Many of us, me included, are always carping how things have changed for the worse. We bewail the great times gone by, moan over the values that have gone asunder, groan about the louts whom we have to suffer almost all the time and sigh eternally for better times when life in urban centers was a real life. In the face of fast pace of urbanization, we miss the more networked life in small towns when everyone knew everyone and when folks from older generations passed on the history to the new generations face to face.
Now when everything seems coming from TV screens, you can have a glimpse of a life in small towns
only in THAAP conferences
. THAAP is documenting and recording what is left of life in small towns. In the third THAAP evening (organised in association with Inter University Consortium for the Promotion of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities) of the series on life in Small Towns, focus was on Uch Sharif – famous seat of learning of the past and Jalalpur Pirwala – the old town still struggling for identity of its own. Dr. Nasrullah Khan Nasir spoke his heart and told so much about Uch and how the town has relegated to from a famous academic city of sufis and scholars to a hub of those who seem to be using drugs in every corner of every falling shrine there. Waris Malik talked about cultural life in Jalalpur Pirwala.
Earlier, Prof. Sajida H. Vandal, the THAAP Executive Director and former Principal NCA Lahore who was presiding the wonderful event highlighted the objective of ThAAP - a trust established for the promotion of education and research. The focus of this year Thaap Conference and series of evenings is LIFE IN SMALL TOWNS. This is an effort to study a town as an integrated view of life in the urban context, highlighting both the tangible and intangible cultural aspects. About 70 people attended the evening, including, Architect Shama Usman, Prof. Dr. Anis Siddiqi, Prof. Dr. Gulzar Haider, Ms. Rati Cooper, Ms. Madeeha Gauhar to name a few. Upcoming is the THAAP Talk Series on July 20, 2012. Next THAAP Evening will be held in August 2012, while the third THAAP Annual International Conference is scheduled to be held in November 2012.
Being from a small town (Mandi Bahaud Din) myself, I know loutish behavior and loud voices screaming ever so loudly into fancy cell phones that characterizes life in any small town now. My eyes were opened to an altogether new perspective on Uch by the brilliant Dr Nasrruula Khan Nasir, who said that he has lived his life trying to speak to Cholistan desert and was overwhelmed by the fact that he had not been able to do that yet.
We should embrace the new life in small towns because that is the new reality. We should, instead of sniggering, look at the vulgarity and crassness that is so much the sign of the times, the defining quality of our society, and embrace it much in the manner of we have done life on TV screen and new social media (Blogs, Facebook and Twitter). [Images - Amna Jehangir]
Labels: Jalalpur Pirwala, Life in Small Towns, Uch Sharif
posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, June 19, 2012,
Interesting article....it;s indeed important to give priority to these small towns coz what the life we live now in the modern cities were once a small town..
Nayyar Julian said...
THAAP is an acedemic pursuit.It surely helps understand the social,culture and arcitectural fabrics of our society.
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