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Frieha Altaf’s 50th birthday celebrations began on a yacht that sailed, under full moon, around midnight. It was gorgeous, the moonlight leaving a silver trail on the water’s surface, eighties music playing in the background and just enough people to be around happily, without having to make superficial small talk.

I haven’t known Frieha long, just around 12 years. And I remember meeting her for the very first time, backstage at the first Carnival de Couture held in Karachi. I introduced myself (there had been work-related communications over the phone) and she beamed a fabulously dimpled smile at me, “Finally, we meet!” Contrary to what I had heard, Frieha was not scary.

And believe it or not, while the world finds her intimidating, I have grown to respect her as a professional, a woman so passionate about her work that it engulfs her being. She is not someone who will call you to whine or complain about what you’ve written; and there have been some hard hitting LSA reviews that could have caused distress. I appreciate that about her. Frieha is someone who wants it all and that just reflects her ambition and energy, both of which are unfaltering. Here’s to another just-as-hip-and-happening fifty more!

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