All posts by Tahir

About Tahir

I value Time. I prefer randomness and spontaneity in my life.

THE DOORS ALWAYS OPEN

Emerson once said, “be the opener of doors”.   Other writers believed that there will always be a time when the doors will open, others said if there is no opportunity build a door. The topic I have given to my page has not been the result of too much of deliberation. It just happened as has been always this way. Flashes and waves of my mind always allow stumbling to subjects such as this -A Door Always Opens. Frankly whenever I choose to write I allow too much of randomness to take better of me. I may during the course of creation of this page ramble from one to another event by no single event preferred over the other. Ideas, people, and places bounce in my head like never before. Please turn a blind eye if there is something amiss, I do not expect myself to be perfect every time. I am not a Penman. But I am now in these last years crossing 60 is fun. You are no more worried by this, that, if, who, where and what. Who says you cannot break walls and cross those taboos and have no fear of excommunication. Doors will open, doors always open. Since childhood, my father has been a beacon, a guiding light. A man with whom I remember not conversing too much. His aura, his undertone, and overtone petrified all the siblings. There was something in him which enthralled us, it was like we were ceremoniously preserved, his mercurial and incalculable mood swings was something he could never have full control over. He had two very stark personas, his magnetism was extremely strong. He was a superstar at one time who was well organized polished and a self-assured personality. Whilst at another extreme he was fanatical, extremist with outrageous temperament. We were growing up in a household full of vibrations of life which were coming from a man who had a very austere life with unbending and unyielding character. He did not believe that losing of temper he will lose he believed more in ‘satisfaction’ of his heart no matter how many odds were pitched against him. His unpredictable nature was repeatedly reflected in his military appraisals and he could not come to terms with it. Though he died trying to find out what was against him. He was always apprehensive of conspiracy being weaved against him, even decades after his retirement. He died not ever knowing about those reports, something I read much after his passing away. The details I reserve for some other day and hour.

Right now there is a deluge of ideas, stories, and events, nothing to do with philosophical ruminations.  The memories of one such story which was narrated to me back in 1995 have gradually moved around full circle opening a number of doors if you come to think of that.   I am glad I did not set them free too soon. The time is now to write the full hoop as the door has revolved full circle. For the seclusion of the hero behind the Door, I have chosen to call him Snow Leopard or ‘Ess Ell‘. I saw him first time on the assumption of command after I was my promoted. Ess Ell a Captain then with a countryman appearance with few nicotine stains on his teeth was one of my Staff Officer. His accent heightened his rural background image. The outgoing commander perhaps did not ever try to know more of Ess Ell, instead, with his opinion about him tried to put him in a disadvantageous position to me. I stopped him for doing that. I believed always I should myself be the judge with my professional experience of who is what. Soon I was able to know much more of him than what I would have known through the flawed approach of the gentleman who tried to fill me up with Ess Ell’s abilities. At times we can be a poor judge of men. Senior Leaders should be wary of this very important attribute and not be swayed by personal appearances alone. As we got along we settled down to discuss various non-professional matters, give our opinion and thoughts. I now could see how the young captain viewed things in life which was of his own. I found them interesting and original. On first appearance he looked rustic, a man with no outward force of personality. His spoken English was laden with native Punjabi accent, which betrayed his personality more than was necessary. To be fair to him he could not help himself on that score. That is how Ess Ell was chiseled. A small opening in the door I gave to Ess Ell allowed me to gauge gradually prowess of his mental superiority and excellence. I soon realized that the young man was much more than running an eye over. Now he conversed with ease with me. He spoke more as I began to listen.

Ess Ell came from a needy family. He had his major misfortune at an early age when he lost his father while he was in school. He struggled with his problems which exacerbated with the death of his father.  He applied to different colleges in Islamabad but failed to get an admission. Appeared as a private student. Sometimes worked as a laborer during the day, crushing stones with bare hands, lifting them at different construction sites, and other times on meager pay in different factories of Islamabad Industrial Area. At night he huddled along with other fellow students in over crowded flats earning just barely to make his modest ends meet. He took his examinations as a private student. One day resting on a mat on the floor he glanced through the first page of the paper and went to work. His colleagues and fellow laborers considered him as a misfit in even their circle of work. They found him an odd man out who worked during the day, remained aloof as he studied at night. It was a queer situation, untypical of a laborer, they thought. After he came back Ess Ell picked the newspaper and started reading again. He was thrilled and his animated movements got better of him. People gazed at him in wonderment. laborers with whom he worked called him “Baghi” (Rebel). I remembered James Dean movie A REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE.  Ess Ell was not that. He had a cause and an ambition, a dream which was getting closer to fulfillment. They knew something extraordinary had happened for they had never seen him like that before. Soon he broke the news to those who really would not have understood the true meaning of his achievement. Another Door had flung open for Ess Ell. He had topped his examination not only amongst the batch of private students but the whole lot of appeared students for that examination. At first, he could not fathom the significance of his achievement but initially also did not believe it to be true. He went to buy the Result Supplement to confirm his accomplishment. He got a scholarship which eventually resulted in his successful graduation. His odd jobs did not cease which he continued.

Ess Ell then applied for the commission in the Army. He failed the induction test but persistent as he was he applied again and got selected. A Door had opened wide this time. Self-analytical as he was, he did not let failures to dash his hopes. He had no strings and he never complained about non-fulfillment of his dreams. Ess Ell has risen to a One Star General in the Army. He also did his Masters in Strategic Security Studies with HUMAN SECURITY as a special subject from NDU USA. The University offered him to stay and teach which he politely declined. Ess Ell has now recently completed his Ph.D. on “Human Security in Gilgit Baltistan. Role of Geography in Human Security – Case Study of Gilgit. He has also written a book on HUMAN SECURITY. I am proud to have a copy of his book duly endorsed by him. During his command in Northern Areas, he applied his concept of Human Security successfully.

As I ponder over the yester years I am really lost for words to chronicle his achievements. He humbly calls me as his mentor, but I never thought like that. He is a self-made man his doors were difficult to open but he opened them with his sheer hard-work and perseverance.  When I started writing I thought I will narrate more than this event in my life. I will write again as a sequel to this page at a later time.

“When God Opens a door no one will shut when he shuts no one will open”

Lailah Gifty Akita. (A Ghanian and an Author of Think Great)

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THE PASSAGE

 

Life is in motion; the paths and trails are many

They rise and fall with turns and twists nothing is at rest

In multitudes of comings and goings, toing and froing

I chose many, many I left

Some disappeared in alleyways, some in endless directions

Those I left disappeared into the horizon

Many trodden on those I left, never followed them

What I chose we all have stories to tell about

We wonder sometimes why we do what we do

Is it inspiration or fate or divine decree?

I chose what I did

It was Allah’s will my efforts were minuscule

Tried I did but never I was fretful

Believed in my destiny and there were many divine interventions

Never I was dispirited

What I chose; some I got some I did not

My life has been tested with reversals and downturns

But I never reasoned why?

Sometimes in wonderment, I did believe in inner tranquil

We go into the past to remember

But why should I do that, who can change the past

It will never change

The path I chose was the best

Some will never be there

Never we must be penitent

The Past is past for eternity it will never change

Tahir, you went places you left your mark in so many ways

Future will surely tell why I believed in future

9 July 2017

Islamabad

LIE TO ME

This definitely would not be my original work. So I plead with you for tolerance and leniency for outshining myself with someone else’s abstraction of the subject. I thought as I have enjoyed reading the branch of this particular knowledge I must reproduce relevant and concise excerpts which should be of value.

The period after my retirement from the Army in 2008 and the year following it threw me into the world of TV Serials. The list is numberless. Few though, I have remembered as the theme was absorbing and compelling so say the least. I am talking about a Crime TV series in 2009 which ran for almost two years.  I also liked the series because of Tim Roth’s acting and his investigative skills as he portrayed a body language scientist especially in the field of microexpressions. An interesting quote from one of the episodes

Cal Lightman: You’re a terrible liar.

Dr. Gillian Foster: Normal people think that’s a good thing.

Cal Lightman: Are you saying I’m not normal?

If you have time you may like to watch this (cut and paste link) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_6vDLq64gE – How to spot a liar | Pamela Meyer

The excerpts you will read are from an Article published WHY WE LIE by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee in National Geographic June 2017 issue. As you will observe I have changed the Topic from original WHY WE LIE to LIE to ME attributing it to Tim Roth’s acting skills in the TV Series by the same name.

The history of Humankind is strewn with crafty and seasoned liars. Many are criminals who spin lies and weave deception to gain unjust rewards. Some are politicians who lie to come to power or cling to it. Sometimes people lie to inflate their image. People lie to cover up bad behavior. Lying, as it turns out, is something that most of us are very adept at. We lie with ease, in ways big and small, to strangers, co-workers, friends and loved ones. Our capacity for dishonesty is as fundamental to us as our need to trust others, which ironically makes us terrible at detecting lies. Being deceitful is woven into our very fabric, so much so that it would be truthful to say that to human is to lie.  The researchers have found out that the subjects lied on average one or two times a day. Most of these untruths were innocuous, intended to hide one’s inadequacies or to protect the feelings of others. Some lies were excuses – one subject blamed the failure to take out the garbage on not knowing where it needed to go. That human being should universally possess a talent for deceiving one another shouldn’t surprise us. The researchers have found out that liars had at least 20% more neural fibers by volume in their prefrontal cortices, suggesting that habitual liars have greater connectivity within their brains. It’s possible this predisposes them to lie because they can think up lies more readily than others, or it might be the researchers have shown that we are especially prone to accepting lies that affirm our world view. When leaders lie, debunking them does not demolish their power, because people assess the evidence presented to them through a framework of preexisting beliefs and prejudices. George Lakoff of Berkely writes, ‘if a fact fact comes in that doesn’t fit into your frame, you’ll either not notice it, or ignore it, or be puzzled by it – or attack it if it’s threatening.

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

GIFT OF FATE

To be a star you must shine your own light, follow your own path and don’t worry about the darkness for that is when the stars shine brightest

From time to time in our lives comes along a time when things happen unexpectedly. Events which completely change not only our life but the lives of  another family, another person for rest of their life. I though know why I was hand picked for things which were about to happen on that fateful day. I am a strong believer in twist and turns of fate. They reveal their purpose in bits and pieces and its full extent can only reveal itself when time passes and you begin to realize the master plan of the Almighty, the controller of all worlds. We try to do right things, we believe we know what we should have done in the past, we believe we have the twenty-twenty vision but we do not know what we should do in future. Still, we misjudge and miscalculate to control our lives and then something tragic happens. The stark reality is uncloaked. We lament on our fate and misfortune. Time takes control. Our helplessness to seize the game plan is uncovered. Only if we believe and perceive, we come to know and what we do and act is, in my opinion, is ordained to complete the cycle of events. They say hindsight is of little value in the decision-making process. I do not agree with the thought. The intent guides.

It was April 2014, at about 1630 hours my son drove her mother to home after shopping for groceries in Islamabad. When they arrived on the road towards the airport about 800 meters ahead of the newly built check post as the road takes a bend a young boy little more than 5 years old, appeared running out of nowhere from the left side. He must have missed at least two or three cars before he hit our car from the left side and later it was known that he had died. Some cars sped past and did not stop, those behind stopped. A young man came running to my wife and said that she should leave the site immediately lest the crowd set fire to the car.  Not far from there, is another traffic post who were informed about the accident. My wife by then had called me and told me what had happened, words barely came out of her mouth as she spoke on phone. She is very weak in controlling herself and facing tragedies. In 15 minutes or so I reached the place. My wife had been extremely nervous and did not want police to take away my son who had already taken his ID card. The traffic warden took me to a side and asked if I had a driver whose ID Card could be exchanged instead with that of my son. I offered my own card instead and asked my son and wife to go home and let me face the consequences instead. Soon the Police from Chaklala Police Station came and we drove to the station with the inspector who sat beside me as I drove the car which had met the accident. He did not speak the whole way. This was the first time in my life I was in a Police Station for a different reason, for something I had not done but the police did not know. They carried on with their work. I was offered a chair in the backyard of the station and a cup of tea was offered. The police said that a FIR had been lodged against an unknown person, no name was mentioned. The family of the boy and other neighbors were distressed and agitated. A young boy had lost his life I could completely envision what was going through the child’s mother and father and three other siblings. We had also lost a son. Later I found out that Jamshed Khan was a native of KPK settled in Rawalpindi for many years now. A proud man with a strong demeanor who held himself very well in this tragic hour.  He was an extremely poor man who earned his living through daily wages as a day laborer at building worksites. His work was not guaranteed. After three days when infuriation and frustration had subsided I met Jamshed in an office with Jamshed’s friends and relatives who had traveled for condolence, more so with the man who was responsible for the death of his son. I told them who I was. All of them were calm, some arms folded stood gazing at me and others seated. A couple of elders spoke, Jamshed was not one of them. He must have uttered few sentences only. I was completely heartbroken to see Jamshed in his dirty and tattered clothes. He was completely calm and only said I should not have left the scene of the accident. I felt very small, insignificant, embarrassed and could not tell them especially Jamshed that I was not the one in the car. Till today he does not know. He should continue to believe it was me on that fateful day when his son died. I think this arrangement I should take to the grave. It is better this way. It affects no one but me and me alone. The entire purpose of the whole incident will loose its value. I should continue to hold this weight inside me. I will do that, I have no doubt whatsoever as I have not kept no other option to exercise. When all had said what they wanted and some few interjections. I agreed with everything they said.  I told them, that I am also a father who has lost a son. I knew what the family was going through. I very submissively and with moderation said less. Jamshed’s other three kids attentively watched me and were absorbed in their own thoughts. They looked wiped out as the man who sat before them was to be blamed for departure of their brother from this life. A few days later I was again put on the spot by their mother who was devastated and stunned as she shed tears in grief. I apologized with all who were present on this enormous tragedy which resulted. The next day I requested Jamshed I would like to visit his wife at his home which was not far away. I also told him that Omair his eldest son would remain my responsibility for education as long as he continued his studies. I offered him the best schooling in an Army Public School. I somehow failed to convince him to take my offer. He did not accept it but thanked for a monthly stipend for his son’s education. Omair studies in Class 9 now. His elder sister is taking her matric examinations.

The next day I walked through a very narrow alley and as I emerged out of it Jamshed showed me his son’s grave which was freshly covered with flowers, not more than 25-30 meters from where he lived in a two very small somber looking abode. He told me he built it with his own hands with pieces of brick. I climbed a very steep and narrow stairs top of which a small space, with pieces of cloth, haphazardly sewed covering the top to protect from the sunlight and heat. There were two rooms, I sat on a charpoy. Jamshed’s wife soon came in and sat on the floor and started crying. I also sat down and consoled her that it was the will of Allah and nothing could be done. His time was up. It is extremely difficult to tell a mother that. She talked about him as she mumbled with her tears flowing. I prayed for the departed soul. Later I offered money to Jamshed all I had in the bank. He would not take. I explained it was not a compensation for his son. It was the only thing right now to atone. As I came out of the room I took permission to see the kitchen, bathroom, and toilet. Very small rooms. I thought I will bring them to some shape. All was done with the help of a very dear friend Sohail. He also offered to plaster the whole house from inside. The angle of the stairs was adjusted and widened. The only thing Jamshed asked was to bore a water hole as he had to fetch water from afar. We did that for him as well. The water source developed now serves  4-5 houses in his narrow street.

A year and a half after the accident, one day Jamshed’s wife called me. She first asked me to vow that I would not discuss the matter with Jamshed, her husband. I promised what she wanted. She asked me only one question, ‘did Jamshed asked for the money I had paid to him’. I told her ‘ Jamshed is poor but he is a man who has pride and never once asked for financial help”. I inquired why she was asking. She completely took me by surprise when she said she still has the money as it was my ‘Amanat’ and had not been spent. She confessed despite for days the kids slept without food, she did not touch that money. I explained to her that was for them to spend in any way they wanted to spend. The women had set clear boundaries and rules for herself. I was exceedingly impressed by her character.

I visit Jamshed after every month or two to inquire of his welfare. He continues to do odd daily jobs. One day we sat and chatted. I told him about the entire episode in hindsight. I told him this accident happened to bring us together for so many reasons. This accident could have happened with anyone, anything, a tractor trolley, a motor cab, a van but instead, it was my car. A person who was to be aligned with him to do things which he did not imagine would happen. We both had lost a child. We both understood each other’s pain but we never talked about it. I still have plans to find for him a permanent source of income.

When we revisit our life we see the path it has taken. How one incident, how one decision we had taken in our life has led us to charter a course to another place, to another person. How one is intertwined with another. Good and bad things will happen which will open a door to take us to another directly or indirectly. No matter what it will place you at a point where we all stand in our respective lives. This is the position which allows you the introspection and soul-searching. I believe I am placed in Jamshed’s life. Allah took away his son and brought me to him. This unquestionably and beyond doubt a GIFT OF FATE for me and me alone. I have though told my sons not to disconnect themselves with Jamshed and his family after me.

” Every one lives in his own time” Mushtaq Ahmad Yousafi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DEDICATED TO ALL THE MOTHERS

A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet said: Your mother. The man said, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man further asked, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man asked again, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your father. (Bukhari, Muslim).

I cannot get to the bottom of all the pain a mother goes through after having carried her child for nine months in her womb and bring a new life into this world for the first time in her life – and then after having raised her child suddenly lose the one she nurtured all her life. I cannot fathom the pain and anguish inside her. Why is this the way of nature is beyond my understanding except this is how the creator wanted to be. That is another discussion for another time. How far the pain goes and how deep it travels inside her I cannot comprehend. I pray to the Almighty to give them strength to bear this pain. I know that life is not a spectator sport, win or lose or draw, the game is in progress, whether we want it to be or not. Whether we play it or not. The beauty of life is that anything is possible. Sometimes I wonder, we have never been able to know our children; what they want and what they can do. I really do not know why and when we fail. I have always maintained and conversed about it that Present today is past-present is always past. It hurts. Can it harm you? I do not know but memories do!

On 12 November 2007 at 2135 hours ( Liberia Standard Time) I wrote this while I meditated on the subject. The farther I go, the nearer I come. The nearer I am further it seems. Two ends of the span and scale are far apart, never destined to meet; yet the feelings transcend into a far distant and the space in between is meaningless and far is near. Time freezes, but the memories seem distant. Too many objects in mind. Cannot focus on one, yet everything seems to be in focus, everything interpretable. Words are in scarce, I know what I say, yet they become meaningless when I try to bring them all together – look better apart. I like the meaning in this way. They are more abstract than real. Those who understand must see how I see. Let them be in my mind one day someone understands the true meaning of what I am. It is a swirling of thoughts which are constantly in motion, a state of being in blue space, with endless boundaries. The more I try to reach, the farther it moves away. Must remain content till I can – must wait for the right moment.

I finish with something I wrote in my journal – Most wounds run deeper than you can imagine, the only thing is that you cannot see them.

A NEW SIDE OF MY YEARS IN UNIFORM

“Description is what makes the reader a sensory participant in the story. Good description is a learned skill,one of the prime reasons you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how-to, you see; it’s a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.”
― Stephen King

Everyone was loyal honest and hardworking, this is what I remember when I was a young officer and was required to write confidential reports, of my under command. During the same period when I had the opportunity to read through reports of other officers who were reporting officers I found how conventionalised they were too. The space provided for the pen picture was so small one could only write 6 to 7 lines. I felt otherwise. This was enough writing space if one knew what exactly to write. However, I found there were very few officers who had the ability to paint a word picture about the work and ability of the person reported up. Everyone then who were reported upon was professionally sound. This I later discovered that if such reassurance of the abilities were not reflected there was a good probability it would mar the individual’s career both in a long and short term. By nature, my experience is that we are unfavorably inclined about knowing or reading our negative reports.

Gradually as I grew in years in uniform I started to understand and practice the art of understanding and then transforming my thoughts and convictions about the impression I absorbed of people on whom I was required to write. This was not the only thing I did. I read biographies and autobiographies and paid attention how different people described the subject they chose. I noted and absorbed them. Steadily to understand the art of recounting and narration became an area of my interest. To know a person no matter how long I knew him, how closely he interacted with me became a habit with me of unraveling him or her through my observation winding into words. I started with rough notes to practice myself to describe as detailed as possible randomly in all aspects of personality. How he spoke, what he spoke, what kind of person he reflected and revealed to be irrespective of the period of time he was exposed to me; like a surgeon with knife  who would operate and be able to stitch him back, not really be affected or biased of what was thought of him as a friend, colleague, co-worker, leader, part of team or not. The purpose obviously not to be carried away by my assessment. We are after all humans and not perfect. In an intimate social interaction and meeting of less than an hour I started writing a pen picture – no matter if he was actually what I was describing him to be. It was not for anyone’s consumption but mine and mine alone only.

To write about someone also reflects on your own character, in an official capacity especially. This is what I saw when I started writing and reading reports. I saw more of people who wrote rather than those who were reported upon. In my military career especially I observed that those who wrote good reports and chiseled perfectly their choice of words were recognized but generally not very popular or liked because of their clarity of thought and understanding among all shades of officers under command. One thing is however absolutely clear when years pass and history written it is they who stood out and mentioned. Their reasoning and study became benchmarks of research. Now as years have passed and overgrowth is also thing of the past, level-headedness at times also becomes unsteady I enjoy observing faces of people. It is such a treat and suddenly you come across people with calm exterior yet they display so much in their eyes and expressions. Pain, joy, excitement, expectations and eagerness, helplessness all are there for me to form my batting line up to play with.

FROM SON TO HIS FATHER ON SUPERSESSION

 

I asked someone if you have heard of Reinhold Messner?

Sie mir gesagt, ja he has great fame

I said my father knows him ever since he climbed K2 in 1979

I always watch all great things come to an end

But will remember you always from greatness of a General

I tried to look if there is goodness in honesty

Example stood steadily in General dealing with generality of every major life doings

I said what if there was only a little more time?

There has always been time but now is only meant not in this way

But there is no news like today

I said, so is news of tomorrow

And what of possibilities?There was no need to become beyond responsibility of such a great General

I said life is difficult when dealt not in words

But still, always the word saying to have felt them

I have to look everywhere for the best of me

Because it is hard to find excellence as my Father’s

If it is not for the achievement readily climbed

Then finishing one like a successful Major General

Wisdom is the light of all truth but it takes no flame from it because wise in itself is the enkindled truth!

INTO DARKNESS AND LIGHT

“There are some hundred billion galaxies, each with, on the average, a hundred billion stars.”
― Carl Sagan

Written on 20 May 2011.

Space and its vastness have always fascinated me. There is light but as you go deep there is darkness, yet there is light. How can one measure, despite the measure in thousands of light years? It actually seems irrelevant. The smallest in the sky are usually the biggest. Why then size matters? We only can compare what we see and beyond lies the truth – or again darkness. The far ends of known stars and suns are thousands of light years apart. But how can boundaries be defined in nothingness? There are no corners; there are no squares or circles. There are no means to draw parallels expect what lies within hangings, being flung into each other and then burst and disintegrate. I saw Cosmos many years ago, I now read Cosmos Cosmos by Carl Sagan and once again write how I feel again.

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it, we go nowhere.”
― Carl Sagan

THE BACK OF BEYOND

 

“A bird without wings and a man without art are both condemned to wander in low places; they can never soar up to those unrivalled heights.”
Mehmet Murat ildan

For the past few days, I have indulged myself in watching a diverse range of documentaries – each different from the other. History – Adventure – Cooking – Religion – Philosophy and last but not the least what has always fascinated me has been the universe. The mere fact that it is endless, it cannot be measured ever either in Time or Distance motivates me. At least I will never be blamed ever that I could not finish what I started. Yesterday I watched as I downloaded “Journey to the Edge of Universe”. The narrator said that he will jump in time to graphically explain the vast expanse of the universe. It is a marvel of nature at its best. Within this one and half hour and thirty-three seconds of this documentary,  I was lost myself. I realize the nothingness of us the mortal beings. It changes how you begin to see life from not 3D but 4D perspective. If you ask me frankly what is 4D – I don’t know – I will tell you though in my own way. I have always loved nature. I have not been a very religious person, but the unshakeable ility of my belief in the oneness of ALLAH the creator is limitless. The strength of that belief has been in my mind as long as I remember. I have always admired the Sun and the Moon, the mountains, the weather extremes, the power of the sea and the faces of so many people, not one identical to another. Yesterday I also while I viewed the documentary on ‘Nature of Sex’ I was lost again in the artistry and marvel of nature. I am glad to have been born in an age and lived in “Two Centuries”. The transformation of knowledge of something which has always existed for millions of years and being revealed now is profoundly mind boggling. I cannot know how fast future will come; what form it will take only time will tell and only nature will know. How much it will allow itself to be revealed no one knows. With all this happening around me, I am also thinking why aren’t we happy, why there is so much of chaos, so less contentment, disease, hunger and greed for more and more. I am approaching my last segment of life- Alhamdullilah and am ever grateful to Almighty for everything he has bestowed. What I strive now is not for me but for my family and others I feel close to. I have been pondering to now decide to make best of my time left in this life. Another seven and a half thousand days given to me would be a pleasure of living that long. Actually, to be very frank I have never thought of the end. My focus which I am gradually beginning to adjust and fine tune are to do and achieve what makes me happy. I have not though shared this feeling with anyone till now. I must allow it to unfold itself gradually. My urge to create new things around my circle of self in any form and dimension has grown momentarily. I think I am beginning to liberate myself. I have become conscious now that I could have done much more. My strength which I have now discovered to explore new things is fulfilling. Exploration for me is taking a novel form of a journey. I must do something all the time to feel gratified and happy.  Feelings of sensitivity to outside elements and mostly people their behavior is a growing experience. At some point, it is also either synchronizing and intersecting with what I wanted. 

Writing has always made me happy. It is original and like my paintings though I cannot frame but it gets the unique viewership on my blog. I can demonstrate what I am; I can say what I have to without qualms; I can talk to myself and to others without them listening what I am trying to say. This is the beauty of journal writing. 

In the serenity of my study, I am roped and chained with my perennial and ceaseless urge to watch films. I enjoy it and have done so as long as my memory serves without waning a bit. It attaches me to people and characters I can relate to. It allows me to reach the zenith of my emotions. It helps me to enter into the characters I shape within myself.

It is 0210 hours in the morning of 25th. It is Christmas but for me importantly two things will happen when I wake up after a few hours. It is Birthday of my most beloved Quaid Muhammad Ali Jinnah the founder of Pakistan. Another thing which will happen tomorrow will be that I will release my birds in a big aviary I have made for them. I will open the cages and I am so excited to see which bird will get out first. The Bird Club will have a fountain and a mini jungle to see LIBERTY from small cages. A new Chapter is opening in my surrounding. 

EYE TOWARDS THE SKY

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again.

Once again I am in a mood to write. Once again I must clear my clouded thoughts. There is too much to write and say. Reading an article sent to me by a friend Trekking : Eye in the Sky, a story of a Czech photographer Petr Jan Juracka who traveled to Pakistan to break the world record in altitude photography. I wonder what drives a person to do what he does. At a point of time in his life, he jumps into the world of records. Why records are so important. The purpose is still not clear to me. Having said that I pay tribute to such people who bring with technology the wonder of nature in our living rooms. But I begin to think not what I must do more but to do once again what I have done before. Doing things again brings altogether a new dimension of what I have seen and done. The images which have been chiseled in my mind needs to be seen now with a pristine and unmarked eye. I think when you are moving to achieve an entirely different end with a renewed impetus to a purpose and passing through same footsteps the footprints though same but the whole abstraction of the purpose is redefined. I need not chose now what I must do. The finer details are not important but finding your limits of what can be done now against what was done 39 years ago is very interesting thought. It does bring back the intensity and the vigor but I want to challenge not what I did then but how I should do it now. Exploring nature was not one of my priorities then as I thought I was doing. Time has and will always define and redefine your clarity of purpose of what and how it has to be done. Inside me, I find myself as I am standing on a ledge. I am preparing myself to move ahead. I know I will not fall. I am absolutely sure. I must have a clearer vision of not what I will see but how I should see. It was a bright sunny afternoon way back in 1984 as I trudged along the Biafo Glacier on its left edge, the NE side to be more precise. Having crossed over the ever changing surface of the glacier with the members of Polish Latok 3 expedition who were straddled all along the glacier unperturbed but still moving with that unexpected thought in their minds as to how they would tackle the mountain they had never seen before. The only point of reference they had was an old slightly tattered corner of a picture which had turned yellow. None spoke English except one. So there was not much of excitement which could be exchanged. The weather was all they seemed to be concerned about. Rightly so as they always looked to those dark clouds rolling up and down the glacier but never completely lifting from the mountains. There were few patches of blue sky enough to allow the sunlight splash along the edges of the glacier. I reached the other side and was greeted with few patches of green grass. Was tired and decided to lay down. The still of the mountains except for occasional slides up on the slopes disturbing the supreme hush and tranquility. I removed my bag pack, moved it under my head and lay down. That moment was a moment of truth for me. I have never been able to cast away those images which since then have been etched in my mind. Hundreds of thoughts flew past and I remember none except the clear patch of blue sky. One can never describe the color of the blue. Something pure I think cannot be said or written in words. Today I once again have started to think like that. I am there yet I am not. I must, therefore, do something about it. I must change the way I am going there. I do not want it to be – The Eye in The  Sky. I want to be the eye towards the sky. I must see once again hundreds of Ibex freely roaming up high up on the dark craggy features of the Karakoram range. It made me though sad when I saw some carcass of dead Ibex. I wondered when a man would respect nature and let these beautiful animals roam free. Or maybe they were. It may have been a snow leopard which had made the kill. There then does come a thought that nature must keep its balance. We need not be the one to disturb it. The mountains we intended to march to were numbered  1, 2 and 3. Though these numbers are designed to set in motion so many activities and happenings in our lives yet we cannot see the exact number if there are no points of reference. They have no value or meaning in the wilderness. The elements must allow you to determine how you must judge these numbers. They define your future course of action, they must choose you without you knowing about it. I am once again beginning to determine my own numbers. The numbers I must fix. The time month the weather the season and the people I want to be in my adventure of discovery of another kind. I have yet to define the purpose. It is not as if I do not see that but it must link itself with TIME. You now see this is how it happens. Whenever I think of TIME I am clearer in what I need to do. I must now jump ahead of TIME and state that the skies will always be blue, the clouds will come and go. The rains and snow will fall. The glacier will melt silently. I must witness all that all over again. I must now plan for next year. When the fruit trees of village Askole blossom again. Must spend a night or two there and listen all over again the never-ending folk tales of the mountains where I once was an interpreter to an old very old story teller.