A few weeks ago Salma wrote a post about upcoming movies for The South Asian Buzz, and while doing some research she found a book suggestion for me – Karachi You Are Killing Me by Saba Imtiaz. The book was being adapted into a movie called Noor, featuring one of my current fav actresses Sonakshi Sinha. I was instantly interested. I’ve never read a desi novel, and then seen the movie, so I was excited!! (I’m a super geek and easily excitable).

noor movie review, noor, karachi you are killing me

KARACHI YOU ARE KILLING ME – THE BOOK

I tried to find the novel at local bookstores or libraries, but it was not available so I ended up ordering an e-copy for my Kindle. Reading on my Kindle is my least favourite way to consume books, but it comes in handy for times like this. The book started off kind of interesting. The heroine is this bad-ass, no-holds barred kind of girl. She’s a 20 year old journalist trying to prove herself in the media world of Karachi. I really wanted to like her, but I couldn’t. Maybe it was the smoking, drinking, and drugs (none of these things signal cool and independent to me), but I never really believed in her capabilities as a journalist.

The book itself was a little young for me too. It was like The Shopaholic meets Nancy Drew, but set in this gritty, corrupt backdrop of Karachi, very confusing. In fact, I thought maybe I just didn’t get Karachi so I reached out to my friend Sarah who grew up in the city. I had to ask – was this really what Karachi was like, all sex, drugs, and chain smokers? Sarah’s take on the book was it represents about 2% of the population who has the money to live this lifestyle. Apparently the lifestyle does exist there, but the average Joe will never come across it. This got me even more confused, because the main character in the book is from a middle class family and cribbing about finding 200 rupees for a rickshaw – how did she become a wine drinking, party goer on that budget, and those sensibilities?

In short, the book was not for me, however, if you are from the city or grew up in Pakistan, there maybe some nostalgia and nuances I couldn’t connect with.

NOOR – THE MOVIE

Guys, this is the first time I’ve ever said this in my life; the movie was better than the book! Where I couldn’t connect with Ayesha at all, I instantly felt Noor’s struggle to be something, achieve more in life (kudos to Sonakshi’s acting, and the dialogues for this).

Where the book fell short in building up the characters around Ayesha, the movie gave Noor a strong willed boss, a silent but supportive father, and damn hot and intriguing boyfriend (versus some random white guy thrown into the mix). The movie also took out a lot of the unnecessary filler copy that the first half of the book was peppered with (weird fashion shows, religious protests, baby lion cubs etc).

If you are going to see the movie, I will give you this caveat, it’s still a “girl movie”. It’s very endearing, funny, and has a strong message – Sonakshi killed it in her Mumbai You Are Killing Me Speech, but it is a chick flick. Grab a group of girlfriends, head to the theatre and support girl bosses like Sonakshi and Saba Imtiaz for bringing these types of movies to the masses!

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So I kind of took an unplanned blog break for 6 weeks. Sorry about that. Even though you might not care, I feel like I owe you guys a little baby explanation too. Since November last year, my life has been all out of whack. No work life balance, no self-care, and some days no time to breathe thanks to my more jam-packed then ever work schedule.

quitting shellac nails{Random chai drinking photo which I’ve shared before.}

True to form though, I didn’t stop. I just tried to push through and do all the things – be a great mom, run my business, write my blog, run my other business, and launch an e-magazine. Well we all know how these stories end –  the butler did it – oops, wrong story, the correct answer is burnout. In my case the burnout was mostly related to my creativity. My muse was basically telling me, if you won’t feed your soul, I won’t give you any creative juices to work with. (Kinda of deep, but true)

Thankfully, I finally worked my way out my funk a couple of weeks ago, and I feel ready to come back to blogging (hopefully there are a still of you hanging around these parts and willing to follow along?). I may or may not write about the darker days and feelings I’ve dealt with over the last 6 weeks, but in the meantime, here are a few life updates and random thoughts to get you guys caught up.

? We moved our business into an office! I totally owe you guys a longer, thoughtful post on what the process of going from working at my dining table to having an office of our own was like – but for now, I’ll just say it has it’s pros and cons. The most beautiful thing is the sense of pride and accomplishment I feel every time I open the door in the morning!

? My kids have pretty much morphed overnight. Armaan’s voice broke, he turned 13 (officially a teenager), and he’s taller than me! Zara is growing into this super stylish, graceful, elegant little woman – bye, bye Punky Brewster (insert tear drop here)

? Watching/Reading: I watched Beauty & the Beast, and Boss Baby recently, both were amazing for different reasons. Currently dying to watch Phillauri, hopefully later this week. I tried re-reading The Kite Runner a couple of weeks ago and was totally traumatized, and now I’m reading Karan Johar’s autiobiography for a brain break.

? You can expect to see a lot of fashion & beauty posts in this space over the next few weeks because I’ve totally purged my makeup and started from scratch, and the closet situation is pretty similar. (The new office has sparked a lot of changes in my daily routine)

? My biggest struggle at the moment is getting dinner hour sorted at our house. Between my move to the office and barely making it home for 5:30, plus the added workload of new clients, we are really struggling with get good home cooked meals on the table right now. This is on my must fix yesterday list!

That’s it from me guys, what’s new in your world? Any exciting changes in the last 6 weeks? Any tips for balancing life as an ‘office-going’ mom? 

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This week I was really stuck on a topic for my video, and then Zara suggested a ‘Get to Know Me’ video. I had no idea what that meant, but the infinitely cooler than me 9 year old said it was a must for a new YouTube channel. 

Since she was so excited about the idea, I got her to interview me – and it was amazing! You know how every parent just assumes their kids are the smartest, and the cutest ever, pretty sure my kid just proved my assumption correct. Still don’t believe me, watch the video and let me know.

PS: This whole experience got me thinking about how smart and savvy this young generation is going to be. Maybe they don’t skip rope and play on the monkey bars as much as we do, but they make friends and connections all around the world every day. They are social, just in a different way than we were as kids. #eyeopener

Here’s the video:

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how to read moreBooks are an integral part of my life. I use them to escape the everyday, learn new skills, and grow as a writer. I’m one of those people that could easily give up TV, but take away my books (and music as a close 2nd) and I won’t even recognize myself in a few days.

I post pictures and thoughts on my social media feeds about what I’m reading, and inevitably someone will ask – how do you make the time to read? It’s not really something I think too much about, I just do it. I read a little first thing in the morning while having a cup of tea. I carry a book with me whenever I have to wait somewhere or travel, and I often read while my family watches TV in the evenings.

If you want to read more (because everybody could read a little more), but are struggling to find the time, here are my top tips for fitting in more reading time. View Post

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Guys, (or more likely gals) I’m kind of excited today!! There are two firsts in this blog post – my first time using a spiralizer, and my first YouTube video of the year.

I’m going to tell you about the spiralizer in a sec, but I think I need to back up and tell you why this video business is so exciting. I’ve a had YouTube channel for a while, and have added random videos here and there, but this year I’ve committed to publishing one video a week. Every Monday. Whether I have an idea or not, whether I think the video is great or not. Historically I’m not very good at challenges like this, but I’m really excited to give this a try. I don’t have any particular subjects chosen, or any great plan, and that is why my first video is unboxing a spiralizer!

About that spiralizer….the awesome folks at Hamilton Beach sent me their 3 in 1 Spiralizer to try out, and I thought it would be fun to record my first attempt at using it. Sometimes kitchen gadgets can seem so simple to use and practical until I get them into my kitchen. I’ve had a number of fails with specialty gadgets in the last year so I wanted to be sure this is a good tool before I recommend it.

What was my first reaction, you can see in the video below:

The spiralizer is my first attempt at replacing foods my family already eats with healthier alternatives (you can read more about that here), and I’m sure you’ll be seeing more spiralizing on the blog soon!

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