It is Tax Time, People!

Whats wrong with doing the right thing?

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We want Pakistan to become a developed country, but we don’t want to pay taxes like all people in developed countries do. (Believe me they hate paying taxes too.)

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imagesHey, Pakish people, now is the time to do the tax filing. Start now, before you are running around at the last moment. I really don’t want to go into that crap about “Why should we give tax?” and “Look at what the Government does! (Or does not do…)” and “I refuse to pay taxes to fill pockets of corrupt political parties.” Yes, I’ve heard what you keep saying. But this is what I say:

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A Strange happening

during my walk in the park this morning… 

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What happened today was different. I’ve been going for walks to F-9 Park or Fatima Jinnah Park for many years. You can say its’ my favorite haunt. As I drove into the car park,  I had to be careful as three young boys were getting in my way. They were around fifteen years of age, carrying school bags and smoking. As one of them passed near my car, “You look like  such a wonderful young man,” I softened what I was about to say with a smile, “your young lungs must be having a tough time with this smoking!” As I parked, I went over and met the other boys too. Umar, Ali and Noman all aged 15 in class 9th.

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“Are you bunking your classes today?”

“No, we are having exams. Our paper got finished, so we so we came here.” Said, one of them.

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The Sparkle in One’s Life

-Brought by valuing relationships with our land and loved ones.

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At We Play the new place, for the adventurous and fun loving folks of Islamabad.
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So wonderful sharing a meal at the same table.

It rained yesterday. We put off the air conditioner, opened the windows to let in the wind and the sound of pouring rain into the lounge. Yes, a typical downpour of Islamabad. The curtains moved with the wind. Irresistibly, Nataliya was drawn close to the window as she eagerly breathed in the rising fragrance of earth mixed with splashing rain in the raging downpour outside.

“This is the smell that I’ve craved for!” She said with an expression of ecstasy.

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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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