Old were the days when a review was not a “thing” and it was extremely difficult to get information about anything be it travel, food, medical issues or any problem related to everyday life. It was not common to have a forum where people would share their experiences directly with the public. Reading first-hand experiences was rare and forums like Quora and Yahoo Answers were considered the only reliable sources.
Now, everything is available on the internet and is just a click away. But, should we rely on such sources to be authentic and true? It depends and varies from source to source. It also depends on who moderates the source and how.
When the trend of having groups on Facebook started, people only used it for fun, to gather at a place to talk and share jokes. At that time, a few were trying to utilize this source for a meaningful purpose and those people gave birth to some amazing groups that, now, have a huge following and are considered reliable sources for any information related to the subject matter of the group.
Now groups have become a popular and the safest space for like-minded people to congregate and discuss specific stuff- from hobbies to pets and celebrities.
If you are still living in the stone age or looking for answers to your riddles related to food, travel, pets, allergies, mental health, etc., these are the groups that are at your service with a meaningful purpose and a great initiative to help the masses through a direct communication and dissemination of information through various posts.
Foodies ‘R US
Created in 2013, now this group has over 95k followers. This is the place where you will find reviews about any restaurant. You name it and people will share their experiences. If you are a foodie, this is surely going to be your favorite group as it has all the solutions to deal with your appetite. Not only the masses, but this has also helped a lot of restaurateurs and home-based chefs with their businesses.
The founder of the group, Asad Sheikh says “I started this group 6 years ago for one reason only and that’s the passion for food. I just want to tell and guide people on what’s good out there to try and what’s good that our country has to offer. I don’t write bad reviews of any kind but that doesn’t mean that I have not had my share of bad food. Always try to highlight the good while telling owners of the restaurant about things that need improvement.
We all are ambassadors of our city or country and others who see our posts or reviews create an image of where we are from. Over the years Foodies ‘R Us has helped many people living out of city or out of country to pick the eateries when they visit Lahore Karachi or even Islamabad. The same passion was translated into encouraging home-based talent to post as much as they can and later encouraging them to turn this talent into a business.
Many small businesses have blossomed from this platform and we later encouraged them further to be part of our Coke Food Festival, giving them a face to face experience with their consumers.
We have never charged anyone to advertise on our platform and that’s the reason for the success of many small businesses.”
Soul Sisters Pakistan
This group is home to 212K women who interact and share their issues and experiences related to health, relationships, feminism, networking, their moments of happiness, moments of suffering or any piece of advice related to the ongoing discussion. Not only this, through the group, women were able to find their long lost friends, online jobs, solutions to their problems and a lot more. This has become a safe place for them to talk about stuff they do not normally share publicly or are afraid to talk about. Anonymous posts have become the new trend to send your message across.
“In a culture where women are often silenced and their issues trivialized, I felt that we needed a space and people to talk to, other than their immediate family and friends; a space where we could give unbiased advice as a third person, for each other’s problems and a space where we could come together to share our stories, experienced and inspire each other.
And so in August 2013, Soul Sisters Pakistan was formed, and within months we were getting scores of requests to join the group as the concept of a safe space like this wasn’t so common back then! From discussing taboos to breaking stereotypes to providing legal aid and emotional support – the community has really made a mark and become a household name. It is also one of the 115 most impactful communities in the world, recognized, supported and trained by Facebook itself!- Kanwal Ahmed (the Founder)
The Travel Diary
Earlier, it was extremely difficult to know about the experiences of people who travel. Now, you just have to post a query and hundreds will be there to assist you or guide you about a particular thing, food place, culture or about people of a certain country. All in all, this group is a complete package to know about anything related to a country. Founded in 2016 with more than 72K members, this group is a query-home for all travel enthusiasts.
Mishaal Hashmi, the founder of the group says, “Traveling is something that is an innate part of me. Ever since I was a child, I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to travel, be exposed to cultures and people. As an adult, I’m even more fortunate to be able to share my passion with like-minded individuals, who share a similar passion. The idea to create the Travel Diary arose from my desire to share my travel experiences as well as gain wisdom from the experiences of others. Never in my dreams had I imagined my passion to take on such a gigantic form and for a forum such as The Travel Diary to exist is a humbling experience and a dream come true.”
Soul Brothers Pakistan
Even though most of the posts are light-heart humor and user-generated content; the group generally talks about various topics including networking, recruitment, and counseling. Similarly, it talks about issues that surround the men’s ecosystem i.e. relationship, health, masculinity, and mental state. Moreover, It discusses these issues in depth through live talk sessions also known as #SBPGuyTalk, where group members from all walks of life come and discuss issues varying from Depression, Suicide, legal affairs, and health-related topics. Their popular segment #AnonymousSoulBrother is also widely used by members who seek suggestions and valuable insights on a variety of topics.
“We identified a need where we could create a crowd-sourced platform for men which would offer a healthy support system for Pakistani brothers here and abroad.” – Danish Javed (Co-Founder)
Hum Style Awards 2020 – The Good, the Bad, and the Dazzlingly Hottest
Hum Style Awards 2020
The enchantment and glitz of a perfect Saturday night, and with the true spirit of a star-studded affair, Hum Style Awards 2020 kickstarted the year with a bang. Held at Expo Center Karachi, the Hum Style Awards was indeed filled with glamour and graced by big names of the fashion and entertainment industry and turned out to be a compendious evening. The red-carpet ceremony began with a spark with megastars including Reema Khan, Tariq Amin, Zara Noor Abbas, and Mira Sethi among many, walking along and flashing their brightest smiles and deluxe attires. However, the zing started to fade after a few hours, turning into a drabber experience, and the diminutive size of the red carpet relative to previous years just added to the walk being shorter and people getting bored quickly.
The event turned out to be unusually timely, and before it was half past nine, the hall was filled and the show about to begin. The stage was remarkably gorgeous with the graphics setting a starry-night mood, mirroring the space with so many of the industry’s stars. Though the hall space was relatively cramped, making it appear congested at a few spots, especially when there was movement. And what better way to start the show, than with a splash of patriotism invigorating one’s spirits through our beautifully melodious national anthem.
The boost of patriotic sentiment was followed by a performance by a rap dup, Young Stunners, which turned out to be moderately successful in energizing people. It even managed to make the audience laugh at some spots, especially with the comical references to videos of celebrities that went viral on social media – the actor Ali Rehman Khan’s video leak where he is repeatedly seen saying to a restaurant’s staff, “Aap ko pata hai main kaun hun?” (“Do you know who I am?”)
Adnan Siddiqui, the host for the night, gave the show’s opening note, which was perhaps the only part of the hosting that can be termed enjoyable. The other hosts that followed, namely Aamina Sheikh and Usman Mukhtar, steered the event in a way which could have been made more entertaining if it were Adnan Siddiqui paired with Aamina for the show, as Mukhtar’s part sounded rather clumsy, with forced jokes in between. His Hum Smile Awards segment left a lot of the peers watching the show super perplexed, as his supposed impression of PTV’s host Tariq Aziz, was downright vague. The only thing that seemed spontaneously amusing about the hosting, was the use of political jokes here and there, which is rarely observed in Award ceremonies. From the comment on how Imran Khan is the only Prime Minister without his own business and hence, is bent on erasing all business from Pakistan, to the “boot polish” statement, the spritz of comedy was like a breath of fresh air in the otherwise mundane script.
The performances were energetic, and made the audience recall all the classic, vintage Pakistani music, while appreciating the present-day music that is part of our television and film industry. The second performance by Ahsan Khan and Sara Loren was riveting, though if the music is to be viewed separately than the dances, both the performers lacked the energy and the vibe of the tunes, despite being great at dancing usually.
The highlight of the event was the performance by Zara Noor Abbas, who appeared to be an embodiment of grace and art, rhythm and style, as she moved to the beat of the classical songs. Her performance was thoroughly refreshing and delightful, one which reminds you of not only the beauty of the art itself, but also the ability of a great artist keeping the viewers fascinated, throughout.
Dancing to the superhit tunes of the blockbuster film of last year, Superstar, the power-couple Farhan Saeed and Urwa Hocane brought life to the show, as they shook the stage with their dynamic moves. The flow of the choreography and the beat of the dance numbers kept the fun alive till the next performance, which was undoubtedly another key feature of Hum Style Awards. The said performance was a splendid concert by Abrar ul Haq, instantly making the audience fall in love and sway with the hit Punjabi beats. However, had the concert been live, it would have added more of a buzz in the environment.
The Award Categories included the Rising Star 2018-2019 won by two of the Nominees including Mush Kaleem, the Hair and Make-up Artist of the Year 2018-2019 secured by Qasim Liaqat, Fashion Photographer of the Year 2018-2019 bagged by Alee Hasan, Best Model Female 2018-2019 won by Zara Abid, Best Model Male 2018-2019 won by Aimal Khan, Designer of the Year Lawn 2018-2019 received by Zara Shahjahan, Most Stylish Performer 2018-2019 won by Asim Azhar, Timeless Beauty won by Reema Khan, Most Stylish Actor Television 2018-2019 won by Sonya Hussyn in the Female Category and Mikaal Zulfiqar in the Male Category, and Most Stylish Actor Film 2018-2019 won by Mahira Khan (Popular) and Kiran Malik (Jury) and Ahad Raza Mir in the Female and Male Category, respectively.
Surprisingly, despite Superstar being one of the highest grossing film of the previous year, Bilal Ashraf was not nominated for the Most Stylish Actor Film category. If there were two awards given in the Female category in the name of Jury and Popular Choice, there surely could have been made room for two awards being awarded in the Male category as well, deservingly giving one of the awards to Bilal Ashraf.
Other Categories included Most Stylish Sports Personality 2018-2019, won by Hajra Khan, Captain of Pakistan Women’s National Football team. This was a novel deviation from the usual practice of recognition being granted to cricketers alone, as well as the fact that a woman bagged the award.
Style Icon given to Aisha Omer, and other prestigious awards that were part of the ceremony were Best Model Male and Female, Designer of the Year Pret Wear, Bridal, Menswear, Demi-Couture, and Lawn, as well as Retail Label of the Year and Excellence in Interior Designing and Furniture Manufacturing.
Bridal Couture Week Day 2 brings more stars on the ramp
After the glamorous showcase on Day One, Day Two of the bridal extravaganza was a continuation of the glitz and bridal statements with the country’s acclaimed couturiers, bridal wear designers and retail brands. As always BCW left its audience stunned with its majestic stage, uniquely set for a one of kind fashion show.
On Day Two of the bridal extravaganza kicked off with Emraan Rajput’s earthy hued fusion collection Shalima.
It was followed by Aisha Farid’s Nur un Nissa a collection fit for the Mughal empress.
The next show was by Kausar Sajid with her Parivarsh collection which has revived ancient embroidery techniques over luxe and delicate fabrics for the modern-day bride.
Shakeel’s by Zeeshan Danish’s hand embroidered bridal collection Kimkhwab and Sheeba Kapadia’s Claire De Lune for the new age bride.
Chinyere’s Ishq Nachaye Gali Gali for the woman who presents femininity through unique and beautiful patterns of embroidery, embellishments and motifs.
Humayun Alamgir’s Nawabzada a collection inspired by the fashion choices of the royals, elite and the influential.
Next in line was Embellished by Sadaf Amir’s Bagh e Baharan which featured colours of flowers from all seasons and transformed the ramp into a garden.
Rici Melion’s timeless couture pieces in their latest collection Zyanya, encompassing artisanal craft forms showcasing renditions of Turkish floral, textures and seaming.
Day 2 comes to an end with the return of Lahore’s favourite Maria B. with her collection The Lady of Amritsar.
The audience also witnessed the launch of Tasmina and Zulfiqar Sheikh’s Sacch movie’s latest song. The cast members who braced the runway included debutant Elysée Sheikh paired with Asad Zaman Khan, along with veterans including Ayesha Sana and Uzma Gillani.
Day 2 of the three-day bridal extravaganza had an amazing line-up of celebrities walking for the designers – internationally acclaimed singer and actor Ali Zafar walked for Emraan Rajput, and the stunning queen of television Ayeza Khan walked for Aisha Farid. Nimra Khan graced the ramp for Kausar Sajid, while Urwa Hocane walked for Shakeel’s by Zeeshan Danish while Sanam Jung walked for Sheeba Kapadia’s showcase. The very lively Juggan Kazim walked for Chinyere while singer Falak Shabbir, vlogger Shahveer Jafry and cricketer Hasan Ali walked for Humayun Alamgir. Mawra Hocane walked for Sadaf Amir and Junaid Khan with Zubab Rana strutted down the ramp for Rici Melon. The veteran classical performer Nighat Chaudary added allure to the show during Maria B.’s segment.
Bridal Couture Week Day 1
The 17th edition of the biggest bridal show extravaganza, Bridal Couture Week (BCW).
Show one of the bridal extravaganza kicked off with Fahad Hussayn’s collection Labyagawachi trousseau bridal collection.
It was followed by Aisha Imran’s Shadi Mubarik in romantic hues for the charismatic classic bride.
The next was Almirah with its collection Ethnic Seams which drew its inspiration from the splendour and intimacy of Eastern art.
It was followed by Samsara Couture House’s Hayal, inspired from the tulip era in the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
Zonia Anwaar came next with her collection Zoella which was modern yet infused traditional techniques with her signature cuts for the young millennial brides.
Ziggi Menswear’s monochromatic collection Fana – ‘Annihilation of the Self’ which was constructed using luxe fabrics, rich embroideries and motifs inspired from Sufism.
Nitasha Bilal Haute Couture showcased Abooro with her vision of beautiful Mughal legacy, blending them with her revivalist techniques of kora dabka and was awarded the Pantene Rising Star for her beautiful debut collection.
Haris Shakeel who amalgamated embroideries with block and screen printing in his collection Ishq.
Next was Royal Tag’s very aristocratic menswear collection The Royal Ceremony, inspired by the majestic Syon House and Garden in London.
Day one came to an end with globally acclaimed master couturier Nilofer Shahid’s collection Dastaan e Firdaus.
Day one of the three-day bridal extravaganza had an amazing line-up of celebrities walking for the designers – the bhangra king Abrar Ul Haq walked for Fahad Hussayn and Minal Khan showcased for for Aisha Imran. The veteran actor Aijaz Aslam was show stopper for Almirah, while the undisputed queen of our entertainment industry, Saba Qamar graced the ramp for Samsara Couture House whereas Nausheen Shah walked for Zonia Anwaar. Noor Khan walked and ‘Soch The Band’ performed for Nitasha Bilal Haute Couture while Kinza Hashmi closed the show for Haris Shakeel.
The eternal Adnan Siddiqui walked the ramp for Royal Tag and Sarah Khan added allure to Nilofer Shahid’s timeless pieces.