Have you ever wondered what would happen if we suddenly lost the moon?

Sometimes, I just want to sit outside and look at the moon.

It’s mesmerising.

The moon is a vision at night – there’s no doubt about it.

But have you ever thought that there is more to it than just providing romantic views at night?

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My 6 year old was curious enough to ask and I thought to myself that I did read something about it in school but my mommy brain could not remember!

And so I started reading and remembered that the moon controls the tides of the ocean. There’s more to the moon than just that though and the haunting effects of losing it can only be fully appreciated if we dig deeper into what the moon does for planet Earth.

And then that little monster came up with another question?

What if the moon suddenly blew up?

This time i was well prepared. So I told her that the tides would go low and the oceans would become calm. While this might apparently seem like a benefit, it will drastically affect the mobility and transportation of aquatic life. This would lead to the inevitable extinction of thousands of underwater species.

But that’s not all! If the moon no longer stayed with us we’d become much less stable. The Earth-Moon mass system keeps the Earth stabilized in its orbit. Without the moon we’d lose this balance – the Earth would wobble more and the changing seasons will be thrown into turmoil.

We’re not done yet. Let’s not forget the craters on the moon – where did they come from, you ask? These craters result from the meteorites that directly hit the moon, protecting the Earth; without it, these meteorites would shower on our planet destroying life and becoming a frightening natural disaster.

So, the next time you gaze at the full moon with awe, remember that there’s more to it than just its striking beauty.

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Who’s your City?

 

Quite a few people have asked me this question in the last year, ‘what is your home town?’ or `which city do you come from?’. An innocent enough question, very simple and obvious when you meet a new person, but not for me, I could find no easy answer to this seemingly straightforward query. Should I say Abu Dhabi, the beautiful island city where I grew up and lived in the longest, who’s geography is still etched clearly in my mind but whom I left a long time ago. Or should I say Multan, which is my city by paternal rights, the city which I can never get tired of, the city I got married in and remains my husband’s home city, but I have never lived in it for too long. Should it be Sargodha, a city I have never really liked but still holds a year’s worth of precious memories for me one of which is it being the birth place of my firstborn. Should it be Lahore, the city in which I was born and in which I gave birth to my daughter and in which my parents currently reside, a city worth its name but unbelievably crowded, a city which is mine and who’s alleys I have walked and walked until my shoes became worn and yet once again I have never really resided in it for long. Or should I say Kamra. Kamra is not even a city, just a collection of ugly commercial plazas on the either side of the incredibly long Grand Trunk road almost half way between Rawalpindi and Peshawar, with a strange Dove shaped gate somewhere between the noise and the bazaar, from which one can take a road towards the city of Attock, formerly known as Cambellpur, and along this road now closed off from the general public are a collection of gates. Each of these gates leads into either a small town like colony of its own or an aircraft factory, several of which along with an Air Base make up an aeronautical complex. This was my home for thirteen or so years, from when I was no longer a carefree innocent girl and yet had still not been really exposed to the world at large, because Kamra was not really a city it was a world of its own. In between there is Sahiwal which was formerly known as Montgomery, my maternal grandparents lived here and it remains my most favorite city ever, home to one of the most beautiful houses ever, a house that still holds my best childhood memories and quite a few after I had grown up, it was a place for refuge for a little more than half a year after a sudden move from the UAE to Pakistan. Or should I say Ahmedabad, not strictly a city but the home of my grandfather and many generations of Majoka’s before him, the place where blood takes us every time, the once tiny village on the banks of the River Jehlum, it has kept changing its locations over the years with the flow and ebb of the river and whatever the weather brings with it. Situated  some twenty miles west of Khushab, in this village is our farmhouse and has been our home for quite a few odd months and a holiday home for the last eighteen years,  as well as my father’s retreat from where he runs his farms.  Or Toronto, where I have lived sporadically in bits and pieces and where I find myself once again, a city that holds my own youthful memories and is slowly becoming memorable for my own children.

So where does a body belong to? What actually is a hometown anyway? Is it a town, a city, a collection of houses and roads or just a place in which your heart or body resided for a while so when you move away it is carried in that heart and body forever? Do I have a single hometown or am I destined to find a new one in every phase of my life, but which one should I really refer to as my hometown, my city, the one I have lived in the longest or the one that lives in my heart the most; or all of them. So I just say the name of the city which comes up the quickest on my tongue, people around me still don’t know for sure where exactly I come from but then I myself am not sure which is my city, or rather which is not my city.

 

 

 

Coolest Wedding Venues

So it seems the wedding season has not yet ended and if you are getting married any time soon, then this post is for you.

Weddings have become rather glamorous over the years and photoshoots are now a work of art to be treasured for life. So it’s not just about the best make up, dress and photographer, the venue plays a vital role in how the pictures finally turn out to be.

Here, we list down 5 Coolest Wedding Venues in Karachi that will help you and your photographer get the best shots of your special day. Please note we have not been paid by any of these places for this post.

Grand Marquee (Sharah e Faisal) 

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The Venue (Rashid Minhas Road) 

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Sadabahar Banquet

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Tulips

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Maham Banquet 

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* Please note that these pictures have been provided by a lovely photographer, Rabbiah Asif Paracha. You can contact her via her Facebook page.

 

 

 

Girl Crush of the month: Hania Amir

In recent times, new faces have popped up in the Pakistani media industry. Naturally, the millennials are now taking the spotlight. While big names like Mahira Khan, Imaan Ali and Shaan are still relevant and will be for a while, I anticipate a lot of the new comers’ time in the limelight will be short-lived.

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Enter Hania Aamir. This young woman of only twenty years of age has quickly rose to fame not only because of her adorable dimples but her incredible debut performance in the blockbuster Pakistani film, Janaan.

Being one of the younger A-list celebrities, Hania also knows her way around social media quite well and has a large fan base on Instagram that constantly keeps her relevant. I, personally, find at least two or three pictures of her on my Explore newsfeed even though I haven’t even followed her!
There’s just something about Hania that makes her special and is my Girl Crush for the month of December. The girl always seems so full of energy and vibrancy. She’s always on her feet and is now in the process of shooting an upcoming film Parwaaz Hay Junoon in which she is set to star besides big names like Hamza Ali Abbas and Kubra Khan.

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Fun fact: for those who have been avidly following Hania even before her inception as an actress (even before her small role in the Sunsilk commercial!) know that she was popular on ask.fm and had a large following¬ based entirely on her witty answers – what an all-rounder!

Tutorial: Master the Skill of Applying Flawless Lipstick

 

UPDATE: Don’t forget to check out the video!

Lipstick is the essence of our traditional & casual makeups; it is indeed an art that can easily be mastered through some techniques. If you are one of those struggling to cope up with a quick fading lipstick or a lipstick that dries your lips & sometimes even end up on your teeth, then here is a quick guide to master this art perfectly.
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EXFOLIATE FOR A SENSATIONAL BLEND:

The first and foremost step is to prepare your lips to avoid any flakiness. Exfoliate your lips by using a soft & damp toothbrush. Do not forget to apply a lip balm that will ultimately help in producing a smoother lip texture. A lip primer may also be used for achieving a long-lasting hydration & color stay.

APPLYING A BASE:

If you want to get rid of an even lip tone, then use a base or concealer on your lips before applying any lipstick shades. Use a flat brush for applying compact powder to seal the base & bringing the true shades of lipsticks.

MAGIC OF A LIP LINER:

Majority of the women apply lipstick directly on their lips without using a lip liner. It not only results in quick fading but also results in broken edges of your lipstick. So, try to use a matching lip liner with your lipstick shades & carefully draw the outline to define your natural lip line.

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FINALLY-IT’S YOUR LIPSTICK’S TURN:
Apply your lipstick by using a lip brush to cover the inner edges of your lips & intensify the color according to your needs. Now blend it precisely with your lip liner to give a perfect look. If you are using a matte lipstick, you can add some definitions like lip gloss to give a pouty look.

* Please note this is not a sponsored post. The pictures are the property a makeup artist, Zainab Taha. She is a self taught freelancer and can be contacted via her Group on Facebook.

Padmavati: The myth or legend?

With the release of the trailer of this high budget, much awaited movie, Padmavati, has come the flood of comments praising how wonderful and grand the whole trailer looks.

Now I don’t have any issues with it being told as a folklore, or for entertainment purposes of the majority hindu audience, just as the intended poem written by Malik Muhammad Jayasi (a muslim poet, some 200 years after khilji’s death). But this must be made clear to the audience just as the poet himself did at the end of his poem. It must be made clear that its based on the poem and its not supported by any historical facts.

It must also be noted that while Ranveer Singh looks just as savage as a ruthless villain should look like, Alauddin Khilji was not at all like that. He certainly did not have a waxed chest or six abs like Ranveer and certainly did not eat raw meat. He can easily be defined as one of the most successful Muslim rulers in India and he expanded his sultanate in all directions from Delhi in a very short span of time, defeating on Hindu Raja after the other. Yes, the Hindus might say that he plundered and looted (and Muslims might argue that he was not unkind with slaves and was just with spoils of war), but thats what happens in wars: the winner gets all; women included.

Attacking Chittor was probably just part of the expansion plan. It seems rather unrealistic and unreasonable that someone like Alauddin would have attacked Chittor for a woman he had never even seen. Rani Padmi might have become an important part of spoils of war for him if she stayed alive but a woman, no matter how beautiful she might be, would not have been the reason for siege for an ambitious ruler like Alauddin who didn’t even spare his own uncle.

Probably I won’t be watching this movie (just like last 5 movies by Sanjay Leela Bhansali) but I would urge everyone to please read a little about Alauddin Khilji as a ruler from History books and not just judge him from a movie based on a poem written only for entertainment purposes.

PS: Ranveer looks hot tbh, but there is shahid kapoor as well in the movie 😉

Singapore – From my eyes II

In the past 5 decades, Singapore has come really far. From a small island expelled from Malaysia in 1965, giving it an unwanted independence, it has become one of the world’s most successful countries in merely 52 years. If you sit and chat with the elderly, they will tell you about slums they used to live in during the earlier years of independence. Today, Singapore has the highest home ownership in the world. Almost 90% of all Singaporeans live in their own homes. A huge success on its own. It has grown from a third world country to a first world country faster than any other in the world.

Tourism is one important factor in the massive economic growth of Singapore. So a country a lot of people did not even know about in the 90s is now one of the favourite tourist spots in the world. It welcomes the fourth largest number of tourists when compared to any other city in the world. Although it has no ‘rich’ history or heritage to boast about as its a new country with no mountains, no desserts and no changing weathers through out the year, nearly every thing had to be built from scratch to attract tourists.

So if you are planning a short trip to a city in Asia, do consider Singapore.

I will be doing a series of posts with a few recommendations of must see/visit places and things to do while here in Singapore, starting with Sentosa.

Why?

Because its Sentosa 🙂

I don’t think anyone who visits Singapore leaves out Sentosa. It’s a must!

The itinerary I’m sharing with you will need to 2-3 days. You can stay at one of the hotels at Sentosa for the best experience.

You can reach sentosa in a cable car and start by paying a visit to the mythical 37 meters high majestic Merlion and see for yourself how it safeguards the shores of Singapore as the legend goes.

Then move onto the luge. They claim no one does it once and they are not wrong. We go to sentosa almost every month and we buy a 3-time ticket per visit. Its just a lot of fun.

You can then visit IFly and experience skydiving in a especially designed air tunnel while never really jumping out of an air plane. If you acrophobic like me, this is for you as you would never actually be flying too high up from the ground. 

If you are still not tired and adventurous enough, you can zip across South East Asia’s steepest zip wire, do a treetop obstacle rope course, do wall climbing or a 15 m free fall. And then you can end the day with the majestic light, laser and water show ‘Wings of Time’.

If you are travelling with kids, let the kids spend the day at Kidzania while you can have a snooze at one of the beaches or experience flow boarding at the Wave House. If that’s not enough, there is also The Butterfly and Insect Kingdom to explore the various different kinds of beautiful butterflies. And dont forget to drop by Madame Tussaud to meet your favourite celebrities. 

*The pictures are not mine, all taken from official websites of the respective attractions.