Laaleen Khan brings you a bonus glimpse into the minds of our favourite Karachi clique from HELLO!’s spectacular September issue: Uzma Abbasi, Sehr Pirzada, Amna Bashir, Mahnaz Noorani, Samira Dada & Zahra Abbas Jameel.

How would your friends describe you?

UZMA: Sensitive, sweet and loyal. I’m called ‘cute’ a lot!

SEHR: Loyal, loving, goofy and a bit of a goody-goody.

AMNA: Craziest drama queen, loyal and a riot to be with!

MAHNAZ: My friends are like family for me. They think that I have a tendency to be self-deprecating and need to be more confident. I am, however, confident enough to know that none of them can survive without me!

SAMIRA: A firecracker! I'll say it like it is, even if it's not always nice...On the upside, I'll support them always, no matter the circumstances.

ZAHRA: I have been blessed with a very close-knit group of friends. Their opinion of me is that I am full of life, vivacious, energetic and very loyal!

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What do you and your friends like to do for fun?

UZMA: Getting together at a friend’s place with my fave bunch and just chilling with our feet up!

SEHR: I think the best thing to do with girlfriends is a fun, hyper dinner out!

AMNA: For fun its usually a night in with good food, choice music, and lots of laughs!

MAHNAZ: Good food and fun conversation with a few close friends.

SAMIRA: A fun night out is dinner and a movie with close friends, but there’s nothing like girls’ trips to kick back and relax! That's what we like to do for fun...run away for a few days!

ZAHRA: As long as we are all together, it doesn't matter what we do. Could be sitting at home in our PJs or going out for dinner, ending with a long drive.

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Reveal something that very few people know about you…

UZMA: I’m a crazy germophobe! I have different shoes for different parts of my house, like the outside shoe cannot be worn inside my room and kitchen, and bathroom chappals to stay in the bathroom!

SEHR: I used to be the ultimate tomboy. Never grew my hair and played every sport I could! Plus, I climbed Mt. Kenya.

AMNA: My original hair colour!  In fact, I might have forgotten it myself!

MAHNAZ:  I had started my PhD programme which I never completed!


ZAHRA:  I'm incredibly deep as a person and I read a lot.

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What do you love about Karachi, it’s society and etiquette?

UZMA: Karachi has been home for the last 22 years. I cannot think of ever leaving it. I came here a 17-year-old unsure, scared girl. Thanks to some amazing people I met here and my super amazing in-laws (especially Samia Roomi). I don’t wish my life any other way. Karachiites are down-to-earth, grounded people, very warm, accepting and super genuine!

SEHR: That everyone is connected somehow, either through family or mutual friends. I love the intimate nature of that it gives you a sense of belonging. Also, the fact that everyone comes together to share in your good and bad times.

AMNA: I absolutely adore Karachi, it’s diversity and it’s warmth, from extending the invite to the thank yous pouring in. Karachi is alive, it’s real, and it’s wild!

MAHNAZ: The best thing about Karachi is a familiar face everywhere you go. It is the only city I could ever consider as home.

SAMIRA: You can't help but love it! It's the city I grew up in, and would like to grow old in. The lack of punctuality and the gossip grapevine can drive you crazy, but it's all part of the addictive Karachi buzz!

ZAHRA: The fact that Karachi is real.

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…And what do you wish you could change?

UZMA: The law and order situation, basic civil rights of people which I’m sure good governance can solve. And we need to grow trees, a lot of trees, and not let billboards come up at every nook and corner!

SEHR: What we all wish for, a safer more secure city.

AMNA: The water supply and security issues.

MAHNAZ:  I wish my kids could enjoy the sense of security that we had when we grew up in Karachi.

SAMIRA: The security situation.

ZAHRA:   Honestly, Karachi is the pulse of Pakistan and I just really want more places to open where people can hang out. I think we could make fantastic places at the beach like a resort. We have so much our country has to offer but unfortunately, because of circumstances, things never materialise.

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Pet peeves

UZMA: Arrogant people who are rude to their domestic staff and to the workforce in general.

SEHR: Punctuality. Karachi people are never, ever punctual, I’ve not really grown up here and I still don’t get this! Why is not being punctual a thing?

AMNA:  People touching me unnecessarily, whether it’s prodding for attention   or in conversation when people get touchy feely. It really irritates me. I also have zero tolerance for ill-mannered people. That really gets my goat!

MAHNAZ:  The one thing I can't deal with is pretentiousness.

SAMIRA:  When people dress to follow current fashion trends even if they’re a total misfit to their body type or age inappropriate. Why, why why!

ZAHRA: When people look at their phones during dinner or lunch, especially on a table when they’re out together.

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Fave travel spots

UZMA: Sardinia for its gorgeous water and Iceland for its rustic beauty.

SEHR: Dubai and London because they’re both a home away from home.

AMNA: For a city holiday, London as always been on top of my list but lately , New York is gaining speed. For a beach vacation, Maldives it is!

MAHNAZ:  I have no favourite destination. I love exploring new places.

SAMIRA: Romantic Venice, Charming Florence and the breathtakingly beautiful Amalfi Coast. Italy is my absolute favourite place. Also, London is a city I never tire of, my home away from home.

ZAHRA: I absolutely love travelling and learning about the history and culture of different cities. I would like to travel as much as I can to cities unknown. Especially those rich in history, ethnic food and diversity. My two favourite cities are Prague, it reminds you of the Europe from four centuries ago, and then of course, there is Porto Cervo in Costa Smerelda, northern Sardina, where we have been spending our summers for several years.

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Inspirational women

UZMA: Women who strive to make a difference in people’s lives including Queen Rania, Muniba Mazari, Roshaneh Zafar, Ronak Lakhani and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.

SEHR: Queen Rania of Jordan. She is the very definition of what it means to be a humanitarian, a woman, a wife and mother and a productive member of society. And on top of that, she always manages to look incredible! I love her dress sense.

AMNA: Angelina Jolie, she stands for so much. Be it family, world peace and career. She is beautiful, and then she has Brad Pitt by her side!

MAHNAZ:  Bilquis Edhi. She is a woman of true substance.

SAMIRA:  Bunto Kazmi, the godmother of Pakistani fashion.  Grace Kelly, her elegance, beauty and style are incomparable.

ZAHRA: Again, Queen Rania, her advocacy work related to education, health, community empowerment, youth and cross-cultural dialogue.

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Fave South Asian and international fashion designers

UZMA: Menahel and Mehreen are so elegant. Also, Sana Safinaz, Shehla Chatoor, Umar Sayeed and Sabyasachi Mukherjee.

SEHR: Sana Safinaz in Pakistan! And from India, I’m a huge admirer of Sabyasachi Mukherjee. I try and collect classic pieces and have quite a few saris that I hope to pass down to my daughter.

AMNA: The iconic Bunto Kazmi, I have always been inspired by her creativity and her unmatched craftsmanship. Among internationals, my favourite is Chanel,  and currently I also like Tom Ford and Ralph and Russo.

MAHNAZ:  I like Sanya Maskatiya, Umer Sayeed and Mahin Karim for their formals and Saaya for my pret wear.

SAMIRA: Current regional favourites are Sania Maskatiya and Menahel and Mehreen. Among international fashion labels, I love Ralph and Russo and Elie Saab.

ZAHRA:  Olivier Rousteing for Balmain. The guy is young and fresh and started at Cavalli, where he learnt a lot. Definitely Balmain.

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Style crush de jour

UZMA: Queen Rania.

SEHR: Ever since I’ve been a teenager, it’s always been Vicky B. She’s just the coolest.

AMNA: Victoria Beckham, like me she has three boys and a girl, and yet she is able to look like a million bucks. I really admire women such as her who can strike a balance between their professional and private life.

MAHNAZ:  My mother-in-law, Ruby Noorani. Always impeccably dressed and looks fabulous.

SAMIRA:  Sana Hashwani never gets it wrong.  She 's elegance personified. And Victoria Beckham, I love her style. She's a complete diva!

ZAHRA: Queen Rania. The woman is just perfect. Absolutely flawless.

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Celeb eye-candy

UZMA: Chris Hemsworth, Eric Dane and Siddharth Malhotra.

SEHR: Victoria Beckham.

AMNA: Chris Hemsworth. He is good looking , fit and he's got a great voice.

MAHNAZ:  Since I spend most of my time with a 7 year old, Thor, Captain America and Batman are the first to come to my mind!

SAMIRA:  Fawad Khan and Farhan Akhtar. Both are totally dreamy.

ZAHRA: Bradley Cooper and Imraan Khan, the Indian actor.

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Looking back, what would you advise your 21-year-old self?

UZMA: Be more confident and less trusting.

SEHR: Cherish every moment you’re in instead of planning the next one. Just enjoy the present and the future will take care of itself. At the end of the day there’s only so much you can control.

AMNA: Nothing is a big deal till you make it one!

MAHNAZ: Live each moment to the fullest and smile from your heart.

SAMIRA:  Stop stressing! I promise, it's going to be a wonderful life! And also , what on earth are you wearing!

ZAHRA: Study more!