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Ms NOVEMBER 4, 2012 ISSUE NO. 20

Mughal Legacy A regal collection


Colour Concepts Unlocking the power of colour to decorate your home


inside drama mama When parents and kids drive each other crazy

domestic goddess The magical white powder

Pakistan’s Brangelina

page Section In Charge: Batool Zehra Send your feedback to



the buzz



While Feng Shui was the ultimate fad in interior decorating until a few years ago, a more effective way to change the look and feel of your home is by deploying colour successfully. Studies show that colours, in addition to adding oomph to our lives, have a distinct impact on our behaviour and moods and, in the right context, can also have a nurturing quality. So, rather than keeping the furniture at awkward angles, learn how you can use colours to improve the ambience of your den.

Purple / Violet

Brown Brown has a down-to-earth personality, which is why it is a favourite with nature lovers. In interior decoration, brown is used as a neutral to balance out extreme colours and often gives off the impression of natural wood. Incorporate it in the living room by adding a brown carpet or sofas — even something as small as a wall clock in brown can bring a hint of nature indoors. Brown also works well with cool colours such as pink, blue, beige and green. For a tasteful, contemporary look in your living room, pair light brown with orange and beige. This combination will give you the right amount of warm (orange) and spicy (beige and brown) notes. Too much brown in the bedroom can bring dullness to your mood and put a damper on your energy level so restrict it to the bed and windows.

The colour is used to denote royalty and elegance. It’s thought to encourage spirituality, intuition, wisdom, mastery, mental strength and focus. If you’re planning to incorporate purple in your home, try blending it with more natural colours like subtle pinks or greens. In your bedroom or living room, you can pair it with neutrals such as off-white or beige and even dull gold to get your desired highon-class/low-on-budget look. Remember that too much of this colour is thought to promote pride and gives your home a distant, unnatural look. A way around this is to use purple accents — purple flowers are a great way to add a hint of this colour in your living/bedroom. If you are on a diet and want to put a lid on those snack breaks use as much lavender around you as possible. Lavender suppresses the appetite, plus it’s a light colour which could help you feel lighter about yourself.

Green / Blue The phrase ‘greener pastures’ says it all, I suppose. Green is believed to be the most positive colour in the spectrum and is thought to encourage emotional stability and morality. This colour is associated with the heart area and has proved beneficial for people suffering from traumatic emotional experiences in love. Studies show that people who have green walls around them experience fewer stomach problems. Blue, on the other hand, is thought to enhance verbal expression and communication, artistic expression and willpower. The colour’s calming properties also help insomnia, anxiety, throat problems, high blood pressure, migraine and skin irritation. Cool colours like blue and green are therapeutic for people with depression. Calming shades of blue, green and even lavender are great in the bedroom. Blue is a particularly good colour to pair with warmer tones, with sky blue making an interesting combination with hot orange. However, if you are not a big fan of these colours, invest your money in a blue or green lava lamp and keep wherever your family hangs out the most. These colours cause the release of chemicals in the body that calm your nerves and have an overall soothing effect on your body.

Indigo Indigo has purifying and cleansing properties. It’s said to encourage greater intuition and strengthen the lymph system and the immune system. We love it because it’s a sweet-spicy mix of blue and violet and if you don’t want to cheat on these two colours, just adopt their offspring and treat it like your own. Indigo is a great choice to jazz up the living room but, like purple, it should be used in small quantities as it could make your house come across as somewhat cold. If you’re using this colour for your curtains, balance it out with some neutrals and give a hint of indigo elsewhere in the room. We would suggest you go for a lamp with an indigo light or maybe a show piece in this hue. Anything more than this, will just make your room look like an ink pot.



Did you know?

concepts Red / Pink The general belief about red is that it increases blood circulation, leading to an instant physical boost, and clears congestion. It is linked to the lower body, especially the spine, hips and legs. From Marilyn Monroe’s ruby lips to Gwen Stefani’s nail colour, red has also been associated with emotionally independent women who are open to taking risks. Red has been shown to increase appetite — one of the reasons that many restaurants choose red patterns in their dining rooms and why you should go code red in the kitchen. Of course, unless you want your kitchen to look like a substandard Chinese dhaaba, refrain from painting the walls red. Instead, add a tinge of spicy, brown-toned reds to your cabinets or even your dining table. Red brings life and energy to otherwise dull, uninviting spaces. You can use it to neutralise cooler colours like greens and blues and give warmth to a room. It’s easy to introduce red to a room with flowers, throw cushions, vases or other decoration pieces. Even though we love this sensual colour it’s our job to tell you that it comes with its own set of pitfalls. Studies show that people who get exposed to red on a daily basis have increased aggression and anger issues. While a good choice in the kitchen, dark shades of red in other rooms of the house are often associated with high blood pressure and irritability. Pink, a love child of red and white, is the default colour choice for decorating a little girl’s room. While pink evokes empathy and femininity, it’s a colour people get overdosed on very easily and making it the dominant colour in your little princess’ room may lead to her throwing tantrums and getting agitated over the smallest issues. Try pairing pink with soft orange, yellow or even blue to add variety to your child’s room. Mix pink with neutrals to give a trendy, soft look to your living room. In other rooms of the house, pairing soft pink with accents of whites and creams gives a rosy appeal as long as the pink isn’t overdone. Add dash of pink to your white bathroom with towels, keeping fake flowers or a floor mat in that colour for a fresh look. In the dining room, pale pink with green and a dash of beige gives a soft French Country look. You can also pair the femininity of pink with the very masculine brown to create a unique combination. The dark browns keep the pinks from appearing too frothy.

Black While black represents widowing, death and evil powers, it also stands for power, social prestige and elegance. Black is mostly used in interiors as the ‘eyeliner’ of the place. You can use it in picture frames, small corner furniture such as a coffee table, cushions or even as the main sofa in the room. Using black in small rooms is a bad idea as the colour makes the walls seem tighter making the room look smaller than it actually is. Black is also a big no-no for a teenager’s room since it has a dark effect on the mood which is the last thing one would want for an emotionally unstable teenager.

Artists and interior designers have long understood that colours are a powerful communication tool and can be used to signal action, influence mood, and cause physiological reactions. Certain colours can raise blood pressure, increase metabolism, or cause eyestrain.

Orange / Yellow Orange is the colour of joy, socialising and optimism. Associated with the abdominal area, it is believed to benefit the kidneys, urinary tract and the reproductive organs. Sometimes asthmatic patients are advised to paint their rooms orange as this colour is also associated with improved lung function. Yellow, on the other hand, is linked to chirpiness and vivacity. Like orange, this colour is said to increase emotional vitality in patients suffering from depression. Dark, earthy tones of orange create a great mood which is why these hues are ideal for the dining room. They stimulate conversation and eating while creating a dramatic environment. Use bright hues of orange and yellow to make the tighter, stuffier corners of your home seem bigger or add them to your living room by throwing in toss cushions, artwork, an area rug, or lamps to add a splash of colour. You can also use vibrant hues like yolk yellow or even light orange in the sofas. We suggest you keep orange out of bedrooms and bathrooms where they could become overwhelming and have an adverse effect on your mood. Also beware that too much yellow can make you as hyper as a five-year-old on a sugar rush and may distract you from the important chores waiting for your focus.

White White is associated with purity and cleanliness which is why bathroom fixtures and fittings are usually in white or silver. To our eyes, a white bathroom looks cleaner than, say, a light blue bathroom. Use white in the windows, ceiling and doors to give a clean look to your guest room. It’ll give the effect of serenity and purity. But beware of using white in the entire room as it takes away the customised, personal feel of a room. While the excessive use of white does create the illusion of space, it also makes the room look boring and cold. Also, it makes more sense to have coloured walls since you won’t have to spend too much on decoration pieces.



en vogue




The royal streak Shagufta Imam’s collection of flared frocks and tung pyjamas shows that Mughal-inspired fashion is staying for a few more years. Delicate mukesh work, royal hues and accents of velvet give these outfits a regal appeal.

Hair and Makeup: Anum Falak Designer: Shagufta Imam Coordination: Umer Mushtaq Photography: Zara Tareen. H and Z Model: Abeera Habib



drama mama



We’re all crazy about something or the other by Hiba Masood Hiba Masood is a stay-athome mother to 3-year-old Beta and 7-monthold Beti. Writing about parenting affords her time away from actually doing it. CONNECT WITH DRAMA MAMA ONLINE AT WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/ETDRAMAMAMA FOR MORE THOUGHTS ON THE CRAZY RIDE OF MOTHERHOOD

Every time I see other parents giving their kids all sorts of mental, physical, and spiritually-stimulating opportunities and realise that all we do in this house is peel paint off the walls, I vow to broaden our horizons. We haven’t begun school around here yet, but I think I’m going to go ahead and enrol my offspring in some courses for gifted children. Here are a few I think they would shine in: Advanced Juice-Spilling, Interrupting for the Disruptionally-Gifted, Intermediate Annoyance Techniques, Practical Applications of Starvation, Senior Seminar in Sibling Abuse, Effortless Laptop-Destroying for the Expert. It just makes sense to give the kids all of the academic advantages we possibly can — after all, Beta has long been throwing tantrums at a SixthGrade level and Beti astounded us recently with her mastery of The Bye-bye Wave (available for viewing even at 2 a.m., when, should you crack open an eye upon feeling the bed moving, you will see a fat little person-shaped blob sitting up, half-asleep, diligently practicing her farewell flapping.) The girl is obsessed with it and it is ruining what little sleep I get. What is it with kids and developing obsessions around everything? I’m never sure what little thing that I allow the kids to do one time will translate into a full-blown mania. For instance, when Beta was sick a few days ago but still interested in his writing and colouring, he would put his head down on his arm while he worked. It was an endearing picture of childhood misery and I understood how stuffy his head must feel for him to want to rest it like that. But now, Beta’s all better and he still can’t write a single line, letter or dot without first putting his head down. It’s sort of driving me crazy. And then there’s the issue of the paper: my

son can work his way through reams the way I can work my way through ice-cream. There’s no expected end in sight; it’s just a matter of somebody else deciding for you that you’ve probably had enough. Every piece of paper he comes across — including Baba’s Very Important Office Paper — gets scribbled on with rows and rows of letters followed by rows and rows of numbers. “Kaam!” Beta says exasperatedly when I ask him what he’s doing. I consider forcing him to stop: I think about conservation and trees and wastefulness and consistency and discipline. But I don’t say anything. Because I’m also thinking about creativity and free play and letting genius thrive in an intellectually rich environment. See, when he’s working with all that paper, Beta is a little man with a big vision. He has great works in mind, theories of alphabetisation to pursue. If I keep curtailing his activities because he’s not using the paper as I see fit, won’t I be doing some sort of disservice? Didn’t Picasso say something to the effect that every child is an artist but the problem is staying an artist when you grow up? If it seems like I am justifying his behaviour, it’s because I am. Maybe because I feel a sense of magnanimity in giving him free rein in these endeavours. Maybe because I dread the tantrum that would ensue if I enforce some curtailing measures. Maybe because I know, that I would go absolutely nuts myself if Hums suddenly said to me, “Today you can read one article online, but then that’s it.” It’s just so clear to me that Beta can’t help himself. He can’t not write on a piece of paper that he sees — the same way that I can’t not eat a piece of chocolate you left lying around, even if you asked me please not to. I guess I should deal with my own set of obsessions first. Are there any courses for that?

domestic goddess 7


Create a customised deodorant And that too with your favourite fragrance. Take ten drops of your favourite essential oil, mix it with four tablespoons of baking soda and apply to underarms. Yes, it really is as simple as that! To make your deodorant travel-friendly, fill it in an old loose powder container and use a powder brush to re-apply throughout the day.

White Magic

Fire Fighter Keep a box handy by your stove in case of a grease or electrical fire. Scatter by the handful to put it out safely. Keep it in your garage and car as well to put out accidental fires. Will also put out fires in clothing, wood, fuel, upholstery and rugs safely.


Keep your drains free-flowing by putting 4 tablespoons of soda in them each week. Flush the soda down with hot water.


Sure, it’s useful in the kitchen, but now it could be a staple in your bathroom as well, replacing both your toothpaste AND your face wash. Your DIY baking soda toothpaste will leave your teeth whiter and shinier since baking soda effectively removes the layer of plaque, neutralizes the production of acid and acts as an antiseptic. Plus, unlike chemical-laden commercial toothpastes, it’s completely natural — now that’s something to smile about. Just sprinkle some on your toothbrush and brush away!

Burned Pots

To remove burned on food from a pan let the pan soak in soda and water for 10 minutes before washing. Or scrub the pot with dry soda and a moist scouring pad. For a badly burned pan with a thick layer of burned on food, pour a thicker layer of soda directly onto the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle on just enough water to moisten the soda. Leave overnight and scrub the next day.

A pinch in your pakoras, a bit in your brownies — baking soda is a staple every domestic goddess has in her kitchen, of course, but this wondrous white powder can be used for so much more than just raising your bread and cakes. A true multi-tasker!

Squeaky Clean Clothes

Treat grease stains with a paste made from baking soda and water — or simply add baking soda to the wash load. Not only does it clean your clothes, it also works as a fabric softener and keeps clothes smelling fresher. When washing whites, along with the usual amount of bleach, add ½ cup of baking soda for the brightest whites! Even when you’re not actually washing clothes, just sprinkle some baking soda in your laundry hamper to keep it from smelling.


For silver pieces without raised patterns or cemented on handles, place the silver on an aluminium foil in an emamel pot. Add boiling water and 4 tablespoon baking soda. Let stand, rinse and dry for shiny silver.

A Refrigerator’s Best Friend

Clean your refrigerator with dry baking soda sprinkled on a damp cloth. Rinse with water. Then place an open container of baking soda in the fridge to deodorise it. Stir from time to time and replace every two months.

Spot treatment

Play Clay

Mix 1 cup baking soda, half cup corn starch and three quarters of a cup of water over medium heat to make play dough. Store in an airtight container until ready for use.

Sprouting a pimple? In a pinch, mix a tablespoon baking soda with a little warm water to make a paste. Then apply it to the zit to dry it out. Easy! This paste can also be applied to insect bites, poison ivy and rashes to relieve discomfort.

Fab Face wash

To make an exfoliating face wash that not only leaves skin fresh and glowing, but also fights acne, add one teaspoon baking soda to one tablespoon honey and you’re good to go.

hottie of the week 8


Status Married Birthday February 24, 1988 Horoscope Pisces

Who is he? Producer, actor, director — Shahbaz Shigri, 24, made a name for himself acting in the famously banned Slackistan and making films like Gol Chakkar and Sole Search. In an industry that demands years of experience, he has already made a name for himself. Shahbaz took up filmmaking because he wanted to make movies for pure entertainment — something different from the usual depictions of poverty and terrorism that Pakistanis regularly see. “The lack of narrative fiction films being made in Pakistan is why I got into this,” he says, claiming that he finds filmmaking the best way to express himself completely. “It is exciting to create a film or music video from scratch.”





Why he’s droolworthy Is it that square jaw? Those strong brows? That touchable hair? Whatever it is, we know we skip a heartbeat and do a double take when we see this guy. Add to this his indie cred: he’s made a music video for the Kominas and a feature film on Islamabad and is the don of what passes for indie film in Pakistan. His creativity and over-the-top ideas keep us hooked. “I draw inspiration from everything: movies, videos, people. I instantly imagine situations as movies, so it’s not hard to find inspiration in such a dynamic country.” Our stud is one half of the power couple that is Aisha Linnea Akhtar and Shahbaz Hamid Shigri and the hotness (if not yet the star power) that the two generate makes us compare them to Brangelina. “What I really love about her,” says Shahbaz, “is that not only do we have the same interests, but goals.” Warning: The bloke is married to one of the most gorgeous women in Pakistan, Aisha Linnea Akhtar. Not only is she his wife, but also his partner: she helped him with his filmmaking thesis for New York University and is a co-producer on his films. Clearly, she’s taking no chances with this one! The two are so close that Shahbaz even watches reality TV with her. “Project Runway”, “Jersey Shore” — whatever it is, if she’s watching it, so is he. But never alone! So bat your eyelashes at him all you want (we don’t blame you) — chances are he will give an ‘I’ve got better’ smile and run back in her arms ... even if you don a Jolie face mask for his sake.

Things you didn’t know about him



Total Package


Even though he has found his perfect match we’d still like to tell you that Shahbaz gets drawn to ambitious, intelligent, hilarious and beautiful women. If you think that’s daunting listen to what he has to say next: “Luckily, my wife has all of those traits, and more.” Dear Aisha, we know we don’t stand a chance but no one can stop us from making castles in the air.

Shahbaz Shigri

The Express Tribune hi five - November 4  

The Express Tribune hi five for November 04th 2012