Light Within

Making sense of Social Media

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 @ Friday, June 24, 2022, ,

Operation Theater

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Thursday, June 23, 2022, ,

Garam Chashma

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Some places are so idyllic and unspoiled that it is almost unbelievable. One such place is picturesque, tranquil and pollution free town Garam Chashma (meaning hot spring) in at the edge district Chitral. The very sound of it is (sort of) strategic - the role Garam Chashma played during Russian occupation in Afghanistan not very long ago. The town is located on the bank of a turbulent torrent known as Luthko Gol that is full of trout; about two hours drive from Chitral City.


As the Fokker Friendship hovers over Chitral before committing to landing, one can see the beautiful sights through window of small aircraft: red roof houses dotted on the hill contours, alpine trees, and fruit orchards. Chitral airport is built in one of the serene gorges of the River Kunar. I stayed at the deepest place in district Chitral known as Mir Khanni - over seventy kilometers from Chitral. As per the plans that I had made to see different sights in Chitral valley during free brakes in the schedule of my assignment, I boarded a passenger Mazda that was ready to go to Garam Chashma right from the airport early one April morning.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, June 21, 2022, ,

Chillianwala Chase

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To-ing and fro-ing, at time zigzagging, in Punjab introduces to wonders and legions of what may be called middle ground of cultural fusion of the present Punjab. The area is gold mine for history seekers, spiritual and curious travelers. You may find much more than what you hear or read. It pays to get out into the countryside and talk to ordinary people. People of the area are eager to help – on their own expense - when you ask anybody. One finds volunteer 'guides' who were forth coming with wealth of information.


Situated near Mong, Chillianwala is a historic village that played an important role in the history of the South Asia. It was a battle ground where British and Sikh forces fought one of the decisive battles in the history of the Subcontinent in 1849. The quiet village has not changed much since then. Only slowly old agricultural methods are changing and tractors and wheat threshers are seen in please of bull driven ploughs. Painted double story houses are coming up where used to be conventional mud houses. Land is excellent with record carrying capacity and the display of seasonal crop is very powerful.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Thursday, June 02, 2022, ,

Mir Chakar Rind

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An old, sleepy and tranquil village Satghara lies about 80 kilometers from Lahore (20 minutes drive away from Okara) in the quiet backwaters of the Punjab. The coins found at Satghara prove that the place was inhabited at the time of the Kushan dynasty. The rule of Kushans was one of the most decisive periods in the history of the Subcontinent. At the height in the second century (A.D.), Kushans ruled from Oxus to Ganges and yet their influence spread beyond even these frontiers. On the southern bank of the Ravi, it is a typical Pakistani village where farmers live like rustics in the face of urban attractions. Though off the beaten track, it has never been out of limelight. Besides heritage conscious travelers from all over the world, Baloch leaders and contemporary historians visit the hamlet. Reasons: it is a "Tukia Nawab Chakar Ki" - last resting-place of Mir Chakar Rind. I see part of our history buried here whenever I have a look at it. And when I was stationed at Okara Cantt, I did it often.

As per one account, Mir Chakar Rind came to this village with seven families, hence the name. Another legend has it that the village was named Satghara because it was destroyed seven times by floods. Shah Abul Mo'ali, descendant of sixteenth century saint Muhammad Ibrahim Daud-e-Sani Bandgi in his book 'Maqamat-e-Daudi' maintains that Satghara was known by the same name even before the arrival of Mir Chakar Rind. In Baloch history, the sixteenth century was a very eventful period. Baloch fought series of wars amongst themselves. The result of these tribal conflicts not only caused large-scale bloodshed but also resulted in their mass migrations to the Punjab, Sindh and Gujrat (India).
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Friday, May 27, 2022, ,

On Roads Less Travelled

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“The panoply that Salman Rashid paints through his pen and his photography is simply breathtaking- a delight for the connoisseur and general reader alike,” writes Agha Akbar, Editor Sports and Magazine Pakistan Today while reviewing Roads Less Travelled 2011 – a PPL book of days  for year 2011.


Not long ago, annual diaries along with calendars of the hanging variety, were all the rage with everyone clamoring for a set. Overtaken by the IT revolution and by the trimness of new gadgets, the once much sought diary has, like so many other things has gone obsolete it seems. Yet diaries are brought out every year, and pretty expensive ones at that, but mostly as giveaways by various corporate entities as part of their marketing and promotion plans. And it really is no big deal whether one receives a copy or not. It’s the latest i-pad that matters..
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, May 09, 2022, ,

Mai Bismillah

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I believe in “mothers” as an instruction. They are always there for granted. I had to say fare well to another great mother on Saturday, June 18, 2011. I feel the pain, sadness and void within on two accounts; one she was my mother in law and second she was a great person – an anjuman in herself.

I will always remember her for many things. Best one that I liked is that she would say Bismillah with almost each sentence in her conversation. Starting everything with the name of Allah had visible effect on her persona and I could see blessing of Allah almighty in her worldly affairs. Anyone could see that. Due to this I very fondly used to call her Mai Bismillah.

Another of her distinct trait was her generous hospitality. She was very hospitable. Anyone going to her house (and many people used to go to her house) would have food or whatever was suitable and possible at the time. She would go a long way to make sure that any guest has food before leaving. And this act too brought in more blessing in her life.

Looking back, I can say that what she did for her off springs and what she accomplished would not have been possible without uncounted blessings of Allah almighty.

You were a great mother and great person Mai Bismillah. I will miss you for ever. May your soul rest in eternal peace.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Sunday, May 08, 2022, ,

When dreams come true

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The first thing that I saw hung on the wall of his office was a framed verse of revered Pushto poet Khushal Khan Khattak. It said, "Right you love me deeply and immensely but what should I do that it still is not enough for me." Gulzar is a newspaper forwarding agent who works on contracts with different publishing houses to dispatch their publications to the newspaper agencies, which further arrange their mass circulation. I first met him in his office cum residence a decade ago. That was a place from where he arranges the dispatch of newspaper and periodicals to the agencies in over 200 stations (including remote villages, towns and small cities). He uses railways, road transport and airlines of that purpose. He has employed 11 workers, one motor rickshaw and a Suzuki pick up for the job. He has two telephones in the office and of course carries a cell phone.

It takes a lot far a man to admit but over a period of 10 long years of our associations, Gulzar Baig has displayed a great courage in revealing the emotional trauma of his childhood, contempt and malice with which he had been treated and his undying obsessions.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Sunday, May 08, 2022, ,

With Dr. Senta Siller

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With Dr. Senta Siller and Ilyas on the bank of Lower Jhelum Canal near my village Mong {place is called 8 RD}.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Sunday, May 08, 2022, ,

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“Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be" in Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Saturday, May 07, 2022, ,


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