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AUGUST 4-10 2013

Postcolonial Party


AUGUST 4-10 2013

Cover Story

The Great Indian Peninsula Railway Londoners are treated to a pop-up dinner that takes them from Rangoon to Srinagar

Feature

From roasted quail to rabri Feast your eyes on the food street at Mohammed Ali Road in Mumbai

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Feature

Stiff upper lip Our guide to getting a safe body piercing

30

50 Regulars

6 People & Parties: Out and about with the beautiful people

48 Review: The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

Magazine Editor: Mahim Maher and Sub-Editors: Dilaira Mondegarian and Sundar Waqar Creative Team: Amna Iqbal, Jamal Khurshid, Anam Haleem, Essa Malik, Maha Haider, Faizan Dawood, Samra Aamir, Kiran Shahid and Asif Ali. Publisher: Bilal A Lakhani. Executive Editor: Muhammad Ziauddin. Editor: Kamal Siddiqi. For feedback and submissions: magazine@tribune.com.pk Twitter: @ETribuneMag & Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ETribuneMag 4 Printed: uniprint@unigraph.com


PEOPLE & PARTIES

Irsa and Shagufta Ejaz

Ayyan

PHOTOS COURTESY TAKE II

Sadia Nawabi

Hira Lari

Iraj

Abeer Adeel

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Shehrbano Empress of ship Elegance flag store opens in Karachi

Saba, Ayesha, Rafia and Shamaan AUGUST 4-10 2013

Sherish

Sofia Lari

Nashra and Nairah


AUGUST 4-10 2013


PEOPLE & PARTIES

Mrs Basir Syed with family

Humaira, Zara and Mehvish

Aleezay Rasool

Fatima and Marium

Faryal and Marium

Samina and Seemi

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Ruby Ghaias with her daughters AUGUST 4-10 2013

Kaainat and Rooshanie

Sarah and Guria

PHOTOS COURTESY REZZ PR AND EVENTS

The two-storey flagship store of Yogen Fruz and Cheeky Joe’s opens in Islamabad


AUGUST 4-10 2013


PEOPLE & PARTIES Saniia Maskatiya opens her second store in Karachi

Naveen, Rabia and Nigi

PHOTOS COURTESY LOTUS PR

Nabia and Anam

Nadra Sheik and Wajiha

Layla Chatoor

Sania and Sarah

Farwah

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Sana and Mehreen AUGUST 4-10 2013

Nisha and Yasmeen


AUGUST 4-10 2013


PEOPLE & PARTIES

Naveen and Rabia

Zainab and Nazafreen

Sheena and Mehr Bano

Roshan, Ayesha, Zora and Yasmeen

Sanam

Anum and Maheen

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Samirah and Shaista AUGUST 4-10 2013

Maheen

Marium and Emaan

PHOTOS COURTESY LOTUS PR

Nazish, Nada and Asma


AUGUST 4-10 2013


PEOPLE & PARTIES Mera Anwar of Miri showcases her collection in Karachi

Maheen and Sidar Zadi

Hira Tareen

Mera Anwar and Laiqa Hasan

Farah Khan

Nazia Malik

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Shazi and Asma AUGUST 4-10 2013

Mr and Mrs Naeem and Gazal

Maria

Abeer

PHOTOS COURTESY ANASTASIA PR

Guests


AUGUST 4-10 2013


PEOPLE & PARTIES

Amna, Aneeka and Amber

Sonia

PHOTOS COURTESY SAVVY PR AND EVENTS

The multibrand store L’atelier opens in Gulberg, Lahore Amber and Sumbal

Seher

Fatima and Nazish

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Fizi AUGUST 4-10 2013

Amani and Mashaal

Yasmin and Saira


AUGUST 4-10 2013


PEOPLE & PARTIES

Saliha, Janie and Muzna

Farah, Tasmeer, Fauzea, Sameena and Natasha

Multi-brand store, The Designers, introduces a furniture division in Dubai

Saad Qazi and Sharina Shah

Atinirmal Pagarani and Meera Pagarani

Zahid Khan and Rana Sher

Punit and Samar

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Shaheen Rajwani AUGUST 4-10 2013

Kashif and Mail

Romi Jain with a guest


AUGUST 4-10 2013


COVER STORY

30 AUGUST 4-10 2013


H IN A SEVEN-COURSE MEAL, CURIOUS LONDONERS ARE TREATED TO A POP-UP DINNER THAT TAKES THEM FROM RANGOON TO SRINAGAR TEXT BY SANAM MAHER PHOTOS BY TOOBA MASOOD

42 MARCH 24-30 2013

ead down Northampton Road in London’s east end and you’ll find yourself in the waiting room of a train station from the 1920s in India, where a bejeweled lady in a mint green and gold shalwar kameez fans herself while cautiously keeping an eye on a leery ticket inspector. A woman in a safari suit, her hair a mass of pin-curls, clutches a glass of port as she scans the crowd on the platform for her son, Dickie, who ran away from their home in England to head to India. Her husband, a colonel, is laid up in their train com- 31 AUGUST 4-10 2013


COVER STORY Ticket inspector ‘Quentin Raamsbottom’ warns guests about the coolie Ali: Be careful, because he sometimes checks out the train’s undercarriage, if you know what I mean

partment with a terrible case of dyspepsia. The destination is Srinagar. The train journey begins in Rangoon and winds through Chittagong, Patna, Lucknow, Delhi and Jullundur before its final stop. All aboard Shuttlecock Inc’s Great Indian Peninsula Railway — a £65 per head pop-up dinner experience for Londoners that will take 40 guests on a seven-course culinary journey from Rangoon to Srinagar. As the name suggests, a pop-up restaurant is just one that pops up. No permanent space is needed, just a venue the organisers will rent for a few days. Some pop-ups last only a day while others can run for a short period, like this one, The Great Indian Peninsula Railway, from July 18 to August 10. In fact Shuttlecock Inc was created specifically for this form of entertainment, bringing together art, music, theatre and food in a series of pop-up events in London. So what inspires a group of Londoners to bring India to the heart of their city? It started with the Sunday blues. Four cousins, driving back to their hometown of London after a vacation in France, found themselves wishing they didn’t have to return to their jobs on Monday. What would happen, they mused, if they worked with each other? And so the Templetons — Anna (31), Ed (29), Will (27) and Oliver aka Olly (the baby, at 22) — looked to their roots for inspiration. “We’re from a pretty big family,” explains Ed. “And every family occasion revolves around a meal.” The cousins decided to combine their love of food and travel to form Shuttlecock Inc last year, cre-

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ating the perfect evening out for Londoners looking to shake up their dinner plans. “We wanted to host something like our family get-togethers, where you dance, have great conversations and have a great meal,” says Ed. For their first pop-up event in March, the group was inspired by the golden age of travel during the 1950s — no plastic cutlery, no pat-downs and plenty of legroom. For Shuttlecock’s first ‘Mile High’ event, a bevy of PanAm-inspired stewardesses welcomed their ‘passengers’ for the evening into a departure lounge (a disused Royal Mail sorting office that had been transformed by a set-designer) and presented them with a passport and boarding ticket to their destination of Gothenburg, Sweden. Once on the ‘plane’ (two long tables where diners sat side-by-side), the passengers feasted on a meal featuring pan-fried scallops, chargrilled elk, lingonberry ice cream and crayfish while raucously singing Swedish drinking songs. Subsequent Mile High events whizzed through Beirut (featuring smoked labneh with sour cherries, rose water and grape jelly with cardamom custard) and Sicily (swordfish in orange and cinnamon with fennel and pine nuts, burnt peach gelato, pistachio praline and amaretti biscotti). Their latest venture is inspired by numerous trips to India. “A few years ago, I did a journey across India in a tuk-tuk,” Ed recounts. “I covered 4,000 kilometres in that rickety old thing, starting in Meghalaya in the north east and ending in Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.” This project is very much a work of love, a family affair — walk into the dining room where his grandfather’s old trunks perch in the

‘Guests’ embark in Rangoon and make their way through Chittagong, Patna, Lucknow, Delhi and Jullundur before alighting at the final destination of Srinagar


The cousins decided to combine their love of food and travel to form Shuttlecock Inc last year, creating the perfect evening out for Londoners looking to shake up their dinner plans train’s berths, you’ll see Will polishing cutlery. Painted signs (‘Avoid: sleeping near the windows wearing heavy jewels, friendship with strangers’) replicate the highlights of the cousins’ travels in India (there’s no paan ki peek to be found here, though) and on the first n night, an assistant-less Olly frantically chopp chopped vegetables with both hands to prep a meal for forty people. It’s easy to lose yourself in the fantasy, in this haze h of incense and Mohammad Rafi songs songs. A white-turbaned coolie darts between the crowd, offering a glass of paani here, pra practicing his English there — “Ali is our odd jobs man,” the ticket inspector (who goe goes by the name Quentin Raamsbottom, ‘a bab babu’s name that he has stolen’) says, “he ma makes many jobs even.” He adds, snickering ing, “but be careful, because he sometimes che checks out the train’s undercarriage, if you kn know what I mean.” This crew of ten actors ha worked with Shuttlecock on previous has ev events and they have their routine down p — when I tell Lakshmi, a woman from pat the pink city of Jaipur, that I’m covering the event, she deadpans, “what event?” Thus, the key element, ultimately, is the attempt to be authentic. The event does not rest on a colonial imagination of India alone. Harini, a dinner guest from south India who came to the event with her daughter, loves the attention to detail and the atmosphere, which “is very reminiscent of [her] time in India”. And while the food is central to the experience, not e everyone is there for the feast. Lily, for instance, who surprised her date with tic tickets to the event, admits that while she is not a “massive fan of Indian food,” sh decided to come for the novelty of the experience. she E Each ‘stop’ of the train’s route explores a different flavour and the menu inclu cludes everything from sea bass and scallop broth (Chittagong) to a vegetarian t thaali (Patna). The idea is to serve a taster menu that encourages people to try food they might otherwise be hesitant to order at one of London’s thousands of curry houses. “This is an interpretation of Indian cuisine,” Ed clarifies.


“We’re not expecting anyone to say, ‘This is exactly how my mum would make it.’” Olly, who has the enviable experience of being a chef at the awardwinning Moro at his young age, takes inspiration from restaurants he loves — “We’ve been doing research for this project at Tayyabs in Whitechapel for nearly 7 years,” Ed quips — but tweaks dishes in order to offer something fresh for Londoners who are able to roll ‘daal makhni’ off their tongues effortlessly. Their appetites whetted by an hour of cocktails in the train’s waiting room, the train’s ‘passengers’ are summoned by the ticket collector’s whistle to board. Their ticket stubs punched, they enter the carriage and squeeze in next to complete strangers in a series of berths (repurposed church pews). “We’ve had a lot of people at our other events who meet for the first time at one of our pop-ups and then come back together for subsequent ones,” Will says. And in a city where you apologise profusely for so much as brushing against someone on the train, you can find yourself sharing the contents of your thaali with someone you met only ten minutes ago. Two waiters in shalwar kameez serve up plates of salad with slivers of tart unripe mango or kayri, tea leaves and crunchy peanuts, the perfect opener xt course, a bowl of sea bass and scallop for the next ed with lemongrass and coconut. broth tinged rain makes its ‘way’ through each As the train city, the diners tuck into peppery lamb ty delicious yoghurt-tinged with a gritty weet figs with crumbly masala, sweet d crisp chapattis. paneer and Quentin Raamsbottom and Ali join ble, our table, bickering. “Laaton kee ton bhoot baaton se nahin maantay,” Quentin

pronounces, delighted to meet his first diner so far who speaks Urdu/Hindi. “Indian s**la kaun aaye ga, itnay paisay de kar?” When the train ‘reaches’ Delhi, Olly serves up a plate of melt-in-your-mouth creamy pan-fried chicken kaleji, seasoned with cardamom and chili. At this point, five courses in, the room is getting warm, the diners’ faces are flushed as they are served lamb and pea samosas in a buttery puff pastry, garnished with cool mint raita. As we head to Srinagar, it is a relief to be presented with chilled cups of cherry cake with yoghurt, garnished with pistachios and plump cherries. An impromptu game of cricket starts in the aisles with a green lime serving as a ball. The passengers join in with a crescendo of whoops and table-thumping. Their attentions focused on the game, the guests scarcely notice the theft of Laskhmi’s jewels. Quentin grabs Ali by the scruff of his neck, accusing him of pocketing the gems. A lady in red silk who has entered the train carriage unnoticed cries out, “No! He is not a thief! He is my husband,” and we’re suddenly in the middle of a Bollywoodinspired flash dance in the aisles. The passengers, giddy by this point, join in the dancing. “The whole point of what we’re doing,” Ed says, “is that you walk through the doors into a completely different world — it’s a story that you’re part of and you get to let go for a few hours.” As the night comes to an end, we walk out of the train’s waiting room and step out into a cool London evening. Ali, now in a Guns N’ Roses T-shirt and jeans, is heading home for the night. The passage through India has ended.


FEATURE The heavier than usual downpour in Mumbai this year could not put a dent in the Ramazan fervour at the iconic Mohammed Ali Road. Neither waterlogging nor the potholed streets deterred Mumbaikars from travelling considerable distances to sample the fare at this mecca of meats. During the holy month, the mile-long Mohammed Ali Road stretch, named after Khilafat Movement leader Mohammed Ali Jouhar, is a feast for all the senses. From the stalls glittering with jewellery and silks, to the snippets of qawwali and azaan that fill the ears, and of course the aroma of mithai, grilled kababs and fruit — this street delivers a heady rush. My first stop on this gastronomical pilgrimage is Bohri Mohalla, a name indicating the large presence of the Dawoodi Bohras living in the area. I wind my way through a long lane, beset on both sides with magical cauldrons of sizzling malpuas, a milk pancake, fried and sinfully dipped in sugar syrup, mounds of the rich, milky rabri sweet, stalls selling every ilk of chaat and balls of colourful suttar feni, a string-like sweet mixed with milk and eaten at sehri, before the fast is kept at dawn. The potato chaats at Bohri Mohalla come highly recommended, prepared as they are with special masalas not found elsewhere in the city. What goes into them? Well, that is kept a closely guarded secret. I head straight for Noor Sweets, an institution in its own right, famous for its malpua-rabri and roasted kaju barfi. “We have customers from all over the country. Even the family of His Holiness orders from us,” says its 85-yearold owner Abdulali Hassan Ali proudly, referring to the Syedna, the spiritual leader of the Dawoodi Bohras. Ali claims to sell over 200 kilogrammes of malpua a day during Ramazan. “The secret is that we use the purest ingredients and have never compromised on quality,” he says. Twenty-five-year-old Shaikh Aafreen Ali Mohammed agrees. He was born and brought up in Mumbai, where it is de rigeueur for the family to pay a daily visit to Noor Sweets during Ramazan. “Malpua is available right through this month which is not the case otherwise so we make it a point to come here,” he says. Bohri Mohalla is among the quieter parts of Mohammed Ali Road and packs up by midnight. That is the time to hit Minara Masjid, just two lanes away. Here the action continues into the early morning hours. Chaotic and crowded as they are, the food stalls near Minara Masjid attract crowds by the thousands every day. The big ticket

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From roasted quail to rabri


(Top) Abdul Kalim at his nalli nihari stall, (bottom) roasted quail and (bottom left) Minara Masjid in Bohri Mohalla

The nalli nihari Sanjay Dutt will miss this Ramazan sells right here in Mumbai BY SHAI VENKATRAMAN

Aamir Khan and Sanjay Dutt are said to be regulars at the Bohri Mohallah in Ramazan AUGUST 4-10 2013

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FEATURE item here is roasted quail. The live birds are kept in huge cages and are grilled to order. For the more faint-hearted, there is nalli nihari, which is the other big attraction, especially with the Bollywood set. Aamir Khan and Sanjay Dutt, I am told, are regulars here during Ramazan. “Sanjubaba usually comes here in the early morning hours during Ramazan,” says Abdul Kalim, stirring a huge pot of nalli, a slow-cooked beef or mutton stew, which traces its origins to Noor Sweets Awadh and Hyderabad. “He sits rights here and eats like everyone else,” Kalim says pointing, as if to support his claim, to his ordinary, rather rundown stall. This year Dutt who is in prison, will be missing the action. “Aamir Khan comes here too, usually after the fifteenth day of Ramazan,” Kalim adds as if to make up for the loss. These crowded lanes, with their carnival-like atmosphere, are a microcosm of the great melting point that is Mumbai. You find the Audis and BMWs parked alongside ordinary taxis, posh families from south Mumbai high-rises and foreigners negotiating the traffic to try out different kinds of pau bread and kababs. The roads are messy and crowded, pick-pockets lurk everywhere and the drive may be a nightmare, but nothing it seems can diminish the magic. As 28-year-old Nida Thakur emphasises, “There is LIFE here.” Raised in Mumbai, Nida moved to Qatar five years ago after getting married. She makes it a point to time her annual visit back home during this season. “I have to come here and eat the sandaal,” she says pointing to a set of clay cups filled to the brim with a sticky pudding made of rice, coconut milk, mawa and sugar. Popular among the Memons and Konkani Muslims, sandaal is exported in large quantities to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. “When I take a bite of this, I know I am home,” she says. Watching people surge past the green minarets of Minara Masjid, a light drizzle on my face and the smell of pineapples and smoky kababs hanging in the air, I can 42 see what she means. AUGUST 4-10 2013

Phirnis

Suttar feni


BOOK

The Book off shelf

“I am simply not interested, at this point, in creating narrative scenes between characters.” 48 AUGUST 4-10 2013

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis. Winner of the Man Booker International Prize. Published by Penguin books. The end. Because the title of the book is the only story in this anthology BY AMNA IQBAL

Everything e else is a glimpse into a dysfunctio dysfunctional, almost fractured mind that is sharpened by both its failings an and its resilience. The literary result is obviously too evolved for a category to desc describe what Lydia Davis does with words, whic which is why she has been categorised as a sho short story writer. Ali Smith, a fiction writer herself, probably ct came the closest when she came up with the term ‘prose sstylist’ for Davis. That almost describes what sshe does. Almost, because the writer can invoke enough power with a in single unpunctuated sentence hunched in the unpunctua corner of a page to throw you into sudden despair. However However, before you even know you have h ve fallen flat on your face, she has moved ha on to an absurd snippet of humour, giving you no choice but to get up and follow. ‘The Letter’, best be described as a window that opens up lo longer than expected into the lives of two people paying the price of hoping for a happy ending, is savagely sliced in the middle with the insertion of a series of sketches called ‘Extracts from a Life’ (Both from Break it Down, 1986). They read like notes that will make you laugh out loud at her childlike simplicity of how her love for grownups is born out of sympathy only because they will die or at how her encounter with Tolstoy left a bad aftertaste but thankfully she was saved by Dr Einstein. The childlike expression ensures you that she is not guilty in any way of jumping on the surrealism bandwagon. The contrast also shows a complex mind at work that throws you off balance. The anthology is, however, premised on a contradiction as it tries to string together her collections in a linearity that does not surface, if it all, in her writing. The publishers themselves admit it was a task to collect her work since both the author and her work have an intrinsic elusiveness. “… I had been alone in that apartment so much by then that I had

retreated into some kind of inner, unsociable space” from ‘Blind date’ in Almost No Memory. The collection does mark her evolution as a writer — from her first collection Break it Down published in 1986 to Varieties of Disturbance in 2007 — you witness the understanding and control she acquires over her expression, how she masters it until eventually she emerges as a creator of her own language. She strips it. Layers that writers use as covers; she cuts them loose. Lydia Davis’ language today is naked and immaculately sculpted.You see the beauty of a semi colon, the grace of a comma that adds a silent understanding. How a period does not bleed out your imagination but adds to it. It also showcases the fact that the themes that she had picked are regulars. But they grow up with her too. She knew in her first publication the pain of happiness. But it’s a woman who is starting to understand loss with a more silent assertiveness in Almost No Memory. The same anthology makes the use of food as a sinister force that channels her confusion and anger. Her inner child is also retreating, scared of the wrath that is displayed in ‘Meat, My Husband’ or when she gives ‘Examples of Remember… that thou art but dust’. This is how I discovered Lydia Davis, in Varieties of Disturbances: “I put that word on the page, but he added the apostrophe,” from ‘Collaboration with Fly’. By that time her characters were not masked versions of her own disappointments and most had names and lives outside of her. Thematically, she had steered towards a direction that marked the beginning of a woman’s journey towards self-actualisation, transcending the ordinary human loss and meekly stepping into the metaphysical. Her horizon had broadened, the pain that accumulated over the years solidified into a foundation where she has arrived but it’s too strange a journey for her to not take. T


STIFF UPPER LIP Thinking of getting a little steel armour? Here are some tips BY DILAIRA MONDEGARIAN

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The Aztecs and Mayans may have done it centuries ago and many tribes may still do it, but if you are thinking of getting a body piercing today it’s best to do your research because they carry the risk of potentially life-threatening diseases. According to a study conducted from June 2007 to May 2008, published in the Journal of Pakistan Medical Association titled ‘Frequency of Hepatitis B and C in rural and periurban Sindh’, body piercing was identified as a risk factor for contracting the virus. Infections are common if you don’t take precautionary measures during and after a piercing. Oral piercings can be especially dangerous. They can cause infection of the mouth or lips that “may lead to speech and chewing and swallowing problems,” says Dr Mansur Ahmad, a dentist and oral surgeon at the Aga Khan University Hospital. It can also compromise the airway from trauma. But P, who wishes to remain anonymous, recently got her tongue pierced and says, “It’s not painful at all and there is no risk of an infection because the enzymes present in saliva help tongue piercings fight infection.” On the other hand Tooba Masood who got her lip pierced in 2010 says, “My lip looked like a bee had stung it three times. Since the piercing was on a visible part of my body, I was worried about getting an infection... a lot of Polyfax, icing and alcohol swabs helped.” Although they may seem unrelated, tooth fractures and tooth chips can also be caused by oral piercings. It weakens the teeth parallel to the piercing, usually the pre-molars and the middle teeth. This happens when the metal hits against your teeth. The perennially fashionable eyebrow piercings also need lots of care. Tooba got her eyebrows pierced in 2005 and then again in 2008 before going to college. She opted for the vertical piercing on the eyebrow ridge. “I don’t have my eyebrow piercing anymore as it fell out... just a big scar on my eyebrow now,” she says. “Eyebrow piercings are a bit complicated in terms of when you have to get your threading and waxing done. The skin can get loose and the metal can fall out.” And if the metal gets trapped, it could make the piercing even more risky. According to Dr Ahmad, “nose and eyebrow piercings almost always leave a scar.” On the other hand, ear piercings may seem like a simpler choice but they too run the risk of infection. “Ear piercings can be the most painful ones, especially since sleeping on a fresh ear piercing can make it very sore,” says P who also has a Tragus piercing, a piercing on the skin that covers the ear canal opening. Cartilage piercings may remain sore longer than ones in the lobe. People with a heart condition should simply avoid body piercings. “In such cases piercings increase the possibility of bacteria getting into the bloodstream, infect the heart, and damage heart valves,” says Dr Ahmad. If you must get one, make sure that the person performing the piercing is using a sterile technique. Piercing guns are not sterile. “There is only one place in Karachi I would trust to get piercings and that is Sarwana. They are extremely clean,” says Zara Ali, who has five piercings in one ear, a nose piercing and an eyebrow piercing. If you want to get the piercing done the right way, make sure you use a sharp and clean needle. After the piercing clean the area with warm water and soap twice a day or use a liquid medicated cleanser. For oral piercings use an antibacterial mouth rinse after meals. T

Jestrum piercing

Labret piercing

Dahlia piercing

Bling it on When it comes to selecting the right jewellery for your new piercing Dr Mansur Ahmad recommends using only titanium or gold. Nickel or artificial jewellery (gold-or silver-plated) can lead to an allergic reaction and should be best avoided. If the metal is soft it can get scratches and grooves that can harbour bacteria. Anything that oxidises will do the same.



The Express Tribune Magazine - August 4