Friday, 12 January 2018

[Food] Karachi Eat 2018: The Predictions

It's all get a little overwhelming come Karachi Eat time. I make a plan of all the things I plan to eat, get there, get confused and eat the same things over and over again. I will probably do the same thing this year. But you can be better. Follow my plan.

1. Chapli Kebabs at National ka Pakistan

Good chapli kebabs are hard to find - the right mix of meat and fat, fried to a crisp with soft buttery naans. Tried these babies at Food Republic 2018 and loved them!

2. Ujala Cafe

Run by the differently talented children of the Ujala school and their friends, they will be serving cookies, brownies, hot chocolate shots and pizza fries. Be sure to drop, do some shots, take pictures and tell others about these wonderful young people.

3. 2 Guys 1 Grill

They have a donut burger. Enough said! Been watching this beauty on Carnival Eats and now she will be mine. Succulent beef patty in sweet glazed donuts. Like taste buds gone wild!

4. Yum by Amna 

The queen of dessert bars in Karachi, Amna is serving up  Brownie Fritters and Tres Leche French Toast. Let that sink in. It's gonna take a while and a long walk.

5. Khao Dosa

They say they have idli sambhar. But will it be good and tangy and soft and fluffy. I hope that's a more realistic claim than the terribly edited image.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

[Travel] PIA Poised to Take Off!

This time it's true.

Solidly based on a business plan developed for the first time in a decade, PIA is in the midst of implementing the first phase, V1 as its called after the V1 Velocity that an aircraft achieves on the runway before committing to fly, to turn around the company in 18 months and achieve profitability by 2022, if not earlier. The operating reports from last couple of months confirm PIA’s upward trajectory. The strength of the plan can be seen in the positive results seen as sales rose by 29% since the month of October 2017, and growing every day. Efficiency and innovative solutions fuelling organic growth being pursued, alongside a culture change towards enhanced customer satisfaction and experience, greater accountability, and human resource management (the hallmarks of PIA’s Business Plan for next Five Years, suitably called ‘Fast Forward’).
With a 67% and growing market share in the domestic market, Pakistan International Airlines, is already the national market leader, carrying millions of passengers over largest domestic network, covering all parts of the country. Now the aim is to gain glory on the international realm. In this endeavour a clear roadmap till 2022 has been outlined in the recently launched Business Plan. With a turnaround of the airline promised in 18 months, work is in full gear to achieve the goals.
I see PIA dominating the skies again! I see it clearly and I see it surely! And my confidence comes not from things we promise but things we have already delivered and are every day accomplishing to bring a positive change,” Dr. Musharaff Rasool Cyan, CEO PIA stated as he discussed the present and future of Pakistan International Airlines.

Moving from a Bureaucracy to an Agile Business Enterprise
The global context of the airline industry in which the airline companies find themselves operating is evolving rapidly and has moved away from airlines being merely transport to a lifestyle. After all, travel is a life style. To become globally relevant, PIA is changing its business practices and has set clear set of targets till 2022: Increase the fleet from 36 to 43; Increase the revenue by almost 100%; move from an operating loss to an operating profit of 6 Billion; and increase direct networking points from 50 to 57 and virtual network to over 100. PIA also has set itself a new vision, a truly global profitable airline while being the pride of Pakistan, with customer centricity and excellence in everything as the guiding principles.
Using the same customer centricity inspired “Glocal” approach; PIA is changing its culture towards greater accountability, efficient human resource management, and enhanced focus on the reason for being in business, the customers. The airline is now embarking upon the most drastic transformation of its business model yet, shifting from a purely point to point model towards a Hybrid Hub and Spoke Model, to provide greater flexibility to the passengers through convenient connections, greater number of frequencies and attracting non ethnic international passengers as well via gateway of new Islamabad International Airport. This model is not just better to serve the customer, but also is much cost effective which will contribute towards airline’s sustained profitability. A strong attention is being given on creating efficiencies and improving services, targeting Skytrax rating to 4 stars by 2022 from current 3 stars.

Gaining Velocity 1 (V1) Speed
V1 is the speed at which the aircrafts reaches and the pilot commits to fly! It is the momentum just before taking off. Very aptly, this is the name of the first phase of the actions towards the Big Change.

“The engines are revved, we are on the runway and well on our way to gain maximum speed to take off. We are committed to fly to great heights,” remarked Dr Cyan, as he introduced the V1 initiative.

Understanding that importance of making changes in the shortest time, the V1 initiative outlines a roadmap for immediate improvements to ensure immediate drastic improvement in services. Over 40% of the activities have already been rolled out. The activities include cabin look enhancement; ground staff customer services and cabin crew refresher training; IT transformation for improved customer touch points and ease in interacting with PIA; focus on direct selling channels; new uniform for ground staff; new revenue accounting systems; Rebranding of PIA and increased digital footprint of PIA; and formulation of controls for revenue leakages.

To date PIA has rolled out 7 refurbished aircrafts; human resource management has ensured a leaner machine with higher efficiency; trainings are underway in partnership with Qatar Airways; new designer ware uniforms have already put been in use with the cabin crew while other ground functions following soon. The digital footprint has enhanced to a point where third party analytics portals Meltwater and Quintly have rated the social media for PIA as number 1 amongst all Airlines in the world and number 1 in all categories in Pakistan. Recent Baby onboard and Christmas Festivities have gone viral and have achieved accolades from all corners of the world. Infact the Christmas Onboard Celebrations started a movement across the border whereby secular factions of the society, quoted this gesture as a representation of Pakistan as a tolerant and harmonious society.

Customer Service touch points is also seeing improvements and increased engagement and interaction is being observed through SMS, Call Centre, App and Social Media Platforms. Rebranding of the aircrafts, the flying global billboards, is also underway with new fresher look and feel, contemporary but tied to our rich legacy and lineage.

Pakistan International Airlines the Pride of Pakistan

As the proud carrier of the national flag, PIA is close to the hearts of the nation. It is therefore, important to listen to what the people want for their travel and lifestyle needs. In this regard a nationwide survey was conducted to gauge the need of the travellers. The results of the survey were then transformed into actionable points, almost of all of which now are part of PIA’s V1 initiatives.

The initiatives taken are already getting noticed internationally and are getting the accolades. The most premier aviation magazine, Airliners World, has featured PIA on the cover page in their first edition of the year citing the same.

PIA is spreading its wings once again... to soar high in this world like it has never before.
It is our pride, our national identity, and one of the country’s most valuable asset. We all have to play our role in ensuring that it flies high, to newer limits, waving our flags all across the world, making us proud once again.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

[Music] Songs To Warm You Up

As Karachi gets its so called winter, we see warmer menus, fashion and sometimes even conversations. It is also time to change your playlist and respect the season's wishes. This is just to warm you up, a little bit while you sip on your hot chocolate or mulled wine with a loved one or your imagination.

No, I won't stop loving you. Why should I?
For those of us in long distance relationships and wondering with each leaving if this is worth it. It is. If he/she doesn't agree make them listen to Phil Collins.

Khwab hu tum, tabeer bhi tum, khud se mera vaada bhi tum
Perhaps one of the sexiest Pakistani pop numbers ever produced, Jaana Jaana smells like a date in Islamabad in the 1990s. Still hot, right?

Golden Brown texture like sun, she lays me down with my mind, she runs.
It seems like The Stranglers are smitten by an 'exotic' woman from the warmer climes. Top of the Pops performance for nostalgia. 

Katmandu, I'll soon be seeing you and your strange, bewildering time will hold me down.
Cat Stevens encapsulates the unique air of Katmandu Valley. It is a place where you will lose your sense of time and place and find yourself slowing down to savour it's warmth and unexplained attraction.  Katmandu is an acquired taste that once you acquire is difficult to let go of.

Tumhay koi aur dekhay tu jalta hai dil, bari mushkilon se phir sambhalta hai dil
Kishore da brings the heat in this number. The lust, longing and love for one's lover is burning up my headphones.

'Cause nothing feels right like when you're holding on
WARNING: I will not be held responsible for whatever desires for snuggling and consequent activities may arise from listening to this.

Lemme know what happens, yeah?

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

[News] Shahbaz Maqsood Khan quits Jazz

Shahbaz Maqsood Khan, the formidable Director Brands and Communications of the biggest telecom brand of Pakistan, Jazz has moved on to newer avenues.

The portfolio of his achievements during his two-and-a-half-year stay is very impressive. Under his leadership, Jazz overturned its slide into becoming the market leader in terms of sales and subscriber growth. He architected and executed the re-emergence of Jazz as an umbrella brand to different verticals and setting the course for its digital ambition. 

Within the organization, he was instrumental in removing red-tapism and creating a more productive, effective and streamlined marketing department. Handling the media, he brought in cost-effective and fruitful strategies to make Jazz a brand on top on everyone’s mind. He expanded the brand’s scope from being a mere commercial entity to a more altruistic corporation with a purpose. A marketer par excellence, the brand won PAS awards year after year under him.

Mr. Khan led the way to the highly successful collaboration with Lahore Qalandars which led to the world’s largest cricket talent hunt initiative Jazz Rising Stars. The award-winning initiative has changed the fate of aspiring cricketers who are bringing fame to the country. He played an instrumental role in the merger between Jazz and Warid and its ongoing transition, making it the most loved digital company. Fearless and strategic, Shahbaz Maqsood Khan has played a pivotal part in the launch of Veon, a global platform that is changing digital lifestyles of Pakistanis.

Diligent, dedicated and a thoroughly experienced professional, Shahbaz Maqsood Khan has been a great asset for Jazz and his expertise would be missed.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

[Event] The All New Xiaomi Redmi 4X arrives in Pakistan!


Xiaomi brings Redmi 4X to Pakistan in partnership with {Smartlink Technologies

With the launch of Redmi 4X, Xiaomi demonstrates its commitment to the market

One of the world’s leading technology company Xiaomi launched Redmi 4X in Pakistan on Saturday through distribution partner SmartLink Technology. The launch event took place in Lahore on Friday and was hosted by none other than the witty Taimur Salahuddin AKA Mooroo.

Audiences were provided double dose of entertainment with the hilarious jokes of Mooroo and scintillating performances by Pakistan’s leading band Noori and Nescafe Basement band with Altamash Sarver who made audiences dance to their favourite tracks. The stunning Mira Sethi also made a special guest appearance who was all praises for the newly launched Smartphone, equipped with the latest technology in an affordable price.

Smartlink Technologies Marketing Director Ahmed Butt was quoted as saying, “Majority of the Pakistani consumers prefer to purchase smartphones remaining in this price bracket and thus this bracket has always remained a key market for all brands. We have confidence that Redmi 4X will be a hit within its own price bracket, as the smartphone surely outperforms its competition in the market.”

Redmi 4X
Redmi 4X features a full metal body, is the slimmest in design at just 8.65mm of thickness and weighs a mere 150g. Equipped with a 4100mAh battery, Redmi 4X has an impressive standby time of up to 18 days! Bid those dying battery issues adieu! It will be available with a 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, so users can multi-task more efficiently, having more space for their downloaded applications and images. Redmi 4X will be available in the markets from Saturday in black a price of Rs 18,900.

The smartphones will be available offline across the country and online at official and at authorised online sales agents including and

Every Redmi 4X will ship with MIUI 8 which builds in several technology breakthroughs such as being able to clone apps and manage multiple accounts on the same phone. This means that users can have two instances of a messaging app on the same phone that correspond to different accounts, removing the inconvenience of having to log in and out on the same app. With MIUI 8, users can also split their smartphones into two accounts. This means that a different password or fingerprint can allow you to access a different home screen entirely, with independent apps and data. According to their needs, users can choose to merge certain data such as the address book and their call log history.

Key features of Redmi 4X:
• Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 with (Octa-core 1.4GHz)
• 4100mAh battery
• 13MP camera with PDAF; 5MP front camera
• 5-inch HD display
• Dual SIM (3-choose-2 hybrid SIM tray)
• LTE support
• 3GB RAM + 32GB Flash
• Up to 128GB microSD expandable storage
• Rear fingerprint sensor
• Available in Black

About Xiaomi
Xiaomi was founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur Lei Jun based on the vision “innovation for everyone”. We believe that high-quality products built with cutting edge technology should be made accessible to everyone. We create remarkable hardware, software, and internet services for and with the help of our Mi fans. We incorporate their feedback into our product range, which currently includes Mi and Redmi smartphones, Mi TVs and set-top boxes, Mi routers, and Mi Ecosystem products including smart home products, wearables and other accessories. With more than 70 million handsets sold in 2015, Xiaomi is expanding its footprint across the world to become a global brand.

About Smartlink Technologies
Established in 2016, Smartlink Technologies is a brainchild of a pool of professionals whose strong vision and even stronger conviction paved the way for an exclusive partnership with Xiaomi. We believe in reaching out to both the low-end and the high-end consumers and still give out state-of-the-art and warranted products at the best possible prices. We live in an age where the digital world meanders from smartphones to smart everything – we see it all around us. Smartlink Technologies strives to connect latest technology with modern and innovative sales techniques to change not only how brands are marketed but also how they define themselves.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

[Health] Smile Like You Mean It.

They say you have not understood the really meaning of pain until you get a toothache. Well. Actually, I said that, not them. A toothache is definitely one of the most painful experiences I have ever had. Oral health is absolutely as it is indicative of and can be a precursor to many health issues. As World Oral Health Day was celebrated on 20th March, oral healthcare brand Shield did a major public service campaign with #ShieldYourSmile and providing free check ups across major cities of Pakistan. 

Not to scare you or anything but....

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, there is a relationship between gum (periodontal) disease and health complications such as a stroke and heart disease. Women with gum disease also show higher incidences of pre-term, low birth-weight babies.
Other research shows that more than 90% of all systemic diseases (diseases involving many organs or the whole body) have oral manifestations, including swollen gums, mouth ulcers, dry mouth and excessive gum problems. Such diseases include diabetes, leukemia, oral cancer, pancreatic cancer, heart disease and kidney disease.
Your  poor oral hygiene can actually lead to other health problems, including:
  • Oral and facial pain. According to the Office of the Surgeon General, this pain may be largely due to infection of the gums that support the teeth and can lead to tooth loss. Gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, and advanced gum disease affect more than 75% of the U.S. population.
  • Problems with the heart and other major organs. Mouth infections can affect major organs. For example, the heart and heart valves can become inflamed by bacterial endocarditis, a condition that affects people with heart disease or anyone with damaged heart tissue.
  • Digestion problems. Digestion begins with physical and chemical processes in the mouth, and problems here can lead to intestinal failure, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders.
At home, you can practice good oral hygiene like so: 
  • Brush twice a day for at least two minutes, using fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can't reach.
  • Eat a healthy diet to provide the nutrients necessary (vitamins A and C, in particular) to prevent gum disease.
  • Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which are known to contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.
  • Visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. This is one of the most effective ways to detect the early signs of gum disease.
To know more about oral health care, check out:

Sunday, 25 December 2016

RIP my love, George

I am not sure what I should write about George Michael that could possibly explain what an influence he was on my life, or rather what he meant to me. From Last Christmas to Amazing - the crucifix earring and the stubble, the supermodels and the erotic music videos, George Michael defined pop culture,particularly fashion and sexuality for an entire generation. 

He was my first crush. He defined the kind of man I would look for and desire in the years to come. Rugged,older, broken,confident, damaged,sexy and intensely sexual. A man who could be both Father Figure and Fast Love(r). 

Imagine the disappointment of women when he was outed. Some how, that made him even more relatable.Not all of us are brave enough to 'come out'. He struggled with what was expected of him as a gay man. In fact, he once said his life had become tougher since the public declaration of his homosexuality. His big, fat Greek family was important to him and part of the reason for him staying in the closet was that. More than ever before, I loved George Michael for his emotional weakness and blatant sexual 'misdemeanour.'

He easily discarded earlier versions of himself with such rage.From Wham! to a solo artist, burning the infamous Faith jacket in Freedom 90, from straight to gay. He lived many lives in one. Yet, he remained true to his sound. You were more than the music to me. Thank you for being you. RIP George Michael.