Local Facebook Food Groups or Biased Lobbies?

The power of Facebook groups is the same as the kid in the community, who has the ownership of the bat and the ball. Who gets to decide which kid gets to play and which doesn’t; who shall get to bat even after declared an out because he’s good friends with them. My most memorable experience with Facebook group admins started when I got blocked from a very famous Buy & Sell group that has now turned into a proper brand. Nevermind, the story’s the same throughout most prominent groups where the creators tend to not have any mercy towards their members and often show a very demeaning attitude towards the ones who tend to not fall in accordance with their set rules of not just the group but the society as well.

This recent incident where the creator of a very famous food group, SWOT’s (Guide to Karachi Resturants, Cafes, Dhabas, Khokas and Take-outs) commented on a genuine complaint made against a high-end eatery, posted by a member and pointed out that she couldn’t understand the rant since it wasn’t written according to her set standard of ‘English’.

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Calling out to the already distressed client that one cannot understand the complaint just because it had been composed bi-lingually? Which century are we living in? The era of the British. Pfft! The member quite innocently goes on to clear her point ahead, regarding the quality of service she had experienced at the eatery, etc. The argument further enfolded into a loyal vs. virgin customer. We all may agree to it, customer service is never dependent on the number of times you have visited an eatery! It is something that either wins or loses you a customer. The creator of SWOT later very beautifully responded to all the hate and critique received in various groups and forums that hit directly towards her disrespectful attitude.

19665530_480741708940274_3649155634667883328_n.jpgThe reply speaks for itself and needs no further explanation for ‘there are plenty of groups where the likes of you are welcome’, who really determines the ‘like’? There might be many, anxiously waiting outside to get into the group, sad enough, they remain unaware of the way this and many other groups are maintained with the sole monarchical mentality. Similar, biased incidents have happened in the past when a group of bloggers (swoggers) on the SWOT panel; a) refused to attend an event Pakistan Ka Dastakhuwan  (#PKDKhi) because the management had to switch the location from Clifton to Gulshan e Iqbal and b) spent the rest of the time bashing against the entire event without even having to attend it. Luckily, they were pretty much roasted online for their unnecessary attitude and reactions.

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There’s always respect for creators, admins and moderators for having the energy and temperament to get along with the daily nonsense that keeps on taking place within the group. But it never really gives them the power to demean, disrespect or dishonour a person on the basis of how they draft their review, rant, complain or query. These groups provide a greater avenue for foodies, critiques and silent readers who secretly build their opinion based on the reviews shared online.

How would you react if provoked for having used a skill that hadn’t been mastered by many around you?

Transformers 5: The Last Knight, isn’t the Last!

I have been a Transformers loyalist ever since the first movie of the series was released in 2007. I still secretly have a wish that someday I’d end up in a car that’d be my Bumble Bee. Alas, not all dreams and wishes come true (not exactly the stupid ones). With the release of Transformers 5: The Last Knight, I knew that a trip to the cinema was inevitable. Glad to have an amazing family who loved Transformers, as I do. With gazillion phases of pre-planning we ended up watching the movie this Saturday and what we saw is a combination of a magnificent execution of visual effects with a lack of sensible content.

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In all honesty that goes with most of the sci-fi movies but a lot do try to connect the dots well. However, with movie brands like Transformers that clearly depict their humans, as actual humans and then have them fall from a height of more than 100 meters without crack opening their heads or damaging their ribs, I mean which brand of cereal had they been munching on?

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Hollywood’s game in terms of creating breathtaking visual scenery has no bounds indeed. But there has to be a connection! Keeping facts straight, our planet Earth can very easily get off of the gravitational belt in case it gets hit by a meteor(I’d say medium-sized). But what were they even thinking when Cybertron actually invaded Earth and dragged through the Pyramids or even China,  without even going through the hellfire of our atmospheric pressure.

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For the final conflict, I cannot come out of the spell of HOW they could ‘transform’ a purely mechanical led sci-fi plot to a Merlin melodrama? HOW! When Transformers had the ability to keep it going without the help of spells, wizards and witchcraft, why did they believe it would’ve been a great idea to infuse it with a magical world of Alice! Spells cast on the mighty Optimus Prime, having all powers invested in the utterly sexy- PhD historian, Ms. Vivian Wembley who by the way, was the direct descendant of Merlin some, 1600 years later. It didn’t have to be something magical, it was already too magical for us to believe.

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The overall cinematic experience was grand, with the newest entries Mercedes GT R- Drift the French Autobot (Hot Rod) assigned to kidnap Vivian and the custom-built Ford Mustang that was witnessed in the form of a Decepticon. You walk in expecting crazy transformations and you end up enjoying all that, in 3D. Transformers 5, ends up with a spoiler leading towards the sequel and it’s more than obvious that the Goddess Quintessa found her way back to Earth and that the Last Knight wasn’t really the last.

My rating for Transformers 5: The Last Knight falls not more than 2.5

The Twisted Tale of Viral Social Media Debate

It doesn’t take much for an innocent post to turn into an online dilemma, a heated topic and viral content later on that ends up on almost all the local media publishing pages. So what is it that makes a post questionable? What are some of the most debated, and #hottopics that may help you get some easy overnight fame on a Facebook group, maybe.. Consider the example below that shows how something completely ‘I would call it’ stupid, catches the attention of the ‘group-nazis’ and then the ripple keeps on getting wider and deeper.

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A supposedly ‘expert’ marketer found it highly ‘stupid’ and somewhat ‘offensive’ (on pure marketing merit) to have received a promotional SMS for a sanitary napkins campaign. What happens next? Well, the gentleman puts up a screenshot with a caption that just reads, ‘what the heck?’. Now the term WTH is pretty broad when it comes to trying to decipher the emotions enclosed. This is where it got attention from all the different angles available in any mixed gender, intellectual group!

a. The actually confused audience asking for clarification because duh, they can’t see the obvious

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b. The most common but the most important ‘feminist’ perspective

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c. A pinch of something sane that apparently fails to grab much attention

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d. The ‘popcorn’ worthy pro vs. anti-feminism, cat fight

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e. Then there are the ones who have a very good time adding their irrelevant 2 cents to the thread
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f. Some ‘on-point’ sarcasm or trolling, as we call it.

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g. And last but not the least trying to save your sinking ship with an irrelevant Federal Public Notice!

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This is just one, petty example of how something very naive grabs the attention of the masses just because people mostly refer to the thread underneath while completely ignoring the question, topic, idea, referred to, with the post. Nazis, feminists, realists, haters, trolls have an equal share towards the agenda. Where, media publishing agencies are always bloodthirsty about content that creates more controversy than there already was, threads like these with added screenshots spread across different WhatsApp and social media groups; ladies and gentlemen, give you a viral ‘useless’ story!

#RoohAfzaEidMubarak the classic Mashroob-e-Mashriq

How many of you have actually grown old sipping onto a chilled glass of Rooh Afza served to you on parties, get togethers, random stopovers to family and friends? Having spent half of my lifetime abroad, I very distinctively remember the consistent flavour of the well-known mashroob-e-mashriq. The fancy, frizzy drinks had only become part of the desi household in the new millennium, before that, we only had the pleasure to gulp down chilled, sweet glasses of Rooh Afza.

Have a very vivid memory of my grandparents joyously grabbing our hand, taking us to the bakery, hand-picking all the stuff and then adding on a large bottle of Rooh Afza to take back home and have our formal welcome. Rooh Afza’s TVC for Ramzan resonates with so many of us, on so many levels. No matter how close or far away you live, your bond with your grandparents moves past any such barrier. This is what Rooh Afza successfully showed, along with the wisdom that is transferred through the generations, is simply the sweetest thing to watch

Getting to know more about Hamdard Pakistan through the campaign, it was an eye-opener to know that it is the only organisation that has been celebrating the independence of Pakistan according to the Islamic Calendar, as well. This year, just like the years before Hamdard Pakistan celebrated Pakistan’s independent existence on the 27th of Ramzan, one of the blessed days of Laylatul Qadr. The special TVC for which can be seen here. The struggles, the sacrifices of the era had been real and it was Late Hakim Saeed’s vision throughout his lifetime to celebrate Pakistan’s independence on the Islamic date, along with 14th of August.

This Ramzan, having that close connection with Rooh Afza throughout Iftaar, it was great to see Hamdard Pakistan and Rooh Afza presenting two amazing campaigns with #RoohAfzaRamzanMubarak and recently with #RoohAfzaEidMubarak. TVCs for both brought back quite a lot from the past, for all of us. The warmth, prayers and the shiny envelopes of Eidi handed over early morning by our grandparents, had been the best thing about childhood. Many bloggers participated and reminisced on all the good, old times spent with their grandparents along with the richness of flavour that had been consistent throughout, by Rooh Afza. Hamdard Pakistan definitely pulled off a great campaign, this Ramzan. TVC for #RoohAfzaEidMubarak campaign is shared below:

Star-studded Celebrity Match #JazzT20Cup

It takes 2 to tango but it literally takes 11 celebrities in each team to topple your whole world. Post the press conference and logo reveal for the JazzT20Cup the date for the star-studded battle was set to be the 8th of June, 2017. Keeping Ramadan in mind the matches for the tournament are all set to begin post 11:30 pm. This year, with the unfortunate loss of two of our greatest legends and beautiful voices of Junaid Jamshed and Amjad Sabri, the teams for the 6th T20 Cup Celebrity Match were dedicated to these legends.

The match was in-between Junaid Jamshed XI and Amjad Sabri XI led by Kamran Jillani (replaced by Adnan Siddiqui due to unavailability) and Tehseen  Javed. Both the teams had an amazing line-up of veteran actors Shahzad Ali, Farhan Ali Agha, Film star Saud, evergreen Faisal Qureshi, the handsome Meekal Zulfiqar and Bilal Ashraf playing under Tehseen’s captaincy and Salman Saeed, Noman Habib, Ayaz Samoo, Asim Mehmood, Yasir Mazhar, Agha Sheraz, and Abbas Jaffri playing under Kamran’s leadership.

With a team of bloggers working along with me, it was a treat to cover such a thrilling match with the sweetest cherries on top Shahid Afridi and Wasim Akram attending the event and Afridi to especially play alongside. The bloggers enjoyed a great space meeting and speaking with the celebrities of how they think JazzT20Cup is bringing pure entertainment to Karachi during Ramadan. Enjoying a moment with a fellow blogger below:

Hey @get.magnified! #selfie #jazzt20cup #KhanKaMaidan #Cricket

A post shared by Faizan Riaz (@blogcoveragebyfaizan) on

And just in case, you had been waiting for it, I DID vlog about the celebrity match and by far it had been one of the most exciting ones in my vlog journey. Watch and enjoy:

Jazzing up Ramadan Cricket with #JazzT20Cup

It’s more like Ramadan and cricket go hand in hand. Right from the beginning of Ramadan, the guys tend to come together in groups and initiate the night cricket challenge in the streets, compounds and even in proper cricket grounds. These night matches are highly taken accord of is nothing less than a battle for many! On a happier note, even corporations had taken up the challenge and as a result the T20Coporate Cup that is organised each year by the Moin Khan Cricket Academy with some of the top names amongst the players in each team. The team lineup is as follows:

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While the Press Conference and the logo reveal for #JazzT20Cup took place on the 5th of June, 2017. The celebrity match was disclosed to be on the 8th of June *can’t wait for it to happen’ between two teams which are a tribute to the legends of Pakistan, Junaid Jamshed and Amjad Sabri. With Moin Khan as the commander-in-chief at the conference, it was a pleasure to know what the sponsors had to say regarding bringing back night cricket and entertainment for the families in Karachi. The greatest thing about the tournament is that the entry is Free for families and you come and enjoy as many matches as you wish to! Below is yet another vlog from the event, watch and enjoy:

Wonders of Hemani now in Pakistan

Just recently I had spoken about the launch of Hemani products in Pakistan with the endorsement of the famous journalist turned anchor Waseem Badami. The launch of WBStores was an affair attended by many of the media fraternity and was definitely a treat to watch with the presence of stand-up comedian Syed Shaafat Ali, the enigma of legendary Anwar Maqsood, with some spice added by Fahad Mustafa, Shahid Khan Afridi and Faisal Qureshi. The Chief Guest for the event was Governor Sindh, Mr. Muhammad Zubair.

Overall, the event was very well organised, people were seated on the allotted seating arrangement. At first glance it looked it was jam-packed. But it was a pleasure to know that seats were reserved for bloggers to not just enjoy the event but to also have a fruitful discussion with the rest of the bloggers and media personnel on the panel. I even had the opportunity to vlog about the event and it’s great to sort of brush your skills into creating visual stories for a change. Catch a glimpse below:

and of course, the pleasure to go back with an amazing care-package just made the day. Compiled of all organic and herbal products it was a delight to try out each one of the amazing products.
WBStores by Hemani are set to launch in Karachi and Lahore on the 19th and 20th of June, 2017 and we are all proud and happy for them.