(Work, Workshop, Walk and Weekend (with friends!) )
All writers work with the four ‘W’s: “What, When, Where, Why” But when I thought of last week and the weekend, I realized this too had four Ws in it! ….. You see, towards end of any week, one wants to complete everything in order to have a free weekend. Then one wants a good weekend too. Last week I felt that just as we jam up our weeks with work, we jam up our weekends with activities too. We need to …. stop and go slow! (Just like my cat Muffin here.) We need time to look out of the window. Just chill.
We have a tendency to fill our ‘to do’ lists with ‘big things‘. It is important to leave some space for the ‘little things’. Like sorting out drawers, files and cupboards etc. etc. and so on.
It was my friend saying, “On weekends, while I want to do NOTHING – you want to do EVERYTHING!” Yes, someone knows me too well. So, this time, I did everything on Thursday and Friday and had time for slowing down on Saturday and Sunday. How’s that?
On Thursday and Friday I went to complete my income tax returns work, with Mr. Liaqat. (Hey, it takes time.)
I’ve been here so often that by now my girls almost hate it. Yet, they will never refuse to go, as it’s a lovely outing for someone living in Islamabad. I love the drive on the Expressway, from Islamabad to 17 km short of Murree. It takes about an hour or so. The last steep climb up to the resort is really nice and challenging. Just be a bit careful, if there is oncoming traffic.
I found out about this place through my art group when Mansoor Rahi and Hajra Mansoor would bring about twenty of us on a coach to this place. While the tasty chicken karahi is being prepared, he assembles us for a lecture and demonstration on art. After that we spread around this area and do our own sketches and paintings. I’ve got many pictures of those sessions. (However, I can’t find any right now – good for you – otherwise, you would have been flooded with them! )
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.)
Hey, 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:
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.
“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.
-Brought by valuing relationships with our land and loved ones.
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.
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.
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…
(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.
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!
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.