Light Within

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Shifting Sher Garh

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An old sleepy and dusty village Sher Garh lies about 20 minutes drive away from Renala Khurd (Okara). The coins found at Sher Garh prove that the place was inhabited at the time of Kushan dynasty. Though “the name Sher Garh was given by the Governor of Molten, Faith Jang Khan after the name of Afghan King Sher Shah Sure,” wrote Abbas Khan Sarauni in his book Tarikh Sher Shah Suri.

On the old bank of River Beas, it is a typical Pakistani village where farmers live like rustics in the face of urban attractions. Even the electricity and telephone are a recent phenomenon. But the village has never been out of limelight. Besides heritage conscious people from all over the world, the village is venerated by a large number of devotees. Reasons, a massive mud fort and mosque which were built in the period of Afghan Sher Shah Suri. And, it is the last resting place of Saint Muhammad Ibrahim Daud-e-Sani Kirmani Bandgi.If one wants to absorb the sense of history, Sher Garh is a place to visit. Director Syed Noor has set his film Chooriyan in the background of this village. One has to possess a sensibility shaped in granite not to be moved by the village of past age that has not changed much in last 400 years. In the periphery few van (salvadora) trees, may be as old as the village stand witness to the bygone era. The village is experienced changed due to awareness about various things and agricultural advancements but at a snail speed.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, October 01, 2014, , links to this post

The Republic by Plato

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The Republic in which Plato presented concept of the state starts with a query. “What is justice,” sitting in his academy Plato asks students who were all experts in their own respective fields.

As per Plato every thing in the world should be given its appropriate place. Biologically human body can be divided in three distinct and incompatible parts. Wisdom comes from head; stomach is responsible for distribution of calories to the whole body through intakes; hands and feet work for the body and act as guards. Humans die when this appropriation is disturbed. Head cannot act in the place of stomach or hand and vice versa.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, September 30, 2014, , links to this post

In Shalimar Garden with squirrels

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It's easy to love a place where residents make efforts to feed the squirrels. In the Shalimar Garden, a few senior citizens party with the squirrels every morning.

When my friend Hussain Qazi who is naturalist and a photographer told me about people feeding birds and squirrels, I planned to skip my ‘ritual morning walks’ and decided to visit Shalimar Garden instead; hopping to find more about the party with the squirrels.

The care and feeding of squirrels in Shalimar Garden is a recent phenomenon. Long overshadowed by heritage talk (it is on UNESO’s world heritage list), Shalimar Garden is overcrowded during day. Whether or not Shalimar Garden ultimately can maintain its past glory - and with it, an influx of foreign and local tourists - it's a surprisingly satisfying open space during early hour of the day.

Every morning, two charismatic old men, loaded with biscuits, rice and pluses came to the waiting population of birds and squirrels in the Shalimar Garden. They sit on the same benches and start throwing grins to the birds. When this is happening, one can see squirrels coming down from nearby trees for their breakfast and then those gentlemen dig deep down their satchels and take out biscuits and start feeding the squirrels. The tiny winy animals are so use to those caring hands that they jump to take the first bite.

One of the old men Fazal Karim – a retired primary teacher who lives in nearby Daroge Wala – explained me this phenomenon and said, “I am coming here for my morning walk every day for a long time now. I feed the bird population and squirrels and find them very friendly. I miss them and look forward to meeting them every day. I think they miss me too.”

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Thursday, September 25, 2014, , links to this post

Attitude Tourism

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Attitude tourism - to be distinguished from, say, adventure or seeing the sights - is generally not a particularly satisfying activity. Ideas and those who hatch them tend not to leave behind things large or attractive enough to ogle. So you may go to a place of great historic value but find nothing worth the visit. Lasbela tract is a case in point. Usually, you are left, if you are lucky, with a plaque or just an intrinsic thought. So I expected, more or less, nothing in Lasbela.

What I got was signs in lieu of plaques, hot wind, remnants of crumbling columns, and a long view of the undergrowth of thorny bushes, some wildflowers, functional Persian wells and rocky hilltops covered with camel and sheep droppings. It was all prosaic and quiet and yet real enough to propel me into another fit of wonder: I was driving on the tract where Alexander and Muhammad Bin Qasim had treaded.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, September 22, 2014, , links to this post

Envy, love, desire, prejudice or self-indulgence

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We, human beings, live in four cells as per empirical observations of one scholar: First are natural restrains. Humans are bounded by natural environment, seasons, atmospheric conditions, other living beings, calamities and every thing else present in the eco system. Second confine to humans is history -- the chronology of the past. It is so very difficult to get rid of the past. Third is society. Humans simply cannot live oblivious of the societal traditions and customs. It is not possible to live alone nor is it workable to violate folks, mores and norms of society while living as its part.
And last is own self: Envy, love, anger, joy, desire, sex, prejudice, self-indulgence and fears that compel humans to restrict behind the walls. I also find some friends living in self denial.

How can one throw away all these yokes and truly set free. Science can take control of nature. Understanding of philosophy can free the humans from burdens of what went before. Knowledge of social sciences can steer them safely through the society. But getting away from self is the most daunting of the tasks. For that one needs altruism. And that can only be attained through passion for others. Can you suggest any other way?

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Saturday, September 20, 2014, , links to this post

Justice Muhammad Shahab ud Din and Prime Minister Pakistan Muhammad Ali Bogra

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Muhammad Shahab ud Din came to judiciary from Indian Civil Services. He rose to the coveted post of Governor East Pakistan in 1954 but history always recognises him as Justice Muhammad Shahab ud Din.

Prime Minister Pakistan Muhammad Ali Bogra once gave a statement about East Pakistan without consulting him. Justice Muhammad Shahab ud Din resigned in protest. Bogra apologised and requested the Justice to continue but he did not agree.

He took out his pen and dried its ink in the pot in his office before leaving the Governor house. His ADC Major S. G. Gillani was with him who asked, “Sir, why have you returned the ink to the pot here.” Reply of the Justice was, “It belonged to state for official work. How I can use the official ink when I no more hold the office.”

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, September 15, 2014, , links to this post

Mountain Might

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Pakistan Urdu Science Board textbook defines earth surface “13000 feet above sea level as mountains. Areas that are 9840 feet above their surroundings are also mountainous.” Much more than travel, recreation and adventurous destinations, mountains are natural resource reservoirs that help to sustain life on the planet earth. Nature has blessed our country with rich mountain terrain.



Nowhere in the world is concentration of high mountains, peaks, glaciers, clean water lacks (full of trout and romantic legend attached to them) and passes except in Pakistan. Of the 14 over 8,000 meters high peaks on our earth planet, four occupy an amphitheatre at the head of Baltoro glacier in the Karakorum Range: K-2 (this year Pakistan is celebrating fiftieth anniversary when man first conquered the world’s second highest - 8,611 meters – peak half century ago), Gasherbrum-I (8,068 meters), Broad Peak (8,047 meters) and Gasherbrum-II (8,035 meters). There is yet another great mountain, Nanga Parbat (8,126 meters), located at the western side of the Himalayas. Moreover, there are 68 peaks over 7,000 meters and hundreds others over 6,000 meters in Pakistan.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Thursday, September 11, 2014, , links to this post

Signs of the past

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, September 08, 2014, , links to this post

Mian Ijaz Ahmad - a patriot - Civilian Soldier

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Mian Ijaz Ahmad who belonged to 77 Field Regiment Arty, passed away to his eternal abode, on Dec 29, 2012, when he was 77 years old. We call this coincident sign of his love for the regiment - RIP Mian Sahib.

The name of this gentleman is Mian Ijaz Ahmad. His legendary love with the Army in general and passionate association with the Regt of Arty in particular, is fondly known by many in the Armed Forces. He is known to the common soldier and high-ranking military officers alike. In recognition of his unflinching love for the Army, his emotions and feelings were reduced to writing in weekly “Hilal” of March 20, 1979. His physical relationship with 77 Fd Regt Arty is spread over 31 long years and it would be a Herculean task to encompass each and every moment of his devotion but following paragraphs would reflect in nutshell the beginning of this moment.


It was in the month of Ramzan (November 1971) that Mian Ijaz Ahmad, finding from some local friends, that an Arty Regt was camping in Malik Bagh, Shahdra, went there. He carried few packets of edibles as Aftari for the Troops and enquired the way in from R.P. at the entrance of the Camp. He was taken to the CO of Regt Lt. Col. (Late) Syed Shaukat Ali Wasti, who got so impressed from the devotion and patriotism of this fragile young man that he accepted his Aftari for the officers/jawans. However, the CO advised Mian Ijaz Ahmad not to bring any thing for the troops in future. At this, Mian Ijaz Ahmad could not control his emotions and burst into tears and told the CO that he was a very ordinary businessman but he could sacrifice anything for the Army poised to defend the motherland. He once again requested that he be not denied the opportunity to shower small favours on the soldiers of God. The emotions of a true Pakistani, springing from the core of his heart, moved the CO and other officers and they allowed him to visit the unit again.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Friday, September 05, 2014, , links to this post

Meet Thatta Kedona Dolls

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Meet Thatta Kedona dolls or see Souvenirs and Toys collection here, also here.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, September 01, 2014, , links to this post


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