I have always wanted a shabby chic, boho, country cottage, Winnie the Pooh 100 Acres Woods room. You know how people can put together crazy prints and textures and styles together and make them blend? Yeah. I am not one of those people. Wanted to get a simple wooden sofa in distressed finish with smaller chairs for extra seating, each chair different from another but making it a whole. Ended up buying the brightest red retro humongous 8 seater that makes my eyes hurt. Now I have that and this in one place waiting for the day their foster parents come and take them each home in completely opposite parts of the world, and I can try my interior decorating skills again.


Ah what hopes I had for this


What I call my Pinterest Corner


Sher Khan and the Jacket resting on this monstrosity


My mug and pencil collection!!

See what I mean? They are all good things. But they are different worlds. Kind of like my life. There are good parts. WONDERFUL parts. Stuff dreams are made of. But when put together in once place they kind of fall apart.

Very philosophical of me. 😀

Been invited to send an entry for some award. Don’t have the patience or the time. If you do it for me and I win, I will split my winnings with you. Takers?

OK byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee


A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words


PASHA Mini Meetup

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Momentum 2018

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Momentum 2017

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EcomX Pakistan –

Planning Commission Consultative Meeting with the industry on creation of Pakistan Startup Fund
February 2018 Karachi

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E-commerce Roundtable in Karachi –

Karandaaz Pakistan signs agreement with Information Technology University, Lahore for a research that will improve the existing knowledge on women’s use of digital financial services and the barriers they face. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting the research.

Because optics don’t matter. 🙂



Don’t Tell Me It’s All In My Head.


For the longest time imaginable I resisted being called a feminist. Euuu the filthy, loathsome F word. It brought to me images of

  1. angry PMS-ing moustached fat women who couldn’t find a tub of their favorite ice cream in the store
  2. bitter LGBT community members with shaved heads
  3. promiscuous women blindly following the West and asking Makran has nude beaches

The reality only dawned on me recently. When you are 38, 2 years ago is recent. Started to notice a pattern. Every time I tried to say something someone spoke over me. Raised a point, and it was swept away. Gave an opinion and was heard with pained patience. WTH was going on here, I asked myself. And then I started paying attention.

I realized just how hard women work and yet their achievements are put in the very patronizing “Special Women Edition” of magazines, or they are asked to speak on panels about “Women Entrepreneurs and their Challenges, “Women Empowerment and it’s Importance” while the real brains of the society, the MEN, got to talk about serious stuff like fintech, incubators, block chain and blah blah.

I consciously kept an eye out for these big events organized with the support of big organizations such as Jazz, IBM, Microsoft, the Americans and all had same bias. The male to female ration of speakers and panelists was 33:7 against women or 20:9. Recently, an event was announced on Tech that claimed to

****** is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire and connect Pakistani entrepreneurs who work on innovative and disruptive technologies to create the knowledge economy to drive Pakistan’s growth over the coming decade.

A platform for entrepreneurs who are at the core of the ‘Eco System Leadership’ to get them started in the Pakistani Startup scene. A startup usually faces a financial crunch in its early stages. To help them in their endeavor, this initiative will provide eligible startups with major ‘Eco System Feeders’ which have components providing certain free and discounted services to reduce their financial burden to allow a startup economy to succeed.

While claiming they are speaking of both genders, they announce their first SEVEN speakers who were all male. When questions were raised some really funny stuff came up. Exhibit XYZ below:


This gentleman tried to tell me how awfully underprivileged men were and asking for gender parity is promulgating double standards viz a viz the men.


This one lady has been raising a hue and cry over manels and tagging me and others sympathetic to the cause. Suddenly, she wants us not to judge because SHE has been asked to speak. Hurray!


Then in comes this lady who is supposedly managing the said conference’s social media strategy and having a real hard time finding women speakers. A group 3000+ women who are all associated with tech industry one way or the other offered to help if she shares the criteria. Criteria has yet to be shared.


And then my favorite part – where we get called “girls” and told to “have patience” because social media strategy demands they put up maximum number of male guests out there and then follow it with a few females. What on earth! LOL

Whatever the men say I don’t care so much. Yeah it makes me very very angry at the injustice but what gets me really shouting DRACARYS at the top of my typing voice is when the women get into cahoots with the men. And for what? A spot on the panel and some small assignment?

By far my most favorite discussion on the topic of manels was about the launch of a National project. The photographs shared on social media were just a handful of women sitting in a hall packed with men. Here are some excerpts from that. If you want, I can share the link to the conversation separately *evil grin*


Two men telling me how I am wrong and the photograph with 5 women and 100 men was lying. Also notice in first comment how it says the invites were limited to VCs of universities only? Next exhibit will show you a different story. And the second gentleman thinks inviting women is not the right strategy because “all events are not just for filling spaces with either gender“. He also was kind enough to discuss the issue ON THE DAY of the event with another lady. No, not before. Not while planning the guest list. But on the day.


See the about turn? “It wasn’t limited to VCs” while previous comment says invitations were “restricted to VCs”. Makes me wonder which one to believe.

While all the time the conversation really was about what steps have organizers taken to ensure maximum female participation. As I said below:

Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 3.01.04 AM

And you know what? Organizers started to ask! That’s all we want. Women don’t want to be fillers either but we need to realize the men have been at it for much longer and we are new. We may be few but we are there and if you try hard enough you will find us.

People are mad at me. They never expected a woman perhaps a decade or more younger than them to turn around and stop being nice and say it as it is. Have given people definition of MANSPLAINING. Told them why “feminism is not always cool” is such BS and given them great literature to read. Some have scoffed and said I was “angry”. You know what? I AM angry. Let me leave you with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s words:


OK Byeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Its on us

Another one becomes a victim of depression. You know, that thing that’s in your head and not really there? That illness for which there is no blood test or xray or ultrasound? The one where everyone tells you to keep busy, stop acting, don’t be so selfish, turn to prayers? Yeah, that imaginary illness people have. It claimed a life, once again. There were calls for help. Silent cries saying, “I am drowning. My lungs are filled with water and I can’t scream. But you see me. Save me.” And we just tell her, “Swim!” And then when the person dies we call it suicide. Tell yourself whatever you need to feel better. But its never suicide. It’s our collective negligence and selfishness that wants to avoid problems and brush them under the rug.

We killed her.


I need a bookshelf for the kids. None of those fancy cute things but something big and sturdy. Preferably that has 2 sections so both will have their own side. These kids have accumulated I don’t know how many books over time and I literally have books coming out of every part of the house. Makes me happy and SUPER ANNOYED at the same time. So yeah. Suggestions for good ones please.

I need a bookshelf for meself. Again, nothing fancy. Practical and simple. Preferably made from natural material. Cane? Don’t suggest pine or walnut wood – that’s horribly expensive.

Have been sick for a long time now. This cough is not good.

Told hubbie to bring me Cream of Chicken / Mushroom soup. He brought Chicken Mushroom Soup. It’s. Not. The. Same. UGH!

Ordered a McD. Meal cost = Rs 500. Delivery Charges: Rs. 300. DAMMIT! (Yeah, McD doesn’t deliver in my area).

I need to declutter my house. Too much stuff. Will start with clothes. Have 3 HUGE suitcases filled with stuff I will never ever wear.
– One lot is what I still hope I may some day fit into. Not gonna happen.
– One lot is of beautiful shawls I bought so lovingly after saving up for so long but that I never wear. Can’t just toss them away so am torn between giving to relatives or keeping them. :/
– And there is the fancy bling stuff that I wore a max of ONE time. A huge suitcase filled with them. BEAUTIFUL stuff some of it but a. some don’t fit and never will b. some are reallyyyyyyyy pretty and was hoping Sheroo could use them some day but will she? c. I don’t have any unmarried brothers or sisters or very close relatives whose weddings I can wear them to. So please advise. My garage has big huge trunks filled with bedding and old pillows and covers that I have used a total of 3 times maybe. I just don’t get so many guests and for the ones I do, we have enough inside the house. Then there are the odd bits and ends that don’t make any sense any more but are sitting there just in case. Those are the most annoying. Like bits of electric cables, a bag full of keys that no one knows what they fit into, broken furniture that might some day come in handy, all kinds of cartons for when we ever have to move out of this house we could use to pack out stuff and so on. IT ALL GOES.

Jon Elia is a wizard. I read one of his books till late last night. Every word made me stop. Reread. Touch it. And then move on. I could feel the rawness of his pain. The absolute beauty of his verses so laden with meaning and emotions. While I could always admire his poetry but for the first time I heard his plea for help. The anguish of his fading soul. Like he was crying out to us. It reminded me of a scene from Spy Kids (yep, kids movies can be quite “deep” if you think about it) where the Fooglies are seen as funnny creatures in a kids show but are really people trapped by an evil genius and they are calling out for help. OK come to think of it that comparison was a little strange. But anyhow, you get the idea. This is my favorite Elia poetry:

Angaray - Jon Elia

In other news, WDL was selected as a partner by UpWork for its Social Impact Project. AND …. my baby was also selected by Facebook as an official partner for the #SheMeansBusiness program. Wheeeeeee. Which was I most excited about? Facebook. Which meant a lot more? UpWork. This was oDesk dudettes. This is where I started from. This is why I would sit in front of my computer at 10 PM and hit REFRESH like a possessed person looking for new writing jobs that paid me 25 cents a piece but that was better than zero. And now that same company TWICE as stronger because of the Elance merger has partnered with WDL. Yes, I have no shame in admitting I cried on the webcon we had. But no, you can’t see pictures of that. Will make it up to you peeps by posting pictures from Facebook visit:


So much fun!

OK Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

I am starving

Having a hard time living with myself. Everything is perfect but there is a void. A strange emptiness that I can’t explain. I think I know what it is but am too afraid to follow it and fulfil it. Fear of the unknown has never bothered me. Death is just a word we have made into something to be scared of while it just means a Union. Union with Him who loves me most. May sound bizarre. You may argue there there are plenty here that love me. But do they love me with all my faults? Do they accept me with all of me? Everyone thinks they know me. Funny. It’s so easy to deceive without meaning to be deceptive. Everyone is happy knowing what they do and don’t want to learn more because they aren’t interested or don’t have time or think what they know is enough. But He knows me. Inside out. Every thought. Every heartbeat. Every crease and every crack. All my sins and all my teary repentances and then the repeating of the sins … the entire cycle. True I hide form Him. His love is so easy. Just remembrance – a few minutes of time spent together – and He gives me so much. But how do I ever repay Jim or even match His love? I can’t and therefore I hide. I sin and hate myself. Pull myself away and go far away from Him until my eyes don’t see Him and my heart doesn’t feel Him and every particle of my body and soul screams with the want of a longing for Him. In the most unimaginable and surprising of ways He comes back. Heart expands and eyes come alive enlivening the face and the excitement of First Love is back. The embrace is same as the First Embrace evoking same feelings. So warm. So safe. It washes away all my sins and makes me feel so pure. But then, once I have Him, I become this ungrateful lover that takes His Love for granted. And the cycle repeats itself. He gives me my space until that space makes Him just a nagging worry rather than a soothing memory or presence. And then He stops calling my name. His sweet gentle rustling tug no more asks me to His presence. I plan every day to go see Him, spend time talking to Him but I speak to machines instead. I am scared. What if one day His patience runs out? He says enough. Stops expecting me and waiting for me and just lets me go? I need Him to stop me. Because I need Him. I don’t know what is stopping me. I am so embarrassed and ashamed. See how there is so much ‘I’ in all that I write? I am just sad. There is absolutely no need to be sad but I am. I see people around me – strangers crossing the streets; people going their own way in cars and buses; I realize they all carry a part of Him and believe if only I knew all of them or at least remembered each ones face I’d have Him but I can’t. I never remember. I see Him all around and can’t have Him all. It’s distressing. While He is in all of them He is also of them. He belongs to them too and that makes me jealous. I don’t want to share Him. His love is mine. He is mine. He is the first one I ever spoke to. Told all my secrets. Shared all my silly thoughts. Even spoke of the sins I was planning and the ones I actually committed. Thought I was looking for Him when I dug a little “grave” under the huge money-plant tree in our old colonial-era house in Peshawar. He asked what I was doing and I said, “I am looking for God. I saw my mother and aunt go to a place like this and they were praying so I am guessing this is where He will be”. And He indulged me – kept me company while I dug a small hole and buried some pebbles and a leaf from the tree inside. He smiled as I squatted there in the middle of the hot afternoon with my hands together praying to Him. I miss my childhood only because He was my constant companion. Now I am too distracted. So much so I don’t even take 5 minutes out right before I would go to sleep to speak to Him and say, “Thank You for everything today” or complain and be angry, “You weren’t so nice. I asked you for xyz and You could easily give it to me but You didn’t so I don’t want to talk to You” while all the time talking to Him. I just turn off the lights, lie down, turn on my phone and look at the screen till sleep takes over.
And that’s the time of the night now. I will turn off my laptop now. Switch off the lights. Cover myself with the blanket. And with a starving soul turn to things that don’t even matter.

Being Skinny Isn’t Going to Make Me Happy

All my life I wanted to live in a city with traffic lights. And then I lived in a city with traffic lights.

All my life I wanted to live in a double-storey house and have a room of my own on the upper floor. And then I got to live in such a house and got the best room.

Needed best friends closer than family. Check.

Wanted to do post-grad studies. check.

Have a son and a daughter. check

Have a career. check

Dear God, how ecstatic would I be if I ever got to travel abroad. On my own. Without owing money to anyone. several times CHECK

OMG if I ever got famous and WDL was talked about in foreign magazines and on blogs etc? believe it or not but it happened.

Today I have everything I once dreamed of but NEVER thought I’d ever have. And you know I am still not happy. Something inside of me won’t let me be happy. Or maybe, just maybe, I am not at peace with myself. I will always find something to not be happy about in the thousands of things that I should be happy about. For instance, I work with thousands of women. Most love me and it’s such a blissful feeling. But I obsess over the 1 or 2 that somehow are not happy with me, the programs I run, support I provide. That’s the person I am. Focusing on the negative. Just can’t fathom it. Why would I do that?

For example, I have caught myself many times over the past year telling myself I would be perfectly happy if I would just lose all this extra weight. And just now going through my old Facebook posts I was reminded of a time when I was skinny. And I was miserable. Because I had found, once again, something to be miserable about.

As I sit here in my PJs feeling uncomfortably tight around the middle and trying not to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror because I look hideous I am trying to tell myself to focus on the positive.

Plus, had an awesome wedding in Peshawar. Little Almost-bro got married. Both BFFs were here and we had a ball. Have a fantastic event coming up at Basecamp Peshawar to ring in the new year. Some very exciting collaborations.

OK byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee