Light Within

making sense of social media mix

Changing Chitral

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Picturesque Chitral town sits up in Pakistan's northwest district, walled in by the Hindu Kush range. During winters, the only way in is by air (weather permitting) as the two passes, the 3118-meter Lowari from Dir and the 3810-meter Shandur from the upper Gilgit Valley are closed to road traffic. The Fokker Friendships drone for 50 minutes and burst through clouds on decent to reveal on mountains covered with whitecaps and red tin roof houses.


This is Chitral. On the small airfield, the cold wind thrust you to shiver. The remoteness of the district has left it undeveloped in spite of grand natural beauty, hospitable people and ancient history. The town is a base camp for tourists, adventurers and researchers from across the world. And, people seem to be living there in peace.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, February 08, 2016, , links to this post

To Carry the Dust to Multan

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Shrine Shah Rukn-e-Alam
Standing in Qila Kohna Qasim Bagh - accumulated debris of ages - one can think of Alexander the Great, Muhammad Bin Qasim, Saints, Mystics, Sultans, Gardezis, Gilanis, Qureshis, and Khawanis. But what you see is the ageing town hall and Ghanta Ghar, Hussain Agahi chowk - Hide Park of Multan - with the nerve jarring rattle of auto rickshaws, tangle of tonga and donkey carts vying for space with mechanical transport, vendors and shoppers, blaring music of audio video music centers and second hand cloths (landa) hung on the walls.

A city of monuments, Multan has been around for centuries. History of Multan dates back to ancient times. As per the legend, its origin is assigned to the time of Hazrat Noah (A S). Under the various Hellenic forms of ancient designations (Kasyapapura, Kashtpur, Hanspur, Bagpur and Mulasthan) Multan figures into works of Hecataeus, Herodotus and Ptolemy. It has been an empire, a kingdom, a province, a state, a capital and now a divisional headquarters.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Saturday, February 06, 2016, , links to this post

At war with myself

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You seem to be doing odd thing all the time – sitting in sun and avoiding cold water during summers, sitting in shad and having chilled water in winters, keeping awake during nights, eating less and walking the streets despite having the facility of transport. Everyone else goes to gardens whereas you go for wilderness.

I am all right. Only I am at war with myself.

What for?

To conquer myself!

What will you achieve by this?

I will be able to get what I want done by myself – creation of a new world.

Translated from Sitaroon Ki Bastiyan by Abbas Khan

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Sunday, January 31, 2016, , links to this post

Living with a white peacock

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, January 13, 2016, , links to this post

Fruit Basket From Pashin

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Visit Pishin at this time of the year and one finds thousands of acres of fruit orchards. The rich harvest of apples, grapes, plums, peaches and apricots is seen every where. I discovered the area, and the taste of the fruit, during my stay at the School of Infantry and Tactics, Quetta when we used to walk miles and miles for training maneuvers. It is still the same.

Legend attributes the origin of the name Pishin to a son of the Emperor Afrasiab. Until the middle of the 18 th century, when Quetta finally passed into the hands of Brahvi rulers, the history of Pishin is identical with the province of Kandahar. The earliest mention of Pishin is found in the ancient writing in which "Pishinorha" is described as a valley in an elevated part of the country and containing a barren level plain.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, January 11, 2016, , links to this post

When wishes are horses

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Setting eyes on Maqbool and his mule cart for the first time, one culd be forgiven for thinking that he belongs to a working class endeavoring for survival. His shabby dress and toes peeping out of slippers too large for him, do not project an image of a contented and happy man who is fond of good animals and racing.

I first met Maqbool, commonly known as Bola Rehre Wala, at the Multan Railway Station where he works from 6 am to 9 pm every day, no holidays. He takes all the newspapers and magazines arriving at Multan Railway Station from all over Pakistan to various newspaper agencies in the city. He also takes with him any other load he may find on the Railway Station if he is free and his mule is 'willing'. He earns six to eight hundred rupees daily out of which two hundred rupees go to the diet and care of his mule.

Over a period of time, I found out that he has four children, two boys and two girls, none going to school. He and his wife do not wish to send their children to school because the boys are to join him in work as soon as they grow up and the girls are to be married off. His wife takes care of every thing at home. His elder son Nasir Iqbal has already started giving him a hand off and on. In return Nasir gets two hundred and fifty rupees per week as pocket money from his mother, which he spends on rented VCR and five films every week. The family has a colored TV in their in two room house with a separate place for the mule and the cart. Bola is not getting the cable connection because he fears, "girls will see cable all the time."
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Sunday, January 03, 2016, , links to this post

Local blog context

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Blogs initially started as archives for web links on the Internet. Users could place important links on blogs to be referred and read later. Overtime blogging has matured as a phenomenon and one can see meaningful and useful blogs on any subject online. Blogsphere has become a very strong voice; vibrant, living and ever growing.

Pakistan blogsphere (blogs about Pakistan by local bloggers and those bloggers who are living abroad) has created its own identity that is mostly political and or personal. Pakistan corporate blogging has yet to take off though. Where personal blog create social harmony, well knit community and peace, political blogs add to the positive image Pakistan needs so much, more so in online world. Given the strength of powerful international media and in the face negative content, there has always been a lack of local content. Thanks to able Pakistani bloggers that they are adding meaningful local content in their blogs and that contextual content not only answers some of what mostly ill informed foreign media says but also add to the positive image.

Need of the hour is that Pakistani bloggers come forward and play their role by adding more content that is based on facts and first hand information. You owe this to Pakistan. No?

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, December 23, 2015, , links to this post

Virtual Communities

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Virtual world is seamlessly getting into real world. Social side of technologies is making the World Wide Web much more localized by bringing like-minded people together and in the process creating closely knit online communities.

Combination of features like worldwide accessibility and instantaneous communication has made it possible for backpackers, globetrotters and other curious from all over the world to join together at different online platforms to exchange information, experiences and plans in their favorite pursuit; travel.

Subscribers range from the professional travel writers to hardcore travelers and adventurers and commoners who are simply interested in reading online. Travel communities are accessible by millions of interested people all over the world.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, December 14, 2015, , links to this post

Sunday Tending

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Saturday, December 12, 2015, , links to this post

Urdu Twitter for Hilal

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This article appeared in June 2012 issue of Pakistan Army Monthly Hilal .
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, November 04, 2015, , links to this post


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