Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Leader

Myths make look ordinary mortals supernatural but in case of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah it’s the facts that make his legend stand tall and insurmountable at the crossroads of history.

When he spoke in his precise, clear and eloquent English to the masses not literate but educated enough to know that the man in front of them was speaking for them and they believed every word spoken by him and every gesture made by him, this incorruptible belief in him made him the incomparable leader that he is.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Unforgettable Waheed Murad

His Seven Roles a Challege to Chocolate Hero Image

November 23rd marks the day when in 1983 Waheed Murad bade farewell to his mortal abode and walked up the stairs of immortality, and 28 years after that day we still find him in our midst, more close to us today than when he was shinning on the horizon of Pakistan Film Industry, and even still closer than what we feel about most of the living mortals.

Commonly he is labelled as a chocolate hero who had a lot of female following and one who could run around trees singing, dancing and charming heroines, but this is not a very plausible description of his talents as an actor. Waheed Murad's public appeal rests on the diverse roles that he played and portrayed the sentiments of common people, the roles with which masses used to identify him as one of them. The charisma and appeal of his innocent and easy going looks when translates on celluloid into roles of multitudes made him the darling of film going public of all ages and gender.

The seven roles of the commoner that I personally liked and always could see people identifying themselves with are Donkey cart dweller of film Heera aur Pather( 1964), Mental Doctor of Ehsan (1967), Peasant of Phir Subha Ho Ge (1967) Fisherman of Samander(1968),), Labourer of Ak Nagina (1969), Postman of Mastana Mahi (1971)and Taxi Driver of Wada (1976).

All these roles distinctively bore an anti chocolate hero image, but the way he depicted them aroused great affection and admiration for him among all segment of society, and they all looked up to him as an idol, but not just as a matinee idol, but an icon that transformed lives of ordinary people on silver screen and made them the real heroes of society. This was not possible without the trust that he had in his art and the trust in the believe that to reach to the people’s heart and mind the artist has to be the part of populous society and seeker of consensus art, an art form which is only possible when artist looks outward to society and produces a dynamic and vibrant piece of work which consumes his passion and translates that into compassion.

PS: 1-Waheed Murad's photograph is from his own production Samander released in 1968
2-Consensus Art/Literature is a term coined by brother Khurram Ali Shafique

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Iqbal creator of new paradigms

I was simply shocked when an Iqbal scholar who also happened to hold a senior position at Iqbal academy said in a published interview that Iqbal is a great poet but not a great philosopher.

I always thought like multitudes that Iqbal was a great poet philosopher, and my conviction grew more when I read along with Javidnama, The Reconstruction of Religious Thoughts in Islam. But after that shocking revelation of Iqbal scholar I started rereading the Reconstruction again and this time I found that calling Iqbal a philosopher was extremely unfair.

Like Iqbal scholar I have my own perception about all this, I think Iqbal cannot be termed only as a Poet, Philosopher, Mystic or a Sufi, to me he is an Artist. To me poet means an imaginative person, Philosopher the one who thinks he is imaginative but is one who contemplates, Mystic is the one who sees what can be imagined and Sufi is one who lives like what a Mystic imagines. But to me an Artist is one who creates from imagination a new world and Iqbal was one of those few artists who were par excellence and who is a creator of a new world, a world that did not explode at the time of creation when God pronounced Kun ( کن ) and it was, but God also wanted from His creation some creative souls who would answer the Kun with Faukoun ( فیکون ) and Artists like Iqbal took that challenge and responsibility, and the result is 9 glorious books or nine new paradigm that are nine new ways of understanding the past, the present but more importantly the future.

Friday, 30 September 2011

In Retrospective


A journey that takes place on the next day of birth and moves through the seven valleys, crosses seven oceans, reaches to seven heavens, ascends and descends in itself and into itself and lasts for seven days, seven periods and seven lifetimes.

21 September: journey is stepping out of self and moving in all those directions where there is any imminent chance of finding a possible path that may lead to quench the thirst. This is the thirst that leads one to the oasis.

22 September: an oasis is a place which keeps one grounded; one doesn’t want to leave the coolness, the warmth, the satisfaction, the engrossing closeness and the beauty those eminences from whatever you look at.

23 September: heart and mind fight, the meaning and thoughts quarrel both have an ax to grind, heart has its own ways and mind its own. Heart wants to stay, mind wants to travel, and movement takes precedence as head is stationed above heart.

24 September: the first milestone is so satisfying that the other possible paths that lay across and ahead seems meaningless, but the possibilities that those paths carry makes the desire of letting go of this satisfying junction to move ahead.

25 September: the consensus of heart and mind develops and a unique consciousness takes form. The inside world takes the outside world as a partner and co creator, water extinguishes fire and fire burns water, thus the dichotomy ends.

26 September: the novelty of new a realization opens a flood of mysteries and on the waters of that flood floats whatever there is to be seen and under the currents swims all that which is possible.

27 September: the beginning needs an end but not necessarily the dead end so what is afloat drowns to see what is beneath and what is beneath rises to see what is afloat. Quest to find and know optimizes itself and then actualization of it surfaces, sinks, rises and converge into light that is what is there to see.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Majid Jahangir Khan

Today is the 65th Birthday of legendary Pakistani batsman Majid Jahangir Khan. In his playing days when MJK used to walk down from pavilion to bat in his immaculate white flannels, sleeves buttoned and rolled down at wrists, wearing faded sunhat, taking small and measured steps in such a gait that one use to wonder if a Greek god has descended from mount Olympus to bat. Everything on the cricket field use to lose its ambience when MJK was at the crease taking guard, standing slightly bend down in most unperturbed and relaxed manner like a statue of Michael Angelo and then playing his exquisite shorts stylishly, effortlessly and majestically, while batsman at the other end used to look in awful difficulty huffing and puffing. Everything on ground use to become nonexistent for me and as a young boy I was mesmerized by his charms and class acts. For me cricket was never same again when MJK played his final Test match on a fateful day in the winters of 1983.

Friday, 8 July 2011


The on line course on introduction to Iqbal studies ended this week, it was a beautiful and enriching experience and it has initiated a new way of approaching Iqbal and the message that Iqbal has envisioned.

The message in light of these studies and the study of Quran I would like to convey through one word of Quran that has always fascinated and captured my imagination- EHSAAN.

The root of this word is HUSN, meaning beauty, and EHSAAN means an act that beautifies and balances. This act of beautification and balancing starts from self, whatever balance we lack in our personality is to be balanced and whatever balances our environment and our society lacks is to be balanced by us individually and collectively in order to make it functional and beautiful. HUSN reflects a beautiful, balanced and functional person, society and an act.

Ehsaan is when we act in a befitting manner to balance a person or a system we actually act to make ourselves beautiful because we are part of that system and society. The ultimate benefit of that Ehsaan would be that we would live in an environment of synchronization, bliss and splendor.

The words of Holy Quran so exquisitely brings forth the impact that ehsaan can create:
Is there any reward for good than Good? (55:60)

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Khurram Ali Shafique, a man on Mission

We have a rich tradition of periodical meetings by scholars/intellectuals in Pakistan, be it big cities or smaller towns this excellent tradition has never faltered. There was a time when people like Mulana Maudodi, G.A.Perwaiz, Hasan Askari, Sufi Tabassum, Salim Ahmed, Dr Israr Ahmed, Ustad Daman, Ashfaq Ahmed were enchanting and mesmerizing their audience. These days many more intellectual, scholars and luminaries are enthralling their audience and one of them is Khurram Ali Shafique.

Khurram Ali Shafique, is a historian and Iqbal scholar, and is writing a unique biography of Iqbal in six volumes, two of which are already published, this biography is written and presented in such a manner that it provides a kaleidoscopic view of Iqbal's life and times.

Khurram Ali Shafique's weekly meetings presently held at Ahsan Memorial on every Sunday are related to Iqbal studies and Pakistan. No one as I know has undertaken to study Iqbal as a phenomenon that Khurram Ali Shafique has undertaken. He has a mission to understand and let others understand Iqbal in the light of his real message that has been lying under fog and mist of deliberate concealment on the part of intelligentsia and academics. He discusses Iqbal's works with a coherent and holistic view in which Iqbal has never been discussed before.

He is a man blessed with talent, vision, dedication and humility a rare combination in scholars, academicians and men of letters. He is a man with mission and we are fortunate to have his company.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

A page from the diary

A friend said the other day" I hate you". My reaction would have been somewhat different had I not known the Toltec wisdom. Fortunately due to that I knew that my friend was in an angry state of mind so this statement just reflected the sentiment of that state. I know when people are happy they would shower praise on us and when they are angry they would admonish us. So if we take things literally we would be in a flux all the time. If we take things personally we would suffer and that just because somebody didn’t mean it.

So I know if a friend say, I hate you today, I know I would hear I love you tomorrow.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Selfish and Selfless

The biologist says self preservation is the strongest instinct of a living organism so in humans also this is the dominant feature. But then biologist only knows human body and is commenting on this specifically and is not aware of the Midas that when touches human body makes it into something special beyond the investigative domain of a laboratory. That Midas is human spirit, which when comes into contact with flesh makes this organism a spectacle, that makes all certainties look merely a wayward guess.

Yes self preservation as a biological entity could be the most dominant force in humans for survival like other species but love is the most potent denominator of human species. The sacrifice that we see around in various human relationships from motherhood to the motherland are so exemplary that the self preservation thesis stands defeated.

Humans don't preserve their bodies they instead preserve their spirits, ideals, ideas and everything they believe and love. Biologist think life is selfish, I say human life is selfless and each human being provides an ample proof of that time and again.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Miracles happen through Others

We are nothing when we are just on our own we are a spectacle when we come into contact with others. Miracles are performed by a person when s(he) comes into contact with others. Miracles are performed through the help of others. The goodness in you, the compassion in me is meaningless if either of us is missing in the act.

The miracle of love, healing, kindness can only be performed when there is the other who makes this miracle happen. We need others' to make all this work; I need you to make this possible as much as you need me. Life is a spectacle and a miracle when I and You become We. Let's celebrate our existence which means accepting each other in this eternal symphony of life, making it a voyage of light, colors and fragrance.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

You according to Me

A relationship that is between two people is always triangular. At one point of the triangle is one person, at the second point of the triangle is the other person and third point of the triangle is the relationship that both of them have, within the space of that triangle lies the bond that both are sharing and making it absolutely unique relationship as against any other relationship that they have with any other person or people.

You are according to me what you are in this relationship triangle. I cannot know you in reference to any other person, I know you according to the dynamics of our triangular space that we have created.

So if I describe what you are that would be 'you according to me' strictly in accordance with the aforementioned pattern.

When I look at you with an intent where triangle of our relationship is peaking upwards, I find out all the positive aspects that are part of my personality seems reflecting in you also, humor, natural flair for good things, honesty, kindness, respect and love for all around.

When I look at you with an intent where triangle of our relationship is facing downward, the things which I conceal from other looks ominously reflecting in you, that is, loneliness of soul due to self possessiveness, ego, stubbornness and self love, they all looks so prominent in you that I know and recognize instantly.

You provide an insight into my personality, what goodness you have and which I admire in you, I see that in myself and whatever negativity that I have and I conceal from others I see in you, so you are a mirror and a transparent medium through which I see myself, you and the world.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Standing at a Seashore

Our ability to understand this world lies in our ability to interact with others. Standing alone at a sea shore and seeing high tides in distance rising and dying at my feet on the beach , I enjoy this solitude but what name I should give to this feeling when seeing tides rise then fall and then die at my feet, I want to name this flow and ebb that is making a distinct mark on my sensibility but what it is I would not know because this is trapped inside me as an echo and all the time what I hear is what I think, as if I am in a tunnel.

The murky gloom at seaside vanishes as the sun comes out blazing from cloud cover and I see you, you standing there alone as well, I take courage, break the shekels and move to meet you.

You raise your gaze and I know what the ascending of tide means and when you lower your gaze I know what dying of tides meant. Then you spoke and told me that elation of tides bring a feeling of search and inquisition in you and when the tides ebb you don’t feel dejected but feel satisfied that the search has a meaning and when the tides die on your feet and sand moves under your feet giving way to new sand you feel the meanings realizing and culminating at your end.

A feeling and its meaning that was trapped inside me as an echo when it meets your understanding it just lights up everything for me as if a circuit is completed and everything gets Illuminated. Now I name this feeling as search and awareness but after my interaction with you, you say it is love, I agree to this understanding of yours and now we say that it is search for truth and love.

Sunday, 3 April 2011


I am, what I am to You, while I write myself with a capital I and you with a small y, you remained an enigma, another, an unknown and a barrier. When I write You with a capital Y as well, You become a mirror, a reality, a self and a companion.

I first saw myself as You in eyes of my mother, the gaze that she sets on me was such that it felt like a bliss showering from an eternal source infinitely. Then time to time I saw that bliss in other people I met but I thought that it was just random and subjective. But that was my naiveté as I thought of myself and not of others, as that approach changed I felt a wonderment never known before to me, when you became You and I became self to selfless. You became my mirror and I became what you mirror.

I am nothing when You are not there, I am what I am, because whatever I know I know that through You, therefore whoever You are I respect and Love You.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

A Day in the Life of a Sunflower

Out in pitch darkness as I open my eyes I see a haze in deep ends of the horizon, nothing is moving, and all that I see beyond is a stillness and a tranquility, but something behind all that is behind is waking up like a gentle giant and it looks that any moment it would get up take out its head out of the large shrouded mist of opaque and everything would come to light.

The mellow gentle giant wakes up rubbing eyes and as I see that mellow tranquility lit up its mark on horizon every part of my body from roots to the each petal of flower just start singing the hymn of the Lord and I have no other thought at this point of time except one thought one mantra that comes again and again and resonates in my whole self pulsating and vibrating one sounds, one echo love, love, love.

The mellow of the gentle giant turns into rich gold and the this glorious object now stands tall in its full majestic brightness the world call it SUN and for me that is a BELOVED. With its presence now I have nowhere else to look, nothing else to seek and nobody else to turn to. So I sway with its movement from one end to the other till a time comes which people call a twilight.

As the evening sets in twilight cast an evil spell and my beloved sinks in the oblivion and with that all my cheerfulness, joy and delight leaves my heart just like a arrow that leaves a bow.

The darkness of night brings with it the quietness of death, and each night with death of each day’s sun I mourn with acute grief and die before death to see another day and another sun to rise.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Reality, Fantasy and Obscurity

A friend said "I dream and fantasize about certain things...... but I know that they are just fantasies and they would vanish in the face of truth". I think this is an absurd way of looking at the world. We have stereotyped our world in such a manner that all dreams, visions and fantasies have become obscure.

Man is not creator of things like God. Man is a pro creator and helps in discovering what already lies shrouded in the mist of creation which are there since the dawn of the day of creation. God creates from nothing and man creates from that something which God has already created for instance an idea.

Our fantasy triggers from an idea and germinates like a seed to become a conscious reality. If we are serious to materialize our fantasies than the fantasies which are also lurking to transcend from the mass of abstraction to the world of expression would also be serious to manifest. But if we are unsure, casual and doubtful about them then they too would be shy and hesitant to manifest. To fantasy this world of reality holds attraction only if the dreamer and the one who fantasizes is ready to accept them as real.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

The Other People, Hell and Sartre

My question is a window through which I see and my answer is what I see.

When I raise a question and You answer, it means I see through my window the world you have perceived.

When You raise a question and I answer, it is my vision of the world that you see through your window.

My questions and your answers and Your questions and my answers are making all this a very interesting imagery that is being written, drawn and painted by our interaction.

What I see through your answer is You and how you perceive me. What you see through my answer is me and how I perceive you.

This interaction is making our world richer and greater but only when we share and respect each other. The world is as beautiful and as miserable as we understand it and make it look. I am quite startled when I read from Jean Paul Sartre (1905-1980) “there is no hell, other people is hell”. This world view is acquired from personal isolation and reflects not only how he is viewing other people but in fact how other people view him. The hell that is reminiscent in others is actually a hell scorching and burning in oneself.

The other is me, outside and on the other side of my window, if he is in peace I am in peace, if he is in hell I can’t be in heaven.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Geography of Love

A man in perfect attire walks towards an elevator besides him is walking a woman in somewhat ordinary outfit, both put their feet same time on the elevator and at the same time start to ascend. The man looks at the woman and smiles; his smile is not a gesture of greeting the fellow human being but is a freakish one that meant how miserable you are and how fortunate I am considering your state of affairs. The woman responses by smiling and blinking her eyes which meant I understood what you actually meant. The elevator is ascending taking both upwards but the man is ascending to a different height than the woman. Man is engrossed in his state of well being that has an air of arrogance, so he is elevating to a pompous height of ego, on the other hand, woman a simple humble individual recognizing that the man seems an egocentric person and would feel happy if she shows her humility and humbleness that would make man feel proud and he would feel his stature mounting, so she makes the man feel like that. At that time the woman ascends to a different level of elevation as she let's go her ego and is fully immersed in the sea of love in which she loses everything and gains all that is there to be gained: a simple and unconditional state of love, that showers like a blissful light.

When they both alight from the elevator they both have gained from the fountain of love and both are in state of ecstasy that was made possible by one smile :)

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Literature, a Query

Literature starts as a monologue, but when the ideas take shape of words it becomes an enquiry, a question that the artist asks and want to understand, and develop its comprehension in the realistic expression that is available only outside his abstract domain of imagination, literature comes into existence. This is not about telling others what he knows, but it’s finding himself what he knows and what he understands, but through the collective consciousness of the readers. Basically it is raising questions , opening windows into unknown, to comprehend what he see, to see what he know, and share aesthetics and mysteries with the reader, who is the sole reason why art comes into existence. If art was only an expression of the artist for himself this expression would not have taken shape beyond a monologue, and would have confined to his imagination, as to the artist no place is as good as his mind.

The beauty, imagery and the sensibility that is evocative from literature takes each reader to a different level of aesthetics and mystery which can be well beyond the level of the writer, because the writer only provides a mirror and each reader see the image according to his own polish of the mirror, artist is only the initiator of question but his art develops and grows well beyond his query.