So, I don't know who nominated me or how it all began. Oh well, such is life...nothing spectacular or earth shattering, but for those interested, check it out:
Here's the transcript:
Would you please tell us something about you and your site?
My name is Azra and I live and work in Johannesburg, South Africa. My site is a very open and honest view reflecting my opinions and views of the world in a variety of topics. I appreciate a good sense of humour and prefer looking at the lighter side of life. I am also a pragmatist and realist; I strongly believe that we should embrace life and live each moment like it’s the last.
Do you feel that you continue to grow in your writing the longer you write? Why is that important to you?
I’m not sure that my writing contributes to my personal growth. I either write to express myself therapeutically and purge whatever plagues my mind, or sometimes I write for fun or out of boredom.
I’m wondering what some of your memorable experiences are with blogging?
I don’t really have one single moment that stands out. I generally enjoy interacting with different people.
What do you do in order to keep up your communication with other bloggers?
I engage in their lives or interact with them through their blogs, c-box or gtalk.
What do you think is the most exciting or most innovative use of technology in politics right now?
Overall, I think the Internet has done wonders for networking through news sites, blogging and other social networks whereby information is made available to the public in an instant.
Do you think that these new technologies are effective in making people more responsive?
To an extent yes. These technologies have definitely encouraged social networking making it easier for people to connect with others, regardless of previous constraints like time, distance, geographical boundaries etc.
What do you think sets Your site apart from others?
My site is an open and honest depiction of who I am as a person and what I believe in. There are no pretences and I’m not lost waiting to be “discovered” or “rescued”. I’m not searching for some truth or enlightenment or the answers to life’s riddles. I am just 100% me, enjoying every second I get to live and making the most of my journey here on earth; even though my thoughts and opinions are subject to change and personal growth.
If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success in life, what would it be?
What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?
The happiest moment of my life was when it dawned on me that most of our worries are petty and inconsequential in the grander scheme of things. Our life on earth is a mere rest-stop onto much bigger and greater things and we have to therefore make the most of every day we’re alive, instead of wasting precious moments on trivial problems and frivolous anxieties. The gloomiest moments were the 26 years prior to that realisation.
If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with no worries about how it’s paid for - what would your top 3 choices be?
There are so many because I regard myself as a traveller through life. But Greece, Turkey & Mexico stand out.
What is your favorite book and why?
I have two.
1.) White Oleander by Janet Fitch: The story is written so well that it stays with you long after you’ve read it.
2.) Alhambra by Colin da Silva: This book was instrumental and changed my life.
What’s the first thing you notice about a person (whether you know them or not)?
Their eyes, the windows to the soul.
Is there anyone from your past that once told you you couldn’t write?
No…on the contrary, everyone always encouraged me to write including all my English teachers throughout the years.
How bloggers can benefit from blogs financially?
I’d say the only way to benefit financially is through advertising or offering a required service or product.
Is it true that those who have a successful blog have an awful lot of time on their hands?
I don’t think so. I think people either have a talent for writing or they don’t. And people’s opinions and tastes differ, so a successful blog is largely dependant on what the target audience wants or needs.
What role can bloggers of the world play to make this world a more friendlier place and less hostile?
Open communication and healthy debate is always good, although I do believe that standing up and voicing injustices is a good start too.
Who are your top five favourite bloggers?
It is nearly impossible and would be unfair of me to pick five because there are many blogs that inspire me on various levels. I do however, prefer and tend to enjoy reading posts and blogs from writers who are generous with themselves and are willing to share their real life experiences; those who are open and honest about who they are because I value and appreciate complete honesty.
Is there one observation or column or post that has gotten the most powerful reaction from people?
My “Perfect Asshole” posts garnered a lot of attention.
What is your perception about Pakistan and its people?
My perception of Pakistan is heavily influenced by the media and could hence be inaccurate. I see Pakistan as a nation etched in old traditions and cultures; cultures where men are still considered the head of the home or sole providers whilst women are care-takers – much like most of the traditional continental cultures throughout Europe and Asia.
Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger?
Not really, no. We are all unique and that’s what makes us the same.
What is the most striking difference between a developed country and a developing country?
I think developed countries have procedures or processes in place that make everything more streamlined and systematic i.e. their processes allow their systems to run more efficiently and in less time whereas developing countries may still use older methods of doing things which may be more time consuming and frustrating.
What is the future of blogging?
Most businesses are becoming more interactive with their consumer base and have adopted socially interactive methods of communication, like blogging, in an effort to connect with their clients and gain valuable feedback, which in turn allow them to improve in their operations dramatically in a variety of ways. Consumers do not only interact with the company, but with each other on problems, obstacles, advise etc. and this communication fosters a relationship and a sense of loyalty between the company and client that is mutually beneficial in terms of service/delivery and customised/personalised service.
You have also got a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?
I interact with a lot more people than usual in my personal life. It hasn’t really affected my professional life.
What are your future plans?
I’d like to complete my MBA and move up the corporate ladder and travel as much as I can.
Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?
Firstly, don’t be a spectator, be a participant and respect yourself enough to really truly Live your life because one never knows what lies around the corner. Secondly, make wise decisions that leave no room for regrets, because “regrets are a waste of time, they’re the past crippling you in the present”. Thirdly, ensure that you’re always honest and true to yourself as well as with others and treat others the way you’d like to be treated. Lastly, don’t forget our Creator, count your blessings and take each day as it comes.
Preparing my next Pop Up French Pâtisserie
25 minutes ago