Light Within

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'Tera Dera Ya Mera Dera'

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There were many things on my schedule when I travelled from Multan to Quetta by road instead of rail: to see the tomb of Ghazi Khan, to visit famous Fort Monro and familiarize myself with this less travelled rout to Quetta.

For those who take their chance for the first time to the city, it might sound too good to be true but Dera Ghazi Khan (D G Khan) in the past was known as Dera Phullan Da Sehra — ‘land of flowers’. “The canal skirted its eastern side, fringed with luxurious gardens of mango trees, while ghats lined the bank, thronged in summer by numerous bathers.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, December 06, 2016, , links to this post

Light Within

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Friday, November 25, 2016, , links to this post

At Darband

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Salman Rashid

Under the placid waters of the lake formed by the damming of the Sindhu River at Tarbela, there repose, among others, the water-logged remains of two ancient settlements. The one called Amb on the west bank and the other Darband on the east. It was from Darband that the chief of Amb ruled over a largish fiefdom that spread partly along the west bank of the Sindhu and largely on the east side. The plain area of modern Haripur district east of the river being known as Tanaval, the family favours the cognomen of Tanaoli for itself.


Their own history, fawning and full of flaws and misrepresentations (not unsurprisingly written by a Tanoli), makes them conflictingly either Pukhtuns from the vicinity of Ghazni or Turks of the Barlas sub-clan. In both cases it takes the line back to the prophet Joseph as an explanation for their good looks. Painting the family in the most glories of martial colours, this document brings the Tanaoli family to the trans-Sindhu territories about four hundred years ago. Having taken over the level tract of Haripur district, the family, it is recorded named it after Tanal, a mountain pass between Kabul and Ghazni. Interestingly, all of the several maps (both modern and from the 19 century) consulted for confirmation of the existence of this pass turned up blanks. It consequently appears that the name Tanaval pre-dated the arrival of this family and that they simply took the name from the area.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, November 23, 2016, , links to this post

Say it with flowers

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Flowers surely bring people together. Blossoms can fuel a flaming passion, calm a raging jealousy, comfort a living being or earn a living. Presenting flowers is a romantic social folkway. Aside from romantic and literary delights, there is commerce in flowers too.


The town of Patoki is one of the most famous places in Pakistan for growing flowers. The town has one of the biggest clusters of flower, fruit and decorative plant nurseries in the country. Growing flowers and tree plants and selling is a major business concern in this sleepy town situated in the suburbs of Lahore.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Thursday, November 03, 2016, , links to this post

I Ask the Impossible

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I ask the impossible: love me forever.
Love me when all desire is gone.
Love me with the single-mindedness of a monk.
When the world in its entirety,
and all that you hold sacred, advise you
against it: love me still more.
When rage fills you and has no name: love me.
When each step from your door to your job tires you—
love me; and from job to home again.

Love me when you’re bored—
when every woman you see is more beautiful than the last,
or more pathetic, love me as you always have:
not as admirer or judge, but with
the compassion you save for yourself
in your solitude.

Love me as you relish your loneliness,
the anticipation of your death,
mysteries of the flesh, as it tears and mends.
Love me as your most treasured childhood memory—
and if there is none to recall—
imagine one, place me there with you.
Love me withered as you loved me new.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, October 25, 2016, , links to this post

Joy of being at Lahore School

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Sunday, October 23, 2016, , links to this post

Harand heritage

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Perched in between legendary Suleman Range on one side and mighty River Indus on the other, ruins of original Harand Fort are situated in the area commonly known as Pachaddh. The Fort has seen a lot in the past and looks as if hiding thousands of secrets besides its historical and archaeological importance.

The Fort was originally built opposite historic Chachar Pass in Suleman Range to guard against the invaders. The fading signs of the edifice are still there in the forms of derbies and bricks scattered around the old site. Sikh Governor Sawan Mall used the material of the old fort rebuilt the Fort on a new location in 1831. Present structure of the Fort - a valuable part of our heritage - is situated about 25 kilometres west of sleepy and rustic town Dajal in district Rajan Pur. The Fort is spread over an area of 50 acres. The outer wall of whatever is left of it is one kilometre long and was made of thin red bricks. There are 16 pillars. Main entrance is in the west and another one is in the east. What ever is left of the fort is a clear evidence of its past, solidity of masonry and quality of construction.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, October 18, 2016, , links to this post

Historic Trilogy

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The first thought that came into my mind after visiting Okara can be described by four words: milk, butter, mammals and farms. Peers also told me the same. Besides Harappan ruins, I did not know the area. But one thing I did know, though, was that I should be happy to say goodbye to the place. Two years later, I felt drawn to the area and its people and it was very hard for me to part. There is so much to be seen, so much to be done. Above all, it has spirited, sincere and full-of-love people living in Gogera, Dipalpur and Pakpattan historic trilogy. The distances in the hinterland are short but the landscape is so enormous that it had to be studied in parts like a large mural seen by a child.


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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, September 28, 2016, , links to this post

Dolls, Toys and More

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Free download Dolls, Toys and More - eBook by S A J Shirazi

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Thursday, August 11, 2016, , links to this post

Wheels of Empire

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Wheels of Empire by Salman Rashid

Salman Rashid is clearly Pakistan’s most notable and erudite travel writer. His work is informed not only by deep insight but an even deeper love of his subject. A signature Salman piece welds impressive knowledge of geography, history, ethnography and ingenious and tradition with a writing style that quivers with life.


Salman Rashid is also an accomplished lensman with a sensitive eye for landscape photography that further enriches his travelogues.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Saturday, July 23, 2016, , links to this post


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