Clueless and terrified, at the age of 11, I remember my mother giving me a piece of cloth to use instead of a pad and telling me not to mention this to anyone.
That continued for a year and, I was strictly told not to talk about this to anyone. Nobody told me what it was, why it was happening, why this cycle was only repeating on particular days of every month, why I was not allowed to pray. I KNEW NOTHING.
• You are not fasting but you should tell others that you are.
• You cannot pray but don’t tell this to any male member.
• You cannot say the word “pad” or “period” in front of anyone.
• You are supposed to change the channel whenever there is a sanitary napkin ad.
• You cannot openly hold a packet of sanitary napkins.
We all have encountered such instructions coming at us every now and then. But can I blame my mother for that? No, because she didn’t know much either. She learned to keep it a secret and tried to translate the same silence into me. Who should be blamed then? Can we rely on schools that cancel the chapter of reproduction in 10th grade because they consider it immoral and where you cannot openly talk to your teacher about it? Even if they are willing to discuss, the vague responses will put you in more confusion.
Finally, after fighting against numerous taboos, mental health has become a topic of concern but, period cramps accompanied by nausea, headaches, and bloating are still dismissed. You will mostly hear responses like “is me kia hai?” “Sab kohotahai”, “Tum pehli bandi nahi ho”, “yar period hi hai”, “ziada hi nazuk ho tum to”. In 5% to 10% of women, menstrual pain is so severe that it can disrupt their life. There is still no concept of paid menstrual leaves at the workplace, we are still paying taxes on sanitary napkins and, we are still not aware of the right brands to choose from. If you casually say in front of a male counterpart that you are on period, people are going to tag you as “ besharam”, “shameless”, “bold” and the list goes on.
There are a number of reliable brands but Molped has definitely overtopped them all by introducing Hygiene Shield Portfolio in Pakistan which has been specifically designed for Pakistani women, keeping in mind their needs based on extensive research. Hygiene Shield is an anti-germ layer which will provide superior absorption, odor protection, and long hours of hygiene during periods. This in turn will ensure that Pakistani girls and women alike do not miss out on life and continue as per normal without any interruptions even during their period.
Esra Bilgic is the brand ambassador of Molped Pakistan and she has highlighted how she regards Molped Hygiene Shield as her ultimate hygiene partner that protects her throughout the day. Through this partnership, she aims to encourage Pakistani girls to take control of their personal hygiene and live their life uninterrupted.
It is about time we started paving the way for our next generations so they don’t feel ashamed of having an open conversation about a natural phenomenon that is the essence of a woman.
Only if these sanitary brands, parents, and teachers come together to educate girls about menstruation, the importance of this cycle and how it is not taboo, how it is not wrong to bleed because this is the sign of a healthy woman.
It is the need of the hour that we start having proper drives to spread awareness and normalize this period of every month in a woman’s life. We should properly educate the male members of the society to be more empathetic and show understanding towards this topic. Instead of mocking, they need to step up and make women feel comfortable with this natural phenomenon of their lives. This will instill in them the concept of what a woman goes through in terms of pain and hormonal changes.
Not only this, but women also need to have all the answers related to menstruation. They should constantly keep a check on their diet. They should know when to visit a doctor, what body changes are normal, and how having a normal period cycle is crucial to a healthy lifestyle of a woman. Sadly, women are hushed and frowned upon for asking these questions but, change starts from within and, it’s time for you to participate in such healthy discussions.
Meesha Shafi releases HOT MANGO CHUTNEY SAUCE
A Canadian Pakistani Artist, a cultural and feminist icon and a multidisciplinary artist, has released her latest single, Hot Mango Chutney Sauce. Written and performed by Shafi herself, Hot Mango Chutney Sauce is an electro pop dance composition with an unabashedly original desi sound.
While the mood of the song is joyful, it cleverly employs irony and sarcasm to question an unfortunate yet comic facet of urban Pakistani society: the rampant obsession with consumerism and the inability to understand ourselves beyond the facade of “wealth” or “success” we put up in social settings. The South Asian artist celebrates her roots and explores why we express our identities by acquiring and flaunting material possessions, instead of nurturing our values and vocalizing principles we believe in.
“The idea of writing this song came out of a period of reflection on the rat race we often find ourselves in, where much of the focus is on what people own instead of who they are. It’s a pitfall that is particularly hard to avoid in an industry literally called showbiz, so coming to this realization has been fascinating” said Meesha Shafi.
Blending English, Urdu and Punjabi, Meesha speaks colloquially and playfully integrates quintessentially Pakistani idioms and tongue-twisters in her lyrics. “Ultimately, the song pokes fun at our collective identity crisis, which is only worsened by our colonial hangover as many of us have begun to realize. Even within the race, we’ve come to attach a higher value to aspects of pop culture that have no roots in Pakistan or the wider South Asian community. So whether it was cultural references in the lyrics or the visual translation of the track into a music video, I aspired to create something uniquely us – desi and proud”, said Meesha Shafi.
Abdullah Siddiqui, who produced the song said: “The themes Meesha was working with on this song really resonated with me because I’ve personally begun to feel like culturally there’s an obsession with keeping up appearances, and sacrificing authenticity in the process. The lyrics really excited me and amused me, especially because they are in such stark contrast to the kind of introspective and sombre work Meesha has been known for, but I’m so excited that people finally get to see this side of her. I had the time of my life producing this track to reflect the spirit in which Meesha wrote it; brash, maximalist, super-charged and unapologetically fun. We tried to create a representation of South Asian motifs that felt completely fresh yet authentic, and I really hope that comes across.”
The much-awaited music video has been co-directed by Meesha Shafi and Awais Gohar. The art direction was led by Meesha Shafi and Hashim Ali. The music video stars both Meesha Shafi and Abdullah Siddiqui along with Eman Suleman, Zara Peerzada, Baemisaal and Rubab Ali. To make things even more exciting, the anonymous Instagram sensation known only by her handle ‘Swineryy’ also features on the music video as one of her most popular avatars.
The music video for Hot Mango Chutney Sauce can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/aQ2oiqyEzCE.
The song is now available on all major streaming platforms.
Filmwala Pictures Is Back With a Historic Drama Masterpiece Khel Khel Mein
The dynamic duo of Pakistani film industry, Nabeel Qureshi & Fizza Ali Meerza, is all set to hit Pakistani Cinemas, yet again with their upcoming film ‘Khel Khel Mein’.
The multi starrer Feature Film will have Sajal Ali and Bilal Abbas in lead roles, along with veterans Javed Sheikh, Samina Ahmed, Marina Khan & Manzar Sehbai. The music of the film is composed by the maestros including Shani Arshad, Shuja Haider & Asrar Shah. This heart-warming drama depicting a youthful take on historic events, will be releasing in cinemas very soon.
The motion poster of the KKM looks promising and fans are eagerly waiting to witness another brilliant piece from the enthusiastic and talented pair, who always tries to give something new in their projects. The lead cast, Sajal Ali and Bilal Abbas Khan has worked together before in television drama serial ‘O Rangreza’. This is their first feature film together.
Fizza Ali Meerza, CEO Filmwala Pictures says about her new venture, “Khel Khel Mein is our take on telling history in a fresh and engaging way to the youth so that it can be learned from and remembered. We hope the viewers will resonate with the story and come out of the theaters feeling more entertained & informed.”
The director of Khel Khel Mein Nabeel Qureshi expressed his delight as, “We are very excited to bring Khel Khel Mein to the screens; the entire team has worked immensely hard to create the film and, we hope that people will love it and learn from it.”
About Filmwala Pictures
Filmwala Pictures is a Pakistani Film Production Company based in Karachi founded by Fizza Ali Meerza. The production house has some of the biggest Pakistani hits under its banner including; Na Maloom Afraad, Actor in Law, Na Maloom Afraad 2 & Load Wedding along with the upcoming film Quaid e Azam Zindabad.
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Junaid Khan Highlights A Grave Issue Of Society In His Latest Video
When it comes to Pakistani performers, who can both act and sing, Junaid Khan comes into mind so quickly. We have witnessed his acting skills recently in dramas like Kashf, Muhabbatein Chahtien and Khuda Aur Muhabbat but his first love music, with which he stared his career as Call band, recurs so often.
Junaid Khan has released a single Taqdeer this eid, which unlike a usual happy song comes out on eids, highlights the grave issue of violence, especially domestic violence which is taking place in almost every household, every class in one way or another. According to singer this video is dedicated to all the victims that have gone through and keep going through all forms of abuse.
About the song and video, Khan pours his heart out, “What I am presenting to the world is not just a song but an ocean of immense emotions. A very grave issue that I lose sleep over.”
The Nishaan singer further says, “When I see and hear abuse, suffering and pain; it takes me into a very dark space. The evil that is spreading so fast in our own society and all over the world, has suffered humanity in the hands of murderers, rapists, abusers and the list just goes on.”
How someone has to suffer in the hands of an oppressor who only knows how to control and torture another human being, he adds.
The Taqdeer is written and composed by Junaid Khan while the video is directed by As-haar Azmat featuring Talat Mahfooz Butt, Shahreen Iftikhar, As-haar Azmat along with Junaid Khan as lead. The track has a grunge-rock feel in it as the video is shot in a dark background to depict the gloom and pain of the theme. Junaid has proved both his singing and acting skills in this five and half minute’s video which carries a powerful message through a conceptual art.
According to the singer, the video emphasizes how the Power, control, money and greed can destroy generations but the message that he wants to send across to the world through this song is with bad comes good and with suffering comes ease and that karma will come around.
Elaborating more about the video, Khan says, “The oppressors are so strong and blinded by their own motives that are larger than other human lives. And there comes a point when the oppressed knows nothing better than accepting this painful life as fate. Taqdeer! And on this very notion my song, my voice and my emotions came to life in the form of this song.”
It is true that cases of domestic violence take place every day. Some get swept under the carpet while some come out in the open. The authorities must need to give importance to every violent act taking place anywhere in the country.
According to a report published by Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO) in March 20201, The cases of violence against women and rape in Pakistan were doubled in the last six months of 2020 as compared to the first six months of the year. According to official data analysis, domestic violence (1,422 cases) and violence against women (9,401 cases), had high occurrence throughout country.
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