Happy birthday Pakistan….

I’m not just bombs, poverty & corruption….I’m Edhi’s philanthropy; I’m Arfa Karim’s brilliance…. I’m Afridi’s exuberance. I’m Miandad’s sixer…I’m fastest growing IT industry; I’m ever-expanding middle class….I have fought dictatorships; I’m 40000 deaths for global peace….<br

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Welcoming the BIG 30 cake!!

The Design!
I know many posts are overdue now. I was supposed to be posting a couple of recipes and trust me those are in the pipeline. However its been really kind of busy during the past days…All the typical summer picnics, bar b qs, and getaways. Plus the more happening days combined with the bake orders. And then to have all the fun before the holy month of Ramadan starts-phew!!! While I was browsing some files, I realized that many fresh pics have not been uploaded. So just thought of sharing. This cake was made for a beautiful energetic woman, turning the big 30 on June 30th. She approached through my page on Facebook and after an exchange of umpteen emails, pictures and ideas, she finally agreed on the design that I just made roughly to put her mind on paper. Well people with such precise details always are great to work with because they let us play with imagination and creativity. I started working on the flowers 2 days before. I always try to bake my cakes the very same day as of order to keep them as fresh as possible. While the order was booked for a Saturday morning, I spoke to the lady Friday evening. She mentioned that the cake was to be driven all the way from Brampton to Hamilton, and then kept outdoors for about 3 hours before finally being cut-all that in the simmering heat with temperatures forecast for 30 plus degrees!! Had I known it before, I could have suggested something accordingly but then it was quite late, about 10:30 at night. I started with the layering and frosting, all the time just hoping that the cake makes it to the party as planned. You know heat is the worst enemy of fondant and gumpaste.Plus I was also concerned about the Vanilla buttercream filling to remain good and safe to eat in the sweltering sun. By the way it was a Vanilla cake with Vanilla buttercream. I worked on the cake until about 6:30 in the morning. Then I snoozed for about 4 hours after which the cake was supposed to be picked up and I didnt want to let it go without taking pictures. I could see the happiness and satisfaction on the face of the girl, the client’s sister who came to pick the cake up. Well, I did get the message of thanks on the next day; the cake being a hit!! Like any artist, a cake decorator’s truly joyous moment are two-First when we finish the masterpiece and look at it and second when we get good reviews and positive feedback, which gives us that strength and courage to carry on our discovery. Happy reading!!

Down the memory lane….

Happy Home High School
For past couple of days, for some reason I keep thinking about my school-and my school mates. Perhaps the reason is my memories of Ammi, of which the best are always of childhood and childhood is more about school than anything else. Till this day I am still at my peak in the afternoons because my entire schooling, at least from grade three was in afternoon. After making a huge hue and cry at Mama Parsi for few months, Ami had no option but to switch my school. The first 4 kids we met at the school are still my friends-Aalia, Fahad, Adil and Ambreen. What a time that was. Aalia’s mother for a long time used to pick and drop us to and from the school, and while waiting for her we used to play ”Dheelay” on the hilly roadside of my school on Shaheed e Millat road.  Where to start?? Mrs. Hameed’s firangi Urdu in her Burmese accent; Mrs Sarkari’s ruthless cane, Ms. Mahjabeen’s ever so gorgeous smile ( And the tap of her beautiful long nails on the board during class, which were then a fantasy for a nail biter like me)and Ms. Najma’s computer classes. Those golden and silver stars on our notebooks, the craze of Ninja turtles and God-knows-what sticker books on which we would spend our pocket money, looking for red badaams first in the abundant foliage of the tree and then in the secret corner where all the peons used to secretly hide it, the heavenly chilled mini pepsi for which a rupee each has been contributed, the tastiest potato dishes for lunch, comprising of aaloo parathas, aalo tahaari, aaloo bhujiya, fries and what not, the never ending poetry of Ghalib and Meer by Mr. Sultan, the punishments by Ms. Brenda for coming late after lunch…. My oh my!!! The old sabzi mandi was almost on the route to my school, so for few years that Ami used to pick us up, we would get to eat fresh pomegranates, peaches and oranges as she would go grocery shopping on her way. One of the very best things about my school is that religion has been a part of the regular curriculum. We studied Quran with Tafseer from grade five and because of the little bug of extra curricular activities; I also had the chance of getting quite a few lessons of Tajweed. Offering Zuhr and Asar prayers were like regular subjects, not-negotiable, unavoidable, sun or rain!! My friends, or say class mates….Hmmmmm lets start in the order of appearances or introduction: Ambreen, Aalia, Fahad, Adil, Zulekha, Amira, Anila…..Grade Four-Zara, Grade Five- Ameerah, Javeria, Asif, Ahtesham,Saqib, Afshan, . Grade Six- Nuzhat & Seema, Grade Seven-Batool, Grade Eight- Tanveer, Nasir, Ammar, Shunail, Mustafa and Rahiba the great!!!! Plus many more. These were the ones which were there till the last class, or say the last session of that particular year. Some friendships lasted even after school and till now. Some couldn’t make it!! May be I lacked the element of friendship or may be they didn’t have the zarf and didn’t deserve it- And then many many years later, I started getting my friends back-thanks to Facebook!!! Aalia, Ambreen, Javeria, Nuzhat, Tanweer, Fahad, Mustafa, Adil, Ahtesham, my teachers Ms. Mahjabeen and Ms. Brenda!!! I am still looking for the lost ones- I plan to go and visit my school though it changed only the next year after I left it as this time when I went to collect some documents, I only saw few dating couples, no basket ball match, and no badaams!! But this time around, I am sure it will be the one of the most sacred places for me- the place that taught me what I am and why I am…. For me it will always be the first place, where I made and kept friendships!!!

Proud to be a Pakistani

Say in what ever words we may like but the truth remains that Pakistan won the Asia cup!! Be it the horrible blunders of some bowlers or the score a bit too tiny or the rumors of the match being fixed (For which we were apparently to be given the prize of a foreign team coming to play on Pak-land);it really doesn’t matter. We still watched the match with the same enthusiasm and national spirit that we see only for a cricket match. I myself at my work, was hooked on another screen and the last 2 overs I was literally commenting so loud that my co-workers would ask if everything is alright. Text messages were exchanged between Canada, Dubai, Pakistan and London. And when Cheema took the wicket on the second last bowl-it became psychotic. Will the new guy on the bat re-write the history like Miandad , or will he not??? And then above everything, Lala got the Man of the Match award so it was more than anything one could ask for. For myself, I cant visualize Pakistani Cricket with out him! Cricket should be made our national sport- No harm in it I guess. This Cricket –worshiping nation would never be able to give Hockey the same passion so why insist. When capitals and currencies can change, why cant the sports? Undoubtedly Cricket is the only mirror these days, that we as a nation look into to judge ourselves. We win, we feel proud as a nation. We loose we are dubious and doubtful and hopeless as if life has ended. I wish we could share the same Jazba Junoon for all the rest of the things as Pakistanis- God Bless Pakistan! Happy Pakistan Day (And happy yet another long weekend for my friends back home)

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