Light Within

Making sense of Social Media

Net results

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Computer and the Internet are fast becoming starting points for every work and lumber rooms for what people achieve with them. Any one can foresee that they are modern ways into the future. But the users are sometime intimidated by the sophisticated gadgets and openness of the Internet, hence they are not using them optimally.

It is the same all over the world when it comes to the scare of using computers and the Internet. BBC on the eve of UK National Computing Day reported Computeractive magazine survey and a research study by the Oxford Internet Institute both implying that users are scared of using computers and working on the Internet. Another recent Australian study also found that many people are afraid of their own computers.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Saturday, February 27, 2021, ,

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. Where personal blog create social harmony, well knit community and peace, political blogs add to the positive image we need 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.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Friday, February 26, 2021, ,

Khanewal Junction

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Located near old Multan, Khanewal is comparatively a recently founded town. Its only claim to fame is that it is an important destination on the map of Pakistan Railways. Busy railway junction, railway workshop, pre stressed concrete sleeper factory and huge shunting yards have developed a sort of railway culture in this agricultural market town. National highway also passes the town but people mostly uses railways for travelling and transportation.

This area was a vast grazing land before the excavation of Lower Bari Doab Canal. As per the local lore, the grass from this land used to go as far as Burma during the Second World War.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, February 24, 2021, ,

Corporate Blogging

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What I have learnt about corporate blogging is this: Online consumers in 2020 are not impressed simply by a professional looking website or a blog bash. A typical online shopper would do hours of research before making a purchase. Informed consumers want to read about what they are interested in, ask questions, get advice and more. None of this is possible on a simple website. A blog can do all of this.

A blog helps enormously in getting into the top search engine results. Why? Because blogs by their very nature are updated frequently, and search engines prefer fresh content. Search engines prefer sites which have a lot of incoming links. Blogs can get many more of these incoming links than regular websites because people are more likely to link to information (blogs) than commerce (website). Blogs as opposed to websites have a large and growing content. A clearly visible link from the blog to the main website is very effective form of advertising.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, February 23, 2021, ,

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 @ Monday, February 22, 2021, ,

Cyber Greetings

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On Cyber Greetings, 'Ka writes this, "Since not many people do that anymore, somehow those kinda cards/gifts that I cherish the most... I kept them very nicely," hence I am pulling this post up here.
 
I miss letters and greeting cards. A letter delivered by a postman, with its lines of handwriting, loops and angles that give a reflection of personality and, perhaps, secrets tucked inside the letters. Waiting for the postman to find a letter is old fashioned but many cherish still. Then opening letters, reading, and reading them again. There is a romance in writing and receiving letters that seems almost entirely lost to people particularly those who inhabit the cyberspace in this information era.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Saturday, February 20, 2021, ,

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 @ Friday, February 19, 2021, ,

Surviving Gates of Multan

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One of the oldest living cities in the world, Multan is a significant example of old Islamic urbanization. While many historic Islamic cities have lost much of their original character during the twentieth century, Multan has survived remarkably intact, retaining the classic form of the medieval city encircled by its rampart and gateways. It is the entire urban fabric of the place that is historic.

Inside the walled portion -- archetypal form of old town -- one can still see beautiful bay windows with intricately moulded 'jharokas' in narrow streets or delicate brick work with geometric patterns and tile friezes on the facades of havelis. Meanwhile, modern Multan has expanded in all directions covering over 28 square kilometres of area. And with modernism have come related difficulties. "Problems like overflowing sewerage and a broken down water supply system, encroachments and pollution are taken as hazards of urbanization or attributed to lack of funds," says a resident of Gulgast colony.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, February 17, 2021, ,

Sailboat in sea without wind

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, February 16, 2021, ,

The village boy

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There are lessons in the first landscapes of every one's life. Mine was a vista of green paddy fields, smoking with Salt Range mist, against a setting of ribbon of River Jhelum which from distance looked like a shore of another land altogether. The rough, rugged hill range appeared uninviting against a sky withering with the morning, interrupted by the dawn's red and blue brush strokes. My first learning in life was also in the village.

In villages, people still live without roads or other civic amenities of this modern age. No telephone or the Internet (now smartphone works in my village), even the electricity is the recent phenomenon; some are still without it. You see one village and you have seen all. This was the setting where I spent first twenty year of my life savoring the freedom of adulthood. It is where I decided what (and how) I wanted to do with life. It is where my brothers and friends live. It is where I return whenever my active (and now urban) life allows me to. It is where I want to settle and spend my future.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, February 15, 2021, ,

How to Pray for Parents - Sura Bani Israel Ayat 23-24

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Translation Sura Bani Israel Ayat 23-24: And lower unto them the wing of submission through mercy, and say: My Lord! Have mercy on them both as they did care for me when I was little.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, February 15, 2021, ,

If wishes were horses

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Bola Rehre Wala



Setting eyes on Maqbool and his mule cart for the first time, one could 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.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Saturday, February 13, 2021, ,

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 @ Friday, February 12, 2021, ,

Chakwal: Capital of Salt Range and Potohar Plateau

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Discovery of fossils, tools, coins, and remains of ancient archaeological sites give enough historic evidence about Soan civilization and its continuity in Salt Range and Potohar Plateau. The people, colourful landscape, lakes, hill ranges, flora and fauna are sufficient reasons to explore the land that is largely off the beaten track and one does not see many backpackers in the area.


Some of the world history has started from this region. The first residents of the land we now call home were Stone Age people in the Potwar Plateau. They were followed by the more urbane Indus Valley (or Harappan) civilisation which flourished between the twenty-third to eighteenth centuries BC. Some of the earliest relics of Stone Age in the world have been found in the Potohar region, with a probable antiquity of about 500,000 years. The crude stone implements recovered from the terraces of the Soan carry the account of human grind and endeavours in this part of the world to the inter-glacial period. The Stone Age men produced their equipment in a sufficiently homogenous way to justify their grouping in terms of a culture called the Soan Culture. Around 3000 BC, small village communities developed in the Potohar area and began to take the first hesitant steps towards the formation of society.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Thursday, February 11, 2021, ,

Ears to ground

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One evening a few months ago, Ghulam Ali Bloch, a retired bureaucrat turned progressive farmer, who has his roots in remote village Jalla Balla in the suburbs of Sargodha, was finishing up a contract negotiation for buying a piece of land for opening an Ostrich Farm when he realised that a crucial piece of information required to close the deal is missing. He needed to know who had the right to haqq-e shufah (pre-emption). He could only obtain the facts from the central registry of the revenue department.

In order to verify the legal status of a property, including business homes and personal estates, one has to go to the patwari, garedawar, tehsildar and it entails a lengthy and laborious procedure. Historically, getting the required information takes a very long time. But thanks to an old man Mir Thana Khan, a minstrel in the village Jalla Balla, the information was available in his private but very authentic record.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, February 10, 2021, ,

Tu Aur Tu

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Satan comes to this world in the guise of a human and goes around places. Fellow human beings – the best of all creations - do not let him have piece anywhere in this world.

Satan is so feed up of the deteriorating conditions in the world that he prays, "Oh God, I am unable to live anymore. Let me die”

This is the central idea of Abbas Khan’s new novel Tu Aur Tu. My recommendation: Buy this book. It is all about what we see in the society today.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, February 09, 2021, ,

Salt Range

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The Salt Range derives its name from extensive deposits of rock salt. It stands as remnant of forts with bastions and temples. Exceptionally, this region maintains an almost continuous record of history that can define the evolution of society. Forts and temples surviving along the range are a reminder of how untouched many of the ancient remnants are. Alexander from Macedon came to this range twice: one from Taxila and later once his forces refused to go any further from the banks of the River Beas. From here he marched towards the Arabian Sea on his way to Babylon. And, now an NGO is constructing the monument of Alexander near Jalalpur town in the foot of the salt range in district Jhelum.

For those who take their first chance to the area, the landscape all along the Salt Range is rock-strewn, lacking in softness and loveliness. In many parts, it becomes barren and uninviting. But, in truth the range is dotted with historical wonders, romantic legends, archaeological remains, and varying geological formations. Surroundings are very quiet. Urial is also found in the range though facing extinction. A journey along the range is exiting as well as informative.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, February 08, 2021, ,

Deals in dinning

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Gowalmandi Food and Heritage Street has become an enriching experience in Lahore. It is a wonder what a few million rupees spent on the renovation of built heritage with balconies and angular projections lining the street some years ago have done to the ambience of the street. Lahorites have already (and justifiably) stated comparing it with lanes in Rome, Paris and Athens. More so during Jashn-e-Baharan.

Sizzling spicy foods on display in Gowalmandi reminds of what Vasco de Gama shouted after setting his foot on South Asian soils on the dawn of May 21, 1498, "For Christ and spices!" No data for consumption of spices in Gowalmandi Food Street are available but a proprietor of one of the biggest shops in the street told, "On the average I sell about 120 Kilograms mutton and over 40 kilograms of chicken every day. People prefer to eat mutton karahi and chicken barbecued. A milk shop proprietor said, "My daily milk consumption - in the form of chilled milk, yogurt, Kheer, khoya, lassi -- is over 2000 kilograms."
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Saturday, February 06, 2021, ,

Khwaja Ghulam Farid to Nawab Sadiq of Bahawalpur

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Saturday, February 06, 2021, ,

Add signature to blog post

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You might want to add a custom automatic signature below each of your blog posts. This would be more useful if you are running a Team Blog with multiple authors. You can use unique signatures for each author. The same can be done on a single author blog also, like my signature in this post.

Create a signature online using My Live Signature

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Friday, February 05, 2021, ,

Setup Urdu Hotspot

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Thursday, February 04, 2021, ,

Mandi Bahauddin

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Originally Mandi Bahauddin was a village called as Chak number 51. It started expanding after the completion of Rasul Hydroelectric Power Station on Upper Jhelum Canal in 1901. Today, Mandi Bahauddin is an over crowded market town famous for its agricultural markets (Grain Market, Vegetable Market and Livestock Market) and local industry of making colourful bed legs.

The name Mandi Bahauddin originates from two sources: Mandi (market) was prefixed because it was a flourishing grain market and Bahauddin was borrowed from nearby old village Pindi Bahauddin, which has now become part of the town. After the partition, thousands of refugees from India rehabilitated on the evacuee property of Sikh and Hindu landlords. Lately, after the construction of Rasul Barrage, people from the belt along southern edge of Salt Range up to Pind Dadan Khan and other areas across the River Jhelum came settling in the town. Due to migrations and increase in business activities, the town has expanded in all directions. The result is that more than half of the population is living outside municipal limits without any civic amenities. More unplanned localities and kachi abadies are coming up everyday. The tendency to move from rural areas to urban centres is on the increase.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, February 03, 2021, ,

Light Within

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This is one of the oldest Light Within banners that was used on this blog in 2004

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, February 03, 2021, ,

Gentleman Cadet Number 14811 from Khalid – 4

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Good man Jalal Hameed Bahtti is documenting the biographical history of Khalid 4 (55 PMA Long Course platoon). Those who don’t know, Jalal is also running a website for the course where he has been putting up everything regarding the course. Every member of the 55 PMA family (and their children) are there on that site.


Other day, Jalal sent the script of Khalid -4 for Lahore based Khalid 4 members to see and add if there was anything missing. Nouman, Khalid Javed, Tasawwar, Younus and I got together and the whole script was read. And let me confess, it was reliving the past. There was nothing missing. Jalal has done a wonderful job. Very well done! But why you couldn’t find anything to write about me. may be there wasn't any thing.

And we all know Nuaman moderates very well (no one else speaks when he is there. He has so much (interesting) to tell.

I can hear, "Gentleman Cadet Shirazi sahib, number 14811 from Khalid – 4 standing in the last row, mat hillen (don’t move)."

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, February 02, 2021, ,

Din Mein Charagh

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Books have been bringing changes in human relationships and making difference in the lives of people. The power of worlds has caused people to loose their existence or to better them. Abbas Khan spends lot of time in reading. He reads philosophy to understand how varying points of view about existence are presented and psychology to know how philosophers come up with those points of view, Greek mythology to learn about their strong love of nature and Roman history to explore what they gave to the world.

For this he has explored annals of history, philosophies, biographies, autobiographies, and literature spread over centuries. He has mediated upon what he finds life building and has put them up in his eleventh book entitled Din Main Charagh for readers to benefit. His other published work includes three novels and seven short story books: Zakham Gawah Hain, Tu Aur Tu and Mein Aur Umrao Jan Ada (novels), Dharti Binam Akash, Tensikh-e-Insan, Qalam, Kursi Aur Wardi, U’s Adalat Men, Jism Ka Johar (short story books) and Reza Reza Keenat and Pal Pal (afsancha -- shortest story books).
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, February 02, 2021, ,

How I write and self publish

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Every body has a book in his mind, as they say. But, everybody trying to write one is a different thing, and self-publishing one is yet another. There are lots of considerations that induce people into writing about various things: people, events, ideas, issues, passions, observation, noble causes, problems and more. Some of these are pricked by their strong sense of right and wrong to raise their voice for or against a cause of their own or of their community's interest, while some others do it to cover up some disrepute and or misdemeanors. There are those who do it for amusement. And the ones for whom writing is a career. Of the many other classifications, there is a class of writers and it is a very well populated fraternity that takes its writings as a means to achieve an end. The end, of course, varies from person to person, but the mercenary passion with which the community members market (yes, market) themselves remains constant.

As a sub category of this specie there are among them the innocent writers who keep visiting publishing houses simply in a hope that some day someone will be convinced about the great idea presented by them and will be willing to invest on the publication of their work. The writer whom I am going to profile here is a commoner. That seems to be his first problem. When the first time he took the draft of his book to a well-reputed publishing house, the owner of a publishing house enlightened him to go do something else instead of writing. My writer friend was surprised with how the owner had given his opinion even without setting an eye on the draft of his life long labour of love.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, February 01, 2021, ,


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