Saddar goes Artsy

Friday, October 28, 2016 Hiba Moeen 2 Comments

Karachi has been witnessing a steady transformation when it comes to art. This is evident by the fact that quite some public places have been adorned with murals painted on walls and flyovers with Cantt Station (walls painted by Phool Patti Pakistan's Truck Art Team) and the underpasses near Regent Plaza and Gora Kabarustaan painted vibrantly to name a few of these places.

Recently, a family friend, Dr. Muhammad Hussain who is a resident of Saddar revealed that his residential vicinity is another spot where the walls are being painted which is another step to beautify the city. He rather seemed motivated by immense passion as he conscientiously stepped out last weekend to take pictures for this blog post which he later assisted for as a co-author. It takes quite a few people with observational skills to see and document whenever their city is being prettified. The picture above is one of the many pictures that you shall see now. Right now it's a work in progress situation or perhaps has been concluded as you read the post. 

There is a series of wonderful paintings with an educational touch to them and let's hope no one stains these with their betel leaf trash and vows to preserve the effort put in by the artists. This is a project conceptualised by the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture just like various others in the city. 

Once upon a time I myself wanted to go to an art school and this could have been one but I later chose a different path, though art is a strong part of my soul which I can never break free from.
The pictures above have been painted on the walls in front of St. Joseph's Convent School and College, and near St. Patrick's Church. The lovely vintage neighbourhood that you see below is the Cowasjee Foundation Residential Flats which was privileged to have its walls painted into scenes of monumental places and descriptions of various others.

It's never easy producing a remarkable piece of art, there were people and great minds behind this work. Dr. Muhammad was able to have a word with one such painter who was working there. His name is Gulraiz Khan and he also does astounding calligraphy. 
The Urdu alphabets which are known as Huroof-e-Tahajji in Urdu were elaborated with details associated with each word and perfect for anyone to jog their memories and learn from, especially children.

I am totally in awe of this brilliant team work. You should all look around for the bits and pieces word appreciating around us. I'll sign off with a few more pictures that Dr. Hussain snapped with his phone.


The Experiential Pink Ribbon Campaign during PINKtober

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 Hiba Moeen 0 Comments

“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Not many of us are aware of cancer that might be engulfing their body until it's too late and most are still oblivious to cancerous symptoms quite holistically and what it entails. Thankfully, there are campaigns taking place in Pakistan that have vowed to create awareness about this disease among the masses. Recently, the Pink Ribbon Campaign collaborated with the Government of Pakistan, the National History and Literary Heritage Division and the administration of Mazar-e-Quaid in order to light up the mausoleum pink to spread awareness regarding breast cancer. There are about 40,000 women who succumb to this disease on an annual basis. This activity was sponsored by the textile brand, Gul Ahmed. Prior to this, a related activity was conducted at the Centaurus Mall, Islamabad.

You will be shocked at these facts about breast cancer in Pakistan:

1. Pakistan has the highest rate of female breast cancer in the entire Asia; 1 out of 9 Pakistani women is likely to suffer from breast cancer at some point in her life time.
2. Approximately 90,000 cases of breast cancer are reported every year in Pakistan and about 40,000 women die from this deadly ailment.
3. More than 9 million women are at high risk of becoming the victim of this disease sometimes in their life span, given this ratio.
4. Breast Cancer is the only form of cancer which can be detected at early stage and early detection fortunately increases survival chances up to 90%. However, the lack of awareness results in the high mortality rate.

"Through the illumination of this iconic structure, our message of saving lives from breast cancer will reach out to millions of Pakistanis across the country. The issue of Breast Cancer still has cultural sensitivities attached with it, but we need to raise this issue in mainstream media," said Omar Aftab, Chief Executive Pink Ribbon. He also discussed about the organisation's plans about setting up Pakistan's first dedicated Breast Cancer Hospital where all facilities will be provided to all deserving Breast Cancer patients, free of cost because no woman should die just because she cannot afford to live.

Having recently lost a relative to cancer (not breast cancer though) I can relate to how it may be considered a very discreet and sensitive issue not just for the sufferer but for the entire family as well where the victim is at the verge of death like fire consuming a forest exponentially. You never know when it is your last day even if you are a healthy person, whereas a cancer patient witnesses death staring at his/her face every single moment. It is indeed a devastating situation. 

Below are the symptoms of breast cancer. If God forbid, you or anyone you know is suffering from any of these, please seek help!

1. Swelling of the entire or part of the breast.
2. Discharge other than milk.
3. Scaling, thickening or redness of the breast.
4. Dimpling or skin irritation.
5. Formation of lumps in the breast. 
6. Swollen lymph node.

Gul Ahmed, being a responsible brand whose target market mostly comprises of women takes safe working conditions and safe products very seriously. It makes sure that all dyes and chemicals are non-carcinogenic. Yes, if you thought the fashion industry was completely non-toxic, read about the article recently published by National Geographic that talks about the horrors of the 19th century fashion industry. Victorian Britain and Europe were polluted with arsenic in fabric dyes and mercury that was used to harden hats made of rabbit fur. Apparently, the hatters and people working in the fashion industry were most vulnerable. Thankfully, the world has changed, though sand blasting is another hazardous procedure for producing jeans even till date in some countries.

Let's join hands in any way we can with these organisations to minimise breast cancer cases if not completely being able to eradicate them.

I found a video that might interest crocheters if they would like to contribute through their art:


The Scrumptious Gouda Burger & Sweet Potato Fries

Sunday, October 23, 2016 Hiba Moeen 0 Comments

Pantry's Gouda Burger and Sweet Potato Fries
Fridays are mostly fun days, considering the fact that the weekend is around the corner and that you can plan to have lunch outside once in a blue moon, that is, if your work load allows. Yesterday I happened to have visited the Pantry (located in Zamzama, Karachi) with my gang. I consider one of them to be a food specialist so I end up following his food recommendations quite religiously and I'm glad we went to eat something completely out of the world.

Since, I am a burger person when it comes to dining out, my friend, Shahzad suggested me to order the Gouda Burger with sweet potato fries; the sideline was something quite an innovation and I loved it. Not all may prefer sweet potato fries but it's a must have nonetheless, at least give it a try and experiment with your taste palate even if you can think outside the usual potato (well it's something your Prime Minister gauges the strength of the economy with, not to mention payey). As far as the Gouda Burger is concerned, it's one of the best burgers in town; the translucent cheese coupled with the juicy patty added to the eating pleasure with each bite. More so, the presentation was sufficiently creative as well, a knife had been thrust in, passing through a pickled cucumber. I believe that ketchup and the coriander sauce complemented the burger as opposed to the fries because these sauces were already sweet so it's not recommended to have sweet potato fries with these sauces.

Rather, my friend requested for the Chipotle aioli that was the best combination for these sweet potato fries which I couldn't have enough of, trust me they are that good. This particular sauce has a Mediterranean origin and is made of garlic and olive oil, and is ridiculously delicious! So if you go to the Pantry to have this Heavenly burger with this choice of fries, now you know which sauce to ask for.

Chipotle aioli
Below is another angle of my order. It was quite fulfilling and being priced at Rs. 750, the rate matches that of restaurants of the same standing.

My friend had ordered  the Mushroom Mac n Cheese which though seemed to have a small serving to the naked eye was heavily sufficient for a normal person. The combination of the thick, creamy cheese, and pasta was a great treat. I tasted it and it was good, though it might appear a bit too salty for people who prefer less salt in their food. However, if you are a pasta person, do not miss this.

And all this time I completely forgot about mentioning the innovation we had as a starter. So here it is! Lettuce wraps! These were served with shredded carrots and chicken with a combination of sauces, one of them being the peanut sauce. Imagine, if you were to eat this everyday for lunch, those extra dreadful inches would be no where to be seem but we are burger lovers aren't we (at least I am)?

Picture courtesy: Friend with Oppo Mobile
 And since it's the weekend, I can so relate to the cat I saw last afternoon, sleeping it's tired soul off! Just look at this kitty!

Until the next burger post I'll have coffee. Ciao! :)

All pictures have been snapped with my Samsung Galaxy Note 5 unless otherwise stated. If some appear blurred and pixelated, that's a template issue which I am trying to fix.



The Bun Story's Chapter

Friday, October 21, 2016 Hiba Moeen 0 Comments

I happened to have tasted some buns sent by The Bun Story and let me tell you that these are great snacks. I especially liked the Chicken Fajita bun that had a scrumptious chicken filling inside.

These are good to have with tea in the evening, for breakfast or as lunch for school kids. I like the fact that it's better than junk food available quite often in school canteens. So if you wish your child to have clean and healthy food, The Bun Story could possibly be your preference! Or if you also wish to eat light food, some of their variants would rightly serve the purpose.

I liked these buns' combination with chilly Kurkure as they complimented the product really well. This brand is more like a conglomerate diversification and a new venture by and seems to be making its way to consumer palates. Their story (tagline) goes on like, 'Buns upon a time' and is quite interesting considering they have an interesting story to tell with each of their bun variants.

You can even order online and you should give it a try: The Bun Story  


Table Talk with Brownie

Thursday, October 20, 2016 Hiba Moeen 5 Comments

Brownie trying to act innocent and cute to get a treat
Type of Animal: A dog
Breed: Awaara a.k.a Stray
Location: Somewhere in Clifton [hasn’t disclosed the exact location due to privacy concerns … you know … the Kutta Killing Mafia (absolutely heartless)]
Colour: Burnt Sienna
Age: Still a teenager 

Q1. Tell us about your childhood memories. 

Ans: I grew up way too fast to register a good childhood for myself, let alone be a childhood at all. When I started toddling, I found myself surrounded by this concrete jungle where I live today, amidst plastic bags that I use as pillows and beds. My mom had abandoned me, rather disappeared and knocked down by the Kutta Killing Mafia. I tell you they are vicious! Your human breed accuses our breed of not administering any birth control but then who is the one creating heaps and mountains of garbage at the corner and middle of every street for us to foster. That aromatic and cushy space becomes our safe haven, thanks to you humans.

Anyway, coming back to my childhood, I loved playing around with long forgotten balls discarded by kids and I still do, and since there has never been anyone to play fetch with me, I do it with my wagging tail. It has been my best buddy. Also, considering that it’s our innate attribute, I like taking a leak on vehicle tyres and barking my way off at the garbage sack party. In all this time I didn’t know that I grow up at such a quick pace. 

Q2. What are your current obligations? 

Ans. I’m a second time mom and this time of a litter of 9 puppies. However, now I am left with 7 beautiful kuttay ka bacchay; one just disappeared into thin air, the other was run over by a moronic human so I don’t know whom to call a kutta (dog) … my own breed or this guy who killed my gorgeous little puppy. 

Q3. Where exactly do you live and how do you ensure that food is taken care of? 

Ans: I live near a cluster of offices and schools for little human kids where the management rips their parents off in the name of education. But considering I am a breed of dogs, I have no right to comment on that.

My bedroom is under a car parked near the apartment block while my puppies’ nursery is under another car opposite to my bedroom. I like them to have their own space which is a much needed thing in today’s time and age.  And as far as the food is concerned, you can see that I am badly malnourished, you can even count my ribs with your human fingers that sometimes are reluctant to drop me food. I, however, do not like your tandoori (oven) flatbreads as I mostly prefer biscuits and meat other than rice maybe sometimes. There are some well-wishers who bring me good food, one is a driver at an office located in one of these dying shopping malls in Clifton, and a few are the blue collar workers of the sahib loug (elite class). There is also a lady who works at a nearby PR agency, she is the one who named me Brownie, she brings me food either while coming to office or while going back home. When it’s my lucky day, she brings food both ways. God has His own way of taking care of me.

You know this lady, when she comes empty handed; I still catch her and embarrass her while jumping around her. I can smell her. I have noted her timings. She smells extra good when she gets me food and I love her. You should know that we dog community animals are loyal individuals unlike some of you humans. Sorry I tend to get blunt sometimes. So pardon my bluntness, you should know I’m a dog or most specifically a bitch.

Q4. Are you ever bothered by humans in any other capacity than careless driving that makes one of you a road kill? 

Ans: I feel that if a human child’s parents do not teach him or her to respect an innocuous stray animal how would that person grow up to respect others around including humans? These are the basics.
Sometimes, some nasty kids throw rocks at us yelling, ‘Who dekho kutta!’ (‘Look! A dog!’) and again I wonder who the kuttay ka baccha really is seriously! Please learn to respect animals so that you can also learn to respect those of your kind. May God have mercy on us all in this capitalistic world.

As for some people riding motorbikes, I think these people need to be fumigated THROUGHLY! Like very, very THROUGHLY! If you know what I mean … they see traffic jams not to mention that they are the cause themselves, and they pretend to be snakes, creating a side pathway that does not exist in the first place. So they would drive their vehicle on the next thing that would be on the road or maybe resting on the footpath. Having said all this, I love the people around who care for me. I like to kiss them, lick them despite the fact that they would run and wash their hands as soon as possible because they have been touched by a napaak kuttiya! Just look into my eyes … all I have is love for people … well who feed me! Just don’t anyone dare get me the tandoori stale flatbread. Ok Thanks! 

Q5. Your husband doesn’t seem to be in the picture. Has it become a road kill too? 

Ans: No, I don’t think so, like some human husbands, ours are designed to abandon us and not live the rest of their lives taking doggie selfies. They may be loyal to humans and are sometimes not loyal to us puppy producing wives! I will comment no further on my kutta! Thank you! Next question please.

Q6. It’s been a great interview, Brownie. Do you have any message for people around? 

Ans: Oh of course! I don’t know where you are or what you do but I will find you and will … ASK FOR FOOD! Please get me food, oh pretty please. This is a plea from cute, dough eyed, highly malnourished, stray dog of your vicinity. *starts shedding crocodile tears because she knows whoever would want to bring food will bring food for her*

Some of Brownie's Puppies