Category Archives: Pakistan

Give your life Flavor ka Daily Dose coz #LifeNeedsFlavor 

Every moment of life deserves to be cherished and I am the type of person who never believed in planning. I like to live it in the moment and enjoy it to the fullest but sometimes you need to boost up a little. Like when you’re with friends the energy is totally different as compared to when you’re with family or colleagues. Fun times needs to be celebrated differently and what better than lays. Instant mood upgrade guaranteed. 

Recently I went to a road trip from Karachi to Northern Areas of Pakistan for the first time with my two kids. The experience was surreal. It has its ups and downs and my mood swings too. Trust me with kids a road trip can be so much fun or a mess. There’s no other way around. Thank God I had an ample stock of lays with me throughout the journey to keep kids munching on while enjoying the ride. Uptill Babusar Top from Karachi there’s no dearth of Lays too. They’re available at every gas station and shop which is remarkable. Afterall life needs flavor and a road trip is incomplete without fighting over the last lays chips in the bag. 

My little one is a fan of masala lays while elder one likes to have French cheese flavour. My daily favourite is Lays salted and for a gathering of siblings I prefer special edition flavours. We seldom get together for tea time, probably once a week and the time calls for special fun filled flavorful evening. So we like to munch on new lays offerings and then discuss life and happenings. Such memorable discussions we had over a cup of tea and Lays. The most consumed flavor so far is yougurt and herb in our meetings. Soon to be beaten by new launches I guess. 

While treating guests on special occasions, I like to serve some wavy Lays or salted ones because of their presentation and different taste profile. During a movie marathon at home, we love to munch on a combo of Salted and French cheese lays with few dips like salsa, garlic mayo etc. There’s a flavor for every moment of life.  

Wondering which flavour we’ll go for our next fun filled meet up? Lays has introduced two new flavours,  Mexican Paprika and Thai chili and both are tempting me. Can’t wait to try them and pick my favourite. What’s your daily dose of Flavor for a life boosting experience? 

A couple landed at McDonald’s on their wedding day and #ImlovinIt 

“Shadi main gueston ko sabse ziada kiya acha lagna chahiae?” 

“Khana!! Ye lighting shigting phool bail sab bhool jaega”. 

(From the movie Band Baja Baraat)

Isn’t it the truth? Desi weddings are all about food in the end. All the guests will talk about shaadi ka khana more than anything else. What about the bride and groom? I was that bride who couldn’t enjoy the food of her own wedding (various reasons including the nose jewellery I was wearing lol). Wedding is the most important day of one’s life and what pity that you don’t gotta eat your favourite meal on the biggest day of your life. Damn!! Heartbreaking.

Times are changing and so does the rituals. What an amazing couple Munawal and Zubair are to break the stereotype of desi wedding food on their wedding day. The bride loves McDonald’s and the groom loves her, so he takes her to a McDonald’s right after their Nikah event. And they went there in their wedding attire. Imagine!! I don’t know which branch it was but wasn’t it surprising for McDonald’s staff or other diners? I am sure it was. I find it so cute tbh. Kinda wedding goals. Oh Gosh!! I was so hungry when I had to travel for 5 hours after my rukhsati and there wasn’t any McDonald’s on the way back then. I am not crying, you are. *wipes tears* Why am I having flashbacks of my own wedding. Kinda regret not going to McDonald’s, perhaps. 

Can I call this a McFairy Tale wedding? Absolutely delicious beginnings.  Imagine gobbling down your favorite McMeal on such an important day of your life. How celebratory. Thank you Munawal and Zubair for thinking out of the box and being so casual about your desires. Such chotti chotti khushyian makes life worth living for. Wishing you a wonderful and McDonald’s filled life ahead. 

*Going to have McFlurry in spirit of your cutesy wedding celebration*

Karachi Literature Festival goes abroad for Fisrt #KLFLondon

Like art and music, literature knows no boundaries. For the past few years annual literature festivals have become a regular source of soul nourishment for us in Pakistan and it is great to see Karachi literature festival going abroad for the very first time to celebrate 70th anniversary of Pakistan. Lomdon’s Sounthbank center hosted first KLF in May and it was a packed house of literature and art enthusiasts. Oxford university press managed to portray soft image with success through KLF London. Produced by Oxford University Press (OUP) Pakistan, KLF was organized in collaboration with the Southbank Centre, Bloomsbury Pakistan (a research collective based in London), and Rukhsana Ahmed.

Celebrating contemporary Pakistan and its rich history and culture in the context of the 70th anniversary of the country’s foundation, the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) held at the Royal Festival Hall of the Southbank Centre, as a part of their annual festival Alchemy. Dubbed as Pakistan’s biggest literary event, the KLF brought together writers, scholars, and artists from diverse backgrounds, creative traditions, and academic disciplines to showcase contemporary Pakistani literature and writers. 

The audiences at the KLF were treated to a medley of around 20 parallel sessions encompassing talks, panel discussions, poetry readings, mushaira, and performances. A stellar cast of around 70 leading Pakistani-origin and international writers, scholars, critics, journalists, and artists participated in stimulating sessions covering a broad range of themes, ideas, and subjects pertaining to Pakistan’s literature, arts, and culture. A separate strand for children which included an immersive theatre piece by Jungly Jadoogars; an animated film by the artist Fauzia Minallah; storytelling by the children’s author, Shahbano Bilgrami; and sing-along songs by the veteran Pakistani musician, Khaled Anam, were also a part of the festival.

KLF London started off with the renowned novelist and journalist, Mohammed Hanif’s keynote address giving unique insights into Pakistan’s history, hopes, and dilemmas. Earlier, at the festival opening, Ameena Saiyid, KLF and Islamabad Literature Festival Founder and Director, Asif Farrukhi, KLF and Islamabad Literature Festival Founder, and Adrian Mellor, Managing Director, Asia Education, OUP, welcomed the guests and speakers. Pakistan’s High Commissioner to UK, Syed Ibn Abbas also spoke on the occasion.

Some of the sessions held early on in the day included ‘Transphobia and Misogyny’, a discussion on legislations around transgenders and women in Pakistan; ‘Reluctant Returners: Migrants, Refugees and Memories of the Homeland’ in which Kamila Shamsie, Qaisra Shahraz, and Mirza Waheed explored characters and fictions inspired by exile and displacement; and ‘Pakistani Renaissance? The Best in Cinema, Reportage, Theatre and Fashion’ with the television actor Atiqa Odho, filmmaker Faris Kermani, designer Maheen Khan, and journalist Cyril Almeida as speakers.

Taimur Rahman, Moni Mohsin, and H. M. Naqvi weighed up the challenge of portraying Pakistan’s gender and class divide in the session ‘Blaming the Elite: Class, Greed, and Gender in Contemporary Pakistan’. Educationists, entrepreneurs, and experts including Farid Panjwani, Ahmereen Reza, Mona Kasuri, and Ameena Saiyid were part of a stimulating panel discussion titled ‘Madrassas and Montessoris: Are Private Schools Keeping Madrassas at Bay?’ moderated by Nigham Shahid.

In a panel discussion titled ‘Against All Odds: The Price of Prosperity in Pakistan Today’ held later in the day, Shuja Nawaz, Maleeha Lodhi, Ishrat Husain, and Victoria Schofield analyzed geopolitical and internal challenges facing Pakistan. In the session ‘Urdu ki Zid Mai: At Loggerheads: Urdu vs English vs Regional Languages’ Basir Kazmi, Ishrat Afreen, and Harris Khalique, and Asif Farrukhi discussed if Urdu in Pakistan is under threat from English or the regional languages.

The evening sessions comprised thought-provoking discourses on ‘Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: Diaspora Pakistanis Caught in Post Brexit Hate-Storm’, with Ziauddin Sardar, Farooq Bajwa, and Iftikhar Malik debating the challenges faced by Pakistani diaspora in Europe; ‘Karachi: City of Lights and Gangs’ with Laurent Gayer, Nichola Khan, Mohammed Hanif, Sobia Ahmad Kaker, Omar Shahid Hamid, and Kamran Asdar Ali talking about the battle for Karachi and its resilience despite political conflicts; and ‘Tweeting for Social Change: How Social Media is Influencing the Political Scene’ in which Huma Yusuf,  Umber Khairi, and Umair Javed discussed the impact of social media on Pakistan’s political scene.

The highlight of the festival was the ‘Satrangi Mushaira’, which was an open mic session for Pakistan’s regional language poets to recite their latest offerings. Another session ‘In Their Own Words: Writers and Poets from Pakistan’, moderated by Muneeza Shamsie, featured poetry and prose readings by writers of Pakistani origin including Imtiaz Dharker, Aamer Hussein, and Zaffar Kunial. In ‘Partition Stories’ Nimra Bucha, Vayu Naidu, Shayma Saiyid, Amrit Kaur Lohia, and Sarah Ansari presented a medley of readings, film clips, recitals, dance and poetry about the Partition of India.

The evening came to a close by a kathak dance performance by Shayma Saiyid and a music concert by Khumariyaan, a Peshawar-based music band known for their fusion brand of Pashtun folk music. <!–

Sponsorship support to the KLF London was provided by Bestway, Arts Council England, Third World Quarterly magazine, Salt n Pepper restaurant, High Commission of Pakistan in London, South Asia Institute of the University of Texas at Austin, and The Pakistan Society.