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Relationship Retreat

Be interesting

in 7 steps


omen have lured the interest mankind since Father Time’s high school days. Cleopatra of ancient Egypt, soaked in milk baths just to invite unnecessary interest in her business. Ms Marilyn Monroe mastered the game of vulnerability and aroused the interest of an era that has not seen its dawn. Cinderella, conveniently lost her Christian Louboutin slipper at a party one night. A seemingly gang-braided Pocahontas voluntarily deceived her hair in that fashion. Why? It made her interesting! We can make you interesting, even if it’s just for a day. Buckle up! It’s going to be a rocky ride. 1. Interesting catch of the day- fishtail braids. Let’s start at the very tippy top. Your hair! You have probably tied it in pony tails and wrapped it in chignons. Flat ironed it and electronically curled it till it was fried and dead. It was fun! Interesting...... But, now it has lost its appeal. Spruce up your hairstyle with a novel twist on the time old braid and strut in the same stride as today’s fashion A-listers. 2. Lashing out: Bat your eyelashes, I don’t care how you do it! Castor Oil has since time immemorial been used for luscious lashes in our part of the world. Not without hazard attached, castor oil promises battable eyelashes within a month. A friend used to keep her old mascara vials after they were empty and store some good organic, high quality castor oil from a herbal remedy store, in them. Every night she would apply a little bit just on the upper lashes and very soon we started to see a wow factor kick in. Eye infections can happen if you overdo the CO, so patience and persistence is key. Some of the ace lash amplifying mascaras on the market include, Hypnose by Lancôme, Christian Dior’s, Dior Show in Noir and Maybelline’s Volume Express, The Falsies Mascara in Blackest Black. 3. Glossy success Lip amplifying is not a light matter. ‘Cleopatra’s Needle’ that sits on the river Thames, it works. Injectables like Hyaluronic Acid Fillers and their more lasting cousins

are an extreme only a shade shy of cannibalism, in my opinion. But it works. Another way to achieve fuller lips is to apply a nude lip liner outside of the natural lip line on top of a good makeup base applied to your lips. Colouring in with the same lip liner and throwing on a gloss, creates a perfect pout. 4. Interesting women can ‘Talk the talk’, others, they just talk. A steamy book or a humourous column; a provoking ideology or an enticing painting; a hobby shared or a sports event, revisited; a good movie or an inspiring television show; a person with an interesting life will make an interesting conversationalist. Our movie pick of the week is, ‘Madagascar 3’. 5. Laughter is interesting, grimace is blasé Relationships are not like soda pop but like a used car. The fizz doesn’t run out in a relationship but if the gas in that engine runs out. You find yourself parked in the middle of a road, hazard lights flashing waiting for another opportunity. A happy disposition fuels your partners’ interest in you and a poor attitude sends them into the arms of their mothers or twice divorced secretaries, who have learnt that sorrows and disappointments are not to be shared and every man wants to see a happy face irrespective of the fact that he has done nothing to contribute in its being happy! 6. Something interesting, very edible, smells divine Girls, let’s declare a war against odour. We may not realize that when we are around food being cooked and consumed but we are tuberous root flavoured candles, smelling like, garlic. Let’s light scented candles every time we cook and look for basic, fresh clean linen scents for our upholstery. A French perfume and a fragrant bath will not be interesting enough till the house smells like a part of the garden and the garden smells like a rose sprinkled Jacuzzi. 7. Jaleebi and tea: Don’t try, just do it! Spontaneity and surprise are the two keys to the heaven of allure that work both together and independently. And if all else fails you know at least one way to every man’s heart is through his stomach.

A happy disposition fuels your partners’ interest in you and a poor attitude sends them into the arms of their mothers or twice divorced secretaries, who have learnt that sorrows and disappointments are not to be shared and every man wants to see a happy face irrespective of the fact that he has done nothing to contribute in its being happy! 32 I July 01 - 07, 2012

Aisha Alam Rising Star

Q. What do you feel sets you apart from other designers? A. Form, composition, precise tailoring and attention to the smallest details. Other than that I feel the most important factor is the minimalist signature. Q. Your clothes are based on a bold and vibrant palette with lots of colour blocking: do you feel the colour blocking trend is here to stay? A. It’s definitely a fun trend to sport this summer and though it’s not a new trend, it’s definitely here to stay and you can use it to hide flaws of your body. Q. The Aisha Alam line is based on minimalism and elegance: do you feel less will remain more? A. Definitely! I’ll feel that the power of minimalist simplicity is quite intoxicating. Q. You used to work at a huge textile conglomerate: was it difficult to make the decision to switch from doing a job to becoming your own boss? A. I worked as General Manager and Chief Textile designer for Gul Ahmed Textile Mills back in 1998

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and left because of family commitments. However, the scope of work is almost the same. Q. Ever thought of venturing into bridals and formal wear or do you plan to stick to prêt? A. Prêt and semi formal will always stay but yes I would love to do formal wear. Q. Which international celebrity would you like to dress up? A. Royalty all the way for me so I would say Kate Middleton. Q. Which local fashion personality do you feel is a true symbol of style? A. Bunto Kazmi and Faiza Sami. Q. Have you ever thought of launching your own store or are you happy stocking at multi-brand stores? A. I am very happy stocking at multi brand stores but later on Insha Allah I would love to have my own store. Q. Where do you see the Aisha Alam label in five years? A. A well established successful established brand!


Man behind the malls The Xinhua Mall project has been a very exciting experience for me. The concept was to create a shopping hub that would not only be a profitable financial venture for the developer and the shop owners but also a spot where shopping should be an entertaining experience


ohail Anwer Saeed runs a consultancy firm with the name of Sohail Saeed & Associates in Lahore. He graduated with a Masters degree in Architecture from University College London. He possesses a diverse experience spread over three decades and has created numerous commercial, institutional, educational and housing projects within the country and abroad. Currently, he is involved in designing the first and the tallest ‘Code Compliant’ building as per the international standards for safety. Q. Tell us something about your architecture designs in Xinhua Mall and Mall 1? How are they different from the rest? A. Both Xinhua Mall and Mall 1 are the forums for high-end fashion and entertainment. The main difference between the two is the magnitude. Xinhua Mall is an 18-storey mix-development commercial project with four levels of underground parking. It has five levels of shopping with a beautiful atrium that visually links together all the floors. It has glamorous and modern interiors decorated with vibrant colours. Xinhua Mall is a theme mall where the owner has been very selective about the brands to be accommodated. Mall 1, located at Main Boulevard, Gulberg has three levels of shopping. The main chunk of the mall is occupied by the Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) that became catalyst to bringing together various famous brands and fashion related activities. Q. What’s your philosophy behind the designs that you create for the malls? A. I wanted to create a building that not only fulfils the shopping needs but visiting the building is also a joyful experience. Linear showrooms at the front quickly grasp the attention of the visitor and the shopping experience starts there and then.

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Q. Tell us something about your design philosophy in context with fashion at Xinhua Mall? A. The Xinhua Mall project has been a very exciting experience for me. The concept was to create a shopping hub that would not only be a profitable financial venture for the developer and the shop owners but also a spot where shopping should be an entertaining experience which would be done by creating an exciting ambiance and finally carefully selecting the best brands. For that I must give credit to Nadim Malik for giving me a free hand in designing construction budget and Nadim Qadir for sharing his inspiring ideas that made this project an ultimate destination for fashion lovers. Q. Were these fashion infrastructures seen before in Pakistan or are you the pioneer of bringing this architecture in the country? A. This kind of phenomenon has never been witnessed in the country before. There have been some malls in the past but were not run successful due to an indifference towards many ground realities and the needs of the end users. Perhaps it was the right time for the right project with the right client where I was at liberty to experiment my concepts that I developed over a long period of time with experience. Q. What’s next in your projects? A. Now this new concept has stimulated many clients who are ready to harvest the benefits of this successful concept without any risk. Mall-94 adjacent to Mall 1 is my new upcoming project, which will be very compact but at the same time an advanced version of its predecessors. Value Heights in DHA, Lahore is also another very ambitious and futuristic project designed by myself, which would be in the market shortly. It would be the largest in the city comprising of about 700,000 square feet on three acres of land. I foresee a very flourishing market of this category of buildings in coming times.

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The Crow Eaters in Urdu


By Syed Afsar Sajid

apsi Sidhwa alongwith Ahmed Ali, Zulfikar Ghose, Nadeem Aslam, Uzma Aslam Khan, Tariq Ali, Mohsin Hamid, Sara Suleri, Kamila Shamsie, Faryal Gauhar Ali, Mohammad Hanif and Adam Zameenzad is among those writers of English fiction from Pakistan who are widely acclaimed for their literary talent and for demonstrating many different dimensions of Pakistani life in their work. Pakistani English literature, in Muneeza Shamsie’s view, is ‘a product of the East-West encounter and reaches out to an Anglophone readership beyond Pakistan’. Subjects like ethnic discord, religious intolerance, ‘identity and belonging’, decadence and degeneration are the common themes of its fiction. Bapsi Sidhwa’s first of her five novels, The Crow Eaters (whose title is the brainchild of Justice (Retd) Dr. Javed Iqbal) appeared in l97879 in the wake of the ‘literary discourse developed in western academia which highlighted the vibrancy and quality of English language writing from the Commonwealth’, and was fuelled by the egalitarian, liberal ideas fanned by social activism and the ongoing feminist revolution. The ‘extraliterary purpose’ underlying the publication of this novel is partly explicated by its theme – a lively and humorous account of the Parsi community in Pakistan who are ‘stereotyped as being excessively loud and talkative’ as its

Junglewalla Sahib By Bapsi Sidhwa Translator: Muhammad Umar Memon Publisher: Ilqa Publications, 12-K, Gulberg II, Lahore Pages: 287; Price: Rs.795/-

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irreverent title would suggest. One of Bapsi’s interviewers Julie Rajan opines that this novel ‘ushered in a new era in South Asian writing’. Bapsi Sidhwa and Rohinton Mistry, a Canada based Indian novelist of Parsi descent and author of Such a Long Journey, are among the few authors who have written about their community – a small but prominent ethnic group that immigrated to the subcontinent from Iran in the 10th century A.D. They have excelled themselves in different walks of life on either side of the border – notable amongst whom are Byram D. Avari and Minocher Bhandara (Pakistani trader/ industrialist), Rustam S. Sidhwa and Dorab Patel (Pakistani jurists); Jamshed Marker (Pakistani diplomat/ cricket commentator); Ardeshir Cowasjee (Pakistani journalist/ business magnate/philanthropist); Homi J. Bhabha (Indian nuclear physicist); J.R.D. Tata (Indian business tycoon); F.M. Sam Manekshaw (exarmy chief of India); and Sohrab Modi (the Indian movie icon of yore). Reverting to the subject, the city of Lahore is central to most of Bapsi’s novels which carry an autobiographical element also like the parents’ characters based on her own parents. Soon after she was born in Karachi, her parents moved to Lahore where there were few Parsis. Being Gujerati speaking, the family was eventually involved in the bilingual culture of Lahore. Thus a transcultural setting is seminal to Sidhwa’s work as a whole. Dr. Muhammad Umar Memon, a distinguished Pakistani expatriate and translator of the work

in view, currently Professor Emeritus of Urdu Literature and Arabic Studies at the University of WisconsinMadison, is an accomplished scholar, translator, poet, Urdu short story writer, and editor of the journal The Annual of Urdu Studies. The quality of the translation, endorsed by the author herself in her introductory remarks to the instant edition, bespeaks his literary acumen. Faiz called the novel a socioliterary document on the Parsi ways of life unravelling their peculiar mystique to the inquisitive reader, with no pretence to self-righteousness. It is ‘a veritable tour de force’ to him. In her prefatory remarks on the book, Bano Qudsia, the celebrated Urdu fiction writer, appreciates the novelist’s craft and her approach that hold the reader spellbound while poring over it. Dr. Javed Iqbal, in his flap, admires the artistic blend of sobriety and jocosity in Bapsi’s style. The novel describes the social mobility of a small Parsi family, headed by Faredoon Junglewalla (its protagonist), from the forests of central India to the riverside Lahore in the north, around the advent of the last century. Bapsi’s choice of history as a major theme of her novel is a characteristic feature of many a postcolonial novelist who in the words of M. G. Vassanji, a Kenyan born Canadian nuclear physicist and an upand-coming novelist, is a ‘preserver of the collective tradition, a folk historian and myth maker’. ln The Crow Eaters, the novelist seems to have maintained this role with a marked artistic éclat as viewed by an Indian academic Dr. G.

A. G. Iyengar in a well-worded critique of her person and art. He thinks that Faredoon’s journey to Lahore and his huge success as a merchant symbolizes the ‘migratory nature of her (Bapsi’s) community, their adaptability, eccentricity, ethnic customs, rituals and religious beliefs’, and that seepage of history into fiction serves to transform it into ‘a human story’. Alamgir Hashmi would also seem to voice an identical view: ‘Bapsi Sidhwa writes from a deep historical consciousness.’ In fact The Crow Eaters together with The Bride and Ice-Candy Man provides a unique perspective on the history, politics, and culture of India and Pakistan. Bapsi’s novel in view has been termed as ‘deceptively perceptive’ as she seeks to interweave ‘historical facts with satirical fiction and lampoon’ and thus recreates the Parsi milieu providing delightful reading. Besides Faredoon aka Freddy, portrayed as a lovable scoundrel, his mother-in-law Jerbanoo, a ‘shrewish and humourless’ bete noir, is another funny character to dwell on the pages of the novels whom even he could not vanquish although Bapsi has been able to inject ‘some admirable humanity and a drop of pathos’ into the veins of the ‘toughapple’ yet ‘dulcet voiced’ Freddy. The internecine rivalry between Freddy and Jerbanoo catalyzes ‘barnyard’ humour in the story that at places smacks of vulgarity offensive to good taste, i.e., vulgarity badly done, likely to besmirch the image of the writer in the eyes of the connoisseur, if not the common, unwary reader. Otherwise the novel is an interesting, as also informative, read.

The novel appeared in l978-79 in the wake of the ‘literary discourse developed in western academia which highlighted the vibrancy and quality of English language writing from the Commonwealth’, and was fuelled by the egalitarian, liberal ideas fanned by social activism and the ongoing feminist revolution 46 I July 01 - 07, 2012


Roast Beef Ingredients: 3 to 4 lbs beef bottom round roast 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 4 cloves garlic, divided into 3 to 4 parts (lengthwise) 2 teaspoons salt 3 teaspoons ground black pepper 1 cup red wine vinegar 1 piece beef cube 1 cup water 2 tbsp cornstarch (diluted in 4 tbsp water)

Instructions: 1. Remove the meat from the refrigerator and let it sit for an hour (or until it reaches room temperature). 2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 3. Make some slit on the meat using a knife and insert each sliced garlic clove 4. Spread the olive oil on the meat then sprinkle some salt and pepper. 5. Place the meat on a roasting rack (with dripping tray/pan) and bake for 30 minutes. 6. Reduce the heat to 250 degrees Fahrenheit then continue baking for 2 to 2.5 hours (or until the

inner temperature of the meat reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit). *Note: Do not remove from the oven right away. Let the juices from the meat drip some more so that you will have enough drippings for the gravy. 7. Remove the roasted meat from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes. 8. Slice the meat into serving pieces and transfer to a serving plate. 9. Serve the Roast. Share and enjoy!

July 01 - 07, 2012 I 47

Healing through hurt


still remember this as one of the success stories. It happened at a very early stage in my career. I got frantic phone calls from a 26 year old girl who would inquire about a reading and then disappear. It happened repeatedly for a month. One fine day she finally arrived. She was extremely ill-dressed. I saw her face and felt sorry for her. She started to cry and told me that her father had died, her mother had died and her sister had died too and that she was left alone. I thought to myself that here is this over- weight lonely woman who has no one. Her childhood spread indicated that her family was poor and her father used to beat her. Her mother was not nice to her. Her sister was also ill. They cared for each other but she also died young. Her father remarried and her stepmother was even worse. Her growing up period indicated a lot of struggle emotional as well as physical. People made fun of her physical appearance. As a tarot spread is the map of one’s unconscious mind one link in the cards was outstanding it was a “Rebirth Card”. Accompanied by an inverted “Sahir Card” meaning the ability spring back like a “magician”. The Quwat card “the strength card” (inverted) highlighted that the woman had to be bullied in order for her rebirthing, which I admit was very hard for me to do

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initially as the sad past life spread was right in front of me. Here I had to play the perfect bully to start the healing process. In the spread they were indications that this woman was full of self pity that she had to be punched out of this situation, almost like you slap someone, for them to feel the pain and wake-up. I saw her and she had tears in her eyes. I realized that kindness would have the opposite effect and that she had to be emotional bruised to be healed. I had to be painfully blunt enough to voice out her problem. Gathering the energy to be cruel I asked her, “How tall are you and how much do you weigh. With stress she replied “I am 5 feet and 2 inches tall and my weight is 250 pounds. Every body looks at me with disgust. This gave me an opening for communication and I had to react in a harsh way to make a break through as I realized that she had the “poor me” personality. I told her you are not telling me the truth you are actually more disgusting than you have described. I also told her that she was ill-dressed, sickening and had no personality. Why did you come to see me? She answered. ‘I thought I would find out about my future and later perhaps you could hypnotize me so that I lose some weight’. I still remember it was the most mean hypnotic induction that

I could ever give anyone. In a state of trance I told her a lot of uncomplimentary things. Like go and search for a picture of ugly woman who look worse than you, and read books on how people disfigure themselves. I told her that every day she should spend two hours searching for such pictures. The woman followed my instructions very well and made her own list. Her next assignment was to go to the bookshop and find books on cosmetology. She made a thorough search. But she was still an ill-dressed woman. I told her to return to the book shop and pick up magazines on clothess and colours. The next assignment was hard. She had to go in her ill fitted

Here I had to play the perfect bully to start the healing process

clothing to all the designer shops and make conversation with the people shopping there. In the next session she told me that elderly ladies told her to wear and select proper clothes and colours for herself. Some of them even said that if she lost weight and

Within six months she came in, with great interest, to explain that she could not find any reason why she should weight so much – or why she should dress so atrociously wore well-stitched clothes that will make her look glamorous. The next assignment was to spend two weeks in obsessive thinking. Why should she, who must have been born weighing less have added such enormous poundage? Why had she wrapped herself up in blubber? From the assignment, she reported, she couldn’t reach any conclusions. Again in the trance state, she was given another assignment. This time to discover if there was really any reason why she had to weigh what she did – to be curious about what she might look like if she weighed only 150 pounds and was dressed appropriately. She was to awaken in the middle of the night with that question in mind, only to fall asleep again restfully. After a few more trances in which she reviewed all her assignments, she was asked to recall, one by one, each of her assignments and to see whether they especially applied to her.

I met her at two-week intervals. Wit h i n s i x m o n t h s s h e c a m e in, with great interest, to explain that she could not find any reason why she should weight so much – or why she should dress so atrociously. She had read enough on cosmetology, hairdressing, a n d m a k e u p . S h e also had read books on plastic surgery. She asked piteously if she could be permitted to see what she could do about herself. Within a year’s time, she weighed 150 pounds. Her taste in clothes was excellent, and she had a much better job. She was enrolling in the university. By the time she graduated from the university, even though she still weighed 140 pounds, she was engaged to be married. She had had two teeth that had developed outside of the dental alignment removed and replaced. Her smile was actually attractive. She found a job as a public relations officer at a hotel. She brought her finance to meet me. She came into the office first and said, “This fool is so stupid. He thinks I’m pretty. But I am never going to disillusion him. He’s got stars in his eyes when he looks at me. But both you and I know the truth. I have difficulty keeping below a hundred and fifty – and I am afraid I am going to start gaining again. But I actually know that he loves me this way.” They are married now, they have one child. She talks freely of her therapy, since she remembers everything that was said to her. She has said more than once, “When you said those awful things about me, you were so truthful. I knew that you were telling me the truth. But if you hadn’t put me in a trance, I wouldn’t have done any of the things you made me do.’ Then she took out her tarot spread and her key card was the Sahir Card straight which indicted that all inner energies were converted into a positive channel and like a magician she had changed her life.

H e a l i n g tip: hold Tiger eye in your left hand it will enhance y o u r meditating ability.

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Lounge issue no 91  
Lounge issue no 91  

Pakistan Today Sunday Lounge Issue 91