A Little More Petra

Always wanted to visit Petra. Here is some arm chair travel with a brave young girl doing it on her own.

TRAVELLING THE WORLD SOLO

While the Treasury and the Monastery may be the most famous places in Petra, there is a tonne more to Petra than just those two facades.

I spent two full days in the Rose Red city and in those two days, I did an absolute bucket-load of walking. I saw so much, and seemed to found myself silently in awe at least once every few hundred steps!

So, here is a little more of a glimpse into the Lost City of Petra and the magic that awaits you in Jordan.

Visiting Petra independently and exploring solo! Jordan is amazing for backpackers!

As much as I am advocate for going it alone and travelling independently, I will be the first to admit that sometimes it does pay to have someone show you around! As such, I hired a private guide for a few hours one day to give me the lay of the land and to give me greater insight into the…

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Regional Exhibition at National Art Gallery, Islamabad.

“Takht Bhai to Potohar”

(Exhibition opened on 22nd August, it will continue till 10th of September 2017)

My association with the National Art Gallery is a long one – long before this building was constructed in 2007. Previously, it was located in houses in F-7. 1n 1981 when my first solo paintings exhibition was held in it, National Art Gallery was a rented building in F-7/2, then another one was located in F-7/1 in house of Faiz Ahmed Faiz. There were many memorable ‘Evening with Artist’ spent at the gallery. located in heart of the city, it was the hub of activity and interactive sessions with maestros like Ashfaque Ahmed, Raja Changez, Anwar Maqsood, Uzma Gillani just to name a very few. Finally when the beautiful imposing building is ready, there is ample space for art works to be displayed in this spacious building which has many floors accommodating all types of arts including music, paintings, dance and an imposing auditorium for indoor performances, as well as an outdoor theater for performances outside.

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Categories Art

Mentors of Art, Wisdom, Spirituality and more!

Why does everything happen together? I mean, there could have been some space in-between – ideally speaking. But that’s life.  So, I decided to enjoy it!

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To start with, my spiritual mentor Mahjabeen had had an operation and was seriously ill. I couldn’t think straight. Just felt like praying for her, that’s all. So, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do anything till I’d met her. So, I did. Thank God she is better now, but it was touch and go for a while. I begged Allah to spare her life, as I need her in this world very badly.  Though we don’t meet very often – Just the odd message on WhatApp here or there. But just knowing she is around, makes me feel so strong. I know, if anything happens or if I need her, she will be with me on phone helping, guiding and consoling me. She is that kind of person. Very very religious. Totally shrouded in her beliefs in purdah, and full of love for all. She is nothing but a complete source of ‘sakeena’  or ultimate peace for me. As she remarks often “what can I do, Allah has put love for you in my heart!” I feel so humble and honored.

So, I realized, how many persons in our lives mean the world to us, even though we do not meet them often. Yet they are a very integral part of our inner strength and happiness. So, thank God, she is better now.

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Happy birthday Bilal! :)

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Today, a strange thing happened: Nataliya had asked me to make a video for you, for your birthday. Believe me, I made three videos. Each time it would get too long. I was literally flooded with memories…. I was already considering writing a blog post on you.

This did it. I realized a two-minute video couldn’t do justice to such an amazing personality. So, on your fortieth birthday, I want to wish you a very happy birthday.

 You were less than thirty years old when you came to take my daughter’ hand in marriage, you and your qualifications were awesome. – Just the distance from here was the hitch. (The way the marriage happened was another interesting story! Perhaps another blog about how an arranged marriage was arranged. ) Your comment later on, that “it was all planned by the Master Planner,” seemed the only feasible theory. It was not just your qualification of having worked for so long in Microsoft. More than that was your multifaceted introvert personality; your love for art, literature, music and the fact that you write very well. – All qualities I really admire. Perhaps the best thing was and is your sense of humor.

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  My friend Unzila’s home

Unzila has a lovely home in Islamabad. I often drop in at her place and feel like sharing what I see. So, this time I thought I better go ahead with it.

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We both enjoyed ourselves, as I sipped the tasty lemon grass green tea. Hurriedly, I snapped away with my mobile phone’s camera and then it was a quick trip through her home.

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Happy 70th Birthday, Pakistan

(May you live forever, Ameen.)

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The documented sacrifices of all people during partition are there for all to witness and feel their pain. Jimmy Engineer (the famous artist) devoted his life to document the hardships faced by those who had to give up everything for the sake of Pakistan, and move over here.15193546_1339526812747274_3227150554842439833_n
You and I both know all about them.  We mustn’t forget how many sacrifices it took to bring Pakistan into being. The birth pains were violent and unbearable.
Just twenty five years on – Pakistan faced dismemberment too – another painful experience of losing East Pakistan which was personally witnessed by so many. Today, recovering from all those hardships, Pakistan is strong and fine in many ways, (I know the media would like us to believe otherwise.)

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Its Friday again!

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“Assalamo Alaikum!” My friend Seema had called. “What’s going on?” she asked.

“I’m celebrating my Friday.” I told her happily. (Meaning: end of week, weekend, fun-time.)

“Celebrating Friday or …..” Her pause made me pause too.

She is one of my very religious friends. Actually she is an authority on it. She spent not only one year in the Al Huda International Academy but also did a four year course which is done by aalimas from a well known Madrassa here in Islamabad.. Now, she teaches in an academy. So, when she pauses… it makes me think.

Yet, at the same time, she is the one with a great sense of humor. She loves and enjoys literature, and loves me too, in spite of all my shortcomings. She is truly a great, loving and caring friend.

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The flying flying-saucer!

 Formal functions can be so funny

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In the College of Home Economics, we had to live in a house and manage it on our own. It was called ‘the residence.’ All Homec students have many stories about their residence experiences. What do you expect when a bunch of novices try to behave as ‘pros’? So, here we were at a dinner in our residence. Not everyone was used to cooking, and nor was everyone skilled at using the knife and fork.

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I admit a flying saucer is not a formal meal, but that is what had been cooked that day. The meals had to be planned within the budget and preferably interesting dishes.

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Financial Accounting with national progress

All my Facebook friends know that what I’m doing these days. Yes, here I am

studying financial accounting.

20431674_1627279083972044_8205382140819841517_n I’m sure you know much more about it than I do. You had it as a subject, I didn’t. Everyone says that the subject is ‘useless’, ‘not used in real life’ and what not! So far, whatever I’m reading is making a lot of sense. The other thing is that like you, I may disagree with some points. Next, I’m planning to look up the software being used. It has made me have a lot of respect for those who are good at it. The word ‘accountant’ has got more dignified intonations for me now! (Keeping in mind that a lot of ‘jugli bugli’ can be done through it too!) The fact remains that it is important.

We all know that it is the backbone of every organization and the key deciding factor in making it a success or failure.

-That includes our homes and our lives!

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Problems or opportunities?

 Why am I telling myself not to write a blog this week?

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(“Stop everything else and concentrate on my studies?”)

But still, I am writing a blog post, telling me that I’ll just do it in a jiffy? (Is that going to the computer lingo too?) … just like so many words, like apple, window, now it is gif? GIF?) oops.  Back to my blog… so I was saying…

What I learnt during my MBA was that you can replace the word ‘problem’ with ‘opportunity’ and it really works. Come to think of it, every problem in life has taught us something. If nothing else, it taught us which problems to run from and which problems to face and solve.

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So, here I am, giving myself one hour to get this blog done with. I’ve written regularly for 27 years. Yes, actually! Ok, so many of you, my cute readers, are not even 27 years old ?!! No problem. You have better opportunities now than I imagined. Being lessor than 27 is one of them. See what I mean?

So, all these years, I’ve been a freelance writer for several dailies and magazines. Writing is a habit for me. Now, my blog has turned into an addiction! If I don’t write,  I feel I’m doing my reader out of an … opportunity????…. to learn something else, that I have recently learnt too.

So, I am studying Financial Accounting because I flunked in it. All the other papers went very well. So was my Project, but this is beyond me. I’ve got to work hard now. But, still I can’t forget you. So, here I am loving studying and learning new aspects of the subject. (Love it when it clicks. Hate it when it doesn’t!) While trying to focus on my studies, there are so many ‘problems’ and ‘opportunities banging on my door….

Water problem in Islamabad.

I’m sharing a couple of pictures with you of a pond near my home. These pics were taken three years ago. If you see it now, it is more rugged with much lessor water.

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So, there is this water problem in Islamabad caused by the lowering of water table in this region. As Gp. Capt. Jamil – a friend of my husband and myself – just remarked, “had the CDA (Capital Development Authority) thought about it earlier, and built some ponds in and around Islamabad to contain the rain water, this problem could have been avoided.” Instead, I’ve seen CDA send tankers to take out water from the natural pond near my home.

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So, I’ve been going frantic trying to brainstorm how to solve this water issue.

Continue reading “Problems or opportunities?”