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Najia Anis talking about NAAJ Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself: have you always been fascinated by jewels? A: Since I was a child my grandmother had always discouraged me from wearing imitation jewellery as it was looked down upon in the family, I grew up with this thought in mind, but then my mother was also very interested in jewellery. I am the oldest sibbling among the four and got a lot of attention from the elders. I think I was facinated by jewellery from a very early age. It has only been a couple of years when I discovered the potential in me and now I am making the most of it. Q: What inspired you to launch your own label NAAJ A: It was after making jewellery for friends and family which was very successful so I decided that I should take this more professionally and bring out my own label. Q: Why the name Naaj? A: My close friends call me Naaj. When I was launching Naaj in 2008, I deliberated whether I should use my maiden name to launch my brand as is the case with most designers or have a catchy different name. I though Naaj sounded more professional and that’s how the name took its origin. Q: You mainly work with diamonds: what are the challenges of working with diamonds? A: First of all we have to make sure about 40 I August 05 - 11, 2012

quality and clarity with colour which is the most important aspect kept in mind. Then comes the setting, how to give a small piece a bigger and better look is another concern and lastly it is the polishing that gives the piece a perfect look. So there are many different steps to follow before we can give out a perfect piece. Q: What trends will we be noticing for Spring--Summer 2012 when it comes to diamond jewellery? A: Plain diamonds give the most elegant and sophisticated look. Q: If a girl can only afford one piece of jewellery, what would you recommend: a diamond pendant? A diamond ring or a bracelet? A: Definitely a ring, a diamond ring always looks stunning and is appropriate for daily and evening wear. Q: When do you think a piece looks stunning ? when it’s just diamonds or when diamonds are set off against other stones? A: One cannot compare the two, both have their individuality. A diamond looks as beautiful and stunning when set with stones. It also depends on the design. Q: Describe the Naaj woman. A: Naaj woman is the woman of today! bold, dynamic, confident, trendy yet elegant and sophisticated. The woman of today who knows how to carry themself the right way on every occasion. Q: With the price of gold shooting through the roof, do you feel the market for diamond jewellery is shrinking? A: I deal in diamond jewellery so usually gold is not the highest cost component. However, I believe that gold is a good saving instrument.One should invest in gold and diamonds. Market for diamond jewellery cannot shrink as there will always be weddings, engagements, anniversaries, birthdays and all; jewellery will always be a major component for it. Q: What’s the most expensive piece of jewellery you have ever designed?

By Dr. Mehreen Nawaz Khan

A My bridal sets are one of the most expensive items ranging from Rs 400,000 to Rs12,00,000. Q: Ever made a crown. A: Not yet, but I do plan to in near future. Q: Which country produces the best diamonds? A: South Africa, but they have the unfinished product ony. It is India where we get the finished product from which is also widely used around the world. August 05 - 11, 2012 I 41



aka thoothiyan Ingredients:

Condensed milk 1 14oz can Whole milk 2 cups Cardamom powder 1/8tsp Rice flour 6 Tbs Water 1/2 cup Crushed almonds 2-3 Tbs Edible silver 2-3 leafs (3”x3” leafs) - optional


Combine the condensed milk with the whole milk in a heavy base 2 quart pot. Add the cardamom powder and mix well. Make sure the condensed milk isn’t settled at the bottom of the pot because it will burn while boiling the milk. Bring this condensed milk mixture to a boil. Stir occasionally to prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan. In a separate measuring cup combine the rice flour with the water and mix well to remove any lumps. Keep aside. Rice flour settles to the bottom, so you would need to stir again before pouring.

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After the milk has come to a full boil, lower the heat so that the milk is gently simmering. Pour the rice flour and water mixture in a consistent stream and stir continuously. Cook for 2-3 minutes on low heat while stirring gently. The texture will thicken somewhat like a smoothie. Pat dry the terra cotta dish with a kitchen towel and pour the rice pudding into the dish. Allow to set in the fridge for 6-8 hours or overnight for the terracotta dish. (2-3 hours is enough if using a pie dish) Once chilled, you can decorate with edible silver leaf and sprinkle some crushed almonds on top. Enjoy


Avoiding weight gain in Ramzan


lot of people lose weight naturally during Ramadan. We are consuming fewer calories and that leads to weight loss. But there are those who unwillingly gain extra pounds by the end of this month. Now if that is not your intention, then you need to understand what you are doing wrong. There are a few common practices followed by Muslims all over the world which cause weight gain. Some of them are listed below and if you keep them in mind you will remain healthy, fit and maintain your old weight. 1. Muscle wastage due to fasting: Muscle wastage due to long hours of fasting ie going without food and water for longs hours at a stretch can be the key reason for a drop in metabolism and increase in fat percentage.

2. Skipping Sehri: If you skip Sehri, you are inviting more muscle loss and slower metabolism. The first meal of the day will be Iftar directly which you are going to store and convert to fat instead of using up. 3. Overeating: We tend to overeat at Sehri to overcome our insecurity and avoid feeling hungry. And then we find ourselves overeating at Iftari. Patience is the key. Eat little and simple. Islam doesn’t encourage eating too much. 4. Feasting after Fasting: Many Muslims want to make Iftar a very glamorous affair. They spend a lot of time in deciding what to make and making all kinds of delicacies. Stick to simple food and remember you are feeling hungry right now because of fasting. At Iftar time you will not feel this hungry after your first serving of food.

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5. Junk food and fried foods: Pakoras, samosas, kebabs and all kinds of biryanis, pulaos, deep fried foods, faloodas and other sweets as main items for Iftar is indeed a wrong selection of items for people interested in maintaining their weight or losing weight. Avoid them as much as possible. 6. Having a heavy Iftar and not having dinner. Again, fewer meals, heavier meals, lower metabolism will result in weight gain. 7. Partying all night: This is a serious problem these days as even the kids have their summer vacations. Restaurants and eating outlets are open throughout the night especially during Ramzan. This leads to weight gain. Junk food comes as an extra meal after dinner. Late night deliveries and ‘all you can eat’ attractions are killers. 8. Eating very few calories: Due to the change in schedule like waking up in the middle of the night for Sehri and after a long gap eating the Iftar at sunset upsets the system of a few people who don’t feel like eating anything at all. Eating fewer calories than required will also slow down your BMR. 9. Lack of exercise: Gym goers tend to skip gym and any kind of workout during Ramzan. Have a light training schedule instead of skipping it. 10. Sleeping the whole day: This is true for people who don’t need to go to work or offices. They sleep soon after Sehri and sleep the whole day till its time for Iftar. It’s obvious that these people are going to put on a lot of weight as our body doesn’t burn but stores fat while sleeping.

Skincare in



n these high humidity levels in the month of Ramzan, while you fast, it might become necessary to pay extra attention to your skincare regime. Managing your skin during the peak seasons and shifts of summer can be a challenge, especially for those with extreme skin conditions such as acne or excessively oily skin. The heat and environmental toxins can all play a role in the overall look and feel of the skin, and humid weather can exarcebate a variety of skin problems. Even though you can’t escape entirely from the humidity, shifting up that skincare regime might be your best bet. Here are a few tips and strategies to help restore and balance your skin: Use a clarifying facial wash or cleanser. This can help to unclog pores that are working overtime during the hotter months as skin sweats more often. Drink plenty of water at Iftar and Sehri. Keep room in your tummy for water at Sehri. You’ll need to flush out toxins as much as possible, and staying well-hydrated will improve the look and feel of your skin. Eat plenty of water-based foods. Not only will you get vital vitamins and minerals from your daily diet, but you can also stay hydrated without worrying about drinking a lot of water. Use an exfoliating scrub at least once per week. Try a walnut shell or apricot scrub to remove dull skin cells and increase circulation in the process. Use a toner with glycolic acid to help remove toxins and pollutants even further. Use a light moisturizer with SPF protection on a daily basis. This will leave skin supple, smooth, and well-toned. If you have oily skin, make sure you are using only a light coat of moisturizer, and apply it sparingly Use an eye gel before bed. This can help reduce puffiness and any tenderness in the eye area, and will have you waking

up with bright eyes and smooth, fresh skin each morning. Avoid direct sun exposure. Not only will you get hotter, but your skin will be more at risk for sun damage. Use botanical products and essential oils that help you stay cool. Anything based in chamomile and lavender will be soothing and cooling, while cucumber and aloe-based products can also be rejuvenating and restoring. Always wash off makeup before bed. Your skin needs to breathe overnight, and will even detoxify naturally without the blockages from makeup. Make sure you use a shower filter. Chlorine can be very damaging to the skin, and you’ll need to keep skin as wellprotected as possible when swimming and showering each day. Exercise. Even though early morning exercise is best suited for humid and hot weather but if your are fasting, you might want to keep a light routine for the evening. This will boost your skin’s tone and elasticity. If you’re battling humid weather this season, make sure to adjust your routine accordingly. Humid weather can affect skin in many ways, making it more prone to breakouts and imbalances. Use the right products for your skin type, and follow a healthy skin care regime to create a healthy and vibrant glow! August 05 - 11, 2012 I 45


Tales of an Empire in retreat and a Caste in distress

In quick succession, two significant books have lately appeared about the Indian subcontinent By Syed Afsar Sajid


wo significant but engaging books about the Indian subcontinent have lately appeared in quick succession. The first relates the story of its partition while the second narrates the history, ethnography and the liberation journey of an oppressed caste inhabiting its bounds. This review is intended to cover both. Empire in Retreat Rabia Umar Ali teaches History at the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad and is an acclaimed researcher with Partition (of the subcontinent) as her major concern. The instant work is focused on Partition – ‘the manner it actually came about and the numerous stages that its making and implementation went through’. The author laments that it was a momentous task requiring ‘a meticulous and impartial approach’ but it ‘was not delivered in the spirit of an unbiased arbitral approach and with much left to be desired’. The author’s worry is that despite the quantitative abundance of Partition literature, ‘the making of a Partition Plan and its implementation remains a neglected subject’. Hence the debate on the subject is still inconclusive although writers like V.P. Menon, Penderel Moon, Chaudhri Muhammad Ali, H.V. Hodson, Ayesha Jalal, R.J. Moore, Patrick French, Gayanendra Pandy, Sukeshi Kamra, Madhav Godbole, Vazira-Fazila Yaqoobali Zamindar, Ajit Bhattacharjea, Urvashi Butalia, Sucheta Mahajan, and many others have attempted to study and probe the prickly episode in its acrid

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heterogeneity. The writer gives a chapter-wise synopsis of the book in its ‘Introduction’ which is followed by original version of the chapters titled ‘British Approach to Partition: The Reluctant Concession’, ‘Evolution of the Partition Plan: The Hurried Scuttle’, ‘Radcliffe Award and its Dictates: The Scalpel at Work’, and ‘Implementation: The Final Pandemonium’ besides ‘Conclusion’, Appendices and Bibliography. The lurid tale of Partition described, analysed and historically narrated by the author in these chapters tends to unfold the gory spectacle of an ‘Empire in retreat’. In the backdrop of the situation then prevailing on ground, the writer seems to aver correctly that “Partition became more of a contest and ‘bitter divorce’ among former partners who fight over property, people and even

Empire in Retreat (The Story of India’s Partition) By Rabia Umar Ali Publisher: Oxford University Press Pakistan, Karachi Pages: 190; Price: Rs725/-

memories”. The massacres and violence that followed in its wake were hardly witnessed ever before in human history. The writer’s concluding remarks stemming from this ‘horrific’ tale of Partition sound logical, and convincing too: “A dream had come true but with it had shattered so many others on an individual level, the memory of which has become a legendary tale of sacrifice and also of unspoken sadness. It were the imperial executors of power that did not prove worthy of a role that destiny had handed them down. An Empire had ended but in making the retreat, it was unable to effectively negotiate the twists and turns of an arduous journey, much to the impairment of the land it had ruled for so long.” The book is thus a dispassionate but thoughtful commentary on the subject it seeks to expatiate upon that readers will find quite revealing also. The Unconquered People John O’Brien, the author of this book, is an eminent scholar and researcher based in Ireland. He has lectured widely on Religious Studies and arranged workshops in several countries of the world encircling Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America. He has also been working among Pakistani minorities since 1977 spearheading a variety of educational and development projects, while engaging in a dialogue with Islam. Presently he is engaged in community development in the province of Sindh besides conducting research on Sufism. In the author’s words the book in hand, ‘a study in memory’, is meant to explore ‘the history, ethnography and liberation journey of the aboriginal, forest-dwelling, hunting tribe reduced to servitude by Aryan conquests, who are called Chandala in classical Brahminic literature designated as Chuhra in the censuses of India (1868-1931) and in contemporary Pakistan are known as the Punjabi Christians’. It contains six chapters titled ‘A Wounded Identity’, ‘Speaking Their Own Word’, ‘The World Within’, ‘The Religion of Bala Shah’, ‘Hunger for Change’, and ‘A New Identity’ besides the ‘Introduction’

and the ‘Afterword’. meaning to their past and present, as Summarizing the book, chapter 1 well as purposefully construct a more elucidates the term ‘untouchability’ in humane future’. the context of its subject matter with The book gives an in-depth but marked stress on the tribal, and not humane account of a people who despite occupational, nature of this ethnic their gradual socio-economic progression group, its origin and spread through into the vast ethnic multitude of the subcontinent. Chapter 2 illustrates the subcontinent, continues to be these people’s ‘defiant proclamation of marginalized in the form of ‘a kinshiptheir identity and their willingness to based underclass, still working under defend it’. The next chapter (3) includes ‘rites of passage, their eclectic structure, serf-like conditions’. Thus the thesis and the mental universe that informs expounded in the book is, as it were, an them’. In chapter 4, the author explores invitation to an on-going discourse or the ‘religious eclecticism’ of this group dialogue on a delicate subject like the of people – tracing the evolution of their present one that needs further research cult from animism to the rituals practiced and an appropriate extrapolation therefrom. by Bala Shah-Balmik but different from the ‘Hinduized’ Balmikism of the Arya Samaj. The penultimate chapter (5) deals with ‘the development path of these people from their association with Sikhism’ and later with Christianity leading to ‘the material base of a new identity evolved with the founding of Christian villages’. The last chapter dwells at length on this aspect of their social mobility. It spotlights ‘their dislocation at the Partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 and other factors that contributed to a turn towards Catholicism’, and further ‘cautions against the suppression of the ‘memory’ The Unconquered People of oppression, (The Liberation Journey of an Oppressed Caste) and argues that by By John O’Brien defining themselves as a lineage of Publisher: Oxford Univerlsity Press Pakistan, Karachi belief and praxis, Pages: 337; Price: Rs995/our people can give

August 05 - 11, 2012 I 47

Stress and Your health By Mariam Aftab


tress, of course, is nothing new to humanity. From time immemorial all people – and to a degree all animals – have shared fundamental stresses, passed down over the centuries as part of the primordial heritage. When you feel threatened, even by such a minor sensation as stage fright, it is your cardiovascular system which most clearly responds, changing the entire tempo of your body. The pulses pound. Blood pressure rises. The hands turn cold as blood is diverted

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from the skin to the vital organs. If this temporary adjustment becomes habitual, a number of conditions may develop, ranging from simple arrhythmia – the a chronically eccentric hearbeat – through hypertension. There has been sufficient research into the correlation between physical and personality types to produce a compelling picture of the kinds of people prone to different disease. Personality type not only determines the characteristics and habits but also marks the type of diseases individual personaliies are prone to.

Heart attacks:

In heart attack patients, men outnumbered women six to one, and she, like most other physicians, labelled their affliction “a middle-age male disease.”Many of them are self-made men or highly trained professionals. Physically they take poor care of themselves – they eat the wrong kind of food, and try to replenish their energy with coffee and cigarettes. Socially they are “successful” but without much enjoyment of it all. Their style of conversation is highly rational and often a little argumentative, and they cannot express their inner feelings

In hypertension, the heart pumps blood to the body under abnormally high pressure. The causes, it is agreed widely, include emotional stress. Blood pressure fluctuates in healthy people as well as in sick people, sometimes rising because of the actions of the heart muscle, sometimes because the arteries resist the normal flow of blood. The person suffering from essential hypertension maintains an exterior calm during interviews, but a professional can discern evidence of strong underlying feelings. In a sense she, or he, is unable to bleed emotionally. Hypertension is of course dangerous, and can lead to heart attacks, strokes and kidney damage. The single question that patients on the examining table most frequently ask their doctors is still: “How is my blood pressure?”

easily. They tend to keep people at a slight distance. When this kind of person is struck down by a heart attack his first response, is usually a basic despair, which sometimes turns into extreme depression. More often than not, however, he pulls himself together again, says that nothing is seriously wrong, and against his doctor’s orders resumes his driven existence as soon as he can possibly manage it.


Hypertension is of course dangerous, and can lead to heart attacks, strokes and kidney damage

Angina: Angina is the illness in which not enough oxygen reaches the heart: the symptoms are stabbing chest pains and a feeling of suffocation. The disease is less serious than a heart attack, and the kind of person who gets it is often a paler version of the coronary-prone. Success is important to him, and so is money, but he does not feel the desperate drive to outdo everyone in sight, the insatiable craving to beat the boss, that runs the coronary personality ragged. Despite these distinctions, however, patients with different forms of heart disease tend to resemble one another in basic personality and behavior. Their traits overlap, just as their diseases do, and of course patients who have had heart attacks often go on to develop angina or arrhythmia. Migraine:

A migraine victim, said, “The art of life is the avoiding of pain.” But migraine’s pain is so devastating that it can bring on tension headaches too, pain attracting more pain. More women than men get migraines. There is a paradoxical twist, it is not during the periods when stress is bearing down hardest that migraine patients usually get their headaches. Instead, it is when the pressure lifts and they are, so to speak, off duty. It often comes on leisurely weekends. Sunday is a notorious migraine day. Perhaps the truth is that the average

migraine patient doesn’t know what to do with leisure; for him, as for the coronary type, the meaning of life is work. But the coronary type works hard in order to dominate his world, while the migraine patient has rather different motives. He is insecure, according to the Wolff study. What he really wants is to be loved, but he will settle for being admired, or simply approved of: anything to still his gnawing sense of worthlessness. It is for this reason that he drives himself so hard, selflessly taking on thankless chores, burdening himself with ever-increasing responsibilities, conscientious, rigid, somewhat fanatical. And where does it get him? No one really appreciates all he does – not even himself, because no matter how hard he works the can’t quite live up to his expectations. Neither can he cope with the feelings of resentment and disappointment building up inside him. He can only try to drown them out through harder labor.

Ulcers: If an infant does not get enough affection and reassurance while being fed, it may demoralize him, or at least his digestive functions, permanently. Unconsciously, in later life he connects feeding and love and longs deeply for both. He may develop a weight problem, from constantly nibbling on snacks whether hungry or not. He may even become a compulsive eater, prey to secret, panicky binges in which he gobbles up everything insight till he vomits. Or he may turn into one of the male and female, who suffer from ulcers. People with stomach ulcers have gastric systems that are in constant motion, or, it could be said, in constant emotion. They are always hungry. Their digestive juices run full time whether their bodies actually need nourishment or not. Often a business executive, of either sex – who drives for independence from the rest of the world and for conventional success in life.These people are usually found to be full of hostility, but they are blocked off from expressing it – they want too much to be loved. August 05 - 11, 2012 I 49

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Lounge issue no 96  

Pakistan Today Lounge Issue no 96 Sunday

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