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Olper’s debunks myths regarding packaged milk

6 Oct

In Pakistan, we are all used to hearing all sorts of negative things about packaged milk. For example, packaged milk is not actually milk but a mixture of detergent and milk powder, or that there are dangerous chemicals in the processing of packaged milk. Some people have gone so far that they filed petitions in the High Court asking for a ban on all packaged milk products. All these petitions were dismissed by the court. But the general public is still not convinced. So what is the reality behind packaged milk, and where does this milk actually come from?

This Saturday, Olper’s took bloggers from Lahore on a journey called #SachKaSafar in which they took us to their different facilities, debunking all the myths about packaged milk.

Where does the milk come from?

Our first stop was a small village near Sahiwal, where Olper’s has a milk collection center. The local farmers deliver fresh milk everyday to the milk collection center. Different tests are performed on every supplier’s milk to make sure that it is safe for consumption. Olper’s has more than 1500 such facilities in different parts of the country. The employees there are fully trained about safety and hygiene standards.

All the milk is kept in chillers to make sure it doesn’t get spoiled. It is then transferred to a facility called the Area Office. Olper’s has 24 such facilities all over Pakistan, which make sure that the collected milk from surrounding Milk Collection Centers meets the highest of standards before it is passed on for processing. At the Area Office, 24 different tests are performed on the milk to ensure that it is safe for consumption. If the milk doesn’t pass anyone of these tests, then it is rejected and disposed off.

Bloggers at the Area Office

This all looked too good to be true to most of us though. Because we still had hundreds of questions in our minds about the final product that is sold to the customers. Everybody knows that natural milk produces cream when it is boiled, but packaged milk produces no cream upon boiling. Also, there’s no way milk can stay fresh for 3 months in packages that are not even refrigerated. What is done during the processing of the milk that changes its natural behaviour?

We asked all these questions when we reached the Olper’s milk processing plant in Sahiwal, which was the final destination of our #SachKaSafar. Not only did our hosts encourage all these questions, but they also explained all the process in depth, leaving no doubt about the high standards that are followed by Olper’s.

Olper's Milk Processing Plant in Sahiwal

Olper’s Milk Processing Plant in Sahiwal

I’ll try answering some of these questions here.

Boiling loose milk kills all the bacteria in it. So why should we buy packaged milk?

In our kitchens, we boil the milk at very high temperatures. It certainly kills the bacteria. But this process also deprives us of many essential vitamins and nutrients. At Olper’s facility, the milk undergoes a process called UHT, in which the milk is heated at around 140°C for 2 seconds, after which it is cooled. This process kills all the bacteria in the milk but also maintains the essential vitamins and nutrients. Packaged milk sold all over the world goes through this process.

What happens to the cream in the milk?

When we boil milk at home, it forms cream at the surface. But that is not the case with packaged milk. This is because packaged milk products like Olper’s are homogenized, which means that the milk is processed in such a way that all its particles become the same size, giving it a consistent and smooth texture. Homogenization ensures that every gulp of milk is full of richness.

How does the milk stay fresh for 3 months?

The milk is packed in Tetra Pak, which has 7 layers of packaging. This ensures that the milk stays fresh and free from bacteria even when it is not refrigerated.

In conclusion, I can only say that Olper’s milk is completely safe for consumption and probably the best in market. If you too are sick of your doodhwala mixing too much water in your milk, then Olper’s milk is the best choice out there.

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#djuiceMMF gives new life to Lahore!

7 May

30th of April, 2016 is a date that the youth of Lahore will remember for a long time, for on this fine Saturday evening, hundreds of Lahoris gathered just to basically have some fun.

Yes, this is about the much talked about event called the djuice Mango Musik Festival. djuice Pakistan is a telco brand that focuses on the empowerment of youth and provides them with exciting new entertainment and lifestyle opportunities. One such initiative by djuice Pakistan was the djuice Mango Musik Festival.

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The one of its kind musical night featured well known DJs from Germany and Pakistan. Matthias Meyer, Luna City Express and Jesse Maverick flew in exclusively to bring some life to the party. The local talent included Fawad Khan, Bilal Brohi, Faisal Baig, Talha Humayun and Fuzzy Nocturnal.

The massive projection display, which was home to the DJs, was one of the highlights of the event. It surely looked like an event that could take place in any part of the world without changing anything. There is no denying that the dance floors, the VIP lounges and the security were top class.

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The djuice Mango Musik Festival was the union of technology, music and the digital lifestyle. There were large SMD screens all around that displayed tweets posted by the crowd with the hashtag #djuiceMMF. Moreover, there was free djuice internet for everyone at the venue, which allowed people to share updates on social media in real time.

Where am I... #djuiceMMF

A post shared by Aadil A. Pitafi (@aadilpitafi) on

The fireworks during the DJs’ performances were a plus. These performances were followed by an air show with planes giving out giveaways. It seemed like there was no end to this amazing night.

The festival started around 8PM but went to go on till 8AM, which is the first of its kind in Pakistan. The passion and energy of the audience came as a pleasant surprise and indicated that the event was a massive success.

But Then Again, No!

21 Dec
"Strictly speaking, I took an arrow to the knee."

"Strictly speaking, I took an arrow to the knee."

When it comes to Pakistani politics, I have never been able to form an opinion that I can be assertive about. The promises. The boisterous speeches. The rallies. The dogmatic claims. The critics. The analysts. But the critics mostly. This massive cloud of uncertainty leads me nowhere. Who is the most credible? Who is the most candid? Who is duplicitous? Then there are those wannabe-critics who come up with the words ‘cynic’ and ‘troll’ for others when they can’t support their position with sound logic. Indecisiveness is a word which accurately describes my mental state.

Until recently, I used to be a person without any communication skills at all. I never dared to speak a word because I believed that my opinion would be met with mocking laughter and disbelief. I didn’t have a direction to follow. I had a readiness to believe in everyone. But then I started building up a taste and an opinion that would be my own, uninfluenced by any external pressure. I developed my own tastes in music, poetry, prose, cars and food, to name a few, but never did I form a truly independent opinion about politics.

The fact that the commentators on Pakistani politics enjoy so much support relies upon the theory that this country’s rulers will never grow up, which is backed by a history of more than 64 years. The military coups. The injustices. The prejudiced dictators. The alienation of East and West. The corrupt democratic rulers. The endless blame-games. The growing sensationalism in media. The plethora of adamant self-proclaimed ‘independent analysts’ writing articles for internet-based newspapers.

Everyone has an opinion; no one knows what’s it worth. Everyone has a problem; no one has a solution. Everyone has followers; no one has a direction. Will I ever reach a conclusion?

Creating Positivity

22 Nov

“Think good, speak good, do good,” was the motto of Mera Passion Pakistan’s (MPP) launching ceremony in Lahore this Saturday evening. Apart from all the post-event criticism, I believe MPP did a perfect job smoking an air of positivity into Lahore’s bloggers. It is no secret that the local and global media doesn’t cover most of the positive things going on in Pakistan. The responsibility of news reporting has been confined to negative stories only, which is why the unsung heroes of this country rarely ever make it to our TV screens.

Glass is half full.

MPP’s objective is simple — to cover the positive news, and to provide the nation’s heroes with a platform on which their work is recognized and appreciated. The event was very well organized, which was something that perhaps none of the attendees had expected. Not only were we shown short documentaries about some of the undiscovered heroes, we later realized that they themselves were present there.

Pakistan’s Wright brothers: No, seriously. You may call them Qazi brothers though. Qazi Sajjad, inspired by a plane he saw in a 60s Bond film, built its own version using bamboo and a Suzuki engine, which can reach the altitude of 16000ft. Thanks to the pilot Qazi Tufail who assisted with the project. This motor glider, the brothers say, can be effective when monitoring the traffic and the floods.

“The Telescope Guy”: Asad Mehmood, is a soon-to-be 18-year-old student from Okara, who built Pakistan’s 5th largest (now 6th largest) telescope in his house, on his own. He spent a total of 25,000 PKR from his own pocket for achieving this target. Asad is one of the most passionate Physics buffs I have ever known, and I hope he goes on to build even bigger and better telescopes.

The Teachers: The floods in Sindh have displaced millions of people from their home towns, and have forced them to live in refugee camps. The children in these camps are deprived of their most basic right, which is education. These three students (two boys and a girl; I don’t remember all the names) from IBA Sukkur, studying on full-scholarship there, decided to take a step forward. They regularly go to the camps and educate the children there. Since their backgrounds are no different from these children’s, they realize how important education is for them. I consider them the true heroes, because educating poor children is the only way to save them from becoming street-beggars in the future. I personally conversed with the group in Sindhi (their mother-tongue) and it felt great to know that people from my province are finally beginning to realize what’s good for them. (I usually criticise Sindhis a lot for their non-serious attitude to life.) The best part was, they sat right beside me all the time and I didn’t know who they were until I saw them on the big screen.

Photo by Haris Nadeem.

Left to right: Asad Mehmood, The three IBA students, Fazli (the man who covered the stories), Qazi Tufail. (Photo by Haris Nadeem.)

All in all, the event was a success. Mr. Irfan’s talk was one of the most inspirational and patriotic speeches I have ever listened to. All the attendees appreciated him. Applause. Laughter. Interaction. It was a wonderful session.

But the criticism is always there. The most objectionable and debatable issue is the awarding of an iPad by MPP to Google’s Badar Khushnood, the man who helped a great deal with organizing the event, while the discussed heroes were only awarded 10,000 PKR each. Another concerning point is that MPP has still not finished its website. There is no information whatsoever about the team behind the project.

Back When We Existed

5 Oct

The renovated building, the illuminated balconies and various new tweaks to the structure are never going to bring back the liveliness that once used to be, back when we existed.

The world I once belonged to.

The world I once belonged to.

The feeling that hurts the most when you revisit the neighbourhood where you spent all your childhood, is when you find out that things are not the same anymore. Almost all the people you knew have moved out; some have left Pakistan forever, others have been replaced. This is how life works after all; one keeps getting replaced.

“So what do you guys do all day long?” I asked the remaining three of my childhood friends who still hadn’t moved out.
“We stay at home,” replied Hash. “We rarely see each other now.”

This was heartbreaking. There was a time when we never liked to stay at home, unless we had exams. We always had something to keep us entertained. (And by ‘we’, I mean almost a couple dozen of kids.) The bond between us was unbreakable. Flying kites on Basant, racing each other with our roller-skates, playing badminton outdoors, playing cricket on overcast mornings, getting into fights while playing football and not speaking to each other for days, playing hide and seek around the entire neighbourhood especially when the nights were dark, riding bicycles without holding their handles, getting our parents’ rebuke for staying out of home all day long, etc. was our normal routine. When we felt immensely bored and had nothing to do, we rang random doorbells and ran away. Sometimes we got caught but mostly, we got away.

What is more heartbreaking is that Hash just recently moved out of there, and he didn’t even let me know, and still hasn’t spoken to me. We always used to host farewell parties for people who moved out of the neighbourhood, but Hash didn’t even attend his farewell party. (The fact that I was not informed about the party itself is another story.)

I have always been unwelcoming to the changes in life, especially when they’re about the things that I truly adore. I truly adored the days when our clan was the gem of the neighbourhood, when our birthday parties were not just cake-cutting ceremonies but much more, when Dark Room was the scariest game to be played, when Brian Lara ’99 was our favourite PC game, and when the one with most number of toys was considered the coolest.

I miss the tourist buses that passed through Jail Road, which mostly included international cricket teams heading for Gaddafi Stadium. I miss how the road was blocked only because of Pervez Musharraf and foreign diplomats, not to forget how the road’s lane-markings were repainted only to give a good impression to the diplomats. I miss standing on the building’s rooftop and searching for Lahore’s famous buildings; Gaddafi Stadium’s floodlights and Wapda House were the easiest to find. I miss the time, back when we existed.

Another Traffic-Light Stranger

28 Sep

Who says you can’t fall in love again once your heart has been played with? You fall in love everyday.

I often fascinate about how I come across so many people everyday, whom I will most probably never meet again. These strangers might not mean anything to us, but sometimes they leave their mark on our lives; they make us realize that the world is not as shallow as the image of it we have in our minds.

On my last day of 11th grade, in early 2010, me and a friend were waiting outside Quaid-e-Azam Complex (Hyderabad) for my friend’s driver, who was to pick us from there an hour back.

I remember how we always took a long path back home, how we cracked jokes with soldiers inside the Cantonment, how we talked about the same topics every single day and still did not get tired, how we bought drinks from a grocery store in the Cantonment instead of buying them from our school’s canteen, and how we once left our drinks inside a refrigerator at an army check-post.

Anyway, while both of us waited for the driver, we came across a cop. He started conversing to us in a friendly manner. He then wrote something on his palm and asked us its meaning. We couldn’t figure it out. Now I neither remember the text nor its meaning, but he told us that it was Dutch. An ordinary Pakistani cop who knew Dutch!

Shut up! Do I look like I know Dutch?

Shut up! Do I look like I know Dutch?

Earlier this year, during our last days of 12th grade classes, we had a 25-minute conversation with a teacher (who taught our juniors) after the Physics class, which was the last class of the day.

“What’s the use of your life when your purpose is to only have a bunch of grandchildren before you die?”

Even though my participation in the talk was hardly noticeable, but it left a big mark on my mentality. He also asserted that he was going to be the next big thing after Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. (Don’t judge me. I still haven’t decided whether I like AQ Khan or not.) So if you ever see a Hyderabadi scientist on TV, you know who he is. (Though I’m not too sure if he really is going to be the next big thing.)

And then there are people we never get to speak to. We only see them for a few seconds and off we head to our respective destinations. I refer to them as ‘traffic-light strangers’. I can’t speak for the rest of the humanity, but I imagine a thousand different scenarios during these few seconds.

“Dear God! That girl is pretty. *imagines getting married to her* *imagines dating her* *imagines talking to her about literature* *imagines going to her place for a rishta* *imagines her getting out of her car and getting into mine* *imagines having dinner at her house with her parents* Okay stop it, dude. Green light in 5 seconds. 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1. *pushes the accelerator and releases the clutch* Next traffic-signal in about 500 meters…”

Car Washing Mysteries

20 Sep

Birds are the prettiest species on this planet, but behind every glittery thing, there is a drawback hidden somewhere. Until I was thirteen, I was never told to grab a bucket of water and go downstairs to wash the car. We always had a decent garage where we parked our car (and my bicycle and archived a thousand useless things), where it was safe from all the worldly disasters; one of the disasters being the birds.

PLEASE GOD! NO!

PLEASE GOD! NO!

When we moved out of that place, we unfortunately didn’t have a covered garage any longer. All the world’s dust and bird-poop victimized our car, and since that day, the poor thing has been heartbroken. Of course, we do have a parachute car cover but none of us can kill the laziness and actually put the cover to some use. It’s too bad that the nature has not been kind either.

The first time I was told to wash the car, I thought it would be as easy as taking a shower, but even after years of hard work, I’m still a failure at it. During this period, I learned to drive the car and to pass it through the narrowest of the streets and to overtake enormously overloaded trucks and to break stop lights, but I never learned to wash the god damned thing.

An enormously overloaded Pakistani truck.

An enormously overloaded Pakistani truck.

Anyway, I’ve mentioned below the procedure I follow in order to wash my car (and I fail 60% of the time). People tell me to get it washed from professional car washers but I would rather spend that money on food.

Ingredients:

  • Abundant supply of tomato ketchup.
  • A medium-sized bucket full of water.
  • A tiny bucket for convenience.
  • A few pieces of dry cloth.
  • A cellphone (preferrably a Blackberry to check messages from, time to time, in order to look cool in front of neighbours who, from their windows, are recording a video of you looking like a filthy Edward Cullen washing a car covered with what looks like bird-poop).
  • An annoying neighbour (to correct your car-washing mistakes).

Procedure:

  • Drink half gallon of tomato ketchup to warm yourself up for the task.
Jesus! Calm down, old guy! I was kidding.

Jesus! Calm down, old guy! I was kidding.

  • Tell your mom that you’re a hero and that you’ll come back alive.
  • Walk to your car along with all the prescribed ingredients (leave for the last one).
  • Stop, turn around, take one last look at your house, and start marching to your destination again.
  • Take a piece of dry cloth and get rid of all the dust that has covered your car.
  • Discard that piece of cloth. Take a new one and start with cleaning all the windows with water.
  • After you have cleaned all the windows, check your phone for any new messages.
  • Look back at the windows. They’re all filthy again because the bird poop has been liquified because of water. The annoying neighbour is now standing beside the car with a “Is that how you wash your car?” look.
Your car makes me wanna puke (and other awesome feelings).

Your car makes me wanna puke (and other awesome feelings).

  • Ignore the attention-seeker and the filthy car windows. Wash the rest of the car with that same cloth; it doesn’t matter.
  • Dial an imaginary call to your imaginary girlfriend, telling her that you love her more than you love Manchester United, and that there is some idiot staring at you. Hang up.
  • Discard the poor cloth. Take a new one and clean all the windows again. Success! However, if the air is dusty, then you’re unlucky and can do nothing about the windows at all (that’s what mostly happens to me).

Now that you’re done, go shower because you smell like a garbage bin. Not that I usually smell like a garbage bin but I surely look nasty.

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