Saturday, December 25, 2010

The man I call my role model !

"Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Muhammad Ali Jinnah did all three"

This description of Mohammed Ali Jinnah which perfectly summarizes the magnitude of his efforts has been taken from Stanley Wolpert's biography of Jinnah called " Jinnah of Pakistan"..

And how am I suddenly reminded of him today ? Its his birthday today. He was born in 1876 in this very city ( Karachi) and it is here that he lies at eternal rest. Mohammed Ali Jinnah, also more commonly known as Quaid e Azam ( urdu for great leader) is the reason Pakistan exists in the world map. It was his tiring, selfless dedication to the cause of giving muslims a separate home land that made Pakistan possible. All possible obstacles were erected in quaid's way and thousands of people were killed in  order to prevent Pakistan from being made, but Quaid's leadership and the nation's sacrifice finally made it possible..

Here's the title song from the movie Jinnah which stars Christopher Lee as Jinnah and Richard Lintern as the younger Jinnah. I'd advise viewer discretion since the song depicts some scenes from the Pakistan movement, how sometimes entire trains of muslims migrating to Pakistan were stopped and its passengers brutally killed etc,its a wonderful song though and brings out the patriotic side in me

Thursday, December 23, 2010

About over doing things and undergoing pain

The Molt Java Cake
I regretted eating the Java molt cake, the stuffed chicken, cleaning my room so vigorously that my muscles hurt, all these regrets and more filled my thoughts as I lay on my bed, moaning with all kinds of pain at 4 45 am today. Here's how it all happened. On thursday and Friday I was on my hyperactive mode, that doesn't happen very frequently but when it does, its like a tornado hitting my house. I tried to do all the cleaning I possibly could, I rubbed clean the cupboards (the exterior), moved plant pots from the lawn downstairs to the terrace in front of my parents room ( Its such a pretty terrace and I thought it was the perfect time of the year to get a few plants up there, Karachi's mild winters are good for plants, in case you were wondering what kind of a jerk tries plantation during snowfall), brought down my entire wardrobe and rearranged it ( I hate doing that btw), rearranged many other drawers, baked apple tarts, and went up giving Haleem ( its a special Pakistani dish with all the cereals cooked with meat and presented with a lot of garnishings) to 13 of my neigbours !, and a lot of other stuff, I slept like a horse after that !.

On Saturday, I went to college with Maryam for some admin work, on our way back we stopped over at Dunkin Donuts for a coffee shake, next stop was 'Pie in the sky' , it was my parents wedding anniversary and I needed to get a cake, we had a family photo session that day and a dinner later. On Sunday, we had a brunch at Waseem uncle's place. Waseem Uncle is my dad's friend back from college, he's pretty much family, and moreover his daughter Alina is exactly my age, and we go to the same university so I always look forward to meeting with them, anyways Aunty is a fabulous cook and I kinda, slightly, overate well OK I overate ! and then in the evening we had to go to visit another uncle cuz we hadn't met up with them at Eid and he was complaining about it..

Monday was spent entirely at Uzma's (my bestie) home, we watched drama's, worked on Faryal's scrapbook ( its her birthday present ssshhh !) ate pizza, went to the mall, bought a Saeed Ghani's herbal facial powder and then did them at night ( i could feel my skin breathe later !) and had a typical yummy Pakistani dinner later. And well Tuesday was busy in pretty much the same way...

the facial powder
Last night I slept early because of a bad headache, but I woke up again at  4 45 am, I didn't feel so good, I went to the bathroom when suddenly everything started going blur and my ears started ringing, it was exactly like the pre-fainting feeling I once had before fainting in college 3 years back. Amidst that horrible feeling I realised that I needed to get out of the bathroom asap, because if I fainted it there it would be difficult to get help !! I grabbed the door knob and stumbled all the way to my parents room, bumping into stuff all the way. My parents woke up from all the noise and hurriedly ( and of course worriedly) helped me onto their was such a pathetic feeling..the dizziness soon subsided but I was left moaning with a severe abdominal pain. It took me two hours, pills, water, heating pads and my mom's consolation to get back to sleep again...I woke up normal at 11am today and have been on a rice and lentil diet since morning. I think all that exhaustion after a heavily sedentary lifestyle, sitting on a chair studying all day long, for about a month and a half took my body by surprise :D and the fact that I was very careless about my diet for the past four days and loaded my tummy with all sorts of stuff just aggravated it all. ( I 'm sorry dear GIT )

PS - Mom and Dad think I need to get more proteins and exercise in my diet and have sworn to improve my eating habits..And it doesn't help that I hate eggs and beef !!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Discount cards just for being a Dowite ! How cool is that ?

According to the latest information release by the Dow University of Health Sciences all Dow students, faculty and alumni will soon be issued with a club card to avail discounts at many outlets in and around the city. This includes restaurants too !!

As glad as I was to hear that , it set me wondering how many club cards that would mean for the DUHS administration, I mean I'm sure the total number of alumni, students and faculty it has associated exceeds 2 lac ! I wonder how they'll be able to manage it. But I'm sure the finance department thought about that more statistically than I did..I just hope I get mine, and oh my dad too..And that reminds me, did I ever mention that my Dad's a dowite too ? The fact that my dad and uncle are Dow grads were one of the many reasons I wanted to get into Dow. It feels good to talk to dad about the changes in college, the college routine etc..He was from the batch of  1977 and Insh'Allah I'd be from the batch of 2013 ! Aint I talking about college too much ? I think I need to sign out now ! Chao :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

La la la laaaa

Who just got over with the semester exams ? Who would nt have to study Forensic Medicine ever again ? Who is now a 4th year student ? Who has a month long vacation ?...Me ME mE me Meee

I just got my life back, it had been squashed in between the pages of my heavy text books just like a shriveled rose which serves as a reminder of the beauty, fragnance and life it once carried. It was one and a half month of pure and intense studies but Not anymore !! I wont be doing any elective rotations this vacation so that means one month of Total Bliss !! The last time I had a vacation was back in July 2009 , in Dec 2009 I did it an elective in Civil Hospital and in July this year , I did one at Tabba Heart Institute so this time I decided to drop the idea of doing any hospital stuff at all , sit back and enjoy the winters. Come on I deserve a break ! Dont I ?  But nevertheless I'll try and study for the board exams this December.

Here's a list of stuff I'm planning to do

1- Sleep
2- Read a few novels.
3 - Learn fabric painting
4 - Watch a few Korean dramas
5- Catch up with all the Pakistani dramas I had been missing.
6 - Watch atleast a dozen movies :)
7 - Do ibadat (worship)
8 - Try baking a few new cakes that I'm dying to try out.
9- Arrange my cupboard before it explodes and buries me underneath all my clothes.
10 - Design and set my room. I couldn't even put up the frames and blinds after the painting job got done last month.
11 - Groom my driving skills ! ( Yes, I embarssingly admit that I suck at driving ! )
12 - Help my parents with the daily chores, they did so much for me during the exams. Dad used to make me tea and dear mommy ironed my clothes. I acted like such a spoiled princess. They do so much for me , its high time I acted like a big girl. Love them <3
13 - Gardening !

and I'm sure I have lots of other things too, I just too excited to think of more right now..And oh, yes, since I'm back to blogging in full groove I'm sure you'll be hearing me blab more often  ;)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

3 down 3 more to go !

I just got back from my last theory final ! It was supposed to be on Saturday but then all of a sudden, at around 9 pm on Friday night all universities of the province Sindh were declared off on account of Sindh Cultural day !! The government had this day planned for a long time but no one knew universities would be off.  But then again this is Pakistan and weirdities like this aren't very rare. But anyway , all my university mates went about dancing on the bed and air guitar-ing just as soon as the announcement was made, I mean hey who wouldn't like an extra day of revision ?! Well except the nerds who were in top form to give the exam already !

I still have my OSPEs ( Objective Structured Practical Examination) which start on the 9th. I have Pathology on 9th, Pharmacology on 11th and Forensic Medicine on 13th. I hope it goes just as good as the theory or better :)

Friday, November 19, 2010


So its Eid ul Azha, this eid is different from the previous Eid ( Eid ul Fitr) because it follows Hajj, the annual congregation of muslims at Makkah while the previous Eid follows Ramadan, the month of fasting, I wont be doing a long detailed post since I have to rush for my study session. But hey I didnt forget that my followers, especially Jana would love to see the dress :) So well the dress I wore is once again all designed by me, I bought the fabric, and then found the perfect lace and ribbons to go with it, I had the lace stitched under the neck line and on my sleeves while the ribbons (black and white) on the lower edge of the dress. The shirt has been tailored A-line, as in it looks like a frock and has no slits on the side like the usual shalwaar kameez shirts. I bought the scarf from a scarf shop near my home and the trouser from another shop altogether so this dress has pretty much been together piece by piece :)  I absolutely love the bangle, it matches the dress, has a pretty ethnic look and its not even expensive !! I got it for Rs 150 ! Thats a little less than $ 2 .00..

I hope all of you had a brilliant Eid :) and since I didnt say this before I'm gonna say it now ' Eid Mubarak' everyone !

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The PIDC blast

" IT SCARED THE HELL OUT OF ME !! I was in my room, studying in pin drop silence when suddenly the windows and door shook with such a violent noise that I thought that it was just down the road. I turned on the TV and then realised that it was a safe distance away "

Thats what Messi texted me back when I asked her if she was ok after I heard the news of the bomb blast near the PIDC building. Yeah, some stupid terrorists got bored and thought hey lets just go around on a blowing up spree !! Dont they have a heart ? Arent they humans ? Dont they feel anything !! The blasts killed 17 innocent people and injured many more.17 seems a statistic when its discussed in the media but those 17 lives were a part of the lives of so many other people which got shattered in an instant. Someone lost a father, someone lost a bread winner and so on, and even though life goes on, the impact remains....

I hope God gives enough brains to the terrorists to make them realise the depth of their acts, the heart to feel what horror they create and the conscience to repent their sins..

PS- The blast was so intense that it was heard till miles away. Messi lives 10 km away from the site !

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Die Pharma die - ( The most common fb status update among my college fellows these days)

So I finally got some time to post in between ! weee ! Sitting on my laptop for the little while I spend eating my breakfast seems such a blessing after all the time I spend crammed up in my room with books all over. Books, books and books thats all life is right now. PHARMACOLOGY is a major pain right now. Memorizing the names of around 200 drugs, ( those used for their actions in the CNS, endocrine system, gastrointestinal system, anticancer drugs,NSAIDs and antiviral, anti fungal and anti heliminthic drugs !!!) along with their Side effects, mechanism of action, contra indications etc is just too much :(

Pathology is comparitively better.I keep mixing the life cycles of parasites in the microbiology section, but it still isnt that bad.( Dont forget P.Falciparum causes black water fever and L.Donovani causes black sickness)..

Forensic medicine is brutal and gruesome as ever, one of the things we're supposed to study about this semester is the postmortem examination of torture injuries ! I swear I havent felt as sick in any class before as I did in that class. The lecturer kept telling us of the various methods that are often used to torture people in prisons etc and all I kept doing the entire time was close my ears, think of other stuff, look to the ceiling or make faces. It was one majorly painful class, no wonder the attendance was low, I mean who'd sit in a class like that !

Bored ?? Yeah you better be, cuz I'm bored too , but here's something to lighten you up , a plate of delicious, sweet Gulab Jamun's !!!

Courtesy - google images

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Exam woes and chores

picture courtesy -
I have my final exams of this semester in less than a month. These exams would mean getting over with third year and moving on to fourth. We have five years of medical education in Pakistan so I'd be left with just two more years InshAllah ( God willing ). Please pray that I make it through these exams alive because right now I seem to be dangling from the edge of the cliff called sanity, I'm juggling with studies, house renovation ( extra work) and a sick mom (extra extra work) so that should also explain why I haven't been posting as much, replying to comments, or even commenting on your blog :(. This trend might continue till the mid of December but I assure you I will be back with a bang and make up for it ( I have a loooot of ideas on my evil head ) when I have a little more free time :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vanilla Tan and Salmon

You might just call me a ranting-at-others-doing-it-herself hypocrite after reading this post. I know I'll get a few raised eyebrows, or probably some smirks, others might just accuse me of joining in with the neighbors in their house renovation mania but I object in my defense *pounds fist on her desk and then coughs on the dust storm it caused* the frenzy amongst my neighbors has long been over and my family's timing for this house maintenance/renovation/paint is a safe distance away from that frenzy era ( Read - Rooster in my lawn, for reference) And besides our house was in a desperate need for some touch up and care. The paint on the walls was chipping off, the shield part of the weather shield paint on the exteriors had apparently long dissolved away and what's left was the lurid effect of the weather on display, a window pane had gone loose and would leak every time it rained and should I mention how the main gate needed some extra effort on opening with that loose handle !? So you see my case is completely justified, hmmph ( Dont you dare raise your finger again ).

So anyways, I'm living like a nomad under my own roof. There's a parade of  painters,carpenters masons, electrician, plumber,etc in my home, And I just keep moving with my satchel of books from one free room to the other where ever there's peace. Now I know my readers in the west might just end up thinking I'm some richie rich for DIY is the norm in the West and getting someone to do the job would cost a looot. But in our part of the world, its completely the opposite. For you see we are a developing country and labour is very cheap here. So everyone just hires a painter, or carpenter etc to do the job which ends up being a more feasible and economic option than DIY.

My room got painted yesterday, and I'm back in it. The furniture is all out of place and covered with dust.I've only cleaned my desk so that I can atleast have some place to study, I'll do the rest of the cleaning later today. And btw dont you wanna know what colour my walls are now ? Well I had three of the walls painted Vanilla tan while the fourth one is Salmon ! I was a little apprehensive about the Salmon, but I'm glad I made the right decision, the direction of the sunlight that enters my room seems to be complementing it :).

All this chaos shall hopefully be over till Saturday and life shall return to its usual peacefulness. I'll be posting again soon, Chao

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The end - To Daam

Remember my Mid summer loves ? And how I was all up and excited to watch the drama Daam ? Well I watched the whole 17 episodes of the drama and was eager to watch the last (18th episode) on Friday at 8 pm when there was an unexpected power outage that brought the biggest AAW that could have ever escaped my mouth. The pain of suffering the power outage was nothing as compared to the agony of missing the last episode. I knew it wouldn't come up on You tube till after two days and I had no idea of the repeat telecast either, but today as I was in the shower I heard my mom knock at the door and tell me in a voice that seemed like a fail attempt to contain her excitement that -  Daam was on !!!!

This is the title song

Daam sure had a phenomenal ending,( Its very unlike me to have my eyes welled up with tears, but in this case it did happen !)  it wasnt like those fairy tale like dramas where everything miraculously falls back into place and 'they live happily ever after' but it wasnt sad either. It was 'real' where sacrifices were made, tears were shed but everyone had to go on with life with their own share of bitter memories. Happiness did come but to those who sacrificed the most.

Here's a brief review.

Zaara and Maleeha are best friends and class fellows in a medical college . Zaara comes from a very poor family while Maleeha is totally the opposite. But nevertheless Zaara's and Maleeha's friendship is exemplary and they're more like sisters. Maleeha's rich bro Junaid also admires their friendship and falls in love with Zaara. They hide their likings for each other from Maleeha who finally discovers it ( thanks to her evil sis-in-law to be who wants to marry Junaid) Maleeha falls for her SILs slanderings and cleverly comes in between Zara and Junaid. The lives of both Zara and Junaid fall apart and Maleeha loses her friendship. But time makes her realise how her selfishness has actually disturbed and destroyed three families and how none of them is happy....All in all it was a brilliant drama, a little slow at times but perfectly directed and marvelously acted. I really appreciate 7th Sky production's effort to highlight social issues in this drama and others.

Moral - Life can often be a challenge but if you hang through it with righteousness you will emerge victorious ...

Downtown wanderings !

Many of my recent posts have been about what I feel and I'm sure I've gotten most of you bored with my emotions brimming over the edge and spilling all over this blog. So this time I'm gonna post about all the wonderful and not so wonderful things I've been upto..
This building was built in 1906.

Like this pic ? Well I love it ! It looks like a poster for some teenage adventure movie. The building in this pic is a library just behind my college. And since my college is located in the city downtown, a part of old Karachi, there is no dearth of such ,old, British era buildings. Many of them are not very well preserved and I really wish we had some heritage preservation commitee to mantain them. Well anyway this building seems to be well mantained. We just wandered here after our ward one day but unfortunately it was closed at that time so we couldnt see the interior. I hope we go there again some time.

We ventured deeper into the sprawling old Karachi last week when we suddenly planned to go to Subway (the sandwich shop :D we don't have subs in Karachi ). A few of us jumped into Aniqa's car while the rest of us took an Autorickshaw. The Auto rickshaw is my favourite mode of public transport !! Its safe and its fun :)

A traditional rickshaw
These are the modern, energy efficient rickshaws which are gradually replacing the noisy, and carbon emitting older ones

Many of my friends often travel in the downtown, but I rarely get the oppurtunity. I love getting to see new things,explore places and find something or other to get awed and amazed.Thats one reason I can never sleep in the car. I keep my eyes wide opened like an owl and keep staring around with my neck turning in all directions. On this particular autorickshaw trip I got to see the building of the State of Pakistan, the KPT building, the session court, a very old church, Habib Bank Plaza, and a building that brought me a very strong flashback. I remember going there with my parents as a child ( I have an elephant's memory)

The Habib Bank Plaza

The State Bank of Pakistan ( This is a building from the British era too)
The KPT building

Friday, October 8, 2010

Metamorphosis !

image courtesy - google search
 I felt congested to the core and decided running away from everything was the safest option. I deactivated my fb account, stopped blogging, and took a few days off from college. Yeah. I have these strange phases in life, once in a while, when nothing seems right and I feel like packing my bags and moving to a new/strange city where no one knows me.I grow skeptical about myself, self-doubt sinks in and insomnia strikes, every chemical within my body seems out of balance.Absent mindedness and a lack of concentration make me feel as if Im in a different dimension, viewing things from a distance. I feel detached, out of sync, displaced from my ecological niche. A bird trying to thrive under water, or a penguin in the tropics. But thankfully these phases pass and I emerge with something positive.

I believe these phases are like the stages of metamorphosis for me. Just like a larva, changes into a pupa and a pupa into a butterfly. These transitions are changes, and changes, are something I find hard to adapt. I try to make sure the changes around me are gradual or minimal but when they arise within me, there's nothing I can do about it. It takes me time, it takes me getting used to, and until then, I wrap myself in a shield of emotions and thoughts and hence the troublesome phase. But once the change sets in, the shield begins to dissolve and emerges from within, a newer, changed version of me. The changes are minor, a mere difference in thought pattern, a remodeled idea of self, re-adjusted principles, reconstructed dreams, transformed ideas, or a refined personality. Nothing major, nothing macroscopically visible...

Im glad that phase is over, I'm happy to be out of the cocoon,  free and fresh :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The doc in the top gear !!

Something is seriously wrong with me. I havent slept properly in days. Its not like I dont feel sleepy, I feel sleepy to the point I have to slam my book shut and go slump in the bed, but then I lost control, its like an avalanche of thoughts comes tumbling down from all directions. I try to focus and concentrate on sleeping but I fail at blocking those utterly random, bizarre thoughts and imaginary converations out of my head. It drives me nuts, tossing and tumbling with the bedsheets all night tired and desperate to fall asleep. It takes me atleast 2 and a half to 3 hours before dear sleep finally sets in.

On a lighter note, we had our ward test today.Our ward tests are designed to evaluate our clinical skills that we learn through our monthly rotation in each ward. We're supposed to spend a fixed time (5-10mins) on each patient performing a task that we're told to do by a doctor who stands by observes us and grades us. There are usually 5 - 7 patients that we're supposed to deal with.The test we had today was for the Medical ward we had attended  in August under Dr.M. This test was scheduled to take place in the end of August but the doctors who had to take our test had left for medical camps in the flooded areas so the test had been postponed. But this is nt the end of story , another group pf medical students who attended this ward in June, couldnt take their test either, and then there was another group which is currently posted there and was taking the test too. So what we had in the medical ward today was a huge crowd of almost 60 medical students and a bunch of flabbergasted patients. The inviligators responsible for organizing our test seemed baffled and bewildred trying to work out a plan to test all of us at once on the limited number of patients within a limited time of 2 hours !!...

And so the result was a hopscotch of a test !! The time we were supposed to spend on one patient was reduced to around two minutes. As soon as the test began there were stethoscopes flying in the air, falling files, whining patients, amused attendants, and lab coats whizzing by as poor us medical students ran wildly from one patient to another bumping into each other and everything that came in our way.I had to fumble with the blood pressure apparatus as I tried to wrap it around a patient's arm with trembling hands (there was too little time for god sake !) The doctors who were examining us seemed distressed and perturbed too. There was a doctor with one of the patients today, who asked me to palpate the liver, and then answer his questions, when I was done palpating the liver, he began his question, the poor guy was just half way through his own question when the time got over,  I paused to look at the inviligator in the distance gesturing me to move and then turned to see the doctor who still had his mouth open but speechless, "should I go ?" I asked him and all he could utter was "thats the best thing to do". I was done with all 5 patients within 10 minutes and was standing outside the ward , still figuring out what had happened inside and whether I had just taken a test or had been in reality show like Top Chef, or Fear factor ! It sure would be amsuing to have reality show based on doctors and having them do stuff on cam in limited time !! (Gives me the shivers)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Whats it gonna be ?

The last ward we had was the Medical ward. And it was the ward I enjoyed the most at. There was so much to learn and see. The credit goes to Dr.M ( our incharge), she was such a considerate and soft spoken lady unlike Dr.Dragon in the gynae ward who kept us running around on our toes and searching for shelter whenever she appeared. Dr. M always made an extra effort to make us understand what she taught and I could sense the patients liked her too ( her timely smiles and simple kind gestures must have meant a lot to them).

So I think I'm gonna re-write my liking priority for specialisation

1 - Neurology ( This first hasn't changed in 5 years !)
2- Internal Medicine
3 - Radiology
4- Opthalmology ( even though I really like the theoretical part of Opthalmology, I dont think I'll be able to find the guts to operate on eye, so that renders it pretty much useless ).

and the last on the list shall be Gynaecology ! Its dirty business I tell ya !!

Thats Huzair and Hunain making the best pretense of being serious in the Opthalmology ward ! :p

Friday, September 17, 2010

So its like the 7th day after Eid today. And I'm still not over the Eid mood. Perhaps its because I still have a little Mehndi (henna) left on my hands to remind me of it. This Eid was fun. The heavy showers on Eid day didnt affect my high spirits at all. We went to visit the elders of our family and I could also fortunately make a visit to my best friends home with my parents !. We had a looot of guests over at our place on the second day and the third too but we did go out in the evening. Eid is typically celebrated for three days and everyone makes the most out of it !

The Henna

This is after I peeled it off ! It was a little darker than it seems here

A part and parcel of Eid is all that wonderful food !! The Eid cakes, the mithai (traditional sweets) and the Saiwayyan (vermicilli cooked in milk and dry fruits)..yumm yumm yumm. I better go search the refrigerator if there's any left :) :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Just before Eid !

Eid is just around the corner and the one thing I've learned over the years in Pakistan is that last minute Eid shopping is a very BAD idea. And I advise everyone to refrain from doing it, well unless you like over priced items, busy to  the point of un co-operative shopkeepers, no space to park your car, the panic of not finding the right thing, or a gazillion blaring shop announcements that a child in red/pink/green with a huge nose and a lollipop stuck in his mouth is at the control desk, wailing for his mom/dad/grandparents and wont tell his/her name because Mommy said not to tell your name to strangers !

I start my Eid prep before Ramadan, and I'm through and over with it by the mid of Ramadan, well except for a few minute things like getting my dopatta hemmed , or finding the right scarf to go with the dress, well you see I wouldnt be Najwa if I did everything exactly on time. But its usually no big deal because even if my family  is done with shopping, we do go out very frequently in Ramdan just to window shop and enjoy the hustle n bustle, the lightings etc etc..

This time Eid will be a sombre affair because of all the grief the nations going through, most of us haven't really shopped for Eid as we used to, and the shopkeepers agree that their sales are lower as compared to last years. But nevertheless, Eid is a gift from Allah and every muslim deserves to be happy on this day, albeit with simplicity. I hope we all get to share our happiness with the flood victims too, may God grant them a happy Eid too.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

We had an iftaar party at Shirin's home a few days back. Now this was something Shirin had been planning for us before Ramadan even started. It was special because a large group pf friends was invited and above all, -  Shirin did all the cooking  ! Preparing 13 dishes, all by yourself for so many friends sure takes a lot of effort. I was wondering whether I have the capability of cooking something on that thats a lesson deriving thought I better do something about ;)
Here's what I wore (this pic is specially for you Jana )The patch of black embroidrery that's visible under the neck line is actually long pieces of lace that I had stitched horizontally one after the other, with two strands of red ribbon on either side.    

well the food just kept rolling in, she'd bring dishes after dishes, here's the first episode of the food session :)

just another view

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Iftaar delights

So I promised a post on Iftaar items and here it is. For clarification Iftaar is the name for the food that's eaten at the breaking of fast. It could be anything, your usual dinner, salads, drinks etc but its Sunnah (practice of prophet pbuh) to open the fast with water and dates and thats what most muslims do. At our household, my we usually prepare various snack items and drinks. Here are some pictures of what we usually eat,
Pakoras - Its basically a gram flour preparation that's fried. Its high in calories so we restrict the amount we consume, but its really tasty. Its also a special favourite in the rainy season.

Black chick peas, cooked in spices and onions
These are lentils that are usually mixed with the black chick peas .

Dahi Baras - These are fried and boiled baras, made out of lentils, and then mixed with yoghurt. Spices are sprinkled on the top

A banana, pineapple and peach smoothie !


Kidney beans
Fruit chaat (Fruit Salad)

Egg halwa ( Its basically egg cooked in sugar and oil)

A little bit of everything
This is Rooh Afza - Its a herbal drink that's often favoured in iftaar.I got this picture from the net because I'm usually so thirsty that I gulp the entire glass down before I can actually take a pic :)    

These are just some of the items that are usually prepared for Iftaar in a typical Pakistani household.

PS - These pics were taken on various occasions. Its not that we eat all that in one day, the max we have is 5 - 6 items per day :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I have a lot to write about today but I think I'll just focus on one major thing. My activity this Saturday. I'm sure it was the best and the most rewarding Saturday in the history of Saturdays :)

Image courtesy -
The floods have wrecked havoc in most parts of the country and it's time we took some social responsiblity. Many of my my friends are volunteering for the flood relief efforts, all in whatever capacity they can and so I thought I should play my part too. Mobashir, a friend had been volunteering for the Pakistan Medical Association and was involved in fund raising so the rest of us came up with a plan to help him out. We did a door to door fund raising campaign in the colony I live in. Maryam, Azka, Huzair, Hunain, Mobashir himself and I knocked almost 60 - 70 doors on Saturday morning and afternoon to collect Zakat and donations for the flood victims which shall be delivered to them in the form of medication and food items through the Pakistan Medical Association which has medical camps set up in the affected areas. We collected a staggering amount of around Rs 45 000 !!

And I really want to mention this guy whom we came across in the block next to mine. We knocked his door, and introduced ourselves to him ( Azka, Huzair and I, we did the campaigning in two teams) , he gave us and our cause a patient hearing and then when he handed me over the cash for donation , he refused to take the receipt for it by saying "Its all about trust" , smiled and then closed the door as I hurriedly thanked him. It really was inspiring to see that a total stranger was trusting me with his money just based on the few words of introduction I had given about myself and the cause !

Well, after a long tiring walk in the sunny afternoon all of us headed back to my home, offered our prayers, played board games, watched a movie and then did our Aftaar (breaking of fast at dusk)..

Not only was the aspect of doing something good very rewarding but we also had a lot of fun and it was a new experience all together. And the subsequent board game, movie, and aftaar session with my dear friends was the added hype and happiness :)

Zakat - The annual donation that affording muslims have to give as a religious obligation

PS - Keep visiting the blog cuz the next post shall be on Aftaar delights !! You dont wanna miss that :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Indepence day and Ramadan

There used to be a phrase "Time flies" which I think is totally invalid now, because time isnt just flying these days, its whizzing by at ultra sonic speed. Its just been a week since my last post and yet it seems like a gazillion years have gone by. So much has happened and so much has changed.
First of all, Ramadan greetings to everyone ! The month of Ramadan had a pleasant start for me on Wednesday as the moon was sighted ( The muslim calender is the lunar calender). I just got back from a friends birthday, and was with my bestie Uzma when the moon sighting commitee announced the month of Ramadan on the news, we greeted and hugged and got to see the moon together ( on the TV :), we just couldn't spot it in the sky).With Ramadan comes the fasting and worship and a change of lifestyle since all the eating and drinking is shifted from dusk to dawn instead of the other way round that usually happens the rest of the year. But I just love Ramadan its my favourite month of the year, filled with blessings, internal satisfaction and of course followed by Eid !!

Secondly, my dad had his birthday on the very first day of Ramadan. I brought home a Chocolate fudge cake on my way back from college and we celebrated it at Iftaar (breaking of fast). One important lesson I've learnt is that the best present for my dad is definitely good food. I'm sure even a blackberry wouldn't have made him as happy and excited as the cake did ! The saying "the way to a man's heart is through his mouth" proved itself right in my dad's case !

Thirdly, the flood has wrecked havoc in Pakistan and I don't remember seeing any situation this worse as long as I've lived here ! Millions have been displaced, the death toll is rising and not just that, diseases like Malaria, diarrhea, dysentry stand a risk of becoming epidemic in the displaced population. Its a relief to know that the Pakistan Army is diligently working to help the people, and I find great pride in the fact that the general population and citizens of Pakistan are actively donating to help the victims. My own college mates are busy in fund raising and are volunteering to make packages and parcels of life saving drugs, tents, kitchen utensils and other equipments to be delivered to the affected areas.

A man trying to save his children after losing everything in the floods

Fourthly, its the 14th of August today, the day Pakistan got its independence from the British ruled sub continent back in 1947, this day naturally holds great meaning and importance but this time there wont be any national celebrations since half the nation is in mourning and its our duty to stand in solidarity and sympathize with them as fellow Pakistanis..

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Top 21 feelings !

There are the best feelings I've ever had. I'm sure  you can relate to many of these

1 - Being surrounded by unknown people, feeling awkward and then suddenly seeing a familiar face, a friends face, and immediately being filled with warmth and happiness !

2 - Eating the last bit of my favourite chocolate fudge cake and still wanting more, being sad that its finished and then remembering "hey I stored some in another container in the fridge !!"

3 - Playing in the rain with friends or having a pillow fight !

4 - Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing I still have more time to sleep.

5 - Standing against harsh challenges, all tired and alone, but turning around to see that I'm not alone, I have an entire team of friends and family to support me..

6 - Having a child hold my finger and tug me to do something as harmless as opening the door for him/her.

7- Getting involved in an arguement with someone and then having friends race to help me out and support me !

8 -  Having my Dad express his love by patting and and rubbing my head, especially when I'm about to fall asleep.

9 - Knowing that at times my mom trusts me more than I trust myself !

10 - Reading and understanding the Quran .

11- Talking to Allah in solitude and knowing that he's always there to protect me, feed me, and give me the courage to face life !

12 - Having hours to spend with nothing on my To-Do means time for leisure, time for myself ! :)

13 - Sitting on a window or behind a glass wall oblivious to the world and watching people go about their chores and their businnesses. In other words - Observing life in movement while I stand still and invisible to the world...

14 - Having heart to heart conversations with my girlfriends !

15 - Having someone tell me - "Im there for you" ( Alhamdollilah I've a lot of friends who've not only said that but proved it)

16 - The immense satisfaction when I do something good for a stranger !

17 - Being hugged while crying

18 - Seeing something so magnificent that the only word I could possibly utter was "wo..."

19 - Having a lengthy heated debate with someone over something where the other party is adamant that he/she is right and I'm wrong and then seeing their stuck up nose turning downward and their lips turning inward when I show them the proof and prove them wrong !

20 - Winning a match ! Especially when you're on a team ! (As in - not solo, like tennis or badminton...

21 - Have a friend rudely tell me..."Hey ! You're not a friend, you're a sister !"

PS - Picture courtesy - Google Images