Category Archives: TAHIR

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.

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.

MY DAUGHTER

A daughter is beauty at its finest.

Heart of an angel, soul so pure, and sweet.
Daughters are one of God’s most precious gifts that he has bestowed upon the world.
Angels in Heaven do not compare to thine beauty, and grace my ever so beautiful, and lovely daughter.
Seeing you at birth brought more joy to me
than all the money in the world could ever do.
You are morning, bright, and shining,
you are noon, you reside at the highest point in my heart,
you are the dew kissed night.
You are my daughter, heart, and soul.

mariam-for-blog

It is 0235 hrs past midnight the 6th of Nov 2016 and not a wink of sleep. Finished watching Season 12 Episode 5 of CRIMINAL MINDs. I am watching this TV Series since 2005. I have never missed an episode being one of my favorite Season Series; it has crime stories based on the detectives who solve complex and complicated crimes with interesting twist and turns of the plot. Each episode is weaved and spun around characters based on their behaviour pattern. The detectives are part of BAU – Behaviour Analysis Unit of the FBI. The most interesting part of all the episodes is the narration of a quote in the beginning and mostly at the end of each episode. Today’s quote from the episode, which I finished, watching, was of Euripides- “To a father growing old nothing is dearer than a daughter”. The quote has a power of recall. It has beamed me to fields of the vastness of my past occurrences. I cannot help but be filled with intense sentiments, tenderness, and love. The quote of Euripides, which dates back to 408 BC, still holds good today. Euripides writings were also a subject of Moody’s passion of reading books of famous philosophers. As I clicked for more quotes I stumbled upon all the quotes of Criminal Minds since it’s screening. I picked up few for my Facebook status and posted them. As browsing continued I pulled out the exact quote of Euripides “ –To a father waxing old Nothing is dearer than a daughter; sons have spirits of a higher pitch, but less inclined to sweet endearing fondness”. Since millennia this unbreakable bond has existed between father and a daughter. I cannot even comprehend how parents without daughters grow as one, not without children but without daughters. My daughter is a blessing who loves, caring and sister to three brothers of whom one has left this world. I feel the pain. Mariam has had three names since she was born. We started with Nadia. That we were told is not a good name as it meant the one who calls. We changed her name when she was only a year old. The second name is Rabiya. I say ‘is’ because I still call her by that name. I like the name. The third and present name she chose herself– Mariam. This name is documented. I have never been able to call her Mariam, only her colleagues and friends call her that. Adnan my dear friend of 17 years always thought that I had two daughters till late, Rabiya and Mariam.

Rabiya has had a very tough life and as a father, it has been very hard and strenuous for me too. At times I see her and feel out of sorts and blue. Sometimes I wonder and do not know what is going on in her mind. She is a fighter beyond any question and doubt. Health issues personal ups and downs and right in midst of keeping the balance of home and studies she has struggled and now is a Ph.D. Scholar, a testimony to her unwavering resolve to set her goals and achieve them. Determined and clear-headed she knows her clearly defined goals. I am very happy and content for that. What goes in my heart is matter of my heart. I as a parent have struggled to define and grade myself. Moody who studied Euripides, Herodotus, Socrates and Plato and other great scholars and philosophers of the past knew how to express himself. He did that with a powerful and potent choice of words. His words resonate in form of his powerful poems. Rabiya has different ways of expressing herself. I call her my doctor. She tells me what medicines I must take when I need them. She is our family dream catcher – a dream seen and she gets a call. I do not remember what I dream and those I do she would expound and illuminate it for me in a few well-chosen words. She goes crazy when she sees a Palmist. She would force me that I must show my palm. I have not except once or twice just to listen to her. Palmists have not been able to read my palm, perhaps my lines of heart and head do not speak loudly. Rabiya definitely knows what goes on inside me she would not say. My kids are not expressive and never have used words I love you. Their way of saying that are more in deeds than in words. The older she gets the friendlier she gets. I must end with an Irish proverb ‘ A son is a son till he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life’

Rabiya may Allah be always be with you – Ameen.

 

 

 

Blushes Of My Pen and Brush

Mastering others is Strength. Mastering yourself is True Power ~ LAO TZU

head-vs-heart

Of many happenings in my life, I can count  many which have left a deep and lasting traumatic impressions.  Gradually, now after prolonged years of life, I am beginning to realize a definite transformation has taken place in me. The head and heart both have embraced the change – I think I can feel and think with both. It is seldom that one remains ahead of the other constantly. Ups and downs of life haven’t affected me a lot. In many ways I think others  would have been influenced more than how I perceive them in my own case. Yet my life has been full of traumatizing experiences especially because of people and incidents connected to me.  During the last 12 years or so, I have mulled over my reflections of the past as well as ruminating what future holds for me. This state has not resulted out of any discontentment or vexation. My center point of aspirations and dreams of not  what I should have been but what I did not do, so to be able to make a difference in lives of others. At the same time, I have regret over what I could learn and what were my potentials to explore and exploit my life. I think I became like so many who are moving in my first two inner circles of life and are lost in a directionless existence. Their goals, in my opinion, more of what they would like to be in a short term. I can fathom their lack of desire and action to break themselves free. Some, rather many are not sure of themselves of what they could achieve with their lives. Many, sadly do not realize their true potential. Me, I consider myself in a group in that circle. I seriously feel that I have wasted so much of Time which I could ‘earn’ usefully not in a materialistic way but what I could do to contribute which could have been my earning. I have a self-belief that no matter how difficult, I could have excelled in many ways. In the last decade or so, I have dissipated two years of my life. The unintended dissipation of my concept of ‘Time’ has resulted into reorientation. The tone and tenor of my inner surges have pulled me away sneaking to a new found stimulus. The forces inside me have definitely done one thing for sure of which I have no vacillation. They have kindled my urge to write. Two areas I have begun to free myself to. Write my life story. It has been difficult because of vast empty spaces when it comes to details. I am happy that I kept all diaries, despite so many movements and resetting within the military postings and transfers.  These diaries which I wrote with interruptions have helped in jogging my memories as best as I could and relate to events at that time and letting the pen do the rest. The second is writing when I am affected by my own biases, people, and events, impassioned feelings, first impressions and judgemental thoughts. This state remains fleeting and open-ended without leaving any imprints unless I do not gloss them in my words with an exact description of how I felt and with congruent intensity at the time. I have added a couple of my thoughts on my Blog Page as MINDFULNESS and DRIBBLING WITH RUMINATIONS. I have to think of a title or choose a heading, will do so this after I have finished this page. I am occupied presently writing my initial draft of my life story. The idea is to preserve me in black and white. I will leave it behind me for someone to discover me more of what I am. Strong writing skills haven’t been my forte. I do consider myself missing a lot of cardinals of good writing. Browsing the net for Autobiographies and Biographies I have today stumbled upon searching for a list of works of great writers. I accidently found out about great American writer Mark Twain who left instructions not to publish his autobiography until 100 years after his death which was around 2010. I have yet to read the book so cannot right away comment on why? I though know that I would continue to write and leave my draft script for somebody else to take up the challenge. So much for considering myself to be somebody’s challenge.

Let me come to my second part of the action. In 2012 I started painting with great earnest. Self-learning is a great pleasure and in this case tremendous relaxation. It has been now almost 4 years that I have been painting. The weekends are the days I look forward to playing with colors. Gradually after giving away over hundred paintings to friends and colleagues has given me the priceless endorsement of my work. Thanks to Facebook which allowed me to showcase my work to the surprise and bewilderment of many of my friends who did not know of my love for painting. What really pushed me to keep on the painting is a Pakistani  cartoonist, caricaturist a painter and a friend Sabir Nazar who lives in Lahore and belongs to Kohat. He told me not to care how good or bad is my work as long as I was doing it myself – that was the trigger which set everything in motion. I tell everyone that I do not consider myself an artist of any sort. I am far away from being a traditional artist. I am self-trained and learned through practice. The painting has given me a life to create. My Hobby is not to just distract myself but to distract away from worldly nickel and dime stuff and other triflings. I am not attracted to colors but it is the colors of nature which pull me. I am not painting to sell. I am driven to paint, but I want to sell. I enjoy the feeling of knowing my works will definitely be a source of adornment. It has already happened and it will continue to be. The paintings I make have been a great source of pleasure. Something very solo and unrepeatable. Something made is final. I hate to correct my mistakes on canvas. Where I have done I have not liked it. Good or bad let it be.

The entire activity with brush and what I write is driven by my absolute and the central key of the relationship of me with Time. I have tried to say and I have written about that. Much is in my mind but the darkness of outer space and the world of moons, suns and stars have convinced me and I say it always for myself that I only live in future. The present for me is not more than a PICOSECOND – one trillion of a second. That is my present to you. Please read and enjoy and comment.

DRIBBLING​ WITH RUMINATIONS

 

A very dear friend of mine Dr. Afridi who resides in USA and used to come to Kohat where he came to live in his native village Babri Banda. While in Pakistan he was a regular visitor to the Dhoda Golf Club in Kohat. This was when I was stationed at Kohat. We played golf regularly, an ardent golfer and a gentleman he is. Since those days we are connected via email exchanging mails. He visited my Blog a few days back and suggested that I should rename my Blog which I named MINDLESS to change it to MINDFULNESS! Why I named it mindless is for discussion for another day. I respect Doctor Sahib and agreed with him and as I approved his comment I also immediately changed the title to MINDFULNESS. So much, for the power of reasoning and perception. We all have our minds, which at one point or the other sways me like a pendulum. And when you have a pen in your hand so much can happen. As I said earlier in my Blog let it go. I like what another friend Khushnood Lashari Sahib also commented – “Excellent. As Wordsworth said, “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” So today again while I was thinking about abstract painting I was submerged once again in deep thoughts. I texted few lines to two of my very dear friends and decided that to be the start point of my next Blog which I have named DRIBBLING WITH RUMINATIONS. So here it is.

 

DRIBBLING WITH RUMINATIONS

RUMINATION

It all started when on the behest of my neighbour General Abid who requested me to make for him a couple of abstract paintings for his living room. I have never painted one so far. So I took up the challenge. He gave me a couple of photos to paint. As I sat and saw those two pictures I did not want to copy them. I started thinking and for last two days, I saw how these and so many more abstracts were painted. The more I studied them, the more I got immersed and was spellbound by the rapturous eloquence and acceleration of colours which artists had created. I always thought abstract was an easy thing to make. Not now definitely. I know I can transfer to a large extent what I am thinking about the configuration and structure of the final form and what I want to create. But I am a bit apprehensive and yet to start painting. There is uneasiness and cloudiness in my mind as to how and what would be the final shape of the art and its colour combinations, which bears the resemblance to what is in my mind. The abstractness of the art seems so extreme and mere thought of non-representational form has filled me with uncontrollable lust and passion of leaving the pen and picking up the brush. It is like sexual attraction with both forms of an exhibition; of the pen as well as the brush. In one which is not visible, it can only be read and the other may not be describable to the last detail but can only be seen. Within the splash of colours there lays the image in my mind; imperfect yet by no means incomplete. There is uneasiness within my own self. There is this palpitation of heart and a tensed feeling of how my first abstract painting will actually come out to be. It is like the first kiss and not actually the first. An unseen tremble and shake of the leaf. Dribbling with ruminations has raised its sails. There is a gust and surge of the wind, which has filled the sails, which is in front of me in the form of a canvas. Flat, plain showing no upheaval so far. Waiting to be electrified and illuminated. The rudder is in my control. The direction will be set and rest with the combination of colours and more colours until my eyes know what I am looking at to be perfect to give away at the vehemence of my thoughts. The trajectory and orientation will be the memento for future evolutions. I am not a student of art, and I cannot express the art of expressionism. I have not read or studied art any time in my life. I just pick my brush like I do my pen and start transferring the strands of my thoughts. I have self-trained myself. I am far away from being anywhere near to being an artist. But what pleases me the most is what I paint. I do not follow the rules and sequence of painting, but I do gradually, in the end, reach there. Sabir Nazar a friend and an inspiration once remarked on my painting that I did a good job on a lighthouse I painted and put on Facebook. When I told him that I needed guidance from a trained painter, he strictly forbade me and said something, which has stuck in my mind since then. He said whatever you do, good or bad is your work and your prized possessions, you need not take any lessons but prepare yourself with practice. That day was the beginning of my unending trail of all kinds of paintings. My bent of mind is fixated in the colour of planets and stars, big and small and collision of meteors and the debris of these in deep outer space leaving a dust forming patterns and kaleidoscope of colours, which are beyond my comprehension. Thanks to the continual and uninterrupted voyage of science into cosmos, which has barely, touched the edge of the fringes of deep dark space so far that we have begun to know what lies out there so far. The single most facet which drives me to paint is to get into this puzzle of nature and let my head spin to visualise the light of thousands of years reaching us in our minuscule planet earth. We are in present time yet also thousands of light years into the past which is present now in 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

MINDFULNESS!

I wrote this piece exactly a month ago – 25th of May 2016. I have read it again today. It was a very special moment when I started writing this. I am beginning to like this way to express myself. It doesn’t happen every time. There are special moments; before I go to sleep, during my drive to work, when I am touched by an event and people I witness on the road and other places. There is an outpouring and an upsurge of thoughts, the turbulence and flutter of ideas as to what I want to say doesn’t remain long. I have started taking notes. The pen and book ready to be opened. I call this for some reason MINDLESS that was the first name I thought I must give to this “Thought”. For now please read this and feel free to express – Thank you ~

Muhammad Tahir

 

There is a vociferous desire in me these days to immediately start writing about my randomly undirected aroused state of consciousness.In this state there are words and ideas which ooze out in fragments which run its course and suddenly I am confronted with another idea. I find sublime explanations injecting it with words, sentences and focussed thoughts. The corresponding words and analogies surprises me as well. Being a painter I am confronted with similar situation during that activity which I pursue whole heartedly. The quizzing I do of myself does not open up real doors. Though for painting my pursuit has been very rewarding. There is still however lot of avenues to stumble on in my quest. There is nothing negative with my emotional state. It is actually the forgetfulness which thwarts my aroused exhuberance.  The best words to describe what is in my mind  at that point stays momentarily and later I struggle to remind myself what it was I thought off. I could at that very moment choose effectively what I wanted to say and what I could compare it with. I know I need to overcome this weakness one way or the other. The dilution of all thoughts with very few remaining reflections.  I am beginning to  discover very gradually the transformation. These thoughts are not shrouded anymore. Others have not so far been able either witness or observe the elevated mutation of this change. It has actually started taking shape since last two years or so. It was rare occurence though not so in distant past but I am beginning to like this. At times I feel it has been a late coming. But by nature I am a believer of that with me Time is no impediment if I have to pursue what I could not do earlier I would not be dampened merely because I could have done earlier. I am a great proponent of the idea that there is always time. When there is why then limit yourself by this or that. I think choice of words are very important to chronical my unimaginable and erractic chain of thoughts. Once I have grasped them in full control of my pen I should present it as very lucid piece of articulated thought process. Each idea would then allow me to sieve and crystallize into shapes which genuinely reflect my state of mind. It should allow the reader enter in my mind to wander around and explore. I would love if the limits of my passion is discovered by all senses. The distance and time for me does not matter. The connection should remain established. Questions asked with no holds barred. It should be I reckon a wonderful experience. I would like to cherish that without any qualms about sharing them. I have reached a point in life where I do not get upset of the disclosure. I am not sure everyone feels like that. I think to me it does not matter because I want the perception of what I am should not be contrastive to what I think I am. I have seen people straying and wandering off in misplaced orbit. It is very important, I feel, to commit oneself. I am not looking for praise and acceptance of how I feel, I’m in actuality allowing and learning creation of space for more tangible and touchable feelings. The connection of me and the reciepient develops unconciously with spontainity. This state I suppose is exceedingly complex to accomplish. I have no uncertanity that I won’t acquire the skill to reflect completely what I am reflecting in my mind about. The mind such a powerful medium for me who is constatntly exploring the voyager inside my mind. I have used the word voyager not without an untied reason. The assemply of thoughts may be muddled up right now but is alright. I should remain unfaltering in my quest. The beauty however, is that I am not bound by any format. It should be like that. Means is not necessary as long as I have achieved the explication of the required commentary. My fascination with outer space and its vastness with unending dimensions where everything at one point or the other becomes trivial to an ordinary human being unintelligble. The evolution of human brain has tip toed in time, the distance remains indecipherable. As a fan of stars and planets I am not seeking to unravel into the nature’s scheme, I am not looking at unlocking anything which exists in outer space deep into nothingness. Instead I am taking pleasure in creating on the canvas. It gives me freedom. Nothing to me is stationary out there but in a state of constant change and flux. I have enormous liberation of how and what I produce. That is so exhilarating and intoxicating. The movement of thousands of stars in different orbits with different sizes, the time calculations in thousands of light years is perplexing. I cannot seek myself in any way. Why not must I then free my self. Write and write to myself. I am not seeking wisdom either. An artist who thinks only has squandered Time. MORE LATER