Category Archives: Pakistan

#BeSmart – Grocery shopping from mycart saves time and money

They say, Time is money. That means money is time? I mean if I have time hi time am I rich? Or if I have money do I still have to save time? Well, that’s messed up. Leave it here.

When it comes to shopping from superstores and filling your carts all we worry about is saving some money & spending a lot of time. Isn’t it? Kiryana wala aapko discounted deals nahi deta Isi liaye aap superstore jatay hain. Nahi? Shampoo with conditioner bundle, Dishwashing liquid with dishwashing soap bundle and something extra with cartons of milk makes us all go back to supermarkets. I find it very hectic to be honest. With kids it becomes a labor when you have to keep moving with the trolley while keeping an eye on kids throwing things from aisles in the trolley that you have to actively spot. Then the long lines at checkout. Ufff. Who has time for that?

Thank God like everything, grocery shopping has gone Digital too. is like a huge superstore that fits into your palm. I have met Waqas Pervez head of marketing at the recently organized Bloggers meetup for female bloggers at Dunkin Donuts earlier this week in Karachi. He shared some interesting research about Online shopping behavior of mostly Karachi shoppers(mycart operates in Karachi, lahore & Islamabad). We had an interesting poll which busted the myth that men don’t like to shop online and women are not financial decision makers. Surprised? We were too but mycart has done some in depth analysis through stats. Here are some facts regarding online grocery shopping in Pakistan.

  • 92% carts filled at mycart had more than 2 items.
  • Only 9% of female population on Facebook are above 35 of age. They are the actual grocery decision makers.

How to shop for groceries Online?

All you have to do is fill your cart at with all the grocery essentials from milk, flour, rice, sugar or even frozen foods and chocolates etc. They even have fresh fruits and vegetables (OMG sabzi online). Apart from conventional grocery items, mycart offers products for grooming, automobile, gadgets and sports gear categories.

mycart has an app too. All you have to do is register on and verify your account through the code sent via sms. Place your order, choose the area and enter your address. They offer you tentative delivery dates and time slot options that you can choose as per convenience and you’re done.

No need to queue up at the checkout any more. With mycart you can also choose payment options like COD or even credit card on delivery method.

What else do you need? mycart is a savior when it comes to doing groceries in this hot weather.

  • mycart delivers FOR FEEE for orders as low as Rs 500.
  • Pay week sales offer additional discounts.

Just rest at home and do groceries like a pro. Thanks to mycart. Things we all should be thankful for making our lives easier.

My Shopping Experience from mycart

My shopping experience from mycart has always been great. Alhamdulilah. Except for one time when one item wasn’t available & that was a skincare thing. With grocery shopping, I had no issues so far. It is very practical to order with time & date of delivery chosen as per your convenience.


How to get New Currency Notes for Eid 2018 from Banks in Karachi

Eid means Eidi and there’s nothing attractive about Eid than the smell of fresh and crisp currency notes. Ahh!!! That’s almost an addictive charm one can associate with Eid since childhood, maybe more than the joy of having Sheer khurma or wearing new dresses. It has become a tradition to give Eidi in the form of New Currency Notes (probably coz we all know how badly we handle currency notes with all these stains and writings) and that’s why State Bank of Pakistan issues new currency notes in exchange of the old ones every Ramazan.

With the onset of digital age, the process to get new karrak notes has become transparent and easier for everyone. There’s a limit per CNIC to get your cash exchanged and here I am listing down steps how and when you’ll be able to get your share of Eidi Currency from banks in Karachi (For other cities please visit SBP website as this facility is provided for 132 cities and 1535 branches).

How to get New Currency Notes for Eid:

  • SMS CNIC number with your selected nearest bank branch code to 8877*.
  • You’ll receive a transaction ID & branch address in return.
  • Go to that branch, show your ID and CNIC to get currency notes exchanged.

*Charges of sending an SMS to 8877 are Rs. 1.5 (plus tax).

When to get New Currency Notes:

The currency notes will be issued from 1st June to 14th June.

How many New Currency Notes One can get Exchanged:

Per CNIC SBP is allowing Maximum exchange of Rs,18000 in following format;

  • 3 packets of Rs 10
  • 1 packet of Rs 50
  • 1 packet of Rs 100

PS: Itni Eidi kon bant’ta hai? Meray rishtedar kyun nahi😭😭

How to get Bank Branch Code:

Download the Branch Code list for Karachi city here.

This is a great service and as a responsible citizen we should be using it for our ease. Don’t BLACK Fresh currency notes for some profit and don’t be kanjoos while giving Eidi. Respect your hard earned money and let those notes roam around stain free.

#60SIFF2018 – Nationwide Short Film screenings encouraging youth to #LetsFilm

If you have a know how of video making & have an idea to film something belonging to categories like Music, Poetry, Food, Architecture, Folklore, Craft or Fiction then 60SIFF (60 seconds International Film Festival) is the event you should be participating in.

The 60 Second Intl. Film Festival (60SIFF) is a platform aimed at empowering the youth by providing them an opportunity to express themselves. 60SIFF encourages anyone with a story to step up and film their thoughts in 60 seconds. 60SIFF has fosteref a community of participants and viewers and each year, it gets one step closer to bridging the gap between cultures and creating strong global ties among aesthetically driven individuals. This year the festival has received 1056 film entries from 56 countries globally.

On 11th May, 2018 Pakistan has seen athe biggest Short film screening event by 60SIFF with multiple film. screenings happening at various places and many cities simultaneously. It is so good to see youth of Dadu, Gilgit Baltistan, Gwadar, Jamshoro as well as Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad’s supporting creativity and learning through the 60SIFF.

To execute such a huge festival with panel discussions about films and techniques at such level is commendable. Following venues across the country has seen #60SIFF2018 in all its glory live.

  • College of Media Sciences, Ziauddin University Karachi
  • Adcore Productions, Faisalabad
  • Filmbailay, Lahore
  • Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan
  • Café Garage, Islamabad
  • Nutrition Support Program (NSP)

There were Facebook live sessions of film screenings for public sitting at home too. Absolutely enjoyed the Panel discussions that I have seen live about our films as I love watching movies and short films. If you’re one film enthusiast, keep an eye on 60SIFF social pages for future festivals.

Facebook 60SIFF

Twitter 60SIFF.

I deleted YouTube from my kids Tablet and you should too

Raising kids in this day and age has become quite challenging. Being a mom of three from ages 5yr to 6m, it feels like I am a blender running at full speed without a lid. I am sure mommies can relate with that.

Managing work(from home), household chores and running around kids has its pros and cons. When I had my first daughter it wasn’t that difficult. Well!! To an extent it was lol coz my life suddenly became all about her sleeping, pooping and eating schedules. My second born comes pretty soon after the first one. And by the time I had her, elder one was already being introduced to Rhymes (that I’ve downloaded in a USB from YouTube) on TV and got use to of listening and watching music, animation and sounds etc. After the second baby it becomes difficult for me to manage everything. Keeping elder one busy while the younger one sleeps wasn’t easy considering the fact that I was living alone.

That was the time perhaps when I had handed over a Tablet to elder one. She was 2yr+ old then. She loved to play with music apps and watching movies on it. By the age 3 she got use to of the Tab and by age 4 I noticed that it has become an addiction for her. In between she has started to go to school too. Her first demand after coming from school was tablet.

She’s a hyperactive kid. Always keep you on the edge with her antics but when she has the Tab, there’s a sudden mood shift. She started to get hooked to Tab and I don’t know exactly when but she started to browse videos on YouTube from suggestion videos. She’ll sit silently at one place for hours holding the Tab which is impossible for her if the Tab wasn’t there. I also noticed that she becomes really fussy whenever I try to take the tablet away from her.

That’s when I intervened and kept a close eye on her. I’ve told her to keep the volume up while using Tab so that I have an idea what is being played on her screen. There were screams and weeping sounds of some videos featuring her favorite characters Elsa and Ana from the movie Frozen. When I watched those clips I was like WT*. It wasn’t even kids content. Elsa is being shown as pregnant, sometimes with Spiderman, huge syringes and obscene acts like delivering a baby and what not.

That was the time when I decided to cut down her YouTube interaction. I’ve put filters on YouTube app but they didn’t work. Then I downloaded some Disney movies and educational videos on her tablet and made her watch that but she keeps going back to YouTube. With her knowing where the Wi-Fi tab is.

Then I decided to delete YouTube. She behaved like a maniac first few times but then I diverted her attention and finally succeeded to let her Tab addiction go. It took some time but totally worth it. Now the Tab is away from her since past few months. Whenever she has to watch some cartoons she will watch them on the TV. Husband has made a habit to download some kids movies like Barbie series, minions etc for her every weekend. Her current favorite is Inside Out and Baby boss. I have written this post 8 months ago and publishing it now just to let all you mommies know that you can get your kids off screens but it will require some time and effort. Hang in there.

Also, I feel YouTube needs to filter its content for kids in a better way. The app is not at all safe to let kids use it on their own. Maybe a kids section with completely safe browsing options will make YouTube a better app for kids but if it is not happening, YouTube ain’t safe for kids. Keep an eye on what kids are watching as it has a huge impact on their behavioral pattern and psychology.

I suggest visiting the YouTube channel Mera Sabaq. Highly recommended for Urdu learning. Download videos and let kids watch them via TV.

Faulted by Genes – First cousin marriage risk and Harlequin baby

For the past few weeks i have been thinking of how to format my thoughts on to this screen. I received a message that a Harlequin baby had been born at the Lady Dufferin Hospital, Karachi. I had only read about the condition. I felt this knot in my stomach. This uneasy gripe when I had first started to blog about all kinds of syndromes, diseases etc five years ago. Over the course of time, writing and documenting about all of ’life’s’ normalities has become second nature. I do not gasp. I do not flinch. I help and document.

But this was different. After a restless night I arrived at Lady Dufferin. Nervous, sleepless and anxious. I was received by the most amazing Neha Mankani who was the messenger. For those who don’t know Harlequin Ichthyosis in lay terms is a severe genetic disorder that mainly affects the skin. “Infants with this condition are born with very hard, thick skin covering most of their bodies. The skin forms large, diamond-shaped plates that are separated by deep cracks (fissures).”* Limbs and organs can be severely effected and the tightness of the skin can force the eye-lids and lips to turn inside out.

After hearing a quick brief, we made our way into the Maternity Ward. The baby was in the NICU under the care of not only a specialised but a very empathetic team. An extremely young girl lay lifeless on the hospital bed. Eyes swollen from a night of non stop crying and spirits broken from not being able to birth a ‘normal’ boy. Almost 36 hours had passed but this girl had not seen her baby. The husband and the elders had strictly told the hospital staff they did not want her to see his sight.

By now I had gathered the gist of situations, stories and stigmas. It was a clear case of generations of cousin marriages. When parents share a common ancestor, it is termed a ‘consanguineous’ relationship and there is an increased risk that they will both carry the same faulty gene variation. If both parents have the same gene variation, there is an increased risk of having a child with a genetic condition. The most common form of consanguineous relationship is between first cousins*.

What I could not comprehend was that the only person in that ward talking about the baby born, was not a family member. Rather it was a facilitator, urging the mom and family to think about the well being of the baby. I sat beside the mom and asked her,

“Aap nay apna baby dekhna hai? – translation: Do you want to see your baby?”

“Mujhey ijazat nahin hai! – translation: I have not been allowed to see him”

After an hour of counselling the mom and revealing to her the true discomfort and pain her baby was struggling with, I saw a spark in her eyes. This session was watched over by both, her mother and her mother-in-law like hawks. Who continued to tell me time and again how it is not possible for them to take “such a baby” home. No where in the discussion did i argue, knowing their financial constraints, their societal ‘embarrassment’ and their mental dilemma.

The only persuasive argument I appealed for, was that the mother see her baby from afar at first. A baby who knew nothing better than the warmth of her womb and the soothing muffled tones of his mother’s voice. Right now he was in an incubator with strangers, in a strange surrounding and hearing strange voices. He had zero comfort, love and warmth.

I left the mother to ponder a while and made my way with Neha to the NICU. If I could dig up every word associated with ‘impressed’ from a thesaurus, I would use them to describe the NICU staff. No where were cameras in sight, no information being leaked to media/social media. They were working round the clock to meet every need of this little baby.
Pure, compassionate and dedicated.

There he was, in that little plastic box. His every breath, movement, feed and urination being monitored. A specialist once told me when Aaliya was going through her surgeries that babies under one can not feel pain. Today I was tearing up on the inside. My heart was aching and my mind could not accept that this child did not know his pain. He did. He yearned for his mother’s comfort.

I touched his little hands wrapped up in protective ointment and gauze to keep him moist. This little angel was suffering because of stubborn decisions made by elders. Lack of information for parents sharing the same faulty genes. Lack of awareness to undergo the right testing and treatment during the pregnancy.

I made my way back to the ward. Determined to counsel the mother, to make way to her baby. Her baby who desperately needed her love and attention. There in that moment, she picked up her C-sectioned body and walked those slow steps to the NICU. From afar she saw a cloth covered baby, only tubes and monitors visible to her. She then cried and yearned to be united with her little. But this was not possible before the husband granted his permission. He was only safe guarding her mental well-being, the girl told me very convincingly.

Many days passed by convincing the parents, the elders and especially the paternal grandfather. Even though Harlequin babies do not survive for too long, it is no one’s right to put a ticker on someone else’s life. Little H.R. was breathing better, feeding better and surviving like a warrior. There was no need of a NICU. There was need for acceptance, love and care.

The family did take H.R. home after requesting for a few days extension. It was a kind gesture on the part of the hospital administration and doctors who allowed for this faciliatation to help the little baby. We were scared that he might be abandoned, discarded, or even be dumped in a garbage block. In less than twenty four hours of H.R.’s discharge we heard of his passing away. My heart and mind were already prepared for his lack of survival. It is not my place to condemn the family for faltering, foul play or their negative attitude.

I condemn lack of awareness, lack of tolerance, lack of empathy and lack of counselling.
Rest in Peace Baby H.R.

Thank you NehaMankani for being the power house you are. You are a force to be reckoned with.

Thank you NICU Lady Dufferin and keep doing the amazing work you do!

Written by: Rabia Aziz Rizvi

Join her group Special Needs Pakistan and contribute to make lives better.

Editor’s Note: Harlequin ichthyosis is a severe genetic disorder that mainly affects the skin. Infants with this condition are born with very hard, thick skin covering most of their bodies. The skin forms large, diamond-shaped plates that are separated by deep cracks (fissures).