For The Love Of Chai (Tea)

chaaye khana.jpgA good restaurant is one that transports you from the humdrum of everyday life into another world – a temporary cocoon of comfort. Chaaye Khana is such a place. Recently, I got an opportunity to go there at Lucky One Mall in Karachi. I was flabbergasted to see the ambience. Usually when you hear the name of the café, you expect it be a dhaba style, and therefore same was my thought.

Chaaye Khana literally means Tea House. There are several branches of the café in Islamabad, Multan and Karachi. When I entered the premises, I was taken aback with the gorgeous space filled with soaring ceiling, dim lights, bookshelves and artistic paintings on walls. Best place for the writers where you can sit and do creative writing. Also, you can play chess over there. Read a book if you like or just spend quality time with friends.

It’s a café which specialises in brunch, tea and desserts. Breakfast is served all day with variety of options like waffles, pancakes, eggs in many styles and aloo paratha, as well as brownies, cupcakes and lava cake. I ordered croissant with egg and cheese and special tea and it was very fresh and scrumptious.

If you are ardent tea lover, this place is for you. There is a range of regular and exotic tea varieties including herbal, oolong, Kenyan estate tea, white tea, Russian caravan, spicy chai, open sesame and many others. Personally, I find the presentation of tea very unique and interesting.

Staff was amicable and great service. For good food and ambience, I will rate this place 4 out of 5.


Love Is In The Air!


love is air

Online photo

Love is a feeling that can only be felt by those who have experienced it. 

Love is to be with the one through thick and thin.

Love is to feel save in a lover’s embrace. 

Love is to take care of each other. 

Love is not about saying ‘I love you’ it’s a feeling expressed through lover’s eyes. 

Love makes you fearless.

Love is selfless.

Love is to let go. 

Love is to wait for someone for the rest of your life and believe that one day it’s going to be worth it!

I know it will be…some day!

To Love And Be Loved!

life in perspectiveLast night, a random thought crossed my mind. When I shall leave this world who may shed tears on my funeral. My parents, sister and probably one or two of my closed relatives. That’s about it. I have a very small world which is good because less people you talk to, less drama in your life. But I also felt a pang of guilt that I am a selfish individual whose world revolves around I and myself. My parents and sister will feel sad because I am their blood. So it’s natural for them to feel that way.

Unfortunately, what is disheartening that I have never thought beyond my self. I have not helped any one ( and no monetary help is not what I am talking about). It’s about showing empathy to other people. I am not a bad person but in my life I have (intentionally) never thought to do something selflessly for other person. Not one moment I have given a thought to listen anyone or be there for a person. I always think that I don’t have friends in my down time but have I ever been there for them when they need me? Just to give a shoulder for them to cry on. The answer might be ‘No’… And not only friends, my fellow human beings. Doing something selflessly just to see them smile or even tears of joy makes all worth it. It’s as simple as that.

I believe that helping others is a great way to feel better about yourself. It can be a simple greeting with a smile, listen when someone talks, lend a shoulder to cry on, carry someone’s belongings to the top floor, run an errand for your aged neighbour, be a better friend or partner, cherish time with your parents, show concern to others and be compassionate, be gentle and generous even as simple as with compliments, be genuinely happy for others ( I know it’s hard but need to)… in simple words, find joys in giving and caring for others. Money buys you happiness but helping others will buy you contentment and satisfaction and probably few more people to shed tears on your funeral.

Laila Majnu: A Tale Of Eternal Love


laila_majnuEpic love saga never ceases. Imtiaz Ali and Ekta Kapoor’s Laila Majnu is one of the popular folklores that has been a symbol of love across generations. Imtiaz Ali ( the director of popular movies like Jab We Met, Rockstar) presents the heartbreaking classic folklore in a contemporary light.

Although the movie was released on September 7, 2018, I watched it yesterday and I was blown away by the honest romance which I think is missing in most of the Bollywood movies, these days.

laila majnu finalDirected by Imtiaz Ali’s brother Sajid Ali, this movie is co-written by two brothers. The movie is a classic retelling of the story which has been there for centuries. But this time the producers and director have given a modern touch to age-old story.

Set in the backdrop of Kashmir, this new representation of the legend tale of love and suffering revolves around two characters: Laila, played by Tripti Dimri, is flirtatious, somehow likes being followed by boys in the streets of Srinagar and excitedly asks her friend how it felt it to be kissed by a boy. She is deviant in her attitude yet obedient in her actions. Majnu is played by Avinash Tiwary who is rich, spoilt brat. Their parents belong to rival political families and when both lovers want to marry, the conflict arises.

lailamajnu_127727_730x419-mLaila Majnu is the story of love and insanity. It’s how Majnu vies with ‘duniyadari’ and follow ‘his heart’ and in process sever himself of reality. It’s about how his desire to be with Laila just cut off from the real world and he starts living in his own world.

Avinash Tiwary as Qais/Majnu is a great discovery. His expression and body language are excellent as he transforms from the happy-go-lucky Qais to the obsessed Majnu. Tripti Dimri looks pretty and beautiful.

laila majnu 2

I love the innocence in romance and especially I was flabbergasted to see Avinash Tiwari acting. This is his debut but the way he performed his role as Majnu was brilliant. He enchants you with his ‘so much in love’ craziness. Moreover, the movie has few beautiful moments especially when Majnu sees Laila after four years, other is when Laila and Majnu meets at their friend’s wedding and phone calls… all this make you to fall in love with the characters time and again.

I rate this movie 3.5/5.

Movie Review: Pakistan’s Motorcycle Girl

motorcycle girlRecently, I got an opportunity to watch Pakistani movie ‘Motorcycle Girl’, which was released last year in April.

As the movie started, it was mentioned that the film is inspired by true events. Therefore saying that the movie was based on a young girl Zenith Irfan who made a record of travelling the dangerous terrains of Pakistan was not right. True that the movie’s protagonist name was Zenith but this movie was not only about her story. It was actually the story of every girl who wants to achieve something in their life and lives according to their own will. Zenith is played by Sohai. Zenith lives with her widowed mother and brother. She works in a service agency and her life revolves around home, job and her responsibilities.

What piques my interest is that the director And writer Adnan Sarwar has shown an ordinary girl who loves to live on her own terms but every day she is faced by challenges such as lecherous van wala who loves to annoy girls in her van, gender disparity at her workplace, marriage, and the most famous line log kya kehenge!

motorcycle girl 1

The reason she learns to drive a motorcycle in the movie is that she wants to avoid daily rebukes from her boss for being late. However, this is not digestible for her company. To add to her dismay, her boss takes away her idea and gives it to her colleague. She has a certain liking towards him but he makes her fun. This all breaks her and she decides to go for engagement with Zaffar (who was her dadi‘s favourite). And then she asks him to let her go for a trip to Khunjerab as she wants to fulfill her deceased father’s dream. After much deliberation, he lets her go. And then the journey starts. On her way, her mind changes. She becomes a different person.

I was impressed by the beautiful shots from Lahore to Khunjerab and exceptional acting of Sohai Abro . Despite few flaws, I got connected with the first scene. The emotions were beautiful and I also got teary-eyed on few scenes especially of father daughter relation. I think every girl should watch this movie because it shows that you can break the shackles and do anything only if you overcome your inner fear.

I rate this movie 3/5.

Karachi’s Emerging Foodie Hotspot


xandersOver the last two years, Tipu Sultan Road has emerged as one of Karachi’s popular commercial hotspots. This is due to the establishment of several cafés and high-end restaurants.

Accessible via Shahrah-e-Faisal, Tipu Sultan Road is lined with several high-end restaurants. Cocochan and Chop Chop Wok are go-to places if you are looking for delicious Chinese and Thai cuisines. For Italian and European food, head to Bella Vita which is equally popular for its interior.

bella vita

A few desi restaurants are also located there including Sultan – The Royal Eatery where you can enjoy chicken tikka, seekh kababs and Peshawari karahi. Espresso and Xander’s also have a presence there where you can grab a quick bite and enjoy a hot cup of coffee with friends. Dunkin’ Donuts is also located there where you can satisfy your sweet tooth indulgence.

tipu sultan road

Due to increasing commercialisation, several houses that have stood there for decades have been repurposed to serve as commercial enterprises such as banks, salons, real estate and advertising agencies.

A few high-end clothing and homeware stores such as Tarzz and Habitt are also located there. Drive along the road and you will also see a significant number of educational institutes, healthcare facilities, superstores and wedding halls, in addition to well-maintained parks.

Tipu Sultan Road is increasingly becoming the perfect spot for the residents living nearby and further to this side of town, who now have their fair share of trendy restaurants and coffee shops and don’t need to trek down all the way to Zamzama or Defence to celebrate New Year.



Mental Health: Dealing With Depression


mental health 1On November 26, 2018, I read about the suicide news of Rushaan Farrukh. It’s disheartening to know that a young girl, who was studying visual arts at BNU in Lahore, took away her life. Her last Instagram posts proved that she was suffering from depression.

I wonder what might be going through Rushaan’s mind when she was standing on the building’s roof. Giving up your life is not an easy decision rather it takes guts and a lot of negativities for Rushaan to jump off from that roof.

These days, youngsters and children are suffering from depression and the reasons are heartbreaks, failure at studies and bullying.

Depression is not a fluff; it’s real and valid issue. I do know what it’s like to be in this state because I had also gone through this phase. A couple of years ago, I had zero motivation for life and I totally gave up. It’s not because of bullying but yes I was heartbroken and this affected my studies. Despite being an A-Grade student I failed miserably at my fifth semester. And on top of that, my mother started looking for my rishtas because I turned 21, luckily I faced rejections many times (pun intended). Consequently, I felt bad and all of this just broke my spirit and I fell into depression.

At that time, I don’t know how and what happened but I only remembered that my parents, sister and most importantly my connection to Almighty Allah restored my strength.

Mental health is a big predicament and it should not be taken lightly. There are several mental health problems a person faces which include anxiety, insomnia and depression. Unfortunately, people suffering from these mental problems are mocked and derided by their surroundings and society.

mental health 2

Feeling anxious or low is normal but if this persists for longer period of time, then this is alarming. Depression is chronic, it can kill people. Depressed people tend to let their lives slide away from their hands. They feel safe in their own cocoon and don’t want to come out. Usually we think that people who are unsuccessful are depressed which is wrong. Several successful celebrities have also been reported to be in severe depression. Hollywood bigwigs such as Robin Williams and Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) took away their lives. In Bollywood, Deepika Padukone was the first female protagonist who came forward and acknowledged that she is suffering from high functioning depression. Now, Padukone helps create countrywide awareness about mental health.

So the question arises how to deal people with clinical depression? As society, it’s important to show concern and listen to the people who are depressed. Don’t shut them up by saying that you should be thankful for your life. The person is in pain and only he/she wants you to listen and not to be judgmental.

As parents, it’s important to build a relation with their children. During Zara Hat Kay Show, one of the psychologists, Aniqa, suggests to parents that they should teach gratitude and patience to the youngsters. These two traits are lacking in today’s generation and they want immediate results and if any mishap happens which is against their plan, they become impatient.

As far as my viewpoint is concerned, I don’t want to say anything to society because it won’t make much of a difference. I will directly say to the person, who is going through depression, try to revive your connection with your Creator. As Muslims, we believe that Allah calls you five times a day. The call to prayer is a reminder that the Creator is there for you. HE won’t abandon you in your misery. Talk to Allah because HE will listen to you. Pray to Allah because HE is the one who can boost your inner strength. Try to create a strong bond with Allah, who never judge you by your physical appearance and do not see your status; instead your Creator only sees your beautiful heart. Seek help from your Creator.

Remember you are above all these materialistic objects and do not let anyone belittle you because no matter how much we talk about humanity, or showing concern to people, nothing will change. There will be people who will demean you, who will say rubbish about you so DO NOT LET ANYONE COME IN YOUR WAY.

Nobody is perfect in this world, not me, you or not even your bully. This time will pass. And you just need to stay firm. And keep moving, you will eventually find a far better place.