Afshan Shahid

From Cotton To Kurta

I’m a business entrepreneur with an apparel manufacturing unit in Pakistan and a design studio in the UK. I’ve started this blog to provide my inspirations & motivations regarding the global fashion industry related to women and fashion .

It is a personal diary of my travel and what I collect as the latest styles, trends and fashion finds. Based in Cambridge UK , I share content from wherever I travel for my business.

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Whirling dervish/calla lilies

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The Lost Victory: British Dreams and British Realities 1945-50 by Correlli Barnett (1995)

Books & Boots

What a devastating indictment of British character, government and industry! What an unforgiving expose of our failings as a nation, an economy, a political class and a culture!

Nine years separated publication of Barnett’s ferocious assault on Britain’s self-satisfied myth about its glorious efforts in the Second World War, The Audit of War (1986) and this sequel describing how the Attlee government threw away a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to modernise Britain’s creaking infrastructure and industry – The Lost Victory: British Dreams and British Realities, 1945-50.

I imagine Barnett and the publishers assumed most readers would have forgotten the detail of the earlier book and that this explains why some sections of this volume repeat The Audit of War’s argument pretty much word for word, down to the same phrases and jokes.

And these set the tone and aim which is to extend the brutal dissection of Britain’s wartime industrial failings…

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A Portrait into the Past: ‘The reception of the Mysorean hostage princes by Marquis Cornwallis’, Robert Home (1793-1794)

The Seringapatam Times

Tipu Sultan's sons being taken hostage by the British The reception of the Mysorean hostage princes by Marquis Cornwallis, Oil on Canvas painted by Robert Home, 1793-94. Image Courtesy-National Army Museum, London

The seat of the Government of India in Madras, what is Chennai today is at the Raj Bhavan. The estate where the Raj Bhavan stands today was the home of successive British Governors of Madras from the time of Thomas Saunders in 1752 till Indian Independence. The Madras Government house where the Governors resided was greatly expanded in the last years of the 18th century by Lord Edward Clive (1798-1803) and boasted of two huge pediments that were decorated with trophies of two conquests that had laid the foundations of the British Raj in India; the Siege of Seringapatam (1799) over the Northern entrance and the Battle of Plassey (1757) over the Southern entrance.

Such were the British in thrall of the Tiger of Mysore. The last battle…

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Of God and god

Hafsa Khawaja's Blog

A couple of months ago, I wrote a Facebook post in which I mentioned the expression of “god’s gifts.” A while later, a message popped into my inbox from a well-meaning stranger, appreciating the post but also admonishing me to write “God” instead of “god.”

I usually do make sure to capitalize the G in “God” but this time I hadn’t paid much thought while immersed in writing.The message left me amused, however. What a strange thing to be pointed out. Had I committed an affront by not capitalizing “god”? How much did it really matter?

I pondered, only to be reminded of my own relationship with my Creator; Keeper of my soul and its secrets, my Rabb but also, closer to me than my jugular, my closest friend, confidante and companion; the only and eternal Mehram of my haal; the One to whom I have cried, wept, pleaded in…

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Sustainable Development & Social Entrepreneurship

World of Sanity

Muhammad Yunus, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient once said that

When we want to help the poor, we usually offer them charity. Most often we use charity to avoid recognizing the problem and finding the solution for it. Charity becomes a way to shrug off our responsibility. But charity is no solution to poverty. Charity only perpetuates poverty by taking the initiative away from the poor. Charity allows us to go ahead with our own lives without worrying about the lives of the poor. Charity appeases our consciences.”

Last week, I attended National Event arranged by Hult Prize, Pakistan chapter and was inspired to see young boys and girls from different universities from all over Pakistan participating in it. Now one can ask, what was so different as we mostly see such events held on daily basis. But this was different as those young entrepreneurs were discussing diverse range…

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“Why people treat me like that”…?

World of Sanity

“He pulled my arm and asked me, Madam, who has invited you? Why you came here? She was shocked and surprised, “I was invited by organizers to attend this consultation…” she said having her plate in her hand when a waiter of renowned local private hotel probed her in a very humiliating tone during lunch time. “But your organizers said that they don’t recognize you…” With tears in her eyes, she said that “talk to them and they will inform you” but this episode left her in deep thought of “why me”..? “Why everytime people treat me like this”…? The matter was taken up with hotel management and at last, they apologized on misbehaving with one of the transgender participants in an extremely important consultation.

Why it is so? Why people treat people who are different from them in a different rather humiliating way?  Why class matters? Why people think…

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Shiva Cafe

Journey to the soul

FILE2105.JPGOn the day one of the trip, we had lunch at Trek n Dine Cafe. Post that we decided to visit Bhagsu Naag Temple and water fall. We decided to walk the whole distance.

20180309_171909.jpgTo our disappointment, the waterfall had almost no water. My friends told me that it’s not the case during the monsoons. Since we were already there, we decided to walk a little more and check out Shiva Cafe.

20180309_175605.jpgWe were already very tired from the overnight journey and walking, that’s why the trek upto Shiva Cafe was exhausting. We took many stops to sit and take pictures.

20180309_175551.jpgLet me tell you the trek is worth it. The place is so unique and has very different vibes to it. It’s the kind of place I can sit for hours. A book in hand and my music is all I would need.

20180309_175458.jpgThe place has a great view…

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Poems by Syedah Maryam Iqbal


Poems by Syedah Maryam Iqbal
Jeopardized Butterfly
The butterfly jeopardized her soul for survival
Giving power to her wings waiting for the savior’s arrival
It looked towards the stars staring at her as a rival
She was not one of them and not even a tribal
Feeling so secluded and violated, she looked towards Nature
Her preoccupation and misery made her lose faith in its portraiture.
Her soul lost its texture and shades
Wanting no more but some aides
That could sharpen its paints and blades
But nothing is free, so there were trades
In having a rivalry with the sky and its creatures
She had to lead a prolonged life with the treachers.
The Creator’s Benevolence
The sun was eloquent in its aggression,
Flaring with full opposition,
Showing its hostility towards the earthlings,
Enforcing an affiliation order to the wind making it…

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Stubbornness within me / Poem by Syedah Maryam Iqbal


Poem by Syedah Maryam Iqbal

Stubbornness within me

There is certain stubbornness within me

That does not let the hope die within me.

I struggle to fight my failure as well as my pragmatic approach

But I am always dragged to some activism within me.

My falling, my failing, my losing, my ailing,

Nothing keeps enough power to impair my self within me.

My dreams push my soul to aspire for more and more,

But my reality makes me to remain within me.

My dreams are also stubborn like me,

As they always play the challenging strings within me.

Sometimes I feel that I should not be stubborn any more,

But my adversities are unable to lessen the determination within me.

* Syedah Maryam Iqbal *

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