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Children See, Learn & Remember

Child caught between a quarrel of her parents

This thing is of paramount importance that what we do in front of children, it should be always something good, because they are seeing us and observing us all the time. We never know that anything that we do or any of our actions, would affect them in a way that we mightn’t even imagine.

The damage done to the child when he / she’s caught between the wrath, anger and resentment of his / her parents, is irreversible. Once that is done, there is no coming back. It might sound a bit harsh, but that is cruel and top of that lifelong too in some cases. It is there to stay unfortunately.

Kindly don’t tell them you’re together only for the children’s sake. Please don’t make them a shuttlecock between your egos and your vainglory. Children should never be told how much you hate your spouse. Don’t ask them to choose you because they “should”. Children deserve to be pampered. To be valued. It’s their right. It’s the parents’ duty. Who will they look up to, if not you? They’re your resonsibility. Don’t live together if you aren’t happy. Please go your separate ways because that’s your choice and your right to decide, because even this is written in our Holy Book (although it is not one of the desired acts, but if need be, should be taken). Make yourself a priority, if that is what makes you happy. Whatever you do, just don’t make the children play the role of a peacemaker.

Children are supposed to behave like children. That little heart breaks into a million pieces when it is caught between that tug and pull of his / her parents. When the child who is forced to pick a side between two people he / she loves the most, never loves him / herself completely. They don’t let anyone love them completely either because of the simple fact that they have trust issues. They don’t know how to trust when someone tells them they love them unconditionally, it is something alien to them since they have not experienced anything of the sort in their lives. Something breaks inside and then never heals. Never.

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Banning Gala Biscuit Ad – & other issues

Advisory of PEMRA comes after some social media users expressed displeasure with an ad of Gala biscuit, starring actress Mehwish Hayat, that has been running on TV Channels – Screengrab courtesy Gala Biscuit YouTube Channel

Well recently, there has been an ad aired on the national television of Pakistan, featuring Mehwish Hayat – a proud receiver of Tamgha-e-Imtiaz from the Pakistan government back in 2019, which has caused some displeasure among the audiences. According to me, the main issue is probably the way it is portrayed with some excessive dance moves and all.

This matter has given birth to three other narratives which are, number 1: there have been other ads as well in the past related to cooking oils, detergents, telecom sector, other biscuits ads etc. that also had excessive dance moves so why ban Gala ad. Gala itself, had a similar ad in which such a theme was adopted in the past too (if my memory supports me, it was actress Noor). Number 2: what about the stuff being shown in the TV dramas? Doesn’t PEMRA see that? Where sisters are shown fighting for the same man, sleeping with another man is fine, vlugarity in terms of language, dressing and the entire concept etc. Number 3: is everything else taken care off, if now we’re getting behind such decisions of banning ads. Here everything else means, corruption in the country, child abuse, thefts etc. and the list goes on.

The fact of the matter is that two wrongs don’t make a right, in our case here, three wrongs don’t make a right. There are certain things that are Halal and certain things which are Haram. Promoting a biscuit is not Haram, but the way it is promoted might make it Haram which is true in this case. Here we can see a woman going haywire trying to portray the “dais k rung”. The actual focal point the biscuit itself, is hardly anywhere to be seen. As a normal human being, just tell me how many of us eat biscuits like it’s shown in this ad? Or how many of us act the way it is shown in telecom TVCs before using our phones? Or how many of us eat the way it is shown in the cooking oil / ghee ads? The entire family doesn’t start to dance before they sit at the table or something of the sort.

It beats me that here in Pakistan, why do you have to use a woman to sell your product? Isn’t there any other way left? Be it a toothpaste, telecom, detergent, soft drink, cellphones, cars, cigarettes (back in the days when their advertisement allowed) etc, kahin na kahin koi khatoon hotin hein jin ki vajah say apparantley product bikti hai. So in my opinion all the other wrong things happening in the country are of importance too, if they’re not being highlighted, it doesn’t mean that they are not wrong, they are. But if such a step is taken by the authority, then it should be praised rather than being criticized. & eventually it should also be reciprocated to all other segments as well which need it.

Have your say in the comments section below.

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Cuties – The Netflix Show

This has been the talk of the town over the past few days, one of the reknowned religious speaker, Yasir Qadhi as his say on this. Please find it below:
“Regarding the Netflix Show ‘Cuties'(Warning: explicit content) By now, most have heard (and unfortunately many have seen clips) of Netflix’s latest fiasco, ‘Cuties’. It shows the real-life story of a young 11 year old Muslim girl from a conservative family who discovers her talent is in discarding her modest clothes, and wearing bootie shorts in order to join a twerking dance group that eventually makes it to a famous dance contest. The movie itself shows highly sexualized dance routines from pre-pubescent girls in skimpy, tight-fitting clothes, and also shows (without being explicit) the Muslim girl taking a picture of her private area and uploading it to social media. The movie has generated a lot of controversy, with many (non-Muslims and Muslims) labeling it as a stepping stone to pedophilia, and as sexualizing young children. I must admit: scrolling down Facebook in the last few days, unfortunately quite a few people have uploaded clips from the movie that I cannot unsee. How anyone can consider this to be art, or permissible for anyone to record or view, is something I cannot and will never understand, especially as the parent of two daughters. What I wish to highlight here is the very clear hypocrisy of the entertainment industry in particular, and most segments of Western society in general, in how they deal with sexualization and explicit imagery. To put it simply: you can’t have it both ways. You can’t promote sexuality, nudity, and licentiousness, and embrace it as a manifestation of feminism, and glorify the ‘power of raw female sexuality as it is reclaiming its right’ [as a famous editorial mentioned with respect to the recent extremely vulgar video by Cardi B], and then turn around and lament young girls as they emulate those very ideals that you so unabashedly promote. Or, to rephrase: why is it celebrated when Miley Cyrus twerks at 19, but a crime for the same animalistic act to occur when she’s 15? Does something magically change when one reaches one’s 18th birthday, such that the day before something is immoral and pedophilic, and the day after it becomes the essence of feminism? The values any society teaches its adults are the exact values that children see and emulate. Acts of sex and sexuality are inherently private matters – they always have been. To be discrete about such acts is a part of our human nature. Modesty is ingrained and inborn in all of us, and these are the values that adults should be promoting. This generation is still discovering the effects of the second wave of feminism, which opened the floodgates of sexuality and mainstreamed pornography. In every society in history, sexual perversions and deviations existed (and that includes same-sex acts), but they were always hidden, difficult to obtain, away from the eyes of the public, and especially away from the eyes of children. This is the first generation in all of human history that has access to more porn and vulgarity by just a few clicks of the computer than all of mankind ever had, combined. As the bar of titillation is constantly raised, and every taboo becomes normal and celebrated, what else is to be expected other than a film like ‘Cuties’? All of this is not natural, it is not healthy, it is just not normal. And it will lead to many evils: the breakdown of the family; the cheapening of the role of the wife/mother; the loss of manhood and masculinity; the rise of sexual perversions and deviations; the increase of crimes of violence (are we not seeing more and more shocking cases around the globe, like the recent case in Pakistan?)So, yes I’m angry and disgusting at this new show. But I’m seeing the reality for what it is: the situation will get worse and worse, and moral standards will continue to deteriorate as we have all seen in our own lifetimes so clearly, and it is but a matter of time (decades..? years..?) where we will see the prophetic predictions of public copulations like that of donkeys in the streets. Because after all the brouhaha, and after hundreds of thousands of petitions against this show, and after calls for boycotting and cancelling Netflix subscriptions, and after all the op-eds and editorials against this show, not only did Netflix not cancel the show and go ahead with it, it is now one of the top ten most popular shows on the channel. Let that sink in. This pedophilic movie is one of the most watched movies online. The future (in this aspect at least) is bleak. We ask Allah for protection and forgiveness, and we will continue to try and protect our own children as much as we can even as the situation deteriorates exponentially day by day. But let me conclude on at least one positive note: as more and more people see the filthiness of this modern aspect of our culture, the truth of our religious values will become clearer to larger groups of people, as is indeed happening now. So, even as we decry the rise of faḥisha and are helpless to stop it, let us never stop speaking out against it and demonstrating to others that purity of faith, purity of conduct, and purity of decency are all linked together, for indeed, “…decency and shyness is the essence of imān”.”

Have your say about this in the comments section below.

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Change of Mindsets

This shows no manhood!

One of the most unfortunate incindents happened a few days ago, in which a woman was raped on the motorway in front of her children. The tragedy happend when she was left stranded on the motorway (just shy of the toll plaza), because petrol finished in her Civic at around 1:30 am. She called one of her relatives for help who confirmed her that he’ll be arriving with some fuel but also asked her to inform the motorway police on their helpline. She did that but was refused help because the motorway helpine informed that the area that she is stranded at does not come under their jurisdiction. Which according to me is total crap because just 3 kms from the scene, there is the toll plaza where they are collecting tolls for this entire motorway, then how come this area does not come under their jurisdiction?

As she was waiting, two men approched the vehicle from the nearby village and broke the car windows (because she was sitting inside the car, with the doors locked), dragged her out, assaulted her, took her to fields (in presence of her children) & raped her. Once done, they looted the family too, took her jewelry, cash, ATM cards & car registration book as well. May Allah shower His mercy on her and her family. This all doesn’t end here.

Victim of what?

Thing which is troubling me the most is, it all happend in front of her children. What would they be thinking, they’ll be scarred for life, how will they get over it? They will be traumatized till I don’t know when. We cry hoarse all the time about women’s empowerment, making them self-dependent, encouraging them to study and work. What about their safety? Why can’t we ensure that they are able to move around freely during the day and after dark too? Why can’t we respect their individuality, their identity? Why is she always a piece of meat to be pounced upon? Why do we repeatedly fail them? If they aren’t safe in their own country, where are they? Who’s going to be held accountable for all this?

The newly appointed CCPO (Capital City Police Officer) has the most stupid argument that one can give. He said she should have taken the GT (Grand Trunk) road instead of the motorway because it is densly populated. I mean excuse me? Who is he to give such statements? He’s the new CCPO, it is his duty or his department’s duty to ensure that there is safety prevailing everywhere in the society. He should be focusing on his work rather than giving such absurd statements. If he can’t work, then he should give back our tax money because that is what he is eating his bread & butter on.

Rapists need to be brought to justice. Along with changing of the mindsets, such animals should be hanged till death and that should be done publically so that a precedence is set and it doesn’t reoccur.

Some precautions which need to be taken before traveling for long distances are: ensuring your vehicle can travel that distance by having enough fuel, checking tire pressure, spare water (in case of over-heating), tow wires, jumper cables, working headlights & wipers etc. But then again, we don’t know under what circumstances that woman had to travel at the time along with her children, what was the emergency – we simply don’t know yet, may Allah protect us all and may the criminals be brought to justice very quickly.

We have failed as a society. How would we be answerable on the Day of Judgement?

Can you help me out by signing this petition? http://chng.it/xPgcvnvm

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Cartoons & their Impact on Children

Tender minds tend to be molded as desired.

Cartoons are an integral part of every child’s early life. At times parents want their children to have fun so they introduce them to various cartoons, since it is a new thing for children so they tend to like it as well. There are colours, constantly moving figures / characters, fun loving sounds coming from them etc. It is all new for children so they really get impressed with all this.
However, at times parents need some time of their own & they let their children get busy with cartoons. Maybe they want some rest, want to get some chores done etc.

As far as I’m concerned, cartoons have lesser positive impact on children compared to negative ones. To get done with the positive ones, I’ll share them first.

Learning curves for children
  • Helps in Cognitive Development – cartoons can help children in developing logic & reasoning ability, visual and auditory processing.
  • Early Start on Learning – can get acquainted with shapes, colours, alphabets, numbers etc.
  • Enhances Creativity – can get newer ideas, inspired from whatever their watching.
  • Promotes Laughter – normally when anyone watches a cartoon, there is more or less a humour aspect linked to it and the viewer enjoys what he or she is watching

Now coming to the negative impacts that they have on children:

Tom & Jerry doing what they do best!
  • Encourages Violence: majority of cartoons, like Tom & Jerry, Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety & Sylvester, Road Runner & Cayote), Disney etc. they show that whatever happens to a character, he or she is perfectly fine in the next scene. No matter, if you slam them through the wall, a vehicle runs over them, they’re hit with a bullet, something is smashed on their heads etc. it only affects them for that particular scene. After that it’s all fine. This teaches them aggression & promotes bratty behaviour too.
  • Teaches Lack of Empathy: quite a few cartoons display disobedient and rude behaviour towards their peers, elders, teachers etc. Since children mimic almost everything they see, so this can be replicated in real life too and will eventually make them indifferent to others (no matter what the other person is going through).
  • Foul Language: often cartoons show language which is deemed unfit for children to use.
  • Health Issues: first and foremost will be poor eyesight issues. Others might include obesity, nutritional deficiencies, lethargy etc. This all will be possible due to inactivity.
  • Bad Role Models: children usually idolize their favourite cartoon character(s) & mimic them or aspire to be like them, without knowing whether it is right or wrong. It might happen that their role model is a negative character in the cartoon. This kind of impact of cartoons on children’s psychology can often lead to devastating consequences and result in children being withdrawn, uncommunicative, antisocial, or unruly.
  • Eating in Front of Screens (LCDs, Phones, Tabs, Laptops etc): children should never be allowed to eat in front of any type of screens. It encourages binge-eating (frequently consuming unusually large amounts of food and feeling of unable to stop it), addiction to junk food etc. Children should be accustomed to eat without TVs and all, this will encourage them to focus on eating healthy stuff and stop when they don’t need it anymore.

To sum it all up, cartoons can have both positive and negative effects on children. It basically depends on what kind of cartoons do they watch. By limiting children’s screen time & encouraging them to go outside from their comfort zones & play (promoting physical activities), it can be ensured that children are healthier and happier. Have your say in the comments section below.

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Dams & Pakistan

Dia Mir Bhasha Dam Site – Gilgit Baltistan – Pakistan

Dams and Pakistan are not a true love story. If they would have been, we would have seen a pretty large number of dams being built in the country. This is only going to be our 3rd dam & the biggest one yet built, on the contrary, China has made around 5000 big dams and a total of 80,000 dams. Can you imagine that? Ok, China is a far bigger country, but even then it has 80k dams and we only have 2? For countless years we have been losing our people, cattle and precious resources during the monsoon season in the shape of floods. But what did they government officials do? They wore long boots and stood in the water to have their pictures taken to show off their concern for the affectees.

The decision to build this dam was taken 50 years ago, but the work on it begun on the 15th of July 2020. This is such a shame, all the politicians are to be blamed for this, because they had their own interests and never thought about the country itself. There could not have been a better dam site, since it is a natural dam. It’s government’s responsibility to work for the betterment for its citizens and spend on the likes of education, health, well-being etc. Building more dams will lessen the pressure on foreign exchange and it will allow Pakistan to generate its own fuel.

Among other positive impacts, one of the major would be to generate electricity from water instead of coal & furnace oil, which will help in limiting the adverse impacts of climate change & global warming. It will create numerous job opportunities for the locals and will also promote tourism.

Decisions like these are taken by governments which come into power to work for their people and not to fill their own pockets, which has been the norm for all the previous governments. Nations / countries only progress when they think of the times to come and when they invest in their resources, uplifting those segments of society that have been left behind. “The decisions made in the 90s to generate electricity using imported furnace oil affected our current account deficit. When there is pressure on foreign exchange, [the country’s] economic conditions start deteriorating” – quoted by PM Imran Khan. He went onto say: “The value of the rupee started falling after deciding to generate electricity from imported oil; when the rupee depreciates, all imports become more expensive and inflation rises. This affects the poor people.”

May this decision be better for Pakistan and start an era of prosperity for the country. Comment below to share your viewpoint.

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Children & their Screen-times

Babies & their Exploration Instinct

Majority of a baby’s brain development takes place in the first 2 years of his / her life. That’s why it’s pivotal for babies & toddlers to go out and explore the world on their own terms. Experience many sights, sounds, tastes, and textures. Interaction and playing with others (that might be children or adults alike) helps children learn about the world around them. It tends to make them acquainted with the outside world since everything is new for them.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting the amount of time that babies and toddlers spend in front of a screen. That’s a good advice but for the old times as far as I am concerned – in today’s world, it can be tough to keep babies and toddlers away from all the gadgetry that is out there, inclusive of the the following never ending list TVs, tablets, computers, smartphones, and gaming systems they’ll see.

It is a fact that screens are everywhere. Your little angel is probably going to spend some time looking at one, so make sure his or her screen time is as productive as possible. The issue is that at times the adults around babies & toddlers do not realize that it is harmful for them and their brain development.

Babies younger than 18 months should have no screen time at all. The exception to this rule is video chatting with grandparents or other family friends (especially during the time of Covid-19 when going here and there is prohibited), which is considered quality time interacting with others. These days, people are making vlogs and what not, which mainly revolves around filming / recording their daily routines and editing and stuff, even there if they have any babies, they make them stare at screens, which is totally uncalled for. It could have disastrous impact on their eyesight, brain, nervous system etc. Moving on, very often, screen time is a lost opportunity for your child to learn in real time: from interacting, playing outdoors, creating or enjoying social ‘downtime’ with family. Too much screen time also increases your child’s risk of becoming:

  • Overweight
  • Sleep-deprived
  • Less school-ready
  • Inattentive, aggressive and less able to self-soothe.

It is a need of the hour, for parents to limit the screen-times for their children. It does not mean that your babies are going to be left behind if they have no access to screens, because it has been proven that children learn the best from face to face interactions, with caring adults around. So don’t worry about it.

Have your say on it.

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Every Child is a Born Scientist

Experimenting with the Blocks

From the day a child is born to the child’s last breath, whatever he or she does, is basically an act of exploration. To every child, world is a vast space where they can experiment whatever they want to, a place where they can see how things interact with one another, how animals live and eat each other, how plants grow and die, etc etc.

Every child is born a scientist, testing hypotheses and pushing things to the limit to see what happens, e.g. .when an infant is able to see, he explores his surroundings by constantly looking here and there. When he discovers his hands, he tries to eat them and then after some days finds out that he can hold both hands. He tries to grab things on his own, exploring how to go about it. When he learns to turn while lying down, he explores different views. When he discovers his feet, he sees that he can control them, and later eats them as well. The exploration of sitting up, standing with support / without support, crawling, walking in a walker, walking on his own, grabbing up things, throwing away things, holding things, eating, drinking, smelling, seeing, touching, going near things which are not dangerous according to him because he does not know how they would harm him, there are numerous other things as well which are not in the list mentioned above. But all of this exploration comes to a halt when an elder, be it a guardian, a parent, a teacher or whoever stops him from doing something he was looking forward to.

As a father of an angel, I know we must teach children to be careful, but there is a stark difference between teaching children to be careful and forcing them not to do something and in turn oppressing their innate exploratory instinct. If we look ourselves, we can learn a lot from children. If we really want to teach them to be scientists, we need to learn to set them free once in a while, so that they can perform their grand experiment of growing up in a strange, often hostile world.

When we explain things to kids, we shouldn’t pretend that we have all the answers. There are somethings that should be left by parents on kids to learn themselves, which they know that even if something bad happens, it won’t be “that” bad. Children should learn to survive on themselves too, because the time is never constant, it’s always moving.

Have your say about this. Looking forward to hear some differences of opinion.

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Zartaj Gul – Covid-19 Explanation

Zartaj Gul is the Minister of State for Climate Change for Pakistan. Her statement about Covid-19 went viral a few days ago and keyboard warriors took it to storm. She said “COVID-19 means that it has 19 points that can be applied in any country in any way,” during a current affairs show on PTV’s TV show.”

Actually, COVID-19 means ‘Corona Virus disease 2019’. The ‘CO’ in the word stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus and ‘D’ for disease, ’19’ means that it was first identified in that specific year.

Ministers should be credible people with absolute knowledge about their work. People look up to them because they have been given a very important role to play. They have been chosen by the masses, thinking that they will be better off running for that position and will bring a positive change in their lives. But if the intellect level of ministers is such, then how will they be able to survive?

Post your thoughts in the comment section below.

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The Father – Daughter Things

Daughters are no wonder, God’s blessing for the parents. From the moment they come into this world, till the time they’re married, they undoubtedly remain parents’ biggest asset. When they’re young, they tend to develop a stronger bond with their father rather than their mother. That is why, they tend to enjoy their time more with father.
Things that fathers do for their daughters are countless. However, when they’re toddlers there are a few things that every father does for them, I guess.

  • Making her eat her food, especially on the baby chair
  • Combing her hair (whenever she’s due to get ready)
  • Hold her high above his own head
  • Play with her – run after her
  • Let himself get dressed by the daughter – especially with makeup stuff
  • Taking her on long drives / to parks etc.
  • Make her sleep
  • Eat whatever she makes / pretends to make too
  • Cook a meal together
  • Taking her to places so that she can have new adventures
  • Teaching her to drive
  • Taking her to school / university
  • Celebrating her every achievement like there’s no tomorrow

So in short there are quite a lot things, what I’ve mentioned above are just a few. The thing is that for fathers, their daughters are the most precious things to them and for daughters, their fathers are the rock they need in their lives. May Allah protect all daughters from the evils of this world and the world Hereafter. & may Allah grant eternal happiness to their parents.

Have your say in the comments section below.

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We’re Sorry Elephant – Insanity Prevailed

A one month pregnant elephant died on May 27 after she ate a pineapple which had firecracker in it. The explosion in the poor elephant’s mouth caused severe damage fracturing quite a lot of bones. It caused excessive bleeding and made the elephant weak since she could not eat anything and the baby inside her also required nutrition.

As per the news, she was injured on 23rd May and moved away from the forest officers and vets, maybe she could not trust any human again for the rest of her life. She was seen again standing in the river two days later but could not be tranquilized because doing so might have drowned her. To help her out, two other elephants were called so that they can move her out of the river, but she refused and did not move and alas she died.

Such inhumane practices should be condemned at every possible forum and justice needs to prevail. The culprits need to be taken behind bars immediately, and animal rights organizations need to step up. Animals poor things cannot even speak, they can’t express what they are going through and here a fire cracker was placed in a pineapple. The elephant was a month old pregnant too, just have a look at the image I posted with this post, I’m sure the baby would have been this happy and what we as humans did to her.

Retaliation from the likes of Virat Kohli on his Twitter account has also increased the graveness of the matter. Celebrities need to step up and play their part in stopping such insanity.

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Jacinda Ardern – New Zealand’s Iron Lady

NZ has zero (0) active cases currently

New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern was over the moon yesterday addressing the presser stating that she did “a little dance” when she was told the country no longer had any active Covid-19 cases. Arden, has been on the forefront in ensuring that her country battled this pandemic like civilized people. She ensured via her government and staff that all the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) were stringently followed.

The country first went into lock-down on 25th March, coming up with a new four-stage alert system and going in at level four (the extreme case scenario), where most businesses & schools were shut and people were told to stay at home.

After almost 4 weeks into this situation, NZ moved to level three in April, allowing takeaway food shops and some non-essential businesses to re-open.

As the number of active Covid-19 cases continued to show the decline, NZ moved to level two in mid-May & now last night at midnight, NZ moved to the lowest tier of the alert system. The joy on the face of the PM was evident.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Going into the lowest tier of the alert system, means that workplaces / offices and schools will be opened. Funerals, weddings, cinemas can be attended , public transport will resume too without any restrictions. Social distancing will not be forced, however it will be encouraged. Foreign nationals / travelers will have to wait to enter NZ as the borders are closed for them as of now, but for Kiwis who’re traveling back home will still have to abide by the rules and will have to remain in quarantine for a 14 day period.

New Zealand has recorded 1,154 confirmed cases & 22 deaths from Covid-19 till date. The country was hit by the virus in late February, since then the government got busy in handling it professionally and as a result their efforts are bearing fruits now. PM’s decision to move to level one in the four-tier alert system comes ahead of time – since the government had originally planned to make the move on 22nd June, bit it was decided to get the shifting to tier one done earlier than that as no new cases were reported for 17 days. PM also went onto say that we conducted 40,000 Corona tests and none of them came out to be positive and as a result after deciding it with the cabinet, NZ has been declared Corona free. Arden said, it is a sustained effort and she thanked her fellow citizens saying “While the job is not done, there is no denying this is a milestone. So can I finish with a very simple, Thank you, New Zealand”.

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A Black Male

George Floyd – say his name

George Floyd  was a 46-year-old black man born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and raised in the Third Ward of Houston, Texas. He was killed on 25th May 2020 by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, who pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed face down in the street of Minneapolis.

What was the crime that he committed? Apparently, a deli employee dialed 911 to let them know that a person (George) was trying to buy cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 note. Distributing or producing counterfeit money, or knowingly attempting to use counterfeit money, is a criminal offense under federal law. Having said that, such verdicts are supposed to be given by the courts, because that is what the courts are there for. Any individual, be it a layman, a police officer, or a standalone lawyer for that matter, has no right to take the law in his / her own hands.

Killing of George Floyd was unjust, if he had committed a crime, the police officer should have arrested him and followed the protocol. The decision of whether he was guilty or not was to be decided by the court, not him.

Floyd’s death has sparked huge protests against racism and the police killings of black Americans. This issue hasn’t been resolved for years now and that is why it creeps up every now and then. A logical conclusion needs to be drawn for it once and for all so that its settled for good.

He needed to breathe, asking for mercy

I hope George’s death will put an end to this never-ending dilemma of injustice against racism & black people all over the world and as a result more black people will be able to breathe freely in this world.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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The Writing is on the Wall

Toddlers like to scribble on the walls as they find it a fun-filled activity. Mainly because of the reason that when they do so, the elders try to run after them and stop them from doing so. Hence as it is human nature that we tend to find interest in such things from which we are stopped. Some of the plausible reasons as to why kids tend to do so are listed below:

  • Children find walls more favorable for drawing
    It could be mostly due to the larger space that they have, all to themselves from where they can start the era of exploration – e.g. if they start drawing a line, it could go on and on and on till your house finishes. 🙂 Some of them also like the sounds of pencils and crayons against the walls.
  • Great way to show their creativity
    Any child whether he / she goes on to become an artist later on or not, has the desire and shows keen interest in drawing stuff, wherever he / she can. As soon as the they feel that they can hold something with somewhat precision, they start to like the coordination which their hands / fingers and brain develops. This also drives them to showcase their talent on blank large spaces – which are walls for adults 🙂 .
  • Attention seeking gesture
    Children might also write on walls to get attention of their adults, especially if the adults don’t pay much attention to them. These days, I guess this is becoming more true, as the elders are more busy looking at their cellphones than looking at their toddlers. If the children figure out that the adults react too dramatically if they write on the walls, they might as well make it a routine practice.

Having said that, there are a couple of ways to minimize this habit of your children especially if you find it too annoying:

  • get them washable markers and crayons
  • provide art supplies to your kids (it can be whiteboards, drawing papers, chart papers etc.)

I personally think if possible you can assign them one wall, which should have enamel on it and once your child is done writing / drawing on it, you can then start the cleaning activity with them. It will also make them responsible for their actions.

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Gone in 60 Seconds

PK8303 – Pakistan International Airline

When you will be reading this article’s heading you might be thinking of the movie premiered in 2000 featuring Nicholas Cage & Angelina Jolie – but this isn’t referring to that, it is related to yesterday’s plane crash that occurred in Karachi. Right before a minute to land at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport PK8303 suffered engine & landing gear failure and crashed onto residential area nearby the airport – reports say it was around 3km away from the runway.

Usually when the announcement is made by the crew towards the end of the flight, they update you about the altitude and an approximate time when the plane will be touching the ground. Passengers start to look for their belongings, they check the seats so that nothing is left behind, they remember their luggage compartment, they check their tags, they check their passport etc, any hand-carry if there was and about the weather wondering how it could be. All this and more is going through the minds of passengers, I suppose.

But these passengers would have experienced something completely different. The last minute turbulence would have had them praying for their lives, thinking about the sins they committed (willingly / unwillingly), unfinished plans, unfinished talks, promises that were left unfulfilled, few regrets, few quarrels that they planned to end but now the time was over. Different story for every single human being that boarded this plane. What was going through the crew’s mind, what would they do, especially the pilot. It was his responsibility to take all these 90+ passengers from Lahore to Karachi – safely.

When we think about 60 seconds in our daily lives, it mainly pertains to waiting at a traffic signal for a minute, waiting for the call center agent to get back to us within a minute, waiting for the ads to end while watching TV / YouTube videos etc. But for these passengers, these 60 seconds could have been the longest and shortest minute of their lives. That is how close we are to our death – only if we realize it this way. This is the unpredictability of our lives and that is why Allah has said in Qu’ran that “Indeed mankind is in loss” – Verse 103:2.

Let’s pray that Allah forgives all those who died in this crash be it the passengers or the people who were residing in their homes underneath and give patience to the family members to bear this irreplaceable loss – Aameen.

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A Different Angle to Covid-19 Lock-down

We’re all witnessing the adverse effects that Covid-19 lock-down has had on our lives. As the saying goes, every picture has two angles to it. Having said that, there must be good things that have happened to us as well during this time. Therefore, let’s see this whole pandemic situation from the other side.

  • Are we blessed to have family time together?
  • Are we enjoying three meals a day?
  • Have we ensured that no food is wasted?
  • Are our children learning new things by being ever so close to their parents?
  • Do we have a better chance to teach our children what we intended to teach them for so long?
  • Have our children realized that they can also play with each other without fighting?
  • Have we looked forward to help all our family members, with keen interest?
  • Are we realizing that the world is in it together and are we praying for “all” of us, like literally all of us?
  • Are we realizing that all humans are the same?
  • Are the life partners caring for each other ever so much?
  • Have we realized that God is the best of planners and we are nothing on our own?
  • Are we beginning to realize that God has blessed us so much?
  • Are we beginning to realize that instead of having new iPhones, there is so much else in the world that can be had with such a lesser price tag?
  • Are we considering the fact that we have become so materialistic?
  • Are we thankful for our jobs that we still have them, unlike half the world who has been laid off?
  • Are we thinking of cutting down on our expenses, and not go out spending just like that?
  • Are we only focusing on the necessities of life, for once?
  • Are we realizing how much we take for granted?
  • Do we realize the atmosphere around us is so clean?
  • Do we realize, in just a couple of months’ time, the Ozone layer has been healed after all it went through for so many years?
  • Do we realize, our car’s fuel tank lasted more than 3 weeks?
  • Are we realizing that we have so much time for ourselves?
  • Are we realizing that we have started to think of others, too?
  • Are we caring for the needy even more in these trying times?
  • Are we realizing that our charity was given before Ramadan started?
  • Are we cherishing these moments like they might not come again?
  • Are we realizing, all that we have gathered around us is actually a waste? So little will be sufficient for us.
  • Are we re-thinking our life journey till now, & that too only after a couple of month’s lock-down?
  • Are we realizing that without Allah’s consent we are so helpless and vulnerable?

We need to realize that Allah has blessed us immensely, we should not whine about not having a certain thing or things, we need to be content on it and thankful to Allah for giving us so much, more than what we deserve. We need to pray that we get out of this pandemic situation and return to our normal routine but at the same time take the good things out of this lock-down situation with us.

Have your say on it!

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How to Establish a Brand – a brief guideline

All of these are extremely necessary throughout

Today, I will be discussing few points related to establishing a brand which might as well help you people.

Before we start, I am assuming you would have thought about “something” related to your brand and on that note, we will be continuing:

  • In order to go about it, you first need to come up with a refined logo for your brand. Since brand is the face of the company / business, that is why it is of pivotal importance that you spend money on the logo itself. It is going to represent you and create awareness among the target market.
  • Talking about the logo makes us move to the next point which is related to your guidelines. It really depends on the type of your product, you need to define the colour palette, font, any images to be used for example. Once it has been decided you need to stick with it. Have a look at Coca Cola’s logo for a reference, it is consistent throughout, the colour, the font, the tone etc.
Different logos, just by seeing them, you know the brand they represent.
  • As a suggestion, when you start your brand, you should start with just one thing. Do not try to diversify immediately, because a new brand takes time to settle in the mindset of the consumers / customers. If you bombard them with different things all at once, they will get puzzled as to what is the real thing with this brand.
  • The current era is all about social media and its trends. If you want to go with the flow right from the start, believe me it will be very difficult for you to sustain in the market. Again, as a suggestion, it will be better to stick with what you are best at & not be too concerned about the trends.
Different Social Media Platforms
  • When you decide to come up with a brand, it is inevitable not to have a look at the current market set up w.r.t competition. It will be very important to keep a check on your competition (if any) and see their tactics to engage customers with their brand. Otherwise, you will lose out too soon.
Always be aware of your competition, no matter where you are in your business
  • Last of all the target market. Most important of all, in my opinion. You need to have a clear mindset as to who is going to be end user of your brand, without identifying this, you can simply not move ahead. Once you know this, only then you will be able to use the entire P’s of your marketing.
You should be able to identify the people you want to be your end consumers / customers

Keeping in view the points mentioned above, I hope you will not fail. Give your 100% and be positive about it. Thorough research before stepping into something is the key; so do that and then enjoy.

Do give your thoughts on it in the comment section below.

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Mischievous Little One

Image Courtesy: My Designs In the Chaos – check the link https://www.mydesignsinthechaos.com/

My little one is almost 17 months old Mash Allah and she has been developing some mischievous little habits which I’m sure would be applicable to all the other kids around the globe too.

So here goes:

– that day she was having sharbat (a sweet drink), and when she thought she had had enough, she poured the remaining sharbat on her grandfather’s foot – who was busy reading something on his phone. He realized it when he felt something wet and cold.

– her mother was looking for something in the refrigerator and that’s when the “little one” got the chance to put her shoes in the fridge. No one realized it then, but when she kept on insisting to open the fridge & there you go, two little shoes could be seen enjoying the cool weather inside.

– while her mother was cooking, she got hold of a soup serving spoon (belonging to her paternal grandmother) from the cupboard and started playing with it. Later she banged it twice or thrice on the floor and as a result it broke.

– she wore her mother’s slippers and started walking in them. I later got to know to that her mother used to do the same when she was her age.

– she likes to draw lines on her hand and shows us, that there’s “ink” on her palm. At first she asks for a pen and paper to draw a cat or scribble something herself, and then she ends up scribbling on her hands

– whenever she gets hold of something, which she should not (like a remote control, her grandfather’s wallet, someone’s eyeglasses etc.) , she runs away as fast as she can to some place (which is usually a corner) where she thinks she is the safest.

Obviously, there will be more things than these; these are just a handful of them but the point is that children are a blessing from Allah and such little things are to be enjoyed the most while you can. If you can see that even if a thing will be destroyed or broken but it won’t have that sort of an impact, then I think you should let the child do it. Stopping them from each & everything that he or she does or want to do, won’t do any good to him / her.
I pray that may Allah protect all children from all evils of both the worlds and are blessed with eternal happiness & health.

Have your thoughts and say in the comments section.

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Parenting Styles – Helicopter vs Free Range

Yesterday, we were all sitting together and my little one was moving here and there when her Grandfather said: “Dhiyan say dhiyan say, gir na jana!” My Brother-in-Law was also present there and he asked do you know about two parenting styles; “Helicopter parenting” & “Free Range parenting”? I had not heard about the names as such but when I heard, I could make out which meant what. But even then I did a little secondary research on it before thinking to write about it.

Helicopter Parenting

At the point when the expression “helicopter parenting” came into existence in the mid 2000s, it sounded realistic. That was around the time recent college grads the largest age today–entered adulthood. As they headed out to school, came into their practical lives or started families then they realized that they couldn’t exactly cope with all this because the “protective shield” was nowhere to be seen.

In order to get the gist of the term, consider an actual helicopter and it’s ability to float in the air, looking over whatever comes under it. A helicopter mother does likewise by being overprotective, oppressive and keeping her child from experiencing any harm. Helicopter parenting isn’t an attempt to stunt their kid’s capacity to act naturally, they do so because they think that is the best that they can do and by being there for children, they can prevent them from any danger.

Actually, helicopter parents aren’t “bad parents,” they’re just so fearful and worried over their child’s future that their over-protectiveness can have a negative impact on their child, which obviously they had never intended.

Free Range Parenting

On the contrary to the above, “Free-range Parenting” does not have parents hovering above their children. They let them do what they want to do. They think that children should learn stuff as it gets to them. This translates into less nervousness, less suffocating environments and less pampering.

This does not and should not mean that children will be put into hazardous circumstances but the fact that the element of risk is there in life and being able to deal with risks is okay. It goes further to be said that their parents will still be there to get them out of perilous situations but the fact remains that children brought up in such a parenting style would be dealing with challenges upfront.

As the metaphor states, that life is full of risks, therefore, children should be brought up in such a way that they become “street smart” and “self aware” with their surroundings. E.g. children should be able to deal money matters at a young age, they should be aware that knives / pair of scissors are sharp, going towards an edge of something could make them fall, fire is hot etc.

If the “Helicopter Mother” shields her child from every threat, how could that child ever be self-reliant? Similarly, if a “Free-range Mother” lets her child to be street smart on his / her own, would that be dangerous as well? I think you need to strike a balance between the both. Solely following one parenting style would harm your child in more than one ways.

If you’re raising your children or are planning to raise them, how do you go about it? How would you handle situations without being ignorant of their possible implications? I can recall a couple of tag-lines from Surf Excel ads: “Daagh nahin tu seekhna nahin!” & “Daagh tu achay hotay hein” which also promotes free-range parenting style. What are your thoughts about these two parenting styles, do give it a thought or two and let me know.

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Ramadan – a life story

Ornamental Arabic lantern with burning candle glowing at night and glittering golden bokeh lights. Festive greeting card, invitation for Muslim holy month Ramadan Kareem, dark background.

Assalam-o-Alaikum people!

Today is 8th May 2020 and we’re living in a world of pandemic outbreak, more commonly known as Covid-19. Due to this we have been forced to remain indoors and are observing a lock-down.
As a result, during this Ramadan we have to ensure that we stay at home and stay safe. People are not inclined to go to markets and congregational prayers for that matter. There is a sense of concern and scariness prevailing in the air.

Come to think of this, it took me back to earlier years of my life where we used to practice this holy month. Being a Lahore resident, obviously we are really fond of food (good or bad – and by bad I mean there are some places which are extremely unhygienic but the taste of food is just yum), so it would lead to trying different Aftari specialties such as samosas, pakoras, kachauris, rolls, sandwhiches, dahi bhally, fruit chats, sharbats, doodh sodas and all the other things that you could possibly think of. There was no concern of health in those times as our immune systems were pretty good. I remember at the time of breaking the fast, we would all sit together sometimes the TV would be on to see the countdown and hear the Azan (call to prayer) and at other times it would be just heard from the outside. The best possible family time where everyone was present. After the Aftari was done with, we would relax a bit, elders of the family would probably go to sleep but we kids would just calm ourselves down after the entire day. And then it would be Isha prayers and the Taraweeh.

In my younger years, Ramadan used to come in Winters which meant that the time duration for the fast was less and which also meant that since the days were cold, we could still play outside with friends and neighbours. Otherwise, it was feared that we will have to go for an entire month’s break. We used to play cricket in the nearby park / ground mostly after Asr prayers and would come back a little before Maghrib prayers. It was almost a certain thing over the weekend but during the weekdays it was subject to availability of players cum friends & neighbours. Like these days people are scared of the virus and we are told to wash our hands every now and then for 20 seconds, in my playing days there was no such worry, we would play cricket mostly and as a result the cricket ball would travel places, going into puddles, someone’s house, mud, sand, go near a stray dog who would smell it or even touch it and then leave and we would go pick up the ball and start playing again. No worries whatsoever, to our well-being Alhamdulillah. Times have changed and they’ve changed big time. My parents knew that I would return before Maghrib, as there was no question or doubt about it, such were the good times. There was a carelessness and a nonchalance about the whole situation. Having said this about the winter Ramadan, one of the most problematic things was to get up at Sahri. If you’re sleeping in a quilt or a blanket and you’re told to get out of the warm bed and go eat something which you are so not wanting to at the point in time – was a war in itself.

During the school days, a good part of the fast was spent in the school – mostly playing :). As the time progressed we came to university and there it meant that we friends will do Aftaris outside, mostly at the restaurants. But now when I come to think of those Aftaris or maybe even now since I have boycotted going outside to break the fast, not because of the pandemic situation that we’re all experiencing (since my boycott started around 5 – 6 years ago) but because of the sheer fact that outside Aftaris are a mere waste of time and money. You don’t tend to eat properly because you simply can’t after spending the entire day without eating anything. Secondly, the deals which these restaurants come up with are only benefiting them, customers just throw their money in and on top of that the amount of food that is wasted is huge. I always feel for the waiters & the chefs who are busy making food and serving the customers, don’t know how do they treat themselves. Right before the Aftar time, it is recommended to sit quietly and pray but all the hustling and bustling is at the peak in restaurants during that time.

So coming back to 8th May 2020 as I said earlier, things have changed – some drastically and some not so drastically. The way in which you look at things changes as well, since your perspective broadens & your viewpoint changes. Things which appeared to be a matter of life & death, suddenly lose their importance. Priorities change too. So if we tend to live another day and after some years we reflect back on this year, we would see how much were we concerned about this pandemic and how most people were traumatized of the happenings around them because of this virus.

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The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

post

Well this blog should have come before to the one already posted but nonetheless, better late than never ;). Well to get the things rolling, a short introduction about me; My name is Osama and I reside in Lahore. I work in a market research firm which does consumer research for different national and multinational clients.

The idea of writing blogs struck me when my better half and I decided to write emails to our child who is just 1.5 years old Mash Allah. We decided that we will create an email account and would occasionally write emails to that account which would be regarding anything, child’s achievements, funny things, current happenings of the world, some precautions regarding future, ways to live a life, how to become a better person etc. But just to let you know, this won’t mean that we will only communicate our child via emails and not have verbal conversations, this is just going to be a separate, out of the box type, thing, In Sha Allah. We decided that when our child would be around 10 at least, then In Sha Allah we will share the password and let the games begin.

So while, writing emails about the things already mentioned above, I thought why not I continue this in the form of blogs. I have never written such stuff before, which is why I think it might differ from the other people around, but then again I do not know since I have not really looked into what other people are doing. As of now, I really have not decided what to blog about but what I think (as the name suggests) it would be random everyday stuff probably which everyone could possibly relate to. In my opinion if a reader can relate to some stuff, it tends to have more impact on the reader.

So I guess this would be it for an introductory blog, do give your suggestions about it in the comments section below. Looking forward to hear from you guys.

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