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Volume NO. 0




Winter 2018 $5.99






t gives me great pleasure to introduce to you – MASRATH- a new magazine for the American South Asian community. Living far away from this region, it is easy to become disconnected. However, we are seeing the the rich culture of South Asia expand through the US with its vibrant music, ethnic foods, dazzling fashions, and unique arts enriching our nation. It is this vibrant lifestyle that we are seeking to cover in this publication. Please join me in connecting to our south Asian heritage through MASRATH.



Kim Palmiero COPY EDITOR

Sarah Urbanic DESIGNER


Jade Ianaro



Elen Turner

M. B. LATEEF PUBLISHER MASRATH Magazine is published 3x/year by MASRATH Media PO Box 13166 Pittsburgh, PA 15243. Send inquires to All rights reserved. Copyright ©2018 by MASRATH Media. Printed in the USA



What’s Hot In This Issue


9 10

Ferhan Zaidi


Chicago-based artist brings his Bollywood show to Pittsburgh.

Learn about nature’s elixer.


Sameera Faridi Fashion

Texas based designer creating South Asian designs.


ZAIDI ROCKS PITTSBURGH On November 25, 2017, Chicago based south Asian Bollywood musician Ferhan Zaidi brought his show to Pittsburgh, PA. From old tunes of yesteryear to the latest hits from Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Ferhan dazzled the crowd with his talented voice and act.


t was no easy route to success for Ferhan. Born in Pakistan, Ferhan learned singing through supportive family and friends. However, it was not until he settled in Chicago with its active desi music scene did he begin to focus on his singing. When the opportunity to try out for US auditions for the hugely popular Sa Re Ga Ma Pa - an Indian Musical Reality TV show - came, he paused his career and flew to Dallas, Texas to participate. Despite competing against numerous talented singers from all over the US, Ferhan placed 2nd Runner Up at the Sa

Re Ga Ma Pa USA Challenge in July 2008. He was so impressive that he was invited to participate back in India in the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge the following year in 2009 in where he advanced but was not the finalist. Ferhan returned back to Chicago and focused on his career and singing. Since that time, he has toured in over 28 states in the US singing as well as now working on original compositions. He states his vocal role model is Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan due to the many octaves in his voice.

What’s your favorite desi food? Biryani What’s your favorite desi dessert? Rasmalai What’s your favorite place to visit in South Asia? Karachi What place would you recommend people visit in South Asian? Northern Pakistan cities such as Naran in Kaghan Valley that makes you feel like you are in Switzerland


Health & Wellness

TURMERIC – Wellness Walla Turmeric, a symbol of mangal (auspicious) and Bhagya (good fortune), is omnipresent in Indian houses. From bringing taste and color to curries to teaming up with milk to cure cold and inflammation, turmeric takes on many jobs. It is a flowering plant of the ginger family. Turmeric is the root of its plant. When not used fresh, it is oven dried and processed into a golden yellow powder for use. It has a pepper like sharp and slightly bitter taste and a mustard like pungent smell. It’s widely called Haldi and Kumkuma (the Sanskrit name for both turmeric and saffron). It has been domestically grown in the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia for quite a long time. Turmeric’s use dates back to almost 4000 years ago when it held the same reputable position in the Vedic era. Indian medicinal system, also called Ayurveda or Siddha, makes extensive use of turmeric.

Turmeric gained attention while being used as a dye. It’s not a light fast dye but still finds extensive use in Indian clothing like sarees, Buddhist

monks’ robes etc. German scientists used it as an alkalinity indicator (Called Curcumapapier) as it turned reddishbrown when exposed to a solution with pH ranging between 7.2 to 9.4. Turmeric is considered very auspicious in the Indian culture. People apply a pinch of it on their forehead (called ‘teeka’) before worshipping, while beginning a new venture, on the envelopes that contain good news or marriage invitations and so on.

This versatile spice is also known as ‘the healer’s spice’ due to its medicinal properties. It can help in recovering from cold, general weakness, fever, indigestion, liver problems and jaundice. It also helps in cleaning wounds, keeping bacteria from infecting open wounds and if infected then in doing away with the infection. For women suffering from menstrual cramps, the Indian medicinal system advises use of bitter or extracts of turmeric, two weeks prior to the beginning of menstruation cycle. During spring, consumption of turmeric is particularly beneficial to the liver because turmeric has the same

liver protectant compounds that milk thistle and artichoke leaves contain. Do you feel tired after having a meal? Take a glass of milk with a pinch of turmeric every day and see the magic unravel. It will not only strengthen your digestive system and reduce bloating, it will also improve your immunity. Is your skin giving you a hard time this winter? Make a grainy paste of turmeric, gram flour and coconut/ mustard oil and apply it all over, fifteen to thirty minutes before taking a bath; just like women did in the Vedic era. Even today, before marriage, Indian women have a specific tradition of applying turmeric on the bride’s face and body to help her look even prettier! Try this and you’ll be stunned by the subtle golden glow and soft skin the comes after. Due to being sold by weight, some vendors might adulterate Turmeric with similarly colored compounds like lead oxide for higher profits. However,. Pure turmeric has a golden yellow color while adulterated turmeric looks orangish/reddish-yellow. Turmeric is a miracle of nature and we has healthy benefits for all!


fashion FEATURE



Sameera Faridi is a woman on the move. A Houston-based South Asian fashion designer who seeks to fuse south asian coultoure with American style.

Her designs have made headlines in Texas after she was the first south Asian to be invited in the hugely popular Houston Fashion Show in 2014. Parlaying the success of her introduction at the fashion show, Farida opened up a new design studio based in Houston that allows her to work closely with clients all over the US designing ethnic clothing that is custom made overseas in south asia. Clothing can take up to 3 months to make and cost more than $5000. Check out more of Faridi’s fashion line at


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