“You should write a blog on tenants!” my friend Nigar Nazar said, “Everyone has problems with them, and you are having such a good time.. You MUST write about it.” Ok, Nigar, I’m writing ……

Actually, I had told her how sad I was when my tenants were leaving, and how sad they were. It was the same when I mentioned my good terms with tenants to my property dealers. One of them said, “This is the first time I’ve heard this.”

Let’s see the principles and values behind business: Our Holy Prophet Muhammad was a businessman and very successful at it. It was because he was honest and kept the well-being of the buyer at heart always. Peter Drucker the great Management Guru has always said that “business is a service, first.”

The next principle is of ‘nip the evil in the bud’ devised by Shireen Gheba, which means to avoid a bigger ‘evil’ deal with the smaller one on time. When one of my tenants did not repair the kitchen tap costing Rs.1500, I ended up having to repair consequential damages worth Rs.10,000 instead! So, a small repair of  Rs.1500  would have been more than welcome.

Continue reading “Tenants!”


Mount Everest in my Home.

Collection of items to be looked into ‘later’….

“Oh my God!” whatever I do, there is this pile of papers that need to be seen in my ‘minimalistic’ room, spoiling the whole impact. I hate it!

It is like a Mount Everest for me.

Mount Everest has become a symbol of surmounting an impossible task. Anyone who has climbed it, must be extraordinary.

Well, in my humble home, there is a ‘Mount Everest’ developing on different points. I wonder if you have them sprouting out in your home too?

Let me define my ‘Mount Everest’…. It is made up all those pieces of papers that one places on a table … ‘I’ll deal with it later.’

“Right now, I have to dash, I’ll deal with it tomorrow.” I think.

Then another piece of paper lands on top of this one, (this time it was the bill.) On top of that is the letter, which is a very important one – the one I was waiting for. I’ve got to read it properly. Then the receipts for the shopping I did, I want to write down in my ‘accounting ‘ note book.

Yes, by now, my ‘mountain’  is at least ten inches tall and counting …. Now, it is beginning to tilt. So, I try to change its material to stabilize it.

In the kitchen, there are cupboards or a part of the top of the counters, which my staff uses to put the stuff they don’t use normally. That too keeps getting  filled up. “I’ll deal with it next week!” I think.

Like “tomorrow”, “next week” doesn’t come either!

Outside in the garden, the gardener has a pile on the side of my house, with the empty flowerpots, and collection of things which one hasn’t the heart to throw. Yet, its time has gone. On the other side, where the clothes are put out for drying, I’ll find all sorts of things lying near by.

Today, I have to deal with my ‘mount Everest’ – so I write an article on it.-  Instead of dealing with it. I’ll do anything, than to have to deal with all that stuff, which will take hours, because I just can’t seem to throw away stuff!

A PIECE OF WORK EXPANDS TO THE TIME ALLOTTED TO IT. I’ve decided to allot ten minutes to it today.

How is it with you? My dear Reader? Does this make sense to you? Or is it just me?

Well, I was reading about it once. The trick lies in ‘nipping the evil in the bud’.  So, deal with papers as they come. Here are a few points I’m refreshing in my mind:

  1. The pamphlets of ads should be glanced through right then, and ‘kept or torn and thrown right then.
  2. Have a file, or basket in your room in one corner for things to be dealt with later. Put that basket nearby while watching a movie or drama in the evening. Check these out during the ads.
  3. ‘A place for everything and everything  in its place.’ –  The ‘place’ needs to be easy to reach too.
  4. Have a time slot in the week to deal with ‘miscellaneous stuff’ and ‘minor things’ when you deal with all such things which cannot be done otherwise. How does Thursday sound?
  5. Make methods and systems easier to deal with.
  6. Have a time limit: put on three songs during which you have to complete this task.

Ok, let’s get started RIGHT NOW!

Best of luck!!! –Ten minutes should be enough!


Stay blessed 🙂









Facing car maintenance problems!

Daniyal’s workshop: GT Garage in E-11 Northern Strip, Islamabad.


I had opted to drop my friend Zeni, we were on 9th Ave, on our way to F-11 and E-11. She was admiring my car, and I proudly told her, it has driven over 250,000 km. She couldn’t believe it. I told her, that 1,50,000 km was driven by myself. The moment I finished bragging, the car slowed down, and I managed to pull it to the side.

Yes. It stopped.

Nothing was working. I had the jump start lead. I wondered whether to ask someone. But I could see that battery was fine. The windows were going up and down. The dashboard lights were fine.


Zeni called her son Zain, who said he’ll just come bringing his mechanic. I called Daniyal of GT Garage, who looks after my daughters and my cars. He said “I’m in Rawalpindi now, but I’ll send my chaps.” When I explained what had happened, he diagnosed on the phone, that there was some problem with the petrol reaching the engine. So, he said “I’ll ask my men to bring the pipes needed. I’ll send you the number, just explain to them where you are.”

The man couldn’t understand our lingo on the mobile phone. For the first time I realized how difficult it is to communicate with an uneducated person who speaks a colloquial language. When I told him, we are near the f-9 park, (he didn’t get it – in their lifestyle, you don’t’ go to parks!) When I told him ‘near air force colony’, he said “airport? Ok I’m coming!” When I said “9th Avenue” he said “ok,” but later told me he is at the Metro station, and he can’t see me! Oh my God. (Later, Daniyal told me that 9th Ave. to them means ‘Peshawar Mor’ which used to be a large stop for buses and wagons.) No wonder Daniyal was planning to leave the country! How can you communicate with such workers? Then when they finally arrived, with a bearded police man following after them to help also, I looked at that scroungy looking young lad, and thought, “oh God, he is going to work on my sophisticated Toyota Altis?” But I had to trust Daniyals’ judgment.

The two men found out immediately, that Daniyals’ diagnosis was right. The petrol wasn’t reaching the engine. Immediately the men removed the back seat, and looked at the ‘pump’ there. Soon one of them was sent off to get a new pump.

Zain had arrived with his friend. Zeni said “why don’t you come along with me? Zain will settle everything.” I declined. I asked her to go, as she was to drive her husband to the airport in a while. “I would rather stay here.” I insisted. Zain and I waited in the heat, and chatted about his ACCA completion and prospects in CA and future projects. He explained to me the app he and his friends are trying to complete these days for people to be able to reach the right doc at the right time. That would be cool. He said it is almost done. Now, except for a few hitches. (And I thought, the same app could work for universities, schools, and now even workshops!)

The men were working diligently. Soon, Daniyal arrived on a Corolla, with his friends. “Why don’t you get dropped at home, I’ll take care of the car from here onwards.” He said. I nodded. He is our main rescuer. Whenever, my daughters, or my car has a problem, he has done the needful. I trusted him. So I agreed.

Zain and I happily sat in the air conditioned car, and left Daniyal to sort out the problem with his two helpers. It was 38 degrees Centigrade and not pleasant at all.

We were dropped at our homes, and Omair the new ‘partner’ with Daniyal informed me that Daniyal is planning to go to Dubai for some higher qualification. He already has a degree in Automobiles.

Later, while resting at home, I remembered the Chinese food I had forgotten in the boot of my car. I called Daniyal. “I’ll get it dropped at your place!” was his response. I said, “it is ok, I’d be happy if you have it.”  He then confessed that he hadn’t had his lunch today either! I felt so guilty. It was past six pm by then.

“Mum, here are the car keys.” Waliya came to give them to me. It was 11.30 pm. He had dropped the car at my home!

God bless men like Daniyal who are there to help us. Friends like Zeni and her son Zain, each giving me company, comfort and every possible help.

Daniyal came over for a while, he told me his garage opened in May 2014. It started with Ali as a partner, however, the partners kept changing. He has a degree in Automotive engineering from International Islamic University. The batch of fifteen students had good professors: Dr. Abdul Qadeer, Professor Zaidi, and Ali Khanzada. Most of them went abroad, working in other fields. Daniyal and his friend Ali were the only ones who pursued this field.

Recently he has got a job offer from Audi, in Dubai. He’ll be going there, and his partner Omair will be helping him run the garage in his absence. Omair is a specialist in sports cars, so he will be handling them. Another person Zahid is in charge of our every day issues in our cars. So, there is a game plan and qualified men to handle them. Danyal will also be in the picture –literally –  through skype. Daniyal’s gaining knowledge in latest technology and cars should be of help here too. So far, they have handled issues in BMW, Pejeros, Toyotas, Audi and other cars.

Daniyal faced many hurdles in his two years of running this garage. In Pakistan, things are extra difficult. Right now, he is choosing to go for greener pastures (!) in Dubai. However, he hasn’t cut his ties with his green pastures at home either.

I felt happy that I saw his garage one day, as I was looking for a spot to paint near my favourite Margalla hills.

This is one glimpse of my life, my dear readers. This is the life in Pakistan that I have, which I wouldn’t give up for the world.

Stay blessed, my dear reader – Just as I am – Alhamdolillah!

PS: Link for the garage on Facebook: