Trigger Warning: Reality

“When someone said count your blessings now, before they’re long gone..”
  It’s something to fear losing loved ones and another to face that bitter reality.

 Very few people know that I lost my paternal grandmother after a long and turbulent ICU stay, right here in Islamabad. Three weeks to the day, I feel like this post honors her memory in some microscopic way.

 Days of hypersomnia, nights of insomnia.. I now have to face my fears. Viewing life no longer in the understandably naive way I once did, I see how all these relationships are tied together by such a thin string. Something that could shatter any given day, any given second.
 The idea that in the very next moment, someone that we can’t fathom life without, could leave us.


I’ve always been terrified by the idea of death. By no longer seeing, talking to people that are the foundation of my being, my entire heart.

I’ve reaffirmed the idea that I would drop any and everything for those that I love, that’s been tried and tested.

I’ve also realized that there’s plenty that I’m not ready to handle as a person. Things I can’t face just yet. The aftermath of my grandmother’s passing. The condolences. The constant reminders. My own vulnerability.

But it’s true.. life and therefore, time teaches us lessons we couldn’t otherwise comprehend.

Please pray for my grandmother and our entire family. She was the cornerstone for my entire family, immediate and extended. Meant the absolute world to my father. A short prayer for our family to be blessed with patience (sabr) during this harrowing time.
RIP Appa

October 22nd, 2017


Independence Day?

This is why I feel nothing but sadness and a little bewilderment this Independence Day. I can no longer pass an incredibly lit up building and feel warm & fuzzy on the inside. Instead, I’m disconcerted. I feel a tightness in my stomach. How can we celebrate? What are we celebrating?

Losses are hitting us left and right; faster and sooner than we can justly reflect upon. I saw a dozen cars today with flags. Buildings elaborately adorned with lights in the most lavish manner; using resources this country does not have. Why aren’t multinationals sponsoring families of the fallen? Using the funding so blatantly available to enable those that have been faced with the worst consequences of all. The government buildings, no longer visible under the lights and glitz of our “Independence Day”
Why not improve police and special forces training? Create job opportunities as well as improve the conditions of those fallen men that bear the brunt of our national security.

I recently saw a picture of Amjad Sabri’s son singing in his school for Independence Day. Bless his innocent soul, able to wear the colors of this country and in that, have faith and see the beauty in so much ugliness.

After spending the majority part of my trip representing Pakistan, creating awareness by defending what’s going on; what’s being portrayed in the media and what’s factual. I’m exhausted. I can no longer see the glory around the gore.
I’m sorry, Pakistan. I love you but I’m sorry.

Dessert at Burning Brownie

This is a review of my favorite dessert place in Islamabad, Burning Brownie.

(Surprisingly, there is no brownie on the menu..)

I’ve mentioned Burning Brownie in previous posts. In fact, it receives in an honorary mention in almost every food-related post. And with good reason!

Let’s begin with location.. The small but immaculate coffee shop is located within Beverly Center in Blue Area. If you’ve been an inhabitant of Islamabad over the past five years, you’d know this was where Masoom was located before the controversial ownership became public.

Many major franchises, be it clothing (Karma Pink) or eateries (Masoom’s, Jia’s Deli– which is barely a float; major ghost town) haven’t had much luck in Beverly Center. This isn’t the case for Burning Brownie.

Limited seating in the form of a literal handful of tables means there will be a wait but luckily, the limited menu means that the waiting time never exceeds 5 minutes. Enjoy the ambiance while you’re waiting. #coolvibes


Now, on to the desserts.

The must have, and I can’t really can’t stress just how crucial this dessert is to the entire Burning Brownie experience.. 

The Holy Grail of desserts.. Cheesecake.

Doesn’t matter if you don’t like cheesecake, pair this baby up with the heavenly strawberry sauce (more on that later..) and you WILL be one happy camper. Guaranteed.

My only insider perspective on this is… ask the waiter whether there’s strawberry sauce or blueberry sauce before you order. If it’s the latter- then consider also trying another cake because the blueberry sauce is as underwhelming as the strawberry is amazing.

Here is my standard chocolate order. I’ve had the Chocolate Fudge Cake as many times as I’ve had the cheesecake (thanks to my sister;  she lets me split her order)

If you’re in the mood for chocolate, you can’t go wrong. Very basic yet super moist and extra delicious. 

The slices of cake are a tad priceyRs 285 but I’d still say it’s worth the trip.

The coffee options are limited, which just reminds us small of a set up Burning Brownie truly is. Definitely overpriced and nothing special. A Cappuccino in a small teacup is almost Rs.300

Ahh Cappuccino, why are you nothing to write home about?

For the sake of the blog, I ordered another item off the menu. The chocolate chip cookie. Very boxed-mix made but for that reason alone, delicious to my palate. Rs.110 does make you think twice, especially since it is alas- one cookie. It’s cheaper to pick up a cookie from Subway and it’ll probably taste the same if not better.


Still my favorite dessert place in the Capital. The cheesecake is a must try, especially with the delicious strawberry sauce. Coffee & cake are the best combination. On a budget? Skip the cookie.

Happy eating!


No one paid me to write this. I wouldn’t object to a cheesecake as a thank you though. Pass that along to the Burning Brownie guy.

Breakfast at Cafe Rock

So here’s the thing… When I like something or someplace, I become obsessed. I’m overly loyal to certain potato chips and order the exact same thing from a restaurant, even when I really don’t want to eat it.

This was my second trip to Cafe Rock this week and luckily, it was as good as the first time. The decor really stuck out this time around.

Le familia was really pushing for Chaaye Khana but I got my way after minimal whining. So without further ado, pictures I actually remembered to take:

  Snapchat quality so don’t kill me, fam.

Now comes the most difficult part; food pictures. I enjoy seeing pictures of others food at restaurants so I have a visual idea of something worth ordereding. The difficult part comes into managing to take a decent picture once it arrives. My first instinct is to try it as soon as it arrives, usually ruining the presentation. So without further ado, my snapchatted food pictures:

Convinced the baby sister to try the Club Sandwiches which I ordered last time. The ketchup and barbecue sauce combination was a crowd pleaser.

Cheese. Eggs. What’s not to love? Very difficult to screw up, to be honest.

Messy but yummy nonetheless.

Very Berry Smoothie. Not as sweet as I would have liked it to be. Super cold; oh Lord! The ICE!

Avoid if you have sensitive teeth.  

Not really into chocolate coffee… Stick to the Sister Hazelnut for that sweet but still caffeinated kick!

These adorable trays get an honorable mention. How adorable!

Worth trying! Let me know how your experience went in the comment section below.

Shanzay’s Weekend

Location- Islamabad (Pakistan)

Shanzay’s Weekend Critique:


•Cafe Rock– Better than Chaaye Khana. Must try!

BEST COFFEE SPOT. I had the Sister Hazelnut and it was SURPRISINGLY good.

Beats Coffee Republic for my favorite coffee shop.

(Above Radiocity in Sector F6)

•14th Street Pizza– Best regular crust pizza in Islamabad. (Even this is a cheese stuffed crust;?basing the term “regular” on the thickness of the pizza)

For thin crust, Pizza Originale is the best pizza I’ve had. Handsdown. Worldwide.

(Blue Area)

Note- only take away & delivery options available.

•Cheema Chatta– Just… No. Very hardcore Desi food (& smell..) Overpriced for the quantity.

Better option? BBQ Tonight in Blue Area. They’ve really stepped up their game over the past year. Wide variety of dishes. Cost effective eating! (Who doesn’t love that?) Try the hummus!

(Sector F-11)

• Nutella Spot– Had the cheesecake by 401. Easily passable.  Pretty disapponting because I had high expectations.

Best cheesecake is still at Burning Brownie. Thank me later.

(F-11 Markaz)

•Little Asia

Although the ambiance is great, it is overpriced. Islamabad eateries are more expensive than other cities in Pakistan but Little Asia is definitely going to put a dent in your pocket. The food, although good, is less in the quanity- price ratio. Staff was a 3/5 on the hospitable scale. Not very accommodating.

My take? Try it once. Then stick to my personal favorite, China Town. (Order the Oyster Sauce Chicken & the Butterfly Prawns)

(Super Market Sector F-6; Next to Coffee Republic)

Another thing worth mentioning is that Little Asia, along with the Warehouse have started the ANNOYING trend of closing their business from 3 to 7pm. I understand that it may be a smart business decision but it’s the main reason I haven’t tried these restaurants til now. For someone like me, that gets home at 4:30 and then just eats a lunch/dinner, (Linner, anyone?) there’s no convenient time.
Happy Eating!

A Two-Part Series. Misogyny.

A Two-Part Series. Misogyny.

A two-part series

A young man tweeted not long ago, in response to an article announcing the divorce of a  famous female designer, why a woman’s personal life was splashed over the news.
This article was published by a mainstream, reputable newspaper outlet.
My immediate response was to inform him that we live in a society today where misogyny lies rampant. Misogyny exists. The failure of a woman’s relationships are in the spotlight more frequently than any man’s. It’s not just a gender card though. Setbacks and failures are highlighted more in society than milestones and achievements are celebrated.

It’s an interest we’ve allowed ourselves to become privy to;  indulging in others business and personal affairs.

Continue reading “A Two-Part Series. Misogyny.”

Calling out all Victims!

Calling out all Victims!

Ahhh, this topic is one that I’d normally avoid writing about; not because I lack an opinion. Far from it. I just hate responding to someone that has clearly closed off their mind and isn’t willing to UNDERSTAND and GROW.
However, my friend (thanks, Sana!) has totally revved me up about my blog so here it goes.

Unfortunately much more common in girls rather than boys of the twenty-first century. For every modern day feminist, there’s someone that knows no better than to portray themselves as incompetent, or worse… stagnant due to circumstances beyond their control.

“You know who’s gonna give you everything? Yourself.”

This quote attached above, resonates with me. My grandfather has always told me that education is the one thing no one can take away from you. No worldly possession or amount of money can compare to an education.

As a parent, the most beneficial thing you can give your child is an opportunity at a brilliant education.

As a child, whether son or daughter, the best thing you can do for yourself is maximize that education. Nothing in life is a free ride so why not take advantage of opportunities surrounding you and WORK? Make a five year plan. Your 20s should be spent laying the foundation for the rest of your life.
So next time finals come around; or you notice premature hair graying… Think of this. Life isn’t certain. Objects can be taken away in a moments time. The world will go on even if you decide your life has ended right there. Life waits for no one. So while you’re here, why not seek as much knowledge and discover how vast the world truly is.