Weekend Read - The Spy

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 Hiba Moeen 0 Comments

Picture snapped using Samsung Note 5
Weekends are always fun when you have a good book to read complimented by your much need fuel, COFFEE! And if you have a stock of bakery biscuits too then all you need to do is read and devour biscuits along with that frothy cup of coffee.

So today I'm going to discuss what I recently read, The Spy by Paulo Coelho that I bought from Liberty Books' Black Friday sale. Yes, I do not jump on the bandwagon of ridiculously buying clothes but instead hoarding on books was a good option. Well I hope I read them all soon, I'm a hoarder after all if not of clothes but books, yes. How can anyone forget the crazy traffic Karachi witnessed on the Black Friday and the chaos on roads, we as a nation need to equip ourselves more in terms of intellect and what we sound like once we start speaking rather than what we should look like. Looking presentable is everybody's right but you sounding intellectual is your country's right over you. 

So enough of the lecture, let's discuss what this book is about; be warned as it will make you feel sad but nonetheless it's a good read. 

Coelho, through his characters and their dialogues has a unique way of explaining the same thing from different perspectives as can be experienced via this book. It is based on a Dutch exotic dancer named Margaretha Geertruida Zelle who later adapted to a shorter name, Mata Hari; as Coelho expressed, 'Her only crime was to be an independent woman,' which she no doubt was and it's something that led to her execution eventually. Hers is a tale of melancholy and rapid paced stardom that had an even quicker downfall before she could even think beyond what struck her. She was used by someone to pull his hatred against
an entity and Mata Hari got accused for working as a German spy, whereas she was deceived into assuming that she was working for France.
This book has a good lesson regarding staying true to your roots and embracing who you actually are rather than what you want to become, as Margareth's mother expressed herself while handing her the Tulip seeds that she kept for years after that moment, "They're Tulip seeds, the symbol of our country. But, more than that, they represent a truth you must learn. These seeds will always be Tulips, even if at the moment you cannot tell them apart from other flowers. They will never turn into roses or sunflowers, no matter how much they might desire to. And if they try to deny their own existence, they will live life bitter and die."

And The Spy had varying opinions of characters about love, some I agreed with while some I disagreed with but here's the thing about the difference of opinions; you've got to listen to all and respect them for why and where they are coming from.

The Spy about 'Love':

1. "Never fall in love. Love is a poison. Once you fall in love, you lose control over your life - your heart and mind belong to someone else. Your existence is threatened. You start to do everything to hold on to your loved on and lose all sense of danger. Love, that inexplicable and dangerous thing, sweeps everything you are from the face of the Earth and, in its place, leaves only what your beloved wants you to be." - Madame Kireyevsky's advice to Mata Hari.

2. "Love is an act of faith and it's face should always be covered in mystery. Every moment should be lived with feeling and emotion because if we try to decipher it and understand it, the magic disappears." - Mata Hari's lawyer's letter to her before her execution (I think this also speaks volumes for people who like to post about their love life and their significant other very frequently on social media :) )    

3. "Love does not obey anyone and will betray those who try to decipher its mystery ... The body tires easily, but the spirit is always free and will help us get out, one day, from this infernal cycle of repeating the same mistake every generation. Although thoughts always remain the same, there is something stronger, and this is called love." - Mata Hari's lawyer's letter.

4.  Ecclesiastes saying:

I really liked Mata Hari's view as at one point in the book she is found saying, "Sin was not created by God; it was created by us when we tried to transform what was inevitable into something subjective. We ceased to see the whole and came to see just one part; and that part is loaded with guilt, rules, good versus evil, and each side thinking it's right." The sentence being so profound seems to relate with us as well as a nation, we are often seen busy accusing each other of being sinful and perceiving our own selves to be one of the most pious beings to have ever existed on the face of the Earth. And of course, accusing anyone of blasphemy is just a piece of cake isn't it. Therefore, if you actually ponder over some of the dialogues of this book, there is a lot to learn and ponder over a own thought processes.

Happy reading! :)


Is the Hype about Moto Z worth it?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 Hiba Moeen 0 Comments

In my previous post I wrote about Moto Z's anthem and how the gadget quality made it possible to shoot the entire TVC using this mobile phone alone.When you hear, 'Hello Moto', you immediately set foot in an aura of nostalgia that takes you to the time when consumers were crazy about Motorola Razr's flip phone series. 

In the recent launch event that Moto Z had, it displayed the chic mobile phone and demonstrated the use of all its Mods which are the modular add-on gadgets that can be bought separately. Mod is simply a cool way of referring to these accessories. Isnt it really cool when you can turn your phone into a camera or a projector whenever you feel like? The future is finally residing with us in the present time frame.

So let's talk about why the hype and marketing are worth enticing you towards a purchase decision. Below are some specifications and of course some details of the much talked about Mods:


Size and Durability:
It's the world's thinnest smart phone aka razor thin (5.2 mm) as it has been manufactured using stainless steel and military aircraft grade aluminium while it measures to 5.5". 

RAM and Storage:
If you are a data hoarder like me then Moto Z is something that would make your life at ease; with the option of 32 GB or 64 GB of space you can even practice your birth right to seek additional storage space by adding a micro SD card for up 2 TB (2 TB, really? Even I haven't reached that benchmark of mobile phone data storage but you never know when this option might come in handy)

Here comes my favourite part, the phone camera! Moto Z comes with a high resolution 13 mega pixel camera with laser autofocus and optical image stablisation which enables the photographer within you snap realistic and visually appealing pictures in any light condition. and oh! The front camera is worth 5 mega pixel and is equipped with a wide angle lens which helps you fit all your friends in one picture, fat and thin ones, all into one frame! 

When it rains or when you spill something your your prized possession:
Worry not! Moto Z has a water repellent coating which shields the phone from rain and splashes that might lackadaisically come to embrace your phone. 

Battery Life:
Aren't we all occasional phubbers. Moto Z comes with upto 30 hours of battery life and helps you stay connected for the entire day but let's say you often travel (better yet, if you are a mountaineer) and went camping, and didn't have a power connection for a time beyond this limit, you can buy the TurboPower™ Mod (Incipio offGRID Power Pack Mod - Rs. 8,650) that provides up to 8 hours of power in just 15 minutes. 

Price: Rs. 75,000 

Available Colours: Black & Lunar Grey/White & Fine Gold


The Mods can easily be attached and detached with your Moto Z phone because of their magnetic characteristic!
The 4 Mods - Picture Credit: Lenovo

Hasselblad True Zoom:
Dimensions: 152.3 x 72.9 x 9.0 - 15.1 mm
Sensor Resolution: 12 MP
Video Resolution:1080p Full HD at 30fps 
Mics: 2
Aperture: f 3.8 - 6.5 (perfect for photography enthusiasts who want to occasionally use it as an alternative to DSLR cameras sometimes)
Zoom: 10x Optical / 4x Digital 
Focal Length: 4.5-45 mm (25 - 250 mm 35 mm equivalent)
Flash: Xenon Flash
Flash Modes: Auto, on, off
Image Stabilisation: Still:OIS
Price:  Rs. 29,500

Moto Insta-Share Projector:
Dimensions: 153 x 74 x 11mm
Resolution: 854x480 WVGA (480p)
Projector Technology:  DLP
Brightness: 50 lumens nominal
Contrast Ratio: 400:1 
Image Size: Up to 70" diagonal projection
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Lamp Life Rating: 10,000 hours 
Keystone Correction: -40º to 40º 
Physical Button Control: Power/settings, Manual focus 
Battery Size: 1100mAh 
Battery Life: Adds up to 60 minutes of projection time 
External Charging: USB Type C 
Audio Output: Speaker, Bluetooth or USB-C from Moto Z phone 
Display Input: Moto Z phone 
Wireless: Moto Z phone cellular and wifi data 
Price: Rs. 39,500 

This is the room where Moto Z demonstrated the use of their projector mod and the experience was phenomenal

JBL Sound Boost:
Dimensions: 152 x 73 x 13mm 
Number of Speakers: 2 speakers @ 27mm diameter, stereo sound 
Speaker Power: 3W per speaker, 6W total 
Requency Response Range: 200Hz – 20kHz 
Loudness: 80dBSPL @ 0.5m 
Speaker Support and Integrated Battery: Yes
Battery Size: 1000 mAh 
Battery Life: 10 Hours
External Charging: USB Type C 
Change Rate: 1A, 5W 
Price: Rs. 12,500 

Their demonstration of sound with this mod was pretty cool

Power Pack (3 versions) Incipio offGRIDtm Power Pack 
TUMI Power Pack
Dimensions: 152.7 x 73.5 x 6.2 mm
Battery Size: 2220 mAh
Battery Life: US & EMEA: Up to 22 hours ROW: Up to 20 hours
Charge Rate to Phone: 4-6W, varies based on phone battery level
Charge rate from phone via wall charger: 2.2A, 11W
Wireless charging (exclusive to wireless charging version): Qi 1.2.1, PMA 3.0"
Wireless charging rate (exclusive to wireless charging version): 5W
Price: Rs. 8,650   

The team behind the Moto Z Anthem campaign (From Left to Right: Hira Tareen, Mehreen Jabbar, Amean J)

So I think the hype about Moto Z is worth it although the phone is priced at a very high end. It's upto you whether you want to buy the Mods as well or which one in particular you would be interested in. I personally like the Hasselblad True Zoom Mod. You can simply buy the phone and that might suffice your needs or like I said, you can buy whichever Mod suits you best.