GT – Jan 01-15 2017

Mahlia S. Lone
Mahlia S. Lone

Often, even at upscale restaurants locally, one sees a bedraggled little servant girl standing holding a chubby infant as the family feasts. It’s disconcerting to say the least. I can’t even imagine what the young girl must be feeling as the aroma of the tempting food wafts around her but she’s not offered a morsel. Her employers don’t seem cruel, more prosaic and matter of fact. She’s paid to work and gets fed at home, they reason to themselves. I, like most citizens, mind my own business, at the most leveling an offended look at the housewife responsible for making me uncomfortable and spoiling my meal, but she remains confidently oblivious to her crime. Tayyaba, the 10 year old maid, who was recently recovered after being routinely severely tortured by a judge’s wife in Islamabad, a story highlighted by the media at the moment, may be an extreme case of abuse of a child worker, but it’s only one of countless undocumented such stories that go unreported and unpunished. With so many beggar children on the streets put to work by their own parents, and more and more unwanted births, what does the future hold for these children apart from a life of crime, drug addiction and destitution? It’s been reported that Pakistan is the fastest growing Muslim economy this year, but before the Government pats itself on the back, obviously this and other such pressing issues need to be addressed with a serious and determined effort.

The reality is too stark. While each of us does our bit, let’s take a breather and relax with this issue. It’s an especially fun one, full of exclusive coverage of countrywide winter festivities. Internationally, we have the Standout looks from the glamorous Golden Globes with its glitzy gowned actresses and tuxedoed leading men. The yearlong romance of Zayn Malik, the Pakistani descent Bradford born crooner, and Palestinian/Dutch descent, American born model, Gigi Hadid makes for a light read. Shamsha Hashwani shares what she thinks are the coming trends for wedding wear. For streetwear, update your denim jacket or try bold stripes for spring. But first slough away dull winter skin using our tried and tested home remedies.

Meanwhile, if you see abuse especially of an under aged domestic servant, notify the Child Welfare and Protection Bureau at 1121. This way we make a real impact, much more useful than merely cringing. Until next time…

Mahlia S. Lone

Happy New Year! For all those whose 2016 didn’t go so well and the times were challenging because Mercury was in retrograde a lot, take heart because 2017 will be all the luckier for you. This year there is a strong possibility in the turnaround of events that started off in the last year or even before that. So hang in there, good fortune is headed your way.

Nadia Ellahi, a Karachi based couturier, gives brides and their mothers her top tips for making timeless trousseau in this issue. She advises to avoid all trendy outfits and stick to classics that can be pulled out of your closet after years and still be worn with pride. After all, they are investment and heritage pieces and hardly come cheap so they should not be impulse buys. Divide the cost by the number of times you wear it to gauge the cost per wear of owning a garment. If it’s a true classic, then it should look breathtaking even a decade or more later.

Another story on perennial classics is the one on Musawir’s furniture reproductions. If you like a touch of Victoriana in your home, then Saleha Abbas is your go-to designer for finely crafted luxury furniture. See how she expertly mixes European period pieces with those having Islamic heritage and more modern ones.

Interested in changing up your look, try a long, feline animal print coat for a hint of savage glamour, or include a home accessory or garment in what promises to be this year’s It colour, Greenery. A fresh lemon-green, it’s the perfect hue to try as spring approaches.

Read about Shabana Azmi’s personal formula for a successful marriage. She shares what makes her marriage with Javed Akhtar tick. Though they were not blessed with the glue that holds most marriages together, children, she not only learnt to regard his children from a previous marriage as her own, but also delved into philanthropic causes helping women and children to share her good fortune with others. Let’s try not to be too self involved this year and really see and listen to what is going on around us. Until next time…

Sonya, a Lahore-based journalist, has an expansive body of published work comprising over 400 articles. Her work has been featured in: TIME, The Wall Street Journal’s Scene Asia, Rolling Stone [Middle East], BBC [The Strand], Asia Society, Esquire [Middle East], The Hindu, The Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, The Diplomat Magazine, Forbes, The Friday Times, DAWN and The News International, amongst others. In 2010, Sonya was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship to pursue her Masters degree in Print Journalism at Columbia University, New York, and was one of four students (in the same year) to receive the Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Fellowship. In addition to her prolific publishing career, Sonya teaches English and Journalism, runs her own postcard start-up, From Lahore With Love (established in 2012) and was selected as a speaker at an independently organized TED event, TEDxKinnaird in Lahore in 2011. Sonya has also anchored and scripted for television at HUM TV, hosted a radio show for City FM89 and conducted journalism workshops at the Lahore University of Management Sciences over the years. Sonya spoke to Afshan Shafi about the books that guided her on her personal journey and shaped her as a writer

She’s Come Undone 
—Wally Lamb

This book is such an inherent part of me. I have continued to re-visit this book over the years. A gorgeous, heartbreaking, joyous read. Such beautiful, real characters—they come to life. You can’t help but sink in. I’ve bought so many copies of this book to give to friends I can’t count them on my fingers.

—Malcolm Gladwell

I’m a huge fan of Malcolm Gladwell, read all his works, yet this one, by far, remains my favourite. It’s an excellent read on success and greatness. What makes an individual a trail-blazer? How does circumstance shape an individual to reach for the stars? How can one achieve greatness? Buy the book, thank me later.

The Great Gatsby 
—F. Scott Fitzgerald

A short, quick read – but what a book. The recent movie paled in comparison. I adore this book because it isn’t a typical love story, it’s a story of friendship and empathy. It resonated with me deeply. Incredibly insightful from a psychological perspective. Fitzgerald had an intuitive understanding of human relationships.

The Examined Life 
—Stephen Grosz

Apart from fiction, I’ve been reading books on social and behavioural psychology since I was a teen. I picked up Grosz’s book in Dubai last year even though I found the cover terribly depressing (yes, I do judge books by their covers!). I’m so glad I bought the book, it’s an arresting read on human behaviour.

The Power of Others 
—Michael Bond

Bond’s book highlights why we do what we do, in addition to the roles of the ‘others’ that (directly or indirectly) propel us to act in certain ways. If you’d like to understand group psychology, peer pressure and emotional contagion, from terrorists to astronauts, get this book. Genius!


Bubbly Ushna Shah chats with Fatima Sheikh

What is your star sign?

I’m as Aquarian as one gets.

Are you a cat person or a dog person?

Dogs all the way!

Who is Ushna Shah off camera?

She is someone who loves her family and friends, adores her dogs more than anything and is mostly at home.

What is the proudest you have been in terms of your career?

When of my favourite all time writers Mohommad Ahmad called me after watching snippets of my film and told me he’s proud of me, as if I were his daughter. I love his work so to hear this from him was overwhelming.

If you were not an actress what would you have been?

A writer or a director

Pet peeve?

Slow drivers…ughhhh!

Any latest projects we should be excited about?

I’m not allowed to say yet, but we should definitely be excited.

If you had a super power what would it be and why?

To fly–I often have dreams that I can fly and they’re amazing. I’m always disappointed when I wake up afterwards.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

On a yacht in St.Tropez in a cloud of smoke listening to Notorious B.I.G. But that’s what I said five years ago also.

The biggest regret about life and your career?

My only regret is the people I may have hurt in my life as I’m a strong believer in karma. Aside from that I consider everything to be a lesson, so have no regrets.

Movies or books?


Favourite cartoon character and why?

Scooby-Doo. The mystery machine was always full of smoke and he always had the munchies.

Two things you want to keep and change about yourself?

I’d like to remain real, that’s very important to me and I make it a point to not let my work phase me. I’d like to change my impatience, it’s a big problem.

Favourite book, movie, series and sport?

Favorite book right now is the God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, favourite movie is the Devil’s Advocate, favorite series is probably Narcos and does dance count as a sport? I do like to watch basketball when I get the chance.

Favourite vacation spot?


If you had a chance to pick a celebrity to have dinner with who would it be and why?

Hillary Clinton, because i have a bone to pick with her.

Do you wish to play diverse roles in upcoming projects  or you are fine with the “girl next door”  image?

I have a girl next door image? That’s it, no more crying.

Who is your inspiration?

All strong resilient people who have overcome odds. For acting specifically I love Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter and Tilda Swinton.

Favourite street style look?

My hoodie and sweatpants

Coffee or chai?


What are your Sundays like?

A good Sunday will be spent sleeping in only to be woken up by my dogs, then I watch TV and binge eat (if it’s a good Sunday).

Favourite car?

Jaguar F type or XE in botanical green

A weird habit your fans are unaware about?

I have to eat in front of the TV. I prefer it over dinner conversation

Favourite quote?

“The Show Must Go On.”


Eventive, a Lahore based event management company, offers a wide range of events services from personalised favours to invitations. They arrange unique and memorable thematic events, including birthdays, anniversaries, bridal showers, upscale dinners, lunches and much more.


Scandinavian designs have always been extremely popular due to their simple yet elegant nature. Swedish brand, Scandinavian Homes exhibited furniture at the Nishat Hotel, Lahore on the 10th & 11th December. For upcoming designs & product enquiries: [email protected], www.scandinavianhomes.se


We love these comfy yet stylish Miaasa crossovers. Order from their facebook page.


Celebrate Freedom with Nishat Linen’s latest winter collection. These soft, luxurious and chic shawls are perfect to keep you warm and are available at all Nishat outlets across Pakistan.



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