Year ends…

So I had huge plans for the blog for December. I wanted to do posts on best/worst drama serials and actors of 2016 + a post on naml before the last episode in December. I have been able to do none of that.  However, I plan to do these posts in January instead. Currently I’m in pakistan and enjoying holidays with family so it’s rather hectic.

Wishing all of you happy holidays and happy new year. See you all in 2017.

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Recommended pakistani drama serials


Whenever I ask someone to recommend a drama, the usual response is Aangan Terha and Tanhaian. If I ask for recommendations from the recent ones, the response is usually just Humsafar and Pyare Afzal. Fortunately Pakistani drama industry has a lot to offer other than these extremely popular serials. Here is my list of must watch dramas of recent times (in no particular order):

  1. Kankar: domestic abuse is shown quite a lot on Pakistani TV but this one also talks about dealing with it. Loved Fahad mustafa in a negative role.
  2. Qaid e tanhai: I’m a huge Faisal qureshi fan. He is simply the best when it comes to facial expressions. Give him a story penned by umera Ahmed and a Co star like sawera nadeem and the result has got to be better than awesome.
  3. Daam: what’s not to love about Daam. Story by umera Ahmed of two best friends from different social classes, Sanam Baloch and Amina shaikh have given one of the best performances of their lives. Sanam Saeed was a new Comer back then but her performance was better than any seasoned actor.
  4. Doraha: love, love, love it. Story about love, jealousy and family politics narrated in a way like never before. And then of course, there was humayon Saeed too in it 😉
  5. Vasl: ayesha khan’s best performance in my opinion. She played the role of a much older woman and did it with aplomb.
  6. Diyar e dil: I started watching Diyar e dil because of the beautiful locations but soon fell in love with the story and it’s characters like most other people. This is also one of the few plays which forced me to read the novel too.
  7. Dil lagi: undoubtedly love story of 2016. Story of a strong woman who stayed with her husband because she fell in love and he gave her respect, not because that was something she was expected to do.
  8. Mera Naam Yusuf hai: directed by mehreen jabbar, I had huge expectations from this one and it didn’t disappoint. One of the best performances by Maya Ali and Hina bayat. This one too has a lot of strong women and lots of life lessons to learn from.
  9. Jackson Heights: story of a lot of people going to USA to fulfill their American dream told beautifully by mehreen jabbar. Nauman ijaz has outdone himself.
  10. Malal: I myself know a lot of cowards who might like someone but will get married to the girl of their mom’s choice. Beautifully portrayed by mehreen jabbar. Written by umera Ahmed and studded with awesome performances by deepti Gupta, Faisal Rehman and sarwat geelani.
  11. Rehai: Kashf foundation is an NGO that believes in women empowerment and they also like to raise awareness about social issues through television. Rehai talks about a young 10-12 year old girl getting married to a 40 year old man. Packed with powerful performances by actors like Nauman ijaz and samina peerzada, it’s definitely a must watch.
  12. Besharam: This serial is still on air and it’s like breath of fresh air. Although I didn’t like the first 2-3 episodes much, I have now fallen in love with all the characters. Of course the usp of the serial is the chemistry between Zahid Ahmed and saba qamar.
  13. Udaari: one more serial by Kashf foundation and it talks about child abuse. Written by Farhat ishtiaq and actors like bushra Ansari, samiya mumtaz, Ahsan khan and urwa hocaine have made it an unbelievably amazing serial. Must watch!
  14. Main sitara: a completely different story of a girl from a humble background wanting to become a successful movie actress. Written by Farhat ishtiaq and with not a single dull moment through out, it is an absolute must watch.
  15. Mata e Jaan hai tu: I have watched it twice and have read the novel too. It’s a romantic story but it’s not just about a boy falling in love with a girl but about importance of every relationship in life.

How many of these have you watched?

Mere Humnawa (review) episode 1

Writer: Rahat Jabin

Director: Abdullah Badini

When Dil lagi ended, I wasn’t too sure what ARY Digital’s plans were but on Monday morning, as a habit, I opened up YouTube hoping to find something useful that might have replaced Dil lagi. I was quite pleased to see that the drama serial that replaced dil lagi stars Alishba Yousuf. I know it’s not her comeback serial as such because I think one more of her plays is on air these days but as I’m not watching it,this one is the real deal for me. The last drama I watched that had Alishba Yousuf was Main Abdul Qadir Hoon and I truly loved her so I’m quite excited to say the least. There are two leading men: azfar Rehman and Nauman ijaz and by the looks of it I can see it will be a love triangle but I’m hoping it will have something new to offer.

Alishba (Alishba Yousuf) is a well educated, lower middle class girl whose widowed mother (huma nawab) has worked very hard all her life. Alishba is engaged to her khala (seemi Pasha) ka beta, Haris (azfar Rehman) who also belongs to a lower middle class family and has been looking for a job for past two years. They are both very much in love and consider themselves lucky to have each other. Alishba lands a teaching job at a college and her mum starts thinking that Alishba will be spending most of her salary on her husband and his family. She has started contemplating of marrying her daughter off to someone with a good job and a better social class. She has started taunting Haris over his joblessness and Haris is now quite worried. This has led him to take up a job in Dubai. Alishba’s mum is quite happy with this development. However, Alishba is very unhappy with this decision. In the last scene, Alishba’s mum has an accident with Nauman ijaz’s car who I think will have a big role to play in the development of the story.

From the first episode, there isn’t any great performances to talk about but I’m still quite hopeful. The story also seems a little clichéd as of now but I’m looking forward to the later episodes as I am hoping that the treatment would be a little different

Did you watch the first episode? Let me know your views

Sanam Episode 1

Written by Mona Haseeb

Director Haseeb Hasan

Producer Momina Duraid

With the end of recent disaster named Mann Mayal I wasn’t too sure if I was ready for Sanam. When Sanam was announced initially, Diyar e Dil had recently ended and the hang over had not subsided. I got really excited as it had a dream team and our favorite agha Jani (abid Ali) was supposed to be a part of the project too. By the time Sanam started, my excitement had all but died due to the disastrous Mann Mayal.

The main characters are being played by Osman Khalid Button (Harib), Maya Ali (Aan) and Hareem Farooq (Aila). In the first episode, Aila and Harib got married. Apparently, it’s a love marriage. Aila and Harib worked together in office and perhaps Aila was his subordinate. Harib is a self made man who has worked very hard after his parents’ death to be where he is. He is shown to be someone who has complete control over every aspect of his life. He chose to get married to Aila after much consideration. All this ‘consideration’ and ‘thought’ went down the drain when Aila got a panic attack/temper outbreak just a few hours after their marriage. Now, this was a little shocking for me to digest because when people get married for love, they usually know each other well. I’m quite confused because how could Harib not know the problems with Aila’s personality even though it seems the whole office knew about it.

Khair, the very next day after their wedding Harib receives a call from his office that he needs to get to office for an urgent meeting. Harib tries to wake up Aila but when she refuses to wake up, he goes without leaving any message or having breakfast. Hai bechara Harib. While he is in office Aila calls and starts getting angry for going to office without informing him. Double hai bechara Harib coz it’s completely normal for men to leave early in the morning day after their wedding and that too without informing their wives.

So yea, now it seems Harib is our mazloom, bechara husband who made a wrong decision and married the wrong girl. She is bipolar, is shakki and also does not make breakfast for her husband.  Now that is the ultimate! How dare she!!?? All wives must cook for their husbands otherwise their husbands have a license to have an extra marital affair.

Meanwhile in their mohalla a new family has moved recently. It’s Aan and her mum (Hina bayat). They have moved from a lower middle class family and the mum wants to fit in quickly coz she wants to find a nice rishta for Aan. As of now, the loud mum is my favorite character and I’m glad Hina bayat is playing the role. Anyway,  Aan is a simple girl who doesn’t want to pretend to fit in the new mohalla. She is very comfortable in the old furniture and the chador on her head.

Day after Harib’s wedding when he is going to office without having breakfast, he bumps into Aan who is also going to office without breakfast. Now Harib is looking like a ghareeb, bhooka, miskeen so Aan shares an Anda paratha roll (her mum packed two for her just in case she finds a bhooka guy who might be potentially damaad material). This scene perhaps laid the foundation for Aan and Harib’s friendship which will later become a lot more.

Tou khair, I didn’t find the first episode too impressive but it wasn’t too bad either. In the coming episodes I would surely want to know what exactly happened in Aila’s childhood which has made her the way she is.

Did you watch the first episode of Sanam?

Meethi Tikya

What an absurd title for a blog post…isn’t it? At least it might seem like it if you have read my posts seven years ago :p

So anyway, I spoke with 2-3 of my friends from my blogging days and they all told me I should be blogging again. So Ithought about it and decided not to blog as currently I’m ‘too busy’ and have my ‘hands full’ with other more important stuff. But then I thought that seven years ago, I was quite busy too in my life too but I still made it a point to blog 3-4 times a  week. I can totally do 1-2 posts every week now. So after a hiatus of almost two years, here is another post.

So yea, this post is about the lovely snack meethi Tikya. I have beautiful childhood memories of this mouthwatering snack. My Nani used to make it us quite often. And today I decided to make it for my fussy kids hoping that they would eat a little.

Recipe:

Take 3/4 cup milk in a pan and heat with 1 cup sugar till all the sugar dissolves. Then add 4 table spoons of butter and melt it probably. In a separate bowl take 2 cups white flour and 1/4 cup sooji kneed it using the milk mixture. The dough should not be too soft or runny. Leave the dough to rest for 1-2 hours. Then roll it thick (around a 1/4 inch) with a rolling pin and cut using your favorite cookie cutter. Deep fry till golden brown.

Enjoy with milk or tea 🙂

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save the children

As a mother myself, its rather difficult for me to imagine another mother’s plight who might have lost her child. in fact i dont even want to imagine that kind of pain. it will be unbearable for me.
But the attack on APS and their brutal slaughtering of approximately 150 children forced me to think otherwise. i thought of the pain the mothers of all the martyred children will go through the rest of the lives. for the next 24 hours i could think of nothing else. And then i started reading about the other victims of this heinous act: children who were still alive but were seriously injured. i started thinking about the pain of their parents, standing beside their child’s bed in hospital, unsure of their child’s future. that was not any less painful to even think about. imagine the uncertainties, the insecurities these parents must have and might still feel. they dont know if their child will live and if will live, will he be able to walk properly or will he ever be able overcome this horrific incident.
i feel goosebumps every time i even start thinking about the pain.
and then each time i cant stop myself think about parents in tharparker where children are dying in front of their parents, in hospital beds due to malnutrition. is it less painful to lose your child in one blow? or to lose your child bit by bit i front of your very own eyes?
every time, i break down into tears because i dont have an answer.

Free indoor playgrounds

These days i am very much interested in finding indoor activities for K and D. Singapore is very hot for most of the year and it rains a lot too so its important to find indoor activities. Also, its very expensive so these days i am trying to find ‘free’ fun activities.

This week we went to two indoor playgrounds on orchard road (which is where our serviced apartment is): Paragon and 313.

Paragon: The playground is mainly targdted towards tots and is located inside the building on level 5. This means the children can enjoy playing for as long as they want without sweating much due to air con. There is a slide and some other fun activities free of cost. There are also some paid rides that kids can enjoy. My girls absolutely loved it. Also, if you are really tired, you can sit on  a bench while watching ur kids play.

313: This playground is partially indoors as it is located on the sky terrace on level 5. There is a roof on it so im sure it saves the children from rain and direct sunlight but it tends to get very hot. There are not too many activities here but it is a good option for those parents who might be planning to dine at the Food Republic.