Last blog of 2017?

Nine days till end of this year!

Don’t you think its been an amazing year? Alhamdolillah. Here is probably my last post of this year…. though I do have my doubts!

Centaurus the favorite Islamabad shopping Mall and Cinepax is decked in seasons’ decor these days.

Thank you so much for your response to my blogs. I’m over whelmed. Even though many of you do not comment, I know you have read these. – Whenever I meet you I find out through your comments, and there are the indicators. I hope that these have made some difference in your lives, as you have made a difference in mine.

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Its Friday again!


“Assalamo Alaikum!” My friend Seema had called. “What’s going on?” she asked.

“I’m celebrating my Friday.” I told her happily. (Meaning: end of week, weekend, fun-time.)

“Celebrating Friday or …..” Her pause made me pause too.

She is one of my very religious friends. Actually she is an authority on it. She spent not only one year in the Al Huda International Academy but also did a four year course which is done by aalimas from a well known Madrassa here in Islamabad.. Now, she teaches in an academy. So, when she pauses… it makes me think.

Yet, at the same time, she is the one with a great sense of humor. She loves and enjoys literature, and loves me too, in spite of all my shortcomings. She is truly a great, loving and caring friend.

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Dealing with too much ‘to do’


(…. you too?)


How do we cope with daily challenges in life? – Of course with our ‘to do’ list!

My mentor Mahjabeen says “You cannot do anything unless you allocate a time and place for it.” Then she adds, “Even if one of them is missing, it will not get done!” That being clear, let’s get on with it….

I’ve seen two types of people:

  1. Those who keep the list short and sweet not allowing anyone to walk into it.
  2. Then there are those making loooonnnnngggg ‘to do’ lists, and allowing everyone to walk into it.

Yes, as you guessed, I’m the second one! But you know, usually I love it. Otherwise, I have an ‘engine burn out’. I know, I’ll miss out on doing some things, but due to ‘priority’ I’ll have the important stuff done.

Hence, I’m always busy. So what? Excuse me, we’ll get plenty of time to rest – when we are ‘resting in peace’. This is our time  to ‘work in peace’.

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Why it is best to avoid arguments.


(The best policy in any relationship: husband and wife, friends, boss and subordinate or any other.)


It is a fact that arguments weaken a team. It is best to avoid it.

Come to think of it. It never takes you anywhere, except to get even further apart. I don’t know why, but that is how it goes.

People who are by habit argumentative like:

“But Why???”

“I think it should be done like this….”

“How do you know?”

And so on. Such questions are very ‘normal’ except when they are uttered just to gain time, or to waste it. When a person has no intent of doing something, he goes into argument.

If you watch any one of those popular talk shows on Pakistan’s television networks, there is nothing but argument going on. The belief is; the more arguments there are, the more the ‘rating’ grows. Hence it is egged on even more. The anchor or one of the ‘plants’ will say such a thing that the conversation gets out of proportion ending in hot arguments.

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Being good at Change Management

awc back yard water

Aren’t my blogs turning into text books? I hope not! I have to be careful, I’ve been an educationist for too many years. My blog on transitional phases in life is actually all about change. One’s ability to do it well revolves around the skill in change management. As they say, the only constant thing in life these days is change!

So, how good are you at it?

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A Dozen Ways to Reverse Mentoring

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“You actually take make-up tips from your teenager?” Asked one of my fellow travelers, we were chilling in Ayun, one starry night in Chitral, in 2004.

“Yes.” I said.

“What do they know?” I was asked.

“Well, they do know a lot – considering the fact that they use present day products, a lot better than us.”  I could see they were surprised. Of course, it is not just about make-up but in other matters too.

Later, when I was studying for my EMBA in 2006, there was a small paragraph in one of the books about ‘reverse mentoring’. “Oh, so that’s what it is called?” I thought. Being in the educational field, I’ve learnt a lot from my students. Sometimes directly, and sometimes indirectly when that innocent question in class led me to more findings!

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Mind your mind!


I’m talking to all of us smart phone holders. Our minds have been taken over by forwards, quotes, jokes, pics, and what not. Just like our phone starts ‘crashing’ due to so much useless stuff being stuffed into it – our minds do too! Then there are Whats App groups with their barrage of forwards. I agree some are rather nice. But ninety percent are useless and pointless! Groups have been made where no one says anything, except help crash your phone with forwards.


Combine this with our over populated country, with people barging into your space to tell you this that or the other. As some would say “dimagh ki lassi ban jati hai!” (one’s brain is turned into churned buttermilk….)

So, naturally, when you picked the phone to make a call, you end up never making it, because you got diverted.

It happens with me all the time.

So, it is vital to find ways to keep our minds in focus. Use the same phones’ ‘notes’ or ‘calendar’ to jot down all that you need to do for the day. Yes, the ‘to do’ list is more important now than ever before.

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Helping others ….. and the gender issue

While driving home in driving rain.

Just love driving in the rain…. I am going back home after teaching art to twin girls. It is so much fun. While I was busy with the painting work, this morning, my mother sent me a text that we are having my cousin and his family over for lunch. I quickly spoke to my domestic help who assured me he would be able to  manage a proper lunch within a couple of hours. As the class ended, around 12 pm,  I headed home, deciding to forgo the other chores I’d planned to do. So, I can have time with my sweet guests. By now it was raining heavily. This rain is so typical of the flash rains that Islamabad is used to.

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What do you do?

“So, what do you do?” A stranger asked me, at a charity dinner of a mesmerizing classical dance performance of Sheema Kirmani.  I sat down, at a vacant chair, next to his wife and her sister. They were visiting from UK, or was it Canada? Well, somewhere abroad.

I was distracted, looking around for the familiar face of my friend the famous cartoonist Nigar Nazar. We had planned to meet at PNCA at the National Art Gallery, in Islamabad, where the charity dinner and dance show was taking place. But we lost each other in the huge crowd. So, I tagged along with this friendly group.

“Nothing, much…” I replied.

The ensuing conversation with total strangers at the table, resulted in them finding out how much my ‘nothing’ entails…

Studying for my MBA degree in HRM (with hardly any time or money, to study), constructing my house, (with no funds), appearing at courts for the cases (I have put against my outlaws, and facing the cases, they put up against me,) the traumatic loss  of my losing my husband through cancer, living alone in a city of Pakistan with my daughter,  taking care of my elderly parents, and looking after my cocker spanial dog and Persian cat too! Oh, and the book which I got published in USA called ‘My Life, My Stories’, its based on my printed articles during last twenty years….

May I also add … making a success out of all! No, I didn’t mention any of these.

Why should I? We were enjoying each other’s company. And it was nice to talk to people living all their lives abroad.

In spite of all that I’ve suffered here, I love living in Pakistan. After all, suffering is a ‘life thing’… people suffer at different times in their lives. And so did I. Thanks to Allah, I had the right friends, mentors, people, strangers and unknown factors that helped whisk me out of most of my dangerous situations.

I often wonder, if I’d have done it all without my childhood love for adventure.

But one thing I know for sure. It was Allah, who brought so much love and support for me, so I could take it all, and ride over it. And here I am, ready to write about it….

I guess, you can say, that the bad things were there due to living in a country with such a pathetic legal system, which gives strength to the bad guys. But in this same country, due to all this, the good guys help you even more, because they know, you have no one to help you. So, they go the extra mile to help you! While being complicated, it’s very simple too. It’s because of all this evilness that the goodness comes out in people around you.

Does that make sense?