#AchayiBarhneDo – A meaningful TVC 

As a mom I know the struggle of raising kids and teaching them to be empathetic towards their siblings or friends. We are living in a digital age where such sensitive messages needs to be conveyed rather subtly to young minds so that they can learn the need of inclusivity. With Achayi Barhne do themed ad, BlueBand Pakistan has done a commendable job.

My kid paid attention to the message despite being so young while watching the ad. She was intrigued that why the kids started to play like that. I think I couldn’t have taught her what she has gained from watching it. That’s the power of visuals and storytelling. 

Blueband’s new TVC revolves around inclusivity theme where a bunch of kids can be seen showing empathy towards a differently-abled friend of theirs. Afterall, disability is not inability.  They all showed unity by playing volleyball one handedly so that their differently-abled friend can feel the fair play. Much needed message, not only for kids but us adults too who often forgets that such people around us need our support more than our sympathy. 

The reaction of the mom watching all this from far was as similar as mine while watching the TVC for the first time. I wanted my kids to be raised like that. I want them to be empathetic and kind. All the reasons to keep spreading goodness around. 

Hats off to the team behind the scenes for executing the message beautifully. Keeping the brand identity intact. In the end it all sums up, Achayi Barhne do aur bachon ko bhi. 

JS Bank Honors Sarfraz with BMW for winning Champions Trophy 2017

Cricket is in our blood, sweat and tears. The association of fans with the game is unreal and if it involves encounter between arch rivals like Pakistan and India, then adrenaline rush is on another level.

Pakistan Cricket Team has made hsitory last Sunday while playing against India in the Champions Trophy 2017 Final for the first time ever. We were the underdogs of the tournament yet managed to thrash favorite teams like England in knockouts all beacuse of the Fierce Captain, Sarfraz Ahmed. He was leading a young and inexperienced side but after losing first match to India, he learned from his mistakes and became leader of the unstoppables.

Pakistan team won the Champions Trophy under Sarfraz’s captaincy and made history by winning any ICC title for the first time while playing against India. The celebrations were unreal. After 90’s it was the first time that street celebrations were so glamorous be it in the cities of Pakistan or UK, USA etc. Such heart warming scenes that I am going to remember forever. Sarfraz was greeted by flood of people when he reached back home with trophy. Glorious celebrations.

To make all this more celebratory, players have been rewarded by Government and brands. The show has been stolen by JS Bank though. The deputy CEO JS Bank honored Sarfraz Ahmed witha brand new BMWX1 on the sets of Geo TV’s show ” Geo Khelo Panistan”. It was a huge victory and what amazing way to celebrate it with a generous gift. The act reminds me of good old Sharjah encounters when players were showered with gold crowns and cash after thrashing India.

Sarfraz looked extremely overwhelmed with all the love and appreciation that comes after the win. Sports can bring us all close and closer and such gestures like JS Bank’s will definitely encourage you g cricketers to perform even better. Thank you JS Bank for stepping up and honoring Sarfraz in style.

You the hero, Sarfraz. May the force be with you.

Best Iftaar Deals to have in Dolmen Mall 

Dolmen mall is like a dream shopping place in Karachi because of all the amenities and the hospitality it has to offer with discounts and deals. During Ramazan it is a blessing to have a food court to break your fast after hectic shopping spree. The best part about the DMC food court is being kid friendly with well placed seating. 

Dolmen Mall’s Food court has variety of options. You gotta choose from 32 cuisines available and that’s kidna amazing. I always got confused what to order and what not to. It is better to always keep in mind what you are going to order before landing there. Dolmen’s Facebook page helps a lot to decide before hand.

For Iftaar deals this year, the choice is unlimited. From casual food court to sophisticated Cafe dining, Dolmen has it all for everyone. Here are my picks from the best iftaar deals available this year.

KFC and chachajee iftaar Dolmen mall

Chachajee Iftaar

Chachajee offers desi menu and for iftar their thaali is just too good. It is like a mini iftaar cum dinner thaali. All in one kinda spread that too just for Rs 699. You can easily share the platter with a friend which makes it affordable iftar deal. 

If your appetite is like me, you can easily gulp down this thali alone. Yes! I can have it all. 

KFC Iftaar

Who doesn’t love fried chicken? It is my escape from ususal pakorra iftaar during Ramazan. I rrecommend KFC iftaar if you’re going tondolmem with siblings or family as their iftaar deals is great to share with 4 people.

Dunkin Donut

When it comes for best value for money iftaar deals, DD is my favorite. A classic DD meal for Just Rs 500 is the best iftaar deal in town. O’ So yum Omwich, pizza, donut and drink makes Dunkin Donut Iftaar a winner. 

Dolmen Mall Restaurant/Cafe Iftaar

Cafes are a welcome change from casual dining experience at Food court. Cafe Zouk to Gloria jeans and upscale bufffet of Hakka chine, Dolmen has some cool options. If you’re into Pakistani fine dinning then Zouk is the place to go and if you’re a fan of Chinese and Pan Asian cuisine then definitely Hakka Chine Buffet is worth every penny. Lals ki iftaar is always a pleasant experience too.

Gunsmoke Iftaar 

If you’re still confused what to eat or how to have a filling meal at Dolmen for less, then my bet is on Gunsmoke. Go there, order their soup and salad combo and enjoy all you can fill salad and soup lol. I loved Gunsmoke for this offer but during you’ll get it free with every meal. Fruit bar is also added for free in iftaar. So it is a good deal if you’re in mood of burgers and steak.

Special mention for Your Sweet Tooth

After all the iftaar deals sharing there’s one thing that you don’t want to share at all. This chocolate shake from Cosmopolitan is surely a must have. Oh and just in case you don’t know Cosmopolitan and Tiramisu recently opened up at DMC. 

Magnum and Cinnabon are also for 10% off. So it is a happy iftaar for sweet lovers. 

Have an idea about all the awesome Iftaar deals available at Dolmen Mall this year from this album and pick your favorite. 

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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. 

Sehri and Iftaar deals for under Rs 600 in Karachi 

Although I am not a fan when it comes to dining out for Sehri or Iftaari as it gets very crowded and difficult to manage with kids but sometimes you have to. Specially when you’re out for shopping during Ramazan. 

Here are few of the affordable options from Sehri iftaari deals of K-town in or under Rs 500. Keep an eye on the favorite ones and enjoy them. Don’t forget to share food with the deserving ones this month and try not to waste food. 

Happy fast and feasting!! 

Dunkin Donuts 

They’re always the winner when it comes to the most filling and affordable iftaar deal. The Holy feast is a winner as it has savory and sweet everything. They just need to add a date complimentary or make the drink bottomless. I hope it isn’t too much to ask for in Rs 500.

McDonalds 

McDonalds is serving value for money iftaar and Sehri meals and I’m loving it. The picture does not include my favorite deal which is two pc crispy fried chicken with drink for just Rs 375. 

Burger O Clock 

They have a unique iftaar platter to offer and that’s pretty affordable considering the items included. Their deals ain’t bad either. 

The Sauce 

The Sauce burger Cafe is offering a good iftaar deal with some Ramazan special items included. 

Vintage

They had a surprise entry in the list with amazing menu for iftaar that too in under Rs 600.

Hunger’s Pack 

Is this the best deal in town? This definitely looks great value for money deal but it might not be filling for a fasting tummy in this heat. Still, unbeatable price. 

Pizza Point

Although they fall in the category of under Rs 600 per head but the deal doesn’t include drink which is a turn off. Considering month of Ramazan and fasting, drink should be there. 

Domino’s Sehri

Domino’s has a good Sehri deal only if you can digest pizza early in the morning and survive on it the whole day. 

Pizza Hut Sehri

Pizza Hut has Sehri deal with personal pan pizza. Affordable but definitely you’re going to eat two or maybe three of them. You can also go for Pair deals when there’s 40% off on your card. 

Pizza Max

Pizza Max is offering good value for money all you can eat deals for Sehri and Iftaar but you can always go for personal deals. 

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