MOIRAI – Fashion Shoot

By Falak Amaar Khan 

Silk – pure and light-weight, in eye catching contrasts and chic cuts – is very desirable. Inspired by the Asian tropics, the multi-faceted and unique Moirai collection called out to FUCHSIA when it opened its doors to customers at Great World City, forcing us to delve deeper into what this label has to offer.

From smart-casual dresses, western-style tops and work wear to chic jute bags, sophisticated clutches and funky wedges; and wait, that’s not all. Accessories ranging from strings of semi-precious stones to costume jewellery – you name it, they have it!

Just in case that’s not enough to tempt the shopaholic in you, they also carry a selection of home décor comprising of carved lamps, mother of pearl serving sets and lots of other ethnic bits and pieces with a western edge to them.

The Moirai fashion philosophy is the simple belief in fair trade and ethical styles. Each hand-stitched piece is created under labour ethics and carries a label bearing the name of the couturist and the seamstress, with a fair share going to the labourers.

Timeless Gowns

This black and white jacket is a fusion of East meets West, with ethnic patterns in contemporary cuts. Worn on a plain black jumpsuit, it looks glamorous yet toned-down. It is jazzed up with a strand of semi-precious stones and a heavily embellished hand bag. Hair up or down is your choice, but if you want to carry off this look differently, just turn the jacket inside out and, Voila! you have a completely different piece altogether. Most jackets at Moirai are reversible.

Subtle Elegance

The flowing chiffon top is given subtle detail with the hand embellishment of sparkly rhinestones. In combination with white embossed silk trousers and a reversible stole, a picture-perfect look is created. Once again, the flexibility of the reversible piece means you won’t run out of styles to carry it off.

Playful Innocence

Lehngas have made a comeback! Loud and proud as they may seem, the bright colours and the feminine appeal is simply irresistible. Pair it up with a toned down top or something more ethnic, throw on a stole and paint the town red! We know you want to …

 

Effortless Chic

Last but not least, we have this sleeveless waistcoat. With a pair of jeans and a white top, this is your splash of colour! We have paired it with an asymmetrical top and white flowing trouser, creating
a look for any time of the day. This, too, can be worn in 2 ways, pattern in print on one side and a modern detail on plain silk on the reverse. Here, it is accessorised with a jute clutch and a colourful necklace to bring the outfit together. It is available as a full-sleeved, short jacket as well.

Wondering how big a hole this will burn in your pocket? You will be pleasantly surprised to see how reasonably priced Moirai products are, making it the perfect one-stop-shop for a fashionista on a budget. The Western clothing ranges from $30 to $130, with the silk collection ranging from $59 to $189. The funky jute bags cost $30, and the most expensive gem-encrusted silver clutches are $159. The shoes are predominantly hand embellished, selling from $75 to $95. Finally, the costume jewellery starts from $19 to $60, with strands of semi-precious stones from $480 to $1300 and gold plated pendants with real pearls and intricate detailing ranging from $189 – $289.

[quote]Located at: #B2-10 Great World City, 1 Kim Seng Promenade, Singapore 237994[/quote]

For further info please visit Facebook page. Click here.

[box style="1"]

Falak Amaar Khan did her Bachelor of Art from Peshawar University in Law and Sociology, before moving on to a foundation course from Pakistan School of Fashion Design (PSFD). Falak has organized many events including fashion shows in London, and collaborative events with UK-based charities such as Muslim Hands, Dost Welfare Foundation and SOS. Falak also ran her own multi-brand fashion business housing her own label ‘Falak Amaar’. In her free time, she is an ardent reader and loves writing on subjects she is passionate about.[/box]

 

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SINGH IS KING – ESPECIALLY MIKA SINGH.

By Ruchi Gulati

[dropcap style="inverted"]Superstars [/dropcap]can be really super for some people, and not so super for others. Everyone has a favourite, and no superstar can win over an entire audience hands down. But it looks like Amrik Singh aka Mika Singh might be doing just that! This rocking musical sensation of “Planet Bollywood” has a song on almost every big film these days. Known for his zest, energy, flashy attitude, love of life and super-hit songs, Mika Singh arrived on the music scene with a big bang!

Starting off with a nasal twang in Saawan Mein Lag Gayee Aag to Shake that Tuuh to Party To Banti Hai, his has been an exciting journey. Mika has entertained audiences all over the world and few, if any, can escape being swept off their seats to jive and tap their feet to the catchy rhythms so characteristic of Mika Singh’s live concerts.

Click Here To Watch Video

This 37-year-old has enjoyed renewed success time and again, as he says in his own words, “You can hate me but you cannot ignore me.” One cannot imagine Mika Singh without his Ray-Bans and flashy gold neck chains. He has been called brash, loud and ostentatious, but that doesn’t stop the world from admitting his tremendous talent with a musical range that leaves us all enthralled, whether in Dum-a-Dum Mast Qalandar or Singh is King.

And this superstar will be in the house to make us dance to his tunes at The Star Performing Arts Centre on 13 March at his concert Mauja Hi Mauja. Of course, FUCHSIA got to talk to him before that, just for you. So, what did we discover?

FUCHSIA: You have proven beyond doubt that you definitely are the Baap of Paap (Pop). How has the journey been so far?

My journey has been fantastic. I started my career in 1991 as a guitarist with my older brother, and performed with him for 8 years. 

FUCHSIA: Training under such illustrious tutelage, how were you influenced by your older brother, Daler Mehdi?

I learnt valuable lessons from my brother – how to perform, how to carry oneself on stage, how to deal with people, what to wear and how to conduct business in this field.

FUCHSIA: You play so many instruments, does that influence your sur or alaap? Is there a particular instrument you simply cannot do without?

I perform with all instruments, and instruments are something I cannot perform without. It is very important to learn about instruments in my field. When I perform on stage, each one of my instruments makes you dance. That’s the way I have trained my band. There are so many singers who perform with a CD playing in the background, and I am most definitely not one of them. 

Click Here To Watch The Video

FUCHSIA: When we listened to Saawan Mein Lag Gayee Aag, we thought to ourselves, “Daler Paaji’s younger brother has much to prove and live up to”, and you have walked hand in hand with success since then. What is your secret?

My secret to success, I think, is the fact that I don’t drink before or after my shows. Also, most importantly, I never show any attitude to my clients or fans. This I feel is vital. 

FUCHSIA: From Ganpat to Bhoothnaat to Tuuh, your songs are topping the charts, and rocking the dance floor. Where do you get all this energy?

My energy stems from my roots, and also from being born a Punjabi. As a Singh I am always charged and energetic, and always ready to perform for my lovely fans and audiences! 

FUCHSIA: You have never asked for work, yet you have created so much goodwill in Bollywood. How do directors react to your success?

In the beginning, they weren’t happy; they felt my hits were a one-time thing. However, now I believe everyone is happy for me and I have many well-wishers in the industry.

FUCHSIA: Your competitors are not few; there is Arijit Singh, Benny Dayal and so many in the younger generation who are crooning for us. Are you feeling the heat?

I never feel threatened by anyone. Every year since 1998, I have had to compete with new singers and I always support them. I am fond of Arijit Singh, Ankit Tiwari and Benny Dayal, and wish them every success. 

FUCHSIA: Your take on the music scene today – what is the biggest “hit” factor ?

There is no hit factor. These days, anybody can become successful overnight in this industry. The difficulty lies in sustaining the success. 

FUCHSIA: Will we see you on Karan’s couch soon? We would love to hear your take on your contemporaries!

I’m not sure about Koffee with Karan, but I will definitely invite him home for Mutton with Mika.

While FUCHSIA was hoping to get some juicy quotable quotes out of this so-called ‘brash’ and ‘outspoken’ personality about his competitors, the marriage of his favourite Shreya and Yo Yo Honey Singh, all we got was polite and diplomatic expressions of his fondness of them, his best wishes and “Yo Yo is my kid brother and is a superbly talented boy. I always support my community and Yo Yo has all my backing.” This might explain all that goodwill and the constant flow of exciting work and projects without him having to ask for it.

Mutton with Mika or not, we will definitely be looking forward to lots of Mauja Hi Mauja with Mika Singh as Singapore prepares to witness a “Star performance” at “The Star Performing Arts Centre” on 13 March. 

[box style="1"]RUCHI GULATI: Ruchi has a Master in Human Resource from CIPD, UK. She grew up in Dubai and is now settled in Singapore with her 2 sons. She loves writing and lives fashion. Music and dancing are among her favourite things. [/box]

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HEART TO HEART WITH HSY

By Rabia Hassan and Farah Haq

[dropcap style="inverted"]“Every [/dropcap]one wakes up with this fear…What if I have nothing ? What if all is taken away ?… I have been there, I don’t have anything to fear now. I know what it is like to survive on a piece of bread for two days. I know how it is to not see your mother for the entire week, because she is working nights while you go to school in the morning. I know what it is like to save 25 paisas and buy a Pepsi and I remember how that Pepsi tastes, the joy that Pepsi brings you because you know that’s probably the only quarter you can spare for Pepsi for the next 3 weeks. I have been there, I have been that kid. It makes no difference to me. I am fearless now. HSY is fearless.”

We had no idea that the one question we begin all our interviews with: “How did it all begin ?”…would lead us into a profoundly inspirational and soul searching journey; one that we, at FUCHSIA, are truly humbled to bring to you. We are in conversation with none other than the King of Pakistani High Fashion, Brand Ambassador for Porsche, Director of all 6 Fashion Weeks, the owner of the most recognisable brand in Pakistan – HSY, Hassan Sheheryar Yasin, famously known as Sheroo.

On the insistence of his mother, he joined a fashion school and supported himself with 4 jobs.

I remember newspapers getting my name wrong and calling me Hassan Jehangir; he has a great future. I graduated at the top of my class. I was directing shows throughout. My name was all over the newspapers. But when I went to seek a job, I couldn’t find one. I approached all the designers. You name it , not a single person gave me a job. They would say, “What does a boy know about fashion ?” “No, we don’t want to hire someone who is already in the business.” 

FUCHSIA: Do you think it was because they felt threatened by you?

HSY: I give respect to those few people who were honest and felt threatened by me. I won’t take any names. Three of them told me: “See, your name is already in the newspapers, they might not know you as a designer but they know you as a choreographer and we don’t want to walk the ramp and say HSY is in our team, as it will steal our thunder. ” The rest pronounced, ” You don’t have any talent.”

I Graduated in the year 2000. For the next 6 years, I directed shows all over. I was being talked about as the youngest director to direct a show. Yet, I had no job. I was paying for my schooling. My sister was getting married and I had no money. So I said: “Ok, forget about all these people. I will do it on my own.” I think I only had about 2000 Rupees at that time. So I bought a machine from that money. I didn’t have money for fabric, so I went home, picked up my curtains, mom’s curtains, whatever I could find in the house and prepared 5 pieces. Then I called upon a friend, who was just starting in the industry. I told Iman Ali: “Let’s do this, I think you can be a great model.”  We used to call her Mona at that time.

My sister had these two friends who were very close to my mom, they would come around almost every day and eat daal-chaawal with my mom – Athar & Shahzad. I requested them to  please help with the shoot at a friend’s house. So we shot this campaign and I sent it to all the magazines in Pakistan. In January, I was on the cover of 5 magazines. After that, there was no looking back. 

If you think the story ends here, you are wrong. It is indeed hard, infact impossible to imagine, that HSY was once lying in a hospital bed with his face unrecognisable and his eyesight completely lost, due to a car accident. 

“It was 1993 – After 16 surgeries and spending an entire year in complete blindness, I got my eye sight back. The first color that I could see was RED. Kiran Bokhari, my best friend, Tahira Syed’s daughter, would visit me everyday and wear Red. For me, it was the color of life. I would be so happy. It’s still the color of life for me. I am known for my red color; the HSY Red Bridals. So if you see the HSY Red, you will notice that no one else does that shade. I add red in every single piece I create.”

After getting his eye sight back, one day, HSY went to audition for a fashion show. He hadn’t gone there to model, infact, he had gone to see how  he could contribute and be part of the Fashion world. While everyone at the show stared, ridiculed or ignored him, he spoke to a fashion designer who was participating in the show and convinced her to let him direct her part of the show. “I had always loved music and fashion. The show went very well, it was a huge success.”

FUCHSIA: How did that accident affect you then? Has it made you humble? 

HSY: I am glad it happened, because I have nothing to fear now. I don’t know if it has humbled me… I won’t say that I am a humble person. I believe that self encouragement is very important. In a place where we are surrounded by negativity, creativity has no chance to survives unless there is self encouragement. I am a very sensitive soul, and in order to keep myself happy, I keep telling myself: “You have done this, this, and this. Bravo!… now keep going, keep going.” But I don’t make long term plans. I don’t sit down and say,  “10 years later I will do this, because I don’t know if I will have 10 years.” 

Because this is how I used to be, I was in the car about to break my fast when the accident happened, and I was angry at everyone when they were taking me to hospital.  I thought they had placed a cloth over my eyes and that’s why it was so dark. Little did I know that I had actually gone blind. I was more angry, because it had come in the way of my schedule. So the accident made me realise that nothing is permanent, nothing is in your control. It’s all temporary. If I go to sleep tonight and wake up the next day, this sounds super cheesy, but I am actually happy. 

FUCHSIA: You feel strongly that only trained designers should be designing Lawn ?

HSY: Just as a nurse with however many years of experience under her belt cannot do the job of a trained surgeon, I feel a proper education is very important for whichever profession you choose. A trained designer will not only look at the aesthetics of the designs he/she produces but will also ensure the longevity and strength of the product. The stark difference between Professionally Designed lawn and Just-Designed lawn can be easily seen in the sales volume and product quality.

FUCHSIA: Travel means a lot to you – tell us what travelling does for you, personally and professionally. 

HSY:  You go to a place that overwhelms you with emotions and sensations that you cannot describe. You want to keep it a secret and share it with the world at the same time. So I try to integrate these surreal experiences in my work as much as I can. It also inspires the work that I do. Like this year, my Prêt Line features different cultures and customs that influenced me on my tours in an attempt to bring the world to Pakistan.

FUCHSIA: Have you ever had to turn away a bride because her ‘Dream Wedding Dress ‘and ‘HSY-Style’ just did not go hand-in-hand?

HSY: This has never happened. Every bride dreams of wearing the perfect dress for her special day and that is what HSY-Style is all about. I follow a process where I discuss ideas with the brides. They tell me what they want and I mould it into the HSY-Style.

FUCHSIA: How is the consumer of 2015 different from the consumer in 2000?

HSY: People today have become more aware of the latest fashion scene. With the increased number of fashion bloggers, people are now more alert about what is happening in the fashion world and they all want to be a part of it. So today’s consumer is very astute and knows what he/she wants.

 

FUCHSIA: Which model do you think is the epitome of Pakistani beauty?

HSY: Pakistan’s beauty is as diverse as the cultures and traditions that exist in our land. A single woman cannot epitomize such diversity. Iman Ali, Vaneeza, Aaminah Haq, Mehreen Syed all embody the essence of Pakistani beauty.

FUCHSIA: What is your biggest criticism of yourself as a designer? What do you need to do better?

HSY: I believe in being a better version of me every day. So every day I work towards improving myself anyway I can. I only see my brand expanding with time. I hope to see HSY going beyond borders in the future.

“I am still that boy who couldn’t see anything and could hear my mother crying downstairs because she didn’t have money to pay the bills, and hear my friends call me Frankie because they thought I was so ugly. I was a popular kid, who suddenly had no friends, I am the one upon whom every one gave up. I remember that when I get up in the morning and when I go to bed at night and when I have a nice seat in the plane… I pinch my self and I say…there is a God, a Holy Power who is looking after me.”

HSY has now set up an R&D wing to re-create traditional embellishments and embroideries;  another ‘First’ in the Pakistani Fashion Industry. FUCHSIA wishes them success in all future endeavours!

 

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“Karachi, You’re Killing Me!” – Light and Entertaining

By Mona Wahid

 

[dropcap style="inverted"]I [/dropcap]picked up ‘Karachi, You’re Killing Me!’ thinking I was about to read a harrowing account of a female journalist living in Karachi; it turned out, instead, to be a surprisingly pleasant,  humorous, laugh-out-loud experience.

Author Saba Imtiaz is a freelance journalist in Pakistan. Her work has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian and The Revealer. She spent a year working in Jordan for a non-profit organization.

‘Karachi, You’re Killing Me!’ is Imtiaz’s debut novel, and is written in a narrative that is loyal to the nuances of contemporary Pakistan, especially Karachi. It is somewhat along the lines of Moni Mohsin’s ‘The Diary of a Social Butterfly’ – a witty, tongue-in-cheek,  keep-turning- the-pages account of a female journalist in Karachi whose ambitions in reporting are far from the type of work her paper employs her to do. Not to mention, her love life and wallet are not faring too well either.

The plot of ‘Karachi, You’re Killing Me!’ is quite predictable.

Ayesha is a 28 year old journalist hailing from an upper-middle-class home, who loves her independence and wants to carve a niche for herself in the world of journalism. Despite either always being drunk or hung over, Ayesha is forever ready to take on any assignment – from cupcake store openings to Karachi’s bomb-blast timelines. Her editor, Kamran, is a nightmare of a boss who keeps her on her toes. 

This novel revolves around Ayesha finding both a groundbreaking story, and a Mr. Right who understands her challenging, time-consuming career. Just when she seems to have found both, things go terribly wrong, changing her life in a way that has her rethinking her priorities.

Ayesha’s anchors in life are her best friend, Saad, (nudge nudge) who has always been there for her; her journalist friend, Zara, and her father, who she sometimes suspects loves the house cat more than he loves her. Like I said – rather predictable.

Which brings us to the real charm of the book. This lies in seeing Karachi through Ayesha’s eyes.

The use of phrases like “I hate living in Karachi, but it can be so heartbreakingly beautiful when it sets its mind to it.” gives readers a beat of the city that only the locals can hear; where despite the constant fears of mugging, riots and bomb blasts, there is a feeling no other city can match.

From drinking tea in Lyari with a second-in-command of a criminal syndicate to attending fashion events, from political rallies to glamorous parties, Aysha sees it all. In the tough business of journalism, she has competitors like Ali whose “green and yellow mic has the same effect on interviewees that Ryan Gosling has on women.”

The book is filled with wit and humour, giving many opportunities for laughter, while presenting very relatable moments of vulnerability that everyone comes into contact with.

Imtiaz’s downplaying of the horrors of Karachi is done in a manner that draws readers to the more comical side of things. For example, when Zara is mugged, she hands over not only her new Charles & Keith wallet, but also a bottle of whiskey and a glass of falsa juice. Shaken at first while recounting the story, Ayesha and Zara cannot stop laughing at the prospect of the party the teen muggers must be having thanks to Zara’s generosity.

‘Karachi, You’re Killing Me!’ makes for a great vacation read. It is both light to carry (263 page), and light to read.  Each chapter starts with a sardonic or sarcastic newspaper headline like “To Ward Off Evil, Zardari Kills One Goat Everyday.” and even “MQM sends Haleem and Nihari to the Prime Minister.”

‘Karachi, You’re Killing Me!’ is an uncomplicated, unchallenging read. Some readers might find the references to alcohol consumption and sex somewhat over-the-top. Not really a “great work of literature”, this book is pure entertainment with a Bollywood / chick-flick style ending. 

 

[box style="1"]Mona Wahid is a homemaker and mother-of-three, who resides in Islamabad, Pakistan. She holds a Bachelor in Law and Political Sciences from Jinnah College for Women, Peshawar. An avid reader, Mona loves classics and novels.[/box]

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Meet Salma Habib

By Rabia Hassan and Shazia Habib

“Do what you can, with what you have, where ever you are.”

Theodore Roosevelt

[dropcap style="inverted"]“I [/dropcap]once set up on a beach. The children worked at a clothes factory, 8-12 year olds, smoking and chewing tobacco. I offered markers to one of the children and asked him to draw eyes on the doll that he had just made out of wire and wool.

“I don’t know how to, I have never held a pen before,” he said.

This was my first attempt. I had asked a rickshaw-wala to take me to the beach. He explained to me that “There is a basti (small colony) nearby in Sandspit. There will be lots of children there.” I thought of the beach, because that was the only place where I would be in an open space safer than the street.

My second attempt was in a hockey stadium. The sports teacher in our school told me that they get the children from schools which cannot afford things like extra-curricular activities. “So we provide a small hockey camp for them and train them so later on they can play for Pakistan.”

We have carried out a class in a church as well. Now we work on the streets.”

Meet Salma Habib. She is most at peace with herself when working on the streets of Karachi, alongside dozens of street children who become her pupils for a few hours. All she carries with her are her art material and a steadfast resolve to add colour to a Sunday morning for another group of 25 to 30 children.

A picture is worth a thousand words. This is exactly how I felt when I came across Salma Habib and Taleem Ko Aam Karo in one of my many Facebook prowling sessions. “Wait a minute, what’s this?” I thought to myself, as I pressed the BACK button on my smartphone.  Immediately, my attention was caught by images of street children sitting cross-legged on the roadside, sketching, painting, making crafts and, most importantly, smiling.

“How awesome” I thought! Look at these children, I found myself wishing I was there, and I could be a part of this. I wished I had the courage; that the woman sitting in the midst of all those children, cutting, pasting, helping, supervising the entire colourful Sunday morning was me; that I got the satisfaction of adding colour to the lives of these children who have known so little of it.

In the early hours of the weekend, in a city that is home to millions of street children who might never get a chance to see the inside of a classroom, let alone hold a pencil or a paint brush in their hands, these children were learning that art can be a medium, a reprieve, a chance to make something out of nothing in just a few hours; a chance to let loose and play.

What does it take for someone to decide to go out and start something like this? In Salma’s words “I have been teaching for 14 years now and have used art to communicate and heal. What inspires me? Life. Everything. Because everything is art to me. The relationship between a teacher and her students is very unique here. I wanted to do something that gives me satisfaction; that entails passion and resilience; something that tells me that I am on the right path.”

Does she meet any resistance?
No.  I just go to any random place every Sunday morning, sit with my material spread out and, within 10 minutes, I am surrounded by children from the area. We leave at 8:30 am every Sunday and we wrap up by 12:30.

We can see the children have learnt about art, and what it can do … Has this been a journey of discovery for Salma as well?

Yes it has! Every time I plan an activity, I think about whether I will be able to communicate with them, whether they will follow the instructions. And, every time, the children have left me speechless with their beautiful thoughts and pure hearts; their ability to make the most out of a situation … not taking anything for granted.

To Salma, these sessions, these experiences for the children, they’re a one-time thing. She plans an activity, goes to a random slum area and works with the children there for a few hours. Whatever they make, they keep. A large part of the idea is that Salma and the children will not meet again, and so she never knows whether the art has brought a change to their lives or not, but it is worth a shot to her regardless.

“I want them to experience a slice of colours to brighten the light in their minds. What little I do, it might just be a lasting memory, or it could trigger them into a path better than the one they are already walking. The candle of hope flickers and burns in the heavy winds.”

Wouldn’t this one-time experience be like teasing a child with a candy or lollipop once, giving them something they cannot experience again?

“Karachi is huge, and, unfortunately, there is only one Sunday in the week” she says, smiling, then adds, “That is the only day when these children are not working. I can’t reach more children if I keep going back to the same place.”

And what if someone wants to help or contribute to Salma’s efforts?

“Presently, I am trying to understand the basics better, and how the children can benefit from all this. The bigger plan is to have a space for the children. While planning a project I keep that particular area in mind so that the children can make the most out of the activity. For the football theme, we found some older boys playing football in a ground under the bridge in Baloch Colony; but the little ones play right after Fajr (sunrise), so we came back the next day at 5:45 a.m. for the activity.”

“I want to play like Messi!” says 11 year old Hussain.Little souls with big dreams at Baloch Colony Flyover, Karachi. 

Dolls at the Issa Nagri. At the fishing colony, we made boats.

Pen and ink on canvas at Ibrahim Hyderi fishing village, Karachi.

The young man who takes photographs of her work is 18 years old, and is from Issa Nagri. He takes pictures from the iPad, teaching himself about light, shadow, colour saturation with every new photograph he takes. This is some of his work:

Building homes and making memories at Lyari Expressway, Karachi.

“Come fly with me!” at the Gulshan-e-Iqbal railway crossing, Karachi.

At Gilani Railway Station, Karachi.

Super morning with Super Children at Lyari Express Way, Karachi.

And the most memorable picture that really touched Salma, or made her say “Wow!”?

Taleem Ko Aam Karo

I wondered how she managed with the unstable political situation in a city like Karachi.

“The thing is a lot of people are doing so much on their own for Karachi. It’s not just me. No place in Karachi is safe, but you can’t stop living your life. Something has to be done. At first, I wanted to bring the children home, but that was not practical. I have never encountered badtameezi (misbehaviour) to date; no threats. So far nothing has happened that will take my spirit away. My family doesn’t have a choice; neither do I. We all have to do what we can do. Change is not possible unless we step up to it.”

Taleem ko Aam Karo (Make Education Common) is a Facebook Page set up by Salma Habib. Why would she start a Facebook page?

“I want people to see it’s no big deal. I can; you can; we all can.”

One person can make a difference – we have heard this sentence many times. We dream big, and wait for that day to arrive when we get the chance to make a difference. Salma Habib teaches us that now is the time, today is the day, this is the moment, all we need to do is get up, start, and as she says “leave the rest to God.”

“It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do.”- Moliere

Note: The photographs and their captions in this article have been taken from Salma Habib’s Facebook Page, Taleem Ko Aam Karo

Salma Habib is currently working as a freelance artist / educator / therapist for street children and teaching O’ Levels Art at a private school. She has also worked as an Art Therapist for autistic children at Ma Ayesha Centre, a Neuro-muscular Rehabilitation Facility, and at the Institute of Physical Medical and Rehabilitation Centre, DUHS, and at the Autism Unit for Children. 

“So I took a year-long online course from Texas University. Later I was told that they couldn’t enrol me in a Master program as I don’t have any Art Therapist work experience. I needed to study and work at the same time, but there was no listed Art Therapist in Pakistan who I could work with. So I thought, I can’t just sit back because I don’t have a degree. Why not start something on my own and work with children who need help? Now I just want to carry on with this, I’m not even bothered about the degree. I am not an Art Therapist, my rightful designation is an educator.”

 

 

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Kwerkee Bits for the Koffee Table

By Falak Amaar Khan

Whether it is a late night party, or friends coming over for a casual meal, there is always a lot of serving to be done. What makes a party perfect is not just the food on the platter, but also the presentation and thoughtful preparation that went into it. This month, FUCHSIA brings you a selection of quirky items for the coffee table, adding a twist to the simplest of serving, which will have your guests raving about your knack for throwing a party. All items are available at www.kwerkee.com.

STUCK UP DRINK MARKER ($19 per pack)

 

You might not have invited a very large number of people, but as soon as they settle in, there comes the problem of whose-glass-is-whose? Not to mention, washing those glasses over and over again isn’t an easy task! And there’s no way you are going to serve those fancy mock-tails or fruity mint punch in disposable cups.

Fret not! These gum wads in vibrant colours will be the perfect finishing touch to your drinks. Just stick one on each party glass so everybody can spot their own glass. This is an easy trick that makes the washing up a breeze, and impresses the guests with your proactive tact.

There are 6 markers on each peg-able display card. Made of synthetic rubber.

BRANDANI SERVING TRAY SET ($39 per set)

We love appetizers so much we sometimes wish they were the main course! This 6-piece serving tray set with colour-popping dip servers makes for a perfect appetizer palette, whether at a large gathering or an intimate get-together.

All you have to do is toss up some chips and salsa, fry some chicken wings with a ranch dressing, or serve vegetable or bread sticks with hummus or cheese and chives, and you have a mouth watering platter ready to be polished off.

The set is 40 x 27 x 5cm in dimension, and is made of porcelain.

[box style="1"]Falak Amaar Khan did her Bachelor of Art from Peshawar University in Law and Sociology, before moving on to a foundation course from Pakistan School of Fashion Design (PSFD). Falak has organized many events including fashion shows in London, and collaborative events with UK-based charities such as Muslim Hands, Dost Welfare Foundation and SOS. Falak also ran her own multi-brand fashion business housing her own label ‘Falak Amaar’. In her free time, she is an ardent reader and loves writing on subjects she is passionate about.[/box]

 

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Parkland Green: A Gem on the East Coast

By Falak Amaar Khan

[dropcap style="inverted"]Parkland[/dropcap] Green is a space that offers something for everyone: 8 restaurants, a sports shop, a bicycle store and a laser tag arena. Located along East Coast Park, most of Parkland Green’s restaurants face the ocean, and there are large plots of grass for children to run about and play on. In addition, there is ample parking available at all times of the day. FUCHSIA suggests that a quick internet check be made before a trip to Parkland Green, as the opening hours of the various restaurants do differ.

In this issue, FUCHSIA explores the different options for you, so all you have to do is pick one and be on your way to an afternoon out with the children, a quiet cuppa with a friend or a variety of culinary delights.

[dhr]

Lunch Date with Little Ones / Mum-and-Toddler sessions:

Pick Me Up Café by Yogurt Stories (Awaiting Halal-certification)

Opening Hours: Mon to Fri (2pm to 11pm), Sat & Sun (8am – 12pm)
Tel No: 6348 1909
http://saint-marc-sg.com/

An all-time favourite of families with toddlers, Pick Me Up has a rather healthy menu. The café is famous for its yogurt gelatos, cold pressed juices and all-day breakfast.

With a small play-area to keep the little ones occupied and a pleasant atmosphere, this is an ideal spot for brunch with the clan on weekends, or just an afternoon play date.

[hr]

St. Marc Bakery & Bar

Opening Hours: Tues to Fri (11am – 10pm), Sat, Sun & PH (9am – 10pm), Closed on Mondays
Tel No: 6342 1786
Website: www.saint-marc-sg.com

Famous for its Chococro, this Japanese café is also known for having the best chips in town. Offering a very different concept from the norm, it is an ideal place to stop by for coffee, pastries and other baked goods when out with the family by the beach.

[dhr]

Family Dinner / Weekend Brunch / Outing with Older Children:

PATRO’S Bar and Restaurant

Opening Hours: Mon, Wed, Thurs (11:30am – 11pm), Fri & Sat (11:30am – 1am), Sun (11am – 11pm), Closed on Tuesdays
Tel No: +6440 9372
Website: https://www.quandoo.sg/patros-bar-restaurant-8768

PATRO’s is really unusual, with a unique fusion of North Indian and Mexican cuisine. The décor is based on cricket and soccer as the main themes. One side of the restaurant hosts game tables for diners to play football and air hockey as they wait for their meals. The walls are adorned with sombreros, records and pictures of sporting legends, bringing a bright and sporty feel to the restaurant.

[hr]

SANDBANK

Opening Hours: Tues to Fri (5pm – 12am), Sat, Sun & PH (11am – 12am)
Tel No: 6247 7988
Website: www.sandbank.com.sg

Eat. Drink. Plunge!!

Sandbank is your typical all-under-one-roof restaurant with a menu comprising everything from hearty soups and healthy salads to scrumptious sandwiches, handmade pizzas and pasta.

As the name suggests there is a 15 meter plunge pool, perfect for events and parties. All you have to do is dine in, and you can plunge in and splash around till 6:30 pm for free.

[dhr]

Night-Owls / Party Animals:

ATMOSPHERE Bistro Bar

Opening Hours: Mon to Thurs (6pm – 12am),  Fri (6pm – 1am), Sat & Sun: 10:30am – 1am

Tel No: 6440 9705

Website: www.atmosphere-bistro.com.sg

This Bistro Bar is, first and foremost, a sports bar which serves a mix of Asian and Western delights. Here, a tablet serves as digital menu and ordering device, and there is a water station where you can help yourself to iced water.

[hr]

Full Pint Brewery & Fish Bar

Opening Hours: Mon to Fri (3pm – 12am), Sat & Sun (11:30am – 12am), Closed on Tuesdays.
Tel No: 6342 0244
Website: www.fullpintmicrobrewery.com.sg

The name says it all! Besides being a microbrewery, Full Pint offers grilled, smoked meats and seafood.

[dhr]

Early Risers / For A Cuppa (Teh or Latte): 

Starbucks Coffee

Around the corner of the far edge is good old Starbucks Café, with a nice view of the ocean, open fields and outdoor seating. For the early birds, this is probably your best bet!

Opening Hours: Mon to Fri (9am – 10pm), Sat & Sun (7:30am – 10pm)
Website: www.starbucks.com.sg
Free Wifi Available

[

This was a pleasant surprise! Killiney serves the traditional Singaporean breakfast, as well as other local delights, and is open until 10pm. Cheers is open 24 hours on weekends.

 [dhr]

Now, to help you digest all that food, there are several things to do at Parkland Green:

 TAG TEAM Inc.

This is Singapore’s largest indoor Tag Arena, and the one-and-only multi-arena, multi-weapon laser tag facility, suitable for children as young as 4 years of age. Tag Team is available for party bookings or a fun-filled day with your mates.

Opening Hours: Wed to Fri (3pm – 9pm), Sat, Sun & PH (11am – 9pm)
Tel No: 6348 26969 / 9235 3600
Website: www.tagteaminc.sg

[hr]

HVPER SPORT

You name it, they have it! This sports retail store specialises in skating products, and the shelves are full of a wide array of scooters, skateboards, inline skates and accessories.

[hr]

PRO-CYCLE

You will be spoilt for choice when you set foot into this bicycle shop. Not only do they have a huge variety and many brands under one roof, they encourage customers to “try before you buy”. It was fun watching children zoom around on their new skates, scooters and bikes, and we must admit we were tempted to give it a shot, but too full to move. We chose to sit it out on a bench outside the store, and enjoy the cool ocean breeze, my Chococro and cold-pressed juice, as the little ones ran around the open fields without a care in the world.

[box style="1"]Falak Amaar Khan did her Bachelor of Art from Peshawar University in Law and Sociology, before moving on to a foundation course from Pakistan School of Fashion Design (PSFD). Falak has organized many events including fashion shows in London, and collaborative events with UK-based charities such as Muslim Hands, Dost Welfare Foundation and SOS. Falak also ran her own multi-brand fashion business housing her own label ‘Falak Amaar’. In her free time, she is an ardent reader and loves writing on subjects she is passionate about.[/box]

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All You Wanted to Know About Sugar, But Were Afraid To Ask!

By Mayura Mohta

[dropcap style="inverted"]Most[/dropcap] of us remember our grandma’s words of caution. “Don’t eat too much candy – it causes the teeth to rot and triggers hyperactivity.” We brushed our teeth every night thinking that we would be safe. However, things are not so simple where sugar is concerned. Current research studies reveal that sugar not only provides empty calories devoid of nutrients but can also cause substantial damage to our health.

Did you know that sugar is less of a food and more of a drug ?

Sugar is not food. It is a stimulant and just like any other drug, it gives us a high and keeps us addicted. All humans have an inherently natural preference for sweet flavors and it gets worse when we give in and make sweets our main food of choice. On ingesting a sugary food, we feel energized, brimming with happiness and galvanized into action. After a while, our energy crashes and we are gripped by sugar cravings once again. Being human, we can’t get enough of a good thing and want more! Sugar traps us into a pleasure-giving vicious cycle that is hard to break. Giving up sugar entails withdrawal symptoms, low energy levels and bad moods. Don’t narcotics or drugs evoke the same response? Therefore, we can conclude that sugar resembles a drug and evokes the same addiction as drugs. Don’t kid yourself: sugar is NOT food.

Did you know that many every day foods carry hidden sugar ?

We are aware that jams, jellies, cake and cookie mixes contain significant amounts of sugar. However, what we fail to notice is that many of the popular foods we eat daily contain small amounts of added sugar, which can add up to a substantial amount when consumed with other carbohydrate laden foods.

It is best to limit our added sugar intake from processed and refined foods to a minimum of about 25 grams a day. This is equivalent to 6 teaspoons of sugar.

Bearing this in mind, let’s take a look at the Sugar content of some every day foods we tend to consume.

For example, bread. Listed below is the sugar content of different breads:

Food Type

Serving size

Calories

Sugar (gms)

White Bread

2 slices

220

4

Whole Wheat Bread

2 slices

220

The only difference is that whole wheat bread contains fibre which prevents a sugar spike and white bread has no fibre, thereby triggering a sugar spike

Many savory foods such as ready pasta sauces can have about 10-12 grams of sugar or more per serving.

Food Type

Serving Size

Calories

Sugar (gms)

Tomato Ketchup

1 Tbsp

20

4

Marinara Spaghetti Sauce

1/2 Cup

100

7

Listed below is the hidden sugar content of some popular foods: 

Strawberry Yoplait yogurt – and you thought it’s healthy!

Serving Size

Calories

Sugar (gms)

1small tub

170

27 

Fruit Roll-Ups – and you thought its better than candy!

Serving Size

Calories

Sugar (gms)

1 piece (14 gms)

50

7

Raisins – and you thought that its better than having dessert!

Serving Size

Calories

Sugar (gms)

42.5 gms

120

30

Now let’s compare the sugar content in terms of a healthy food like a Carrot!

Food Type

Serving Size

Sugar (gms)

Carrot Equivalent

Orange Juice

8 oz. ( 1 glass)

24

1/2 kg

Coca Cola

20 oz. ( 590 ml)Bottle

65

1.4 kg

Snickers Bar

King Size (93.3 gms)

54

1 kg

Let’s compare some popular Breakfast Cereals:

Cereal

Serving Size

Calories

Sugar (gms)

Whole Grain Flakes

1 cup (31 gms)

120

4

Frosted Flakes

1 Bowl (75 gms)

275

25 

Did you know that Natural Sweeteners are no better than sugar ?

Natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, palm sugar and agave syrup may seem like a healthier option but may contain the same or sometimes higher calories than sugar. Many natural sweeteners have a lower glycemic index* (they do not trigger a sugar spike) than sugar, thereby preventing sugar spikes and energy fluctuations. However, do note that some of these sweeteners, despite their low glycemic index may trigger the storage and formation of harmful fats. They can also promote addiction to sweet flavors.  Some popular ones include agave nectar, maple syrup and honey. Steer clear of artificial sweeteners as well.

Did you know that sugar does more harm than good ?

The sugar in natural foods is measured in the form of Carbohydrates (they have no added sugar). Compared to the white, the brown bread contains fibre which binds the sugar and thus prevents sugar spikes from the Carbohydrate in the bread (that is converted in to sugar on digestion) and has beneficial vitamins and minerals as well.

Fibre Content:

White Rice vs Brown Rice:

Rice Type

Serving

Carbs (gms)

Fibre (gms)

White

1 cup

45

0.6

Brown

1 cup

45

3.5 

White Bread vs Brown Bread:

Bread Type

Serving

Carbs (gms)

Fibre (gms)

White

1 slice

14.7

1

Brown

1 slice

14.7

2.1 

Regular Pasta vs Whole Wheat:

Pasta Type (cooked)

Serving

Carbs (gms)

Fibre (gms)

Regular Pasta

1 cup

40.7

2.5

Whole Wheat Pasta

1 cup

30.86

6.3

Keep it simple and check food labels of all ready-packaged foods for sugar content . If it is excessive, avoid it. Understand that the food industry thrives on added sugar to get consumers hooked. Avoid ready-packaged foods as they have added sugar. Cook at home as you can control how much sugar you add.

We cannot deny the pleasure that sugar and sugar containing foods give us. On a bad day a chocolate, candy or ice cream is all we need to feel good. However, this short-lived pleasure leads to long-term problems. Sugar is the main culprit that is responsible for several lifestyle diseases such as type-2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, tooth decay, inflammatory diseases and premature aging. Sugar suppresses immunity and causes mood swings, energy fluctuations in adults and hyperactivity in children.

Did you know that that sugar can be swapped ? 

  • You can substitute shredded apple instead of sugar in porridge or kheer/ rice pudding.
  • Honey, dates or jaggery(unrefined sugar) can be used in milk shakes. In most cases, these natural sweeteners might have a similar sugar content, but slightly higher nutritional benefits as opposed to sugar.
  • Bananas and dried fruits such as raisins, berries, figs, dates , apricots, can pureed or mashed.
  • Opt for sugar free jams that include natural fruit as an ingredient and no added sugar. These are available in local grocery stores.
  • Restrict adding extra sugar to your meals.
  • Try to get over the extreme sweetness of sugar by cutting down on highly processed and refined foods.
  • Read labels and choose only those foods that are low in sugar. Every food has a different sugar composition. Ready-foods have a label, the rest can be calculated on online calculators as per your recipe on nutritiondata.self.com/

Sugary foods should be occasional treats. Remember, indulgence can only lead to addiction. Learn to cook with naturally flavorsome whole foods. However, remember to limit your intake of sweet fruits. Regardless of the source, excess sugar is converted to fat and stored in the body.

Try this naturally sweetened breakfast muffin by recipe developer and nutritionist Mayura Mohta to get started. 

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Sugar Free Applesauce Raisin Muffins

Makes 10

Ingredients:

1 egg

3 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1-1/2 cup homemade applesauce

2 cups plain flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

3/4 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180°Celsius. Line a muffin-top pan or regular muffin tin with paper liners, and set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the egg, butter and applesauce. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon powder. Add the wet mixture to the dry flour mixture and beat well to form a batter. Stir in the raisins and pecans, and mix well to combine.

Use a tablespoon to evenly fill the muffin cups until they are full up to the 3/4 mark. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with cream cheese.

*The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating.

More info: http://www.glycemicindex.com/index.php

[box style="1"]Mayura Mohta is a nutrition strategist with 3 cookbooks under her belt. With a background in Biological Sciences, she considers herself an evolving nutritionist and keeps her work updated with current scientific research. Her kitchen is a laboratory where she experiments with different foods to develop tasty nutritional treats. Her goal is to empower people to make smart food choices, eat mindfully and to tune in to individual dietary needs. Through her writing, she provides her readers with the tools and information to inculcate intelligent eating habits and achieve this goal.

The love of Mayura’s life are her 21- and 18-year-old daughters, who share her passion for a healthy lifestyle. She studied in the US, lived in India and found her calling in Singapore.[/box]

 

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