23 Life Lessons

23 Life Lessons I wish I had Known Before

  1. Looks can be deceiving, so don’t rely on them. There is a reason why you should never judge a book by its cover.
  2. Try to walk away from relationships you are not happy with, when you have the time to walk out. The moment you get too involved in them, you will lose the courage to walk out.
  3. Time is money, so be careful where and with whom you waste it.
  4. It’s alright to burn down some bridges, so don’t be afraid while doing that. Not everyone wants to cross them to be with you.
  5. There will come a time when you will have to show your ass to all the drama out there, don’t hesitate in doing that. You would be thankful for that later.
  6. Admit your mistakes, only when you know you’re wrong. If you are married, you have my sympathies.
  7. Learn to always make new mistakes in life. You’re living a life, so please, try to live it with peace!
  8. If someone does not like you, for any reason whatsoever, it’s their problem, not yours! So, stop killing yourself over changing their minds! You can not please everyone.
  9. Everyone lives with regrets in life, and its a damn fact! ADMIT IT AND LIVE WITH IT!! Reality is hard, only when you do not accept it.
  10. Don’t indulge yourself in gossip and try to stay away from it as well! It will not do any good to you.
  11. Believe in yourself, you are stronger that you think you really are.
  12. If you can’t hold yourself back, then nothing else will!! If you can’t push yourself forward, life will.
  13. The only thing you’re limited by is your own imagination. So, let it run as wild as you can. Do not live your life inside a box. You are not a captive.
  14. Perception is indeed the bitter truth.
  15. For once, try to put faith in your instincts. They will take you to places you have never been before.
  16. Success can give you a headache, while failure can give you a heartache. So, don’t let them get to your head or heart!
  17. Don’t count your pennies to know how rich you are, just count all the great things you have that are priceless. In the end, memories will matter the most.
  18. Be kind to yourself before being kind to others. Forgive yourself before you forgive others.
  19. Experience is greater than knowledge. That’s why no education will ever go to a waste. So, sink in as many new experiences as you can.
  20. Don’t hesitate in making others smile. Maybe it won’t mean much to you, but it could mean the world to someone else.
  21. Don’t underestimate yourself, ever. Because you never know how strong you really are until being strong is the only choice you have got left! And this is one which I learned on my way to this number and I still am!
  22. If you can’t move out of your own comfort zones, then don’t expect the best life experiences and opportunities to come your way. Because, the best will happen only WHEN YOU DARE TO LOOSE!
  23. Love yourself before you fall in love with someone else.

[Review] The Skin Maskuerade – Korean and Western Beauty Products At Your Doorstep

Skin care is an ever-evolving science. It requires the right balance – diet, water, exercise, supplements, products – to have a glowing, soft skin. Take it from someone who spent more than 50k bucks on getting his skin repaired, it is a tedious job.

If you are taking the right diet and doing everything right, but are still looking for the best available products, then you don’t need to look any further. We all know that Korean skin products are very effective when it comes to rejuvenating your skin. But since we live in Pakistan, it is tough to get hold of them. Not anymore. The Skin MASKuerade is a small-scale e-commerce retailer that gives you the ease of using the best available Korean and Western Skin care products that you always dreamed of using. I (along with my friend) got a chance to test their products and we thought of doing a small review of how the products turned out.


With the warning aside, here we go.

Time Revolution Night Repair by MISSHA


Time Revolution Night Repair by MISSHAis a non-sticky, skin hydrating, and an absorbent serum. As it is a used as a repairing serum, therefore it takes a lot of time to gauge its effectiveness. Moreover, it is quite economical as compared to other serums that are available in the market today. And it is organically made that makes it all the more useful. For the best results, apply this serum at night, after cleansing and toning, before moisturizing. Simply Squirt a half-dropper into the palm of your hand and spread over your skin, gently patting in to aid absorption. This is an anti-aging serum that claims to brighten and smooth aging skin.

Tangerine Vita C Oil-Free Liquid Cleanser by INNISFREE


When you first apply this cleanser it feels like you are applying an oil for your face. But as you massage gently you feel the oil-free properties of the cleanser. It nourishes and cleans your face by going deep into the pores. As it is completely oil-free, it is easier to clean with water. Just wash your face once and rise with warm water before patting it dry. You will feel your skin glow after you wash and pat dry. However, if your skin is sensitive to sun (as we live in Karachi, our skins are sensitive to sun), you need to be extra careful as the cleanser contains Vitamin C. You should use a proper sunblock for your skin when going out. You can use any brand and a suitable SPF for your skin.

Flora Brightening Peeling Gel by TONYMOLY


A chemical peel off mask that is best suited for exfoliation purposes. The gel is mild on the skin and contains no harsh beads that may damage the smoothness of your skin while you rub/exfoliate. This is a brightening peeling gel, but that does not mean you will become a fairy after using this mask. It only cleans dirt off your face to make your skin look smooth and shiny. For best results, use 1-2 times a week on a dry face. If you have an extremely dry skin, just pat your face with water before applying. Best to be used on a dry faced.

Water Sleeping Mask by LANEIGE


Ever wondered why Korean women have such glowing skins? Here is a clue: Water Sleeping Mask by LANEIGE. This is by far the best product that can be used to smoothen your skin and give it that shiny look. Apply this hydrating mask at night, before going to sleep, and see the shining results in the morning.

Green tea Seed Serum by INNISFREE


Green tea Seed Serum by INNISFREE is a water based serum that hydrates your skin and softens it to leave you feeling soft and glowing all day long. It moisturizes your skin and give it a fresh fragrance. Apply this in the morning for the best results. The main ingredient is the naturally produced Green Tea seed. Green tea is a powerhouse anti-oxidant that literally blocks sugarry proteins from damaging the elastin in your skin. Skin care products that are rich in green tea extracts and naturally produced green tea can help you fight skin aging and make you look younger and beautiful.

So there you have it, a long due review of some of the Korean products that are now available in Pakistan, thanks to The Skin Maskuerade. If you want to get your hands on the products, then just drop a message on their Facebook page and they will take it from there. The person responsible it very courteous and is knows what she is doing.

Just a note before you order:

  • Skin care is tedious and long-term job. You just cannot believe that you will apply a mask, sleep at night, and wake up like Sunny Leone. No. It does not work like that. You have to give your skin the due care it needs. Eat the right food. Exercise at the right time and give it the correct amount of hydration it needs. All the skin care products are supplements and can only complement your lifestyle.
  • All the views mentioned above are from personal experiences. Before buying any product, make sure you know what you are buying. Read about it on the internet. Inquire from the seller. Read the reviews on blogs. Search on Youtube. Most importantly, understand your skin type. Purchase these products ONLY when you are 100% sure about what they do and their properties.

Marriage Is Not A Fairytale

For times uncountable, a 20-something girl dresses up in bright colored clothes (and for those who can afford…in Khaadi or J.), with properly groomed hairs and a perfect fake smile to greet new guests (read: rishtewaale), who are going to decide if they find her suitable or not for marrying their “one of a kind” son.

We live in a society which is somewhat educated, a little bit tolerant and trying hard to be modern. But, when it comes to marriage, we refuse to let our good sides take control of ourselves. In our side of the world, if you’re one of the few lucky ones to have fallen in love and married the same girl, you’re good to go. But, if the cupid arrow missed your butt, then that butt belongs to the family. They work day and night (Months and Years) on finding the perfect loving family, the perfect arranged marriage to give shape to the perfect couple.

This approach of arranging love for one another, often works. Numerous experts have claimed, and I can’t refute their claims, that in several cases, arranged marriages are far more likely to succeed than love marriages. Since, the level of expectations are a bit less.

But that’s not what this is all about. This is about what goes on before the marriage is even fixed. This is about the excruciating mental torture and emotional pain the parents and their daughters have to go through. This is about the period when the parents – relatives in some cases – go around looking for that perfect “rishta”.

Now, I do not know about what memorable encounters others had, or how they fell in love at first sight with their rishtaa. All I know is that this so called tradition is traumatizing, depressing and at sometimes, lead woman to end their lives. Why am I writing all this? I KNEW someone who went through this trauma and could not hold on to her nerves. She gave in to the pressures of the “society”. She was not weak, she was just tired of trying hard to fake a smile.

She was a charming person with a colorful personality. It was as if she was like a stock of laughing gas. She would spread joy and love wherever she went. An intelligent person and someone with an above average IQ. She was not meant for a shackled life. From life, all she wanted was happiness and peace. Helpful, caring and a well mannered person. And a good cook as well. She would have been a perfect wife for anyone. But, in this “perfect” world, she fell a bit short of being that “perfect rishta” for a “perfect son”.

She was a stammerer. She couldn’t complete two sentences in a single go. She graduated with Honors from a foreign university and moved back to Pakistan with her family, because her parents wanted a “Pakistani guy” for her. She was already working and had no issues with money. Being the only child of her parents, she was doing a good job of having a stable life. But she soon realized, a good education and a stable lifestyle is not enough for a desi Pakistani to qualify as a “Perfect Rishta” for a Pakistani guy.

Since moving back, wherever she went she was bombarded with just a question:

“Itna parhliya, likhliya..ab shaadi ka kya plan hai beta?”

(You have completed your education, now when are you planning on getting married?“)

Having done so much in her life, being able to solve complex mathematical equations was easier for her but Marriage was not. This one question lead to her demise. This one question ate her up slowly, like a poison.

A life she once loved to live was taking its toll on her. Its colors were fading, and they were fading fast. As soon as she reached home from her therapy sessions, her mom would rush to her with proposal sent by the “rishte waali aunties” from men with 5 to 6 figure paychecks, even bigger families and much greater egos.

She had a fair complexion with a few marks, but it was not up to the benchmark set up by this society.

She had a good job but nothing compared to what this society would have liked; she was working from home as a graphic designer and an interior decorator as well. But that does not matter, does it?!

She was great when it came to living life to the fullest, but when it came to marriage, she fell short on the laws and the norms set by the society.

Every time she would dress up with renewed hope in her heart, only to be have shattered dreams about her future. She was being being fed with all the garbage this society has to offer. She used to share some of the things with her during the therapy sessions. I’ll just put them down in her words:

“Aap ki beti hai toh bahot pyaari, par hamara beta Doctor hai aur ussay toh Doctor hi chahiye thi” (She’s beautiful, but our son is a doctor and he wants to get married to a doctor.)“

Tip: If you already know whom you want as your daughter in law and what your “Doctor” son wants, then please leave other alone. In other words, MTFO.

“Aap ki beti ki height thori chhoti hai. Hamara beta 5’7” hai, ussay lambi larki chahiye.” (Our son is a bit tall, and your daughters height is a bit less than what he’s looking for.) She was only 5’5″ and quite athletic.

Tip: Size does not matter. Only if people could understand.

“Yeh umer se kuch zyada bari lagti hai, tasveeron main toh theek lagrahi thi.“ (She looks lot older than her age and she also looks quite different than her pictures.)

Tip: If you don’t like the picture, don’t make a move. Not everyone is like Kim Kardashian.

And it this wasn’t enough, then this certainly did the trick:

“Yeh toh theek se bol bhi nahin sakti. Aap log is ki shaadi ka mat sochain, pehle is ka ilaaj karwayen.“ (She can’t even speak properly. Don’t think about her marriage, first get her treated by a doctor.)

Tip – and this is for all those who think we Stammerer’s don’t deserve a chance at normal life: F*** You.

Many families came, gave hope of coming back again, but never ever returned back. She was confused as to what was wrong. Whether it was the fact that she was a stammerer or that she was way better than any of the “rishta’s” that came her way. This led her to believe that she had serious issues with herself. She lost her confidence. She would hardly talk. The personality she had helped herself build, was gone with all the rishte waala’s. She lost her self-worth. When we would ask her to list her best traits, she would answer with “none”- and previously we had to check our dictionaries for some traits we weren’t even aware of.

She soon stopped going out. She wouldn’t turn up at any of the therapy sessions. She didn’t want to attend anyone’s wedding either. She was slowly and gradually giving up on herself. She would spend nights after nights, thinking about what would happen if she is not able to get married. What will the society think about my parents. What will the society say about me.

Her depression slowly started to seep in. It had made inroads into her once happy life. She had turned into an insomniac. This led her to resort to taking sleeping pills, as she found comfort in them because they made her to go to sleep. But, things changed for a while, only to turn worse. A “rishta” did come along and her marriage was fixed. The day she was to get engaged, her soon-to-be-husband, left her for someone he loved. His parents only gave their consolation on the day of the engagement. This proved to be the final nail in the coffin. She didn’t utter much words. She went into her room with a smiling face, saying the age-old phrase we deshi’s use: “Jo hota hai achhe k liye hota hai.”

She closed the door and her parents thought she was going to sleep. She did go to sleep. Only this time, she never woke up. The doctors confirmed that she overdosed on the pills and closed the case by labeling it as a suicide.

She left this society to look for more rishta’s for her.

But it was not a suicide. It was a well thought murder. The culprits are still moving freely.

We. You. Us. Me. We all are the culprits of her death.

I won’t comment on what she did was right or wrong. I am not going to say this whole society is wrong. All I want to say is that if you feel you are good enough to get married, then you will. But do not put up with exuberant expectations. We live in an imperfect world. Utopia does not exist.

Love will eventually come to you. But don’t let people dictate you about your life. You are the best companion for your thoughts and it’s your decision whether to keep them or let them go. None of us like living alone and we all dream of having a shoulder to lean on. But, don’t forget that the best place to find hope, is actually inside us…we just need to search a bit deeper.

We all used to keep a journal from our therapy sessions. This is what her journal, from the therapy sessions, had written inside it:

“I’m Sorry For Being A Failure

I’ve succeeded in many ways, but each time I do so, I still feel like a failure.

I feel like nothing I do is enough to pay back my parents.

They gave up their lives so that they could raise me, and no matter what I do, what I try to do, I’ll never be able to make it up to them.

I’m not strong like they are. They are able to handle harsh words and still be self-assured.

I’m not.”

An Open Letter To Someone I Intend To Marry

This is a guest contribution from one of our readers who wanted to keep his identity a secret.

Walking down the road of life, we often meet people who leave away nothing but footprints on our heart. Even if we try, we can’t erase them. They are no special people, but they are very special at what they do. They don’t have any super healing powers, but they have that extraordinary gift of soothing our souls without even touching the wound. You know you can talk to them for hours and hours, without worrying about the tick-tock.

I had people entering and exiting the revolving door of my life pretty frequently. They were here until they chose to leave, cut loose or grow apart from me over time. Mostly people are like the supporting actors of a TV series, they are there till they need you (yup, there’s a dark side to every actor) and leave the moment you need them. There are many of these types of characters, all of them biting the dust for any number of reasons.

In an age of social networking drama and casual betrayal, people go from BFF’s’ to archenemies so often that it makes you wonder if they were really friends to begin with. When someone deceives you or breaks your trust, are they a loyal friend? Some may say yes, you can care about a person plenty but screw up one time in a very big way, thus breaking the bond. Others would beg to differ.

Before writing about this (in fact, WWWAAAYYY BBBEEFFFOOORREEE writing this) I met someone who had a misconstrued notion that best friendships are hard to find, and if you find them, they are usually nice and full of bright colors and witty comments with laugh tracks after each joke.

Just like what the power puff girls have in between them. Let’s face it, it’s all not true.

If things always appear to be just perfect, then take my word, below the surface they’re probably a mess. In reality, friendships last because they are gritty and blunt. They consist of honesty, sometimes brutal and sometime diplomacy, but honesty is the key. Most of the times, the ugly truth is not what we want to hear – as a matter of fact – it’s rarely what we were hoping for. But keeping it real is a part of friendship and appreciating the truth is the other piece of that puzzle. Friendship is a lot of things, but in a nutshell it’s as simple as being there and doing so in the most authentic and genuine fashion possible. It’s not a masquerade party where everyone’s invited.

Unlike many, not everyone have that one best, best friend – many people move up the ladder of life together, in the form of a tight knit group. But they have one thing in common – they were there for you in your highs and lows. They weren’t just present or around, they were there. That’s what sets them apart from the acquaintances, the good-weather “friends” and the masked culprits who were nowhere to be seen at your lowest point.

True friendships are complicated in the sense that we should set high standards for which we dedicate ourselves to and allow them to be close to us, but we should be careful as to not set Bollywood type standards. There’ll be no episode long disagreements with cheesy music queues and quick-fix chats.

It gets bumpy in real life, you have to know in advance and get ready to go through turbulence (I know you did). If you have a real friendship, those involved will deal with it and take that bad with the good. Best, best friends are all about enduring the awful and enjoying the awesome, it’s about laughing at those who jump ship every other week, snipping the cords as soon as they have a quarrel and playing with the phrase BFF, turning it into a valueless acronym as fast as they can blink.

I can say all this from my own personal experiences. The past 4-6 years of my life have taught me the simplest, yet the toughest lessons of life. I believe I’ll be able to walk the walk and talk the talk, because I was blessed with some of the most beautiful people around, out of whom, one does stand apart.

I originally wanted to write this as a letter about why you’re my best friend and why I would want to spend my life with you and decorate it with all the adorable anecdotes I could find, but I’m not going to do that because I think you already know why you’re my best friend. If you didn’t, then I guess we probably wouldn’t have become the kind of friends we did in the past years or so.

I don’t think whether you know this or not, but I would really like to thank you for being close to me even when we were on separate notes of life. Thank you for never giving up on our friendship, for never shrugging and being like “Sorry dude, things change, people change and times change” and drifting away vaguely because we’re victims of circumstance.

During the past two-three years, I think I can say this: Thank you for taking care of me and being there for me when no one else was or wanted to be there and leave on their will. I mean, everyone has friends that don’t want to get close; you don’t feel much comfortable with them and neither do they, they feel kind of weird when it comes to asking for help and like you have to clarify that you won’t ask for any kind of favor from them in return, but you’re not one of those.. You were and are there for everything, no bargaining or explanations needed.

Thank you for being a different friend than everyone else, different from the friends who are only there for the fun things. Thank you for always being fun even when we’re not having fun. And I really don’t have a clue as to how I can explain it to you, but I really mean that!

So, please don’t go on asking me about it.

Now, as I said, no one’s perfect, and I know I am not even near to being perfect (Thank GOD!). You didn’t know me too well, before now, but you believed in me when I was too weak and exhausted to believe in myself. Thank you for pushing me to go for something I didn’t wanted to go for, I still haven’t, but I respect what you were trying to do. Thanks a lot for repeating those “much talked about words” that don’t mean a thing in life, but sometimes, they end up meaning everything when someone who cares about you says them. Thank you for not judging me every time I did something really stupid, but also thanks for telling me I was an idiot and probably shouldn’t have done that stupid thing.

I don’t know why, but that moment actually brought a teeny tear to my eye. I guess it does feel great to know you’re looked after by a lot of people, and especially by the one you like. Thank you for always being honest.

It is confusing to see a person, so quiet and calm when all hell’s breaking loose near them, either that person is going to explode behind your back or speak about the situation in the most mature manner possible.

After knowing you more, I think the latter suits you best! Thank you for that!

Thank you for doing all the things a real best friend does or should have done (in my case); for listening to me while I spoke my heart out and sharing yours with me. Thank you for always knowing who I am and reminding me of that when I forget (I hope to see that coming from you, more often). Thank you for being genuinely concerned with the outcome of my life and always listening, even when you were tired (Hahahaha…like seriously, it’s awesome to talk)

Thank you for telling me the things no one wants to hear and sparing the crappy advice. I can’t think of many other people I’d actually take a bullet for.

And yeah, I know everyone makes these grand emotional claims in depressed quotes pictures against the lonely flower near the only lamppost, but the difference is, I’d actually do it for you!

P.S. Keep hopping like the bunny you are. 😉


26 Promises To My Best Friends

As we move on to the times of Hyperloop One, we can only imagine how fast our lives are actually moving. We are all engulfed in rat-race to beat one another and get to the top. We are forgetting just a teeny little secret: There is no rewind button in life. It only rewinds when you are about to leave for the journey of no return.

Just recently, I was in a meeting, a tense meeting. One opinion popped up: “Don’t you think we should focus on struggling and spend time on earning money? We have already spent a lot of our time with our families, friends, and hangouts. It is time we earn some bucks and focus on making a life out of it.” What my mind translated this into was this: Work your ass off. Earn a lot of bucks. And then celebrate with yourself, because during the rat-race, you’ll end up losing more than you’ll end up earning.

Again, it all depends on the perspectives. For some, time is money. For others, memories matter the most. For the rest, money is all that matters.

For those who believe in memories, friendships, relationships, quality time with family, coupled with a balanced work-life, here is something to look forwards to.

You can call these the secrets to life as well! Now these are all mixed up and that’s for a reason! Some are quite obvious, others are not! 🙂 If you have a problem with any, WhatsApp only. 😛 😉

If you don’t have a way of reaching out to one another, then you are not worthy enough to have a problem with one another. Anyways, enough of the taunting. I’ll get down to the promises.

Just a note: These are mixed up and as the heading says, these are promises for Friend “s”

  1. I am not me when you’re not you or around me. You’re the best person I have ever met in my life. So, kindly stick around! I’ll even say please for that.
  2. I will never, in a million years, let you date anyone I don’t approve of. Please note that before making reservations at your favorite hotel. 😛
  3. I won’t let you have an ugly haircut, and if you do, i’ll keep taunting you for that! 😉
  4. I vow to always tap your back while you puke..if it’s in front of me. And then I’ll laugh out loud! 😉
  5. I’m sorry about that time I didn’t told you I actually hated your friend and I still do!
  6. Thank you for listening to me while I wasn’t talking at all.
  7. Thank you for taking care of me that time when all hope was lost.
  8. Thank you for listening to me cry over how bad things are in my life.
  9. And telling me to get over stuff that wasn’t there anymore.
  10. And that everything is all well because you are now a part of my life!
  11. Thank you for standing with me in times of need. Both yours and mine. 😉
  12. I’m glad we Google some shitty stuff together!
  13. And if I’m going to be honest, I think of you the entire time.
  14. I will probably never stop texting you, just to make sure you’re by my side always! Since, technology had (and still have) a huge hand to play in our lives!
  15. Distance won’t make a difference. You’ll always be close to me.
  16. In fact, I like you more than I could have imagined! Ever!
  17. I’ll always try to be the 1st one to wish your birthday, new things every time. So, be prepared. 😉
  18. And I’ll always favorite your texts, no matter how many I get!
  19. I don’t regret a single person that I learned to hate, because you helped me laugh at that person!
  20. I am at my greatest while laughing when I am with you, physically or virtually.
  21. Travelling with you has been one heck of an experience. I pity those on the roads while we are together. 😛 I am looking forward to the plane trips now!! We going to have them soon!! IA!
  22. You are my best-man. I better be yours. Or else, forget having a “Suhaag-raat!” (You know who you are!)
  23. I promise to babysit your future children, no matter how naughty they are, they can’t be naughtier than you!
  24. I will always get you out of trouble!
  25. I will always slap you after I drag you out because you got into trouble without me!

And 26…

I will always be your best friend. You are stuck with me. So, better suck it up! You don’t have much of a choice! I am a Virgo, I don’t let go that easily. 😛

These are the promises that I am making to my best friends. What are your promises? You can share them here in the comments section below. You can even tag your friends or, best yet, keep them guessing as to which promise is for which friend. 😉