We Take Our BISCUITS VERY Seriously

PEMRA: People can not digest the idea why one needs to dance like that for a biscuit ? This is absurd. What kind of creativity is this ! But dancing otherwise for legit reasons is still acceptable and not frowned upon.

My (imaginary) interview with PEMRA ( Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) amidst the gala biscuit controversy.

Me: So PEMRA has banned Gala biscuit ad. What can be so controversial about a biscuit ad?

PEMRA: Mehwish Hayat, the model was dancing senselessly.

Me: Was the dance really provocative or vulgar in nature?

PEMRA: Hmmm ,in deep thoughts, not really, I would say. Infact, she was decently dressed, though a bit too influenced by Bollywood . There are dozen similar Pakistani ads around the same theme, but then it is 2020, this year people think more.

Me : So what really hit the nerve ? The dance ?

PEMRA: People can not digest the idea why one needs to dance like that for a biscuit ? This is absurd .What kind of creativity is this ! But dancing otherwise for legit reasons is still acceptable and not frowned upon.

Also we are working on a list of products where advertisers can accommodate a dance sequence. We are not so conservative after all.

Me : I see. So dancing should strictly be limited to the nature of product. BOSE music surround, yes but milk whitener, no .

PEMRA: Exactly.

Me: One last question, what are your views on banning skin whitening cremes or showing regressive content on dramas. Most dramas have similar plots based on infidelity of men and weak, traumatised women. There seems to be very little content on strong women who people can look up to.

PEMRA : * Uncomfortable cough* That’s also on the table. It’s on our agenda.

Me : I see PEMRA takes biscuits very seriously.

Nostalgia and the Circe of Life

How many times have you heard your parents say ‘in our times things were so good’ or the ‘good old days! When they reminisced about the simplicity of life and how wholesome and uncomplicated life generally was

How many times have you heard your parents say ‘in our times things were so good’ or the ‘good old days! When they reminisced about the simplicity of life and how wholesome and uncomplicated life generally was. I didn’t understand then, but I can now understand where they were coming from. Penny for a loaf of bread, 100 pennies for a carat of diamond! It seemed exactly as crazy then as it seems now.

Fast forward to our childhood , we still have the wholesomeness of climbing a tree followed by gradual introduction to internet. We rode bikes , played all sort of outdoor games and most of the things our parents did as children. Then our world changed. Internet, Nokia 3610 and rest is history. Yes, we are the generation that watched pictures download pixel by pixel and files download page by page. So a word of advice, do not test our patience. We used to worry about our 30 hour internet package finishing which was supposed to last us all month long.

Then comes the current generation, which can also be labelled as I am bored generation which needs constant simulation and is spoilt for choices. While kids still do enjoy the outdoor things, but more often than not it is a result of mindful parenting and persistence. Keeping them away from the screen is a constant battle similar to how I battle my addiction with desserts. But no matter how many times we complain about the internet, no one can deny how much it has contributed to our quality of life . Each time I have a video chat with my family, I send a prayer of gratitude to those who made this possible. Made the distance seem so less. I still remember the era of TRUNK call and how expensive it was to have even a 3 min conversation. Now my mom puts me on hold if even a remotely interesting thing comes her way. My value of calls have depreciated so much. 🙂

Sometimes I cannot help but wonder how much has changed with each generation. I am almost scared to imagine how different things will be 20 years down the line. But one thing which is constant, is change itself and it is only if we adapt to the changing times especially in terms of mindset, we can really connect with the next generation.

And I Wait for my Shipment to Arrive

We have been living out of suitcases since Aug 2019. Though we have shifted to our own apartment but it is mostly empty

We have been living out of suitcases since Aug 2019. Though we have shifted to our own apartment but it is mostly empty. Meanwhile, we bought some essentials to get by until our shipment arrives, like a mattress , a three seater sofa and cooking utensils. And to be honest, it still feels like home . Which makes you realize the difference in need and want in its true sense.

So as it seems, the shipment will not reach us for another month. Apparently it is quite a tiresome process here . By the time the vessel docks and reaches you , it takes addition 3 weeks easily!! Things move a bit slow around here.

You know the best part of each relocation, at least for me is setting up the house. Filling each nook and corner with your touch and making it your own. This house is so much more spacious than our previous homes and so much brighter, so this time It will be fun to play around. I have moved three houses with the same furniture and in each house, the same stuff has looked totally different. Like seriously . I think the natural light plays a HUGE (Donald Trump style) part here . So when ever you look for your place, just do not see the layout, also check for the natural light, It does make a world of difference .

Important thing which I have learned while moving around is to keep it light. I don’t know where I will be after 5 years and what my house/apartment will be like . Invest in paintings and wall hangings if you may, at least that can go where you go but with the bulky stuff , keep it light. Not saying that you become a Japanese minimalistic but perhaps somewhere in between .

What is the single most important feature in your house ? Do share.

New Year Calls For New Beginnings

So another year goes by in a jiffy . As soon as the schools ended , all the expats  left Lagos for their  winter break. It almost seemed like a crime not to. People catching the same or next day flights as if their houses were fumigated and they would suffocate if they even spend a second longer.  But that is how expat lives are like.  You wait for these breaks to meet your family and  friends or treat yourself to a holiday.

We visited Dubai. For us it was like going home. Or rather a home away from home.  Not too long ago I had bid farewell to this amazing city and now here I am, returning back as a tourist.  As expected Dubai greeted me with a warm perfume filled hug . Looking immaculate as always. I noticed it had become even more attractive while I was away  but I was not sure whether it was all in my head. After all the distance does make the heart grow fonder.

Lets have a moment of silence for all the fresh and beautiful fruits and vegetables I saw in Dubai, the shops bursting with all  kind of things you possibly want to buy and all  the food you ever wish to eat, because I will not be experiencing that anytime soon while I am here in Lagos.  So it is no surprise I come back with an extra chin and an extra roll of fat .

Can you guess what my new resolutions might be ? Yes, lose weight, get fit and healthy. This has been on my list for a DECADE , but yet I copy paste it every single year . You do have to admire my persistence. Also I REALLY REALLY need to use my time productively. Write, learn and focus. Life was much simpler before Netflix and WhatsApp. You hear and read such brave stories of people and their accomplishments against all odds, and here I am , struggling not to binge on Netflix!  How sad is that, right!

So what  are your resolutions this year and what helps you stick to them? Do let me know.