Archive for ‘Pakistan’

June 7, 2018

Cafe De Pamir and what makes it special

by Khanum

بسم الله

Sleepy, sluggish, happy dreams. I woke up yawning from my deep slumber.  On my right was the new friend I had made on the trip, a girl from Abbotabbad. And on my left, was my mother. Curled up, and asleep like a baby. This was Hunza. I was at Cafe de Pamir. The morning was beautiful and unlike any other morning of my life, and despite my exhaustion, and fatigue screaming from every bone of my body including the muscles and the skin, I was too happy and euphoric for the morning. 

My first view of the day was probably the ceiling. The beautiful new ceiling. The ceiling? How silly it may sound and ordinary to mention, but when you are on vacation and in a different setting, the very minutest details become your  kham-khua ki khushi. The very new things, your reason for feeling blessed. And your senses, heightened enough to detect even the tiniest of the new flower outside your window, becoming your muse on the journey.

The fact that there could be bugs on the floor ( but there weren’t) where we had comfortably decided to sleep last night, did not bother me. There were bunker beds, four of them, but the main attraction of the room: the big windows, had us rolling with joy on the floor.

When I say rolling with joy, you have to picture euphoria. The euphoria upon getting a room with giant windows on two sides that open up to the mountain Rakaposhi on the right and, another giant mountain on the front. We definitely hadn’t seen it coming.

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June 6, 2018

The view from my window at Cafe De Pamir, Hunza پہلی صبح

by Khanum

بسم الله

Subh Bakhair .

Mere alarm ne wafadari nibhate hoye, kaan ke kareeb ghanti bajai. 

Aur kamal hi hogaya, ke mai uth bhi gai. Karwat le ker jab ird gird dekha, tou shuker hai khuda ka sab wesa hi tha jese pichli raat chora tha. Daayen janib, aik nai abottabadi saheli. Baayen janib, zaati reliable pyari Ammi.

Hunza main meri pehli subha, bilkul ese hi thi jese bachpan mai agle din eid ki khushi. Isi khushi ke maaray sari raat neend nahi ati thi. ‘Ammi thora aur khel lun bas?’

‘Ammi , please, thora aur naaye joote dekh lun bas?’  yahan tak ke thora aur thora aur kerte kerte, joote sath rakh ke sonay ki nobat aa jati thi. Sirf agle din ki khushi ki khatir.

Mere liye Cafe De Pamir mai, naaye joote tou nahi thay. Kyun ke wo mai Gilgit ki mitti zadda road pe already tor chuki thi. Likin us waqt, Hunza mai, naaya din mera muntzair zaror tha. Alhamdulillah. Aur isi khushi mai, mai ye bilkul bhool chuki thi, theek bachpan ki terhan ke meri neend poori nahi hui. Saath hi saath jism mai 24 ghanton ke safar ki badolat, dard naak khaliyaan bhi theen. Esi khalliyan ke jis ke baray mai ager mai eik poora mazmoon likhna chahun, tou likh sakti hun. Likin mai likhungi nahi. Don’t worry. Ek waja tou ye ke 24 ghante bayaan karna asaan nahi. Dosri waja ye ke agay jo hua, wo batanay ki zara mujhe jaldi hai. Utni hi jaldi, jitni jaldi mujhe us roz, wo din shuru kerne ki thi. Nir e haal mu.

Lehaza, khaliyon ko khushi se kabool karte hoye, mei foran se uth khari hui.

Allahu Akbar!

Subha subha uth ke pehla kaam tha bhaag kar khirki pe jana, mu bahir nikalna, aur ird gird ke paharon ko ankhain phar phar ker dekhna. Ye plan maine raat ko hi bana liya tha. Kamrey mai dakhil hote hi, hum teenon kamre ke munfarid nakshay pe khushi ke maaray aik dosarey se  takreeban eid hi mill rahe thay. Itni khushi. Itni khushi. Ke hum ne jhatt se samne ki bari bari teen khirkiyon ke neeche lagaye teen farshi bistron pe dairay jama liye. Un khirkiyon se aik bohat bara pahaar aur Hunza waadi ke ghar nazar aarahe thay. Pahar na door tha na kareeb. Subha shaam dhuan dhuan se badal nazar atay thay jese chai ki chenak se nikalti hui steam. Farak sirf itna tha ke chai garam hoti hai. Ye manzar thanda tha.

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Kamrey ki daayein janib bhi khirkiyaan theen, jis ki khas baat thi Rakaposhi pahar ka manzar. Ammi hazoor ne Rakaposhi wali side pe sona munasib samjha. Mai darmiyaan mai lait gai, aur Abottabaadi lerki/ safar ki dost, meri doosri janib.

Sab se behtreen jaga hum ne apne bhaari bags ko di. Ankhon ke samne, mu se door. 4 bunker beds per.

Zindagi aik dam haseen thi. Alhamdulillah. Zindagi aj bhi wesi hi haseen hai. Alhamdulillah. Mere zehan mai Cafe De Pamir ka ye manzir ab tak wese ka wesa hi maujood hai. Mujhe lagta hai shayad, mai abhi tak wapis nahi aii. Mai wahin hun. Thanday thanday asmaanon ke neeche, baray baray paharon ke darmiyaan. Jahan din bhi utne hi haseen hain jitni haseen raatain. Aur jahan main ne chand ko bullet speed se pahar ke peeche chupte dekha hai. Sach much. Jese wo bhi, agli subha jeene ki jaldi main ho.

June 7, 2014

Time to subscribe to new url: Khanumsays.com

by Khanum

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So this is it. It’s my last post at this place. On the bright side, I’m happy to announce that this goodbye is a hello to my own new blog.

Khanumsays.com is officially on!  Click here to catch me there.

Much love and thanks to all my friends, fans and readers and to WordPress for giving me wonderful 4 years of blogging. You rock!

Please, Don’t forget to subscribe to khanumsays.com for latest updates.

 

May 10, 2014

Shaukat Khan Continues to Inspire NCA Students

by Khanum

The wonderful world of Shaukat Khan is filled with Holiday cruising adventures, Awareness Campaigns and fantastic art works. He doesn’t just write travelogues telling interesting stories about every place he visits but also paints such fantastic things. Have a look at the picture below. This was painted by him during his Save The Disappearing Flora & fauna Of Rainforest campaign. 

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I admire his work, especially the one he put on Saatchi Online. Do check it out. There’s a painting by the name, Fantasy Butterfly. It’s so unique and colorful! Simply splendid work.

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On Wednesday, He gave a marvelous presentation on Ship Cruising before leaving Pakistan. Did I mention he’s settled in UK?

The event started off with a slide show on Flora and Fauna campaign and then escalated with his presentation on Cruising Holidays. All the students just simply loved the idea of cruising  and pictures from all over the world that he been to on ship. Every eye was mesmerized, every student had his breath taken away. I was given the task to photograph the event but even I was so taken away with the presentation on a big screen that I stopped clicking my camera for awhile.

Here are some of the pictures from the presentation day.10396522_854766164551664_1279463371_n1 10405897_854765447885069_1143061343_n 

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P.S. He’s my Uncle.

 

April 21, 2014

When you want to stay away from your Camera

by Khanum

Ever since I got my new camera, Canon 600D, I have been doing photography almost everyday. All my posts are about photography and all my days revolve around ideas that can improve my skills.

This. is. getting. too.much.now! I want to take a break from my camera, break up with it for awhile, announce to my family that I’m on a vacation and would concentrate on reading and writing alone. If you’re also that person who feels its getting a bit overwhelming with shooting all the time, you need to stop too and do something else. Refresh your system and I know, even though it would be hard to stay away from your camera, you need to try for the sake of saving your other talents and plans for life. If you’re a writer , this break is definitely needed for your soul.

Help yourself by knowing these points. 

1- A picture is better than a thousand words. But words are there for a reason. Tell yourself that. Realise it and don’t over do it with photography. Still can’t stop? Find a way to add words to your picture. Make long descriptions, this way you would find the joy of writing again and the devil camera might leave your mind for awhile.

2- Know that everything can’t be photographed. There are emotions that you can’t capture in still photography but only in words. Make schedules, do photography but only once a week. On other days, do something else that gives you joy. Write if that’s what makes you happy. Don’t give up.

3- And finally, make your photography meaningful. Don’t just snap snap and snap all the time. Go for conceptual photography and if you know what that is, you also know that is it takes proper planning and timing because its like a project and not photography for the sake of photography alone.

When I’m back with my camera and we are no longer in a broken relationship, I’ll start writing digital photography tutorials to help you learn how I do my stuff and also to make room for writing.  Meanwhile, enjoy some last of my work because you won’t be seeing much of it for few days.

 

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April 20, 2014

The Whirling Dervishes & The Jumping Gilgit Men

by Khanum

I had another blast just few hours ago. I was taken to Gilgit, Baluchistan, Kashmir,  some more places and ahan!  Konya, Turkey!!

I got to Enjoy that famous Turkish dance, yup, that whirling dervishes performance where they spin round and round endlessly.

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Are you kidding me, Khanum?

No, I am serious. But I didn’t actually go to all those place, All this was brought  right here in Lahore at Expo Centre, Cultural Night, infact. Not only this, I also got to enjoy a dance performance by gilgit group.

I must say it was my favorite one out of all the performances. It was soothing and beautiful.

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The men in the background played beautiful flute or sitar, whatever it was, while two men danced so elegantly on stage in white  shalwar kameez. The amazing thing was their jumps! Yup, they jumped so high many times in it. Ooooo it was so entertaining! Look again, at the jump!

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Then a 3rd one joined them on stage and it got all bomb amazing.

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So good that even Turkish dervish dance performers couldn’t help but observe them from behind the curtain. Have a look at the picture below! See, how amused the man is  behind the curtain at backstage ?

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This was very new to me. I am not a concert person. Nor it was a concert but somewhat near to that. The Turkish performance was not as I imagined it would be, I was waiting for a moment when I would feel a certain emotion and go in trance or something. But It was rather strange, I wonder how they could say that this specific dance was a form of worship. How can an act of worship be  a performance that needs an audience any way?

But I have to say the stamina these men displayed was enormous. They kept whirling for like an hour or maybe more than that. It requires stamina and alot of patience. That’s the only inspiration this could convey.

Perhaps I need to go to Turkey to see the real thing.  And to china as well. Because the Dragon dance that was the second biggest attraction of the night got cancelled at the last minute. I was very disappointed. Let’s hope they arrange another cultural night for that. However, I would appreciate it if they would make it less noisy. I don’t know , maybe its me, but my head was already aching bad after an hour inside that auditorium. Do I need to add that few people among the Pakistani audience are total idiots? Why the heck they had to whistle even at the Whirling Dervishes performance is beyond me. Clapping out of the blue was another hilarious and entirely crazy act. Minus that, it was a GREAT night for Photography. Hope you like the pictures out of the 500 that I took! Lol

 

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Another long and rather strangely new kind of performance was given by a group of men in colorful frocks. They also said their dance was “Inspired by Sufism”, by the way.

 

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The night is long gone. The performances are done, but I am still mesmerized by that one performance.

No .. not the Whirling one. But the one by The gilgit group who had amazing outfits with caps having pigeon feather on top like a crown and jumped so high while dancing. This makes me want to visit Gilgit.

A very pleasing idea.

April 15, 2014

Lunar Corona seen through my Baby Lens, April 2014

by Khanum

Behold! what you have often seen but probably didn’t knew what it was.  That’s Lunar Corona.

Lunar coronae are much more familiar than those around the sun. They are seen when the clouds are thin enough that each single corona light ray reaching the eye is scattered or diffracted by only one droplet. Of course, the whole corona is made by a great many droplets individually scattering the moonlight.

Sometimes as clouds pass over the moon the corona shrinks and swells as different sized droplets mould it. Small droplets make the largest coronae with aureoles a few moon diameters across.  — Source 

 

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