February 24, 2018

Those Aunties

Those Aunties was first published in the 2017 inaugral edition of acclaimed literary magazine, The Aleph Review. The anthology's latest issue  is slated for release on March 4, 2018.
Congratulations, ladies, the patriarchy is officially pissed off with your outlandish behavior. Driving around, using the internet, developing skills, pursuing passions, charting careers, picking your own paramours, expecting equal rights and education and respect and independence, and woh bhi in jeans! Haram! Haram! Intelligence and ideas are not a woman’s work. No, siree. Such divine qualities are reserved exclusively for the opposite sex.

But if you think locking up misogynistic maniacs and throwing away the key would end this idiocy, solve all your problems, and answer all your prayers, allow me to piss on your parade. 

Look, sure, boys are stupid, but what about the riot police within our ranks? That sinister force hiding in plain sight — actually, it’s impossible to hide dressed like Cheetara’s country-cousin — a predator that hunts in packs, stalking its prey, stealthily springing for the kill.

Seriously, what kind of sadist calls you, Jaani, seconds before going for your jugular?

Aunties. Those aunties. 

January 5, 2018

I'm An Insta-Girl, In An Insta-World - Part 3

Image courtesy Google

Before you get going, don't miss I'm An Insta-Girl, In An Insta-World Part 2!

Friday, 16 December 2017

Allah maaf kar day, my feet are killing me. I can’t believe business-class passengers are expected to trudge through the entire bloody terminal just to get to the bloody lounge. Look at the nerve, Allah ki kasam. Fleecing us for airfare and making us run a marathon just to relax in some cheap rexine-covered recliners. Total chors!

On the plane it’s all Voss ka pani and bistar-razai and “Madam, would you like a drink.” After that, any rational person would demand some butler and buggy service — these stilettos cost $1700…

Monday, 19 December 2017

I love this new destination wedding trend. Pehlay tou, only the parha-likha, modrun, foreigner-marrying crowd did that sort of thing to avoid logon ki batein, but times have totally changed… 

December 27, 2017

I'm An Insta-Girl, In An Insta-World - Part 2

Image courtesy Google

Before you get going, don't miss I'm An Insta-Girl, In An Insta-World Part 1!

Sunday, 4 December 2017

What a wasted Sunday! Sarah Shafi’s Harvey Nichols brunch? More like Debenham’s, frankly. Nisa — bloody pithoo —  claims Sarah spent forty bloody lakhs putting the whole bloody debacle together. Itni lut and no dessert table, no imported flowers, no giveaways even!? That could only mean one of three things — a) Sarah is a kanjoos makhichoos, b) Nisa is a total chaddoo, or c) Sarah was seriously swindled. My money’s on A and B, but I need to know what Mona and Mani think first. 

I just wish I hadn’t worn my new Zozo Kakar jora. The husband suggested I wear it to Talia’s chai next week. Like, repeat the outfit. Wear. It. Again. As if that troll, Fatoo, and her oaf of a sister would ever let me live it down. I will not be outclassed by some corrupt minister ki churail betiyan — I am an industrialist’s son’s first wife!

December 13, 2017

I'm An Insta-Girl, In An Insta-World - Part 1

This year, I’m ecstatic marking 5 years writing satire. I know this is the part where I’m supposed to humble-brag about my “journey”, but, ummm, no. I thought it’d be a lot more fun and fitting to celebrate my milestone with a tiny tribute to one of my greatest inspirations and South Asia’s most savage satirist — with razor-tongued wit and eerily precise observations, her words are effortlessly relatable and hilariously woven, and therein lies the magic of Moni Mohsin.   
Ever grateful for the guiding light!  
- Insha 

Image courtesy Google

Monday, November 28 2017


Heavy weekend! 

Friday night, Karachi, Farah Makhandani’s White Party, hosted at the beach chateau she snagged in the divorce settlement. Clever fox stuck it out just long enough to finish renovating the place. Three seconds later, Karim was kicked to the curb and she was cozying up with the Al-Hoor Cement waalon ka beta. Not that that wasn’t happening before. 

Challo, mitti pao, tay khana khao, right?

I wonder if Karim will finally crawl out of his closet?

Saturday, Jihad and Haya officially kicked off the season with their annual brunch in Bani Gala. Ufff, the views were stunning and the khana was just exquisite! Everything was imported, from Shams, but still. And, of course, all organic. Apparently, Haya is severely allergic to thelay ki sabzis.

Sunday, we were back home for the J.F. Kalandardin Polo Cup. Lately, Cheeni and her chumchees have been sporting feathery head-pieces to these events. Such a bunch of hoity-toity wannabe goris, I swear. But Annie said she might wear one. And Sam’s daughter has talked her into it too. That means, Bina’s definitely on board, so…you know. 

Now, I just hope that lazy murghi-wala shows up. The rest, the maid can figure out. Isn’t that why I pay her?

Wednesday, November 30 2017

Fittay moo!

Five cups of chai and my head is still splitting. Bloody pharmacist. Fazool mein switching out my standard cocktail with some new-fangled concoction, which, by the way, is total shit. Now he’s in some Cheechoo Ki Maliyan type pind for the next week, leaving me not-so-high and totally dry.

Bet you my Bottega he eats money to push this third-class maal on poor rich women like me. 

Thursday, December 1 2017

Ufff, is waqt I would give dus kaalay bakroon ki qurbani if it meant wearing zero make-up, slathering andaa-dahi in my hair, and taking a very long nap. I’d also kill to smother my face with chocolate cake, but none of this is going to happen. 

I mean, there’s no way I’m busting my teeka-diet. It was bloody torture trying to sneak my way into Nayna's squad and everyone knows how hyper-exclusive her B-Complex bashes are — gold-tipped syringes and all. Not a club I want to get kicked out of.

Waisay, whoever said “looks don’t matter,” is such a jhoot ki potli.  

Khair, shukar hai, I finally dug up that Bubbly woman’s number. You know, the one who takes care of this saryal pish-posh crowd’s blow-dry, threading type business? Kasam se, she is legendary, and I’m not just talking about the massage. Slip her a sizable tip and she slowly works oil into my hair while giving me a lascivious low-down on the upper-crust’s deepest, darkest dilemmas. Sakoon mahol, tay mithay chowl!

October 10, 2017

For Old Time's Sake - Lahore's Most Nostalgic Hot-Spots

Remember Polka Parlor? I do, but not because the ice cream was OMG. Those back-lit photo-boards mounted high behind the counters featured my naughtiest frozen dairy dreams — a perfect Peach Melba, a beautiful banana split, a classic triple-scoop sundae topped with a cloud of whipped cream and a neon red maraschino cherry, and my holy grail, a huge watermelon, hollowed, carved, and filled with a million tiny scoops of ice cream — all a bunch of cruel lies. Dude, my frickin’ fantasy monster-melon wasn’t even on the menu...

Still, mention the name and I can’t help smiling, because, really, disappointing dessert was but a trivial detail, an annoying distraction, if you will, in a day that included a trip to the holy land of extreme 90’s-kid fun, Amusement Arcade!

You know the one I’m talking about — that musty basement that offered a grand total of 3 thrilling fun-time activities, including the iconic heart-thumping dodge-em cars with dubious brakes and long, bendy antennas that crackled and sparked against that wire-cage roofing. That lingering smell of hot metal was oddly satisfying. The mechanical horse-race felt as intense as the Kentucky Derby, beads of sweat forming on our foreheads as we screamed our lungs sore until the shrill buzzer finally ended the game. A mix of excited shrieks and disappointed groans always followed. And the pièce de résistance — the mildly shady and definitely moldy room known as the “Shooting Gallery.” Nobody ever won the game,but we all played anyway, just to get the creepy old cowboy to half-rise out of his creaky rocking chair and lift his lame shotgun to squirt water at us. 

After an hour of so of this daredevil awesomeness, the gang of cousins, and whichever Khala had been conned into watching the kids for the afternoon, descended on Polka Parlor and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Food is a powerful, emotional affair, folks. Not convinced? Hit up these five nostalgic Lahori hotspots and we guarantee some serious feels!


Literally, eat ANY of Gino’s pizzas and it’ll take you straight back to every cool kid’s childhood birthday or last-day-of-school party you’ve ever been to. Yes, the dough is still thick and bread-y and the sauce is still oddly sweet and, no, there’s no epic stringiness to the cheese — it sits in one waxy, congealed sheet on the top, just like always — and it’s still so, so delicious. Nothing beats kick-butt kiddie party food.

March 11, 2017

Road Runner's Secret Service

Road Runner
Website: http://roadrunner.com.pk/
Phone: 0334 1310131 (OR) 0334 1311131
You can also find Road Runner on Facebook & Instagram

On a scale of 1 to Immobile Lout, how lazy are you? If you’re tipping towards stationary lump, a killer delivery service is a godsend. That’s why Road Runner rules the hearts of hermits all over Lahore. Aside from the fact that they’ll deliver pretty much anything — a winter blanket dropped off at your doorstep? Hell yeah — the service is speedy, the charges are reasonable, and, when you’re in no mood to step out, they’ll happily to trek all over the city for you. 

Near-instant gratification and almost zero hassle, I was sold the second Road Runner launched. More recently, though, they’ve got me hooked on to their latest secret service.

Ready? Okay. Hold on to your undies, because Road Runner had set up an in-house kitchen and they’re knocking out some of the most delicious Khao Suey in town. The chicken coconut curry is creamy, the noodles are tender, topped with a small mountain of crispy onions, a generous sprinkle fiery chili flakes, sliced scallions, and a big squeeze of fresh, zingy lemon juice — cozy night in a bowl, babies!

Literally, Road Runner, just take ALL of my money! Take all of eeeetttt!

For your chance to WIN A FREE KHAO SUEY MEAL FOR TWO FROM ROAD RUNNER*, don’t forget to enter The Road Runner Giveaway, happening on Facebook and Instagram. Giveaway starts on Saturday, 11 March, 2017 and closes Thursday, 16 March 2017 at 11:59 pm (PST).

* Prize generously sponsored by Road Runner

March 1, 2017

Lahore, THIS Is Why You Need To Grocery Shop Online!

I don’t know about you, but it took me decades to become a grocery shopping ninja. 

Through the pre-adulting wonder years, it was as easy as arriving at Al-Fatah, grabbing a Shezan mango and some Super Crisps, and watching Nano slice and dice her way through the entire ordeal like some supermarket sensei. 

The golden days of college entailed an obscene diet of dorm food, bean and cheese burritos and, once a week, cooking a massive, mostly desi meal to share with a horde of hungry friends, but pulling that off literally a no-brainer — hitch a ride to the nearest Indian store, pick up Shaan masalas, buy ingredients listed on the backs of those boxes. Boom. Done. 

And then I got married…*dun dun duuuuun*…and shit hitteth the fan. 

Basically, after moving in, like a good ghareloo bahu (and an A-grade idiot), I offered to take over the sauda-stocking scenario. I probably should’ve stopped to consider that a) I’d never gone grocery shopping on such a massive scale and b) I had no idea what these people shopped for, but, no, I was a fool in love. My mother-in-law resolved the latter dilemma by handing me a three-page (back and front) list scrawled in Urdu. Bullets of sweat broke out. I dialed in my besties for back-up and almost half the day later, we wrapped up an expedition that can only be described as waging war with over-zealous, jiu-jitsu trained aunties battling it out in a Game of Thrones: Ghee Edition. 

Between then and now, I’ve tried more than a couple of “systems” to make the entire process less painful — Excel sheets, streamlined lists, highlighting old receipts, memorizing the layout of my favorite grocery store, hefty tips — but about a year and a half ago I called it quits. Not because I’m a quitter, FFS, but because Allah Mian loves me and some genius launched 24/Seven.pk, Lahore’s first full-scale online grocery shopping app and website.

THIS is a goddamn revolution, folks!

Not only do they carry thousands of products from all of my go-to brands — from grocery items (including fruits and veggies), to toiletries, to cleaning supplies, to pet food, and pretty much everything in between — 24/Seven also has an awesome bakery section courtesy of Kitchen Cuisine and fresh, organic produce from Nadoz Greenz. Wikka, wikka, whaaaaa!

No lies, Lahore, this isn’t just a grocery shopping game-changer — it’s literally the answer to all my domestic house-wifey prayers and here’s why you need to hop on this gravy train, like, right now.

Convenience, Duh: You mean I can lounge in my ugliest nightie, sip chai with some light Justin Bieber playing in the background, shop at ungodly hours sans the kids, and buy a mountain of Doritos without being stared down by judgey, organic-only yoga moms? Why would anyone say no to that?

Zero Hassle: No traffic, no crowds, no lines, no tipping 10 cashiers because even though they didn’t do jack they said, “slalaikum, baji.”

February 20, 2017

Is Awesamosas Really THAT Awesome?

Address: CSD Cavalry Masood Anwari Rd Lahore
Phone: 0332 8707390
You can also find Awesamosas on Facebook & Instagram
What’s the Sub-Continent’s most epic contribution to the world of deep-fried food? The samosa, obviously! Don’t argue with that, unless you’re up for a duel to the death. Garam samosa,thandi Coke — heaven is a place on earth, lovers.

Of course, reinventing traditional excellence, especially the carb-y kind involving soft, spiced potatoes smushed inside deep-fried triangular pockets of crusty, salty dough, is a tall order, but gutsy duo Daniyal Noorani and Seemi Sani of Awesamosas don’t seem fazed. 

Probably because they know that we know that those caramelized onion samosas are the bomb and every sensible citizen in the world would cease to acknowledge graham crackers if they could find chocolate and marshmallows melting inside a toasty samosa wrapper.

Chalkboards scrawled with menus, a 3-step ordering system, and their very own quirky lingo — burgers are served shareefana (easy on the sauce) or loose (animal style) and their chai is dubbed Khoobsoora-Tea — Awesamosas has got the cozy, casual, dhabba thing down. And, yes, the food is lick-the-bowl uh-mayzing, You can find more delicious details here, here, here, and here. Or, you could ditch the literature and live your best life by wrapping your maw around a spicy, sauced-up pulled-beef samosa burger with a side of herb-salted fries and a Reese’s a la mode.

You can thank me later.

But is serving decent grub in a cute cafe enough to cut it in Pakistan’s hyper-competitive food industry?

Probably not. 

February 6, 2017

The Cafe Upstairs: Casual Cool Is Finally Back

ADDRESS: 11 C Main Jail Road, Gulberg, Lahore
PHONE: (042) 35776774
You can also find The Cafe Upstairs on Facebook & Instagram

Think of a meal out in the Lahore and it’s not unusual for the mind wander to straight to the hotspots lining the city’s famed M.M. Alam Road. But let that thought linger for a second and let the reality of braving claustrophobic chaos and bumper-to-bumper traffic sink in…yeah, it’s all downhill from there. See, for the occasional special occasion, that kind of madness is totally worth it, but, on an average day, being cocooned from the buzz and bustle and having a bite in peace is positively blissful. 

So, where do you go to get away from it all? Right to The Cafe Upstairs, of course! Quietly tucked away off Jail Road, the ambiance is casual, the space is flooded with natural light, and the menu is constantly evolving. — that’s what you call hitting all the right notes. 

The Cafe Upstairs hits all the right notes AND offers plenty of options for every kind of appetite. 

For a light lunch, split some heat-packed Wasabi Prawns and a Classic Cheesesteak with a buddy and life’s all good. Keep the fries and coleslaw for yourself, obviously. 

Ravenous? Start with the Beet & Feta Napoleon, a delicious pairing of salt and subtle sweetness, followed by a classic Margherita pizza topped generously with melting mozzarella and fresh basil. The Bird’s Eye Chili Chicken Stir-fry is also a winner. Round it all out with a warm Bread & Butter Pudding made with croissants that are baked in-house and served with a divine toffee caramel sauce. 

P.S. don’t forget the Macchiato.

The Cafe Upstairs
ADDRESS: 11 C Main Jail Road, Gulberg, Lahore
PHONE: (042) 35776774
You can also find The Cafe Upstairs on Facebook & Instagram

August 26, 2016

The BEST Breakfast Spread That's Not On Your Table


I wrote an adapted version of this article for Dawn earlier in the summer, when the heat was relentless and respite was nowhere in sight. Now, thanks to the lovely Lahori monsoon — God, I love that heady scent of the rain hitting the soil — things are cooling down and the idea of starting the day with a warm slice of crusty bread is calling out to me like a forlorn lover. And what will I be topping my choice of carbs with, you obviously don’t ask? Only the BEST breakfast spread of all time!


Thought so.

Read on.

Not to sound like a dinosaur, but I miss the good old days when Ramzan would roll around in the cool, crisp winter and we’d wake in the middle of the night shivering, the tips of our noses frozen numb. Those were simpler times of racing my brother and sister to the lounge, hoping to claim the toastiest spot in front of the enormous gas heater. Those were the magical years of sitting down, still sleepy-eyed, on a colorful dastarkhwan laid out with a sehri-time feast.

Of course, now, thanks to record-breaking heat, I have no such notions. 

I mean, is it just me or is consuming anything more than a dry piece of toast and gallons of water at a pre-dawn meal actually a very real struggle? Plus, with the holy month coming to a close soon and temperatures still soaring, I’m guessing the prospect of breakfast isn’t going to inspire much enthusiasm either. 

Thank God, my grandmother taught me well and I’ve finally got a fix for all those early morning woes. 

See, on those chilly nights, while we all sat cross-legged on the floor, crowding around bal-wala parathas, and spicy desi-style scrambled eggs studded with soft tomatoes, sweet onions, cumin, and plenty of green chilis, and leftover saalan and daal, and sticky-sweet french toast, Nano’s pre-Roza ritual defied all the norms of stuffing oneself silly. 

She would quietly spend a few minutes pretending to nibble on the stodgy fare and then, sure as the rising sun, she’d abandon ship for her standard bowl of fresh unsweetened yogurt.

I found her minimalist choice earth-shatteringly boring! 

Why would you eat a bowl of bland white goo when ghee-shakkar and makhni roti were up for grabs? Really, why?

Well, now that I’m older and smarter and have serious acid reflux issues, I’ll tell you why. 

June 6, 2016

The Trump Card: Pakistan Gets Real About The Donald

American Flag Bald Eagle Image Credit: http://guff.com/20-bald-eagles-who-love-america

UPDATE November 9, 2016: Fittay moo, America!

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, a bigoted billionaire with terrible hair ran for president. He was arrogant, he was brash, and, amongst racists and right-wingers, he was all the rage.

At the same time, in another land, a land not so far way, a land far superior in its grace and piety, where molestation was a myth, and God’s wrath was predicted by fashion, and actors doubled as the moral police, the powers that be tut-tutted.

"Only in America," they sighed. 

And so they sat down to do what they did best; pen a heartfelt white-paper to this lost nation.

“ Dear Infidels,

Hello from the other side. We must have called a thousand times. To you tell that, under normal circumstances, we'd laugh at that circus you're running on your side of the pond, say lakh laanat, and be on our way, but not this time. This time, you've got us worried. Hello? Presidential election? That clown you’re actually calling your Republican nominee? Dekho, sachi baat hai, it's not like we're affected by your politics or anything, but have you ever asked yourself, log kya kahein gay?

Or have you forgotten those eight glorious years of Bush buffoonery? 

Khair, we're not going to be petty and dig up dirt from the past — some secrets will go with us to the Abu-Grave — but, really, at this point we think chaddi buddies like us owe each other complete honesty. 

It's worked so well all those other times. You know, like after 9/11 when we flipped you the bird and refused to be sucked in that War on Terror debacle.

Chalo, mitti pao, everyone makes mistakes. You more than others, but who's counting, right? Good news is, there’s still time to do the right thing, gentlemen. The exact same thing we would do if we were in your place (not that that would ever happen). Just take ownership of your bumbling behavior and be ready to make some big changes. 

Or find a General who's up to the task. 

LOL, just kidding. Military interventions are soooo 1997.

All you really need a nudge in the right direction. Perhaps, a vision. Maybe even a game-plan. Or, like, maybe, you just need us…and our unsolicited words of wisdom.

February 16, 2016

The LAHORE EAT Survival Guide: 12 Genius Tips For Braving The City's Biggest Food Festival

In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard, the biggest, craziest, most fantastical food festival this city has ever seen is set to kick off in 10 days! The Lahore Eat Food Festival is the highly anticipated off-shoot of Karachi Eat, a much hyped and wildly popular three-day event showcasing the city's finest in food and dining. And for the past three years, it's had Karachiites raving about the fun, casual atmosphere and how awesome it is to have Karachi's most popular eateries all in one place. 

I feel you, Karachi. Who doesn’t want to spend a weekend soaking up the sun and snacking up a storm?

Now, FINALLY, shukaralhamdulilah, us khaata-peeta Lahoris are about to get a taste of what's kept Karachi captivated.

Just one the thing, though. If you’ve ever attended a large-scale festival you probably know that things can get kinda crazy if you’re not prepped before the party gets going. Fortunately for you guys, Hunger & Haw Hai’s slapped together some genius tips and tricks for braving the city’s hottest food festival and having some serious pee-in-your-pants fun while you’re there. 

February 4, 2016

Why 2016 Is The Year Of No Regrets + Roasted Beet, Orange, & Shaved Onion Salad

So now that we're all comfortably into the new year, I have a question. Do you guys do New Year’s resolutions? Personally, even though I’ve played with the idea in past, I’ve always remained a little iffy about self-improvement schemes. Last year, though? Total game-changer. Very pregnant and very determined to avoid another round of postpartum depression, I silently made a vow — no more perfectionism. No more obsessing over inane details. No more “everything needs to be just right or my entire existence is worth pigeon poop”. 

Do you have any idea what decades of that drama does to you? It turns you into an A-grade indecisive procrastinator, paralyzed by the fear of making mistakes. So, I was going to try and spend less time stressing, more time getting things done, and be a little kinder to myself when shit happened.  

Long story short: nailed it. 

You guys! I think I might actually be adulting!

Khair, now, obviously, I’m all gung-ho about this whole goal-oriented personal-growth thing, so I’ve kicked the year off with another oath...

December 25, 2015

Happy Holidays: Spiced Gingerbread Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Is it just me or is the holiday season absolutely lovely. The cheer, the festive feels, the food — oh my God, the food! That’s what it’s all about, right? Peace, love, and obscene gluttony? Really, forget the formalities, just lead me to your table, and I’ll take it from there. 

Pro tip: the larger the spread, the better. Don’t worry. I’m wearing my Joey pants. 

Of course, because holiday feasting is all about abundance, all that cooking and prepping can get overwhelming, so I always encourage hosts to divvy up the workload. Asking friends and family to pitch in will give you a much needed break from the mayhem and it’s a great way to get everyone into the spirit of giving. 

All it requires is a little bit of pre-planning, but once those appetizers, and salads, and sides, or, for the ambitious ones in your group, mains and desserts, have been assigned, you’re on the highway to a happy holiday.

And in case you’re not hosting, offer to lend a hand. Do good, feel good, and all that jazz. 

Personally, I like sticking to the savory side of the menu — I suck at the sorcery that is dessert-making — but I’ve copped out of bringing something sweet to the table for so long, I’m convinced my luck’s about to run out soon. In anticipation of this crisis, I dug up and tweaked a super Christmas-y recipe I scored off petite patissier, Muneeze Khalid, a couple of years ago. Hopefully, these cupcakes should keep any confectionary fiasco from unfolding.

December 7, 2015

Getting Serious With Saad Haroon...Sort Of + Salted Caramel Popcorn

For tickets and details , hit up Don’t Jealous Jaani, My Heart is Pakistani on Facebook. 

You know what kind of people I love? Funny people. Yes, I know. The smart ones are pretty amaze too, but just hear me out. I fangirl over a killer sense of humor the way I imagine tweens do over Zayn Malik because, plot twist, the hilarious ones are usually razor sharp. 

How do I know?

Because I spent the summer reading memoirs by some of my favorite comedians — Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler, you are goddesses — and I’m convinced that even The Oracle and Paulo Coelho’s love-spawn wouldn’t have shit on these women. 

You won’t find a lot of wreck-your-soul-and-slave-to-rebuild-it style drama in these books. But what you will find plenty of are endearing, bare-naked anecdotes speaking the honest-to-goodness truth that life is awkward, and we’re all awkward, but the struggle doesn’t have to be so real — just stop taking yourself so seriously.

That’s the thing with great comedy, right? It’s relatable. And that is Saad Haroon in a nutshell. Talking to Pakistan’s funniest funny man is like chatting with an old friend. Comfortable. Easy. Unaffected. 

Bonus: his jokes are cracking, his gestures are all-over-the-place wild, and his eyebrows are totally on fleek.

You might know Saad as the creator of the super funny and wildly successful improv comedy troupe, BlackFish, or as the creator and host of Pakistan’s first satirical news show, The Real News. More recently, though, he’s been killing it overseas, winning the title of the 2nd Funniest Person In The World at The Laugh Factory in Hollywood and performing sold out shows around the world.

Now, he’s back on home turf with his side-splitting stand-up tour, Don’t Jealous Jaani, My Heart is Pakistani, so I caught up with him for a quick tête-à-tête .

It started out with polite predictability. “Hi.” “How are you?” “Thank you.” “No, thank you.” “No, seriously, thank you.” But a quick mention that we’re recording the interview and, suddenly, there he is. Saad Haroon, in all his hysterically comical glory, primping and pouting into the camera, fluffing his hair, pointing out how fabulous his imaginary “nude” lipstick looks. 

Ladies and gentleman, it’s show time!

November 25, 2015

How To Take Better Food Photos: 5 Simple Secrets

As much as it flatters me when I get emails asking for advice about food photography, I rarely have a good response. I don’t think of myself as a real photographer, I never learned accepted techniques. If you like my photos, you’ll probably agree you can get far without this information, though I suspect you could get further with it.”  Taha Ahmed, Ace Instagrammer 

Do you take pictures of your food? Is it impossible for you to dig into meal without a photo or two? Do you drool over those gorgeous, splashy images that are all over Instagram? Ever wished you could take such mouthwatering shots? 

Me too!

For most of us, our photography skills are a perpetual work in progress and I, for one, am always looking for pointers to up my food photo game. This time, I stalked, ace Instgrammer, Taha Ahmed, and asked him for his top tip and tricks. 

BTW, even though he doesn’t exclusively photograph edibles, Taha’s images are so clean and beautifully composed, it’s easy to fangirl over his feed. In other words, in case you haven’t had a chance to check out his work, do it now!

Taha's Instagram feed is to die for and definitely worth following!
To demonstrate the difference his advice makes, I used my iPhone 6 to take before and after photos using each of his suggestions. The results speak for themselves. 

So, let’s get started!

November 12, 2015

11 Legit Life Lessons From My Mother + Garlic & Herb Marinated Mozzarella Bites

To my mother: Some women are born to shine. Others are born to blind you with their brilliance. I love you. 
Once you have kids, there are a couple of things you realize very quickly. 

Some are rickety cliches, but mostly true. There is no such thing as “alone time”. You’ll be astounded by your own capacity to love. Your children are your greatest strength and your greatest weakness.

Others realities are a little more esoteric. You know. Like that overwhelming impulse to try and instill 7.2 billion nuggets of earth-shattering wisdom into those little sponge-like minds before they venture out into this wild and crazy world because you’re determined to equip your babies with everything they’ll need to know in order to tackle the pain in the ass that is adult life.

The struggle is real, people. 

My mom insists I’m overthinking things. 

Easy for her to say. 

When it comes to imparting the secrets of life, she’s like some sort of Shaolin monk. Totally fierce,totally slick. Her “you move, you die” look is on point and her “doing trumps saying” game is seriously strong. 

In other words, she’s almost never had to verbalize any of these rules. Instead, she’s quietly lived by them, silently allowing us to choose between f*cking up or following suit. 

That’s some mad power, yo! You can read more about her championship-winning child-rearing skills here

Meanwhile, here are 11 of the most life-altering lessons she’s taught me.