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Cover Feature

Interview with Unoosha

Dating & Relationships The Friendzone

Travel

Land of the rising sun


contents

Shopping at Le Cute Le Cute Shopper

Style, Care, Perfume, Gadget pg 06 - pg 09

Art, Culture & Lifestyle The Ugly Habit

Written by Munshida Ibrahim pg 20 - pg 22

Saaid - An Avid Runner

Interviewed by Lavish Editorial Team pg 16 - pg 17

Dhivehinge Fannu

Written by Shimanie Shareef pg 24 - pg 26

Dating & Relationships The Friendzone

Written by Noonu pg 34 - pg 35

Fashion Lacoste Shoot

Photography Funkografik Modelling Dheena Make Up Glam Salon Make Up Leykokaa Looks pg 10 - pg 15

Going Maxi in Maldives

Written by Angel Shujau pg 18 - pg 19


Interview with Unoosha

Interviewed by Lavish Editorial Team Photography Funkografik Hair & Make-up: Leykokaa Looks pg 28 - pg 33

Entertainment Written by Imy

Movies

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Pacific Rim Red 2 pg 43

Music

Arcade Fire Prism Wrapped in Red pg 44

Literature

The Fault in our Stars And the Mountains Echoed The Storyteller pg 45

Travel Land of the Rising Sun Written by Hussain Hasyb pg 36 - pg 41 Editor: Mohamed Rafeeq Layout: Shareehan Le Cute Lavish Lifestyle is published by Lintel Investments and Management Services Pvt. Ltd. The contents of this publication are protected and all rights are reserved

contents

Cover Feature


Panasonic Smart Viera 65� Full HD Plasma TV (TH-P65VT60K) MVR 102,820/The 65 inch full HD plasma TV has VIERA Connect built in Wi-Fi to browse internet and has a THX 3D certified display to make your viewing experience a pleasant one. Sleek and stylish in design, it’s known for great picture quality.

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Bowers & Wilkins Headset (P5 Mobile Hi-Fi) MVR 7100.94/The P5 by Bowers & Wilkins is an incredibly detailed product with advanced headphone technology that delivers rich and pure sound. The performance, acoustics and ergonomics make for a high quality product that is compatible with any device’s headphone output. The closed back design with rigid metal faceplates and sealed ear pads make P5 perfect for listening to music on the go.

Panasonic Lumix Camera (DMC-SZ9) MVR 6,476.68/The Lumix camera takes pictures at 16.6 megapixels and has a 10x optical zoom along with creative panorama mode for excellent picture taking. The one-touch makeup mode of beauty retouch is also a feature that is likely to impress the ladies. It can also record Full HD movies and comes in a compact size that is easy to carry.

Electrolux Pop-up Toaster (ETS3200) MVR 611.62/The sleek and stylish toaster has maximum power of 870w and has a de-frost, reheat and stop button for easy toast making. It also has auto bread centering function to keep toast in the center for optimal toasting results to make your breakfast look and taste great. A must-have for every kitchen.

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L’Oreal Skin Perfection Advanced Correcting Serum MVR 427.18/New Skin Perfection Advanced Serum is a powerful formula enriched with nutrients that helps transform the appearance of skin quality, as if perfected. It is designed to penetrate through the skin’s epidermis layers and makes look virtually undetectable, tones look more even, and makes skin texture feel silky-soft.

Essie No 93 Mesmerize MVR 156.88/A beautiful royal blue highly pigmented nail polish by Essie made using chip resistant formula dries quickly on nails and gives long lasting manicures. It has a cream base and looks great on any nails.

Panasonic Hair Dryer (EH-NA30) MVR 2078.66/Pamper your hair with this top of the range Nanocare Hair Dryer equipped with nanoe technology that is trademark of Panasonic, to help remove sebum more easily from your scalp. The dryer is also compact in size, making it easy for storage or travel.

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Zeades Swan Pendant MVR 4032.24/A beautiful pendant encrusted with Austrian crystals that comes in a fine crafted Genuine Italian leather strap is functional while being chic. All stainless steel with a clasp secure makes this pendant an age-less piece of jewelry.

Lacoste Golden Poppy Wallet MVR 1568.80/A beautiful wallet made from genuine leather in a golden colour that has multiple pockets for all of the cards and slots for money and a zipper for coins. It comes in a handy size to carry around in the purse or to even carry by itself.

Invictus 50ml MVR 1269/100ml MVR 1646/A beautiful pendant encrusted with Austrian crystals that comes in a fine crafted Genuine Italian leather strap is functional while being chic. All stainless steel with a clasp secure makes this pendant an age-less piece of jewelry.

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Polo: Lacoste AF9835WU9 Watch: Zeades Beaudonne Earring: Zeades Maures Bracelet: Zeades Triade Photography: Funkografik Model: Dheena Hair & Make-up: Leykokaa Looks Location: Hulhumale’

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Tee: Lacoste Overalls: Lacoste FF4608FEY Shoes: Lacoste NH0660276 Backpack: Lacoste RK2930G3X Watch: Zeades Beaudonne Earring: Zeades Maures Photography: Funkografik Model: Dheena Make-up: Leykokaa Looks Location: Hulhumale’

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Shirt-dress: Lacoste PF2581ZJ0 Scarf: Lacoste EF4004031 Watch: Zeades Beaudonne Photography: Funkografik Model: Dheena Make-up: Glam Beauty Salon Location: Hulhumale’

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Tee: Lacoste Overalls: Lacoste FF4608FEY Shoes: Lacoste NH0660276 Backpack: Lacoste RK2930G3X Watch: Zeades Beaudonne Earring: Zeades Maures Photography: Funkografik Model: Dheena Make-up: Leykokaa Looks Location: Hulhumale’

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Hassan Saaid, known as Saaid among his peers and family is an avid runner. He first participated in Inter School Athletic Tournament in 2008 and achieved great success which led him to pursue an athletic career. His biggest achievement so far is achieving the Browns medal in 4x100 meter relay at 2010 South Asian Games. His family and friends are his biggest inspirations to continue in the athletic field and he would most like to run in Jamaica. If he wasn’t running, Saaid thinks he probably would end up being a footballer. According to him, the best part about being an athlete is the physical fitness that has to be maintained which leads to healthy lifestyle choices and it requires a lot of time and not enough pay which is a downside to it. Saaid would like to represent Maldives in an Olympic Games, to become a great father and to make Maldivians proud of his talent. His personal style is smart casual and a motto that he lives by is “it’s better to lose than not to try at all”.

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His best run ever was in Asian Athletic Championship 2013, where he made it to semifinals in the 200 meter run. To improve himself, he continuously trains and gets advice from his trainers to improve in the areas needed. He hopes to see better and modern training facilities for athletes. Saaid’s favourite perfume is Paco Rabanne Black Xs and his hobby is watching movies. Being a Maldivian, he think it’s amazing that he gets to enjoy the natural beauty and he is proud to be from here. His future plans are to continue in his running career and hopefully explore into other sports such as football. His message to all aspiring athletes is to not give up.


“....the best part about being an athlete is the physical fitness that has to be maintained which leads to healthy lifestyle choices...�


GOING

MAXI IN MALDIVES

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It’s a fact that women around the globe adore the maxi dress and it would be a crime if we had to deny it! What woman would not love the floor grazing dress that gives a charming, carefree and perhaps most importantly feminine feel? As one of the most forgiving fashion trends; the maxi’s A-line favours all body shapes and complements our best assets. Ideally maxi dresses are meant for hot summer weather, more aptly for beach or summer vacations; thus the common V-neck designs, strapless, halter neck or thin strap styles.

Wearing the maxi dress in its original style in a puritanic society, might be frowned upon by the public. But, there are tactful and agreeable ways to work around that. Today fashion and trends have evolved to fit almost all cultural and traditional backgrounds. So why should our ‘Dhivehi anhenun’ be discouraged from the trends! In fact, if you have photographs from the 70s, you will definitely see the local ladies, especially the trendiest of them, exhibiting their freespiritedness in maxi dresses. It’s a timeless and reviving trend. Let’s look at the different ways we can wear them:

A maxi dress is a versatile piece of garment that complements women in every shape, size and age. Experiment different styles by layering and playing with accessories and colors; never know you just might create a new stylish look! www.famushu.com

Layer with Style! – The maxi dress is a versatile garment that allows us to layer. This agrees, unequivocally, with the ladies who are of the more conservative persuasions. There is no garment that complements the hijab more than the maxi, period. You can wear it with a cardigan or fitted blazer and style it with a chic head scarf! However, be careful as too much layering of fabric may make you appear somewhat vertically challenged (considering most Maldivian women have an average height of 5 ft 3 or 5 ft 4). Pleats or tiers in the dress can help petite girls look more proportional; always make sure that you balance the colors and proportions when wearing a maxi dress.

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An A for Accessorizing! – You can mix and match different accessories with your maxi. Try long chain necklaces; stack your wrists with ecclectic bangles or an opulent cocktail ring. The right accessories can help emphasize your figure; wear a belt around the narrowest part of your waist to define your waistline. Many women pair their maxis with wedges, platforms, open-toe pumps or gladiator sandals. Save those pointy heels for another day as they can make you trip if it gets caught in your skirt.

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Maxi to Work and Weddings! –

Hats off to Caps! – Those of you who don’t wear the hijab and still preferring a modest style: cap sleeves are the way to go. For a stylish look choose a dress with small floral motifs. If you are petite be sure to avoid large prints, as larger patterns can overwhelm your physique.

We have become so accustomed to seeing the maxi dress in weddings held in Dharubaaruge, Nasandhura or any of the famous wedding reception venues, that wearing this day garment to weddings is undeniably a popular choice for most Maldivian women. And no need to change your choice of garment yet because these babies are here to stay! Try dark solid colors as they give a slimming effect to anyone in any shape or size. Three quarter sleeves are perfect for evening occasions as well, complement it with statement jewelry. Can we take this day/evening garment to work? We certainly cannot wear a hippy tie dye dress or one that is too clingy or too loud; the idea is to strike a perfect balance in style. Always choose dark or neutral colors; try a black strapless maxi paired with a tailored blazer and open-toe pumps for an elegant corporate look.

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THE UGLY HABIT.


littering has become a norm in Maldives As I walked down the streets of Male’ after being away from home for a year, I realised and admitted in defeat that the view did not really surprise me. There wasn’t much of a difference. Empty supari packets, cigarette butts, wrappers and plastic bags were spread across the gutters like confetti. Cans, bottles and empty “Jugo” containers were displayed on the electric boards as if they were showcases built just for the purpose. When I go back this time, I don’t expect anything different, except for maybe streets paved by flyers. The bitter truth is that littering has become a norm in Maldives. Nobody cares when the person passing by throws away a wrapper on the street. It has become a matter of convenience. Judgemental glances are reserved for when a Maldivian rides a bicycle on the road, because that is something Bangladeshi workers do, and so is not “cool”. I have been often called “the Minister of Environment”, just because I ask people to pick up what they throw on the street when they are with me. Why is it so hard to just hang on to it until you come across a bin? It is astonishing that people are not okay for someone to litter their own houses, but are more than happy to toss a piece of tissue out on the street. Whose street is it? If we are not responsible to maintain its aesthetic value, especially when our own economy depends on it, who is? The Government? Maybe. But, wouldn’t it cost less for you to not litter, than cleaning it up? After all, even when the Male' City Council does it, it is your money that is spent on it. Public resources and money should be spent on improving public spaces – not cleaning up waste, or to pay foreign workers to clean up our own mess.

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articular area is correlated with the amount of litter already present Most people do not realise the larger impacts of littering. It is not just a matter of aesthetics, but also a matter of wider environmental issues and health and safety risks. Litter can harm and kill wildlife, which in Maldives, is mainly marine life. For example, fishes and birds could ingest and choke on plastic waste that runs off into waterways. Moreover, organic waste, such as food scraps can contribute to algal blooms in waterways, which may ultimately kill marine life due to lack of oxygen. Health and safety risks increase when wastes get accumulated in one spot, and when flies and other organisms inhabit the area.

It is always easier to blame someone rather than being responsible. When I ask people why they litter, they often claim that they would not have to do it if they had bins on the streets. When asked about this matter, Male' City Council responded that people “misuse” bins when they are kept. Although this is not a legit excuse, I agree with the City Council to an extent. For example, look at the bins around ATMs. The bin is right there, next to your feet. However, it is often the case that the entire room is filled with paper. I swear, I found a bin near an ATM, which was completely empty, with bits of papers all around it. This is just sad. Having said that, it is important that the local council takes actions to resolve this issue and facilitate the public to dispose of their waste responsibly.

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One great misconception is that people often believe that one single bit of rubbish or a cigarette butt would probably do no harm when thrown on the street or a public space. However, this usually is the beginning of a chain reaction. Studies have shown that the rate of littering in a particular area is correlated with the amount of litter already present. This means that a person is more likely to litter if the place is already untidy. This is what has happened in Male’. The mini landfills around Artificial Beach and Alimas Carnival are results of one single misconception. The good news is, we can change this. We are capable of changing norms and embracing new values to embed them in our society. Most major changes take place at grassroots level. It is hopeful, to see the new generation rise, with education, awareness, and will power. Encouraging each other to do the right thing, and to dispose of their waste responsibly, should become a habit. Come to think of it, it is one thing that you do not have to pay for, and one thing that nobody constrains you from. It is one thing that you can believe in, regardless of your political opinions. Everybody has a right to walk on clean streets and enjoy tidy public places. Let’s take the responsibility to provide that right to all, and get our right in return, shall we?


DHIVEHIN

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NGE FANNU The much needed exposure for local entrepreneurs of medium and small businesses. We have always felt the need for more exposure for our products and services, especially where it concerns small and medium businesses and authentic local products and services. Our great talents and great big ideas have almost always been limited and hidden behind bigger business names. However, this year we saw an impressive change to this ideal, by a simple government initiative. This past August, Ministry of Economic Development conducted a fair enthusiastic to support local Maldivian products and services, under the title “Dhivehinge Fannu�. This fair is the first of its kind that has been held to provide such a mass opportunity for our local manufacturers, vendors and entrepreneurs of most medium and small businesses to meet with potential buyers and investors and expose their businesses to the public community. In delivering the opening remarks at the function, Minister of Economic Development, Mr. Ahmed Mohamed expressed that the resolution of steering such a fair as a government initiative was to enable market access for local products and services while endorsing and encouraging productivity and creativity and innovation among Maldivians. The opening function was graced by ministers and senior government officials and participants and students alike.

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There were 20 exhibitors at the three-day fair from various categories such as Food and Beverages, Arts and crafts, Agriculture, Maldivian local medicine and several services.

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This fair was not only a platform for the commercialization of local Maldivian products and services, but also invigorated connecting the creativity of the locals and developing their talents. The fair also met its intent by being a dais to help headway and brace the efficiency among Maldivians.

We also saw that the community was convivial towards the idea of such fairs and exposures. The local community is in need of such envisages where students, amateurs and professionals alike; can experience genuine local products.


This fair is said to be the first of many more of such annual fairs to come and have been confirmed for the next three years at the least. With the amount of attractions made by the exhibitors and the amount of visitors that attended the fair, it seems that this is an ideal prospect for many locals to showcase their ideas under one roof. The fair also

seems to have provided a much needed exposure for these local entrepreneurs to meet with trade and tourism industry players and other potential business investors to grow their ideas and businesses further.

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It was wonderful to see some progress, especially as a Government initiative, to provide our locals this chance to enhance their business prospects. This surely would be reflective to the businesses itself as well as the government and economy as a whole.

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And for all the great participants that deserve applause for their hard works remember that Thomas Edison; a famous American inventor and businessman said -“Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.�


a h s o o Un

Interview with:

"Any kind of tea could cheer me up..."


How did you get interested to become a singer? My mum Shafeeqa and dad Imad were superstars in the field of music in the early nineties. We would always see them practising singing and their performance on stage. Actually it was my mum who convinced me to sing for the inter school singing competition. It was due to her efforts that I came to realize that I could make a career out of it.

What would you say is your biggest achievement in this field? Whenever I bring happiness to anyone through any of my songs, I consider it a huge achievement. After all, my supporters are what keeps me going. Next would be Bollywood. It is the biggest achievement I’ve gotten so far. Insha Allah I have achieved a great deal since 2010; singing for Bollywood, Singing at Saarc Summit, Having my own concert ‘Unoosha Live’ in Colombo and Kerela, singing the One Billion Rising theme song for Maldives and being the brand ambassador of Dhiraagu, Nescafe’ and Eye Care.

What was it like, singing for a Bollywood movie? It was exhilarating. Singing for JISM2 & JISM3, It’s a stepping stone for not only me, but for Maldives too. Singing in front of an audience has never been nerve-racking to me, but in the Taney Bollywood Studio, I had major cold feet. It was the first time in my whole career that I felt nervous and scared at a recording. Pooja was a breath of fresh air. She was awfully reassuring and kind. She helped me with the pronunciations of Hindi words. It took a total of three hours to record the song completely. They were very pleased with my work.

The song I sang also features KK and Ali Azmath who are both amazingly brilliant singers. It is such a huge honor for me to have gotten the opportunity to record with them. Can’t thank Pooja enough for this huge, huge opportunity.

Tell us a little about your concerts. First of all, I’d like to thank High Rise for everything they’ve done for me & my career. My first show in collaboration with High Rise Isse was ‘Unoosha Live’ in Colombo. We had an immense marketing campaign and we rehearsed a lot for that show. It was a blast. The show was a hit and we decided to continue with ‘Unoosha Live’ series. ‘Unoosha Live’ in Kerela was very successful as well. A lot of my fans came and supported us. They are what made that show so wonderful. We will definitely be continuing the ‘Unoosha Live’ series.

Ok, tell us a bit about yourself. What cheers you up? I enjoy a lot of things. Spending time with my family would be my number one. Studio time with Barchie is something I look forward to, a cup of green tea in one hand and a microphone in the other. Any kind of tea could cheer me up. A cup of tea a day keeps my frown away! And also after a busy schedule spending time with Hamy who cheers me up.

Where would you most like to perform? My dream is to perform in a huge famous show. An international, big show. A show which will make my country proud. Somewhere out of Maldives in Europe or America or all over the world.

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If you could dabble in another genre of music, what would it be? I believe that a vocalist should always try and explore all kinds of genres. As it is a part of exploring your voice. I have tried many genres other than Soul & RnB, which is my preferred choice. If I would choose any genre other than Soul & RnB, it would be classical Arabic Music.

When did you first start singing professionally? Professionally as a career singing started when I was in grade 8. That was when I first achieved the 1st place in the inter school singing competition. After that I got the chance to sing for a lot of Albums. And also after school I was given the chance to join the legendry music band “AMAZON JADE”.

Do you have any hidden talents? I’m a bit of an artist. I paint, I draw. I like decorating homes and making any place comfy and cozy. I also make the best teas. I also love to do Make up & Hair for my sisters & Mom. Also My sisters & mom say that I give the best Pedicure & Massage.

What is the best part of life as a singer? The joy I bring to people. Songs consist of happiness, sorrow, hate, love and a lot of other emotions and experiences. Knowing that people get comfort or closure through any of my songs; that is the best part.

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"My dream is to perform in a huge famous show. An international big show. A show which will make my country proud..."


What are your inspirations in terms of music?

What’s your motto or the advice you live by?

Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion. The singers of the 70s and 80s such as Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, Gloria Estefan & Stevie Wonder.

Honesty is the best policy, isn’t it? I’ve never skipped any bridges. I started from the bottom and I climbed my way up, and I’m still climbing. I’ve always been honest in the work that I do. Work with a true heart, only YOU can make your dreams come true.

Among Maldivians, the most inspiring musician would be BARCHIE, my music producer. My parents inspire me too. My current favorite singer is my younger brother. He is the best singer to me.

From your own songs, what are your favorites? My favorites would the songs that my fans like the most. Some fan favourites include, Ehbhaivanthakan, One Billion Rising, Heywalla & Better Off Without You.

Tell us three things you wish to do before you die. By heart the entire Quran. Have a charity to help others. Provide a better future for my family.

What would you say is your personal style? I dress for comfort. I never wear anything that makes me feel uneasy. For big events, I ask the opinion of my closest friends and family. I don’t have a personal stylist or anything. I go with the flow.

For people who have never heard your music, how would you explain your sound? It’s not just my sound, it’s Barchie’s sound as well. When we produce songs, we make sure that it’s easy to listen to and easy to understand. We pour our feelings into our work.

What do you hope to see change in the Maldivian music scene? When I grew up, I didn’t have anyone to professionally teach me anything about music. I’ve learnt through listening to other artists, getting instructions from my parents and watching music videos. There really aren’t many opportunities in Maldives for musicians to study and grow professionally. I would like to see more opportunities, more doors open for young aspiring musicians of Maldives.

What is your favorite perfume? I don’t have many favorites. Due to migraine issues I can’t handle strong scents. My all time favorites would be Dolce & Gabbana’s ‘No 3’ and Narciso Rodriguez’s ‘For Her’.

If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?

How do you handle criticism?

Interior Designing and Counseling would be top

We always appreciate constructive criticism and feedback. Insha Allah till now we’ve always got good comments.

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Do you write your own songs? Yes, I have written some of my own songs. Special songs like “Close to me” dedicated to my loving husband & the last song I released “Better Off Without You” But I mostly prefer composing melodies and producing songs to the poems that has been written by young and talented writers.

How do you train to improve? I go through a lot of vocal exercises by experts in the field using Internet. I also try yoga and maintain a good practice. A self-imposed rule is not drinking cold drinks.

Who are your biggest supporters? My biggest supporter and fan would be my loving husband and manager, Hamy. He is my everything. Next would be my mother. She helps me the most with my singing. We live together, so she makes sure that I do voice training with her every morning. Barchie, my producer, is very helpful too. He is more than just my producer; he’s like a brother to me. My whole family & friends are very supportive. Can’t thank them enough for their patience & support. A huge thanks and love to High Rise Isse and his wife Niuma, who have helped me a lot with all my shows and career. My Fans, can’t thank you enough for the endless support and love you give. Will always need it.

What is your message to aspiring vocalists out there? Maintain your good image. Always be disciplined and be open to constructive criticism. You can never learn enough. You should always give room to improving yourself.

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What is the best thing about being a Maldivian? Being a Maldivian is truly unique. Anybody who can speak our language DHIVEHI, can pronounce any language. It’s a true fact. Try it, hehe. Then of course, the beauty of Maldives will play a major role. If we want to take a break and relax we don’t have to go much further. We are in the beautiful Maldives.

"A self imposed rule is not drinking cold drinks..."


What do you have in store for the future? Launching my first Solo album is my number one priority now. Insha Allah trying to release it soon. Can’t wait for JISM3 song to come out as well. Planning to release my first ever music video and also planning to have the albumlaunching concert through out the Maldives.

www.unoosha.com www.facebook.com/unoosha @unoosha Photos in Pages 32, 34, and 37 Photography: Funkografik Hair & Make-up: Leykokaa Looks

After that, who knows? Me, Barchie and my team will keep exploring new avenues, and hopefully take another leap in the entertainment field. All this is thanks to the support from my husband, Barchie, my family, HighRise, Friends and fans who has stood by me always and shown me so much love and without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today. Thank You All So Much!! :D

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THE FRIEN So you say you like a girl? Suppose she doesn’t like you back.

Most commonly, girls tend to like boys who are hard to get, and boys like girls who are almost impossible to reach. It’s odd, this way of life. But this is what I learnt so far.

The easiest way for a girl to tell a guy she’s not interested in him is to friend zone him. Telling him that she likes him, she appreciates the way he cares about her, asks her about her day, and tries to make her feel better when she’s having a bad day, brings her chocolate when she’s feeling down, BUT , she likes him as a friend, and, she will always love him like a friend. (At which point - *facepalm!* - and carry on being a ‘friend) Like everything else in this world, situations like this almost never make sense. If you have been trying to figure out what is going on, stop doing so RIGHT NOW, - there is no sense, no logic in this.

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ND ZONE If there is any sort of logic, it is this. Both men and women tend to fall for the ones who pay them the least attention. Play it nice, be available at their beck and call 24/7 will leave them taking you for granted, hence, not wanting you, or missing you which roughly translates to ‘You’re too easy to get, I don’t want you.’ When you like someone, make sure you ignore them properly (silly as it may sound.) However badly you miss them, or want to see how they’re doing, or want to desperately tell them some good story – DON’T. Hang in there until they call you, and even then, play it cool. Don’t go jumping in on the first ring. Play it cold, play it cool. Being friend zoned is worse than a break up. Because friend zoned means you’re the shoulder they are going to cry on whenever they have breakup issues. You’re the person they will call when they want to boost their confidence, you will be their daily dose of 'make me feel good pill’ and trust me, that is not a good place to be in.

If you’re utterly confused about what a ‘friend’ (who’s secretly in love with person X) is in for, here’s a little tip: your crush will call you at the oddest hours of day and probably cry that HER crush isn’t giving her any attention. Be cautious here: do NOT be her shoulder to cry, on. However much it hurts you to see your crush crying and upset, play it cool. Pretend like you don’t care. Hang up the phone. And get busy with your life.

Pretty soon, she’ll start noticing you, and pining after you. Trust me; this is how it’s been since the beginning of time. There’s a reason why easy people are called ‘doormats’. Don’t’ be one of them. Take the (obvious) irrational road – and play it cool. You’ll come out the winner in no time.

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Land of the Rising Sun Three different cities in five days.


I was selected to go Japan for Jenesys 2.0 Short-term Invitation program for Japanese Language Learners from SAARC Countries. I am sharing here my experience of this trip and places I have visited.

Toei Animation Gallery This place was for the exhibition of materials of animations created in the TOEI Animation Studio. Since its establishment, the Toei Animation Studio has given birth to a lot of box office hit animations, such as “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon” and “ONE PIECE”. This place is must-visit for those who watch anime. The exhibition of the materials and pictures in the gallery shows passion and effort of the staff members who have been working hard. There are several sections in the gallery.

Asakusa Sensoji Temple. Also known as Asakusa. Sensoji is the oldest and most impressive Buddhist temple in Tokyo. The door of main temple is open from 6 am to 5 pm. The tradition-focused Sensoji Temple is reached by walking the length of a colorful street of festive stalls called Nakamise. In a covered shopping street near the temple is the Traditional Crafts Museum. This place showcases the excellent crafts typical of this district of Tokyo. The shops are open from 10 a.m to 6 p.m or even 7 p.m. Even if the shops are closed, you can enjoy the Shutter Painting of the shops along the street. We were impressed by the history of Asakusa and traditional events in shutter paintings. This shopping street is recommended to buy Japanese traditional souvenirs.

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Sado Japanese Tea Ceremony (Sado) is based on the simple act of boiling water, making tea, offering it to others, and drinking it ourselves. Served with a respectful heart and received with gratitude, a bowl of tea satisfies both physical and spiritual thirst. It tastes sour but felt refreshing after having tea. Tea was served with sweets.

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Sojiji Temple Sojiji Temple located in Yokohama City offers the introductory Zazen session in English to allow foreign visitors experience the world of Zen Buddhism.

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Mitsubishi Minatomirai Industrial Museum This museum was established by Mitsubushi Heavy industries Ltd. in June 1994. The museum is divided in to six zones: Aerospace, Ocean, Transportation, Daily Life Discovery, Environment and Energy, and aspects of manufacturing through Technology Quest. This place introduces state-of-the-art technology through life-sized or enlarged models. Trial Square, a unique space with experience –based exhibits encourages visitors to experience aspects of manufacturing through the design, fabrication and operation of various types of vehicles. The experience-based exhibits give youngsters the chance to cultivate their latent talent in science and technology by exposing them to current and future advances they can rarely see in daily life. Those who want to start a career in the field of science and technology must visit this museum.

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Nihon Minkaen (Japan Open Air-Folk House Museum) Minkaen is a splendid Open-Air Folk House Museum in Japan, located in Kawasaki city, adjacent to Metropolitan Tokyo. It is known for the remarkable collection of old Japanese folk houses, such as farms and merchant houses. Many of them are important cultural properties of Japan. The essence of traditional Japanese architecture, beauty and functionality are well reflected even in Japanese folk houses.

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movies Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Pacific Rim

Red 2

For someone who doesn’t often enjoy 3D movies, this was a surprising treat for the eyes. I’m not much of a fan of sequels but this one was more than worth it. Flint is invited to join a world renowned scientific company called Live Corp, which is run by his scientific hero Chester V, and is tasked to find his own food creating device which has now re-programmed itself to make not just food but living food! To save the world, he must go through a jungle filled with wonderful food-animals like Tacodiles, Shrimpanzies and Fruit Cockatiels (as you notice are all named excessively with puns!).

Pacific Rim is a 2013 movie directed by Guillermo del Toro which is about a war between humankind and monstrous alien creatures that come out of the sea! In a desperate effort to “cancel” the apocalypse, mankind has created huge mechanical humanoid giants to take the way to them. The plot doesn’t seem like anything that the general audience would like but for me personally, I haven’t seen story told this well on the big screen in a long time. The fact that in a matter of 2 hours, this movie managed to properly carry out such a complex and literally large plot and got me familiar with the characters in a matter of minutes after their introductions. This is a movie that anyone and everyone should try. Best high-definition treatment in recent times!

The retired A-Team is back again. Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and his very unusual team of Elite Operatives this time around are on a global quest (as usual!) to track down a missing portable nuke. This movie delivers all you can eat action, car chases, explosions, old timer jokes and Europe. The great actors in this movie, while not keeping you on the edge of the chair, will surely deliver a smile and occasionally even laughter on your face. An important point to keep in mind when watching this movie is that it’s not anything like it’s prequel. Red 2 is Red 2. Would like to note that Anthony Hopkins did a really good job on this. Brilliant as always!  


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Arcade Fire ­­­– Relecktor –

Katy Perry – Prism –

Kelly Clarkson – Wrapped in Red –

Arcade Fire’s fourth album Reflecktor is as good as Indie music gets. Sitting at the number one spot on the billboard top 100, they deliver a varying amount of weird and unique. It’s not so much similar to modern day indie but sounds more familiar to fans of the ‘80s music. Comparatively this time around, Arcade Fire sounds different than ever. They are always different but it feels like they are going in a more dance music kind of direction. It’s also a double album. Some songs were unnecessarily long and most of the songs had a familiar feeling to each other but there were surely highlights. “Afterlife” and “Reflecktor” are very different but the best tracks on the album. Though I believe it deserves it’s place in the Billboards, it still doesn’t work too well for me, personally.

Once again it’s a fourth album but by the World’s Sexiest Female Celebrity and pop sensation, Katy Perry. Long past her “I’m not a Girl, Not yet a Woman” point, was supposed to be her exit strategy. The album has it’s moments with a mediocre amount of originality yet you can’t help but feel the similarity from her previous hit albums. Even the single smash-hit of the album 'Roar' is unworthy of her previous smash-hit singles. Vague lyrical uplifting is more of like giving a pep-talk than a pep-rally thus, unconvincing. The amount of juvenile stuff in the album feels like a step back at times and yet somehow sits on the number two spot at the billboard.

The first American Idol (and one of the few American Idols who got past being just that) finally delivers a compelling holiday album with “Wrapped in Red’. Kelly Clarkson has always been an artist who’s been providing music consistently on a good level. The style changes from album to album can easily be noticed and yet it always feels that she’s in her own style. The album is filled with the joyous and bright sounds and Kelly just effortlessly delivers so well. It gets off the usual path of carols in Christmas albums and yet manages to contain the happy feelings that comes along with it. Kelly Clarkson has once more proved her artistry and prowess.


books The Fault in our Stars – John Green –

And the Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini –

The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult –

A heart shatteringly beautiful story of two teenagers with a chronic disease who find comfort in each other in their daily struggles and making a wish come true. One of the best young adult books ever written, this beautiful melody of tale reminds us of the good things in life. The story is well written and has some of the most quotable teenagers ever in a novel that is bound to make you cry, at least once. John Green has yet again blown our minds with his masterpiece.

In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. A beautifully written tale with great characters that develop into people we love told in beautiful Hosseini fashion, this is bound to make you think twice.

When a good friend asks you to kill him, things will get complicated. In this bewildering story about someone who has a heinous past, Picoult writes with raw emotion that makes for great storytelling. A tale of love, compassion, justice and a life lived in regret, it makes the readers think between right and wrong with each turn of the page. Already a winner of many awards, this book tops the list of best novels of 2013.

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Lavish | (Feb - Mar)