Life Manual

Life is better handled, prepared.

Coke Studio Merham Asfar and Arooj

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Coke Studio Season 14

‘The show has to appeal to Gen-Z, don’t worry about the millennials and the ones that came before them. And yeah, try to not make it exactly like Nescafe Basement’, the brief said. 
‘Opex budgets have been increased for set design, that means budgets for everything else are reduced’. 

What would you do if you had this situation? Get skilled people who aren’t seasoned enough to make do for the monetary constraints to execute the project.

By eliminating most of the previous teams, gone is the overall experience that Coke Studio was able to carry with the key house band members.

Coke Studio Season 14 Website

As of writing this post, which is 2 weeks into the official release of Coke studio 14, the website still remains empty.
The artist line-up lists artists for only released songs so far, and descriptions for those artists isn’t yet uploaded. The backing vocals, house bad and even the producer sections are self-quarantining from the website.

This lack of consideration shows up in different elements of the overall show as well.

Video Quality:
Despite having so much potential with set options, the videos uploaded onto Youtube are still 1080p resolution, yes, forget the devices which the catered for audience, GEN-Z, have access to. While the world thinks immersive, and Metaverse, Cokestudio which stayed pretty much with the curve, has been left far behind.

Performance Videos vs. Music Videos
By making the song videos look like a music video rather than a studio setting, the whole element of the visible representation and foreplanning required for executing a one-take recording, seems to be thrown out of the window. I don’t know anymore if the recordings (audio/video) are the same one-take set-up as they’ve always been. I don’t get an impression that they are.

Coke Studio 2020 - Sanam Marvi
Coke Studio 2020 – Sanam Marvi

Sound Quality:
Now, I don’t have a musical ear and hence no knowledge of scales, beats or even tuning, but to my untrained ear, the sound design also isn’t as intricate as it has been over the years. It isn’t a major issue of course but sometimes, it’s those little details that make something excel.

Instagram @coke_studio:
There is a lack of a brand voice on the channel due to the constant reposts appearing from one particular account @ghazitaimoor, so it is appearing a bit of a promotion campaign for Ghazi as it is not just the reposts but in-addtion he keeps passing up on the Coke_studio account as he is also the host of the Coke Studio Season 14 artist interviews.

Coke Studio Season 14 -Release schedule:

Coke studio always used to follow a schedule of releasing teasers, BTS and the songs, which created anticipation and we knew that come Sunday, we’d have fresh content to watch. This time around, being edgy (as in not trying to do the same things as previous seasons) doesn’t seem to be following any structure with releases being odd days. This makes me think, is this even Coke Studio 14 or is this the pre-season releases, similar to when they released Coke Studio Explorer in 2018.

Coke Studio 14 -Overall Verdict:

Don’t take it as a critiquing Xulfi or any of the people involved but Coke Studio 14 gives an overall feeling of rawness, which is quite unusual for a show that’s 14 seasons in. Sure it’s been re-invented, and I do like the songs so far but what I miss is the finesse that I’ve come to expect out of Coke Studio. The songs released have a virality to them but don’t have the calming spiritual wholesomeness.
Or maybe 2022 is finally the year that I lost touch with what’s current and now belong to a generation that’s no longer relevant.


Junoon performing in Qatar on the 31st of January 2020

Junoon (Pakistan’s largest rock export) reformed sometime last year. With Ali Azmat and Salman Ahmed getting over their differences to being back Junoon to its fans. With Salman ruining the name of the band by singing all the songs himself in his weird out of tune vocals.  It was overdue.

I always had more pop-rock music inclinations with Vital Signs, Awaz etc being my favorites and didn’t exactly ever soak the greatness of Junoon when they hit big time with Sayonee. Lack of this immersion in Junoon was one of the reason I didn’t attend their first concert in Qatar for the first time in the 90’s. The venue as I remember was Khalifa Tennis and Squash federation and would have been a great venue.

Fast forward to 2020, now that the band is reformed and Omran Shafique is in the live line-up, I am more than happy to see Junoon on stage and in the crowd (Junoonis). They will be performing in QNCC which i am happy about since I won’t have to drive or a taxi, will just take the metro green line to it.

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Q-post Revenue Diversification idea

Food delivery is an ever growing trend in Qatar with at least 4 different service providers Carriage, Talabat, Rafeek and Zomato as operators.

Snail mail on the other hand is a dying trend over here and diversification of income is vital for Q-post ( Qatar Postal Authority ) if it wants increasing revenue without spending much on infrastructure.

Existing strength for Q-post:

  • Q-post’s delivery fleet remains idle after office hours that can be used reducing the need to procure additional vehicles.
  • Has several branches around Qatar to act as hubs for drivers/food storage to serve restaurants in the area and drivers wouldn’t have to ‘hang around’ hot spots in the summer
  • Follows official mapping and hence is aware of routes, making delivery more accurate.




Day 2 in Muscat, sitting in a cafe in Muscat a quick summary of observation would be there are quite a few flies and the brand that I’ve noticed the most is 


Day 1 was spent mostly at the airport and trying to sort out my rental car which I had booked online but the rental car company -Dollar had no record of. 

Let’s see how the remaining trip turns out to be 🙂

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Where is the spark?

On 03-02-16 got featured as a ‘local talent’ on a local radio station @QFradio2. I was asked to come and had time to read a couple of my poems with the listeners of the QFDRIVESHOW . As I was quickly going through the poems to find something worthy of being read on air, I began having certain thoughts on what emotions were the ones that I used to feel and those that prompted me to write poetry. It was a natural flow because of a spark of imagination.

Where is my spark now?

Is it because that I am much older to when I used to write poetry? Is this a natural process that as when you grow up, you tend to lose the thought process since you are bogged down by more responsibilities and have to have more practical thoughts to sustain daily life than creative ones..

I am not happy that I can’t write poetry anymore and I do want to restart…….maybe I shall soon.


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Premium Al Rabeeh Clinic

I’ve been lazy last year and did not visit a dentist and failed miserably at keeping up with the recommended bi-annual dentist visit. So at the beginning of the year, I got on to my feet and went for a dental check up to the clinic named above since it is near to where I live. Now, the clinic name specifies the word premium although I fail to understand the ‘premium’ element in it. Maybe, it’s much better compared to their regular clinics but when compared to some other local clinics, it fails to live up to the name.
There is no water dispenser in the male waiting area although there is a toilet. The urinals are shaped very weirdly, designed to ensure spilling quite a bit on the floor or you will risk splashing yourself with your own urine. Yep sir, choose your lesser evil.
Now, why I’ve mentioned the water dispenser is because during the evening time, the appointment system becomes void. I’ve had two instances both with prior appointments, first time I had to wait a total of about 45 minutes, the second time, I was late (I admit) but had to wait for over an hour to see the dentist.  I am guessing someone sitting in the
waiting area for this long would want water by now.
I managed to ask the dentist when I saw him eventually, on what the solution is to this waiting time to which he’s recommended coming on non-busy times, I followed his advice for my appointment yesterday and I saw him straight through.

Have you faced the same issue with other clinics in Doha? ( not the toilet or water dispensers but having a massive waiting time despite having an appointment)


Netherlands day 2

Day 2 and I have finally figured out why orange is so prominent of a color to represent the Netherlands.
It’s because of the kindness of the people here, also it is the color of their cheeks when blood rushes to it. Today I saw a stranger help the worker replacing trash bags out of the bins because she was struggling to open the bin door. I am sure he was orange!

Ended up walking a lot today, as I messed up the directions. An occurence that happens to me during every vacation 🙂

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The Netherlands -day 1

I’ve arrived in Holland. Many obeservations. The residents here are great people, they geniunely help others. Pedestrians have respect, cars stop when you are at a crossing without traffic lights.
First nights stay is in Rotterdam, looks like a good place. I love how the Dutch are so open. Most living rooms are visible from the street and have little or no curtains.

Also went to Eindhoven yesterday and surprisingly the central rail station area there is much cooler than Rotterdam’s. Why am I surprised? Because I came with a different impression to Rotterdam. 

Also, to my surprise, the color blue is more prominent than orange.(Maybe it’s just because I got an overdose of blue at the Philips museum).