

Hanif left a stunned couple sitting back in their lounge and went into his quarters for the night.

However, where there is immense admiration & respect for a guy’s initiative and dedication, and his method albeit unusual. There is also a nagging corner which wonders if this is a safe bet?

I thought of multiple SMS and WAP based programs that can be developed to help people like Hanif in mLearning starting with basic reading and writing assistance. But on the other hand, are we ready to accept people from that specific social culture on the same platforms as ourselves?

It troubles me to think that the dedicated crank callers and dirty talkers thriving on literally free call packages could soon be dedicated online stalkers with the peanut priced GPRS packages.

Go ahead, label this as social discrimination; but really would you accept them?

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Day 1 at a new work place

[Non-Disclaimer]: At a serious risk of getting fired if this gets to the senior management at my new work place, but organizations when going all out on the hiring, should take a step further and plan the first week for the new recruits too.]

Day 1 at a new work place is like being an uninvited guest. The blank look on the HR guy’s (The same who interviewed you and begged you to accept the package) face when you arrive in the office, no one knows where you are supposed to sit, how you’ll enter the building or God forbid you’d need a laptop to work on. The horror on the admin staff’s faces when they are asked to fix the electrical boards beneath the most non-private cubicle you just have been bestowed with *heavens* or the worst…not having an introduction with the peon who brings tea, which is why he keeps on skipping your cubie and avoiding your eye while serving it to the rest of the floor.

So now sitting at an empty desk, staring at your cell, re-reading a million year old messages, refreshing Facebook every few second on the uber slow GPRS and trying not to listen to everyone else sounding super busy and important, you try not to feel awkward.

As the time barely crawls by, you could flip through your FB photo album and wonder which photograph of you and your beau should be displayed at your desk, *discreetly crane neck to check if others have frames on their desks*
Maybe you could bring your “Best wife in the world” mug to the office and use it as a pen holder.
Or cut out the little picture of the climbing boy and stick it on the side of the monitor so it looks like its trying to climb up your screen…
… perhaps a bonsai on your desk.

Without realizing you’d open the notes tab on your phone and make a to-do list:
Get a cute photoframe for the desk
– print your best couple picture
– dont forget to bring your own funky mug for tea at work
– “World’s best wife mug” to hold the stationary
– buy the cute  butterfly wala memo holder from Wrap N Grab

*Feeling a bit hungry you check the watch and its just 11:00 am*

– get buiscits wheatables for snacks
– get a funky notebook and a purple pen (office stationaries are too drab, you’ve gotta like what you note)
 

Just then an angel (in grey overalls) comes down to fit in the drawer in your desk and allows you to happily stash in the perfume bottle, leaflets of panadol and nexum and flavored tea that you had braught from home today.
Its good to be prepared!

the relief and excitement that you keep in check when its time for introductions and orientations is impressive, but whoaa, too many people! Smiling and nodding at everyone, you are struggling to remember who is who and whats his JD.

Trudging back to your desk after the orientation, you also realize the only department you know MOST about is HR. (You are so not in HR or anywhere close..Ha!)
Grabbing at straws, you finally message your super busy husband in his super busy well settled job a couple of miles away from your office…

“So…how about lunch today?
You and me…like old times? ;)”
*hearts and all*

Hurray! you shall pass another hour and five minutes exactly without looking out of place and space or nodding off to sleep!

Post-lunch and back in the office, you try to find the water cooler, the cafe and the washrooms. Sucess…now that the chai wala peon saw you, he has to serve you tea with a dash of coffee, 1tsp of suger and less Everyday thrice a day please! So you throw in a “Shukria” in accented urdu just so he knows you are a sweet person unlike the guys who do the “oye..chai lana zara”
The washroom survey shows an array of soap dispensers and detergent dispensers (Hain??!!..but yes) and the next 15 min are spent in fixing your hair, refreshing the lipstick, cleaning cuticles, filing the rough edge of the thumb nail, drying hands…uhh yes back to the desk.

the delicious big stretchy yawn that overwhelms your senses is suddenly cut short by a realization that makes you whip out a post-it and stick a font22 size note on your screen

“Always remember that you sit by the glass partition!”

 4:30 PM…oh yay oh yay!
but apparently your face is so radiant that the lady besides you casually mentions how the work day here ends at 5:45pm and not 5:00, but then thats official and hey, what boss in a telco cares about that right? So normally the day here ends at 7:00 or 8:00 pm

Shizz! *troubled* with a hubby and a home and a life together to manage, you think of scripts and emails to send to the Director addressing this issue… *nail biting* or maybe you’d do that when he actually holds you back.

[Insert missing the previous organization here] 😦

The last 30 minutes of the day you spend calculating how many years will you have to give in to this slaving till you can start your own business.

Day 2, as they say is History!

 

Posted in random ranting, Venting Out, work woes | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

The year that was Twenty Eleven…

2011…what an year!
Surprises, changes, some downs and lots of highs.

An year of Jalsa’s, political upheavals, Veena Malik (but ofcourse), young MS engineers (prayers for Arfa) recurring floods, cannibals….what not!
But…this blog post is not about them or for them, it’s rather all about me! (check URL :p)

But before begining, there are a few people I must thank.
Mom & Dad: You have been my life force. You’ve made the person I am today and given how many people love me, I’d say you’ve done a great job. Love you!
F: best friend turned soul mate, I couldnt have asked for more. I<3U
Sibs: *big huggie and kiss* …I have my eye on you two :p.
M: wish you could have been there!
and my friends (NM, NH, S, FB) specially T for being my best girl during my wedding and to FL for letting her be there!

January:
new years are exciting for me since shortly after, I look forward to my birthday celebrations however, this year though, amongst the usual friends and family sat another certain someone who no one knew then that later would be my to-be 🙂


February:
A hint of spring in the air. Friend turns into suitor & the magic of valentine’s eve weaves the words into something far more promising.
Shortly after, met in-laws for the first time.
….and then we got engaged!


March:
Sad goodbyes to wi-tribe after more then 3 years of making friends and accomplishing goals

April:
2nd day of the month belongs to my parents, its their wedding anniversary *woohoo* and this time instead of the usual 5 people around the celebration table, its 6 🙂
… However, the wedding is in a month’s time and I still haven’t decided on the Shadi jora, didn’t like anything as yet 😦

May:
Is it normal to have a complete god-awful bawling, screaming breakdown a few days before  your wedding?


June:
And the celebrations begin. Starting with F’s dholki, my mayun, the daily dance practices.
within a few winks and  lot of nerves came the mehendi and shadi days, the instant departure to Lahore. Sister-in-law’s wedding and then our valima.


The post-wedding dinners and Lahore touring were freckled with occasional Gorgonzola and Gingeritas at Cosa Nostra, topped with an exclusive private tour of the fort. (According to the fort guards, even Jemima Khan didnt get that!!

23rd June:
The day we arrived from LHR with the flight to Malaysia at night, my cousin A had her 2nd baby’ my adorable new neice Fatima. Perfect Timing =D

24th june onwards
Malaaaayyyssiiiiiaaaaaaaaaaaaaa and heavy bikes and roller coasters and beaches.
Oh wat bliss

July:
Mom and H get birthday treats from Malaysia…whoopee and I start making a home with my best friend F

August
(week 1) I’m excited, it’s F’s birthday this month and I’m planning a big party BUT I dont know how to keep it a surprise from Fahad
(Week 2) We are staying with mom this week…that gives me the perfect opportunity to plan/organize the party and decorate the house!
(week 3) K (F’s close friend) to the rescue with a mission to keep F away from our place!
(week 4)SURPRISEEEE……. *heart*

September:
– Eid preps meant a flabberghasted F keeping me company during trips to Asiana and Kehkeshan, it meant Eidi coming from susraal and maika! *yay*

October:
OMG OMG…F got me an adorable kitten..her name is Chinchi 😀 I *heart* her to bits.

Oct End
Chinchi couldnt be with us for long. She caught some virus and after a whole night of being in pain, died at 6AM in our arms.
F made a floating lantern to keep her company in cat heaven 😦

30th Oct:
Celebrating Halloween at our place. Had thought I’d make Chinchi wear a bumble bee costume 😦 but now I’m dressing up as a cat instead

November:
Its time for Eid and this time its in Lahore & Faisalabad.
Cant wait to meet everyone there, have BBQs, shop till I drop and sight see all the old Lahore areas missed the last time (Still adamant on going to see the Heera Mandi area much to F’s displeasure…but its for a photojournalistic cause)

Nov End:
Heera Mandi doesnt exist anymore *sigh* (damn you Shahzad Nawaz and Louise Brown).
Opted to go to Cuckoo’s instead for dinner to meet Iqbal Hussain and take pics of what used to be the Mohalla and is now a food street (commercialization around the fort is so sad)

December:
6 months being married already?
An amazing new year’s eve celebration this time with F and some of our close friends…and guess what…A super hot job offer as well!
M’s in town after 6 months of the shadi :p but atleast she is here!
what a perfect year MA!

Hello 2012!

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