Restricting the Boundless

Saturday, December 17, 2011

What are the possibilities of human imaginations and creativity? Has he got the powers to conquer all that he comes across?

This question needs to be answered carefully.
The attempt to restrict the boundaries of human capabilities and weaving fascinations about the unseen, declaring it unconquerable by the powers of a man can have serious results.
Such an endeavor which narrows the range of individual possibilities may end up emanating feeling of powerlessness, decreased self-efficacy, leading to utter hopelessness and a helpless state of mind.
Even a handful of individuals with such an approach can disrupt the natural social life. Social values and norms may take a shape in which the skills of a man are now attributed to the powers of some character of a fanciful world. A time comes when ‘change’ becomes unlawful and every zealous creature is considered a ‘rebel’. Insecurity about the future rises and the commutative social achievements decline.
Further the limited perceptions about man affect the religion too and the sky-soaring messages contained in it are limited to mere practices loaded with calculations.
A time comes when a person, ignorant of his own position in the space of the universe and the role he is meant to play in the destiny of the earth and the skies, not believing that the right of choice, the ability to learn and analyze and the skills to create can position man above all creations, may limit his perceptions about the Creator, be it limiting His attributes, defining some face or form for Him, limiting the vastness of His character, or considering Him in need of small items like food.
The situation reaches a pitfall here, creating confusion as to the origin of man and the nature of the universe and its contents. The skills of man are challenged and the initiating question facing us again, as if left unanswered.
To prevent anarchy, to be able to conquer whatever is contained in the earth and skies, and to be on a closer ties to God, man needs to know his own importance, and develop confidence on the trust which God put on him… something which no mountains could sustain, but man found himself willing to shoulder.

Beginning to Discover Waheed Murad

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Legacies should be transferred from one generation to the other in a way that neither their originality nor their impact alters. And to adopt something that comes from the time preceding us, we need to live that time, feel it, evaluate it according to the preceding as well as the current circumstances, and have a look at where it projects, before beginning to like or dislike it.

Waheed Murad is a legendary icon who had to offer a lot not only to the people of his own time, but for many generations to come after him.
Developing an inspiration for him needs us to embark on a journey to his world, which may lead us to ‘a castle of many mirrors’ where we can reflect on ourselves and our surroundings in a much better way.
Let’s begin NOW…
The initiating step on this journey can be the intro as to who Waheed Murad was, and what position he held in our society. Without having adequate knowledge about him the gap can not be bridged, and our goal can never be achieved.

‘Why’ Waheed Murad held a certain social position (i-e being a role-model) is then to be answered in order to move a step forward towards Waheed Murad.

All these are the words a beginner would hear from someone ‘else’ most probably someone not from his own age-group (or generation you may call it). Hence totally relying on someone else for a choice seems little difficult.
Providing easy access to Waheed Murad’s work, especially on forums youngsters are more likely to visit, can be of help so that the discovery is more like one’s own.

Before anyone can discover anything, all doubts pertaining to it should be eradicated. To achieve this, the process of discovery can take a bit-by-bit start, so that the feeling of something being ‘imposed’ is not there, and a beginner can actually ‘enjoy’ being a part of the process.

For example in Waheed Murad’s case we can start with his songs (which I am sure would appeal to most of us because of their eternal melodies and lyrics), moving on to the music videos (which are so light-heartening and full of energetic performances that they become irresistible) giving way to his movies.

Also the general perception about someone not from one’s own time might engender a feeling that the issues s/he touched in their work must be the ones faced not by us but by the earlier generations. This belief need to be uprooted, and a ‘proper’ intro to the work of Waheed Murad can do it all.

Only when a beginner’s mind will try discovering Waheed Murad for herself/himself would s/he be able to relate to his ideologies or work. But this discovery needs a guide, like anyone new to a city needs one. The guide can relate what people at the time of WM liked most about him, how he affected their lives, and what he stood for. Without a guide/companion the search can turn futile.

So this journey basically requires us to be a part of a process in which the psyche and the trends of the young audience should be considered and molded in a way that would benefit all of us.

History

Monday, October 17, 2011








Studying the rise and fall of emperors, their empires, riches and armies can be of little benefit to a student of History, with an inquiring mind and healthy approach.

The concerns of a common man, his happiness and sorrows, his morale and his influence over the matters relating to himself,
And the compassionate kindness and compassionate sacrifice exhibited by a community, their perception about their common goals and the strength of their cultural, religious and political hubs defines their place in the book of history.

Studying history and great men of past in such light can help a student reach the source of their power, reasons behind their success/failure and may foster his analytic abilities,
And motivate a community to help steer itself in order to secure for it a reasonable place in the tide of time.


'After freedom' relations

Monday, September 26, 2011




The ‘after freedom’ position requires a nation to decide with utmost clarity what relations it intends to keep with other members of the world it dwells in, especially with its former masters, as any nation in the condition of slavery tends (and mostly ‘needs’) to adopt norms and customs, literature and the ways of thinking of their masters.

Freedom, once achieved, demands an outlook different from the previous, hence former influences can either be washed away, or (better still) molded so as the free nation can benefit the most out of them.

An question, however, is raised as to what status of relation does the independent state enjoys with the previous masters and based on what lines or factors any equal platform may be worked out for future.

After a state achieves freedom, establishing foundations of relations with the former masters on equal footing requires a development involving psyche of the people and their social canon, helped by the literary circles, historical identity, causes behind the freedom fight, and the course a nation intends on taking in the making of the future world.

Right answer with clarity of approach is needed to tackle such an issue so that the sentiments of the nation and the needs of the present day are met with equal benefit.

Civil Self-Defense

Thursday, September 22, 2011






In this world of missiles and other massive destruction arms, one may argue that there remains no need to train a common man for his self-defense, because it is virtually impossible for a man to combat against the possible destruction a missile brings.

But I would argue that such training can certainly decrease the losses of a community under attack. Also, two parties, possessing equally destructive weapons would want to avoid declaring wars on their borders, resulting in a battle that is entirely staged on roads and near civil localities, which we may term as terrorism.

Such circumstances put responsibility on the shoulders of civilians, because intrusion of army in civil localities may create more confusion and a sense of decreased civil liberty, further complicating the issue.

Hence, training residents of a locality so that they may help each other before, during or after an adversity can be of help.

Such training may start at school level, where basic rescue tactics, paramedical training, organized dispersal during an alarming situation may be demonstrated and explained. For this purpose Boys Scouts or Girls Guides sort of groups may be formed. Few volunteers, under the auspices of local police, may be trained in fighting if under attack by the terrorists (with proper records kept as to the identity of the volunteers being trained).

Such groups can not only help their fellow residents in a locality but can prove to be an aid to the police/rangers/army, so that they may divert their attention to more sensitive areas, leaving the less sensitive ones under the protection of the groups of civil self-defense.

On the road to Transformation

Monday, September 19, 2011




On the road to transformation…
Realization is the first step,
Raising voice is the second,
But there comes a point when mere blind-ended ‘discussions’ can lead a people to hopelessness,
Its now when we collectively need to take a step forward
The third step being that of ‘Action’;
For no caravan can reach its destination if it feels satisfied after taking only the first few steps!
‘Action’ with ‘discipline’ and a sense of ‘responsibility’ can turn a barren soil, with no prospect of bearing fruit, fertile. This fertility results only when labor is employed to till the soil properly, with every person using full potential of their position and role.

We need to adopt an analytical approach towards knowing what stage on the road to transformation we are at, both individually and socially, to secure what we dream to achieve.

Cinema of 'Universal Love'

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Love, with its universality, attired in simplicity can lead one to the highest points of Human capabilities and gives man a unique strength to fight against all odds, learning to sacrifice his desires for others …
This is something I learnt when I first got a chance to watch a Pakistani film.
For me, films are an attraction, not just for entertainment, but as a learning house too. A film can teach me something I missed out on books.
Pakistani films in their Classic Era have given us both, entertainment as well as awareness.
Higher human values, Love in its highest form residing in the heart of ordinary people and social norms based on love, equality and sacrifice thriving in a society were introduced to me by these films.
Making me conscious of my identity, these films boasted my morale, made me think high of myself, my nation and my cultural and religious distinctiveness; consequently acting as a social binding force and nurturing collective psyche of a nation with values of its past, problems of today, and prospects of tomorrow discussed in an easy-to-grasp way.
We need to get to that unconscious of the nation, learn from it and realize the nature of the tools which nourished it, before we may bring any reforms in our cine-world or society in general.

AN INSIDE-OUT WORLD

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A story to CELEBRATE the INDEPENDENCE DAY! 
A VERY HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY TO MY NATION

HUNZA VALLEY, PAKISTAN
Behind me was a path trodden by men for many millennia. In front of me was a valley, as if nature had put a large bowl, with a green back-drop and flowery décor on it. I was sitting on a stone, which was positioned at the brim of the bowl, with my legs hanging down, and my heart throbbing, trying to settle down the strong urge rising inside me to descend and explore the green world.
The path behind me stood in contrast to the green bowl, lacking all vegetation and life form. It was the same path which I took before finally taking a pause. Moving on and on the journey I would not have taken out time to stop and reflect but for a traveler I met on the way. An Old man in shabby clothes with a wooden rod in hand, his voice was weak but eyes shinned with flame.
“It’s been a thousand years that I have been wandering in the deserts and mountains. My appearance may depict weariness but my bag holds valuable things! For you my child, I wish, end the wandering, and find a place for yourself, where you may practice what these thousand years have taught me!”
Saying this he handed over his bag to me, and before I could even ask him to elaborate what he meant, he was back to journeying the path. Out of curiosity I opened the bag only to find a map, leading me to the same green valley now stretched in front of me.
 I came from a land where knowledge and analytical skills were in power, science would find its destination there and poets would never exhaust describing beauties. But for me it presented a dead-end because I never considered science, knowledge, and beauties to have strict definitions. It was a challenge to my belief about the never-ending search and the far-fetched horizons of creative capabilities of Human Being. My faith could not be shattered but I was still in search of a way to bring that creative instinct to light and develop out of it an ever-lasting unity. Therefore the map and the advice of the Old man seemed a blessing and presented an opportunity to solve the riddle of my Life.
Upon arriving here and taking a glimpse of the valley, I felt I could move no longer. My courage and faith gave way to doubts and fears of the unknown. Taking just one step forward became impossible, and a cloud of helplessness covered me; when I heard a melody, and a voice soft and medium-pitched but young and dazzling.
“Division shows incapacity. Unite! For in Unity rests Faith. Come, if you want to shatter your fears and explore what has been especially arranged for you to discover… Come!”. A beautiful young bride, moving towards the valley was inviting me to accompany her.
A strange sensation took over me as soon as I entered the valley, where Past and Future seemed to amalgamate into Present, and it was just THIS moment which was most important.
I was in a small town. The sights I witnessed were strange, and were unlike what I was anticipating. It was a simple town. The buildings and market, attire and behavior of men and women, the happily roaring crowds of children were all very usual, nevertheless were remarkable in a way. I moved on, as if the scent of the bride was guiding me, and my feet were touching the ground as if in a dance move.
Inside the town, the temples were strange for they housed no gods but soul of all men. The priest taught not rituals but how to observe, using one’s senses, and experiment based on one’s knowledge and instinct.
Science wasn’t locked up in laboratories or libraries and the unseen and unknown was not ignored or considered inferior to it.
Town-hall witnessed people from different backgrounds, contemplating on the matters of their concern, with no obvious, distinguished personality present among them. Consensus was what they sought through discussions, and even a child had her/his voice heard. Number of votes didn’t count; creative unconscious of the masses was the Rule.
Fantasies weren’t up for sale in Cinemas; instead they served as a social binding force, providing a platform for freedom of choice and ideals for social reconstruction.
Those who had the ‘pen’ sit next to those who were not literate, sharing thoughts, telling experiences and moving together, hand in hand. University was not the limit to knowledge, nor did the exams served as basis for classification; soul was the source and the endless Space and unity of Time were the canvas for exploring mental competence.

At dusk, though not tired a bit, I wanted to rest so as to reflect on what I had seen and explored. In search of a quiet place I came out of the town, got seated under a tree, when on looking at the departing rays of the sun, the bride could be seen once again. She was between me and the Sun rays, with half her face visible to me, where I noticed bliss and a strange shine.
“Torch bearers and those who get light from the torch are One. Unite yourself and nourish your shared consciousness, for Life get amused when someone tries solving its riddle.”
It was dawn when the trance of the melody ended and I found myself seated on the same stone at the edge of the valley, but to my shock the path taken by me previously was no more barren. The travelers weren’t in their previous shabby dresses and children and women were gaily moving around! I was yet not out of the astonishment when a young girl offered me a flower bouquet. Her innocent smile instilled in me a surge of intense hope. Holding her hand, I joined the merry party!

BEAUTY AND MELODY

Sunday, March 27, 2011


She wanted to find an end to all her worries today, getting rid of all the troublesome sounds around her. She was in search of silence, wherein according to her, rest peace and happiness. In this pursuit she reached the edge of a cliff. Looking down from there she could only see darkness and when she moved her eyes sideways, a beautiful garden, full of blossoming flowers and chirping birds was welcoming her with open arms…


The only thing Naghma ever desired was silence. Thinking about silence intensified her pain today. But what could she do… surrounded amidst noises of varying types, Naghma would listen two distinct sounds everyday, every minute and every second of her life. She had no idea why out of all the sounds these two were most bothering her.


Naghma was a mere 11 years old school-girl. When the life of her fellows would be spent singing and humming songs to themselves, she would be worried about the noises.


Khat-khata-khat… There it comes again! People from nearby localities were of the opinion that the noise seemed to stem from some type of machine. But Naghma had spent years studying its nature, its frequency and its quality. In the depths of the sound she discovered greed, jealousy, the lust for power and the memories of torturing past experiences. This discovery was shocking for Naghma but she tried to satisfy herself with the belief that the origin of the noise must be devilish. Alas! It didn’t stop bothering her even now. The noise would make her go aggressive. Every blossoming flower would irritate her with the chirping birds it would attract. Naghma, thinking that perhaps this way she could avenge the noise who had taken away all her peace, would destroy that flower. What a sense of accomplishment she would have at such occasions.


A morning stuffed with noises wasn’t new to her, but today her worries rested with the noise which came from her heart. Its intensity had magnified. There was a time when all she could hear came from outside and originated in her surroundings. But no later than she started ‘avenging’ that noise did the other one surface. She focused all her attention to this sound now, hoping to decipher it as she had done with the first one. But all she could hear was a combination of sounds not able to align themselves to each other. One sound would be clearly distinguishable from the others, but no conclusion could be drawn as to the nature of these sound pieces.


The situation made Naghma nervous and fear lurked in. Fear… which can easily take the shape of aggression, motivated her to set out in the search of her answers or destroy herself in the process. Wandering wildly, Naghma reached the cliff edge. She knew of the darkness embedded down the cliff, but still found it pleasant to accept the darkness in exchange for the life she was leading. As soon as she made up her mind to take a step forward Naghma heard the sound of her heart. But to her utmost surprise she was able to reach the depth of the simplicity it held. Draped in the cloak of utmost simplicity the noise sounded more of a song to Naghma now.


Spin the wheel of damaging energies

To help set the constructive ones free

Destroy not the beauties you see

For God put the source of all splendor in thee

The chirping of the birds, the colors of flowers and the scent they spread all forms part of the beauty which have direct link with Naghma’s heart. The direction of her steps turned towards the garden near the cliff, and with a smile on her face her tiny feet ran after a colorful butterfly. No scream can now affect Naghma’s attitude to life, because she now understands the simple yet powerful approach life usually takes.

The legend of a "Slave-girl" (part 2)

Friday, February 4, 2011


This is the second part of the story "The legend of a slave-girl". For the first part please read The legend of a slave-girl (Part 1)



“As the time went by the voice which echoed the meadows and the valley got more enthusiastic, spreading waves of passion wherever it reached. The slave-girl, more hopeful than before, desired for something which could soothe her voice and increase merriness in her songs. She could sense the revolution she always craved for, stirring right in front of her eyes. This intensified her tone, and her expression started dispersing more colors than before.”




Full moon was shedding its silver light on the valley and its nearby mountains, creating an enchanting ambiance. In the heart of the stretch of low-lying mountains was a cliff inhabited by a group of twelve, where two youngsters could also be seen. Dressed in the trendiest attires of the day, the youngsters were travelers from plain areas. The rest of the company exhibited from their clothing and manner towards life that they were middle-aged men of quality tastes, as far as the dressing went. A few small tents and a little bonfire gave finishing outlooks of a typical hunting group, with of course their hunting rifles positioned as a pile on one side of a tent. In this backdrop an old man from the group was narrating a legend which once used to be very famous among the residents of the area, but its fame seemed dwindling now. No voice other than that of the old man could be heard which might give an idea to an observer that the company was isolated from all the worldly affairs.



“The king and his monopoly had crippled common men economically. Those with private businesses were already at the mercy of the authorities. Now was the time for the cultivators to sow and reap according to what the masters willed. No hardship was paid for and the once seemingly just king, who would only exchange for ideas, was now after anything possessed by the inhabitants of the area.

“But why couldn’t the population just get up and fought for their rights?” questioned the young girl.

“The survival of every individual was at stake but little could be expected from the ones who were already deprived of their spirits. The attack to the values and beliefs of a population is always so potent” answered a man with brown moustaches, who was one of the ten men gathered at the top of the cliff.

The old man produced a sound as if to attract all of them to himself, and then continued,

“Young men usually have high spirits. When the old surrendered, seven youths who had just passed their college decided to guard the interest of their people. They believed in discussions with those in power and stood for protecting the basic rights of their people. It was a blow to the plans of the king and his ministry who never expected that out of the cultivated youth would step up people who concerned for the sick, poor and needy and wanted to work for their welfare. The slave-girl, on the other hand, got all the sparks of hope glittering in her songs, adding color to the lives of many around her. All of a sudden she felt herself free, free to live according to what she believed in. Freedom brought her more hope and courage and the urge to smell the flower of her dreams increased drastically.

The king would never let his monopoly suffer; hence he decided to use his last card in order to bring conditions under his control. Famous for being against the use of force to settle matters, he came up with a new strategy against his opponents. The king asked the inhabitants of the area to nominate their own minister, who would work under his command and the reforms introduced by the minister could help the economy, grow. The seven youngsters looked for a name which could gain trust of the people, while being steadfast in its own right. Slave-girl was the only person who had already shown extreme steadfastness in safeguarding the values of her people. Fully aware that the situation was difficult to be controlled from internal sources, the king transferred authority to the slave-girl, who undertook it as her mission to bring back the happiness and prosperity of her people. The team of seven took their message all across the area, urging people to stand up in order to carve a bright future. The message of love and harmony echoed in the voice of the slave-girl and all those who heard her songs could find no escape from its influence.

Nobody knows what spell stirred all the inhabitants to work their maximum. The produce and trade crossed all barriers of heights previously reached. All the nearby areas including other regions ruled by their king lost their economic importance, and soon the land breathed in fresh air of freedom, when the king’s inability got evxposed from the performance of the new ministry. Their values and beliefs got restored and men became their own masters.
The seven youngsters did not want the epic to end here. With a message as universal as theirs, they could not feel satisfied before there was any poor or needy left on any land. For this they had to depart from their beloved land, just to ensure that every individual on mother-Earth lives a comfortable life.

On the moonlit night of their departure, the whole population came to bid them farewell. The slave-girl could be seen standing on the nearby hills, singing the songs she always sung keeping the spirits of her people high. It was the slave-girl who was no longer enslaved by the tyrannies of others or the desires of her own self. She had smelled the flower she had always craved for. Now when flower was departing it left an everlasting fragrance behind, and made the slave-girl its slave. This was the slavery achieved at the height of freedom. The legend says that she spent the rest of her years here on these mountains, looking out for the love of her life, and living in its fragrance, forever.”

The old man had tears in his eyes, while ending the long narration of a story revolving around simple values of life.

“In our times, youngsters would gather on these mountains on the night of Full moon, to honor the legend and the slave-girl. Lightening candles or lamps is the traditional way of doing so” said the man with grey-ish hairs addressing the youngsters, with a twinkle in his eye as if reliving his prime days.

The man with black curly hairs stretched his arms, adding

“No doubt the tale is touchy but where is such optimism in the world today. Economic issues can not be addressed so dramatically as this. Common man has got no power. Where food is the basic necessity of life, why not trade values for food?”

“Food can keep the body of a person living, what about the soul? Where is the food for soul going to come from?” interrupted the youngest of the men.

“And my question is that what is wrong with leaving values and beliefs behind? It is the matter of an individual to decide. What has the whole population to do with shared values?” a man wearing a brown leather-jacket put forward. The old man went furious at his response and flashed the discussion to a heated argument by further adding

“What can a person or a nation depend upon, if they are deprived of their own values? Surely they will be a mass with no life in it, and such masses are waste for the cycle of nature!”

“Lifeless? Oh no, haven’t you seen the youth of today? They are so energetic and full of life, despite seemingly ignoring their values. They dress up in an alien way and they talk in a fashion not belonging to us." man in brown leather-jacket replied.
"Yes, yes! Aren’t they the ones who don’t show interest in the tales like 'the legend'? Do you consider them dead…?” pointed the man with curly hairs towards the stones where the two youngsters were seated.

And all the men looked with their jaws ajar and eyes gone wide, as they could set eyes on two earthen-lamps fighting against the currents of air so as to keep blazing. The youngsters were nowhere to be seen.

This sight left the men in much surprise, making them motionless, before some kind of a force compelled all of them to search for anything that could be lit. Some got candles; others used wood kept for the bonfire. In a matter of no time there could be seen twelve lights coming from the top of the mountain. The moonlight went more intense than before and the bonfire was also producing much light. In spite of all this brightness, the two small earthen lamps seemed to envelope the whole atmosphere and dominated any light in the area.

Far away on another cliff, with the full moon at their back a young couple could be seen hand in hand, walking together, towards a light coming from an unknown source. The mountains heard a voice they were so familiar with, and a song which originated in their bosom.

O’ you who live in the fleeting time,

Give ear to my eternal rhyme

Foster your ego with zeal and pride

And drape it with hope so bright

Beget and spread the aurora of love

Uniting the whole mankind as one

Hand in hand, we may move on

To a beautiful epoch awaiting us

The legend of a "Slave-girl" (part 1)

Monday, January 31, 2011

It is part one of the story "The legend of a slave-girl". Because of its length i decided to put the story in two parts.


It was a chilly night but the sky was clear. The rugged land with low lying barren mountains scattered here and there was beaming with the brightness of full moon. Down on one side was a valley, green with vegetation and flooded with small canals. On the west of the mountainous region was a less frequently used road, where people coming from the plain areas usually traveled for adventure’s sake. From the top of a barren mountain two shadows could be seen approaching the group of men encamped near a bonfire, probably lit to relieve them of the cold. When viewed closely one could notice from their wide glittering eyes and pronounced body movement that the two newcomers were youngsters, most likely teenagers full of energy. Also the wonderment about the world around them could be easily read from their manner. This could lead a keen observer to take into account that despite they been very energetic were lacking direction in life.


They reached the peak breathing heavily, and it was not before one of them spoke that the presence of a female was noticed. The newcomer who spoke was undoubtedly a girl of pretty features and her purple shirt with black jeans and the hair-do were the true depiction of the trends among the teenagers of her gender, in every respect. She was the focus of all the ten men sitting near the fire. But their manners and appearances showed sophistication.

“We were traveling from the road west of this mountain when we got something wrong with our vehicle. This fire attracted us to you.” The girl talked to the men in a slight shrilly voice after which she turned towards her companion who now got attention from all the men.

He seemed a guy of the same age group as the girl, and was dressed in brown trousers and a loose brown shirt on top. Dressed more like an adventure seeker from the thrill-movies of the day, the guy seemed a perfect match for his surroundings. It was now his turn to speak.

“Actually, we are travelers and have been to these mountains before too, but such sort of thing has never occurred before.”

Men could be seen looking at each other before one with curly hairs welcomed the newcomers with a little laugh and mockingly addressed his companions

“Who is there now who says that they came here for the sake of ‘legend’? No my dear friends, it’s an outdated story and only helps men to think something other than cold.” Saying this he started rubbing his hands, as if trying to get rid of any unwanted thought. A man with brown moustaches started looking at the other end of the mountain unpleasantly, as if the remark was directly meant for him. The newcomers were surprised, and kept looking at each other before another man with grey-ish hairs brought them food from a small tent.

It was only then that they could hear something of the ‘legend’ again.

“It’s the first time I am out hunting with you guys on these mountains at a full moon. Though I myself do not believe in such tales but the atmosphere here is mesmerizing” replied the man with moustaches, facing up to look at the moon.

“A legend?” the girl asked. “What sort of legend is it?” the guy added.

Both of them were getting impatient to know and their eyes went gladder on asking about 'the legend'. This was the time when the whole company exchanged glances before the oldest member of the group replied

“You both are so young that the story might have never reached your ears. Nobody now consider it a truth but we can’t deny that it is interesting to be told.” When saying this even the old man’s eyes had got some glitter in them.

“Yes yes, I want to hear it again too. It can be entertaining for all of us here” replied the youngest in the ten men who was dressed in black.
The one with black curls had his nostrils moved a little on hearing this.

The old man started speaking again, but a noticeable change could be felt in his tone, which sounded him several years younger than what he actually was.

“Those were the days when the villages nearby first breathed the chimney smokes of the industries. The then ruler took control of every business flourishing in the land, and all the villagers were bound to serve him. In such a background the nearby valleys heard songs of hope and freedom coming from the lips of a slave-girl.”

“A slave-girl?” asked the girl in surprise.

“Yes, she was a slave, but things were different when she was born. The girl was a young princess when her father’s kingdom was attacked by a treacherous ruler from a neighboring state. The king was killed, and the daughter was made a slave. But slavery could do nothing to her enchanting features and mesmerizing voice. Her eyes would speak of a promising future for all the villagers.”

“What was her name?” the girl could not resist asking.

“It was a tradition to give no names to the slaves back then and so she was just called slave-girl” the old man replied, irritated at her untimely question.

“Please carry on with the story.” the guy impatiently said. So the old man started again.

“The people of that region had a different concept of slavery than ours. The slave-girl used to dress up as a princess and was given a life-style equal to all her age fellows, but when it came to ideas, she was forced to bow down in front of her masters. The king wanted her to shun off all what was taught to her by her righteous father and pious mother, and surrender to what they had for her. She had no power to take a stand against the king but it was equally disturbing for her to kill her own beliefs and principles. The slave-girl knew that if she truly surrender to their ideas the whole kingdom of her father would have to pay generation after generation for the loss.”

“What did she do then?” asked the young man in black.

“She never let her true spirit die but she had to hide her beliefs for the sake of her protection, from the king as well as from the villagers as all of them had surrendered before the alien king. It was only when she would be out singing in the forests near the valley that she would let her feelings come out in words.”

Everyone continued listening to the old man in silence and suspense.


FOR NEXT PART READ: The legend of a slave-girl (part2)
.
.

LAW

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Laws enacted in a society determine the direction of its progress. Muslims of sub-continent dreamed of a separate homeland, where they can introduce and practice laws according to their own interpretation of the Islamic principles of Law. Creation of Pakistan was the first step towards this goal, but coming up with Law which corroborate Islamic values in accordance with the current needs of the society required the nation to explore and experience the pros and cons of the legal systems already flourishing in the world.


In the last six decades, we have gone through a number of legal experiments, adopting Secular views and experiencing certain kind of Islamization, Pakistanis have come across a number of questions regarding the legal scenario.

In the past few years the urge to define our legal philosophy has met new zeal. The armed militancy of Talibanization brought much more than unrest and disturbed law and order situation, a social legal system based on values alien to the common masses were given boost, triggering the nation to reach a consensus in finding answers to the queries they felt when experiencing all these different legal philosophies and instigating the common masses to analyze legal history of the nation, and revise the already flourishing system.

At the level of common masses heated discussions are going on, and all of a sudden the whole nation seems to shoulder the responsibility of framing the Laws supporting Islamic values acknowledged by the founding fathers of the country. From the nature of laws to the role of legal institutions in the life of a nation, its direct or indirect relation with common masses, a common man is busy addressing these questions and erecting Law according to his/her own interpretation. Without this involvement and interest of a common man, the intelligentsia alone can not be of any help in coming up what the nation dreamed of achieving at the time of the birth of the country.

From Lawyer’s movement and the interest shown by masses for it to the women empowerment bills, the decision making seems directly influenced by what the nation demands.

Is it that we are about to enter a new legal phase in the history of our nation and is the next goal in front of the nation concerned about framing and enacting the Law we always yearned for? This is a question which the current situation compels me to come up with. What do you say?
(Related post: See Khurram Ali Shafique’s article Cornelius of Pakistan)

Freedom

Saturday, January 15, 2011



Freedom was the only code of conduct Saba ever wanted to follow in her life. Her life resembled the voyages of Air, which are without any marked beginning and destination. Like a multi-colored butterfly, she would move from one flower to the other, and would gather all the scents and colors scattered around the garden.



But one day when her black round eyes were busy examining a tiny insect, which had crept silently onto the bosom of the flower of her life, her mind got struck by a thought which turned into a question.


“Oh!” she exclaimed, “What brought this insect close to this flower? I need to know this. I certainly do!” And she steered the boat of her thoughts towards an altogether different and alien direction. Her question fuelled the fire burning inside her and all she wanted now was the answer to her question.


She inquired her heart about it, and found in the chamber of her heart some icons and idols which she had unconsciously borrowed from others. They were residing there for long now, and she could not feel there presence anymore.


“Can you help to solve my query?” she asked the idols.


“You mean us? Oh, certainly we can not. We were not carved by your hand, and we were never built by the clay of your beliefs and thoughts. We are strangers to each other, no matter how close we may live!” was an agonizing response from them.


Saba who once used to consider herself a being enjoying the bounties of Freedom, got disappointed after realizing that in her own heart she had been fostering chains of slavery for quite long. As soon as she realized this, the idols fell to the ground leaving behind only dust and marble.


Saba was astonished at this new definition of Freedom. Life was at a new edge and the chamber of her heart stood empty, creating a vast space inside her. She again changed the direction of her journey, and now she desired to know the true essence of Freedom, as it was dearest to Saba to find independence.


With high aspirations she set out for her new search but for quite a while all she could find was hopelessness around her. The emptiness inside her could not let her bear all this, and she was about to loose her self in the darkness persisting around her, when the arc of her life found a focal-point.


It was a new discovery for her. Someone who longs for freedom finds difficult to revolve round a single point, but the brightness of that point rescued her and gave a new meaning to her life. Once again her life took a turn, and the chamber of her heart got filled with the brightness of that point.


“What are you, and what makes you so enchanting?”


“I am Love and the radiance of truth makes me bright.”


“I was a desperate being, but you made me blissful. Why is that so?”


“You developed a quest, and your self-determination helped you survive. You craved for the truth, and now the encounter with Love soothes you.”


“I feel I do not know what I am looking for. I started with one question, came across something new, and came back full circle to where I started. I cherished freedom, and life has brought me back to my first dream. Can you help me? Perhaps you can tell what freedom is?”


“It is all you have attained on the way. Questioning is freedom. Cleaning your heart of thoughts not belonging to you is freedom, and finally moving around one focal point is freedom”


Saba continued conversing with herself, her surroundings and with her life. Soon the arc of her Life became a complete circle, revolving round the same hub. The focal-point got deeper and deeper every time Saba came up with a new question, shining more intensely. All the scents and colors in the garden came to gather near her, and unconscious of their presence Saba is busy creating more depth to her Life. Now she understands the true essence of Freedom, which is making her life all the more interesting and colorful.