Home Is Where The Heart Is…

corniche

Corniche, Abu Dhabi (Photo by writer)


It is said that the place where you are born always stay with you no matter where ever you go.

I think it’s true and this I felt when I went to my birth place after seven years. It was like I knew this place and the minute I arrived there; I got connected to everything around me. I felt I have reached home.


 

khaliydiyah

Al Khalidiyah Park (Photo by writer)


The park in the photo is Al Khalidiyah Park, which is in Abu Dhabi. This park has been there for many years. I remember my father used to take me and my sister after coming back from office. I still remember vividly how I and my sister would run on the garden. We would go on slide and see-saw which were the best rides for us in those times.

Fast forward to 2015, I am a grown up person. And I was happy to find a small part of my past in the present. This park, where I had laughed and played, still exists. Now, the play part was replaced by brisk walking and jogging. I spent time with my parents and enjoyed every, single moment over there.

Although I live in Karachi now, the city that has my heart is my birth place — Abu Dhabi.

khalidiyah

Photo by writer

I spent my initial years here, made wonderful and beautiful memories with my loved ones (read cousins), attended Junoon concert for the first time, danced on my cousin’s wedding, had a childhood crush, watched Bollywood movies on cinema, talked about our future plans with my cousins under the blanket, had my Aqiqah (Islamic tradition of the sacrifice of a sheep or goat on the occasion of a child’s birth and distribute the meat to the poor), birthdays and what not…

I bid adieu to my birth place long time but still it haunts me ( in a good way). Abu Dhabi has given me so much more than this which will always stay in my heart till my last breath. It’s goodbye for now till I see you again!

Have you ever felt like this for your birth place? If possible, share it in the comment section.

 

 

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What Is So Great About Friday?

masjid nabwi

Photo by the writer

This photo is of Masjid-un-Nabwi in Madina. A place filled with tranquility and calmness. This is the beautiful gate of the mosque. It was a dream comes true when I and my parents prayed our Friday prayer here.

I have always loved Friday, the reason being the blessings which you receive on this day. The day is full of barakah and it only matters if you give importance to this day. I remember when I was in school; Friday was a weekend over here in Pakistan. I would wake up early and after my traditional breakfast of puri (unleavened deep-fried bread, originating from South Asia) and tea, I would take shower before Friday prayer, put on itar (scented perfume), and then I would pray. After prayer, we all would have a grand lunch. Those were good old days…

Now, there is no off on Friday, however, still I wake up early, take shower and then wear my nice clothes to work and I do use itar. This is the ritual I religiously follow even today as well.

For Muslims, Friday is a blessed day and we usually celebrate this day with religious fervour. We make sure to clean up nicely, go to mosque, listen Khutbah (Islamic sermon) and pray Namaz in congregation. It’s good if you also recite Surah Kahf and make sure to perform good deeds for example giving alms to poor and greeting strangers with a smile.

On a side note, do give some time to your parents because they are not getting young and you will regret it once you lose them.

 

Don’t Let Others Determine Your Self-Worth

life in perspective 1Care about people’s approval, and you will always be their prisoner.”– Lao Tzu

Are you kind of person who always cares of what people think? Are you always seeking approval from the people around you?

If that’s the case, then you deal with the fear of judgment. It’s irrelevant to let others overpower you with their opinions. Don’t want to complain but people will do talk about you. They always have. And they always will. No matter what you do or say, how you behave, the way you walk or dress, how you act, or the decisions you make, will always be scrutinised by others. It’s the social nature of people.

Similarly you are no less than them. You also say things to people (even though unintentionally) which they don’t like. I and you are not perfect individuals who cannot make mistakes. We are humans and so it’s normal.

The problem arises when we allow other people’s opinions to not only hurt us, but often times, to define us. We develop rage and resentment against people. Little did we know that all this will only weaken us from inside and nobody else…

In the past few days, I have realised that it’s difficult to let go of anger and stay calm in frustrating situation. But when we do suppress our anger and don’t let other’s opinion affect us, we feel invincible.

 

There are small changes you can implement into your life. One of the best things is not to worry what others think of you.

Don’t waste your time trying to get everyone to like you, because it’s impossible.

Focus on becoming a better person.

Spend time with people who can boost your morale (in a positive way).

Keep an optimistic outlook on life

Be there for people who need your support. And lastly, be grateful of what you have now.

Remember, some people will disapprove you no matter whatever you try to do. It’s important that you should not measure yourself by the standards of other people.

You should not depend on the approval from outside; rather you should embark on a journey of knowing your inner self. Question your thinking and identity and define your self-worth.

 

Karachi In Focus: Affordable Living

11 A KEstablished in the late 1980s, Sector 11-A, North Karachi is a residential neighbourhood located near Shadman Town. It is accessible via Al-Amna Avenue and Shahrah-e-Usman.  Over the years, the sector has become a self-sufficient residential community thanks to its thriving commercial pockets.

Stroll around Sector 11-A and you will notice a mix of residential houses and apartment complexes; they are available at affordable prices and cater to every budget. The presence of reputed schools such as Falconhouse Grammar School and Oxford Grammar School as well as hospitals adds to the sector’s appeal.

For fitness enthusiast, consider heading to Gul-e-Lalah and Muhammadi Parks where you can do brisk walking and jogging on the tracks. Play area is the main attractions for children which include swing, slide, see-saw, merry-go-round, in addition to cricket sports ground for youngsters.

hilal-park-defence-karachiThe sector is dotted with several commercial pockets where you will find shops ranging from car repairs, tailors and groceries. Houses along main thoroughfares are increasingly being used for commercial purposes. A few banks, furniture shops, salons, pharmacies and wedding halls are also located on Shahrah-e-Usman that forms the sector’s commercial spine. A Wednesday bazaar is also held there and is a major crowd puller thanks to the bargains it offers.

If you are fond of cakes, consider heading to the Nice Bakers And Sweets, the sector’s first bakery that was established in 1990. Over time, the bakery has gained popularity for its delectable cakes and chicken patties as well as other menus which include mithais, biscuits and chips.

BakkeryFor food lovers, several small restaurants are located there. They include Dawat Inn Restaurant and Liaquat Bhai Food Centre which are famous for their karahis and fish katakat respectively. Fast food joints such as Pizza Max and Pizza Abroad also have a presence there.

Sector 11-A is poised to become a coveted residential neighbourhood thanks to the presence of foodie and shopping options, as well as a significant number of schools, hospitals and parks.

 

Muhammad Junaid: “Love To Engage With People”

This interview I took when I was working in Geo TV in 2012. This interview was posted on Geovision website. I am sharing some chunks of the interview over here for my readers.

muhammad-junaid1Tall and impeccably dressed, he is currently one of the popular faces of Geo News who comes to your living room every other day. He does not like to be called Micheal Jackson, the other reason of fame among his fans for his resemblance to late pop singer. His charismatic persona is felt when he is around, he speaks his mind and inspires you by his eloquent speech. In the race of broadcasters, Muhammad Junaid is a breath of fresh air!

Born in Lahore, with a graduation degree in Journalism and Political Science, later trained by veteran broadcaster Poonam Sharma, Junaid joined Geo News on October 2009 after which there was no looking back. His potential to put on a congenial appearance even while reading heart-wrenching news is commendable. In short span of time, he has already proved himself by achieving a place in some of the top-notch news-casters.

Geo Vision provides you an opportunity to know more closely about your favorite news-anchor Muhammad Junaid who is in his own words; ‘love to relate with people’

Madiha Akhtar: Why you choose to be a news anchor?
Muhammad Junaid: It was coincidence or it was destined to be; but I love to connect with people and my job defines who I am.

MA: How did you enter the field of news anchoring?
MJ:
After my studies, I joined the field as Associate Producer but it was actually a screen test that turned out to be a path changer in my career. During training period, it was Poonam Sharma, who discovered my talent of an anchor and rest is just history.

MA: According to you, 3 qualities that are needed to become a successful news anchor?
MJ:
For me, they are (a) Sound knowledge (b) confidence and (c) ability to face the challenge.

MA: Do you think that looks are given more importance than knowledge for being an anchor…your take?
MJ:
I do not find myself good-looking, but that does not matter a bit because my job is to speak and speak well! It used to happen previously but in the recent times, you cannot be a news-anchor if you have no knowledge. It’s important for a broadcaster to have a worldwide awareness and of course know-how of the past events for the reference. The trend has changed with the challenges associated and if one only relies on looks, they will not be able to survive for long in the field.

junaid 1MA: Who is your inspiration in anchoring?
MJ:
Anderson Cooper, Riz Khan and from Pakistan, Talat Hussain all the way! These are some of the anchors that have inspired me.

MA: Give one positive and negative point of being a news anchor?
MJ:
For me, the positive point is that I can relate to people and my journalism is actually a way to connect with the masses. The drawback is to deliver news that people do not like to listen as it’s painful for instance suicide bombing, killing etcetera, though they don’t know that sometimes it is hard for me as well to read but I have to deliver no matter what are the circumstances because at the end of the day this is my job!

MA: While doing live bulletins, did you face any mishap?
MJ:
Yes, there was one such blunder which was embarrassing. I had to talk to former DG ISPR to gather information on any incident, during the call; I made a grave mistake of fumbling the DG rank. He was actually a Major General and instead I was calling him Major for 3 to 4 times which my control room also noted.

MA: Your most memorable moment while doing news bulletin?
MJ:
‘Long March of Lawyers’ in 2009 was one such coverage that I felt proud to lead. I was appreciated for my work and it was a day of achievement—one of the best moments which still lingers in my mind.

MA: Any news that made you speechless or gave goose bumps? How did you recover yourself?
MJ:
Nothing, so far but there was one time when I had a lack of concentration while I was giving the details of some survey; I felt really bad because I was unable to say anything and my job is to speak otherwise you are kicked out.

junaid 2

MA: What has been your favorite news that made your day?
MJ:
When Nasim Hameed, a Pakistani athlete won the title of fastest runner in South Asia, it was just great feeling.

MA: In our present lot of politicians, who do you think is the rational one?
MJ:
I can’t comment.

MA: Other than you, who is your favorite anchor in Geo TV?
MJ:
Danish Anis Sheikh.

MA: Are you a planner? What goals you want to set now?
MJ:
I do make plans, I think where I am today is just a starting point and my aim is to excel in field of broadcasting. Moreover, I want to earn respect through my profession and also want to be known as authentic journalist.

MA: How is your experience working with Geo till yet?
MJ:
One of the best experiences of my life, where I have learned a lot by facing challenges and major happenings that has been great so far.

MA: To your fans, what you want to say?
MJ:
Believe in yourself, never try to be over-confident and over-ambitious because humility is one of the keys to success.

 

Altamish Jiwa: A Man Of Few Words

This interview I took when I was working in Geo TV in 2012. This interview was posted on Geovision website. I am sharing some chunks of the interview over here for my readers.

jiwa 2Casually dressed with a pleasant smile on his face, he updates viewers with recent happenings in the world of sports. His firm conviction, sincere passion and love for sports earn him recognition over a short period of time. A lively person by nature, Altamish Jiwa is one of the few sports anchors whose enthusiasm and passion for sports is reflected through his anchoring.

There is a saying, “You never achieve success unless you like what you are doing,” so it’s not wrong to say that Jiwa is one of the fortunate ones whose passion becomes his profession.

Jiwa joined media in 2005 as an intern at a business channel. His inclination towards sports leads him to the position where he is currently present now. As a sports anchor, he gets an opportunity to take exclusive interviews with the biggies of sports including the Tennis Maestro Roger Federer, world-class Boxer Amir Khan, Former World no.1 Tennis player Ana Ivanovic, the Giant killing Sweden’s Robin Soderling and many others.

May 2011 is the year when he made his way to the Geo News as a sports anchor. Here in this channel, he started off covering many local talents through his show. His lists of accomplishments continue to grow; recently he has also covered the T-20 world cup in Sri Lanka which proves a big boost to his professional career.

Despite his achievement, he hasn’t let success go to his head. He is humble yet energetic and his love for sports is his forte. Geo Vision brings you a light chit-chat with dynamic and ingenuous Altamish Jiwa who believes that whatever one strives to do in his life, it’s purely the will of Almighty.

Madiha Akhtar: Why you choose to be a Sports anchor?

Altamish Jiwa: It was a mere coincidence. My news-editor in my previous channel was the one who motivated me towards the profession of anchoring. After which there was no looking back.

Nevertheless I love what I do right now, and frankly speaking nothing excites me more than being close to ‘World of Sports’.

MA: How did you enter this field?

AJ: I joined media during my university days. One of my professors in my university was the one who forwarded my resume to the News channel. Although I never had any plan to enter the media industry, but I guess something are meant to happen and here I am!

MA: According to you, what three qualities are needed to become a sports anchor?

altamish-roger-federer-e1356378170340AJ: Firstly, one should have an immense love for sports. Secondly, passion for what one is doing. And finally, one needs to be super energetic. I believe it’s significant for a sports anchor to possess at least the above mentioned attributes, or else it can become quite boring for the person and viewers as well.

MA: Who is your inspiration in the field of anchoring?

AJ: Ali Mustafa, a Pakistani journalist and an anchor to whom I look up to. He is brilliant at whatever he does. Then a person whose work inspires me is a CNN anchor and correspondent Jonathan Mann.

MA: Give one positive and negative point of being a sports-anchor?

AJ: Everyday I feel upbeat at work because I am doing something what I love. Having said that, the drawback is obvious; you don’t get to enjoy the thrill of the game or be a part of any action, as you have to do your job. Moreover you have to act neutral and cannot show your inclination towards a particular player.

MA: While doing live shows, did you face any mishap? What was it?

AJ: Yes, there are many things that may go wrong in a live show. Once I forgot the correspondent name and though it was an embarrassing situation but as we say; ‘To err is human’. And what makes it apart is to not show any lines of fret on your face rather carry on with your work calmly.

MA: Your most memorable moment while doing shows?

AJ: During my career, I got an opportunity to meet the Tennis ace Roger Federer and fortunately also had an one-on-one interview with him. It is one of the best moments of my career because I really admire his game.

MA: Do you think that is there any scope for sports anchor in Pakistan?

AJ: Previously there was only one channel and in those times one might see very few people opting for the sports beat. However, as the media is evolving day by day, more and more opportunities are created for the budding talent to take up the career professionally. Though still more awareness is needed for recognition among the masses but I believe something is better than nothing.jiwa 3

MA: Do you think that looks are given more importance than knowledge for being an anchor…your take?

AJ: For me, I think there should be a balance of both presentation and knowledge.

MA: What has been your favorite news in the field of sports that made your day?

AJ: I used to host a segment ‘Local Sports’ on Geo News where I covered our local athlete. It was a great feeling to see our local talent doing something good in sports and as a sports anchor, bringing any news of their small or big achievement to the limelight made me happy.

MA: Who has been your all-time favorite sportsperson?

AJ: Roger Federer all the way! Even though he is a big star but he does not throw any tantrums. Personally I found him a very humble human being.

MA: Other than you, who is your favorite anchor (sports/entertainment/weekly) in Geo TV?jiwa 5

AJ: Danish Anis, Fatima Saleem and Marium Ismail—what I like about all three of them is their presentation which is very lively and exciting. Besides they are fun to watch.

MA: What are your goals for future?

AJ: I want to pursue my career in the field of sports and do something extraordinarily good. Furthermore, my plan is to switch on to the production side.

MA: How has been your experience working with Geo channel?

AJ: I am happy to be a part of TeamGeo. The organisation has given me an opportunity to cover the T20 world cup in Sri Lanka which became a life-changing experience for me. Most importantly I am grateful to Almighty Allah who has provided me a great platform to progress.

MA: Your message to readers!

AJ: Don’t come for the glamour! A person who truly enjoys sports and has a passion for it, this field is for them. Therefore if you want to join the media as sports journalist, be here for the right reason because it’s a great profession to be in…

 

jiwa quickie

 

 

 

 

You Deserve To Be Happy…

 

madiha 1

Photo by the writer

Have you ever been in a situation where you feel you are no good? Has anyone made you feel worthless? Have you ever thought why you always feel bad about yourself? Are you doing right? Is all what is happening is your fault? Are you as bad as a person? Is something wrong with you?

These thoughts have all been with me for the past five to six years. Every day when you are told that you are a selfish person and you only think about yourself; gradually you begin to think that you are nothing but a useless person with no heart.

I had been there in that situation where I was constantly assuring and reassuring myself that it’s just normal to feel this way but fighting each day with these thoughts really consumed my energy.

Recently, Oxford Dictionaries has chosen toxic as its word of 2018. Toxic means poison and living in a toxic relation or environment suck the joy and happiness from within you and replace with anger and sadness. And who knows this better than me.

Let me tell you honestly, coming out of it was not an easy feat. It took me a while (read many years) to realise that I am not wrong but I am actually stuck in a wrong situation. The only thing which pulls me out of this mess was me! Yes, nobody can help you until you help yourself and that what I did. And the strength I receive, to do this, was one and only my Almighty Allah.

The best solution to come out of this poison is to surround yourself with your loved ones and say goodbye to those who add nothing but negative energy into your life.

  • Be with positive people, work and relation.
  • Explore the inner side of you which you have lost down the line.
  • Do not be scared to be on your own.
  • Learn to forgive yourself and the one who has inculcated toxicity in your life for your sanity (but don’t forget what that relation did to you).
  • Focus on the goodness in your life.
  • Keep in mind that you are not a bad person to leave this relation or environment, you have only done this for your mental and emotional stability.

And lastly, do remember, YOU DESERVE TO BE HAPPY!

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