This food festival has been the talk of the town since the past two weeks; a feat that hadn’t been achieved in its past 3 years of establishment. At first the hue and cry was about their ‘no stags’ policy. A much appreciated and needed move which tickled the privileged gender in all the wrong areas. Then it rained on the very first day of its opening. There were no backup plans and electricity was switched off in the midst of the festival; the stall owners and the patrons both faced a lot of hindrance because of it. The irresponsibility on the management’s part wasn’t even amusing this time. I regularly check AccuWeather for updates and it had actually mentioned rainfall from Friday to Saturday. The fact that the management chose to ignore this and later didn’t even bother to compensate (at least this is what i heard) the visitors for tickets they had bought says mountains about it.
Anyways, fast forward to this week.
Since the venue was again Frere Hall, parking was bound to be an issue. However CKO was providing shuttle services and Careem was giving rides from all over Karachi in Rs 250. This effort to take responsibility for the traffic was appreciated.
Apart from that, the tickets were priced again at Rs. 250. I honestly would’ve skipped the event because of this and also because of my horrible experience last year. However, EasyTickets and SIM SIM mobile partnered with CKO events, and for their publicity, gave tickets on discounted prices. All one had to do was to download apps of both aforementioned companies, sign up, and book tickets from there.
So yeah, my fam and I, comprising of four people got tickets for Rs. 99 each which was awesome.
We reached Frere Hall at 12 pm, no parking issues, and entered the event with a nasty shock. 75% of stalls weren’t fully opened. At 12 pm. What are these stall managers. I understand that y’all have been working hard for the past two weeks but this wasn’t an excuse to not open at the right time. Why do you guys do this?
Khair. We grabbed a table and then wandered around to check what’s ready and what should be left for later. (There were good seating arrangements this time, btw. No umbrellas to escape from the sun but a lot of tables were set up.)
My first stop was to Nora’s Got Sweet Tooth. I met Bisma, the lone CEO of this venture, who was very energetic and trying to make everyone comfortable. After some speculation, I bought their granola bar for Rs. 150; haven’t tried it yet, but let’s hope its worth the hype on SWOT’s.
Then I went for Naan Sahab. Everyone who went on the first and second days had been raving about its stuffed naans so had to try those. Chicken Cheddar Naan was my pick; looking similar to calzone, hot and puffy, it was delicious. It costed me Rs. 250.
A lot of my friends had tried chicken strips from Cosmos so I bought those too. Was first a little apprehensive since i didn’t like the way they looked but oh my god. They were so light despite being deep fried. I had had chapli kebab from The Chapli Kebab House before chicken strips, it was quite heavy and made me feel nauseous, totally not the quality they have been producing in the past 2 years. So anyways, I forced myself to eat a chicken strip after the chapli kebab, and it was quite refreshing. Will definitely try them when i next go to Cosmos.
Chapli Kebab was priced at Rs. 200 and Chicken Strips from Cosmos left me Rs. 250 poorer.
Sitting and walking an hour in the bright sun, and only warm water to quench our thirst, compelled us to get some drinks. Miftah’s mojitos were a life saver! They charged us Rs. 200 per drink and we bought 3. Definitely a bit pricey but they managed to revive our sinking spirits.
Then we headed to Desi Gali. Now, i’m the ‘jitna ghaleez, utna lazeez’ type of person. In normal circumstances I wouldn’t even think of having chana chaat from some fancy place but their products looked tempting enough for me to make the jump. I bought chana papri chaat for Rs. 180. Loved every bite of it. Returned back to the stall and bought their peri bites for home. Haven’t tried them yet but mum said that they are good too. Now i’m regretting for not buying more stuff from there.
I was planning to skip Lady Marmalade. Earlier this month I hoarded on a lot of desserts so wanted to avoid anything sweet in KarachiEat. But I couldn’t stop myself (since when i have gotten this sweet tooth, what the hell?!) and bought Lady Marmalade’s famous funnel cake which was topped with a nutella dressing. Opted out for the icecream scoop so it cost me Rs. 200. Extremely light and yummy, finished in minutes and now I want some more.
A visit to PeakFreans’ stall was a must. Beautiful decor and innovative use of PeakFreans’ products. Definitely a trip to the memory lane. I wanted to try their icecream sanwich which they were sadly out of stalk, so bought their Chocolate S’mores and Panna Cotta for Rs. 50 each.
Dad even got haleem from some stall. We couldn’t fine the much loved Shaan’s stall so the haleem from random place was to do in its place. It was being charged at Rs. 80 and then when the crowd increased, the prices were raised to Rs. 100. Wasn’t yummy either, just your average daily haleem.
We even bought Peshawar’s namkeen boti. No idea how much it costed and haven’t tried it yet. I hope its good because there were mixed reviews about this stall.
So this was it. I hope whoever attended the event had a good time; if you know the places where delicious stuff actually is, then pretty sure you won’t have any regrets about paying those 250 rupees as an entrance fee.
I’ve been sitting with this page opened for the past 25 minutes, writing and deleting sentences, then starting off fresh again. In all honesty, i don’t know how to write about my first year in medschool. The plan was to relive my experience by telling y’all about how i juggled daily life, my mental health and studies but i’m struggling with words. It isn’t surprising though, when you traverse through an entire year without writing a single essay, words are hard to come by.
So now that we’ve established an opening and slowly getting into the zone, let’s begin with this post.
(I’m writing down my first year experience in parts because it’ll be too long if its assigned one post only.)
I joined a Karachi based government medical university on merit earlier in 2016, feeling disgruntled and still in doubt of my choice since i had passed over the option of going to DUHS, one of the most renowned schools in Pakistan. This was also my first exposure to the kids from rest of the city; being brought up in a Cambridge system had left me secluded and quite pompous of myself. So yes, I was disgruntled indeed and felt quite out of place.
My main fear was that medschool is renown for draining life out of you and in the process of finishing my degree, i may end up losing the wider perspective of the world and my initial optimism and dreams. I guess that caused me to close up from my surroundings and look for company beyond my university, mainly through internet. I kept reminding myself that I was different from every other person in my batch, I swore that I won’t have my life revolved around school, and that I certainly won’t opt for domestic bliss over my profession in 5 years time.
I experienced my first ever burn out because of this. We had just gotten done with our semester 1’s finals and the week which followed it was when I struggled the most as I tried to catch up with my body and health. I found myself incapable of doing even the most mundane things and there was no one from school to whom I’d actually talk to about this since from the start I had shut everyone out. My new semester started with locomotor (musculoskeletal) module which I absolutely loathed. I skipped nearly half of it in the end, since I was trying to get myself together. Things got really better after that when I learned to socialize more, when the test results humbled me and when I found my niche, my group of friends. You always find them, no matter how out of sorts you are.
My first depression episode occurred right in the beginning of the year. I’ve been struggling with mental health issues since quite a few years so I have a fair idea of what course my depression takes. At first i lose my ability to study, then i stop talking; after that my appetite and weight decrease considerably. But this time it was different. The only thing which I lost was my weight, I grew unbelievably skinny, and it scared the hell out of me. I knew something was wrong from how my insides felt but that was that. It passed over, thank God. My life resumed to the equivalence of normal after a couple of weeks and I guess that’s the only episode of depression I have experienced this year.
In light of the above couple of paragraphs, I’d just like to mention how much I hate people, mostly relatives, romanticizing the hell out of medschool. For people on the periphery it is as if we are some super intelligent group of kids, who are perfect to be your offspring’s significant other. We are the trophy kids for rishta aunties, whenever there’s a family meetup, there’d be relatives speculating on your relationship status, or what you will be doing afterwards. No one talks about what consequences MBBS brings with it. No one realizes that maybe you aren’t that great after all, maybe you aren’t the cream of the society or other BS like that. Maybe the only reason what got you in medschool and what makes you continue it is constant studying and revising and discussing only medicine just so your concepts remain clear. No one talks about the fact that when you finally get a chance to look in the mirror, you internally scream because you don’t recognize that swollen face and ever increasing hairline. No one offers a shoulder of sympathy because you are suppose to be perfect since you are doing medicine.
It doesn’t work that way.
Studying medicine is an extremely humbling experience. And while there are many moments when you feel scared and a helpless fool because there are so less people to empathize with you, there are also times when you know that you won’t have it any other way. Medicine is a package of sorts, it’ll break you into smaller and smaller pieces each and every time but whenever you reassemble yourself, there’ll be a new you whom you’d be proud of. School won’t stop for your life, life won’t be doing the same either. But there’ll be people to look out for you, people who aren’t just noise that wail because you don’t talk to them for months, but people who’d bake cakes and other goodies and dump them at your place when you are having your bad days. You get to recognize your soulmates in disguise of your friends, especially the ones who aren’t doing medicine but still understand your struggle. And i think that’s one of the beauties of medicine, you eventually find people whom you can lean on.