An experience of a different kind

Another week, full of experiences of a different kind. ๐Ÿ™‚ Watching the roses outside my window bloom reminds me of winter in Lahore, especially when I used to go running on the tracks at LUMS. Right outside the sports center, is a garden with different flowers. One night last December I was walking by in the pitch dark, and I was overwhelmed by the smell of roses. Couldn’t see a thing but just the smell was intoxicating. The next morning I went to check out the flowers, and they were the most beautiful roses I had ever seen. It was one of those moments when you just praise Allah unconditionally.

So, I am seeing these roses bloom, a little bit everyday. And its amazing. Haven’t smelt them yet though. ๐Ÿ™‚ Being a complete nature lover, I definitely go crazy in the mountains and among nature. On Monday last we went to Plitvicka Lakes (pronounced Plitvich) National Park. This is a collection of lakes surrounded by 3 mountains, divided into 12 upper lakes and 4 lower lakes. And the most amazing water falls … I had the most awesome time trekking there … we spent the whole day and was just wow. Once again I marvel at the beauty Allah has blessed us with. My face book status of the day “I spent Rs 800 to see the Taj Mahal, and I spent Rs 800 to trek the Plitvicka lakes — surely there is no comparison of the beauty Allah has blessed us with on earth.” I was just awestruck by the colors, the landscape, the beauty ….. Check out the pictures on this link: ย http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=306991&id=508317781&l=7c335c7a74 ….ย Completely missed owais and aamir my trek buddiesย … specially when we went up one mountain, came down it …. went to the big waterfall, figured the only way to go was climb up the mountain, climbed up, trekked to the ferry and then Julien wanted a post card so walked back to the station where he thought the postcards were, ofcourse had to climb a mountain again for that and realised it wasn’t the place, that same place was another half hour trek across another mountain …. ๐Ÿ˜€ …

It was a good week, got a lot done, in terms of official work like bank accounts and learning agreements. And Hira tries cooking ๐Ÿ˜‰ …. so the first day I tried to make rice and vegetables at home … it tasted horrible, absolutely horrible … ๐Ÿ˜€ … but for want of food, I ate. The second day I decided to fix it, so made a little desi stir fry with chinese chili sauce and pickled green chilies … not super but good hogaya tha … ๐Ÿ™‚ …

Had a different kind of b’day this year too …. ๐Ÿ™‚ .. spent the day with some great people, missed some special people … my room mates Noora and Aurore threw me a surprise party with all the other exchange students … ๐Ÿ™‚ ย  funny thing is there are no bakeries in Zagreb, cause people kind of bake at home … so none of the coffee bars would serve them a whole cake to cut, but they agreed to cut slices and serve us … i gotta collection of Zagreb souvenirs as a b’day gift … had a multicultural b’day celebration, and got sung happy b’day in French, Spanish, Russian, Hravatski and Finish in addition to English …. attached pictures with the mail … ๐Ÿ™‚ … but the best bit was the surprise party humair, rabayl, sahib and hussain threw for me … ๐Ÿ™‚ ..

Completely enjoying the lets meet for drinks culture … and love the horrified looks on people’s faces when i get my Nestea Peach or Nesquick Chocolate … ๐Ÿ˜€ completely made friends with the servers at Dizzles … an awesome ice cream place and Surf ‘n Fries …. they have the most awesome Fries … ๐Ÿ˜€ ..

One more thing I love about here is the awesome fresh bread that is always available …. so getting hooked to Krossan and coffee … ๐Ÿ˜€ … although its raining outside so modifying the plans for the day now, and din’t get to go get the Marmalade Krossan’s … had banana’s and chaat masala instead for breakfast … ๐Ÿ˜€

but yeah, its cold, its healthy … and discovering the little magic of data and technology that have just read about, now experiencing it … ๐Ÿ™‚ so anyway .. gonna go do some research now … catch ya all later …

Hello from Zagrebacka

Hello from the land of the I want to grow up and forget my history of being a an ex-communist state. ๐Ÿ™‚ .. No kidding, the Croats are just like the Pakistanis. In so many ways, still they are much apart in their want and need of designer brands … so hello you don’t have a Louis Vuitton bag … you mustn’t be from this part of Europe then … ๐Ÿ˜€

So, almost after a week of settling in, figuring out classes, language, food issues and trying to explore the city, here I am back again. Finally, also got my self a sim so am mobile once again … and hell I love the 3G and data options I have here … going crazy over them. And the best thing is google maps and oh my God … GPS is like the absolute most amazing thing man has ever invented … ๐Ÿ˜€ .. been finding myself around the city on location finder and thats how I just got home … ๐Ÿ™‚ ..

met a Lebanese girl, Ghyam there who told us about the Halal places to eat … cause its important to eat as she put it … but have been doing good with the vegetables … ๐Ÿ˜€ .. made like really good mashed potatoes last night and today peas and potato salad with “ajvar” … its like a serbian / croatian relish or spread, alternative to caviar …. its made from brinjal, paprika and garlic … and you can use it with salad or as spread on bread … so yea … had dabal roti chatni today ๐Ÿ˜‰ …

got really tired when writing this last night, fell asleep and just woke up now .. ๐Ÿ™‚ .. almost 12 hours ๐Ÿ™‚ achievements in life …

1. rain doesn’t bother me like it does the goras especially because water doesn’t clog here and their drainage system is awesome .. except its so cold and windy ….

2. green tea and mashed potato combination rocks ๐Ÿ˜€ …

Didn’t have hot water yesterday cause our land lord was getting some work done in the plumbing system …. complete hand hogaya tha …

Our buddy Andi Islami took us out for coffee and was showing us around the city … will be updating with lots more activities around Zagreb soon …

right now .. time to go out and explore .. ๐Ÿ˜€

The start of an adventure of a life time …

11:00 pm Pakistan time on Saturday, September 11, 2010.

Check in at Karachi airport: excess baggage, the guy at the counter says pay Rs 18,000 and I’m like are you mad … ๐Ÿ˜› … then the porter dude takes me to the side and says madame how much money do you have, ‘aap kahein tu in se baat karloon’ .. i’m like ok … hand him Rs 3000 … he gets our baggage checked in and i hand over Rs 300 to him … he grins and says madame koi masla tu nahin, bas hamara maqsad hai logon ka kam asani se hojaye … ๐Ÿ˜›

but apparently the check in guy got last laughs, he gave us seats right in front of the emergency exit … so yeah the seats didn’t recline and it was terrible sleeping with straight seats for the next six hours … but what impressed me was that the flight left the airport on the dot at 3:05 am as scheduled, unlike pia or even emirates for that matter. so 9:00 am PST am at the Istanbul Ataturk Havalimani completely tired, and sleepy … cut out the next 6 hours waiting for my connecting flight … and finally after an hour delay due to some awesome rain .. we finally got on our way to Zagreb … so its 1:00 PM Turkey time or 3:00 pm PST now.

during the delay in departure and the thunder and lightning before rain, met Cynthia from California .. who was shit scared of thunder cause they dont have rain in California … but had fun hangin out with her, and teasing her about the rain … and how the plane wouldn’t fly till it stopped …. and man she got worked up, it was so funny …

then we had a nurse sitting next to us in the plane … us being me and Noora, my classmate with me … she was from Croatia, but lived in Palestine with her husband whom she met at university .. ๐Ÿ˜› .. ย and she says to us, “I am Croatian but let me tell you, I wouldn’t recommend you to go there …. you must take care of yourself, boys will be boys you know … ” .. at which I said to Noora, you know my mom almost said the same thing in not such an explicit way ,.. ๐Ÿ˜€

so at the Zagreb airport at the entry we run into Cynthia again and then shes like she wants to grab a camera and chase us around for four months cause we look like we’re going to be doing some funny shit … then she asked us to get a picture taken with her …. the immigration counter was so slow, we were the last to get our clearance and by the time we were done, everyone had left and only our luggage was travelling on the carousel … so grabbed the luggage and realized our suitcases were wet due to the rain in Turkey …

finally got everything and headed off out side .. got the shuttle bus to take us to the central bus terminal … now keeping it simple, I asked Noora to lets take a taxi, but Noora wanting to be economical and take the tram … so after asking around several people, getting lost of maps that dint make sense, run in with a drunk Croatian man who insisted on helping the ladies but couldn’t make sense of the maps himself … go figure .. ๐Ÿ˜› .. i finally told Noora, am in no mood of spending more time here, lets get a cab and leave … so we get a cab, show him the address cause I can’t pronounce it … and finally home …

So welcomed by our landlord, Miroslav Ozmec and his wife Zuhra Ozmec and their son Miroslav Ozmec (who has the same name as his father :P) …. ย and they were so excited they gave us a tour of the apartment, got our paper work started and even took the advance rent ๐Ÿ˜› … so its about 6:00 pm Croatian time or 9:30 pm Pakistan time when we are finally done … and completely ready to drop …. ๐Ÿ˜› ..

but took another two hours to unpack and settle in and finally go to sleep … now its like 11:30 pm Pakistan time (8:30 pm Croatia) and my bed time, and I been up for exactly 41 hours on account of Eid and Travelling .. so slept like theres no tomorrow … except woke up at 12:00 am when our third apartment mate Aurore came back home and then exactly at 5:00 am Croatia ( which is 8:00 am PST – so the dog inside me doesn’t let me sleep beyond then as usual) .. took me another hour to get back to sleep … and was up again at 7:00 cause had to leave with my landlord Miro and his son Miro to go to the police station ,…

The ozmec’s are extremely helpful in terms of getting things done, helping us with paper work and translation and things … and of course Miro Ozmec Senior lent us his cellphone, used his disability card (Croatians are big on letting disabled people ahead in line for official work), helped us buy electronic equipment and ย wouldn’t let us pick stuff cause we are girls while Miro Ozmec Junior spent time asking about Pakistan, population and ease of alcohol and cigarette use. ๐Ÿ˜€

Zagreb is an “ulta” city completely .. at least for me .. from everything like driving on the other side of the street to the left hand drive cars, to the light switches that turn on when up and off when pressed down … to the fact that there are more women than men in this town and all officials in police station, insurance office and bank were women … with like two exceptions …. and most of the men. dunno if they were Croats or tourists just hanging out at caffe bars that open from 8:00 am in the morning …

but the tourist scene is awesome, school is like 5 minute walk from home … and the apartment is on a hill … the weather is good, almost like Nathiagali … I love the place and the weather … went grocery shopping today and made myself tomato sandwiches, which were like first food after my eid dinner at home almost two days ago ๐Ÿ˜€ … so good experience … and figuring out the classes scene now ๐Ÿ™‚

PULSAR Launched

January 22, 2008

Be the Change and surely we became it. ๐Ÿ™‚

PULSAR launched in the Telecommunication Department at NED university with its first event. Mr. Faisal Qureshi of Personality Quotient, addressed the audience with the theme “The Power of You” as part of the Inspire Series initiated by PULSAR. With over 100+ particpants attending the session, it was truly magnificent to see a humble idea take shape. The feeling when your dream becomes reality;ย its a different one altogether.

Mr. Faisal Qureshi interacting with the audience

Mr. Faisal Qureshi interacting with the audience

Today, I had this feeling for only the second time since I joined NED.ย  Well since I’ve graduated now, its worth the experience anyway. The last time was the annual dinner, when I had so much to say but no words left to express myself; when I was so happy that I wanted to cry. Today came mighty close; I could never go back and change how my life shaped but yes, I can and I am taking that step to make the future better for those who deserve it.

To make a difference; it’s how I choose to live my life.

Team PULSAR with Mr. Faisal Qureshi

Team PULSAR with Mr. Faisal Qureshi

Seek to Know: Know to Learn – The Importance of Asking Questions

We live in an ever changing world. Perhaps the secret of human beings’ adaptability to different environments is the need to cope with rapidly changing facts and techniques. With change comes new learning.

The most important form of learning is self directed or self motivated learning and this comes from repeated questioning. As is the misconception with our generation, questions are not “stupid”. On the contrary, the uniqueness and originality of an individual is enhanced by the questions he asks. Asking questions increases one’s self awareness and analytical capabilities.

Questioning is the basic form of interaction. It establishes a platform for dialogue and alters the level of challenge for self and others. When one questions, he seeks to create a new understanding based on inspection of existing knowledge and experience.

Questioning develops ones thinking from facts that lay emphasis on the concrete, to evaluation and creates a niche for new possibilities. The utmost importance of questions lies in the fact that one can’t find an answer without asking a question. As questions are the key to learning, that is what education really is.

There are different stages of learning from questions. First of we get knowledge; this is a descriptive form of learning in which we can identify who, when and where aspects. Next, questioning increases comprehension; one can translate or learn how to predict and answer the why. Learning also involves application; where in we can demonstrate how to solve a problem and try it out in a new context. Furthermore analysis can be used to explain or infer from a certain situation. We also learn to evaluate; this involves assessing a situation or judging on the basis of rational comparison and contrast. The most exciting aspect of learning is synthesis; enhancing ones capability to design, create or compose.

The basic philosophy is “know what you are to accomplish”. When you question known truths, you open possibilities of better answers than you know already. Questions are key to learning so question everything, every reading, every one because it is impossible to find an answer without a question.

The Best Email I Ever Received

Only keep reading if you’re ready to shake’ and bake’.
You in?
Great.
Onward.

Do you realize how many people in the world are gossiping right now?

Do you realize how many people are wasting their time onย something unproductive right now?

Do you realize how many people have given up on their goals in life and have thrown in the towel?

Do you realize how many people are critics, they get their thrill from bringing down people like you?

Do you realize how many people there are in the world right now who are satisfied with mediocrity and have no interest in improving their God given piece of artwork (their life)?

Take a deep breath.

As you can see, the world will most likely not pat you on the back and say “Great job.”

Right now, you’ve opened this email and you’ve committed your time and energy to improve yourself.
Do you really realize how unique you are that you’re committed to being your best?

I don’t care that you might not be where you want to be yet. Big deal.
Do you really realize how IMPORTANT you are to somebody,ย  somewhere, very soon?

Listen to this.

You don’t need to ‘do anything’ to feel worthy now.
You don’t need to ‘do anything’ to be unique and important right now.
You don’t need to ‘do anything’ to feel good about yourself now.
You don’t have to do anything to ‘deserve’ HAPPINESS, you -choose- to be happy.

The great Abraham Lincoln said, “Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Stop waiting for a certain event or condition to happen to love and appreciate who -you- are.
YOU are great today.
Be great today. Tomorrow will happen tomorrow. Focus on right now and today.
Realize how unique you are that deep down inside you -love yourself – enough to want to be your best. You are unique.
I’m honored that you’re reading this right now. I am. Iย appreciate you.
You were born unique. Comparing yourself vs. this successful person or that skinny person is a waste of your time and energy.
The easiest way to feel inferior is to compare yourself vs. anyone.
Love ya! You’re the best!

Dream Beyond Dreams

“Now is the time for us to shine, the time when our dreams are in reach and possibilities, vast. Now is the time for all of us to become the people we always dreamed of being. This is our world. We’re here.ย We matter. The world is waiting.”

The Sky Is No More The Limit ....

The Sky Is No More The Limit ....

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Hardly a day goes by when I donโ€™t reflect on future aspirations, now that I have finally graduated. Yes, it is that time when I step into the real world, prove my worth. But the real question is, am I ready?

I have the opportunity, I have the skills, but what is it that I am lacking? I have all the means to do what I want to do, I have the energy, the passion but do I have direction?

Think about this, when you leave home, you need to have a certain destination, a route you follow to reach that destination. Is it the same with our lives? In any case, if you donโ€™t know where you are going, any road will take you nowhere.

We need to be clear about our destination.

The only way that is possible, is to dream it, feel it and think big. Yes, itโ€™s all about here and now, I can only achieve what I set out to without looking back. Hopes, aspirations, what you want to do in future is only a result of dreams. When you dream, you commit to yourself:

Dedication โ€“ promise to do your best

Responsibility โ€“ make sure you do what you set out to

Education โ€“ struggle for knowledge

Attitude โ€“ the way you perceive things and react to them

Motivation โ€“ continue to try your hardest despite the ups and downs

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And it is only when you dream that you can clearly mark out your goal, and you enhance in terms of:

Growth โ€“ spiritual, emotional and mental development

Options โ€“ identify multiple opportunities and become aware of better choices

Achievement โ€“ success becomes reality

Longevity โ€“ the quality of your own life increases

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In making us human, Allah shared with us His 99 qualities, each one of us has one or another in us. Discover it, use it and thereโ€™s no end to how we will shine. We are a replica of the stars on earth.

Yes the world is waiting, letโ€™s go out and show them what we are all about! ๐Ÿ™‚

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