Saturday, August 18, 2012

Helping Hand Required - Young Tutor need Help

I received below email from a trustworthy friend of mine. Please read and reach out for help, Jazakumullahu Khair!

Assalam o Alaikum All,

Today I found a young victim of hit-and-run road accident near my home. He was hit by a car, and bone of his one leg was completely broken. I took him to Jinnah Hospital for treatment where his cousin also arrived to take care of him.

The guy lives in malir and give o-level students' home tuition in Defence. His monthly income was 15k from several tuitions and he is the only bread winner for his parents, wife and two children.

According to my estimate, he would need atleast 3-4 months to become mobile again. Up till that time he will be in extreme financial duress due to medical expenses and loss of income.

Here are the details I know so far:
Name: Mohammad Asad
Age: around 35
Residence: Malir
Profession: Private tutor
Family: Parents, Wife and 2 young children
Contact: Nadim (Asad's cousin) 0345 368 0292

If anyone wants to help out this guy, you can contact Nadim or me.

Friday, May 18, 2012

2012-05-11 BBQ Chicken Hara Masala with Arabic Rice @ Hanifia

Hanifia was a popular eatery for previous generation of ours in Karachi. I never had the all-famous Hunter Beef and its variants in my priority list. But, last week I got a chance to try a different and a new recipe @ Hanifia. The BBQ Chicken with three different variants; Hara, Lal and Arabic (Black Pepper and Salt only). The deal comes with a full BBQ Chicken (considerabl small in size; though smaller ones are the tastier ones) with Arabic Rice (PKR 500) or with out Arabic Rice (PKR 450) and yes that means this is primarily an Arabic Recipe. Do try out and share your feedback!







Sunday, May 13, 2012

SPAM Calls Mystery Resolved!

I recently posted about the SPAM calls I was getting. Soon after my post, one of my friend in US called me and told me that he forgot to remove my number from his phone's "Find Me" list and therefore I'm getting all those calls that were meant for his number in US :)

Actually around three or four weeks ago, I helped my friend's company in conducting technical interviews of some of the candidates they had lined up for their vacant positions in US. So my friend, setup my cell number in his phone's feature called "Find Me", which hops on each number listed, so any one available can pick up the phone and receive the call. As soon as some one in US picks up the call, that call get disconnected an my end. (My cell#, being an overseas number, has the lowest priority in the list.)

Once he removed my number, me and my cell are in peace again :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

DbSchema - An impressive DB Tool!

Today, while I was looking for a suitable tool to reverse engineer a PostgresSQL database to an ERD, I came across with this amazing tool:

DbSchema by WiseCoders.com

It turns out to be an impressive tool. The neat and crisp layout and the ease with which I was able to reverse engineer the database to an ERD was simply amazing!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Strange SPAM Calls

I'm getting spam calls from almost a month or so from Warid Numbers starting with 0321, 0322, 0323, 0324 and numbers starting with +1, +3, +4, +6, +7 and +9. Also receive one call from "Private Number". My rough estimate is that I received SPAM calls from around 90 or 100 unique numbers. Majority of the SPAM calls ring for a second or so with out giving me enough time to pick the call. When I call back the same number it always give me the message that the number is busy. I even tried calling back during different times through out the day, but the same message "Number is busy".

In some cases I was able to pick up the call and after successful connection, no one responded from the other end. 

In some cases, some one (adult male) on the other side say hello and mumble some un comprehensible words. 

In one case, when I call back, it was received by the caller and I told him (adult male) that I received a call a minute ago from your number and this is the reason I called back to inquire, who you are and why you called me?. The caller said that he didn't call me and in fact got a miss call from my number and so he called me to inquire.

Today, i.e. 7th of May 2012, at 06:27 PM, I received another spam call from 03243700351 and the caller kept silent initially when I said "hello" a couple of times, then I mute the voice and the caller (adult male) said in urdu "bus yeh batana tha kay payment agee hay" and disconnected the call. 

Today, I called Telenor Helpline and they said they didn't have the incoming call logs and I should connect with the carrier from where the calls are originating from. I then called Warid helpline and they said that they can conduct inquiry on one or two numbers and not on hundreds of numbers (as in my case). They recommended me to visit the nearest Warid Customer Care Center and discuss my case with them, hopefully they would be able to help in this case.

Lets see how things unfold. Sharing it with you guys so that if any one of you can help me on this, I would appreciate that or may be if any one of you have gone or is going through the same experience, than please share because it will also help to understand and identify the pattern. Thanks!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Momo's Cafe @ MAHS

Good place to have an informal sitting with friends, family and alike. Overall nice arrangement, small but elegant. Quality food - tried Momo's Special Pasta (Creamy and rich - calorie conscious should avoid that :)) and Fettucine Alfredo along with Peach Daiquiri.

For more details please log on to Momo's Cafe




Visionary Genius - Bret Victor



Bret Victor's worrydream

Sunday, April 15, 2012

360Training - The Bad, The Ugly and The Good

Yes, I re-arranged the phrase in the chronological order of events that happened soon after I resigned from 360Training.

At the end of Feb 2012 I resigned from 360Training because I was not satisfied with the appraisal I get at the end of the year. When I resigned, my immediate manager asked me about any ways I can stick to 360Training, but I humbly requested him not to tread that path because once its done… its done. 360Training failed to manage my expectation in this regard… or under paid me, otherwise.

I was serving my one month notice period and evaluating different options at hand. There's a pattern I observed that people maintain secrecy about the new company they are joining and refrain from disclosing it until they join the new company. When I resigned from 360Training, my colleagues asked me where am I going to? and I told them what was true at that time, that I am weighing different options and nothing is finalized yet, but will let them know as soon as I finalized one. After one week or so I confirm Active Capital IT and share the news with my colleagues, albeit, in an unusual manner. I emailed Product Development Team members on their official addresses about the company I'm going to and my current package at 360Training and my new package at Active Capital IT. I also included my immediate manager and HR colleagues.

Next day was a disaster for me, I had a debriefing session with local HR and they charge me that I've violated the Confidential Policy of the company and severe action in this regard can not be ruled out which might lead to the termination of my employment and withholding of benefits (Gratuity, Bonus, etc). I principally argued with them on the lines that sharing Package details does not entitle to violation of Confidential Policy and thus such a severe action is not appropriate. I did accept that I should have not shared the package details because that might have created problems for the HR. I also convince them that I did that in good faith and mistakenly overlooked that angle. To openly accept my mistake, I replied to the same email (with all participants of original email) and render my apology. I believe I'm a person, who once convinced, will not shy away from accepting his mistakes and clearing up the mess. All you have to do is to convince me through logic and reasoning.

At the end of the day, I thought I've been successful in convincing local HR that I have not violated the Confidential Policy and have accepted the mistake to the extent thats reasonable. But next day was worst, when I was told that your employment has been terminated (after my resignation?) and although I was serving the one month notice period, I will only get one week's salary and my Gratuity (equivalent to one month salary) will also be withheld. So, instead of getting two months salary (one month salary of notice period and one month against Gratuity) they will only be paying me one week salary. HR also forces me to receive the Termination Letter which I refused to and told them that I will not accept this at any cost and will consult my lawyer and take appropriate actions thereafter. I tried my best to convince them on following three points again and again, but they did not lend their ear to it:

  1. By sharing Package details with other colleagues, I've not violated the documented Confidential Policy at all.
  2. Termination can only be applied to an existing contract and once the contract has already been terminated or nullified via my Resignation on 29th of Feb 2012, there's no active existing contract remained between the two parties to be terminated.
  3. If an Employee is Terminated with out Notice Period i.e. with immediate effect, one month Salary should be compensated as per the Contract defined between the two parties.
When I refused to accept the Termination Letter at the end of the meeting, they told me that they will courier the same to my residential address. And they did, which I refused to receive, again.

I consulted my lawyer, a family friend of ours, on this matter and they agree to the points and helped me in formalizing them. He advises me to write a detailed email as a record, mentioning the points that are flawed and make one last effort in good faith to convince them that their actions are not legitimate before starting the legal proceedings.

I addressed that email to HR 360Training but didn't receive any reply. The first step to start was the Legal Notice which was delayed because of my brother's wedding on 23rd March 2012. I was very busy during that time and didn't get enough time out to meet with lawyer to finalize the notice. After the wedding when I met my lawyer, he convinced me to wait for the final settlement and not hurry in sending the legal notice. The final settlement has to be done by 10th of April 2012, so I thought I should now wait for that.

I received a call on 10th of April 2012 that my final settlement is ready and I can pick it up any time. I went to 360Training on April 13, 2012. Naseeruddin Charania sahib, the Finance Manager and most senior employee of 360 PK Office, greeted me whole heartedly. I was overwhelmed by the positive response and unconditional commitment of Naseeruddin sahib, and he told me that 360Training never treated their employees the way they did in my case and for that they are taking people to the task and apologized for how I have been treated by 360Training during the last month or so. He said that all my dues, including the Gratuity and others are now part of my final settlement cheque and 360Training is looking forward to have myself on board again in future. They also gave me my Experience Letter as opposed to the Termination Letter… WHOA! hats off to Naseeruddin sahib and all those sincere people in 360Training who helped to put the things in order. Thank You! (I don't exactly know who else had a positive role in all this and who screwed it up.)

In the end, it exactly happened as one of my friend wrote me, I quote "… and they live happily ever after…" :)
I am no way a perfect man, I err because I'm human, I do mistakes, on realization I apologize and learn from those mistakes, not to repeat them again… but please do not punish me more than what I deserve ~ SMH

Friday, April 6, 2012

Helping Hand Required - Cancer Patient

A female Cancer patient who is in last stage is going through extreme pain due to lack of treatment because doctors have refused to continue the treatment without payment of dues. Please help the patient through donations and by spreading the word. Zakaat, Sadaqaat are applicable in this case.

Hospital - PNS SHIFA
Contact Person - Ehsan Siddiqui - 0312 2392475

You can submit donations directly to the following bank account:

Account Number - 00280030029801
Account Title - Ehsan Siddiqui
Bank - Habib Bank
Branch - PAF Base Faisal
Branch Code - 0028

Saturday, March 3, 2012

360Training Employee of the Month Award

I was awarded the “Employee of the Month” Award for the month of January 2012.

360Training - Employee of the Month Award for the month of January 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

Breakfast of Chota Lachay-daar Paratha @ Alamgir, Bahadurabad

If you guys have not tried it yet, do so as it is quite good in taste. I wonder how they kept it so crisp even though it is much thicker than the normal ones.

You can order Chota Lachay Daar Paratha with Tea or Doodh patti, Omelet, Half/Full fried egg, Channa, etc.

Preparing Chota Lachay-daar Paratha

Preparing Chota Lachay-daar Paratha

On Alamgir Road near Bahadurabad Chowrangi

Deep Sea Fishing @ Charna Island

Charna Island

Had another exciting fishing trip with Shoaib Ahmed Paracha. He targeted Parrot or Popat and Yellow Fin Bream or Captain fishes this time and was well on target. We left early in the morning at 4:30 am, and after picking up some equipment from a friend and having a breakfast at Nasir Barohi Hotel, we reach Mubarak Village at around 8:00 am.

Shoaib bhai booked Mama’s boat which was the most spacious boat, of this kind (Horra in Urdu), I ever went on to. By 8:30 am we were in the sea heading towards Charna Island.

We used bait prepared from alive Rock Crabs. Shoaib bhai told the boatman to catch these Rock Crabs a day earlier so we can use them as a bait in our trip.

Rock Crab

The technique to prepare the bait from Rock Crab is to hold it by its two claws so it can not do any harm to you. And then disjoint the two arms having claws right off the shoulder. Do the same for all remaining legs and remove the hardened top shell. What is left can be cut into sizable pieces good enough to be used as a bait.

Preparing Bait using Rock Crab

We anchored close to Charna Island and the water was so clear that we were easily viewing fishes roaming beneath. There were captains and parrots. Also, there were two huge size parrots of fresh blue color, but we do not have any bait sizeable enough to lure them and ultimately catch them. So, they kept teasing us throughout our stunt Sad smile

Parrot or Popat Fish

Yellow Fin Bream or Captain Fish

We caught 11 parrots. 2 of them were around 1.65 kg in weight, 5 were around 0.90 kg, and 4 were around 0.5 kg. We also caught 3 captains each weighing around 1.25kg. (And yes… these are not shikari weights Smile otherwise I would’ve mentioned, 3 kg, 1.75kg and 0.75 kg Winking smile)

Catch of the day

What I noticed was that despite the fact that there were lots of parrots and captains underneath which we saw with our bare eyes, we did not end up having a lot of catches. In fact, the fishes were literally playing football with our baits, and most often eating it without getting hooked. Also, numerous times I end up hooking my tackle with the rock or may be the parrot fish drag it back to its coral

We also end up snapping a Shakespeare ® Rod just because of that Sad smile

Besides that, after searching on how to catch Parrot fish on the internet, I felt we did one thing differently i.e. we placed the weight/sinker at the bottom of the hook, however people suggest that it should sit just above the hook

Also we didn’t used the Beak Hook to be specific.

Beak Hook

Any how, our catch count and weight was good enough to cheer us up, after all we are in the process of learning the art Smile

With Catch of the Day

My share :)

Click here to open slideshow of all pictures in a new window

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Deep Sea Fishing at Chota Talaar, near Charna

This Sunday we went for deep sea fishing at Chota Talaar and Anwar Ka Pathar. This was our first such trip with Mujtaba Karim and other senior anglers. We left at 4:00 am in the morning and reach Fisheries at around 5:00 am to buy fresh bait (Louvar and Bangra). We left Fisheries after Fajir prayers at around 6:30 am to reach Nisar Barohi Hotel at around 7:15 am.
Nisar Barohi Hotel near Mubarak Village

Besides angler community, there were a good number of bicyclers out there as well, for some club level bicycling event. Looks quite encouraging from community building perspective and also serve as a sign of a peaceful and positive recreational activity for social uplift.
Bicylers at Mubarak Village for a Club Level Bicycling Event

After doing breakfast of Paratha, Channa and Doodh Patti Tea, we left for Mubarak Village at around 8:45 am.
Mubarak Village

There were around 8 teams with 3 to 5 anglers on each team. 5 of the teams went to Chota Talaar and 3 of them went to Hayat.

Those of us who went to Chota Talaar didn’t caught much (as per the standards of senior participating anglers, but for us – me, Kashif and Humair, we did quite well Smile).

We did trolling…Trolling on the way

But unfortunately didn’t get any thing via Trolling except a 3 or more kg Grouper (Ghisser). Though, Mackerels did bite the bait twice.
3 kg Grouper via Trolling

We then go for Taru… Mujtaba Karim is doing chumming, in below image, to lure Mackerels. We used fresh Louvar and Bangra as a chum and bait.Chumming for Taru

Lastly, we tried manual jigging (without rods)… but to no avail Sad smileManual Jigging

But Alhamdolilah! Bottom works well for us Smile and I caught a Spotted Grouper (Ghisser) weighing around 3 kg and a number of Rock Cods (Damba) weighing up till 1.5 kg.3 kg Grouper via Bottom

It was total 7 kg or more fish that I got as my share…
Spotted Grouper and Rock Cods

Those 3 teams who went to Hayat… did remarkable job and caught huge Mackerels Open-mouthed smile. One team caught 22 Mackerels ! other 17 Mackerels and another 11 Mackerels… man! that was a REAL CATCH!!! Great Job Guys Thumbs up you did exceptionally well!

Click below image to view sideshow in a new window
Click to open slideshow in a new window

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Shawarma Platter at Shawarma House, Saba Avenue, DHA, Karachi

Shawarma House is a small “Dhaaba” type outlet at Saba Avenue, DHA, Karachi. Based on my friend’s recommendation we decided to give it a try this Saturday.

Shawarma House at Saba Avenue, DHA, Karachi

Unlike normal rolled or sandwiched Shawarma, they served it as a Platter, which was something new. Taste was good and Pita was very fresh and soft. A single platter would cost you around PKR 325/=.

Shawarma Platter

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tabasco Chicken @ Red Chilli, Khadda Market, Defence

Tried Tabasco Chicken @ Red Chilli, Khadda Market, Defence, this Saturday. Quite unique taste, specially the sauce they had on top. Grilled to perfection, very delicious. Do give it a try!

Tabasco Chicken

Crazy Kit Kat as a smoothie works well after the main entrée.

Crazy Kit Kat