Wednesday, May 25, 2016

007 Annas' Rasheed upgraded as 008

Fun loving parents Mala and Ahsan with their birthday boy Annas Rasheed

''My name is Bond, James Bond! And the reason I am here is my promotion. Till now, the world knew me as 007, from now on my new code is 008''

Wow! What an amazing idea of celebrating Eight birthday of this little lad, called Annas Rasheed. Year after year, this blog covers birthdays of this family and the innovations in picking themes for their parties and applying them to perfection remain mind blowing. The genius behind creating these perfect theme parties is quite well known. None other than Mala Ahsan Rasheed (Shimaila Jabeen) the mother of the birthday boy. To be very honest, Mr. Ahsan Rasheed's children are extremely lucky, as they are blessed with parents, who still have souls of little kids inside them. They equally enjoy all the fun activities with their children.

Guests were invited to attend the party dressed as secret service agents, either to arrive in Western clothes or wear Red or Black. Lots of secret service agents, appeared. Even the summer heat in May could not take away, their spirit to party, fully dressed in two piece suits. Aaseyah, Aafreen, Azka, all three sisters of the birthday boy looked stunning in formal Black gowns. Leave aside young girls and boys, even their mothers opted to wear Western outfits, Bond girls, Pakistan version. 

On 6th of May, this '007' themed party took place at the roof top garden of their house. Whereas, the decorations started from right outside the gates. Little Hollywood was erected there, with Balloon arches, fairy lights, standees with Annas' pictures posing as James Bond, artistically placed everywhere. Not to forget, the invitation card for Annas' 007 party had his own picture, dressed to kill with a gun as 007. Amazing creativity indeed. Seemed, a separate photo session was arranged only for invitation cards and stage backdrop, standees and cut outs. Must have taken months of preparations. Our salutes to Mala for so much of effort. And congratulations to the little lucky birthday brat.

And this was just the beginning of decorations. Every nook and corner of the house was filled with bunches of flowers and balloons. The entrance, the walkway, the staircase leading to the party area, everything and every spot had some draping, glitter or was simply glowing in colours. Yet, when people entered the party area, their jaws dropped to witness the breath taking view.

The stage had an enormous backdrop with Annas' pictures, posing in James Bond style. There were 007 guns for all the children to play with. Gigantic balloon arches beautifying every side. Custom made buntings and mini flags, everywhere. When the evening started to prevail, all these things were lit with different coloured fairy lights, adding a magical touch. The James Bond music was played throughout the party.

At one side of the party area, there was a cutout James Bond car stand, with a bling-bling background. Go there, pose as if you are driving, you also get props like sunglasses to pose with, act like a secret service agent and get your pictures taken. While at the other end of party area was an enormous darting wheel. Boom, boom! Use the gun but only for fun, no real bullets but plastic darts only. Get your picture there too.

Another thing, which had the guests and the children attending the party, going crazy, a chocolate fountain. Which constantly flowed and children used straws to drink chocolate, right from the fountain. Some preferred to have it on the cupcakes, some dipped wafers and biscuits. There were lots of games, lots of singing and dancing, alongwith toy gunning. The cake was also huge in size and well designed according to the theme. The dinner was served downstairs, in the lawn. A great variety of fast and traditional food to suit the tastes of young and old alike.

We congratulate Mala Ahsan for yet another gala celebration. Girl! You are a living proof, for a drop dead gorgeous, talented woman like you, ''The World is not enough'' to prove talents. May you get the entire universe to spread this beauty. And indeed, you are as stunning as any heroine of James Bond movies.

Family with the birthday boy
Glamourous bond girls
Hajra Shah, Zahra Shah, Fatima Shah

Birthday boys sister Aaseeah
Birthday boy's fun with gun. Annas enjoying being 008 from 007

Saima Faisal and Rabia Rehman

Mala Ahsan and Zahra Bassat with giant darting board
Mehriya Omer with kids Zahra Omer and Niaz Hussain

Romana, Mala, Iram and Bushra

 Birthday boy Annas Rasheed posing with friends and father Ahsan Rasheed
Girls with guns, lethal combination
Nadia Amir, Mala, Rani, Zahra, Tasbiha, Romana
Hajra Shah and Zahra Shah on a secret Bond mission
So many Bond girls together

Romana Ahmed, Mala, Irum, 

Romana Tanveer, enjoying the ride in Bond car

Mala with Hamu and Zishma Safi

Birthday bounties and party props

The beautiful party set up

And how it glowed at night
The genius behind the event. Birthday boy's mom. The stunning beauty, Mala Ahsan

Kids enjoying Chocolate fountain with straws, cupcakes and wafers

Daddy cool, Ahsan Rasheed with his son, 007/008 Annas Rasheed

Monday, May 16, 2016

Friends of SOS at Haniya's place

The hostesses of the party with Hania Shahid

Save the BEST for LAST! That's what Haniya Shahid and friends of SOS Multan believe in.
Although, it is common in committee groups, the head who collects and manages the total amount, gets the money first--- but not in this committee! Hania Shahid makes sure, all the members receive the sum and arrange their parties first. Then she designs an event so splendiferous that it obliterates the memories of even the best of parties, like ''the rung party'' she had last time. Magnetizes new people, along-with those already associated with this cause. And that's exactly what she did again, at the closure of 'friends of SOS committee, season 3'.

On 5th of May, alongwith her group members, Rubina Arshad, Saira Nasir, Saima, Ayesha, Qudsia, Kokab, Reena, Rabia, Shazia Fareed, Ittratt Bano Gillani and Shahida, Hania Shahid arranged last party of this committee at her own beautiful house in the evening.

It was again a resplendent event. The decorations started right from the entrance. Kites beautifully tucked in Saffron clothed arches_all the way up the drive way. The tea was to be served in the front yard. Whereas the sitting and the ramp for fashion show was laid in the backyard. Which had another breathtaking set up to offer.

The favourite part of the writer of this post, were dozens of glass bird feeders hanging in the trees with flickering artificial candles. Which also appeared, like giant bubbles floating at the corners or chandeliers in the open. Absolutely fascinating. Although, even this writer had bought few of these glass bird feeders but nobody could think of using them so artistically, so perfectly in such abundance but only Haniya Shahid.

Black and White theme for sitting areas seem to be catching up fast. The entire sitting layout was Black and White. Chairs dressed in White skirts with big Black bows. Unnecessary lighting was avoided to keep the romance alive. Concealed colour changing, disco lights were placed under trees and creepers, to enhance the beauty. A musical band entertained the audience with live music and singing. An enormous ramp was there with the stage to provide the young participants from SOS village, true feeling of being models at a fashion show. Yes, the models were from SOS village, all dressed up, glowing in shimmering make, all pretty little ladies.

Shinning like a diva, Haniya herself hosted the show confidentially. The program started with tilawat Quran by a girl from SOS village.  After that Haniya invited Mahnaz Fareed on stage. Who showed a presentation about all the achievers from SOS village. Those children, who acquired respectable living and education through this institution and now are creating their niche by getting jobs. She went on to describe, some of them are also employed back at SOS village, SOS Herman Gmeiner School, SOS institute of technology, Multan. It is a fantastic system which does not let go of their lives even when they enter their adulthood.

Here, it is important to salute Mahnaz Fareed for her efforts. This lady is determined, personally takes great pains, follows these children and makes sure they get the maximum access to best of education and opportunities, not just in the city or the country but all around the world. To her, every child in SOS village is her own child and she does not want them to be deprived of anything, no matter what. 
She is a great example of success in every field of life. Her efforts and contribution to the society must be acknowledged by awards and honours by government and other institutions, being bestowed on her.  

After Mahnaz, Haniya invited all her group members on stage and thanked them for their co-operation for organizing this event and agreeing to everything she suggested. She also requested them to speak on the occasion. Ms. Shahida greatly admired Haniya's ideas and efforts and thanked her for taking all the arrangements upon herself. She said, they were blessed to have her as member and entire city is blessed to have a lady like her.

Finally the drums rolled and the fashion show started. One after another, on the beat of lively tunes of music, the girls appeared on the ramp. Full of poise, beauty and confidence. Few of them were accompanied by the hostesses. Haniya, Rubina Arshad, Saira Nasir, Sidra Bakhtawar, Shazia Fareed, Saima Fisal, Rabia Rehman and Shahida also graced this catwalk. Those who were present at the occasion, simply loved the show. A record maximum number of attended this party out of 115+ members of this committee.

As described above, the tea was served in the front lawn. Which was beautifully decorated with food stalls from Haniya and Itrat's very own restaurant Lahore Chatkhara, Multan branch. Women relished over the variety of cuisine and simply loved, the live assembling of chaats and cooking of sweet Jalebis. From barbecue to Chinese, everything was in abundance to serve the vegetarians and the meat lovers. With plenty of diet and regular cold drinks and teas. It was indeed a marvellously done event. Congratulations to Haniya and all her group members!

Do not forget dear friends! Haniya remained topper and a distinction holder, throughout her academic life. Did her MBA from B.Z.U, Multan with flying colours. Had the honour of serving as Director of National Bank of Pakistan for four years, during previous government. And is also a constant, most regular, greatest support of SOS Village Multan. Being the daughter of Mrs. Jameeda Malik, a renowned educationalist of Multan, Haniya fully incorporates her teaching experience in smooth functioning of SOS Herman Gmeiner school, shoulder to shoulder with her dynamic friend Mahnaz Fareed. And thus is one of the most valued board members of both, SOS school and SOS village Multan. This event speaks a lot about her refined tastes, great management skills. Also as mentioned earlier, Haniya alongwith her partner Itrat is the only female restaurant owner in the city of saints. Truly a talented and blessed personality. Lots of prayers and best wishes for her in the future. Good Luck for everything

The models, girls from SOS village Multan

Sidra Bakhtawar and Mahnaz Fareed

Freeha Ismail and Saima Faisal

A little girl in the party, Hajra Shah

Romana Ahmed and Mala Ahsan

Rubina Arshad with friends

A friend with Saira Nasir

Romana Tanveer
Aarfa Waqar

All smiles

Kiran and Afshan

All dolled up beauties, Saima Faisal and Rabia Rehman

Mehriya Omer, Attiqa Hussain

The gorgeous Hina Ali
Farah Saqib and Uzma
Hania on the ramp with SOS girls

Ayesha Usman, in the middle of her friends

SOS village model girls on the ramp

Friends with Hina Shahid

Shazia Fareed and Zahra Bassat

Zainab and Uzma Akbar

Riffat with her friends from SOS
Snapchat shot, Shehaer Bano, Maha Bokhari and Hajra Shah's Selfie with FarihaMunirShah

Beautifully decorated gifts for the guestson Left,
glass bird feeders used as candle hangers on Right

Kite decorations on entrance, Live Jalebi cooking and different food stalls
The most fascinating part of all the decorations, glass bird feeders with flickering artificial candles

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Celebration of Saraiki culture

Uzma Burana hosting her show
Multan is one of the few places on earth, where Saraiki is regarded a native language.  As this city is considered a parallel civilization to Rome; Saraiki is often compared to French language in sweetness, softness and beauty. It has a strange poetic quality about it. This language is widely spoken in entire South of Punjab and at the bordering areas in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwah.

Richness of Saraiki heritage and culture can flabbergast those, who are unaware of it. Vibrance of colours, ethnic touch, elegance wrapped in austerity, these characteristics truly elevate Saraiki handicrafts from rest of the world. Here, everything can be hand embroidered. Apparel, shoes, beddings, wall hangings, table to foot mats. You name it and Saraiki people would present to you an article dripping with colour, shimmer and originality. Artefacts made of camel skin, mirror work, miniatures, paintings, mosaic. Truly hand made, from beginning to end.

In every age, Multani Gold remained famous around the world for its purity. The jewellery made out of real Gold and silver is simply fascinating. Earthen to Blue pottery, Saraiki artisans are great masters. They have their own marvels of tradition and style, which speak for themselves anywhere in the world that they are from the city of saints, from the land of sufis.

As sufi-ism originated from this land, the poetic quality and unfathomable love for music is a part of its heritage. Most of the songs sung by Sufi singers today, were originally written by Saraiki saints and poets. This language is loaded with folk songs. Which have now become a part of tradition at every Pakistani or Indian wedding throughout the world. Saraiki people are artistic by birth, they have the spirit of a painter, a poet, a singer, a dancer in them. And that breathes a happy soul in them, that no heat can ever kill. They will rather crack a joke about the rising temperatures of their land and laugh over it. or sing about it or would simply dance it away.

Like rest of the world, as modernism is taking up, Saraiki culture is gradually disappearing from the lives of its natives. Those who truly cherish and value their heritage, try to sustain it. Some go over the edge and make efforts to resuscitate it by providing others, opportunities to revisit their roots and reconnect with traditions. One such great effort was made by Uzma Burana. This lady proudly embraces the fact that she is a Saraiki and holds this culture in great reverence. So much, that the entrepreneurial field she selected for herself, despite being a feudal lady, is of ''khussa (traditional Saraiki shoe
) making'' by the name of ''village art'' and through that she supports the underprivileged families associated with this craft.

On 9th April 2016, Uzma Burana with her group members, Ayesha Durrani, Yasmin Durrani, Azra Parveen, Bano Saleem, Shamim Shad, Mehwish Durrani Mehmooda Rahat, Nighat Gillani, Fariha Jamil, arranged a party at ladies club Multan and named it ''Saraiki cultural festival''. Which happened to be a treat for eyes, ears and souls. Members of the ladies club were requested to attend the function in traditional Saraiki dresses and jewellery. The participants did true justice to the theme and arrived in bright clothes, worked with gotta, kinari and other embroideries and loaded with traditional Multani jewellery. Uzma Burana recreated the beauty of a traditional Saraiki household. Adorned with bright coloured embroideries, traditional decoration pieces and household utensils.  The set up was simply breath taking and conveyed the deep love the organizers held in their hearts for their culture.

The program started with the recitation of holy Quran. Uzma Burana personally took the responsibility of conducting the show. Very gracefully, she went on to introduce each aspect of Saraiki culture and threw some light history and culture. She had invited folk singers from her lands, who went on to sing folk songs on the beats of ''dholak''. All the members of the club were then invited to display their outfits and jewellery. As we know, Saraiki women are such bewitching beauties, each and every participant appeared extremely beautiful. But the judgement had to be done. Fariha Munir Shah, the joint secretary of this club was given the honour to decide. Keeping in view the voting of the audience, she declared Farah Sohail Sheikh as first, Mahmooda Rahat second, Tahira Najam and Shahnaz Iqbal were third. After that, Uzma requested her group members, Ayesha Durrani and others to start 'Jhoomar' (a traditional Saraiki dance) performed at weddings by entire family. Almost all the ladies, young or old participated in it. There were also skits by different members. Lots of games, singing and dancing. Each and every member was enthralled. Felt proud of being a Saraiki and thoroughly enjoyed the event.

At the end, Mrs. Shagufta Khaksaar, program secretary of the club made some announcements. Then, the dinner was served, which again accentuated Saraiki traditions. Saag, palak, Makai roti, chollay, etc.  A true sumptuous, scrumptious treat. Indeed, it was the best of the best party of ladies club, Multan. Thanks a lot Uzma Burana, people like you who love and honour their heritage are indeed blessing to the mankind, as they never let the ties break, which connect the nations to its roots. God bless you always.

Essentials of a Saraiki house
Khattra and Hookah, Bed and smoke machine in Saraiki culture
Changaer (plate) and Blue pottery cup
Madhani ( Saraiki Butter making machine)
True Saraikis drink tea in bowls
Saraiki singers 

Uzma Buana and friends

 Farah Khwaja and Ayesha Durrani,
Saraiki beauties, Assistant Program secretaries of ladies club

Presenting a skit, Mrs. Sipra, Mahmooda Rahat and Tahira Najam

Saraikan churning the madhani, Farah Sohail Sheikh at her best

The audience
Mrs. Gillani with other guests and Shaireen Rana from Jung, Ruqaya Naeem from Khabrein

Uzma Buran's mom giving away prizes to Mahmooda Rahat and her grand daughter
Stage full of participants
The new comers expressing their views
All the hostesses together with Uzma Burana
The Club administration,
Fariha Munir Shah, Shagufta Khaksar and Ayesha Durrani

Mahmooda Rahat and Shagufta Khaksar
Little Saraikan

Mrs. Qalab Abbass, Mrs. Zarina Behtreen and Mrs. Khwaja Mueed

The stylish Saraikans

Shagufta Khaksar, Mrs. Cheena Gillani and Mrs. Iqbal Chaudhary
All that glitters is Gotta and real Gold