GT – August 01-15 2018


‘This the season of turning officially green!

With the spirit of independence infused in the air, Pakistan has begun celebrating some of its most valued memories of sacrifice and patriotism from the yesteryears.

Keeping up its tradition of celebrating what it means to be a true Pakistani, Pakistan’s favourite, foodpanda is now out on the streets delivering not just our favourite food from across town but also an exciting surprise.

This independence day, foodpanda has collaborated with Pakistan’s newest singing sensation, Kashmir – The Band, to unite Pakistanis with what they love the most: good food and great music!

The campaign has already begun with Kashmir – the band delivering their very first food order packed in cute little pink boxes especially designed for their fans. And that’s not it. The band is also performing an exclusive Azadi jam right at your door step!

To enjoy a hearty meal and great music with your family and friends this independence season, simply use the promo code “AZADIJAM” while checking out on the foodpanda app or website and get a chance to see Pakistan’s favourite band jam with you right in the comfort of your own home.

To check out how foodpanda is winning hearts with its newest collaboration, head over to the campaign’s hashtag #foodpandaAzadiJam and let the true spirits of celebration, patriotism and togetherness spread all around!

Mahlia S. Lon

Pakistan is on everyone’s mind these days. Just in time for the country’s 71st  Independence Day celebrations, we asked celebs if they could change one thing about the country, what would it be? What would you change? Let’s become that change with each of us responsible for whatever influence we ourselves have. Talk is cheap, so let’s put our time, money and effort where our mouth is!

With Fall around the corner, we’ve done some international trend spotting for you. The House of Dior has been bombarding Instagram with images of world famous millennials like Gigi Hadid carrying the Dior Saddle Bag bringing it back in popularity. For those of you who can remember, in the 90s the Dior Saddle Bag and the Fendi Baguettes were The fashionable bags to carry. So if you’ve got one hiding at the back of your closet, now will be the time to pull it out and dust it off, ready for active duty on your arm. Great quality and design never goes out of style.

With fashion plus interviews with actor Yasir Hussain, anchorman Kashif Abbasi, as well as musicians Ali Hamza and Zohaib Kami in addition to  the Sindhi folktale of Momal Rano, we present you the latest issue of GT. Pakistan Zindabad!

After appearing in hit films, Karachi Se Lahore, and Lahore Se Aagey, Yasir Hussain is back with the web series Kaala Bichu, music video Hello Ji and playing the villain  in the new drama serial Baandi. Yasir candidly answers Sana Zehra’s rapid fire questions

If you had a production company who would you never ever hire in your project: Mathira, Amar Khan or Meera Ji?

Meera Ji

Out of the following, which movie would like to see reenacted on the stage: Raaz, Bhabi Diyaan Chooriyan, or Punjab Nahin Jaongi?

Punjab Nahi Jaongi

True or False: Pretty girls have it easier?


10 years into your relationship there is only way to go, downward spiral, people who go upward literally go upwards? Thoughts?

Can’t really comment on that. The longest relationship I ever had was with my family.

Who’d you rather save your life if you were drowning: Mahira, Mehwish or Sadaf Kanwal?

Mahira Khan

What do men really need these days?


What’s the most important life lesson you’ve learned?

That I should have saved money

Describe work in a line.

Work is great, but a six month vacation is even better.

Is it ok to lose your mind when in love?

I don’t think so you should lose your mind in anything. Period.

If you could ask God one question, what would you ask?

How are Mom and Dad?

If you were to describe Trump in one word…


What is that one thing that you have and Ahad Raza Mir does not?

My pug Mogambo and my comics!

What is that one thing that your family asked you to change about your acting?

Nothing. They like it.

If you have a chance to sign a script without reading it, who would you sign up with: Hania Amir or Mehwish Hayat?

Hania Amir


If you had a chance to portray Mrs. Doubtfire, who would like to work with? Bilal Abbas or Ali Rehman?

Bilal Abbas.

Who would you go out with coffee with: Sadaf Kanwal or Iqra Aziz?

Iqra Aziz

Out of these actress who would you feed paan, shaved ice and icecream: Sana Javed, Ayesha Omer or Maya Ali?

Sana Javed—paan

“Let’s be honest, everyone remembers birthdays because of Facebook”

Ayesha Omer—shaved ice

Maya Ali—icecream

Who annoys more? Girlfriend or producers?


What do you forget more birthdays or anniversaries?

Let’s be honest, everyone remembers birthdays because of Facebook and I am not on Facebook.

One word for on screen romance, judge and awards?

On screen romance is the hardest thing to do.

I’ll be good at being a judge.

“I think I’m overrated”

Awards are simply useless.

What would your ex think after reading this: Thank God he is out of my life, My loss or Wish he was mine?

I think she will be thinking about her children.

Who is the maestro of acting in Pakistan: Humayun Saeed or Nauman Ejaz?

Humayun Saeed

Who do you think is the most overrated actor of Pakistan?

I think I’m overrated.

If you had a lot of money what would you buy: Jumbo jet or foreign passport?


Does anyone know your telephone password?

654321 is my password. Now everyone knows it!

If you were to be reincarnated, what profession would you choose: Salesman or fitness instructor?

Neither. I’d be a doctor.

If you get a chance to be the bodyguard of an actress who would it be: Mahira Khan or Mawra?

Neither. Angelina Jolie!

One difference between girlfriend and wife?


Heart breaker or rule breaker?

Rule breaker

Finish this sentence, I wish I had known earlier that…

This interview would take that long! (Lol)

Patriotism is riding high while Pakistan commemorates 71 years of independence. If you could change one thing about Pakistan, what would it be and why? Let’s hear what some celebs would change

By Haider Rifaat

“Our education system.”

—Azfar Jafri, Film director

“I want to see education youth driven programs that inspire people and give hope to future generations, a sense of equality and justice.”

—Deepak Perwani,

Fashion designer

“Equality of law for everyone —actually implemented.”

—Amir Adnan,

Fashion designer

“I would like to bring animal protection rights to the forefront. There should be a law to safeguard those rights. It is always taken as a foreign most commonly referred to as a western thought and I would like to change that and highlight awareness against animal cruelty.”

—Zhalay Sarhadi,


“Religious extremism”

—Muneeb Butt,


“That is a mighty tough question to answer but I will give it a try. Change itself is nothing. Change is a byproduct of certain steps that you take. Nobody is going to change anything over here because change is a reaction to a certain action that you take. If I have a choice or the capacity, I would change the whole education system. That will be my top priority; education, education, education! It should be uniform education. As we have a higher education commission, it is imperative that we make a primary education commission where we introduce one single syllabus for the whole country. Hopefully, in 20 years, a new generation that grows up will move in the right direction. With education, you will get all the positive change that is required to make Pakistan a great nation.”

—Khaled Anam,


“I would change the education system of the country and make sure every child, rich or poor, is provided with proper education.”

—Usman Mukhtar,


“Law and order, and education system. Free education for all!”

—Ayesha Omar,


“I would invest in our girls and women as they are the largest untapped potential of Pakistan. When women grow, families become stronger and nations progress.”

—Sadaffe Abid,

Founder CIRCLE

“Education is the key to success. That is one major thing we need to focus on and when I say education, it does not mean just a degree from random colleges. We need to change the mindset. Our society has deteriorated in the last 30 years. We need to come out of this deep jahalat and filth.”

—Ahsan Khan,


“I would want to see more respect for diversity and inclusion in Pakistan.”

—Nida Fatima Zaidi,


“Honest leadership. It will solve all our problems.”

—Dr. Rifaat Hussain, professor, defense analyst and television personality

“I hope to see more tolerance for things that are different or unfamiliar. Hopefully, leading to a culture of encouragement of those differences that make each of us unique.”

—Shahbaz Shigri,


“There is not just one thing to be honest. There are many but the most important thing I would like to change about Pakistan is corruption in every aspect. I feel if there were less corruption, we would not have economic, employment, water and electricity problems. No country is perfect but if there were less corruption in Pakistan, it would be better than what it is now!”

—Bilal Abbas Khan,


“Conservative perspectives of people in Pakistan. Also, the hate we have for each other in our hearts for no reason.”

—Momal Sheikh,


“Equal rights for our women – and I am talking the very basics, like getting the same food on the table, education and even the right of a girl child to live instead of being killed at birth!”

—Samra Muslim, CEO, Walnut Communications

“Education system.”

—Hareem Farooq,


“I would like to change the literacy rate of our country. We need to be well educated to be able to make the right decisions about our life and also to choose the right leadership.”

—Junaid Khan,


“I would start with an overhaul of the education sector, especially for public schools. We drastically need to see the government invest in bettering educational facilities for our youth on a grass root level.”

—Ali Rehman Khan,


“I would like to make Pakistanis more aware of the ground realities and their rights as citizens. Obviously I want more kids to be educated alongside health and education facilities for the common people.”

—Sana Sarfaraz,


“If I had it in my power to bring about a change in Pakistan, it would be in the level of regard that needs to be shown to our Constitution by all bastions of power. I would not allow anyone or  anything to hinder the true path of democracy.”

—Raja Changez Sultan, Artist

“One thing I would like to change about Pakistan is the fact that we need to start making a lot of animal shelters and focus on animal rights as this is one thing that I feel gets neglected all the time. We need to look after stray animals in Pakistan & look after the animals in the zoo as well.”

—Ramsha Khan,



“I would change that no political seat or vote can be bought.”

—Zahid Ahmed,


“I would not change anything but I would like to improve the people who are trying  to change Pakistan.”

—Humayun Alamgir,

Fashion designer

“I would want justice to prevail. People shouldn’t fear going to the concerned departments for their complaints. No woman should be stopped to stand for her rights. Only justice at the right time can change the mindset of people because it shouldn’t be the prerogative of the rich and powerful only!”

—Masarrat Misbah,

Philanthropist/founder & CEO of Depilex

Who?  Ahmed Ali Butt

Why? The comedian sports a slimming and laid back look. His streetwear sneakers are right on trend

Who? Mubashra Ali

Why? The elegant fashionista is stylish in an asymmetric Pucci dress paired with stand-out high end accessories

Who? Tehmina Muggo

Why? What a fun print to wear!

Who? Amina

Why? She’s quite the swan, her long neck and red pout mirroring that of the Judith Leiber bird she’s carrying

Who? Zainab Abbas

Why? A pink suit! Ooh la la

Who? Shandana

Why? She’s patriotic in Pakistan’s colours

After ten successful years as Pakistan’s most popular and enduring music program, Coke Studio will be returning to the air waves in August. Musicians Zohaib Kazi and Ali Hamza take on the mantle of production in the eleventh season of the series. Passionate, determined and talented, the duo is working hard to produce a season that highlights the people, history and culture of Pakistan, in addition to its music and musicians. In an exclusive interview for GT, the two young men talk to Ally Adnan about the upcoming season of Coke Studio, the challenges and pleasures of producing the program, and the dimensions that they plan to add to the music franchise

Coke Studio is one of the most popular – if not the most popular – Pakistani music programs of all time. How did you feel after landing the opportunity of producing Season 11 of the series?

We were thrilled, absolutely thrilled! The initial excitement, albeit great, was short lived because the work came with a tremendous amount of responsibility. Coke Studio is enormously popular all over the world and the program’s fans have high hopes of the show. The responsibility of living up to the expectations is huge. It feels good but is sobering at the same time.

Umber and Rohail Hyatt produced the first six seasons of Coke Studio whereas the last four were made by the Strings duo of Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia. What do you think of the different production styles of the two producer teams?

The two teams were masters in the field. Each had its own unique style and did excellent work for Coke Studio. The Hyatt duo had a great vision for the program and, along with its team, turned it into a marvelous reality.  Maqsood and Kapadia inherited a wildly popular program and carried it forward with great style and success.

“Coke Studio has a way of connecting with people using a language that is understandable, honest and refreshing”

Coke Studio Explorer takes Coke Studio to different parts of Pakistan

What has been your favorite season of Coke Studio thus far?

We do not have any one favorite season but have favorite songs instead. Each season has produced songs that are wonderful and have hijacked our playlists for years.

What is the reason for the immense popularity of Coke Studio?

Coke Studio has a way of connecting with people using a language that is understandable, honest and refreshing. People relate to it. The elements of hope, optimism, empathy, thoughtfulness, unity, and pluralism are hallmarks of the program. They speak to the viewers on an aesthetic level, individually and collectively. The music, of course, is very good.  And it is presented in an effective and interesting manner. The program allows the Pakistani nation to express itself in a uniquely powerful manner. That, perhaps, is the single biggest reason for the phenomenal popularity of the series.

How has Coke Studio contributed to the music of Pakistan?

Coke Studio has successfully brought the diverse, vibrant and inimitable music idiom of the nation to a single platform and helped develop a concordance between traditions that have varied sensibilities, ideas and subjectivities. It has helped blend folk, classical and contemporary music into songs that resonate with the public at large.  Most importantly, it has allowed us to discover, examine, study, and reconstruct our cultural and musical heritage.

The series has been accused of cultural appropriation for the personal gain of money, prestige and fame. Is the accusation fair?

No, it is not. Coke Studio is truly a platform for musicians of different ethnicities, backgrounds and styles to come together and collaborate in an atmosphere that is simultaneously creative, invigorating and harmonious. This, in no way, can be deemed to be cultural appropriation. In fact, it is the exact opposite of cultural appropriation.

How are musicians selected for participation in Coke Studio?

It is a three-step process.

We start by defining an overarching theme for the season. Once that has been done, we explore ways of introducing, exploring and presenting the theme. Finally, we look for musicians who embody the notions of the theme and meet the requirements of the musical pieces that we have in mind.

Do you know, or feel, that nepotism has ever played a part in the selection process?

No. We have been associated with Coke Studio, in one way or another, for a very long time. The people associated with the program treat the program with great reverence and respect. It is far too important to them to allow the ills of nepotism and favouritism affect its merit. The exceptional quality of the program is sufficient testimony to the fact that it has always been produced with integrity, honesty and professionalism.

How can a talented musician – one who does not have money, influence, clout, or social connections – apply to audition for Coke Studio?

Coke Studio has an active email address – [email protected] – that is meant to receive demo videos and audio files. We listen to all submissions very carefully and conscientiously, in order to be fair and because we genuinely like discovering new talent.

We have expanded the selection process in Season 11, where we have ventured out of the studios to go to the field and actively find musicians to feature in a new module that we have named Coke Studio Explorer.

What is the new module, Coke Studio Explorer, that is being introduced with Season 11 of the show about?

Coke Studio Explorer takes Coke Studio to different parts of Pakistan. It uses music to explore the diverse cultures, locales, traditions, and values of the country and celebrates the spirit, strength and resilience of its people. The program is centered around a few amazingly talented and driven musicians whose songs will do Pakistan proud and help put the unique music of the country out on the international landscape. The musicians represent all provinces of Pakistan. We hope that the module will spark a vibrant conversation about diversity, pluralism and understanding amongst viewers.

How is Season 11 of Coke Studio going to be different from the programs produced by Strings and the Hyatt husband and wife team?

It will be different from the seasons produced by Strings and the Hyatt husband and wife team in the same manner that we are different from Bilal, Faisal, Umber, and Rohail. Each person is unique and brings his own personality, intellect and vision to the table. Viewers of the program will notice the difference in the way we approach the program.

The tagline of Coke Studio has been changed from “Sound of the Nation” to “Spirit of the Nation” in Season 11. What does the change signify?

The change is not final and still being discussed. If it happens, it will be a consequence of the evolution of Coke Studio. The program no longer represents just the music of Pakistan and is a veritable celebration of its culture, ethos and character, today. The new tagline – Spirit of the Nation – will, therefore, be more apropos given the expanded influence, popularity and scope of the program.

Coke Studio has an active email address — [email protected] — that is meant to receive demo videos and audio files. We listen to all submissions very carefully and conscientiously

What challenges did you face while producing Season 11?

The two of us had worked with Coke Studio in the past and had an idea of the work that producers needed to do to produce the series. Nevertheless, the scope of the work was immense and far greater than what we had imagined. The program asks for a lot, but we found its demanding nature to be a source of strength, energy and motivation. We were happy to give Coke Studio all that it wanted plus some more.

What pleasures did producing the season afford you?

The greatest pleasure, without a doubt, was the act of putting all the diverse, disparate and different elements of the program together and seeing them come together as a single, unique and meaningful entity.

A lot of time, energy and effort has been put into producing Season 11 of Coke Studio. What would constitute success for the program?

The appreciation of its viewers. We are looking for nothing else.

Photographs by Insiya Syed

Ally Adnan lives in Dallas and writes about culture, history and the arts. He tweets @allyadnan and can be reached at [email protected].

A Rajasthani/Sindhi folktale replete with beautiful princesses, enchanted castle, a brave and ingenious hero, passionate romance, ordeals of separation and edifying tragedy

By Mahlia Lone


The famed Rajasthani folktale is set in Lodhrawa in Jaisalmer district Rajasthan, India, around the mid-14th century. Lodhrawa stood on an ancient trade route through the Thar Desert, which was vulnerable to frequent attacks.

In the Sindhi story, Momal Ji Maari (Momal’s mansion), the heroine’s house was located in Ghotki district, near Sukkur. The story occurred in the times of Hamir Soomro, the King of Amarkot (now Umerkot district in south-east Sindh). The city was named after its Hindu founder Maharaja Amar Singh, belonging to the Sodha clan of Hindu Rajputs, who built the Amarkot Fort to wade off Muslim invadors. During the Mughal Empire, Emperor Akbar was born in Amarkot 1542, his father Humayun having fled from his capital in Delhi after his military defeat at the hands of Sher Shah Suri and the Rajput ruler Rana Prasad giving him refuge.

The story in classical Sindhi literature

The first time the story was written down was by 17th-century classical Sindhi Sufi poet from Nasarpur, Shah Inat Rizvi (circa 1613– 1701). Combining the folklore lyrical poetry of travelling minstrels (singers) with the cultivated spiritual thinking of the Sufi saints, Inat brought in a new style of Sindhi poetry. He combined popular songs commemorating the valour of heroes in wars and wise rule of kings during peace that included elements of fantasy, magic, legend and quasi historical romance with the Sufis’ spiritual ideas. Fond of music since childhood, Inat would raptly listen to professional musicians and itinerant minstrels in village gatherings. Belonging by birth to an orthodox Syed family, he was educated in Muslim spiritual poetry.

The story in 20th century Sindhi literature

Shaikh Ayaz (1923 — 1997) translated Abdul Latif’s magnum opus Shah Jo Risalo to Urdu, establishing him as an authority on the subject. He received the Sitara-i-Imtiaz for his efforts and was regarded as a “revolutionary and romantic poet” in his own right.

Tajal Bewas (1938 — 2008) born near Khairpur, was a classical Sindhi poet who authored 44 books, including the story of Momal Rano.

Inat, hence, forged a new genre of Sindhi literature with his groundbreaking work as a “saint-poet of the people singing about their heroes in war and peace and their traditional tales and romances as well as about the traders, weavers, and monsoon rains on which the prosperity of the people depended. He also dealt with the spiritual themes of love and hope, and composed verses in praise of the saints and selfless devotees in the search of God,” commented an expert of classical Sindhi literature. In addition, Inat experimented with idioms and imagery to make his poems more descriptive, further enrichening Sindhi literature.

Inat’s contribution to classical Sindhi poetry was built on by Shah Abdul Latif (c. 1689 – 1752), a young man in his twenties when the older poet died. According to oral tradition, Abdul Latif met the elderly Inat and they would recite their parallel verses on common themes. Regardless of the veracity of this occurrence, Inat’s form, technique and subject matter greatly influenced Abdul.  The latter used some of the same idioms and expressions more skillfully and with greater insight, to produce his Shah Jo Risalo, the poetry book on the Seven Heroines of Sindh, one of which was the story of Momal Rano.

The Sindhi version of the folktale

Beautiful Princess Momal of Ghotki lived in a luxurious and magical palace named Kak Mahal or Mirpur Mathelo, near Lodhrawa, north-east of Amarkot (now known as Umerkot). Momal oiled, perfumed and draped in exquisite silken ensembles was a beauty beyond compare. She lived with her seven equally indulged sisters and attendants in the seclusion of her grand mahal. Two of her most famous sisters were named Somal, known for her intelligence, and Natir, infamous as a schemer.

Over the vast grounds of the palace, a magnetic field was spread that gave the appearance of a gushing river. Just as in the fairytale of Sleeping Beauty, a thickly wooded forest had sprung up around the castle protecting it. The jungle housed many wild animals, including ferocious man-eating lions and tigers.

Similarities with tales in World mythology

Apart from the more obvious comparisons with the classical fairytale Sleeping Beauty, the story of Momal Rano shares similarities with the Greek mythological enchantresses the Sirens who lived on the island of Anthemoessa and lured sailors with their enchanting songs and made them crash their ships on their island’s rocky shore. Very few heroes were sharp enought to outwit these deadly mermaids. The mythological hero Ulysses stuffed wax in his sailors’ ears so they couldn’t hear the sirens’ singing and had himself tied to the ship’s mast. This story has parallels with Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey when Odysseus does the same. Similarly, in the mythological story of Jason and the Argonauts Orpheus, the legendary musician, plays his lyre, his lilting music drowning out the siren call.

The condition on becoming Princess Momal’s consort was set on a man being brave enough to enter the magical magnetic field and cross the jungle to enter the mahal and being clever enough to solve the puzzles devised by her wily sisters. Many princes hearing about the unmatchable princess tried but failed; they were robbed by the sisters and attendants and lost their way forever in an unsolvable maze of laybrinths and mirages much like in a House of Mirrors attraction at an amusement park. The princes were never heard from or found again. The more unattainable the princess and the more impregnable the castle, the more legendary and enticing became the prize.

Now men by nature love a challenge, want what they cannot have and are egotistical by nature, and kings are great men

The ruler of Amarkot, Hamir Soomro and his three ministers Seenharro Dhamachanni, Daunro Bhatyanni and the youngest Rano Mahendro, all Rajput Sodhas by caste, used to go horseback hunting in far flung areas of the kingdom. Adventurous and intrepid by nature, they would even cross the boundaries of the small state to neighbouring areas. One day, on a hunting trip, the four men encountered a bedraggled looking man to whom they did not disclose their identity. Grateful for their help and for sharing their food and water, the young man told them what had befallen him. He was a Kashmiri prince who, having heard the legend of Momal’s beauty and charm, got so inspired that he travelled all that distance to try his luck. Having finally fought through to the enchanted castle, the prince was so overcome by Momal’s beauty that her seven sisters and attendants successfully played all types of tricks on him, confused him with multiple puzzles and stripped him of his wealth. Finally, he ran for his life.

Now men by nature love a challenge, want what they cannot have and are egotistical by nature, and kings are great men. Hamir badly wanted to succeed where so many men before him had failed. Having extracted the whereabouts of Kak Mahal, he decided to conquer the castle and win the princess’s hand but failed to do so. Then, in turn, his ministers tried as well, and also failed.

The youngest, Rano was an extremely intelligent, courageous and persistent young man; when it was his turn at last to try his luck, he succeeded in cracking the code of the illusion and reaching the palace. Impressed with hi, Momal accepted him as her consort and that night they consummated their marriage. The next morning, Rano left Kak Mahal and returned to Amarkot to continue his day job of working for Hamir Soomro.

Rano kept visiting Momal every night and their feelings for each other kept growing. Though it was quite a distance between the two palaces, his journey was shortened as if by magic. King Hamir felt envious that his young minister had succeeded where he couldn’t—it was a matter of pride for him. So he forbade Rano from meeting Momal and had his guards keep a check on his nocturnal movements.

Being Hamir’s subject, Rano had no choice but to obey his ruler. But try as he would, his passion would not let him rest.  Stealthily, he would slip out at dusk on his camel and return before dawn. He hardly got any sleep, feverishly burning the candle at both ends, gripped by his passion.

Finally, one day the guards caught Rano sneaking off and Hamir had him thrown in the dungeon. After some time, thinking he had learnt his lesson and feeling guilty imprisoning such a loyal and trusty minister, Hamir released him on the condition that he would not meet Momal again. Not being able to resist her pull, Rano snuck off to meet Momal again.

Momal too had started pining for Rano. One night when he was late, thinking he had stood her up, the princess asked her sister Somal to disguise herself in men’s clothing and lie beside her in bed. She wanted to test Rano’s love for her by making him jealous. As was expected, when Rano saw the two sleeping together, he mistook Somal for Momal’s lover. Furious, he left Kak Mahal for Amarkot, leaving behind his cane. Momal woke up, saw the cane and realized what happened. Fearing that he had left her for good under the misapprehension that she had cheated on him, she lit a candle in her window to message to him to return. At last, when there was no sign of Rano, Momal was left with no choice but to set off to Amarkot in search of him. Disguised as a man, she set up residence in Amarkot and Rano recognized his princess.

When the two parted lovers met, Momal pleaded Rano for forgiveness for playing a thoughtless trick on him. But he remained obstinate in his resolve to punish and not forgive her. Out of desperation, Momal jumped in a raging fire to prove her love to him. Rano jumped in after her and both got consumed by the fire, the flames of their mutual passion purifying their bodies and souls.

Moral of the story

The love of Momal and Rano is an allegorical metaphor for the love of the soul and divine. The separation and longing between two lovers parallels the separation of the Divine and the human soul, the longing for the two to merge and dissolve into each other much like Momal and Rano were unified in the burning fire. The human soul longs for Allah, and the beloved renders himself up, caring nothing for the material world in his/her quest to seek union with divinity in the crazed love experienced by Sufis.

Kashif Abbasi is one of the country’s most accomplished journalists and a well respected anchorperson hosting his political talkshow Off the Record. Telling it like it is, he sticks to an unbiased middle ground. Kashif tells Haider Rifaat about his career in journalism, the elections and work-life balance

As a journalist, you are known for asking pertinent yet hard-hitting questions. Has that ever caused you trouble?

I was banned twice. Practically every political party around, be it Imran Khan himself, PPP, PML-N and MQM have boycotted me. It is an occupational hazard and you cannot avoid it. There is no other option for this kind of work. Whatever you like doing, you continue to do it and there is nothing you can do if there are consequences.

Did anyone tell you if journalism does not work out, you should have a backup plan?

My family used to say this to me. Back in the day, our salaries were meager. I come from a financially viable background. When I started, I never looked back. I didn’t feel the need to leave journalism and do something else.

As a layman, who are you rooting for this election? 

This is a difficult question to answer. I can’t publically say who I support and there should be no bias on a journalist’s end. Besides, I won’t be in Islamabad to vote because of live transmissions in Karachi.

Do you find PTI’s post-election agenda realistic given that it largely targets a middle-upper class demographic?

It is easy for upper or middle-upper classes to assume political positions. They are not helpless, they have no financial pressures and the law enforcement cannot question them. However, without the down trodden or lower class, a political party cannot win an election. I can’t imagine PTI not factoring the lower class into their campaign.

“When I entered…journalism, I received a message that said, if you are tired of your family, have no friends and want to destroy your life, you should become a journalist”

In Pakistan, there are two types of politics, rural and urban. The dynamics of rural politics are very different. The class you are talking about is mostly rural. I think manifestos are an ideal make up of what you can promise, not what you can deliver. Each party considers the poor because there are more voters who belong to such a class. I do find it tough for PTI to implement their manifesto.

PTI seeks to implement its success models in KP to other provinces of Pakistan including Sindh, Baluchistan and Punjab. Do you think an average Pakistani will respond optimistically to these policies considering cultural barriers and other factors?

I don’t think so. It is important for a party to establish its government not only in KP but in Sindh or Baluchistan. If you talk about liberalizing Pakistan in terms of coeducation, proms and dance parties, that is where cultural factors come in.

Clean water, efficient policing and institutional reforms have no cultural restraints. If you want to reform the system, there are no barriers. There are hurdles only if you go against a culture. PTI has tried to change the system and if you bring a similar shift in Punjab or Baluchistan, powerful individuals and beneficiaries will oppose change. An average Pakistani only suffers because of these problems. I don’t think a layman will have a problem with these reforms, be it any political party. People will be happy if they realize that their problems are being resolved.

Earlier this year, it was reported that 1.8 million cases are pending in the Supreme Court. Is there a delay in justice for a majority of Pakistanis?

This problem is not new and there is no such thing as justice in Pakistan. A grandson is fighting his grandfather’s case and there are issues of land ownership. I know many people personally, who have pending court cases for the last 30 to 40 years.

“Clean water, efficient policing and institutional reforms have no cultural restraints”

The Supreme Court and every other court has to look into this. There are different mechanisms in this world and you are not inventing anything new. The adjournments should end. A case should be resolved in less than three to six months.

How do the next five years look for Pakistan?

Our problem is that we have considered infrastructure progress. Our economy is unsustainable. We have no industry, tax or growth. I won’t say we have hit rock botTom but our misplaced priorities have ruined this country. People have realized that they want change. I hope there are some sensible people out there who think beyond their political interests.

What makes you stand apart from the rest of the journalists in Pakistan today?

I don’t get into comparisons. I am not the only one with unique qualities. Everyone is working to the best of their abilities. They might have opposite convictions but there is no one person running the media. Everyone is contributing their part and they are doing a good job.

What is your ongoing hobby and favourite pastime?

I try not to miss the gym and I like travelling too. It is a way of life.

In another lifetime, who would you want to be and why?

That is a tough question. I really enjoy my life. I can talk about things that affect many people in this country. I would not want to change anything. I really enjoy what I do. So, I would probably take this job again in another lifetime. I can’t be Superman, so that is not an option (laughs).

What is success to you?

If you are in peace with yourself somewhere, you are successful.

To whom do you owe your life to for your success?

My mother. She has really worked hard on us. My family used to make fun of my mother because she was very strict in terms of studies. I had a passion to play under 19 cricket but I was constantly told to study. Today, I acknowledge it and everyone realizes that it was my mother’s hard work that got me here today.

How has your family shaped you?

Whatever you become, it has to do with everyone around you. Your family, friends and colleagues continuously shape you throughout your life. I am not who I was a few years ago. Everyone around you shapes you and transforms you into who you are. Sometimes the company you keep takes you in the wrong direction.


Photography by Haider Rifaat

Everyone knows that hot and humid weather plays havoc with one’s hair. Not only does it look frizzy and unkempt, but hair loss becomes a major issue. Dr. Tauqeer Ahmed tells Mahlia Lone about the latest technology to combat thinning hair

Explain the biology behind hair.

On average, a human head has 100,000 strands of hair made of keratin, a protein. Each hair grows out of a follicle anchoring it to the scalp. A tiny hair bulb with living hair cells lies at the root; building up the hair shaft and making it grow. Once the hair strand grows out and becomes visible to us, it’s made up of dead cells. Blood vessels in the scalp deliver nutrients to the cells in the hair bulb. Nutrients, hormones, and genes determine your hair’s appearance and growth. That’s why it’s very important to have nutritional and hormonal balance for healthy hair. Viviscal Supplements for Men and for Women are great to ensure your body doesn’t lack in the essential vitamins and minerals. But at the end of its cycle, every strand of hair will shed regardless.

Tell us more about the hair’s lifecycle?

The lifecycle of a strand of hair is approximately six years. The less healthy your hair is, the shorter its lifecycle. Each strand passes through three stages:

Anagen is the active growth phase. The strand sprouts out of the hair follicle and grows for about 2-6 years depending on hair health and genes. About 90 percent of your hair is at this stage at any given time.

Catagen is like hitting a pause button for about a month. This is a transitional phase during which hair growth slows down.

Telogen occurs when the strand stops growing completely, gets detached from the follicle and is shed.

So when is hair loss considered excessive?

In men, it’s when a receding hairline and hair loss at the crown becomes marked due to male pattern baldness. In women, menopause and perimenopause may play a role in marked overall thinning of hair. The hair growth cycle shortens and miniaturization of the hair occurs till it completely stops growing back.

In men, the hormone DHT is mainly to blame and there are several products on the market that block DHT but they carry side effects. In women, it occurs when estrogen levels decrease and androgen levels increase. Again, chemical hormones are proven carcinogens.

“In three to four month InshAllah, you will experience new hair growth and be very pleased with the results”

—Dr. Tauqeer Ahmed

As you know, a natural way to reduce hair loss is to improve the blood circulation of your scalp and deliver much needed nutrients to hair bulbs and follicles. Traditionally, we get oil massage for this reason. A more advanced solution is using Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP), Carboxy therapy and laser treatments for thinning hair, especially if used in conjunction.

That sounds great. What does that entail?

First, a numbing agent is applied to your scalp. While you wait for it to take effect, a laser helmet is slipped on, the light of which stimulates hair growth. A vial of your blood is taken, spun in a centrifuge machine and the enriched cells or the platelet-rich plasma is extracted from it. PRP contains essential proteins needed to stimulate natural hair growth. This plasma is combined with another nutrient rich formula and injected into targeted areas of your scalp using a special PRP gun. It’s a painless procedure. PRP Therapy for hair is done once a month.

As a weekly procedure, I recommend Carboxy Therapy. Again after numbing your scalp, tiny doses of Carbon Dioxide are delivered to your scalp using a needle. Oxygen rich blood rushes to the spot increasing blood circulation.

Combining the two treatments proves most effective.

This sounds very Star Wars Storm Trooper-esque, but how well does it work?

PRP contains a powerful concentration of seven growth factors activated from your own blood that stimulates the stem cells around hair follicles, encouraging hair to grow back that had stopped, as well as makes existing hair grow thicker, stronger, faster and healthier. I also add extra hair growth nutrients to PRP Plus. Depending on your hair loss, a treatment protocol is developed specifically to suit your needs.

In three to four month InshAllah, you will experience new hair growth and be very pleased with the results.

The only time when these treatments may not be effective is when you have a completely smooth scalp and truthfully in that case only a hair transplant will work.

By Afshan Shafi

It’s time to dig out an old treasured handbag out of your closet as the Dior Saddle Bag makes an official return in 2018. Charmingly idiosyncratic and just the right size, this bag is endlessly versatile. First made popular thanks to Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw in the iconic show Sex and the City in 2000, the Saddle Bag will be a surefire hit with global stylestars as well our local fashionistas. Read on to see how the bag has evolved over the years.

Bella Hadid
Sarah Jessica Parker With The Original Version
Kourtney Kardashian
Katie Holmes
Kate Moss In An Advertisement For The Original
Chriselle Lim
Chiara Ferragni
Beyonce With The Original Version


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