We Take Our BISCUITS VERY Seriously

PEMRA: People can not digest the idea why one needs to dance like that for a biscuit ? This is absurd. What kind of creativity is this ! But dancing otherwise for legit reasons is still acceptable and not frowned upon.

My (imaginary) interview with PEMRA ( Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) amidst the gala biscuit controversy.

Me: So PEMRA has banned Gala biscuit ad. What can be so controversial about a biscuit ad?

PEMRA: Mehwish Hayat, the model was dancing senselessly.

Me: Was the dance really provocative or vulgar in nature?

PEMRA: Hmmm ,in deep thoughts, not really, I would say. Infact, she was decently dressed, though a bit too influenced by Bollywood . There are dozen similar Pakistani ads around the same theme, but then it is 2020, this year people think more.

Me : So what really hit the nerve ? The dance ?

PEMRA: People can not digest the idea why one needs to dance like that for a biscuit ? This is absurd .What kind of creativity is this ! But dancing otherwise for legit reasons is still acceptable and not frowned upon.

Also we are working on a list of products where advertisers can accommodate a dance sequence. We are not so conservative after all.

Me : I see. So dancing should strictly be limited to the nature of product. BOSE music surround, yes but milk whitener, no .

PEMRA: Exactly.

Me: One last question, what are your views on banning skin whitening cremes or showing regressive content on dramas. Most dramas have similar plots based on infidelity of men and weak, traumatised women. There seems to be very little content on strong women who people can look up to.

PEMRA : * Uncomfortable cough* That’s also on the table. It’s on our agenda.

Me : I see PEMRA takes biscuits very seriously.

Review: The Hate You Give #BLM

There are books that you read to unwind and relax. Like your typical rom-coms, feel good books or a genre like horror, mystery or suspense. You enjoy those and the story becomes a part of your world until you reach the end of it. You get a certain closure and satisfaction in knowing the end but also a sense of loss after finishing a good book.

But there are some books which are more than stories. They entertain and educate and gives you a peak through a character’s life and gives you a perspective to experience those things. Some books which really made THAT kind of an impact on me, to name a few are; The Help , alot of Jodi Piccoult’s books such as My sister’s keeps, the Nineteen Minutes, Handle with care, The Americanah & books of Khalid Hosseini. The latest book to the list is “The Hate you give” by Angie Thomas.

It basically sums up the #BLM movement. The story takes you to the world of Starr, who is the lead female protagonist. She is not your average girl in the black hood. For one, her parents are doing what they can to send her and siblings to private school, where they are the only few African Americans; adding a bit of pepper to a whole lot of whiteness. Starr had a tormenting childhood as she saw her best friend murdered in a drive by shooting accident in her neighbourhood. While the nightmares and pain eases with time, but losing a friend in a senseless crime with little to negligible investigation pains her. Her neighbour hood is a typical ghetto, dominated by violence, gunshots , drugs and gang wars.

The story takes a turn when her friend was killed mercilessly by a cop in front of her when their car is stopped over a broken tail light. Though Khalid, the victim, didn’t resist but he is still killed over suspicion. Killed over a hair brush lying on the passenger seat that the cop confused for a gun . Killed because the cop assumed the worst of him. No different than what happened to George Floyd.

The book sheds light how the black minority is designed to fail by the system. Sub par schooling which does not give the same playing field as the more affluent schools, hence less opportunities and unemployment, easy access to drugs and eventual jail. A vicious cycle.

Starr was leading a double life. One for her school and white friends and another for her black neighbourhood where she had to constantly prove her loyalty. At school, she was expected to behave JUST right or be stereotyped a violent,angry, black African American. She spoke in a different way , listened to Taylor Swift and avoided conflicts. It was almost as if the weight of the entire community rested on her shoulders.

Things changed after Khalid is killed. Starr’s conscious compels to stand for her friend and countless other Africans who are victims to injustice, prejudice and racism. Though the verdict is not in her favour despite the evidence , but it is a start of a new beginning. In doing so she embraces herself and becomes the voice for her community.

This book is a must read in the current scenario . The book was published in 2017 and 3 years later #BLM has become a global rage. The death of George Floyd has changed the world and was the last straw for institutional racism. We are now standing at a point where people are finally taking responsibility and hopefully will make a change in the system and behaviour. It is a long road but at least it’s a start .

Coming from Pakistan , Racism is very much applicable in our part of the world. Mocking and ridiculing someone over dark complexion is extremely common. The society idolises white complexion and multinational companies mint money by instilling lifetime worth of insecurities by promoting all kinds of whitening cremes.

But you know what ? This movement has made them stop and forced them to reposition their brands. It’s a victory no less! The society and media meanwhile is trying to be mindful of their choice of words . And finally, these are the baby steps in the right direction!

For the love of Rain and Chai

While my friends are sweating buckets in Pakistan and Middle east, I cannot be more grateful for the weather in Nigeria. It is raining almost every day. Rain, cool winds and then a clear bright sky! And what I love the most, It doesn’t stay cloudy for long. So pretty much perfect weather.

Where I am coming from , it hardly rains . Summers are brutal and when it does somehow magically rains, we celebrate. And we celebrate the only we know how to celebrate. We eat . We instantly crave Pakoras (Fritters) and hot Chai. Rains and pakoras go together like salt and pepper in our local lingo. You say rain and I can bet within 2 mins someone will suggest pakoras.

Great weather is a blessing . It lifts and changes your mood. Like a big bear hug or a hot brownie with vanilla ice cream on the side. While we are in quarantine and feeling low, the weather is literally like a breath of fresh air. The rains here are expected to continue for the next two three months, so having deep fried pakoras might not be wise but a hot, strong cup of tea will definitely be my choice of poison.

Do you know that most DESI’s take their tea very seriously? Everyone likes it a specific way …I like mine strong, milk added towards the end and boiled some more , and then once the stove is switched off, cover the pot and let it sit for 3-4 mins for the flavours to really seep in. Making a perfect cup of tea can be a hit or miss. What is yours ?

The Desi Trollers

We as a nation have a lot of problems. Lack of education, poverty, inferiority complex (thank you colonialism), lack of understanding of religion and intolerance.

Now imagine, if people with these characteristics get their hands on a device and internet.


Behind the safety of their screens , they think they are propagators and best ambassadors of their faith. Bullying , shaming and giving visuals of fire that await all the infidels consumes them and becomes their full day job.

So confident are these keyboard jihadist, that they can even tell by looking at your display picture whether some of us are headed for hell or not . I guess there is some scientific formula that involves variants like length of the shirt combined with subservience which can calculate where we stand with God.

Add Hijaab and Gol roti and Voila ! you have a direct entry to paradise. Please note that this formula only applies to women.

You must be wondering why I am linking religion to online trolling . All countries have them . No . Ours are a very special kind. Condescending and dipped with their so called understanding of religion . They shame you and appear righteous at the same. It requires a special skill. Not all of them have it. A normal troller will say ” U suck” , our desi troller would say you “You were raised badly , hell awaits you and no wonder you suck !

A week ago , there was a fatal crash of PK-8303. In this flight was a model named Zara Abid who passed away. And it was heart wrenching to see that some of them, didn’t even spare her. Her Insta page was flooded with hell filled sermons just because her lifestyle was not something they could digest.

One of the thing that worries me most is the intolerance in our country and how unacceptable it is to have a different view.

And this sometimes makes me a stranger to my own country.

PIA Crash – PK 8303

Sorry been MIA throughout Ramadan. Was zombie during the day and an owl by night. The past week has been extremely tragic with the PIA flight crashing in Karachi . The flight was hardly a minute away from the runway .

There are 2 survivors and remaining 97 passengers have all died. Just imagine , they were all travelling to reunite with their loved ones during COVID. It was a stressful flight as it is . But the thought of spending Eid with family together was worth the pain. While embarking on this flight, COVID must be one of their biggest worry. Must have taken all kind of precautions, prayed for everything to go well and the least expected thing happened.

Dying in a crash is a very painful death . We cannot even comprehend what they must have gone through in those last few minutes. Charred and unidentified bodies, missing remains, the families of the victims are tormented forever.

It turns out there were few people on this unfortunate flight who were friends with our friends. One of them is one of the survivors. He was seated towards the front exit, which saved his life. He says when the flight crashed, he blacked out. He landed on top of a car on his flight seat with his seat belt fastened. He was rushed to the hospital and was able to call home within an hour of the crash to tell his dad he had survived. He is home now and recovering from fractures.

There was another family who was returning with three kids. I have been told that at one time they were considering a road trip from Lahore to Karachi but then decided otherwise. The entire family passed away in the crash.

There is this video on Facebook which is going viral . A father lost his wife and 3 kids on this flight and he is begging the authorities to expedite DNA testing to identify bodies of his two children so they can rest with their mother. My heart just broke.

The father has just received a call from the authorities that they have identified the bodies of his two children. The father was so happy and jubilant and thanking everybody who supported him. This was literally heart shattering . I pray so hard to give this dad strength and to ease his pain. How can anyone sustain and survive so much pain?

My heart is getting heavy writing this. Why is life so difficult for some ? How can one even find a will to live after experiencing this kind of shock . One thing this pandemic has taught us how helpless we all are and how transient this life is. It is my faith which gives me hope and strength , otherwise I might have fallen into despair a long time back.

If you are reading this , please say a little prayer for the victims of the crash and their families. May they rest in peace.

Home away from home #CoronaDiaries

Karachi is going under lockdown. This is a much needed step and I wish it was taken atleast a week back. Our people despite the media outrage and government pleas are not understanding the gravity of the situation.

While I am stuck in another continent, experiencing the initial panic of Corona , I am worried about my family back home . My mom, in-laws , uncles and aunts who are in a very vulnerable age bracket. My heads screams at the stupidity of our nation who have been brazenly socializing in spite all the warnings, and then feeling helpless about the state of healthcare of our nation . How are we going to overcome it ? May Allah has mercy on us . That’s all I can say right now.

The worrying thing being stuck in Nigeria is what If I get it ? The health care here too is very fragile and being in an unknown land, the thought of getting treated here seems like being sent off to jail.

I am trying to trick my mind and think positive but I just needed to express how I am feeling right now. I guess I should watch some Friends and life will be good again . It always does.

Harry & Meghan Moving to Pakistan

Not too long ago, news emerged of Harry and Meghan moving to Pakistan . Now we finally have more details coming forward. The family will be residing in Karachi. They have shortlisted posh Creek Vista as one of the options because of proximity to good schools and general feel of the place. Harry likes golf and Golf Club is 2 mins away. They don’t want the headache of electricity or gas load shedding , so Creek Vista seems like the perfect fit .

Though Archie is late for preschool registration but Preschool Plus has been very accommodating and have also assured the parents that Archie has a very good chance to get into Karachi Grammer school.

Harry has expressed interest to be part of Naya Pakistan and a position for Tourism Minister could be a possibility. With Pakistan being branded as top country to visit , this seems like a compelling strategy . Whereas, Meghan will be looking after Shaukat Khanam Karachi chapter.

The couple plans to spend summers in London or Canada because Karachi summers are horrible to to say the least and Meghan has no patience to get into the designer lawn frenzy which envelopes the country every summer.

Pakistan is very happy to host the royals . All the aunties have been hushed not to recommend whitening totkas/remedies to Meghan.


PS: If you haven’t had your coffee/Tea yet , this post is purely Satire .