The Rain Water Conservation Project

Do, I have to emphasize why we need to conserve rain water? This is why:

To save rain water is to save lives. When the water goes splashing out of your house, it gets wasted by flooding the roads and gutters. Just think, if every house conserved all that rain water which falls on it, none will go flooding the roads, so nor will it get wasted, nor will it endanger lives. Saving rain water will have a great impact on the environment. You will have plenty of free extra water to wash those curtains and carpets and what not, later on!

As I wrote my blog on rain water conservation last week: Rain water control, tree plantation, elections and my life. I got very excited; I had already worked out how I’d be doing it at my house. The meeting with my plumber had already taken place. It was easy, as he worked on my house during construction. So, he went and noted the outlet pipe which would be used for conserving the rain water.

‘Why not close the other outlets on the roof?’ I asked him.

‘That would be very dangerous for the roof.’ He said.  The main sloping of the roof had been done having most of the water going in one direction. So, that is where we placed the blue drum container, over the ledge which, he assured me, can take the weight of it. We wanted to place the container below the roof level, yet above ground level, with an outlet leading it to a tap placed two feet above ground level. Now, this water can be used as we like; for watering our plants, washing the car, or whatever else etc.

So, here is this project, so you can do it too. For me the initial project cost Rs.20,000/- ($ 2000) with best materials. It is a simple and doable design. In the next phase I’ll do the same for the two terraces.

Steps to take:

  1. Analysis situation:
    • Know, how much rain you are expecting, choose size of container accordingly. Use the quality which is best. So, it is long lasting and won’t buckle up under the hot sun, and rain lashings and storms. The one with a thickest container wall material.
    • What will you use the water for? Choose a place closest to it. For instance if you want to do car washing and lawn water, then let it be near the front porch.
    • Have all options open to you first. Not a bad idea to ask more than one consultants. But the best one is to have a good plumber who knows his job well. Implementation has to be good.
    • If the water is clean: take it back into your water tank, (if you don’t use it as drinking water, of course!)
  2. Break the rain water project into phases:
    • Phase one: So, this which I’ve used is for lawn, plants, and pets’ water requirements, and to wash the side area of the house.
    • Phase two: will be upstairs terraces, one and two. So, these will need two smaller containers for each one, later on.
    • Phase three: Preparing a small dip in the lawn so all the water gets contained within.
  3. More water conservations options:
    • Connect all AC outlets of water pipes into containers. In Karachi, I’ve filled a tub with water to use to wash my children’s clothes. This water is clean and can be used for drinking, as well as for car and UPS batteries.
    • Connect wash basin outlet with WC, so it is used for flushing.
    • The kitchen sink water can be used for garden.
    • Be conscious of water wastage while showering, tooth brushing and face washing. Close the tap in between usage, every time.

Equipment: Container for water, PVC pipes, tap, drill etc. All these will be suggested by the plumber, and he can buy them for you.

Let’s talk money! So, how much would this project cost? Well, an advertisement I had found and shared on my page offered to do it all for Rs. 80,000/- Mine was completed within Rs.20,000/- He didn’t charge for consultation as he is my plumber for many years.

During construction of your house, do remember to slope the entire roof towards one direction nearest to the underground water tank.

Time: Three days!

First day: consultation, planning with measurements,

Second day: getting equipment.

Third day: Implementation of plan.

Note: the work of first two days can be done on same day, or the second and third day. But this is the most time, it would take.

That’s it!

Just imagine, if every house in the cities, holds the rain water within its premises, then how much flooding would take place?

Do take charge, and implement this plan. Rather than sit and blame others, and expecting the government to do something about it, do something yourself. It is our country, our city and our community which we have to save along with our own home!

Note: If you like, my team at Shireen’s Studio on Facebook can do it for you if you are in Islamabad; you can inbox on the page, or here. I know you are brilliant enough to do it yourself. So my dear one, do it and show me pictures of it, I’ll add it in my upcoming posts.

Special thought: We can  offer such projects for schools for the under -privileged children also. As we can see here, so much rain water gets wasted every time. If we do this for all buildings,  we can use it for the benefit of children and maintenance of the establishment also.

Its  just a matter of getting together and seeing  how else we can use this water and technique. As I write, last night there was so much rain that this water tank you see, got full. Now, I’m thinking I need another reservoir tank below it to conserve its’ over-flow also,  (see that broad water pipe? It flows out from here.) Suddenly, I’ve got a lot of water to use for my plants and different uses in and around the house!

Special note: All photographs have been taken by author.



Time Management for Creative People



Promoting a creative mind and doing creative work is essential for growth and development. It is only the creative mind which can think outside the box and come out with innovative ideas. Such minds have the ability to get out of difficult life situations and problems. Their problem-solving instincts are best as they are daring enough to create solutions to problems which have never been tried out before.

What do you think was the ability of the Wright Brothers? All scientists, artists, musicians, poets have this ability. We have to help in this creative process within ourselves, and in those who are members of our family and community.

Here is a video during an exercise, where I asked them to discuss time wasters in their lives.

Being creative is the most powerful element in life. We must work hard to develop these qualities within ourselves. I’ve really wanted to conduct a workshop for all those who have creativity within themselves but do not know how to get it going.

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Getting life back to normal

After the crazy spell is over…

Farm house of my aunt Shahnaz Jafar and my uncle Brig. Jafar Khan. .

All of us go through busy spells in our lives. Though we often talk about it, and feel tired, but in fact we wouldn’t have it any other way. After all, we are busy doing what we want to do in the given situation.

We mothers tend to get a double shift because we are getting directly involved with our children’s lives, even when they are all grown up.  When my children were small, my elder friends often said this, that it doesn’t get less busy! They were so right.

Pakistani Orchid blooming in my home. I planted this tree six years ago. 🙂

As one’s children grow older and less dependent on you, your parents start becoming more dependent.  Now your own parents take on the role of your children and the responsibilities keep getting even more.
In my case, my mother had two falls in Feb/March. That really floored me. Now she needs more help and more often. Meanwhile my one daughter was getting engaged, and the other was leaving the country. Also both parents were facing the chest congestion that go with this season. It was a challenge all round.

Alhamdolillah. All these matters have been happily settled.


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Shendi wedding – the best option.

Hope it becomes the trend setter.



There is a vision of mine; Our Pakistani weddings are going to become trend setters all over the world. Especially with the Shendi style of wedding that I witnessed a few days ago. As usual, the food, and everything was  put together in such a beautiful and fairy tale way.

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While it was the typical Pakistani wedding, what I loved most about it was the fact that it was all over and done with, in ONE evening. All the festivities were compressed into one evening of two-and-half-hours.


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Right from the dresses, the décor’ of the marquee, to the delicious food, the valet parking outside, the beautifully decorated hall, the fresh flower bouquets, the chandeliers, everything was tastefully and beautifully done. The hundreds of guests were all dressed in their elegant best.  It was the  complete extravaganza.

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Mustafa’s trip to Lego Land in Denmark

Pakistan’s participation in FIRST Lego League European Championship


Yeah, you guessed it right – couldn’t resist doing this blog before the end of this year! Something I’ve been dying to share with you.  Felt bad that every time we planned the interview, something would crop up. It is now 12.25 a.m. and I’ve just completed the interview. It is okay, as winter vacations are on, in school. My friend Aisha brought her thirteen year old son Muhammad Mustafa Zahid for the interview. They had just come after attending a wedding, and reached my place at 11.15 p.m. I’ve met this young man often. He also read out the poems of Iqbal  for my book launch last month, remember? So, let me not come between you two.,

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Compromise for Peace.

How we made the Out of Court Settlement.

My latest painting of magnolia flowers still blooming in a storm. – Isn’t that what we all are doing in real life?

Recently, Humans of Pakistan have shared our story once again. Also, UN has shared it as part of a sixteen day session of sharing strong women’s stories. This has brought it all back, once more. What we went through was so horrific that I wish it doesn’t ever happen to anyone  else. That is why I shared my story with HOP. Many of you must be wondering how we are now. My parents moved in with us the next year. We all are fine with Allah’s grace.

Here is the epilogue to that story.

First of all, thank you – each one of you – who prayed and supported us for our well-being, and those who shared their stories with us. Special thanks to Humans of Pakistan for sharing our story with their readers, so others could also gain hope from it. Yes, it is vital for us to believe in ourselves first. Know that the power of our intentions and the blessings from God are enough.

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Water issue in Islamabad


Seriously speaking, this is the most serious topic of our times in Islamabad. If we don’t take steps now, things will get very bad here. In the past we have seen entire towns and villages getting desolate due the the turning of a river. In the present times, with education and facilities, people have usually faced the problems well in time, to avoid such situations.

Islamabad was begun in 1960, so it is a very new city of our times. Saidpur village was probably the only habitation here, in this location, in recent history.

Now, suddenly, with the onslaught of thousands of people coming to settle here, and the latest CPEC agreements, hundreds of thousands more are expected to come and stay in this beautiful city. Suddenly, with this news, the water got even more depressed and the level went down very rapidly.

The first thing that is analyzed before construction of a house, is the availability of underground water. The underground water level in Islamabad was easily reached by going around 140 feet deep. That is how it has been for many years.

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Problems or opportunities?

 Why am I telling myself not to write a blog this week?


(“Stop everything else and concentrate on my studies?”)

But still, I am writing a blog post, telling me that I’ll just do it in a jiffy? (Is that going to the computer lingo too?) … just like so many words, like apple, window, now it is gif? GIF?) oops.  Back to my blog… so I was saying…

What I learnt during my MBA was that you can replace the word ‘problem’ with ‘opportunity’ and it really works. Come to think of it, every problem in life has taught us something. If nothing else, it taught us which problems to run from and which problems to face and solve.


So, here I am, giving myself one hour to get this blog done with. I’ve written regularly for 27 years. Yes, actually! Ok, so many of you, my cute readers, are not even 27 years old ?!! No problem. You have better opportunities now than I imagined. Being lessor than 27 is one of them. See what I mean?

So, all these years, I’ve been a freelance writer for several dailies and magazines. Writing is a habit for me. Now, my blog has turned into an addiction! If I don’t write,  I feel I’m doing my reader out of an … opportunity????…. to learn something else, that I have recently learnt too.

So, I am studying Financial Accounting because I flunked in it. All the other papers went very well. So was my Project, but this is beyond me. I’ve got to work hard now. But, still I can’t forget you. So, here I am loving studying and learning new aspects of the subject. (Love it when it clicks. Hate it when it doesn’t!) While trying to focus on my studies, there are so many ‘problems’ and ‘opportunities banging on my door….

Water problem in Islamabad.

I’m sharing a couple of pictures with you of a pond near my home. These pics were taken three years ago. If you see it now, it is more rugged with much lessor water.


So, there is this water problem in Islamabad caused by the lowering of water table in this region. As Gp. Capt. Jamil – a friend of my husband and myself – just remarked, “had the CDA (Capital Development Authority) thought about it earlier, and built some ponds in and around Islamabad to contain the rain water, this problem could have been avoided.” Instead, I’ve seen CDA send tankers to take out water from the natural pond near my home.


So, I’ve been going frantic trying to brainstorm how to solve this water issue.

Continue reading “Problems or opportunities?”

Transitional phases in life.

It is like being thirteen years old again. There is an uncertainty in it, a confusion of identity and a physical transformation along with an emotional one too. Yes, lots going on here!


It starts with that familiar ‘unfamiliar’ feeling. When you don’t seem to fit in with your environment or you feel you would fit in if you were older, bigger, thinner or better in so many ways. Right now… you don’t!

You feel that feeling many times in life. – Starting with the ending of your college or university life, the end of any era in your life.  A time when you are not sure where you’ll end up.

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The end of an era of my life.

15826449_1388968774469744_2048956202139122988_nIt is that time of the year again.

The time of horrible flashbacks and remembering moments of pain, the time before and after my husband left this world – exactly five years ago.

“You must have been mentally prepared.” a friend of mine remarked.

“No, I wasn’t. It was the greatest shock.” I told her.

Continue reading “The end of an era of my life.”