What I learned from ” The Five People You Meet In Heaven “

Five people you will meet in heaven by Mitch Albom is an engaging story that includes fictional characters , magical realism . life lessons and perspective.  I won’t give away details of the story or summary . You can read it or watch it . Whatever suits you . But here are a few  thought-provoking lessons  that I  would love to share :

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1.In heaven, it becomes clear that the monsters of childhood aren’t the real villains. People who seem powerful are often victims themselves, and roles of victim-perpetrator can be reversed, even without malice. Even the innocent actions of children can have unintended consequences.

2.Sometimes, things aren’t as bad as they seem, as the unknown alternatives would have been worse.

3.Perception of reality is often misleading.

4.Everyone is capable of falling short, and everyone deserves forgiveness. Pain causes people to hurt others.

5.Redemption is not granted by others, but found through sorrow, regret, and attempts to make things right.

6.Memory is not a sad thing, as memory is another kind of continuation of life

7 . All Human lives are interconnected, and there is often a positive meaning even in seemingly random or negative events .

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9 Popular Outdoor Fitness Sports

Karachi in the past couple of years has given birth to an industry related to health and fitness. People have become very conscious about what they eat and how the look. However, staying fit does not denote that you need to spend thousands to keep in shape, rather it means to just do some activity that makes you sweat.
Here are a few outdoor fitness spots in Karachi:
1. AUNTY PARK: Located in Block-2 Clifton, it is one such place that caters to women jogging, doing yoga while men do both along with some exercises.
2. HILL PARK: This place is known for many recreational outdoor activities with beautiful mornings and evenings. People come to walk, jog or just enjoy the beauty of sunsets and sunrises the hill has to offer. Sports like cycling, skating, & cricket are also practiced since Hill Park has different grounds for these respective sports.
3. SEA VIEW: One can always find people practicing all sorts of sports on the streets of sea view. Let it be cycling, running, jogging or walk. People come here from all parts of the city and indulge in whatever sport they fancy.
4. BEACHES: Let it be the French beach or sand spit, yoga on the beaches of Karachi is the new detox and many people love it.
Dhanak Aijaz practices acro-yoga on the beach
Dhanak Aijaz practices acro-yoga on the beach
5. FRERE HALL: The park outside the building is flooded with people from various parts of the city for not just sports but also art classes, yoga or photography. After all, this place is considered as the crown jewels of Karachi for a reason that it caters to everyone for almost everything.
6. THE NATIONAL COACHING CENTER (PAKISTAN SPORTS BOARD) : Located opposite National stadium, this place is famed for all sorts of sports people can practice like cricket, basketball, volleyball and etc. Early morning and late evening the ground is full of people walking, jogging, exercising or just hanging out.
7. SAFARI PARK: This place requires a minimally priced ticket for entry and offers good scenery and walking track that goes up the hill. Mornings and evenings are occupied with people from all walks of life indulging in outdoor activities such as; jogging, walking, sprinting, cycling and other exercises.
8. AKU SPORTS REHABILITATION CENTER: Aga Khan University Hospital has a huge sports ground and a sports center next to it. The ground is used by many people to walk, jog and also hosts various outdoor fitness boot camps for members and non-members as well.
9. THE STREETS: The fear of getting mugged is always high while walking down the streets of Karachi. However there are a few places that are fairly safe for a morning workout. Few famous spots consists of streets phase 8 DHA which well-known marathon runner Adnan Gandhi used for his marathon training. The roads of KDA officers society , a beautiful stretch with a terrific view which people living there and adjoining areas come to walk, jog , cycle or just exercise and this has been happening since the early ‘90s. The stretch from sea view to burns road is the latest cyclists’ haven.
Nouman, Adnan & Usman running on the streets of Karachi
Nouman, Adnan & Usman running on the streets of Karachi
These are a couple of places that are open to all and prove the fact that to stay fit one does not require money but rather the muscles to get going and practice what suits them. Hence, fitness is for everyone and can be done anywhere.
However, if you feel that your mornings are way too busy for a fitness regime and post work you are drained then having a can of Red Bull can help you beat that post work laziness.

Yoga on the beaches of Karachi

Karachi being famous for its seashore, houses many yogis who are taking their practice, occasionally, to the beach which make it way more amazing of an experience than an indoor setting.

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Pakistan is not just food, plain and mountains rather each city has its own charm. While people in Islamabad enjoy hiking on the mountains, Lahore takes pride in its cultural heritage; Karachi stands tall with its Spectacular seashore.
The fitness culture has taken us all in a stride, people no longer feel the need to restrict themselves to an indoor facility to stay fit and do some exercises. Rather now people prefer outdoor fitness regimes to stay fit like hiking, walking, cycling, jogging, exercising, walking or yoga.
People in Karachi use their sea coast for various recreational activities. Some like the beach for family picnics, fishing, boating, snorkeling, and photography while others like to use it as a retreat to connect with their soul and practice yoga.
Kehkashan Nadeem, pioneer of aerial yoga in Karachi says, “I practice yoga everywhere and love it but practicing in nature gives us better outcome, more positive vibes because nature has a quality of de-stressing and healing hence with the universal energy at our disposal, we get the best results.”
Screenshot_2019-02-26 KK on Instagram “What a wonderful experience Aerial at the beach in Pakistan reminds me of Thailand T[...]
She further explains that Yoga is a mindful practice, as when the mind, body, and soul have the same intention it creates integration and stress goes away creating peace in your mind, balancing the hormones and energy of the body leaves you energized, healthy and happy. Yoga overall gives me meaning and purpose to live better amidst the chaos of a busy life.
Kehkashan further added that all styles of yoga can be practiced on the beach. However, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, hot yoga in summer, aerial with some arrangements, acro-yoga, surf boat yoga, breathing (Pranayama) practice and meditation are a few popular ones that people love doing on the beaches.
Practicing yoga on the beach is a great way to connect with the environment and gives fitness a whole new meaning. It aids in curing certain ailments especially mental health.
Screenshot_2019-02-26 KK on Instagram “Sky with no ceiling open arms to welcome all the goodness in life🕊 believe it’s all[...]
Acro-yoga involves taking yoga practice from earth to air, playing with gravity, gaining strength, balance, flexibility by trusting and communicating with other individuals.
Dhanak Aijaz, a certified Acrovinyasa teacher, explains the mechanics of practicing acro-yoga on the beach, “It involves lifting a person above you in the practice hence the presence of sand gives you soft texture, which helps you cushion with the surface and not hurt yourself in case you fall.”
She also describes, “At the beach you have the air, wind, sky and beautiful sun with birds, which is way more relaxing and people generally tend to act lively in that environment. Also, since it is no longer stuffy and claustrophobic hence you get better results.”
She narrates an incident where she went to Bhit Khori, mountainous beach on the outskirts of Karachi, with a group of people to teach acro-yoga, “That experience was exhilarating because many people were trying this form of yoga for the first time and the practice itself helped build a connection and trust that the enabled the group of individuals become comfortable with each other. Where this was supposed to be a retreat it resulted in friendship along with mental detox.”
The serendipity at the beach is supreme and most yogis agree that yoga should only be practiced outdoors, especially at the beach since it has the power to heal and the fact that Karachi has a beach that caters to everyone irrespective of any differences.
In case you feel that you are a big procrastinator when it comes to fitness, then having a can of Red Bull before starting your activity is a good way to fight the lazy blues.

The Sooper Junoon Concert Makes History !

On 25th December 2018, Karachi hosted the most awaited concert of the year featuring Pakistan’s biggest Sufi rock band, Junoon. The event – which was organized by leading biscuit brand, Peek Freans Sooper to celebrate Pakistanis’ passion for their country on the birth anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam as well as to commemorate nearly 30 years of Junoon’s music .  SooperJunoon - Ali Azmat on the stage(1)

The Sooper Junoon concert proved to be the impetus needed to jump-start that trend once again. The event was star studded with celebrities like Hira Hussain , Zohaib Hassan , Wasim Akram and many more gathered to enjoy the melodies of this legendary band .

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With a massive stage set for the Sufi-Rock Kings, the host for the evening, Faizan Haque, kick-started the event with Pakistan’s top DJ, Faisal Baig, whose Classic Rock music set helped build the mood for what was to come later. Following him were four brilliant opening acts, namely Lyari Underground, Khumaariyan, Tamasha and Sounds of Kolachi, every band making its own mark with the audience and leaving them yearning for more.

SooperJunoon - Ali Azmat performing

Junoon began with a tribute to the Father of the Nation before going on to perform iconic hits such as ‘Khudi’, ‘Sayoonee’, ‘Saaien’ and countless others. The band then came full circle with a beautiful tribute to Junaid Jamshed in the form of a heartwarming performance of ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’, thereby filling the atmosphere with great emotion and nostalgia.

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Perhaps the most memorable moment of the concert was when Salman and Ali veered away from the script to sit down on the stairs of the stage and do an impromptu performance of the legendary hit, ‘Wish You Were Here’; their way of paying tribute to global icons, Pink Floyd. From there they entered their classic hit ‘Chalay, Chalay Thhay Saath Saath’. To everyone’s surprise, Ali didn’t sing the last line of the song, a rare display of emotion by the rock star, which pushed many in the audience to tears again. He turned away from the audience and said, “They ask that ‘oooh Ali what does this reunion mean to you…and I go, meh.

SooperJunoon - Hunoon performing on the stage

 

Hoping for more of these events with security in future !

 

Moringa Oil

After quite some time I have started oiling my hair regularly and felt the difference instantly.  My reason for not oiling regularly has always been laziness and the fact that it takes longer to get oil out of my hair. However, this new promising hair oil by  Hair Care called Keshia Roghan-e-Moringa comes with a brush attached on its ends which makes it super easy to distribute oil evenly on hair without getting your hands all oily.

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A little about Moringa itself, the oil comes from seeds of a moringa oleifera tree. It holds some amazing benefits of being antiseptic, antidandruff, anti hair fall, anti-aging, helps moisturize the scalp and make hair stronger.

 So when I saw this oil on the advertisement I already knew I was going to try it at least once to see if it stands different from the rest of hair care stuff that I have been using and guess what it did change my hair texture going from super dry to super soft.

To judge the anti-hair fall effects I will need to give it at least six months however the oil is not that heavy on the pocket and easily available. You can also order it online here. Use code NATASHA20 and get 20% off. Let me know if it worked for you.

Lahorelog

I have visited Lahore when young and have pictures of me that I have always loved. However, this time around the plan was spontaneous and a good break from my extremely hectic life as an Intern at one of the busiest hospitals in Karachi.

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As we landed we had lunch at a relatives place and my mom’s school reunion party followed. After that my tourist gene’s popped up and I planned about the places I wanted to see.


Dressed nicely just so that when I get photographed I don’t hate myself for what I wore. Early morning we embarked upon Noor Jahan’s Tomb which was beautiful with plain gardens and trees that date over a hundred years ago. The walls of the tomb were nicely carved and every block had something interesting to see.

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After this, I landed at the famous Badshahi Masjid, A mosque decorated with red sandstone and marble floor. It can accommodate up to 10 000 people at one time. It has incredible interiors with people praying, photographing it and some tourist agents telling you the story if you ask them to accompany you.

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Right across is the SHAHI QILA which is so wonderful from the outside and as you go inside there are sections of different things to see.

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Starting from the famous ” Sheesh Mahal” ( The Palace of Mirrors).

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The roof of Sheesh Mahal
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Inside Sheesh Mahal

It was constructed by the Mughals in the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan. The walls are lined by intricate mirror work and the gems got stolen off the wall during the partition.
As you go further, there is a museum with historic Mughal pieces.

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Some interesting and beautifully carved places like Akbari gate, Alamgiri Gate, Diwan I Khaas and etc. Takes almost a day to visit the entire castle.
The next day I made my trip to the famous Museum of Lahore, Where my favorite of most thing kept was Mughal dresses.

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Old Lahore has its own nostalgic touch and I made my rush to have Lassi there, the famous Lahori Drink which is served in two glasses since one is not enough. I, however, had two sips and couldn’t gulp the entire thing down my throat. It was too heavy for a Karachite I believe.

Minaar e Pakistan

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Besides visiting the historic places, I would stop by at the various coffee places in Lahore and enjoy the ambiance.

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My favorite was Chai Coffee aur Siyasat some interesting decor and refreshing coffee.
The malls, eateries, and Khussa shopping at Liberty was quite similar to my Karachi feels.

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Grotto Cafe Karachi

Grotto means a small picturesque cave, however, this restaurant looks nothing like a cave and serves food worth trying.

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Located next to Meet the cheese at Phase 6 DHA, where most of the new eateries are opening up recently. This place not only has an interesting interior mixed between European and American style but also an extensive menu that can fulfill your pasta, burger cravings along with seafood, all at the same place.

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I tried their famous appetizer, The Cheese Fondue which serves cream cheese with boiled baby potatoes, marinated chicken bites, and Crotons. These dipped in cheese give a very mouth-watering taste. I loved having cheese with crotons, gave a crisp taste and was very filling.

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If it is just friends going out and looking for something economical and filling at the same time then this is what you need to order.

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Amongst the main course, I tried their Estragon Chicken served with sun-dried tomatoes,  Tarragon sauce, potato gratin, and sauteed vegetables.  It had a nice tangy taste and was also served with cheese on top of it. Tender and yet tasteful.

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The next thing on the menu was their famous Raclette Cheeseburger.

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A little about this famous International cheese is that it is made in Sweden and is famous in France and Germany, for its melting property. Bringing the Raclette Cheese trend in Karachi, this burger is ideal for people who don’t mind going messy with their hands while eating and desire a burger that lives up to its word of being beefy and cheesy at the same time. It contains a thick beef patty shaped in the form of a bowl topped with mushroom, sauces, and Raclette cheese that they serve right in front of you, which not only adds the flavor but also temptation to eat and aroma. All at the same time. I loved it, however, couldn’t finish it despite sharing it with two other.

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Then comes the dessert which was Peanut Butter and Chocolate mousse, delicious and flavorsome. Served with chocolate sauce that they pour right in front of you. Instagram and tasty worthy! A treat for the eyes and taste buds both. You can tell I loved it!

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The drinks were the usual, Pinacolada and Mint lemonade both tasted good nevertheless.

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The staff was courteous and co-operative as I took pictures and asked details pertaining to the food.

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Mint Lemonade

 

If you are a Cheese lover or Burger fan then do give it a shot. I will go again to try more on the menu and have Molten Lava Cake which I want to try.

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The prices are Rs 400-700 for appetizers, the main menu ranges around Rs 800- 1500 and desserts are under Rs 500.