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Snowy; The Creative Chaos Kitty


There's a cat that lives outside my office.

I only see it after dark though. Have yet to see it during regular work hours.

The cat isn't special. She's just there. It's so convenient for me to pet her and be nice to her that it would be stupid not to.

So it's sort of become routine now. I sit with my friends waiting for the car to go home and she appears, walking or limping depending on whether she's gotten into any fights during the day.

I scratch her ears and then much to the disdain of my friends, scoop her up in my lap.

My friends were kind enough to take me to the convenient store to get her some cat food. We have stored the cat food in a cupboard inside the office and try feeding her everyday.

It would be extremely sad to reveal this but I guess those ten minutes that I spend with Snowy are the most perfect part of my day. Quiet, peaceful, full of love.

Animals can sometimes communicate with us much better than other humans. No words to complicate things. If she wants to be around me she hops into my lap and rubs her nose against mine. When she gets bored she trots off.

No bullshit. 

Crazy 4 Good!

People have lost the ability to be empathetic towards each other. We are so busy with our daily lives that we don't really have the time to actually 'be nice' to people anymore.

Coke's ideology is simple. Be nice to someone. Do something simple. A random act of kindness. Whether it is passing a smile to a stranger or letting someone take your seat on the bus. Give a little love and the satisfaction you get in return will be immense.

People might think you're crazy at first. And why wouldn't they? We live in a cynical society where doubting the other person and fishing for ulterior motives is ingrained in our nature. Which is why you must join this mob of crazy masters and become crazy 4 good!

To give us a brief on the upcoming campaign, Coca Cola Pakistan organized a bloggers meetup at Tushan Beach. It was the perfect serene atmosphere for us to unwind and think about how we can help Coke in it's newest CSR campaign to help build a stronger and happier society.

Coke told us that a digital portal will soon be launched where anyone can upload pictures of 'Random Acts of Kindness' being done to help coke recognize and acknowledge the crazy masters of Pakistan.

If you know of any people who spread love by being kind to other humans on a regular basis, you should definitely get in touch with @cokepk on Twitter or leave me a comment below the post!

And if you have your own Crazy4Good stories of Random Acts of Kindness feel free to post your links in the comments section :)




These People Make Me Happy


Not a victim

Tl;dr Stop blaming the world for your failures.

I understand, the world is a cruel place. But if you keep playing the blame game with society, you'll just end up sad, bitter and alone.

Having said that, there are genuine a-holes in everyone's lives. Identify them. The ones who keep putting you down for no reason. Get rid of the bullies.

Next, analyze why you feel like 'no one likes me' or why 'no one wants to be my friend'.

Most often, insecurities and complexes tend to make a person build a wall around themselves. This wall radiates vibes that others can pick up, mostly through body language and facial expressions. So by doing this, you essentially take the first step in building discomfort.

The best thing you could do is try to figure out why you think no one likes you and then change yourself for the better.

So the next time you feel like you have 'sooo much love to give' or are a completely altruistic angel of a person, think again. You're probably a selfish whiny bitch. Much like the ones you hate.

Disclaimer: This is not aimed towards any specific person. If you think this is about you, you're being paranoid. See? This is why no one likes you.

Mirrors

I glanced in the mirror in front of me to observe the couple sitting behind us.

The girl was nicely dressed. A flowing red shirt to match her scarlet stained lips. Black tights that showed off her curves. Soft brown eyes that reflected disdain at the moment. The guy had a cell phone stuck to his ear.
He had been on a call since the past five minutes.

"Pissed off girlfriend at 11 o'clock", I said to Em.

"The girl is fat. And pimply", he remarked, as he took a bite from his Greek salad.

"She's well dressed", I said. My slightly defensive tone surprised me.

"Hmm. He can do better."

"He probably is", I commented as I fished for some chicken in my pasta.

Em looked up at me.

"If he can do better, he will."

"That's a tweet".

That's how most of our conversations ended.

BATMAN IS A LIE.

Spoiler Alert. Don't read if you haven't watched the movie.

Sadly, I haven't read the comics. But after watching the movie I wanted to do a bit of research. And found this on wikipedia:


Bane

After Bane enters the League of Assassins, Talia's father, Ra's al Ghul, considers Bane a potential heir to his empire and wants his daughter to marry him. However, Talia rejects the brute, regarding him as merely a cunning animal compared to the more cultured intelligence of his predecessor, and after Batman defeats Bane, Ra's agrees that Bane was unworthy of his "only" daughter.

Ye kya chay pana hai bhai? Ham say jhoot bola sab.

Let's talk Math



Our love is not like a conditional equation. It's like an identity. No matter what values life throws at us, we'll find the solution.

Healthy Baking Substitutes

The cake is always a lie

Everything they teach you is wrong.
There is no light at the end of the tunnel.
The silver lining is fake.
This too shall pass is a fraud.

It doesn't get better. Life keeps getting worse. There is no magic moment when your life will be sprinkled with fairy dust and all your problems will disappear.

Life sucks.

The sooner you learn to be happy with the fact, the better.

My Sister was Killed by Brain Eating Zombies



My sister was going to have her seventeenth birthday this November. She won’t anymore because she’s dead. She passed away on the 17th of July. Dropped dead, unexpectedly. She choked on her vomit. That was determined the cause of her death by doctors at AKUH. But I know today that she was killed by brain eating zombies.

It has been two weeks since the day she died. Today, her best friend emailed me some links about an amoebic disease known as ‘Naegleria’ that has claimed the lives of 8 reported cases in Karachi over the past few weeks.

‘Naegleria Fowleri’ is a single celled organism. It thrives in warm water and the perfect sites for its breeding would be untreated pools and spas, lakes, ponds, polluted stagnant water and sometimes soil including indoor dust. The N. Fowleri cannot survive in salt water, chlorinated pools or treated municipal water.

The N. Fowleri is called the ‘brain eating amoeba’ because it can travel up an individual’s nose to their brain and use it as a food source. A human can be easily infected during recreational activities such as swimming, skiing or diving.

What makes this infection so terrifying is the fact that it triggers very mild symptoms such as a fever, abdominal pain, headache and vomiting. These can easily be confused for other non fatal diseases. Sadly, the fatality rate for someone who has contracted Naegleria Fowleri is 98%. There have been only 7 reported cases of survival worldwide out of 400 reported cases.

Although the Naegleria Fowleri attacks the brain, victims do not die of brain disease. They die of meningitis which is inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and the spinal cord. The symptoms start occurring within two weeks of infection and the victim dies between 2 to 5 days of the symptom onset.

Reportedly, eight people are dead in Karachi because of this amoeba. And yet, there has been no public service message to warn citizens of this disease. The only way to prevent it is to use treated water for drinking and washing up and to only swim in clean chlorinated pools. Although there is little chance of survival once you’ve been infested by the N. Fowleri, there is always hope. Which is why if someone suffers the symptoms related to it they should get it checked immediately.

The reason I wrote this piece is because I want people to be aware of this deadly disease that can take away our loved ones. I finally have an understandable reason as to why Amna died and that’s my only consolation. Sadly it’s not good enough.

Sources:






Win 5k for a restaurant review?! :O




In the olden times, man had only a few primal needs. Clothing, shelter, food. As evolution turned the homo-sapiens to homo-erectus and beyond, each of these needs evolved with man. Louise Vuitton took the place of animal skins, rustic mud houses turned into villas and creating a simple meal turned out to be one of the highest paid and celebrated professions in the world.

Man’s need to socialize and bond with fellows gave rise to combined dining and restaurants. The earliest restaurants were made by the Romans that date back to 117 AD. As societies around the world evolved, food became a reason for celebration. A region’s cuisine represents its culture. With the world growing into a global village, you can find all cuisines being served all over the world in restaurants.

One of my earliest memories of eating out is of a quaint little fast food joint that served burgers and broasts. As a 90s kid from Karachi, I personally saw with my own eyes how the restaurant industry in Karachi evolved. At first, we were only blessed with heavenly fast food in the form of burgers at the Mr. Burger restaurant. We had no international franchises. And then I remember waiting in lines to get to the shiny counter top of the first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant that opened up.

From then on, the ride has been a roller coaster. International food chains such as Pizza Hut, OPTP, McDonald’s and Subway opened up all over the country. International cuisines such as Chinese, Italian and Mexican as well as local cuisines such as Hyderabadi, Pakhtun and Gujarati are easily available today in several restaurants all over the city. My favourite place to get the Gujarati delicacy ‘Masala Dosa’ is Mirchi that is a restaurant located in DHA Karachi. Similarly, the best tacos I have had were at Atrium Mall’s food court at ‘The 3 Amigos’.

The latest revolution in the food and restaurant industry has come in the form of food bloggers and food critics on social media networks. Everyone has their own opinions about everything especially food. And when people as a collective group of critics rate and comment on restaurants it improves the foodie experience for everyone.

I recently stumbled upon an online restaurant review video blogging competition called ‘Love or Hate a Restaurant’ on Talent Idols which really caught my attention. As a foodie, I am very keen on participating since my interest for food will be incentivized in the form of cash prizes! 





If you want to participate visit the competition page here.

   


Little Surprises

Life is good when people give you free stuff for free. I like my friends.

My letter to PTA for banning twitter in Pakistan



So twitter has been banned by the PTA for hosting 'blasphemous content' against Islam. Sigh. I wonder when we will get over being the butthurt nation that we are. I understand that we have tremendous respect for our religion and I wholeheartedly agree that we should oppose anything that is disrespectful. But banning a social media website is definitely not the solution. Kindly email PTA at


complaint@pta.gov.pk 


to let them know what they are doing is wrong. It doesn't matter if you're in Pakistan or not. Just spam them with reasons as to why their decision is wrong. Here's what I emailed the folks. It's not very eloquent, but this is what I could come up with whilst dealing with exam pressure, fever and anger.
______________________________

To whom it may concern,


According to recent news on the internet and my own personal
experience I have found that the website www.twitter.com has been
banned in Pakistan due to reasons unknown. I would like to oppose this
ban since twitter is merely a harmless social networking website that
has more positive effects on the Pakistani society than negative ones.


Please stop being like the over protective mother who doesn't let her
children play outside out of fear of scratches on their knees. The
children have a harder time dealing with adult injuries later in life.


Please trust the Pakistani people to decide for themselves how they
want to deal with the situation of blasphemy on social networks.
Burying our necks in the sand like the ostrich will not be fruitful.


Kindly unban twitter. Please. I beg you. It is not only important for
the intellectual development of the country but is also a great tool
for social media marketers. Content generation is the latest hype all
over the world. Please look into how much revenue is being generated
by Pakistanis using twitter as a marketing tool. By banning twitter,
you have inevitably removed Pakistan from the global marketing scene.


I hope this complaint does not fall on deaf ears. This is the Islamic
Republic of Pakistan, and it is a democracy. Stop manipulating people
by using Islam as blackmail to justify your nonsensical decisions.


Regards,


Sara M.
__________________________________________________________



Link to news of twitter being banned: http://dawn.com/2012/05/20/twitter-banned-in-pakistan/

Massage Pressure Points



I found this long ago on the interwebz. Tried it today. It actually works. You can basically cure a headache by only the help of a hand massage.

The trick is to find the right amount of pressure that you need to exert using your forefinger and thumb. It should be bordering on your comfort level.

Lemme know if this worked for you.
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Unconditional

Hearts and smiley faces. Hugs and kisses. A few misunderstandings and boom. The 'unconditional' love claimed for you is gone.

Sisters for life? Sure. But a gash this deep won't heal with words of sincere apologies. I can forgive but cannot forget.

Because you were the only person who I could proudly say 'loves me unconditionally'.

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Fawad Khan

I texted him for something official. And he replied asking me to call his manager.

He. Replied. Apnay hath se. :')

*squealz*
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Dealing with Self Esteem Issues



I came across this article & found it quite accurate in the thought processes it describes for people with low self esteem.

Even if you don't have problems with self esteem, do give this a read because we all come across people who need this advice, even when they don't realize it themselves.

Challenge negative or inaccurate thinking

Your initial thoughts might not be the only possible way to view a situation — so test the accuracy of your thoughts. Ask yourself whether your view is consistent with facts and logic or whether other explanations for the situation might be plausible.
Be aware that it's sometimes tough to recognize inaccuracies in thinking, though. Most people have automatic, long-standing ways of thinking about their lives and themselves. These long-held thoughts and beliefs can feel normal and factual, but many are actually just opinions or perceptions.
Also pay attention to thought patterns that tend to erode self-esteem:
  • All-or-nothing thinking. You see things as either all good or all bad. For example, "If I don't succeed in this task, I'm a total failure."
  • Mental filtering. You see only negatives and dwell on them, distorting your view of a person or situation. For example, "I made a mistake on that report and now everyone will realize I'm not up to this job."
  • Converting positives into negatives. You reject your achievements and other positive experiences by insisting that they don't count. For example, "I only did well on that test because it was so easy."
  • Jumping to negative conclusions. You reach a negative conclusion when little or no evidence supports it. For example, "My friend hasn't replied to my email, so I must have done something to make her angry."
  • Mistaking feelings for facts. You confuse feelings or beliefs with facts. For example, "I feel like a failure, so I must be a failure."
  • Self put-downs. You undervalue yourself, put yourself down or use self-deprecating humor. This can result from overreacting to a situation, such as making a mistake. For example, "I don't deserve anything better."

Adjust your thoughts and beliefs

Now replace negative or inaccurate thoughts with accurate, constructive thoughts. Try these strategies:
  • Use hopeful statements. Treat yourself with kindness and encouragement. Pessimism can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, if you think your presentation isn't going to go well, you might indeed stumble through it. Try telling yourself things such as, "Even though it's tough, I can handle this situation."
  • Forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes — and mistakes aren't permanent reflections on you as a person. They're isolated moments in time. Tell yourself, "I made a mistake, but that doesn't make me a bad person."
  • Avoid 'should' and 'must' statements. If you find that your thoughts are full of these words, you might be putting unreasonable demands on yourself — or on others. Removing these words from your thoughts can lead to more realistic expectations.
  • Focus on the positive. Think about the good parts of your life. Remind yourself of things that have gone well recently. Consider the skills you've used to cope with challenging situations.
  • Relabel upsetting thoughts. You don't need to react negatively to negative thoughts. Instead, think of negative thoughts as signals to try new, healthy patterns. Ask yourself, "What can I think and do to make this less stressful?"
  • Encourage yourself. Give yourself credit for making positive changes. For example, "My presentation might not have been perfect, but my colleagues asked questions and remained engaged — which means that I accomplished my goal."
________________________________

Having a low self esteem is not only bad for your own state of mind, but also for the people around you. Your relationships can handle only a certain amount of baggage and if these steps can help make you a better person and improve your relationships, they're definitely worth it.

Another goodbye

It's been roughly two years since I've been friends with MA. She's leaving Khi. I had this really awesome blogpost idea. Had to write so much about her. But I just can't. Too emotional.

It's just that she's one of the people who understand stuff even before you explain it. She's been there for me in a lot of hard times. Made me laugh when I was completely suicidal. Chammak challo. Boston. 11:11 wishes. Creepy connections. Food for family. Everything. Every effing thing. I'm going to miss her.

I just hope she's happy and finds lovely people wherever she goes.

*sniff*

Love you Jeremiah. I know we're not best friends but you're one of the bestest friends I've known. Sweetgurl123. <3
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A bird on the bus

I was traveling in the bus today and THERE WAS A PIGEON RIDING WITH US.

Just sitting there. Pretending like it had paid the fare. I managed to take a picture because I knew no one would believe me.



You'll have to look closely though. It's sitting on the dashboard.

Also. PUNGIIIII. I'm SO addicted to the song. Oh meri jaan oh meri jaan. Okay so yes. I know it's inspired by Soosan Khanoom. Easy boy. I still love Mika's version too. I listen to the 'Dil boley desi' ad just cause of Mika's voice btw.

I'm really happy. My last post on the Tribune blogs was among the Top 5 for the week. And they're sending me a check! Way to encourage writers. If I haven't said it before I'll say it now. I'm kind of an ET fangurrrrl. Haye.

Anyways. OH MERI AH OH MERI OOH MERE KO MAJNU BANA KER. KAHAN CHAL DI KAHAN CHAL DI. PYAR KI PUNGI BAJA KER.
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Lawn is (literally) the latest rage


Here's my blogpost that was published in the Express Tribune blogs section on 15th March 2012:
We love being angry don’t we? As a nation, Pakistanis are most certainly good at one thing: criticizing. I’m not saying that is a bad thing. It’s good to have an opinion, but we should know where to draw the line.
Being enraged about the violation of human rights by Maya Khan in her morning show was great. We showed her that civil society is sensible and very active.
However, when my Twitter and Facebook were flooded with angry comments about the latest Sana Safinaz advertising campaign last night, I had to see what the ‘poor’ brand had done to deserve this kind of thrashing.
Through the links provided in people’s tweets, I found myself staring at a beautiful model dressed in vibrantly coloured lawn sporting the most regal expression. Behind her was the source of the controversy – a group of poor ‘coolies’ standing indistinctly behind her, carrying her Louis Vuitton luggage, their faces partly shrouded by the brand name in bold letters.
The picture of a “poverty stricken coolie carrying a Louis Vuitton bag” had more than 200 comments below it posted by angry fans who were “disgusted” by the advertisement.
Zarlasht Faisal wrote:
“A fashion shoot becomes a political/social statement when you construct the visual narrative out of context. The context of the communication was that SS prints make you look good. But when you juxtapose it with a line up of coolies who symbolize daily back breaking labor with low wages it becomes a political statement. And that’s why I feel so many people took offense to it. “
Rabia Salman wrote:
“Why couldn’t you come up with a better campaign than this? It just glorifies the gap between rich and poor. Look at the poor man. His whole life’s savings is worth less than that bag.”
Abira Ashfaq:
“This is offensive to the plight of the poor. The men in the picture make barely minimum wage which is Rs. 7500 a month. How about a suit? How much did it cost? How many crores were your profits last year? Calls for a boycott.”
But isn’t the expression of the coolie shown in the picture exactly the same expression as your maid has when you ask her to do your laundry or iron your clothes.
Why, then, the rage?
Although Sana Safinaz might not have chosen the most politically correct marketing campaign, it is a realistic one. This campaign highlights a reality that exists in our society. It acts as a mirror to those privileged enough to have access to social media websites.
The variety of socio-economic classes that exist in our country are usually not on our mind when we’re spending exorbitant amounts on designer labels.
We don’t want to be reminded of those unfortunate people who can’t even afford to feed their children when we’re trying to think up new ways to show our affluence. No. These discussions are strictly prohibited outside cafés and internet forums. That’s where we think about social issues. How dare Sana Safinaz try and shove the bitter truth when all we want to do is ogle at slender models and chic dresses?
To the people comparing this campaign to Vogue India shoot back in 2008, please go through both and try to analyze the two.
If someone thinks that boycotting Sana Safinaz will make you a human rights activist, I’m sorry to break it to you but it won’t. For that, you actually need to do something other than changing lawn brands.
I’m sure that ‘phool wala’ kid you hand the five rupees coin to at the traffic signal does not care what lawn print you are wearing.


New space for my rants

I'm officially shifting my word vomits to tumblr. This blog will be more ummm sophisticated now. Or, as sophisticated as I can be while writing. Well, atleast that doesn't set the standard too high.

P.S. I just remembered my primary school English teacher hated when I started my sentences with 'Well'. I miss you Mrs. Abbas. <3

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One Emo Blogpost, coming right up!

When you get used to happiness your brain starts functioning differently. It changes the way it perceives things. Makes assumptions that are not necessarily true. And starts expecting a continuance of that happiness. It tricks you into forgetting where you really stand, creating an illusion where you demand more than life can fairly hand out to you. The most painful journey is the one that takes you from Eldorado to reality. It's most often a speedy transition, if not hindered by denial and almost always results in a crash landing. The trick is to rehabilitate yourself in the real world as soon as possible by creating substitutes for the happiness that you were so badly dependent on for your survival. Sadly, the best substitutes are as unreliable as the originals. The worst replacements? Methods of self destruction. Not very effective in rehabilitating you. But completely in your control.
I write like
Dan Brown

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

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