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An Insomniac’s delight

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One Fourteen by Insomnia Kitchen is a sit down restaurant that focuses on being the hippest late night place, with a warm feel and yummy food. Having lived abroad, owner Shehryar Ali wanted to introduce a model similar to a diner. They plan being open 24/7 eventually but one step at a time. We got to spend an evening talking to Shehryar about this venture and what inspired him to launch this fantastic place!

114 by Insomnia Kitchen is an interesting name, what’s the concept behind this restaurant?

The first of its kind, One Fourteen by Insomnia Kitchen is a late night diner (open from 8 pm to 4 am) that caters to the city’s nocturnal crowd. Manhattan’s Greenwich Village inspired cozy ground floor seating, casual atmosphere, and unique artwork not only represent a diner concept but the interior also creates awareness about important issues that are brushed under the rug. As for One Fourteen – that just happens to be my lucky number.

What inspired you to set out on this journey?

While I studied in New York, I spent most of my summer/winter breaks in Lahore. Late nights and hunger pangs that followed at wee hours of the night always resulted in some fast food or paratha roll indulgence. So, I thought, why not offer something better, healthier and hygienic to the city that loves to eat, no matter what time it is. This resulted in Insomnia Kitchen starting off as a delivery only joint eight years ago.

How challenging was it to move from being a home based delivery place to opening up your own personal space?

Going back in time, I remember taking permission from my grandmother to use the ground floor of her house which was empty. Luckily, that worked out and I was able to keep my overheads low. Eight years down the road, going from a home run kitchen to a two story commercial setup has been a hell of a ride. I had never imagined how hard this journey would be; more so because i decided to do everything on my own. Though this wouldn’t have been possible without my family and friends’ support. 

What kind of foods have you kept on the menu? Any best sellers we should definitely try out?

The menu is short but diverse; it’s a little bit of everything. Five best sellers last month were;

  1. Wild Wild Wings
  2. Chicken Chilli Dry
  3. Burrito Bowl 
  4. Cajun Chicken Pasta
  5. Cookie Skillet

Do you think you’ll be introducing Insomnia Kitchen signature dishes?

We already have a twist of our own on the common dishes in the menu. Signature dishes are in the making and will be introduced pretty soon.  This Ramzan we will be serving two of our signature omelettes for Sehri. 

Do you see yourself as becoming an integral part of the kitchen? will you consider joining the chefs team yourself?

I think I already am because the menu has been engineered in house. Multiple tastings and manoeuvring of the ingredients have taught me a lot. Although not a pro but I can play around in the kitchen a bit. 

Do you plan to expand and open more branches? if so, which city would you go for next?

Currently, we are just focusing on Lahore. But when we do expand, Islamabad is the city we will most likely target next.

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Features

A quick & fun natter with the gorgeous Naimal Khawar

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What acting style would explain you the best? Is it just one? Or you are open to negative roles as well in future? 

I really don’t know which style would suit me the best because I have only done two characters so far. I am still exploring myself. But, as an actor, I will be open to all kind of roles which have substance in them.  

What would you like to be known for; being a painter or an actor? 

Painting is something that I worked hard on all my life. I have strived for it. Acting is something that just came my way. It was very unexpected. So, hands down, it’s painting. 

What drama (especially) from the past you would have loved doing?

One drama that I would really like to be in is Sheher-e-Zaat. I would love to play Mahira’s character there. I think it was a beautiful script and I loved it. 

We have seen Izza in Anna (a sensitive girl who loves her family who likes to keep things simple and who thinks money can make a person rude and proud) so, what Naimal is like in real life? 

Naimal is pretty much like Izza because we share same morals and values in life. Dignity and respect is very important for me. That’s how I have been brought up in my family as well. So, yes I am a very simple girl. I like my life not so complicated and I also feel money cant buy happiness. 

Your weirdest fan moment?

I don’t think I have a lot of fans but let me think… Yes, one time, I received this box and it had 10 sketches of me. I thought it would be random but they kept coming in every week. So, that was pretty creepy. 

What do you do when you are not working?  (other than painting) 

So, when i am not working, i love spending time with my family and nature. Most of my time is with my horses at the stable and you will see me there. 

What have you learned about yourself since you became a celebrity?

I really don’t think I can answer this question because I still feel I am not a celebrity as yet. 

What advice would you give to your younger self?

One advice that I would like to give to my younger self is “ Don’t worry too much about things in life. Just be patient and hang in there.” 

What’s your take on feminism? 

To me, feminism is equality. 

Has your life changed after being an actor? 

Honestly, my life hasn’t really changed after being an actor. 

What do you enjoy the most? The limelight or the ordinary life you had before getting into this career? 

If I had to choose, I would definitely take the ordinary life. 

Would you like to comment on “Harassment at Workplace”? Have you ever encountered such a thing or has it made you uncomfortable at any point since you have started your career? 

So far, in the acting business, I have not experienced any case of harassment. It has been very professional and to the point. 

 In the season FRIENDS, who can you relate to the most?

A lot of people are going to hate me for this but I am one of those who have actually not seen FRIENDS. But my family and friends tell me that I remind them of Rachel and I am pretty much like her. So, it would be Rachel then.  

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Fashion

Cannes 2019 Day 1 Best Dressed

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Once a year, the stars of world cinema descend on the South of France to toast artistic achievement and nothing compares to the glamour of Cannes. . Even if your film isn’t competing for the Palme d’Or, the festival offers countless opportunities to shine, thanks to 11 days worth of screenings, premieres, and photo calls where fashion takes center stage. As stars climb the steps of the Palais des Festivals, they do so knowing the world is watching, pulling out all the style moments unlike anything you’ll see elsewhere. Bolder is always better at Cannes!

Here, see the best of the festival’s fashion as it happens

1.Elle Fanning

Elle Fanning in Gucci at the premiere of The Dead Don’t Die

2.Izabel Goulart

Izabel in Zuhair Murad at the premiere of Rocketman

3. Bella Hadid

Bella in a Dior gown and Bulgari jewels.

4.Shailene Woodley

Shailene in Dior

5.Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton in Haider Ackerman

6.Araya A. Hargate

Araya A. Hargate in Ralph & Russo

7. Julianne Moore

Julianne in Dior Haute Couture and Chopard jewels

8.Selena Gomez

Selena in a Louis Vuitton with Bulgari Jewels

9.Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra in Honayada

10.Deepika Padukone

Deepika in a custom made Dundas

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Features

Tête-à-tête with Nadia Jamil for Damsa

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“I think, not investing in your children  is not investing in your future” Nadia Jamil

Through dramas like Udaari, Haiwan and Aisi hai Tanhai, Pakistan has started a tremendous way of educating people about the deep rooted societal issues. Using these dramas as a medium in order to eradicate the social problems and making people aware of the importance of taking stand for such issues, entertainment industry has come a long way in producing exceptionally excellent storylines to promote the sense of right and wrong among the masses. 

With yet another wonderful plot, Nadia Jamil is back on TV screen to mesmerise us with her terrific acting skills and to work for the cause that she loves. Her praiseworthy work for humanity is not new to any one of us. She has been into social work since the early age of her life, probably, when she was only 13. 

So, we had a chance to ask a few questions about the project “Damsa” that is very close to her heart and this is what she had to say. 

1.So, Nadia , considering you have been working as a social activist for such a long time with full passion, did you ask the producer or the writer to create a story around the topic of child trafficking? 

No, I didn’t ask the writer or the producer to make a drama on this. But, when it came to me, after reading the first episode, I didn’t need to go beyond because I just knew that I had to say yes. 

2. Tell us a little more about the drama other than what you have already tweeted?

I can’t say a lot because obviously I can’t give any spoilers but I think what’s remarkable about this is not only that it is dealing with the whole issue of child protection and child abuse in our society in a really raw and honest way but it is also giving solution showing that how effective it would be if the state, civilians and the media would work together. For me, that is the most important metaphor that comes out of Damsa. This display has changed me as a human being, as a mother and as a woman because Areeja (my character) is such a remarkable woman and I think such characters are not written anymore. I have learnt so much from her resilience. It was a privilege to do the story. 

3. Is this going to highlight the real life stories? 

Yes, I think you can say this will highlight the real life situations. It can be recognisable when you see the drama, you will realise those issues are already deep rooted somewhere in our society. 

4. Is it exposing any influential people? Was it difficult for you or can it be difficult in any way in the future?

It exposes, how, if there is corruption in the state, what the consequences can be for people and for children. No,  it was not difficult in any way, I think it was narrated very honestly. “Bohat aam kahani he, afsos ki baat hai keh yeh aam kahani hogai he”. Researching Areeja, learning about her and talking to the mothers who have experienced this, was chilling and unexplainable. 

5. Do you really think that entertainment industry is a great medium to tackle sensitive social issues?

Yes, I think entertainment industry is a great medium to tackle these social issues. But, does it do that? No. Are the scripts coming in strong and hard? No. It is just an ugly race of rating. Kudos to Wajahat Rauf, his team and Najaf Bilgrami for breaking the stereotypes. Also, thanks to Asma Nabeel for writing such an incredible story. If there is a good story, good cast and good production, dramas can make a really good impact.

6. What message exactly do you want to convey?

The message that I want to convey and have been trying to convey for last 20 years is the emergency in child protection. According to article 25A of Constitution of Pakistan, every child above the age of 5 needs to be in school. The children have been neglected to the point beyond repair. Sexual abuse is normalised. We have messed up at the very foundation of citizens of Pakistan for tomorrow. I think, not investing in your children is not investing in your future and it shows the lack of our vision and lack of forward thinking.

7. What do you have to say about people not talking about such issues and not taking any stand against such heinous acts? 

People who do not take a stand for any heinous act towards a child, is complicit. You are part of the problem and not the solution. Mute people anger me as much as those people who are messing up the society. You don’t even have to do anything about it. At least, say. Talk about it. Have an opinion. Seeing all the ugly acts being done to the children, how can you not express discomfort? 

8. Anything else, you want people to know about the drama? 

I want every person to know that Damsa is a prime example of how things can work out. It’s scary, it’s brave and it’s frightening. But, more importantly, I feel that people should take the courage to speak up on crimes against children. Stop being useless when it comes to children. You don’t have to be a parent, a journalist or a prominent person to see that there are terrible things happening to children. You just need to have a voice. As Faiz sb said “Bol keh lab aazaad hain tere”.

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