Archive for ‘Places & Events’

May 28, 2014

HALA MADRID !!! Lisbon 2014

by Khanum

2110858_w2

Hala Hala Hala ! And there go all the supporters of Atlético Madrid against me. What a match !!! what a TENSE match for both teams. And Surprisingly, despite the fact that Atletico was successful to make the 1st goal, all of my family rooted for Real Madrid right from the beginning without any disputes. This was the first soccer match ever to be watched by my family. No joke. Even I never had any interest in Football before, all I used to hear was how down to earth Messi Messi Messi is,  and how show off Ronaldo looks. But this is what I think: Ronaldo may be hard to digest sometimes but hey! Give that guy a break! His team got talent which got them this victory.

Here’s a quick recap summary of the match from the newly born soccer fan who thinks Bale is actually cool !

1: Atletico Team has got great players. But they are big whiners, cheaters and do not care for the yellow cards whatsoever!

2: David Villa has to do more than that to impress me. (No I am just joking. He’s married for God’s sake)

3: Pop corns are a must to watch the game. A consensus we all reached upon. Mom included.

4: Billion dollars Ronaldo has to stop taking his shirt off at every win. It becomes hard to root for Real Madrid then. But His act of affection towards his mate at the end of the match, that was just beyond words cool.

P.S. To those Atletico players who pushed him down several times on the field today, My family hates you all. 

5: Real Madrid players got to spread on the play ground well. That’s where Atletico was better. They were sharp and all over the place like grass hoppers.

2110824_w2

6: GARETH BALE! I saw this guy making some real efforts on the play ground there. There were 209,594 tweets per minute after Gareth Bale made the goal and Real Madrid went up 2-1 ! That was spectacular and so sudden that we all screamed in union MADRIDDDDDDDDD!!!

Gareth Bale

7: I need Real Madrid T-shirt. Any soccer player interested in gifting me one, please drop a comment. No jokes.

 

That’s all for today from Khanum. I still need to learn alot about soccer. But I already know who’s my favorite from now on.

Bale who I called, Gale,  throughout the match. Lol

 

Hala Madrid !!  (My 1st ever post on soccer)I hope you enjoyed the recap

 

Note: I do not own the pictures

e were 209,594 

Advertisements
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. 

46021_535386536560446_1977110059_n

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.

10405800_854765881218359_1566514779_n

 

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 10374274_854765861218361_1725397830_n1

10361249_854765877885026_1220515423_n

P.S. He’s my Uncle.

 

April 25, 2014

NORAK inspiring Islam for children

by Khanum

Life, is beautiful. What makes it even more pretty are the astounding unique ideas of brilliant people.

Meet Sara Hussein! Another brilliant girl. One of the many beautiful people on earth who came forward with a unique and productive idea of her own. NORAK. “A product that brings the beauty of Islam and Technology together.”

 

464

I came across this product on Twitter, when I met Sara who was extremely busy running the fundraiser campaign. You all remember the Pop Quranic Book by Hajera Memon, right? A product that I got to know via twitter as well. The news update on that one is that it raised the required funding to go ahead with their project and now they are in the production phase.

As for NORAK , the journey has just started and am so glad that they have raised $2,526 already. With 13 days left to reach their target of $50,000 , Sara is hopeful that it would turn out well. See her website http://bit.ly/1e48ekZ

Is it just about lights?

This is where you’ll be surprised my friend. NORAK is a WONDER. In the words of the creator of this product,

“I created this product to help enhance my children’s bedtime routine and give them something that holds true to our Islamic identity, as well as giving me the freedom to be in control my children’s bedtime routine. In a world filled with technology it can sometimes feel like everything around us is chosen for us before we even get given a choice.

10250176_1573565596202180_4848017145271738750_n-1

When I was looking for night-lights for my son to help him get to sleep at night all I could find was the same generic moons and stars with pre-installed musical lullabies. I believe that the Quran is our light in this world and so it’s important to be able to share that with our children as soon as we can. With NORAK you can choose what you listen to, and if you take a look at our perks you can get one of the first ever NORAKs to be made with a micro-SD card pre-loaded with Quran for you to listen to.

Although NORAK was designed with children in mind, it’s also a beautifully timeless classic addition to the home. It’s a piece of art / technology that is interchangeable between generations. From babies to grandparents were confident this is a gift to give or keep.” 

I find her story very inspiring and her kids too adorable. NORAK is like a perfect gift you can gift to your kids and to your friends as well. If you haven’t checked out their site yet, Follow them and support their campaign by helping in raising the funds. Click here to run fast to their site.

May Allah help NORAK get launched good and soon. Ameen

 

P.S! Happy 200th Post to me 🙂

 

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.

img_2625

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.

10178038_245367425666265_6574396390646318422_n

 

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!

10273429_245367422332932_4631408013956433496_n

 

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

10168137_245367488999592_1919904660685966472_n

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 ?

img_2438-copy

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

 

10300028_245367608999580_6444491227353921960_n

 

10299964_245367652332909_8981615245950355234_n

 

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.

 

1173880_245367522332922_2101279571543289687_n

1491780_245367558999585_6889774201199037205_n

1982231_245367585666249_5276853497822758041_n

 

 

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 2, 2014

In search of a starry night

by Khanum

So what have I been upto!?

I have been running after stars. Like mad! Literally! Like mad!!

And nobody gets this, why! People have been asking me why haven’t I uploaded anything from my canon. Well, my reason is that I have been running after a clear night to photograph. I didn’t buy this canon for making portraits of my family–which is exactly what they force me to do every day–I got this so I can finally do something I dreamed of. Astrophotography. It’s been my love. I still remember how I used to spend endless hours on gawking the Natgeo’s captures of the heavens and star trails. I have even watched a Pakistani amateur astronomer,  live, marvelling at the moon with his mighty Celestron Telescope. And all those times, I used to wonder when would my time come to have a picture of the stunning starry night . That time is here. Canon with its beauty gives you stunning manual control over ISO, Exposure and shutter speed– that you can do wonders with.

The only problem I am having now is the  pollution engulfing my city. I can’t see enough stars to fill my digital canvas. So I decided to move to another city in few days and try my luck there.  I hope I get a clear nightsky or I am really going to kill someone in frustration. Till then, let me share what I got so far.

img_0641

 

I took this shot on manual mode with F/4.5 and ISO 400. We can of course increase the ISO upto 6400 in Canon 6ooD. ISO 800 in my opinion is ideal for photographing starry night but keep in mind that higher ISO means higher noise in the picture. The tiny grains that ruin the picture sometimes. In few days I am going to try again and in shaa Allah, Hopefully , I’ll get some good shots. I just pray Lahore was a pollution free city. Ugh. Or I had a flying carpet so I could quickly fly to Himalayas for a photo session of those gorgeous skies.

Here’s another experiment rather an adventure I had at a racecourse Park the other day. I was waiting for the stars to come out but rain began to pour and annihilated my dreams. So I started to play with camera settings.

 

1797580_239516769584664_486329089_n

Its taken at a manual mode once again but I made the settings on bulb. I had no tripod at that time otherwise it would have come out so perfect, the shots are blurry but sometimes you got to enjoy the  mistakes and be free in your style of photography. Screw the rules.  That’s how you learn and excel.

Okay, I’m done with the wrecked shots, let’s have a look at the perfect light capture. I love the way Canon let’s me shoot the beautiful lights and capture them in a tiny box like magic.

1535452_239518632917811_511949991_n (1)

 

I’ll soon share the black and white shots that I did today. I personally admire black & white photography alot and the best day to shoot portraits for black and white is a rainy day, when the sky is bit grey and dark. The light on that day is perfect for the black and white shoot.

I have also done some video tests and now working on a small film. Ooooh! I’m so excited about it. Let’s pray it comes out good!

See you all soon.

March 17, 2014

Photowalk at Harappa & Those who Prayed there

by Khanum

Have you seen life after death? I saw it yesterday, at Harappa.

On a morning that promised a hectic day ahead, I embarked on a journey organized by prestigious Photo Mazdoor to the ruins of centuries old Indus Civilisation.  My cousin brother also joined me on this photowalk but unfortunately due a death incident in his family, he had to get off at Sahiwal and hurry towards his home.

I carried on.

I like travelling, to a certain point. I love exploring new places to a greater extent, but what I dislike about my exploring routine, sometimes, is when I miss my salat during my travels. There’s always an option to find the spot somehow and pray, if not possible then do Qaza prayers when you get back at home, of course, but still– the Muslim inside feels burdened when prayers that are supposed to be prayed on time just slip out of hands. And yesterday, I felt this burden again when I saw a group of people offering their prayers at Harappa.

Here’s a little Interesting recap.

Harappa is one challenging place to photograph. Being a photographer, I say this because everything around there is lifeless. That’s right. That’s the status of life there.

Utterly barren, devoid of warmth and full of history lessons that are perhaps not meant to capture but to merely acknowledge. The place I feel, is more designed by Allah Almighty to take heed from in this century. Yet photo mazdoors did a great job at digging up graves. I mean, we all literally did best at photography there by photographing the impossible place ever. Some people found pretty birds there to capture. A beautiful shot , I must say, taken by a photo mazdoor.

1173849_10201426203321777_1964115447_n

Photo Mazdoors made a quite a noise there by arranging BBQ in the middle of ruins! No joke. 

Everywhere I looked, everywhere we all looked, there were just white-brown sands. Graves, Bushes and colorless trees as if they were mourning the times gone by and excavations marks that told how modern men were determined to excavate the remains. I , for one, believe in photographing the details and objects that go unnoticed and voices that go unheard. For this I became almost obsessed with the bruised dirty feet of this small beggar boy sitting near the graveyard. His feet told all his history. 

But then came a surprise for me and my friend, Ayesha. We noticed something extra ordinary there. I wish I had captured that beautiful evidence of extra ordinary life. Subhan Allah! There stood a beautiful tree at the side of a small place dedicated to Masjid for prayers. Every tree around it was dull, too dark in color or either not so pretty to look at or even notice. But this tree was — this one particular gorgeous tree was so Fresh and so Green that my friend and I kept looking at it for quite some time.

Then after lunch when we were packing up to leave the lifeless place behind, I noticed a guy from the group standing at that place and offering his salat. Subhan Allah! Then there went another. One, two , perhaps more than 3 men I noticed, prayed their salat at there, one after another. I admire them for this act of piety. How I wished I could also join them, stand behind and offer my prayer before it gets too late but I don’t know why, I didn’t dare go there. I am always shy to offer my prayers at a public place, in an open area. It’s something that always makes me miss my prayers on travels. Sometimes there’s no water for Wudhu, at other times I am too shy to get up and do it. It’s my error, I fully acknowledge this. But watching those few good men, glorifying Allah’s Name at that barren place, despite the hurdles in way, filled my heart with a strange hope, happiness & confidence for prayers in future travels.

The whole world is a Masjid for the believers where we can worship Allah Almighty. No one has an excuse to miss prayers for this reason.

I will , in shaa Allah, make time and space for my salah during travelling as well. And I concluded, there are 3 things that a Muslim should always carry with him when he/she embarks on a journey.

1- Compass for Qibla detection

2- Praying mat

3- And water for wudhu

To Photo Mazdoor team, I am grateful for the well organized photowalk. Every team member is friendly. The chief organizer himself is a like a good younger brother of mine.

They always make sure the trip is secure. This time even a family joined us which was great. Photo Mazdoor always makes sure that breakfast/lunch and every tea break is a healthy one. The water bottles distributed to the participants is always sufficient, Alhamdulillah. I remember how they made a special announcement on the Qila Rohtas trip, about dangers of dehydration there and gave us Nestle Water bottles with instructions to keep drinking water during photographing the place. There’s no doubt that they work hard.

However, here’s a little suggestion that I feel could make their future travels even more deen friendly.

A little cooperation required for making time and space for salah.

Since we go with them, and there are different people on every trip with different needs and lifestyles, It would be great if they include the praying point in their routine and announcement as well. If there’s no proper spot for prayer, they should locate one and announce that those interested in offering their prayers, especially females, they should head towards that spot. If bathrooms are nearby for wudhu, it’s alright but sometimes there are places where clean water is not available, in that scenario, extra water bottles should be offered for wudhu. People should be assured that no person would be left behind if they stop and make their prayers first. This way, if they make it a part of their announcement and arrangements, those who want to offer their prayers would be guided well and assured comfort. I, for one, would be more comfortable at announcing that I want to offer my prayer without drawing attention to myself. Otherwise, I keep debating inside, on every photography trip, whether to raise my voice or not when I can’t spot a clean and out of sight place for prayers.

I hope Photo Mazdoor would consider my friendly suggestion as they always welcome suggestions and even complaints. So generous of them. I wish the team all the best for future trips and extend my regards for the efforts they put in to make their photowalks interesting.

I would upload my photography of the place in the coming week, iA. 

March 4, 2014

La Tour Eiffel et moi – Take 2

by Khanum

Wait–wait! Before you jump to the wrong conclusion let me just break the news to you all.

YES!!! I am obsessing over Eiffel Tower alot but no I am not in love with any French guy to come to this point of insanity. I am simply having awesome free time at hand and a blessed season to do anything I like and want. My mind is BOOMING with creativity! And out of the many things that I am doing these days for fun, this tops the list.

Ya-ha-hoo! I am drawing and creating my honest version of art. Mum thinks I’m dying over La Eiffel tower, trying to get the sketching right but I think am just trying to live my dream of travelling the world and city of lights through these sketches, that I do daily. I cant explain in words, the joy I feel inside while doodling. Its like I am actually there, the details of the picture, the angles, the turns, the measure, the colors. It all makes me feel like I know this place. Like I am there. Alive and kicking!

Ahh! I wish I get to travel the whole  world Universe. Till then, Let’s enjoy this newly found hobby.

I created this miniature Eiffel Tower first thing in the morning. Image (5) - Copy

Then I ruined it accidentally by introducing colors in the picture : ( I just wanted to look it elegant but I forgot I am good at bizarre art only. Elegant and neat sketching is not my cup of tea with biscuits made of chocolate.

IMAG0078

I went ahead and classically ruined the piece more. Giving it multiple dimensions.  Artist’s mind, you know.

Image (5) - Copy - Copy

And then I did the most amazing thing. I actually created something good out of the sketch of sole structure. Thankfully, I had scanned the sketch of the miniature Tower before using water colors on it. So After epic-lly failing at color scheme. I transformed my Eiffel Tower sketch with a bit of digital magic using Pic Monkey.

Tada! I created this !!!!!

PicMonkey Collage2

 Amazing, isn’t it!  So amazing. Alhamdulillah! The way we can play with sketches using software and the way we can learn to create more new things and grow more in the field of arts. Its amazing. I am actually personally in love with this version of the Eiffel Tower. I wanted to add something more but then could only find these birds cum chicks to settle on the trees.

I feel like I can turn it into a post card – both digital and print form – with some extra doodling. What do you guys think?

Oui?