Ramazan Essentials


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3rd boxWith Ramazan around the corner, this is the time to stock up with a plentiful supply of Ramazan essentials before the price hikes start.

No iftari is ever quite complete without chutneys, lemon wedges and green chillies, while curries do not have the necessary zing unless ginger and garlic are added to them. Vendors have the public over a barrel when it comes to maintaining steady supplies of these essentials throughout Ramazan and charge exorbitant prices regardless of their quality. Therefore, buying these ingredients beforehand makes sense.

Making a ginger-garlic paste with a food processor is easy as it stores well in glass jars in the fridge, or it can be put into plastic bags and frozen for up to six months. You can also wrap fresh ginger root in a damp cloth and refrigerate; this will keep it fresh for almost six weeks (matchstick-sized slivers of ginger freeze well). Healthy garlic bulbs on the other hand, need a cool, dry and airy storage area; otherwise, they will go bad in a few days. Continue reading


Recruitment In The Air



CareersIt’s recruitment season all over again for graduating students as well as interns. As a diligent hopeful, have you prepared your résumé and gone around asking for hints on how to ‘ace the interview’ and distinguish yourself from hundreds of other candidates you are up against?

Here are a few observations that will be of use:

1. Time is of the essence. Interviewers have very tight schedules and have probably heard every variety of introduction. You are not there to solve world hunger nor make a million rupees for the company. All you can do is put your best foot forward in a restrained yet confident manner.

2. Get the introduction right. Stating what is on your resume is not very clever. Focus on something interesting about yourself that is not reflected in the document which would get the conversation going. Saying that you are hardworking (everybody is), innovative (what have you invented?) or a good team player are clichés everybody uses. Develop your skills to deliver what is called an ‘Elevator Speech’, in which you have just a minute or so to introduce yourself or an idea to someone really important and state your USP.

3. Highlight how you can add value. Do your homework on the company’s products, competition and the overall industry. This will enable you to articulate exactly what improvements or innovations you can bring about, both in the short- as well as the long-term.

Remember, just as you are looking for the best employer, recruiters are doing the same. There will be hits and misses and I know of very few careers that started off with a single job interview followed by immediate selection, so be prepared for rejection, but don’t let it demotivate you. Take heart from the fact that you have been invited for an interview from a large pool of applicants; now it’s all about how well you can ‘sell yourself’.

– Leon Menezes
The writer is a professor-of-practice at the IBA Karachi, a senior HR practitioner and an executive coach.

Dame Zaha Hadid Wins The RIBA Gold Medal


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International Women’s Day (March 8) is a good time to acknowledge the achievements of notable women from around the world. One such woman is renowned architect Dame Zaha Hadid, who became the first woman to be awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Gold Medal, the UK’s highest honour for architects last month. Although two other women – Ray Kaiser Eames and Patricia Hopkins – have been previously honoured, they were presented the medal in tandem with their husbands. Continue reading

A Testament To Diversity


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Mama Parsi Girls High School

A small stretch of M.A. Jinnah Road, extending between Yakub Khan Road and Preedy Street, is definitely worth exploring. It is home to several landmarks that epitomise Karachi’s rich cultural diversity – all the more relevant given that Nauroze (Parsi New Year) will be celebrated tomorrow, and three days later, on March 23, Pakistan Day and Holi.


The shrine of Baba Alam Shah Bukhari

Diverse landmarks… This strip is home to several striking landmarks that will surely catch your eye. These include Mama Parsi Girls High School, named after a Parsi philanthropist, Seth Khan Bahadur Ardeshir H. Mama, and established by Jamshed Nusserwanji Mehta, a friend of Mr Jinnah and the first mayor of Karachi. Nearby are two Hindu temples (Ramchandra and Shri Swaminarayan Mandir), the shrine of Baba Alam Shah Bukhari, a revered Sufi saint, as well as an Eid Gah and imambargah.


The Ramchandra Temple

Hunt for bargains… If you stop at Gul Plaza, you will find kitchenware, homeware, furniture and toys at wholesale prices. Jama Cloth Centre and Mehboob Cloth Market is where you can source a wide variety of ready-to-wear clothing and fabric; these old-fashioned bazaars, despite the prevailing mall culture, remain the go-to places for many people looking for quality clothing at affordable prices.

The best Pakistani food… In between shopping – and sightseeing – indulge at two of Karachi’s legendary eateries: Al-Hajj Bundoo Khan and Sabri Nihari. For a quick snack, stop at Dilpasand Sweets, or one of the many roadside cafés there.

The real estate take… Commercial property options include standalone shops as well as retail and office space, and are in high demand. The area is completely built-up and vacant plots are not available. Property prices and rentals increase annually by an estimated seven and 10% respectively.

In a nutshell… With historic landmarks that stand as a testament to Karachi’s rich cultural heritage, not to mention some of the city’s best shopping and dining avenues, a trip to this part of M.A. Jinnah Road is an absolute must. n

– Sadia Kamran

Photos: Tahir Jamal/White Star

Festive Flowers For Holi And Nauroze


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Adbuzz 3rd 4colCelebrating the arrival of spring, a time of joy and new beginnings, has since time immemorial centred on the sharing of seasonal flowers. They are used as gifts for near and dear ones, worn in the form of hair accessories, garlands and bracelets and used to ornament homes and places of worship.

Many spring festivals, religious or otherwise, are usually floriferous in some shape and form. These include Nauroze, which marks the Persian New Year (March 21), as does the Hindu festival of Holi, which will coincidentally be celebrated on Pakistan Day this year (March 23), a special day for all Pakistanis, irrespective of their religion. Continue reading

Yellow Flowers For International Women’s Day


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3rd boxWhether quietly or to global acclaim, the women of Pakistan are walking their talk towards equality (a recent example is Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s second Oscar for Pakistan last Sunday) and as they are doing so in a style so fine, bouquets of recognition are in order on this year’s International Women’s Day (March 8); this year’s theme is ‘Pledge For Parity’.

Yellow flowers symbolise International Women’s Day in countries all around the world with the fragrant mimosa being the Italian favourite. The global tradition is to present bouquets of these glorious flowers to the women in your life, and should be definitely practised in Pakistan. Continue reading

Women As Leaders


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Careers.jpgAccording to Alexia Parks, author of Hardwired: The 10 Major Traits of Women Hardwired By Evolution That Can Save The World, “Women are hardwired by evolution with the traits of being a great leader; they are naturally compassionate and have a more collaborative, mentor-oriented approach to leadership.”

The leadership traits that enable women to influence positive outcomes with maximum impact in the workplace include:

1. Women are optimistic. When confronted with less than ideal situations, women have a propensity to look for opportunities for improvement and growth, both personally and for the organisation. This ability to look at the glass as half-full rather than half-empty enables them to manage crises effectively and at the same time bring in operational and policy changes that add value to the business. Continue reading

Fall In Love With Your Job


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In his book So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Cal Newport has identified certain work practices you can employ to ensure that you stay motivated at your job and ignite a passion for it, even if it isn’t your dream career.

  • Invest time in your vocation. Although talent is essential when it comes to succeeding in certain professions (no one can hit a one-handed backhand like Roger Federer no matter how much they try), working consistently at one place and working towards excelling at whatever it is that you do will eventually result in your being extraordinary at it.

Continue reading

Celebrating Valentine’s Day


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Trendy restaurants

If you are thinking about celebrating Valentine’s Day and live in Karachi, consider heading to Phase VI, DHA.

See and be seen… Phase VI is home to several well-known commercial hotspots, including Bukhari, Rahat, Seher and Shahbaz commercial areas, where many of Karachi’s trendy restaurants, coffee shops and chai dhaabas are located. There are also plenty of spas where you can indulge yourself, not to mention gift shops, book and home stores, as well as bakeries and florists where you can find the perfect present for your Valentine.

Relax and unwind… If you are a nature lover or looking for a quiet, relaxing evening under the stars, Hilal Park is the place to go. Possibly one of Karachi’s best landscaped Parks, it stretches over a hillock and boasts of manicured gardens, walking tracks, a play-area and an abundance of greenery, making it a perfect spot for relaxation or a picnic. Continue reading

Valentine Strawberries


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3rdIsn’t it rather perfect that Valentine’s Day coincides with the strawberry season in Pakistan? This wonderful, juicy, heart-shaped fruit goes with every kind of dessert and has a special affinity with chocolate. Whether you are planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your spouse, your friends or your kids, here are some great strawberry based desserts to whip up.

  • Chocolate covered strawberries. This is the easiest way to make a great dessert. Melt chocolate and half dip whole strawberries in it. Leave to set in the fridge and you are done. For a pretty twist, you can coat silicone cupcake moulds with melted chocolate and set them in the fridge. Once hardened, carefully peel away the mould and fill the chocolate cup with cut strawberries. Simple and delicious!
  • Strawberry compote. Yet another easy way to transform those beautiful strawberries from great to awesome. Hull and slice about two cups of berries and then mix in two tablespoons each of sugar and lemon juice. Cover and leave for about an hour until the strawberries are soft and flavourful and then serve with vanilla ice-cream.

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