Light Within

making sense of social media mix

Meet Thatta Kedona Dolls

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Meet Thatta Kedona dolls or see Souvenirs and Toys collection here, also here.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, September 01, 2014, , links to this post

Chillianwala Chase

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To-ing and fro-ing, at time zigzagging, in Punjab introduces to wonders and legions of what may be called middle ground of cultural fusion of the present Punjab. The area is gold mine for history seekers, spiritual and curious travelers. You may find much more than what you hear or read. It pays to get out into the countryside and talk to ordinary people. People of the area are eager to help – on their own expense - when you ask anybody. One finds volunteer 'guides' who were forth coming with wealth of information.


Situated near Mong, Chillianwala is a historic village that played an important role in the history of the South Asia. It was a battle ground where British and Sikh forces fought one of the decisive battles in the history of the Subcontinent in 1849. The quiet village has not changed much since then. Only slowly old agricultural methods are changing and tractors and wheat threshers are seen in please of bull driven ploughs. Painted double story houses are coming up where used to be conventional mud houses. Land is excellent with record carrying capacity and the display of seasonal crop is very powerful.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, August 19, 2014, , links to this post

I am Pakistan

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Thursday, August 14, 2014, , links to this post

Why Use Mud?

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The future lies in mud architecture. Though this sweeping statement may sound prehistoric, but it is very relevant to modern times. Building living spaces with mud is a tradition dating as back as the start of civilization. Some excellent examples from the Great Mosque - the world’s largest mud building and UNESCO’s World Heritage site – to the oldest surviving mud specimens found in the Harappa, Pakistan, show the continuous use of mud buildings.


Having grown up in mud house myself (before I moved to urban center), mud buildings have a special place rooted deep in to my cultural consciousness and this personal bond encourages a more intimate relationship between me and the mud as the material transformed from formlessness to form. Hence my interest in mud architecture and how I see its future in Pakistan.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Thursday, August 14, 2014, , links to this post

Independence Day

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Independence Day Info Graphic: Lamudi.pk

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, August 13, 2014, , links to this post

Memories

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Human beings - fortunate of all the creatures- are unfortunately plagued with needs. We want material things and comforts of life besides our basic wants like love and social recognition. Sometimes ago, in an effort to improve material well being, my outer adult joined an educational institution to study the behavioral sciences that are at work to shape the very complex society at present time. This brought back memories of student life: students’ culture, fun of the school days, aspirations I used to have when I was very young, prophecies of my teachers and the missed opportunities I (now) think I should have availed. My admission also brought in focus the main stream education system working in our country.

Earlier, I learnt most of what I have known throughout my life during early stages of life from my parents and in the primary school. My teachers in small village primary school taught me reading, writing, counting and other basic skills required to lead a successful life. I have never forgotten the efforts of junior Vernacular Teachers to instill some kind of discipline in me. They also taught me about giving, sharing, enjoying, commitment, helping, smiling, trying and caring in addition to the academics.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Friday, August 08, 2014, , links to this post

Killer Mountain

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Nanga Parbat – [called killer mountain because more mountaineers have died while climbing it than any other mountain. It is also known as "Killer Mountain" because of the difficulties of reaching the summit] - is the ninth highest peak (8125 meters) in the world and second highest in Pakistan situated on the western tip of great Himalayan. Its face in the south called the Rupal Face rises over 5000 meters from the valley floor to the summit. After a German climber Hurman Bhul scaled it in 1953, many climbers have stepped on the majestic peak including Nazir Sabir of Pakistan. Many have lost their lives in this pursuit too. This is a story of an expedition with which I opted to go as a facilitator.


I have always been eager to visit mountains that lead me to join one expedition to Nanga Parbat as a local facilitator. I met leader of the expedition Adrian Burgees - a blonde foreign national with muscular, lean and tall disposition in the Ministry of Tourism Islamabad and instantly liked him. I was responsible to see that every thing goes smooth. Later, I was introduced to all other members of the expedition and together we tied up details for journey, rations, transportation and purchase of additional climbing gears.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, August 06, 2014, , links to this post

Ears to ground

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

In order to verify the legal status of a property, including business homes and personal estates, one has to go to the patwari, garedawar, tehsildar and it entails a lengthy and laborious procedure. Historically, getting the required information takes a very long time. But thanks to an old man Mir Thana Khan, a minstrel in the village Jalla Balla, the information was available in his private but very authentic record.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, July 28, 2014, , links to this post

Judge the Nations by the Way They Look at Their Women

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Societies pride in different strengths: Some give importance to bravery, some to democracy, and some nations think that freedom of expressions, development and or education are the hallmarks for their long-term sustenance. “The nations should be judged on how they look at their women,” writes Abbas Khan, the author of Urdu novel Mein Aur Umrao Jan Ada, his eleventh.


There is a famous saying that every thing in fiction is true except dates. But in the novel written by Abbas Khan even dates are true because he has based his novel in the back ground of five very famous women in the history: Helen of Troy, Cleopatra, Qura tul Ain Tahira (Iran), Mughal Princess Noor Jehan and Umrao Jan Ada.

Helen of Troy was the daughter of Zeus and Leda and wife of Menelaus, considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world. Her abduction by Paris caused the Trojan War and made thousand ships drown.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, July 21, 2014, , links to this post

Attitude Tourism

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Attitude tourism - to be distinguished from, say, adventure or seeing the sights - is generally not a particularly satisfying activity. Ideas and those who hatch them tend not to leave behind things large or attractive enough to ogle. So you may go to a place of great historic value but find nothing worth the visit. Lasbela tract is a case in point. Usually, you are left, if you are lucky, with a plaque or just an intrinsic thought. So I expected, more or less, nothing in Lasbela.

What I got was signs in lieu of plaques, hot wind, remnants of crumbling columns, and a long view of the undergrowth of thorny bushes, some wildflowers, functional Persian wells and rocky hilltops covered with camel and sheep droppings. It was all prosaic and quiet and yet real enough to propel me into another fit of wonder: I was driving on the tract where Alexander and Muhammad Bin Qasim had treaded.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, July 16, 2014, , links to this post


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