Awkward Moments Only Pakistanis Living in Malaysia Understand

1. When you realize that the word ‘susu’ means milk in Malay and urine in your own language, Urdu.
It comes as a shock when your friend says: “Let’s go and drink susu from the canteen”.

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2. When Malaysians automatically assume that you are either from Karachi or Lahore. Seriously, dude, there are other cities in Pakistan.

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3. The so-called ‘Pakistani biryani’ annoys you.
When instead of getting the royal dish biryani, you are served white rice with disastrous chicken sauce plopped on top.

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4. When the Malaysians automatically assume that you are rich because you have at least one maid at your home in Pakistan.

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5. When you are really excited about the ‘kurma’ you are about to be served at a restaurant and realize that kurma means dates.

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Despite the weird assumptions and misunderstandings, you enjoy your time in the beautiful country. (And continue to miss the edibles of your home country).

 

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India vs Pakistan

Indians are amazing people. Two of my best friends, Shalini and Hari, are Indians and they are helpful, decent, modest, and I love them. Despite political rivalry between Pakistan and India, I have deep respect for the citizens of both countries. However, recently, I had the most annoying conversation with a belligerent and brassy Indian that made my blood boil. He had commented a very nasty thing about Pakistanis. I was unable to find the actual tweet but please read the following conversation.

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What made me upset was not the fact that he was criticizing Pakistan. I think everyone has the right to freedom of speech. What made me upset was that he was implying that all Pakistanis are malicious. Generalizations give rise to hatred against a particular country, race, religion. And it should be avoided at any cost. Being an enthusiastic traveler, I have known people from diverse nations and I have met both ethical and unethical people. And I have long trashed the belief that the people belonging to a certain group are ALL nice or ALL bad. Being nice is not built into a person by his/her country of origin. It is built into him through his own critical thinking.

The world is already divided up. We don’t need more hatred towards anyone. Boundaries of nations are man-made creation. Being born into a certain country doesn’t make us better than the other person. Unity and humanity are what will keep the world together. I am a Pakistani and I proudly say that I love Pakistan and I love India.

Quoting Quran:

“An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. “

And Martin Luther King:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

-Peace out

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Buses in Pakistan-Art on Wheels

Pakistanis are art lovers. They like expressing their views and desires through works of painting. You don’t have to walk towards the art to feast your eyes, the art will come towards you. Ladies and Gentlemen! I introduce you to the bus/truck art of Pakistani buses! Have a look at a typical bus and some of the common symbols found on the buses.

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The buses are extensively utilized, as canvases, by the craftsmen to express their feelings. In some cases, they are words of wisdom and/or homage to a celebrity.

And sometimes, the bumpers are exhibited with interesting quotes or verses, which honestly, keeps us very engaged and entertained throughout the road journey. 😀 Enjoy a portion of the ridiculously  cheesy and meaningless poetry (The translations have been written under the picture).

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My heart is full of love for you
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Heart for Sale. Price=Only One Smile
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No Girlfriend, No Tension
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Keep Distance-Else You will Fall in Love with Me

The beauty does not lie on the outside only. The inside walls, ceilings and the seat covers are decorated meticulously in a similar fashion.

The bus/truck art has been widely appreciated globally. A W-11 tram was run in Australia, and one of the trucks was exhibited in the London Zoo.

And a bus was run in Turkey as a symbol of Pak-Turk friendship.

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The historical art is prevailing in the country for decades and is cherished by the citizens. All thanks to the hardworking artists of Pakistan.

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If your passport is made and you like traveling, visit Pakistan to treat your eyes. Keep yourself tuned for the next post about “Chinchi”, another popular form of transport in Pakistan.

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Happy Pakistan Day

Happy Pakistan Day everyone!!!! 😀

Today, Pakistan celebrates the 77th anniversary of Pakistan Resolution Day, also known as Pakistan Day or Republic Day. The Lahore Resolution was passed on 23rd March 1940 at Minar-e-Pakistan after several efforts made by the Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. It marks the adoption of the first constitution of Pakistan. On this auspicious event, I would like to show you some of the beauty of Pakistan.

Some of the famous monuments of Pakistan.

(top left:Badshahi Mosque, top right: Mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam, bottom-left: Pakistan Monument, bottom right: Minar-e-Pakistan)

The greenery of Northern areas of Pakistan are heaven on Earth and is shown in the pictures below. (Photo credit: Zain Agha)

Wishing everyone a happy Pakistan Day, I would like to say one last thing:
May the enmity and symptoms of hatred cease between different countries. May the world unite over the similarities rather than divide over the differences. May the tolerance and acceptance increase between the nations. Pakistan Zindabad. Pakistan Paindabad.

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I want to be an artist, but I have no talent

I want to be an artist, but I have no talent!

I love playing Pictionary. It has become a family tradition and we play the game wherever we hang out, whenever we hang out (Last time, we ended up playing it for consecutive four hours until 4 am). And every time, we end up laughing crazily because the game is super hilarious! I mean, I literally get tears of laughter, looking at the pathetic drawings of others. And, to be honest, my “artistic drawings” are not artistic at all. They are barely comprehensible.

For those of you who don’t know what Pictionary is, the rules are as follows. Teams of two compete against each other. One person from each team knows what the word is and he/she has to draw the word (and NOT spell it) on the board or paper. The team to guess the word first wins.

Simple, right? Well, it isn’t as easy. As soon as you get to know the word, the image of the word vanishes from your mind! 😀 I had to pause for a few minutes to think about what a frog looks like! 😀 Doubt me? Draw a frog right now and see it for yourself! 😀 😀

Here are the pictures of the drawings we made. I have added the names to the ridiculous pictures to make them identifiable. Have fun! 😀

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Why I Am a Terrible Hiker

I am a terrible hiker! There! I said it! Wow, I feel relieved!

I love hiking, trekking, and camping, and I do it regularly so I have a pretty good stamina. But God, you would not want to go with me! I am a terrible hiker!

Last year, in Malaysia, I organized an event called Noche de Campo, which is Spanish for Camp Night. (Spanish speakers, pardon me! My Spanish friends named the event and I thought it sounded “classy and funky” so I agreed to it). 😀 We camped near a lake, gathered wood stock and had this huge bonfire. We sang, danced around it. It was fun. I helped in cooking and setting up camps. I also assisted in equipment replacement.

You want to hear why am I a terrible hiker? Wait for it…

So at each and every task, someone would always do something that ONLY I would find funny. Not funny, no no. Hilarious! And I mean super hilarious! I would get a fit of laughter and I would spend the next ten minutes laughing my lungs out while everybody watched me with blankly! I am pretty sure some of the hikers laughed with me at first (“with me”, “at me” who knows) but after a few minutes, they would be like “She is crazy” 😀

So there you go! Unless you find unnoticeable things unnecessarily funny, DO NOT hike/camp with me!

Notice the above pictures. I am laughing in all of them 😀

The Day I Saved A Person From Dying

I have an awesome announcement to make! I donated my blood!!!!!!!!! 😀 😀

It may sound ordinary to some people but it was an amazing milestone for me! 🙂 For years, I have been wanting to donate blood and help people in need. And this time I got the perfect opportunity at HOPES Health Expo 2017. 🙂 (The blood bag with the orange label in the above picture).

HOPES Health Expo was organized by HOPES (Help of Patients in Exigency by Students) students of Karachi Medical & Dental College (KMDC) at Expo Centre, Karachi. Collaborating with other medical universities of Karachi, the event was a huge success!

Thousands of people turned up for the event where free medical tests were being run. The tests included:

  • Blood test
  • Thalassemia
  • Hepatitis test
  • Calcium test
  • ENT (Ear Nose Throat)
  • Dental checkups
  • BMI (Body-Mass-Index)
  • Diabetes test
  • Eyesight test
  • Dermatologist
  • Breast Cancer
  • Obesity check

The top-left picture shows me enjoying the yellowish, honey-mint drink. (But, to be honest, it tasted like mouthwash 😀 ) Contrary to my expectation, I didn’t get symptoms of dizziness after the loss of blood. So it was a win-win situation. 🙂

Despite the presence of thousands of people, the event was well-organized. Thanks to Pakistan Welfare Association (PWA) and Karachi Medical & Dental College for organizing HOPES Health Expo 2017

I want to encourage everyone to visit the nearest blood bank/hospital and donate your blood. Your contribution may save someone and extend their lives.

Visit their page to know more about them:
H.O.P.E.S.

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Hanging Out With Giraffes and Snake

I love animals. Animals are the epitome of loyalty, friendship, and hard work. Last year, I volunteered at the Zoo Negara, Malaysia (National Zoo of Malaysia), Kuala Lumpur, and I had the most amazing times of my life!!!

I and my friend, Koo (Malaysian) were assigned the duty to clean the giraffes’ enclosure and feed them. I was thrilled. Giraffes are adorable and cuddly. ^_^ When I reached the confinement, I found the Mama giraffe and Baby giraffe strolling. And oh my God! the baby was super cute, I wanted to hug it and sit with it forever! 😀

The giraffes were taken outside by the zookeeper, and we began cleaning the cage with rakes. After that, we tied the acacia leaves with ropes, and using pulleys, pulled the leaves near the ceiling. The giraffes were then called in to have their lunch. At that moment, there was one thing that shocked me: the giraffes have reaaaaaally long tongues!!!! I googled later and found out that the tongues can reach up to 18 to 20 inches long!!!

Later, we were assigned to pick up feces of animals using spades. (Please ignore the fact that I look sweaty and messy in the pictures 😀 )

By that time, we started getting symptoms of hunger too. Thus, we decided to go for lunch. Unfortunately, it rained profusely for about an hour so we had to flee to get the shelter. That is the reason we look slightly wet in the pictures. 😀

I even took a picture with a cute live snake!!! Its skin had a rough texture… scaly, smooth, shiny… The almost-5-kg-creature glided along my neck comfortably. 🙂

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Finally, we shared a chat with the zookeepers, where they told stories of their experiences. We also got to ride on their tractor. 😀

It was a memorable time of my life. I hope to get more opportunities like these in the future. 🙂 Grab your passport and volunteer at the amazing zoo. Feel free to visit the website of Zoo Negara to volunteer at their events:

Zoo Negara-Be a Volunteer

That Evil Ice Cream

Karachi is a place where you can eat heaps of food for the cheapest amount of money. It is heaven on Earth for foodies like me!!! 😀

Yesterday, I went to the food street of Hussainabad Town and man! I had an amazing time!!! 😀 I started off with a giant, monster ice cream from Karachi Ice Cream. It cost $0.29 each!!! (Yes! You have read that right! :D)

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It was made into a cute shape of a flower, with spikes of ice cream around the primary spike. You could request for several flavours to be put on the cone. I chose chocolate, strawberry, vanilla  and pineapple. (They had roasted almonds, blueberry, kulfi, bounty, etc.) Honestly, it was so colossal, it took me a good 30 minutes to finish it off. My mother couldn’t eat it completely so she had to pass it to my father! Haha

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After gobbling a whole ice cream, I had no space in my tummy to eat anything else. So I and my family strolled around the territory, enjoying the beautiful streets, decorated with lights.

After a 20 minutes’ walk, however, the lists of things that I ate started expanding. 😀 I ate Aloo Channa Chaat, Tilli, French Fries and Matta Pulao!!! (Overall cost, including 4 ice creams: $ 3.25)!!! And every last bit of it tasted amaaaaaazing!!! My mouth is watering by just thinking about it!!! 😀

I had a great time enjoying the scrumptious Pakistani cuisine! 🙂 I would flee to the food street next time I get the chance! 🙂 I would totally recommend everyone to try Pakistani food! 🙂

When a Muslim visits a Hindu temple

If you have clicked on the post thinking that you are about to read an account of an act of terrorism, then I assure you that you will be disappointed. This is a peaceful post, written with love.

Recently, I got the chance to visit Batu Caves, Malaysia during the Hindu pilgrimage of Thaipusam. My sister, Fareha Nizam and friends, Shalini and Hariwindran accompanied me to the mystical place. And I must tell you that I had a fabulous time in witnessing the event. I got to learn plenty about Hinduism.

Batu Caves is a temple built in a cave. It is named after the Batu River, which streams past the hill and is said to be around 400 million years old. Some of the cave entrances were utilized as shelters by the indigenous Temuan people (a tribe of Orang Asli). The biggest, referred to as Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, has a very high ceiling and features ornate Hindu shrines. To reach it, visitors must climb a steep flight of 272 steps. And it was heck of a job to climb the staircase!!! I had to take a few breaks to either rest or fend away the monkeys trying to steal our food. 😀

I had great fun in looking at the rituals and befriending the worshipers. The cave was lighted warmly and was sufficiently vast to accommodate the crowd. Hindus carried pots of milk on their heads to the cave to serve to the Gods. Some Hindus carried statues of their Gods on stands that were tied to their waists. The stands seemed quite heavy but the devotees showed dedication. People had set up stalls to distribute food and drinks, and also to sell shirts and other goods. I got to taste cuisines of several counties for FREE!!! 😀

Why exactly have I written this post?
Well, I have written this post is to encourage people to stop tagging extremists to a particular religion. Terrorists have created images of religions, a banner, under which they perform their evil deeds. I say terrorists have no religion because no religion promotes unrest and inhumanity. The terrorists are not Christian, not Muslims, not Hindus, not Buddhists… Terrorists are terrorists.

It is important that we respect each other’s religions. Instead of defending our’s through force and terrorism, we should create an example of humility, generosity and love. If a religion requires its followers to create fear and chaos in the world, then maybe it is not worth it.

Media and politics have contributed its fair share in spreading biased information about religions. They have assisted in creating a rift between the religions rather than bridging the gap. Centuries of differentiation has caused the followers of the religions to be reluctant towards learning the other religions and has caused fear and phobia. Therefore, I want to request everybody to be open-minded about the diversity of religions and not believe everything media informs you about. May peace prevail in this world. 🙂

The Treasure Box in the Storeroom

The new year is coming up and today, my mother decided that it was a “lovely” time to clean the storeroom. Grumpily, I dragged myself to the room to look at the enormous heap of boxes shrouded in dust. “Incredible! What a way to spend my weekend!” But my grumpy mood soon improved and I became glad that I decided to assist Mummy because searching through the trash, I discovered Mummy’s treasure box!!!

Mummy revealed that when my Naanaa (Grandfather) returned from different countries, he used to bring coins and currency notes, and as a young kid, she used to gather them. (Naanaa worked on marine ships). Look at the beautiful panoply of coins!!!

Some coins predate the separation of the subcontinent India (before Pakistan became independent) and some belong to the era of Emperor King George VI. There is a coin from the United States of America that was issued in 1918! And a 1/2 Pice Rupee that was made public in 1913! There is also a coin that was released in 1861!

The coins are from several different parts of the world: Iran, United States of America, Pakistan, India, Korea, China, Vietnam, Qatar, Japan, France, Tanzania, Philipines, United Arab Emirates etc. There are coins that have holes in the middle and I have not been able to figure out the handwriting. Feel free to identify the antiquated coins of the country  you abide in.

Mummy has said that there is another box of coins somewhere in the storeroom. So much history was abiding under my roof all these years and I had no clue about it. The valuable find has motivated me to dig into the boxes in the storeroom and admire my mother’s hobby, but honestly, my mother is not entirely happy that I have been taking pictures for the past half an hour instead of tidying the room! 😀 Got to go! Hoping to keep you updated. 🙂

 

The Day I Stayed with 20 HIV/Aids Patients

I love volunteering. I love seeking out new opportunities to help people. So when my sister, Fareha Nizam (from Pakistan) and friends, Azrina (from Fiji) and Jannah (from Malaysia) told me about the event they are organizing, I was thrilled.

I, along with the team headed by Ms. Rekha, set out to reach HIV/Aids Council. After an hour drive, we reached the destination with extraordinary enthusiasm and to be honest with you, I HAD ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING TIMES OF MY LIFE over there!!!

The manager gave us a brief review of the place and the patients. There were around twenty individuals suffering from HIV/Aids. Most of them were young children. At first, they were hesitant and shy, but that did not stop them from welcoming us warmly. Gradually, with huge grins on their faces, they started mingling. I made several new friends. A girl named Azana developed such a special bonding with me that she declined to eat until I spoon-fed her. Just look at her cuteness!

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Later, we played drawing games and gifted them stationary boxes and coloring books. I was able to relax and enjoy with twenty great people who were more energetic, more positive, more lively than me. And spending a day there made me realize three things:

  1. We need to let go of negativity affecting our lives
    Because they slowly consume us and leave us pessimistic, and unmotivated.
  2. We should not let our failures get to us
    DO NOT GIVE UP! Do not regret. Life is a roller coaster.
    Reconstruct your life and move on.
  3. HIV/Aids patients require love and care
    Eating/drinking/playing with such patients does not transfer the disease.
    It is highly important that such patients are not left alone.

Mission: Make the patients’ day happier

Outcome: The patients made my day happier