“Picture taken at an apparent lake in Bahria Town”
“Picture taken at an apparent lake in Bahria Town”
I can still go down the memory lane and collect small strands from that day when it actually happened. It was a pretty regular evening for me. I was doing my BSc at that time and was roaming around in my hostel corridor, probably trying to study for a test. Being in the hostel and not very interested in current affairs I did not have much idea of the situation outside my little world. All I knew was that India had done atomic blasts some time ago and was bullying us like anything.
That time there was a lot of praise in my mind for the then government and the armed forces who were standing tall in front of the tyrant as a strong protective wall. I knew there were pressures from the bigger intimidating bully (the USA) as well which required dealing with and that filled my heart with even more gratitude for the government and the forces.
I was thinking like a little kid that why can’t we “fight” back and “punch” the bullies. I kept asking this question from myself and always came up with the answer that maybe it is not the appropriate time to retaliate. I did not dare to think even for a second that God forbid we were incapable of replying back. That thought would have been a serious nightmare.
And then in the corridors a little noise was raised. It seemed to be coming from the TV lounge. Everybody in sight or in earshot moved towards the sound. I did too with my lazy steps, thinking that maybe it was some “girly” girl who saw a lizard and was frightened [no offense to the girly girls :-) ]. But when I reached there the scene was quite different.
I heard the news that Pakistan has finally done atomic blasts. And doing so had brought the motherland to the pedestal where 6 other nuclear power nations already stood. I didn’t think of anything else any more after that. I just glided back to my room, feeling extremely light in heart and mind. I could feel the warmth of that feeling all over me. I actually felt proud at a national achievement.
I usually never show much zeal and fervor when the anniversary of this day, known as Yaum e Takbeer, is celebrated. I never go out to any events or chant out patriotic slogans. All I do is remember the day and recall that warm feeling. It lights a little light and makes my heart glow.
That was a day that made us all proud, really proud indeed. May Allah bestow more of such achievements on us, the Pakistani nation.
Pakistan Zindabad! :-)
Happiness at the new day
Eyes open from slumber
Bodies made of memories
Of cool sad evenings
Strange medley of feelings
I am light as a bird
In spacious dreams of stone
Serene yet reserved smile
On my face
In the dark’s absurdity
Among snatches of dream
Silence in the dread
We weary of everything
We weary of thinking
(5 seconds worth of traffic from the SKANS roof)
I just happened to buy the album “elements” by Abbas Premji, a virtuoso guitar player from Pakistan today. There’s this one song in it called “seek peace”. I took this picture a while back, and this song, and this picture go hand in hand. The song, is BEAUTIFUL. “Seek peace, wherever you go. Extinguish your desire to avenge” is taken from a Sermon by Hazrat Ali (Karam Allah wajhu).
This song, this picture, this life, this city. It’s all coming back. The times when we were naive. Kids so to speak. Playing cricket in the street, being yelled at by mom. Sneaking out when Qari Sahab used to come to go eat ice cream. Going on a family journey to Abbotabad. It’s nostalgic. And it’s peace, wherever it is :)
It’s often envisioned that when the sun comes out, a new day starts. Very often it is compared to a new beginning, brand new life, new start etc. But not many people talk about the sunset. Glorified, dignified, the sun leaves the sky and makes way for the moon. The sky changes colours. Orange, golden yellow. And as the light leaves the horizon, traces of black start to seap through. Majestic farewell. Farewell to the king of the day, making way for the prince of the night.
The sunset is inspiring, the sunset is amazing, and last but not the least, a treat to watch. I’ve been to a lot of different places in Pakistan, but the sunset that can be seen in Islamabad, takes my vote. Cloud covered mountains stand witness to it. The trees stand witness to it. And as often as I can, I stand witness to it. One of the reasons I love my college, is because of the view. You can see Saudi Pak tower through the classroom window, and when you go to the roof, you can see the sunset. The sun going behind the under-construction high-rise stock exchange building towards the mountains and in the end it just goes where it has to.
Islamabad has a very distinct aura. An aura that I could not find in Lahore or Karachi or Peshawar. Karachi is amazing, it has the sea, the sun setting over the sea is a breathtaking view BUT I might be biased when I say. It’s not AS good as seeing the sunset from the Hiking Track-3, or say when you’re driving on the Margalla road. It’s just not the same. This is my first post, and many of you “might” wonder why I started from a post on sunsets. The sole reason which I also mentioned earlier is that sunsets teach alot. They teach that even though the sun does go down one day. It still rises the other day. If you take that as an analogy, your life may seem to be like a sunset, slowly vanishing, but there’s always a new day. Sunsets are an ode to the fact that life can seem dark, but there’s always a new day. There’s always the hope that a sunset brings to me. A hope that eventhough I won’t see the sun for say, the next ten hours. It will come out. Pinnacle points in a day, the sun rising, and the sun setting. Lots can be written on this, but i’d limit myself here.
If you get a chance, do get on the roof of any building in Blue Area and watch the sunset. It’s BREATHTAKING :)
Yesterday was 10th April. 20 Years down the Ojri Camp incident. And I’m so tempted to re-post this post here :) Previously it was posted in Dec’ 05
Life is full of events … tragic … happy … alarming …. monumental …. all sorts of … in different phases and times …!
OK … wait a minute … I was about to write some flashback moments here … Let’s have a small quiz first … Can you tell me what is this thing … any idea into its history ????
Update [7th Dec 06 - 11:15 PM]
So some of you were quite correct – some funnier :-)
It’s a small-sized Rocket’s propeller (see the fan like thing on which it is standing) – it had a shell on it with gunpowder – the cylindrical shape also contains gunpowder (to the best of my knowledge) …!
A little history of this Rocket now … but first the INCIDENT … It dates back to 10th April 1988 … another day (apart from 8-10-2005) when Islamabad and Rawalpindi were almost shook by rockets and missiles flying in the air … falling here and there … rumors in the air that Islamabad is invaded by India (and even some said Russia) … it was all due to Ojri Camp incident.
Ojri Camp was basically army depot with ammunition (I’m not sure … anyone??? I guess it was abandoned by 1988 and people didn’t even knew that it do have LIVE AMMUNITION) … and then something (what?? Ummm I don’t remember … don’t BLAME me … I was just 4 then) happened and taraah … the rumors outside Pindi-Islamabad is all finished … it’s no more … since telephone lines also suffered … few rockets hit the exchange too … !
My father incidentally went to work on (my beloved) Vespa and not on car … so while coming from Pindi to Islamabad at around 11 … (this incident happened between 10-11) … he had 2-3 rockets with him :D as “his collection” … hence a Live Masterpiece no Re-Collection from POF or anywhere … we only painted it golden laters… En route he narrates that there were missiles of lamp post size and man they were real huge … the incident was tragic with lots and lots of stories to tell …!
One of our acquaintances had a missile hit their home in satellite town such that it perfectly drilled on wall, ten next room and perfect drilling of wall … such wise it drilled 3 walls perfectly and then hit off 4th wall … that brought all energy game to an end …!
I vaguely (READ it CLEARLY … because Even Now I seem to have it in my memory) remember when rockets were really flying off in air, with everyone worried about their kids and men out on work … everyone praying and talking if it is an invasion or Allah’s wrath ..!
So it was kind of brief flashback from Islamabad’s life … with this rocket memoir … by the way the other two bigger (and my mom told us that the shell was much beautiful :>) rockets we gave back since the chances of it be LIVE were always there … !
A few weeks back the National Art Gallery opened its doors to the public near the Parliment house. It has managed to attract quite a number of people.After seeing the advertisement in the newspapers and hearing about it from several people I decided to pay visit to the gallery.
It was totally different from what I expected. A you approach the entrance of the vicinity you are greeted by a sentry of seven large black statues of burqa-clad figures, haunting and dementor like. On close inspection it was found that they are made from fibreglass although from a distance they seem to be made from charcoal.
The gallery which took over more than two decades to be materialized now houses 600 works of art featuring 126 artists. Grouped in 16 exhibitions with each hall dedicated to a certain subject.
Photogragh: Aamir Qureshi
There are several internees around the gallery who can explain to the visitors what the painting and the sculptures depict. Although most of the time I did not find them helpful. The room which was dedicated to love was perhaps the most controversial of the exhibitions( or may be the hall at the top floor) where some paintings displayed nudity. This was totally out of the blue for me and many other who would expect strong censorship.
I was totally taken by surprize when I saw a several paintings depicting homosexuallity. I wonder why the mullahs haven’t criticized yet? I was also appalled to see that the paint on the wall was already getting scraped off due to the water getting leaked from the ceiling in room of the miniatures.
Although the general effort in bringing all these pieces of art together at one place is very much appriciated and is a visual treat for the art lovers.
The Art Gallery opens at 11a.m. Theres no ticket from 11a.m to 2p.m and later when it reopens at 3pm there is some sort of ticket.
And do remember that when you go into a hall that has this sound which is quite irritating dont keep wondering what it is. The sound coming from the speakers is the sound of childeren reciting Quran mechanically in congregation. I found this later from a news paper.
Photograph: Anjum Naveed/AP
Circulating around is this article by Dr. Shahid Masood printed in today’s Jang.
You can read it following this link too ..!
there are times when you can’t just take sides … mind says something else and heart tells an altogether different story …!
Will we ever learn to follow the mid-path?? the path taught by Islam??
I’m very confused … are you??
I remember, I met a guy an guy few years back, who told me that way before Islamabad existed, in the village of Saidpur, there lived an old man who used to walk past every door in the village and put some oil on the door hinges so that they wouldn’t squeak and disturb the neighbors. I also know about another similar old timer, who was the principal of a federal government school here, and when his own child failed in a class, wrote himself a letter in the capacity of the school principal giving the academic report of the child’s poor performance refusing to promote him to the next class, and then received the letter in the capacity of the father, signed the letter, apologized for negligence, and returned it to the principal.