Category Archives: Personal

My 13 day diet – entry 7

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12;00 pm: Yes, I know I was MIA for two days. And no, I did not give up. I have come to realize this journal has started resembling a post apocalyptic diary where I note down the days that I have survived, before I eat my own brains. These last two days I have been questioning why I started this journey willingly. The person I was dieting with, backed out too and the urge to have a chocolate chip has been filling my mind with blasphemous thoughts.

Too high.

Too high.

Anyhoo, day 7 allowed me no coffee even, and therefore I spent the day, lying in wait to bite someone’s head off. Fortunately nobody gave me the opportunity and by lunch I had an apple which sort of calmed me down. Dinner for day 7 told me I could have anything … with a catch. Anything meant from the diet plan. Those cookies have to wait sigh. So I made spinach puree and grilled some cottage cheese. Yep made my own low fat oil free version of Palak Paneer. And man was it good. I sensed true happiness in a very long time. So today is Day 9. I had a very strong moment of weakness last night when my brother ordered a burger and fries.. but thankfully I was able to pass through it unhinged.

My lunch today is baked beef kebabs and green salad which is a cucumber and green beans. And yes, I perfectly managed to char the kebabs, as I left them in the oven for too long and forgot about them until I smelt the burn. I keep telling myself they aren’t burned but crispy, a tactic my dad uses on me, when he cooks me breakfast and manages to burn both the toast and the omelette. And it works. Everytime. And since it is day 9 I’ll shut up and eat every bite. 4 more days to go! More later.

10:00 pm: Well lunch wasn’t bad. I quite enjoyed the cripsy bakef kebabs.  For dinner I made a poor man’s chicken curry with one onion, a few cloves of garlic and one green chilli as the gravy, used no oil, just water and lots of prayers that it would turn out ok. It did. I did battle a number of cravings after dinner though.  The box full of Baklavas is still lying on the dining room table. I picked it up opened it … took a big big whiff and puy it back! Honestly! There were nunerous times today when I wanted to give up. Even now I want to give up. But I have so far.. these 9 days would be for nothing then! And tomorrow is day 10!! Just three more days to go! I can’t wait for monday! See ya all tomorrow.

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5 Things no one will tell you about dieting – Except me

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diet82

Everybody loves to point out how rotund you have become around .. well everywhere. And everybody happens to know somebody who lost a ton of weight and now looks fabulous. Also everybody loves to tell you about it too. If you happen to be everybody, move along. But if you are the victim here, my friend this blog is just for you.

So tired of having the same conversation over and over, you decide maybe it’s time to lose a few kilos. Or twenty. You head on a path, never seen before and start losing weight along with many other things, your mind among them. And halfway through you wish someone had told you the things you end up learning the hard way.

Well guess what. Here is your wish come true. If you are about to embark on the above mentioned journey, take a little time out to read this blog, I wrote solely for you.

1) Dieting is hard.

There I said it. It is a hard truth. All those women with 16 inch waists telling you how easy it is to switch to healthier food are liars. When you first start eating healthier food, your body goes into shock. You have put it through a fair amount of crap, it will take its time to detox. The best thing for you to speed up the detox is drink water, tons of it, even if it means more trips to the bathroom than the kitchen. At the end of the day, dieting require a great deal of commitment. So only attempt it if you are serious. It will take its toll on you and some days you will feel like you have no strength. That big chunky burger will look very tempting then. Shut yourself in your room and eat your poor soup.

2) Your hair will fall out. In bunches.

The last part of your body that you want thin is the hair on your head. But trust me, it will be the first one to be so. Intelligent as we are, we will never be able to eat a balanced meal ever. It just can’t be done. Therefore some sneaky vitamin or mineral gravely needed by the body will be left behind and viola, you will shed more hair than a Labrador retriever during .. whenever it is they shed the most fur.

Please let it be hair from the woman in The Ring.

Please let it be hair from the woman in The Ring.

3) Your olfactory senses are a blessing.

You will never feel more blessed to have a strong sense of smell than while dieting. Trust me it works. See something you crave? Go up to it very slowly pick it up and take a big whiff! Then drop it instantly and run. Run like your life depended upon it. Your craving will go down by 70%. Maybe I exaggerate but it certainly becomes less. If you feel the need to repeat it, wear a medicinal mask on your face and go sniffing again.

4) Dieting without exercise? You might as well dive headfirst into cake.

Diets are a great way to start the ball rolling. But that fat of yours which your body worked so hard to be friends with, won’t leave you so easily. It’s like those relatives of yours who won’t go home no matter how many times you yawn in front of them hinting, you want to go to bed. Sure initially cutting back the calories will get the weighing machine to go in the direction you actually want it to. But it will soon stop. The only way to keep it moving backwards is to get your butt moving. Start with a walk, gently working your way up to targeted toning. You will actually feel good about yourself for a change.

5) Cheat days will make you insane.

For all the hard-work and effort you will be putting in, you get one day each week where you can stuff your face with whatever unhealthy, heart-attack, diabetes causing junk you can manage to get your hands on. But once you gulp it down and you will gulp it down, you can feel it go down your gullet, be absorbed by the bloodstream, turned into fat and be readily adopted by the body with open arms as if it were Angelina Jolie! You would hate yourself for shoving your face, then shove your face some more since you are allowed, then hate yourself again. It’s a vicious cycle.

I just had a burger!

I just had a burger! Now excuse me while I go hate myself.

So still game? Of course you are. You are awesome. Take the first step and the others will just fall automatically. Ok no they won’t but trust me they are definitely worth it. This list is however by no means complete. I will keep adding to it as I figure them out and share them with you. Yes, I am awesome too. Until next time! Ciao bello/bella!

 

Combating the fears of Joblessness.

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So one of the worse things for a human to experience, is joblessness. Especially if you happen to be a woman. Apart from the horror of never again being able to afford the things you love, there are the usual ‘what would the world say’ type questions to cross your mind. Therefore I decided to make a list of all the things one might encounter after being jobless, that finally push a sane adult over the edge, (as if that alone wasn’t trauma enough). Oh those sweet sweet shoes in the display, just staring at you, mocking you for not being able to give them a safe home in your closet.

The moment of truth:

  • The realization of not having any particular talent. What was it that you were doing for so long? Once you sit down to list your achievements and duties on paper, you honestly cannot think of one reason why anyone would want to rehire you.
  • The realization of not having anywhere to go. You wake up every morning. Have a hearty breakfast. Breathe in the fresh air. Thank the Lord for all His blessings. And you are done for the day. You glance over the clock only to find out it has just been an hour since you woke up. What ever will you do all day?

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  • The realization of having to pitch in with the household chores. When you come home from work, no matter how not tired you are, you can get away with being as lazy as a grasshopper (I am assuming they don’t do much). But since you are now home all day, you are expected to clean your wormhole of a room (like that was even possible), help cook dishes you never thought you can digest, maybe rearrange the bookshelf you were planning to for a year.

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  • The realization that there isn’t much else going on for you. You grow up having books as friends (sad, I know, at least they tell don’t you what’s wrong with them, when you are doing the same).  Most of your life is spent living in an imaginary world (yes, it’s bug free and your house is made of chocolate). But once you start working, you instantly find a new zeal for life that somehow keeps you connected to the world. Take that out of the equation and you find just how tiny your bubble really is. (And those extra kilos you gained being connected to the world don’t help one bit).

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  • The realization that you have nothing to complain about. No more grumbling over it being a Monday. No more worrying about work undone. No more waiting to finally hit the sack once home. What good is life without complaining.

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  • The realization that you still have relatives. Now that you have so much time on your hands, you are expected to attend every family gathering there is, and that inevitably leads to questions like ‘What are you doing nowadays?’ ‘I am taking time out to discover myself’ you reply, hoping to confuse them. But yes they are persistent. Defeated you tell them the truth, giving them opportunity to ask their favourite question, ‘Why aren’t you getting married?’

Yes, that indeed is the final straw. If that doesn’t do it for a person I don’t know what will. Let’s take a moment to join hands in a silent prayer for all those who are currently looking for a job, praying they find a good one soon and never have to live through these moments ever.

Ramblings of an empty mind: Sidra has spoken!

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Part 1 (yes there will be more of these, suck it up).

The internet is a funny place to be. And if you spend as much time here as I do, chances are you get to experience the weirdest moments of self discovery ever.

For instance, I have been looking to buy a new phone since forever. I have asked friends, colleagues, relatives, but nobody can help me find a phone I deem perfect. (My mum telling me to ask God to send something from heaven doesn’t help either).

So then I turn to the internet. Makes, models, price, features, you can narrow down searches to your preference. But all I care about is color (yes I am attracted to colorful things). Unfortunately they don’t make a separate box just for color yet, making it that much harder for me.

Moment of self discovery:  Color matters, though I’m glad phone hunting is different from dude hunting. Imagine being at a family gathering, where well-meaning aunties point out guys to you and you say, ‘does he come in another color?’ Yeah, that would work out nicely.

I'll like the blue one.

I like the blue one.

Then I go browsing through stuff randomly and I find  this lady, making a name for herself as a ‘plus sized’ model.  So I google who exactly plus sized women are and it says:

“Plus size models are categorized as women from size 8 and above”.

Then I search for this lady who proudly calls herself plus sized: ‘Robyn Lawley’.

Look at her. What part of her says plus? She’s a size all normal women need to be. Which brings me to the next question: Why are women like her called plus sized? They are normal. Shouldn’t the anorexic stick thin models be called minus sized instead?

Moment of self discovery: If she is plus, what size would I be labelled: Macro? Mega?  Colossal? (No I am not sharing my picture for reference),

Plus sized? Sure.

Plus sized? Sure.

Let’s change the subject.

If you are an internet addict, and not into food porn, you might be one of those above mentioned minus sized people.  I was looking a recipe to try for a lazy Sunday and came across an article talking about certain superstitions related to food. Interesting, yes?

Did you know, giving an orange to somebody will make them fall in love with you? If I hand you an orange in the near future, eemmm it will only be because you look starved, honest!

Throwing rice at a newlywed couple will bring them wealth, health and happiness.  Uncooked rice that is Not the biryani served at their wedding, which you gave your stomach a premonition of cramps experienced normally during childbirth. (shudder)

Take that! That's for serving bad food!

Take that! That’s for serving bad food!

Moment of self discovery:  I am completely obsessed with food, hence the colossal size.

Makes you wonder doesn’t it.

End of part 1

I am a Pak voter. Are you?

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With elections in Pakistan looming ahead many people have given up hope and are not planning to vote in the upcoming elections. While the final decision rests with them, being adamant on it without realizing the underlying issues only serves the wrong purpose.

Voting is one of our basic rights as civilians. It may appear as if no candidate is worth backing, or no one is capable to help. But, it takes a village to raise a child. Likewise it will take a group effort to bring a positive change.

People have started on a quest for change. No longer having faith in the current government they think if they do not vote, their problems will be solved. On the contrary, a change can only be brought by voting.

Exercising our vote is something we all must do. If we don’t vote, the people who shouldn’t be in power will win. Their loyalists will vote for them. And with us not casting any, they will once more gain control. Isn’t this what we are trying to change? Shouldn’t we cast a vote then, if not to elect someone, then to help not elect someone who is not capable?

It is very difficult for neutral people without agendas to agree with everything a candidate is offering them in return for their vote. Most of the offers are empty promises. But some are indeed true. I think we should assess all candidates and go with what suits us the most. Adaptability is a core ability of humans. Instead of giving up all hope for the better, I think we should learn to adjust with the best possible option. See what promises the candidates have made, and analyze which ones will help you. It is not a person you support, but an idea. And if a candidate is offering to implement that idea, I think he deserves a chance to prove it.

Voting is our duty as a citizen. It is a mechanism by which we can express the power of the people against the power of leaders. Standing up for our rights, we need to establish the fact, that it is indeed ordinary people like you and me who matter and give leaders power to make this country better for us. The only way to achieve that is by casting your vote in the direction you think is the correct.

This blog was also published at: http://iamazad.com/blog/your-vote-counts/

How not to win Facebook Contests.

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Ever participate in a Facebook contest? Or two or three, or every one that you came across? You are not alone. With the number of Facebook users increasing by the minute, Facebook pages for different brands regularly hold various contests to attract traffic. These contests promise giveaways that many won’t otherwise purchase. Hence the craze.

If you are a frequent participant of these above mentioned Facebook contests, yet still not a winner, I can tell you just what you are doing wrong. My job is managing quite a few Facebook pages for different brands, running contests often, and I get to choose the lucky winner.

Dos and don'ts

Dos and don’ts

Following is a list of things to do, to make sure you never ever win a facebook contest.

1)      Have a fake profile. If you participate in a contest with a profile name of ‘Sweetie dolly’ or ‘Innocent Pari (fairy)’, trust me your chances of winning are as high as finding a real innocent pari. Some people create fake profiles just to participate in these contests. By having these contests, brands like to create publicity. We don’t want to give away a prize to an unknown person with a questionable existence.

2)      Participate in every contest you see: If you have made it your life’s mission to participate in every contest you see, well then I, as a brand manager see no interest in you. The winner for my contest needs to be someone who is not only a fan, but is a genuine fan. He is a portal to the real world. The giveaway is like a billboard which will tell people about my product. I don’t want my product drowned out by other prizes you may or may not have received participating in every contest you come across.

3)      Not having your genuine display/ cover: Just like participating in too many contests is a turn off, dedicating your display pictures and cover photos for other contests also make you an unlikely contender.

4)      Not mentioning your city on profile: Sometimes, our clients are located in few cities only and for certain reasons want winners from the same cities as well. When selecting a winner, if I choose you but cannot see your basic details, I will pass you up.

5)      Send a personal message: I take my contests seriously. If you try to butter me up by posting statuses saying how much you love the brand, or inbox me saying you want the prize for your mother, I will consider it a violation of rules (most of them exist staunchly in my head).

6)      Taking us for fools: Possibly the worst thing you can do to screw your chances of winning, is to be a wise ass. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT think you can outsmart me. I check each and every thing before I consider you eligible. I will stalk your profile, look at your cover photo, and check out your genuineness through mutual friends if any. In short I will go the extra mile before even considering you as the winner.

You are the winner!

You are the winner!

Once you have passed the test, I will then group you together in a list (believe me it is very small) and randomly pick a number. So if you are participating in a contest, either play by the rules, or make sure I am not managing the page.

From Sukkhar with love.

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Travelling is perhaps the worst possible time for you to injure yourself seriously, especially if you are far away from the comforting words of mommy, and the ‘I told you sos’ of daddy. Be glad, because unlike you readers, I learnt this lesson the hard way.

The night was cold. Like the hearts of people who chomp down an entire chocolate bar without sharing. The pain was unbearable. Like the faces of the people watching others chomp down an entire bar of chocolate without sharing. And finally with my life hanging in the balance, I entered the government hospital of Sukkhar.

You see I was travelling from Karachi to Lahore with a bunch of friends, when I met with an accident midway and needed urgent medical care. To make things interesting, fate decided to test my patience in one of the remote places of the country, where the word doctor meant a man with wild hair throwing sand at you to cure you of the evils within, that made you develop that weird case of diarrhea. Of course my biasness may be due to the fact that I had to be taken to the neighbouring city of Sukkhar 45 minutes and countless potholes away for treatment.

You have constipation? Eat tapeworms!

You have constipation? Eat tapeworms! *Google Images*

After the life threatening accident, when the ambulance first arrived, my shock had subsided to give way to pain. But nothing prepared me for what was to follow. The stretcher, ready to carry me to the vehicle, was a piece of cloth stitched within two wooden poles. Now the Lord has blessed me with ample umm body mass, so I do not criticize the poor people carrying me, but the leg that was dangling from the rest of me, did just that.

By mercy of the Lord and the heroism of my friends, I arrived at Sukkhar’s government hospital still alive and in one piece. But the nightmare had just begun. In severe pain with a dislocated bone, the emergency staff were clearly in the mood for some fun. When the jumping excuse for a stretcher brought me inside, I was on my stomach, but what joy is it to see someone suffering, when you can’t really look at their sad eyes? So I was patiently told I had to turn. The nerve of the people being patient with a patient.. who wasn’t really in the mood for patience?

However not being in a position to do what I loved(argue), I heaved the remaining bit of strength into turning over my back. Oh it still wasn’t over. Two fat injections of what I am hoping were drugs were pumped into me, and away for Xrays I was taken. Apparently turning over wasn’t enough, my poor disjointed leg had to be straightened too. Did I mention I am a screamer yet? Well so I am. God bless my friends who endured a slew of curses coupled with the highest frequency of screams as they tried to straighten my leg. I was later told it took them nearly half an hour to do so.

Then began the poking and prodding. I also do not like being touched. Especially by weird looking men in creepy hospitals, particularly when drugged. While this was unfolding, my companions found time to ‘make calls’. I happen to be travelling with some really connected people who knew people who also knew people. And then of course my parents were informed, who also knew people. By the time I was shifted from the Xray room to another paint peeled room, more than two dozen people had gathered. And I told every single one of them I loved them. Yes you read that right. Maybe it was the shock, more likely the drugs from Sukkhar. Take note weird stalker if you are reading this. The only thing you need to make me profess my undying love for you is to get me high on medication from Sukkhar.

Hey I don't know you, so this is crazy. I'm drugged and I love you. Call me maybe?

Hey I don’t know you, so this is crazy. I’m drugged and I love you. Call me maybe?

For my friends, clearly saving my life wasn’t enough. They had to bear all the love which had by now replaced the blood pouring from my wounds. Oh and it was January. Nearly freezing, if you like me are from Karachi where winter starts the minute temperature drops below 20 degrees. Seeing me shiver like a rickshaw on a joyride, my friend went to ask a nurse to get me a blanket. But well nothing happened. After asking for the umpteenth time, a nurse promptly appeared with one adding that while the hospital was under equipped and they had no extra blankets, she took this one from another patient because one of the ‘people’ had told her to make arrangements. We all decided it would be better to survive the cold.

The patient in the next room cut himself. Can I borrow 2 inches of bandage?

The patient in the next room cut himself. Can I borrow 2 inches of bandage? *google images*

It was well into the night and the doctor had yet to arrive. The ‘peeps’ did their magic once again, and soon the doctor showed up very jovially, happy to be there at such late an hour. Such miracle workers those people were. Long story short, I finally received enough medication to dream of unicorns, or were those rhinos? When I woke up next, the pain was gone, I could hear nothing and it was pitch black. Great I thought. This is the end of Sidra Rizvi. Looking for the ‘white light’ or Satan more likely, I called out ‘Am I dead?’ ‘No!’ replied a friend, ‘we are all here’. Oh perfect, that meant I was blind. Nope came back the reply. The electricity was out. In a hospital!

So by then I was patched up well enough to be taken back to Karachi and by Fajr the next morning, I was loaded onto an ambulance to disappear into the night. Sukkhar had seen more action in those couple of hours than it would in a full year, in what was one of the most high profile cases in that hospital’s history.

Looking back at it all, I cannot believe how lucky I got. First with amazing friends who risked their precious lives to save a mere meagre mine. Second, getting healthcare in a place where people have to wait hours and hours for doctors to grace them with their presence. As relieved I am to live in a place with a well established medical care, it saddens me deeply the plight of those poor citizens at the hands of the government. How many people die just waiting for doctors, or from lack of proper facilities? That X ray machine alone was older than me. I was well ‘connected’, so I got a bed, a blanket, and a doctor who wasn’t planning on coming before 8am the next morning. What of those in worse shape than me, without any outside help. Poor people, with no one to turn to but God, to save their loved ones? Who helps them? Who comes to aid them? Do they even get enough drugs to turn them amorous for every moving thing they see? Is it too much to hope things can ever improve for them? Or will I too soon stop thinking about it and go back to being immune to other people’s suffering?

PS all those who helped me throughout, not a day goes by when I am not thankful to you all. You know who you are! I really do love you, I say this without taking the drugs.