Huh? while I was scrolling through channels last night looking for Eurovision I saw an advert for whitening deodorant. It whitens your underarms. Makes them fairer. It’s aimed at the Pakistani/Indian market - the video I’m posting is not the one I saw but it gives you an idea of the product’s aims. The subcontinent has a huge appetite for fairness and lightening treatments. Now I know these creams and lotions have been around for years and I know that skin shade counts but it’s not something I agree with or choose to take up. But your underarms? Really? I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Someone on the same sofa immediately pointed out that women in the subcontinent can buy a skin lightener for their more intimate areas. The video is priceless.
Earlier during my Islamabad stay I had visited a spa that offered foot, leg and hand bleaching with prices starting from Rs. 150. My friend - who has lived in Pakistan for several years - asked what the purpose of the treatment was. The spa receptionist replied it was to make those areas fairer. Like, duh. What was the cream made of? Bleach. What sort of bleach, surely not the kind used for cleaning? Oh yes, replied the receptionist. Fast forward to sitting in front of the telly on Saturday night and reeling from the existence of lightening products for things I didn’t think needed lightening, someone on Twitter said there was a shampoo for covered hair. Again - huh? The Jewish Journal says the marketeers claim it deals with the “excess production of oils and build-up of scalp dirt” that can come with wearing hijab.
Blimey. You don’t need a special shampoo for your hijabi hair anymore than you need a roll-on to give you whitish underarms or fairer ladybits. I don’t know what’s more disheartening, the companies churning this stuff out or the women who are buying it.
I am sorry but this is where I just have to say WTF! What is wrong with Asian people and their white-colonist complexes!?!
Yes the same ex-Cricketer turned politician I am probably voting for this time. He said there is a political gathering today at Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi and we all should be there if we want a better Pakistan.
Even if you do not support Imran Khan, you do have to appreciate his team’s tech savviness.
Was going to buy a new phone for myself tomorrow and was sort of caught in between Samsung and HTC, but then Hasny advised me to upgrade my old HTC Desire to Ice Cream Sandwich. I am still trying to work it out, with a high probability that I will be buying a new phone tomorrow because I bricked my this one!
And in case if I end up destroying my this phone, do you guys have any suggestion for a smart phone which offers good storage, internet, and is able offer some productivity suites? (No apple please!)
Plus I see it is lightening tonight in Lahore, wouldn’t mind some rain though!
Yesterday I met the saddest woman I have ever come across in my life. Attractive, in her mid 30s by my guess and articulated she sat in front of me often getting lost as I asked her questions.
I swear I have never felt tense after meeting anyone ever, but this was just that one very rare moment and I cannot even properly put that all in words.
All I know is that when she left I wanted to ask her something but didn’t due to cultural sensitivities and had a very bad headache for next few hours. Guess that is one person I am not forgetting anytime soon.
People sometime ask me why Pakistanis are not much concerned about Animal rights, Gay rights and what not. In a country where people are killed like flies in name of ethnicity, politics and religion do you think that should be my main concern?
Around 7:45 pm today I got a call from PTCL’s Islamabad customer service center. A gentleman introduced himself to me and told me that he wishes to inform me about PTCL’s ability to send me my bill via email. I told the gentleman that I already am subscribed to that, he still insisted on getting my email address and when I was half way in, realised that they already have it on their record. Then he wanted to ask me if I want to have my bill notification sent to my cell phone and when I said yes, he wanted my cell phone number too which interestingly is already on their file (and that he was calling on my cell phone number to begin with) and only later I realised that I am already receiving messages every month for it.
He then went on to confirm if I am the owner of the cell phone, asked me my name and then all of sudden he said he will like to confirm my connection details once again. Giving me all the details we already have shared, yet again. Now I am not against a positive change in customer services but I have rarely come across such a robotic customer-service exchange. The reason why I am complaining is that it is not even for the first time, every single call I have ever received from PTCL customer service center is always a robotic and carefully prepared script where probably the staff is instructed not to even deviate for a second and by mistake forge a real Human link!
This time however I decided that maybe I should share some words of wisdom with the gentleman. I asked him if he will be able to communicate my message to his Manager, on which he got very concerned probably fearing a tirade of abuse. I told this man that I understand that it is in no way his fault, but no-where I have seen this much scripted conversation, and I was so bored that I wanted to hang up my phone after 10 seconds but only stayed on so I can share this with him. Maybe he should ask his Manager to look into this and allow them some real Human conversation on which he decided to take a bullet head first for his Manager telling me “our Manager is a great man, you can never be even little close to him”! I kept my calm and asked this gentleman his name and then asked him again that if he actually understood what I told him just now? I only want him to convey to his Manager that this robotic and scripted conversation is annoying and a total waste of time for me. This time he told me that even his Manager is following guidelines from above and that when he hears the recording he should know what a great guy he is….(insert praises here for his Manager). Where I think I had to draw a line and was probably already too bored to continue explaining the innocent worker at “new” PTCL that he has no clue while standing up for his Manager how much he is annoying me and probably many other customers.
I understand that PTCL is changing and trying to emerge as a progressive company but perhaps they might want to do it in less aristocratic manner. Reason for sending you this letter is that maybe someone with a little more sensibility at PTCL is able to read it and do something about it. And if they really want to offer a good service, then guys even after 6 months of having your connection I still have not received the internet/telephone slitter you were supposed to deliver.
*Copy of letter I just sent to a local newspaper.
If you fall in one of the following categories and are jobless, it should explain everything.
1. Email address
1.1. Inappropriate address: Like really should I hire you as a secretary if your email address is hot_girl_4u_2011@xxxxxx ? That is like hiring a reason for my future divorce!
1.2. Unprofessional naming: Your name is Jon Doe, but why would you have a screen name like “Me the Don”?
1.3. Company email: So you want to work for my organisation but you do not even have the courtesy to use your personal email account? You are sending me your CV from Accounts@company.com! What does that say about your professional behaviour?
1.4. Facebook? You are using the same email address for your Facebook and other social media networks…not a very good idea since now I know that you like Korean and Indian dramas.
2.1. Design: I would have liked those two hearts on the top of the CV if I was a moron.
2.2. Cover letter: Not having a cover letter even when specifically asked for just goes on to show how much eye for detail and care for the job advertised you have.
2.3. Convention: Why not just use a CV template from Microsoft Word?
2.4. Pleas: Realising that times are tough and you might have some financial issues at home - but seriously no one wants an emotional wreck in their workplace. Stop crying, complaining and writing emotional lines in cover letters/CV.
3. Your father: I do not care how important he was or is.
4. Irrelevance: Thank you for wasting your energy by sending a totally unrelated CV, but since you have also wasted my time in the process I will not keep that CV with me for future and will send it direct to the trash folder.
I know I end up writing this sort of a post every time am going through a hiring phase but seriously I mean it!
When Zardari made the dramatic statement and attributed it to his dead wife (Benazir Bhutto), I never realised that he actually really means it! 4 years on, Pakistan has defaulted for the first time ever on Sovereign Guarantee towards Independent Power Production companies (Power sector dues: Govt defaults on sovereign guarantees). What it means is that Pakistan will get a lower credit rating (if had one to begin with), any new loans from outside world will be at higher interest rate and stricter terms, our Banking sector which has been quite safe till now will lose a lot of money (they have approximately 120 billion Rupees at stake here), and of course if Sovereigns of the country cannot make a payment how will you convince any new International Investor?
At the moment Pakistan has over 400 billion Rupees of circular debt in the power sector which if gets resolved can resolve Pakistani energy crisis in matter of days. But interestingly Pakistani Government is interested in getting in new companies to invest and build power plants but not resolve the issues with the previous ones. I somehow see it as an attempt by this present Pakistani Government to sabotage the power operators from 1992-94, given how they put up a stiff resistance against their planned Rental Power plants (SC scraps deals on rental power plants).
That said, Pakistan is already digging deeper into the curse of her “important geo-strategic placement”. With the present Pakistani Government continuously pushing for more expensive Iran-Pakistan pipeline out of which India has already pulled out (Pakistan and Iran: Pipelines or pipe dreams?) for the reasons including but not limited to an expensive source and Indian Security pundits not wanting to be reliant on Pakistan for an important source of energy like they might just do with TAPI (‘India may pull out of multi-billion dollar TAPI gas pipeline project’). India was however very smart, it landed herself a very lucrative Civilian Nuclear energy deal from USA in return who was just hell bent on putting extra pressure on Iran.
Problem however for Pakistan is that, it is not making any deals - just blind marches. Iranians are very happy to sell Pakistan natural gas at a dearer price, that too in the times when they are stuck with serious amount of International sanctions. Pakistan trading with them is not only jeopardising Pakistan’s relationships (of whatever nature they were) with world community but is also turning out to be an expensive trick. Pakistan has already alienated Saudi Arabia (not that they care for Pakistan) when their Ambassador allegedly called present Pakistani Government essentially a Shia’t Government (Pakistan, Iran become ‘natural allies’). If Pakistani leadership had any brains and was not just bent on taking some sort of revenge with the country, we could have exploited this situation easily to get Saudi and Americans and invest in Shale Gas exploration in Pakistan. This would have brought jobs, resources and above all Energy Security in the country.
But well once again, Zardari Government is bent on taking revenge from the country which imprisoned him for nearly a decade in corruption charges and in the streets has replaced common slang with his name. After all which other country in the world had a Prime Minister serving while being convicted by a court (Supreme Court issues detailed judgment in contempt case)?
(my notes for detailed article)
- Nomi: (on Monday) Usman, why the hell are we not doing any commercial photography project?
- Me: we can if you want. (share the plan and things we require)
- Nomi: great, let's do it!
- Me: cool. Am with you.
- Nomi: (after a few weeks on another Monday) Usman, why the hell are we not doing any commercial photography project?
- (today I made history)
- Me: Nomi listen, we should make a 22 min drama series for tv, all shot on dslrs (....and then shared the plan and general story line with him)
- Nomi: cool. Am with you.
- (have a very strong feeling that we will be having this discussion again)
Last night I found this one tumblog with some of the most wonderful music I have heard in a very long time (it actually helped me sleep) and I cannot seem to remember the name of it. I hope I had it still open on my laptop at home.
Back after a wonderful dinner with parents and my youngest brother, Abu Bakr. Celebrated my parent’s 29th wedding anniversary.
If I can even have half of that happy time in a marriage, I’d consider myself extremely lucky.
Am so thankful to my parents for providing us with an amazing family life with security, stability, pride, enlightenment and above all a chance for all of us siblings to grow independently and in a positive manner. Thank you! No child can ask for anything better!
Now am sitting and listening to interesting stories of old Pakistan Railway from Sheikh Uncle. (mobile)
Feeling good and thankful about stuff. Decide to tidy up the house before parents arrive for the weekend. Switch on the Hoover. Works for a full minute before it goes off without a warning. In your confusion you realise that it is already 10pm, time for a hour long power cut.
Welcome to Pakistan, always got a surprise for you. Who needs a monotone life anyway!