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Saturday, March 8, 2014

UNITED INDIFFERENCES


UNITED INDIFFERENCES
Pakistan is a beautiful country if one thinks about it.  From the northern mountains to the Arabian Sea it is actually one country that has such an immense amount of resources in the form of fantastic weather that supports very fertile soil for farming any form of crop a country would require, a huge and vast area that gives off an unending supply of natural gas and the Thar area that has a globally recognized deposit of coal.  The Arabian Sea is rich with the most variety of fish found on the globe and if you look at the section of the Himalayan Mountain Range that falls within the borders of Pakistan you will know how immense the mineral deposits really are when you consider what the Brits stole in the form of The Kohinoor etc.

When one looks that the country today one realizes that people want to run as fast as they can away from this country and also if they are able to disassociate with it in the form of getting another passport because they feel ashamed to be known as “Pakistanis” due to the miserable Terrorist Stepchild with a constant problem portrayed by the media and the west”.  Our country is a sad state of affairs because anyone we supposedly elected has allowed Pakistan to be treated as the Wests pissing ground over the past 3three decades to be divided, split and torn apart. 

Today in Pakistan its citizens do not need any more help from the west to destroy it because there are so many indifferences that really do not matter which have torn not only provinces but the family nucleus apart that the one warm hospitable image of being a Pakistani cannot be remembered.  The media has been re-branded to BAD news and all it does is endorse gossip and portray negativity to the public depressing the nation even more. 


Today 08th March is a fantastic day!  There will be no bombs going off (I Predict) there will be no violence and definitely a huge drop in the crime rate at least until 7pm.  The reason for that is that today our boys in green are off to play a cricket match.  Hockey may be our national sport but we have sold our souls to the cricket pitch and should we win I assure you that the entire nation will erupt in savage gunfire for at least 30 minutes.  The British will go off o the pub, pat each other on their backs and order a round to celebrate.  Us lot, we will scare the life out of the Angel of Death by discharging so much ammunition that any external forces would run away because at this emotionally charged moment of victory we are invincible and this is our Sparta.  What the 300 could not do we as a nation will do to anyone who disagrees with us or our boys in green!


Those who don’t have weapons such as guns will hop on their techy firearms and launch a cyber attack on the world with ridiculous humiliating meme’s of the opposing team thus endorsing the fact that we are bad losers and more over terrible victors!  Should we lose our media will tear apart the boys in green like a bunch of emotional cannibals who will not even leave the carcasses for the Pakistan Cricket Board Vultures!  But not matter what happens in those few hours of the match being played we are brothers and sons of and from the same mother who is not a Shia or a Sunni but a Muslim Pakistani.  We forget hating each other and we will begin to hate anything and anyone who or that is NOT Pakistani. 

Sadly this love affair is very short lived because life will resort to normal tomorrow and we will resume our snatching of mobiles, insulting and hating each other and look for another reason to kill the man next to us with whom we broke bread in sympathy and prayed to the same God for victory for our boys in green because the inning was not going well!


If any of you need to go to the ATM, do groceries, buy something expensive or pick up a cash payment this is the day to do it because you could leave your car windows open with a Rolex on the Dash board during match time and it would not be stolen.  Also it’s a great day to go visiting your relatives in Gulshan or Nazimabad because all the bad boys are loving brothers today!

Disclaimer! - The opinions I post are my own and I do not intend to hurt or offend you!  If you cannot allow me my freedom of thought then you have the right to voice an opinion and navigate away on the web.  If you follow my blog I thank you as it’s quite ridiculously entertaining...that is if you like what & how I write! If you need to contact me or wish to befriend me then please... 
Follow me on twitter - @amynaghulamali 
or add me on facebook - Amyn A. Ghulamali 


Friday, March 7, 2014

THE DOMINO AFFECT


THE DOMINO AFFECT - (A Review)
(I know how it's spelt also I am aware of the grammatical error!)

I had a horrible experience when I ordered Dominos about 3 years ago for Lunch on a Friday in the office and never dared to dial their ordering hotline again. In those three years I became friends with the owners of Dominos professionally and then personally and despite the efforts I saw them put into the entire company I decided to keep my friendship so I would never voice my opinion as nobody likes to hear anything negative, especially when it comes from someone like me who is arrogant and obnoxious any ways!

Over the past two weeks for some odd reason or another I have heard at four different instances at different venues how different people were not only satisfied but very impressed with Dominos.  Now the last person who raved and ranted about Dominos owns a very successful advertising agency and is someone I respect professionally tremendously.  So when this buddy (who has this ability to find flaws in anything that the common man may find to be perfect – he’s a pathological perfectionist… get the drift!) of mine was just all praises about Dominos I figured I had to “try” it and see.  So today on a weekend my family decided to order out and this is what went down!


I dialled the UAN number with my fingers crossed and PTCL let us down four times until they called us back.  I was calling from my home number and they got the order right every time I changed it (I changed the order seven times) One tends to change the order when you have a ton of family members who want something different and unique.  Well I got done placing the order and then I asked the guy what time he had on his watch and said 9:04pm.  Ok so I asked if it would be delivered in 30 minutes (which Dominos promises & he politely declined saying that it was very rushed and delivery would be done in 60 minutes or it was free!)


In 32 minutes the food arrived which really freaked me out because I was expecting it to be Pakistani time and not actual time (60 minutes).  The best thing was that the guy who came had a cheerful smile and I was so impressed I forced the guy to take an extra tip.  When we opened the order it was perfect…  Seriously attention was taken to adding all the condiments and specially napkins and over all the food was very hot (not warm) I really hate to admit it but seriously the food was very good and the fact that it did not have to be reheated was a BIG bonus. 


Many of you might not agree to the taste factor so I will not comment about that as that is a personal issue because what one person may like another might not agree but if you were to judge the entire experience related specifically to “Fast Food” one would realize that the effort that the Hilal Group has put into revamping the image is fantastic because the entire management is responsible for this remarkable change from what I saw 3 years ago!


Sadly I must agree with all my friends that I too am sold on the Dominos experience because it was simply awesome!  Fast food is meant to be quick tasty and something that should not be rocket science and the Hilal Group has perfected that science!   So an amazing job by the entire team!  We cannot wait to order it again!

Disclaimer! - The opinions I post are my own and I do not intend to hurt or offend you!  If you cannot allow me my freedom of thought then you have the right to voice an opinion and navigate away on the web.  If you follow my blog I thank you as it’s quite ridiculously entertaining...that is if you like what & how I write! If you need to contact me or wish to befriend me then please... 
Follow me on twitter - @amynaghulamali 
or add me on facebook - Amyn A. Ghulamali 




TOTAL SIYAPA

A CRITIQUE - TOTAL SIYAPA

When one thinks about making a film about border issues between Pakistan & India or one thinks of terrorism film makers always overdo the dramatics with supposed cliché’s from Lolly & Holly wood. To add to this when producers make the film they make it politically correct by ensuring their own native country is portrayed in someway shape or form as a victim and when all else fails the plot blames someone other than ourselves.   Bottom line films made about or on the above mentioned issues are never fair in any way.


When one looks for a lead role in such a film one cannot ever imagine that a NCA grad turned pop singer would actually develop from a singing caterpillar into a Monarch Butterfly that has the ability to deliver fantastic emotion unlike any other Pakistani actor ever born.  Kindly note that in Pakistan for an actor delivering emotion in film only resorts to standing on a cliff and screaming your lungs out in anger or wailing like a baby in a tragedy scene.


As I watched the premiere tonight I was extremely surprised in a very pleasant way at the entire performance by Ali Zafar.  This young man can now truly call himself an artist as he has delivered a fantastic performance that is so realistic that it makes one actually think about current affairs between the two neighboring countries.   This film will definitely crawl its way into the archives as a film that strongly advocates brotherhood and understanding of being a human and putting indifferences aside.  Although he is NOT a legend in acting and has never had such a responsibility of delivering such a strong & sensitive a message which is upon him in the plot I honestly feel that NO other Actor could have delivered the performance that Ali Zafar did.


Originally titled Aman Ki Asha this film TOTAL SIYAPA is a breath of fresh air.  Because Ali Zafar is in it one walks into the cinema knowing that “He” will be doing all the sound tracks so that is a given.  What I found fantastic in the film was that unlike any Bollywood or Lollywood flick this film did not have the hero half naked showing off a six pack.  Also it is relieving to see that the film is not centered around cricket, the Kashmir issue, religion or ISI & RAW.  However whoever wrote the story and the screenplay has done a brilliant job in addressing and touching these issues of indifference whilst balancing the seriousness with a lot of realistic ironic comedy that each and everyone can relate to from the past two generations and this generation as well.



The movie is filled with hopes and dreams and delivers a very positive message to the audience that it is time to let go of indifferences and move one with life rather than get stuck in petty politics.  I strongly recommend that you do see this film and ask people to see it because it is very entertaining and something any generation would appreciate.  We are so close yet so far from true freedom and completely stuck in TOTAL SIYAPA…   it’s time to get out!

Disclaimer! - The opinions I post are my own and I do not intend to hurt or offend you!  If you cannot allow me my freedom of thought then you have the right to voice an opinion and navigate away on the web.  If you follow my blog I thank you as it’s quite ridiculously entertaining...that is if you like what & how I write! If you need to contact me or wish to befriend me then please... 
Follow me on twitter - @amynaghulamali 
or add me on facebook - Amyn A. Ghulamali 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

BEING FORTY

BEING FORTY

Most people find a reason to celebrate a birthday and it is the one day that society says “F*ck it” for your past social misdemeanors and overlooks your past personal felonies and society gives you a get out of jail free card for 24 hours until it goes back to judging you for what they perceived you to be.  This is that one day when you are a child sitting on Santa’s (societies) lap and you know your wishes will come true.  You get Birthday cake & sex your boss is nice to you and your colleagues hoping for that birthday treat will make sure they do not upset you so that they can also feast on something other than the bland tiffin that Attila the Hun has sent them from home.


Today life is so fast paced and the socio-economic structure is so confused that if one were to define the most precious commodity one would realize that it would be “time”.  Human beings in their effort to find painless effortless solutions have perfected the art of complicating things so much by the use of technology that when one starts to unravel the meaning behind any facet of life one scary fact is realized and that is we want more and more and more for very less.  Industrialization, mechanization & the advancement for technology has done something terrible to the human race and that is that it has destroyed the core foundations of anything humane that we know. 

Today everything is defined by quantity and not quality and people tend to think that a valuable resource is one who has the ability to make the first smart move on intel and gain immediate rewards in any form rather than a sustained ROI based upon quality.  For example take the door of a Mercedes Benz.  Stand a 1995 S class next to a 2013 Maybach and all you have to do is open and shut any door on each car once.  The 1995 (tank) will give you the confidence of German engineering that will ensure you feel safe in a crash at 180 km / hour versus the 2013 Maybach that will advertise everything technical in a politically correct way on how you can work less to avoid that crash.


When you have witnessed what I have seen and been through in life and when you know that somehow the future is so unpredictable it gives you a moment to realize that your popularity will be rated by the amount of “Happy Birthday” messages you get on Facebook and your un-professional worth will be defined by those people who you are supposedly “connected” to on Linked In.   If you are lucky you might get a text wishing you a good year ahead and if you are truly appreciated by someone you know then you might get that phone call where the caller is expecting to be invited to the orgy of free booze you will be hosting for over a 5 lacs of rupees.

I guess I am confused because as a Pakistani citizen from “Defence” I do not have your average goon squad of kerai kay tattoos following me around in a leased vigo toting weapons and  buzzers and sirens clearing the roads for me.  I wonder if I am successful because I do not enjoy the attention that society would give me from the selfies I take in some ridiculous zombie gathering where the only thing matters is the fact that my Bolex sweeps and does not tick and my ability to quickly suck down some Alpha males fat Cohiba whilst holding onto his Black Dog at the Sind Club!

We live in a society where the inconvenient version of the truth is forced down your gullet.  The only form of freedom one finds in this country is outside it in Dubai or anywhere other than Pakistan.  This one nation founded for the refuge of the Muslim minorities by the minorities and was of the minorities somehow has been tumbling down a pathway where all it does is persecute, ravage and destroy minorities and oh yes keeps finding more minorities to fight with.  In this country the press is really pressed up against a wall and the average human being has not been able to truly reflect upon life in the past two decades because he or she has been unable to breathe in this marathon where society is still trying to define its future at a rapidly increasing pace.  I being a great one for dramatics feel like I am “Jerry Mc Guire” and this is like my manifesto of what should be right!  But I have to accept the Forrest Gump version where life is like a box of chocolates or maybe I have to survive being Kaiser Soze in my world of Usual Suspects!


Being a salesman true to his cause I realize now that at “forty” I am completely lost as far as the future goes.  I am not scared of the future as I know what is written for me in the books of fate is defined up in the heavens however I am confused as to what to expect for the next indefinite period that I will be on earth.  At 10 I was told to prepare for my teens.  When I got through that I was told to prepare for life at 20. At 30 I was told to prepare to settle down but now at forty I guess one needs to be prepared to survive the indefinite versatile, volatile unpredictable future.

As tomorrow is my birthday and I get to say how I feel and ask for what I want then I want to ask for a wish to come true & If I had one wish that I would want granted then I know what it would be and that is “I wish I could have stopped time in the 1980’s!”  Because back then life was more meaningful, relationships mattered and did not have a price tag on them and we had the luxury of time to understand things and most of all each other before we judged them in a nanosecond by what we understand from Social Media.

Disclaimer! - The opinions I post are my own and I do not intend to hurt or offend you!  If you cannot allow me my freedom of thought then you have the right to voice an opinion and navigate away on the web.  If you follow my blog I thank you as it’s quite ridiculously entertaining...that is if you like what & how I write! If you need to contact me or wish to befriend me then please... 
Follow me on twitter - @amynaghulamali 
or add me on facebook - Amyn A. Ghulamali 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

BIG THICK BURGERZ


BIG THICK BURGERZ
NOTE! – I do NOT have a personal vendetta against the owner of Big Thick Burgerz I am only giving you the facts of what our dining experience was and what went down tonight!

10pm tonight (Sunday 2nd March 2014) four of us friends decided to check out Big Thick Burgerz.  As we got there I noticed the logo looked like a tweaked version of Mr. Burger.  Then as we were about to enter we saw a sign at the door that all prices had been slashed which made us wonder why because the joint had only been open a few months ago.


When we went in the place was packed and as we got to the counter there were to cash registers but in this rush the boys were only operating one.  One could tell that there was total confusion as we had to pause our order 4 times before it got taken down. 

We found a booth but before we sat down we had to wipe down the seats and clear the table and wipe it down with napkins as there was ketchup all over the table and seats and the previous occupants had left their trays there.  No one from the staff bothered to clear it up.


As we sat and waited we realized two separate arguments broke out between some customers and the two boys behind the register as each party complained that they had been waiting for over 30 (thirty) minutes.   Our food arrived in 39 (thirty nine) minutes and when we looked at the food the order was completely wrong.  So we sent it back and after 13 minutes they gave us our food at the counter.

It took us 5 minutes to figure out what was what as the staff had only initialed the packing with a marker and we could not make out what was what until we went back to the counter and asked them.  Now the food its self was terrible.   The fries were refried and tasted like cardboard.  The only thing “THICK” about the burgers was crumbly burger bread and the straws given with the coke bottles had a putrid smell to them.


As one bit into any burger (I tried a bite out of all of them) I realized that I had become a BIGTHICKBURGER myself or a mamoo because the taste instantly brought back the memory of Mr. Burger and one could tell that the effort to try to match Mr. Burgers taste was a bad effort.   All I can say is that the entire customer experience was a terrible one where I felt that I had been duped for my money’s worth and that I would never pay such a ridiculous amount for such shoddy quality.


As we left and we got outside I realized the security guard had a broken weapon which just added to the charm of the place even more…  I tried to avoid writing this blog / review but after the horrible heartburn and never ending flatulence 40 minutes later I decided to be as objective as possible to warn all of you out there by telling you about our experience. 


Disclaimer
! - The opinions I post are my own and I do not intend to hurt or offend you!  If you cannot allow me my freedom of thought then you have the right to voice an opinion and navigate away on the web.  If you follow my blog I thank you as it’s quite ridiculously entertaining...that is if you like what & how I write! If you need to contact me or wish to befriend me then please... 
Follow me on twitter - @amynaghulamali 
or add me on facebook - Amyn A. Ghulamali 


PSEUDO CREATIVITY

PSEUDO CREATIVITY
In Pakistan the advertising industry may look extremely glamorous but what goes on behind the doors of any given advertising agency is something one does really not want to get into.  It’s like the saying “what happens in Vegas… stays in Vegas!”   Today with the economy being the way it is the struggle is to keep an agency afloat (business wise) and ensure that you manage to retain your clients that actually pay you due to the volatility of the Pakistani economy.  However, there are brand name legends in the industry that most companies run to for guaranteed success and the economy will not allow any company to risk any advertising campaign that is based upon the ideas of a “newbie” in the creative department!


In a sense I feel sorry for Indus Valley and NCA graduates as these institutes have mastered the art of breeding some of the most creative minds which are never allowed to exercise their educated logic on any given campaign to the fullest of their true potential because some guy in a “bored” room (yes I know the spelling is wrong!) decided to take one element of a campaign and then completely stick it in a Margarita blender with a concept that his wife's basht farand thought looked “cool” on durdarshan.


Let’s get one thing straight and that is that “any” Pakistani is not stupid even if he or she is from the KPK region.  As a country our citizens are more intelligent and can understand and process information quicker, faster and more logically than any nation with regard to anything unless emotions are involved and we all know that relates to religious or political issues.  


If any agency is to survive and make it through this decade then it needs to realize that a simple ATL campaign with a ridiculous media plan will not be the only solution as not only will it be financially expensive rather it will be extremely ineffective because Pakistani’s have evolved in their lives and now want interactive things to do.  (If you look at your own kids of today you will see that your children are now taught in ways that were unheard of in our time.  Learning has become so integrated that now black boards & books are not the only tools that help your child learn faster. )  Today if I were to define an agency that I would want to hire then I would ask to see something truly different!


Rather than pretty visuals displayed by a voluptuous female I would want an agency to deliver a campaign that drives a complete customer experience to my target audience.  This is because us Pakistani’s love to try things before you buy them.   I would like to see creativity in several different forms in any given campaign which is not only limited to social media and a simple BTL activation.  Rather I would like to see what the “new blood” (that is still virgin to the politics of what the industry norms are) has to offer.   I am tired of dinosaurs and “clichéd” Demi God like creative directors taking me for a ride and for one would love to work with any agency that has the ability to have faith is what the new generation (which is intouch with the pulse of the market) has to offer!  If only somene would listen to the “little guy” one would realize that not only are their ideas intelligent but extremely practical, honest and very cost effective!  


So if you decide to hunt for ideas for the next business quarter you might just want to tap the youth for them.  Whoever (college kid) gets the next big idea that appeals to you should be given a chance to work on it and execute it with the oversight and support of your agency.  Trust me with the way things are in Pakistan – you might just hit the jackpot or even if you don’t at least it will not be Pseudo Creativity that you will be paying for and will be looked at as a client and not a Mamoo!


Disclaimer
! - The opinions I post are my own and I do not intend to hurt or offend you!  If you cannot allow me my freedom of thought then you have the right to voice an opinion and navigate away on the web.  If you follow my blog I thank you as it’s quite ridiculously entertaining...that is if you like what & how I write! If you need to contact me or wish to befriend me then please... 
Follow me on twitter - @amynaghulamali 
or add me on facebook - Amyn A. Ghulamali 

And if you want to criticize me then please e-mail me at amyn@ghulamalis.com