Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Celebrating the festivity; It's Eid Day!

Today is Eid-ul-Fitr and I would like to wish all those who are celebrating, or in some parts of the world, have already celebrated the event, a very happy and blessed Eid Day!

~':^Eid Mubarak!!^:'~

see end of this post for a surprise!

Eid-ul-Fitr comes as Ramadan, Islam's holiest month comes to ending. The joyful event is declared with sighting of moon for the next Islamic month.

People start their day with Eid prayers that are held throughout Muslim communities across the world. As they head home after the combined prayers, those who are able enough, give charity and alms to those who deserve.

Over the day, festive social and family gatherings are arranged, grand reunions are planned with festivities and celebration moods stirred up. Children get 'Eidi' in terms of cash from their elders while others share gifts with their loved and dear ones.

Eid is one event that all Muslims look forward to throughout the year. Afterall, we are left with only a few events of happiness and rejoicing with family and friends

Eid is definitely one of them!

paste the following code in the address bar.....and feel the magic with links on this page!:

javascript: i=0; c=["red","green","blue","yellow","magenta","orange","black","white"]; a=document.links;setInterval('i++;a[i % document.links.length].style.color=c[i % c.length]',10);void(0); alert("'WISHING U A VERY HAPPY EID!',\n Best Wishes; Hasan Mubarak");


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Stepping out of Teens

Today, I turn Twenty!

yeah, it's my Birthday...

As I cut my birthday donut with shouts of Birthday wishes from family; I pray that may all of them be with me when I celebrate my 80th...! :)

Thank you so much for your love and rememberance.

I really cherish my relations!!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

October 8, 2005 - A day that changed everything

Imagine yourself sleeping comfortably on your bed. Suddenly, you feel violent shaking that wakes you up. You sit up and try to figure out what's going on. Windows start rattling in high pitch while wall-hangings, things on your fireplace and study desk start falling off. Scared like hell, you put your feet on the ground just to feel it pounding like if you stepped on a strong water current.

You know something dangerously deadly is going on. At last, gains of full consciousness triggers you to run for shelter under the nearest door panel. As the realization comes, fear overcomes your whole body and mind while you experience a violent, ground shaking earthquake.

It's 8:55 in the morning and five minutes of fierce ground movements have made you feel like you are standing on board a ship in severe thunderstorm. The earth, that you always took as unharmful for granted is in wave motion under your feet as you feel violent thuds and whirlpool movements under each of your feet.

The noise and shaking mounts to an extent when you are feel sure that a railway engine is just going to rip the wall in front of you and turn your place into a rubble. Every single second dreads you with the fear that this structure, under what you are standing for shelter, may fall down of violent shaking with everything coming to an end.

The tremors stop at 9:00 am. But, your legs are still quivering due to the ripples; the waves of fear and immense worry that were transmitted all through your body, right from tips of toes to the brain. Moving away from the panel you start worrying about the after-effects; are your family safe? Did anyone get hurt? What about your relatives and loved ones living in the neighborhood, city and at other places? What about the 9-storey plaza under-construction nearby? What about someone who was driving on a sharp turn?

I was lucky to be in Lahore; more than 550 km away from epicenter of this tragedy, and I experienced the earth shook to horrifying extremes.

And if, either, you or I had been in Balakot, a small town of 25,000 inhabitants in Northern Pakistan, that morning, we would have lost nothing but half of our bustling tourist town's population of men, women and children, plus, each and every structure that ever stood to any height.

Today, Pakistan marked first anniversary of the worst natural disaster that ever struck its land and people. It was October 8, 2005 when a 7.6 magnitude earthquake occurred with epicenter just outside Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani Administered Kashmir, killing thousands and reducing millions of homes, schools, hospitals and other structure to absolute rubble. The shocks were felt as far away as from Afghanistan in the east to Western Bangladesh.

More than 75,000 people perished, including 18,000 children that died in schools alone. 80% of all health facilities were totally destroyed while 3.5 million people were made homeless.

Time has passed. And although millions still live in temporary shelters and relief camps, people have started rebuilding their homes and lives. What happened can never be forgotten, for the trauma, the pain is too intense to be forgotten in decades for millions of men, women and children that saw their parents and families being crushed and dying of sheer pain under the rubble of this tragedy.

There was not a single person that was left un-affected by this tragedy.

For me, myself; I forgot to stand firmly on ground. Fearing that this earth, that we stand on for support, stability and steadiness, will betray, I, alongside, millions of others, can never trust it again!!

We pray for all those who were affected directly or indirectly. May God give us all the strength to overcome fear of tragedy and agony of pain that we share with our brothers and sisters who lost everything but faith; faith in God's existence and His command over nature's every power. Amen!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Cane Syrup; a commoner's summer delight

In months of scorching heat and humidity, it's a routine for common people to have a chilled glass of sugarcane syrup, commonly known as 'gun-nay ka russ', while on their way to work or back to their homes.

A glass of 'gunnay ka russ' often comes with a pint of salt sprinkle added to freshly extracted suyrup right in front of you.

For a person suffering from South Asian summers, one glass of this drink can reinject the freshness and activeness to keep him/her going for a good time.

If visiting my country, trying this drink from a roadside stall is a must!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Blue Whale in the Sky!

While travelling almost a month back, I noticed this piece of a cloud in the sky.

Just couldn't resist sharing one of my favorite shots with you!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

--- being back in business ---

I know, I know it's been so long since I last updated my blog.

My exams went fine and got pretty good results. Now, I'm preparing for the ultimate finals that are going to be here pretty soon. I need your best wishes for that too.

There have been many inquiries on why I wasn't writing.

Well, life was getting busier plus I was busy coping with the inner confusion & restlessness in my mind. Interestingly, no apparent reason existed for the state that I was under. I guess it was pretty normal to take a break and have time for one's own self and family.

However, from now on I would definitely try to be regular and reconnect with my precious friends and acquaintances that I've made through this beatiful channel of friendship and cross-continent communication.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Exam Stuff

I'm having my Semester finals throughout the next week. It's the second last semester so I need to perfom at my level best.

I'll surely be back blogging again after it's over. Till then, wish me good luck!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Chocolaty Come Back!

A box of choice for all those who missed me during my absence...
By the way, which one, among these, is your favorite???

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Earth Day 2006

"When I first conceived of Earth Day, a global holiday to celebrate the wonder of life on our planet, I thought long and hard about the day on which it should fall. It must be meaningful. One that might be accepted universally for all of humankind.

When the Vernal Equinox dawned on me, I immediately knew it was right. The Earth tremor that shook our California dwelling at that moment seemed an omen of confirmation. What could be more appropriate than the first moment of Spring, when day and night are equal around the world and hearts and minds can join together with thoughts of harmony and Earth's rejuvenation. Just as a single prayer can be siginificant, how much more so when hundreds, thousands, millions of people throughout the world join in peaceful thoughts and prayers to nurture neighbor and nature."
- John McConnell, Founder of Earth Day

Our Earth is beautiful and it is our responsibilty to keep it the way nature balances it.

Unfortunately the toll of human development has been too heavy on our environment resulting in problems, that, if not resolved soon, would surely change the face of the Earth for the worst.

As the world celebrates Earth Day 2006, there has been a growing awareness among the online community through websites and webpages that are celebrating this event.


Google was one of the first ones to change it's logo to Earth Day theme and provide a direct link to Earth Day searches.


Yahoo celebrates the Earth Day by putting up an Earth Day quiz, a Question/Answer box, providing information on Hybrid cars and taking pledges from visitors to help slow down climate change.


There's another great link to Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC)'s wesbsite that provides readers with tons of helpful information about environmental issues, global warming, wildlife, green living and solutions to many problems.

Plant Solutions


A topic of study at the webpage lists down some interesting tips for celebrating the Earth Day.


- Plant a tree that will shade your house as well as reduce the need for air conditioning.

- Participate in your community's recycling program and recycle all you can.

- Combine short car trips, or use a bicycle or walk instead.

- Improve your home's energy efficiency by adding insulation and caulking, and regularly cleaning heating and air conditioning filters.

- Compost yard trimmings and food waste in a backyard compost bin. Don't bag grass clippings - either leave them on the lawn or compost them.

- When buying paint, cleaners or other chemicals, buy only what you need and use what you buy.

- Practice water conservation - install a low flow shower head or make an Earth Day pledge to take shorter showers.

- Use compact fluorescent lights to conserve up to 75 percent of the energy consumed by incandescent bulbs.

- Purchase durable goods and choose products made with recycled materials and with minimal or recyclable packaging.

- Reduce the amount of unwanted junk mail - have your name removed from mailing lists.

The Nature Conservancy:

The Nature Conservancy's Earth Day 2006 page helps you to share your message of hope explaining how we can preserve our Environment, to send Earth Day e-cards to friends & family and to learn about messages of different celebrities participating in the event.

Some celebrity 'Messages of Hope' from the website:

"We cannot continue to push nature to the brink and then hope that by miracle it will return. We must be vigilant, active defenders of our natural resources and prompt our leaders and fellow citizens to join us as such. We must follow our faiths and common sense, which I believe will guide us into the future on this better path." - Jimmy Carter; former U.S. President

"I hope that the world gains an appreciation for what’s here and does everything it can to protect it. I want for my children and all of their children to enjoy the same wonders I experienced as a boy." - Tom Hanks; Oscar-winning Actor

"My hope for the planet is that the world’s businesspeople, consumers, activists, and politicians will work together to find new ways to create sustainable economic growth.

The good news is that we have the ability to provide for all the people in our world, and to do so in ways that are environmentally sustainable. Our financial and natural resources are abundant and sufficient, if we manage them wisely. We have human ingenuity, through which we create amazing new products, technologies and energy sources. And we have the motivation of wanting to preserve our planet for future generations."
- Ken Lewis; Chairman, CEO and President of the Bank of America Corporation

"My hope for our planet is that more adults will spend time with children to teach them to respect and learn from nature These experiences can shape children’s lives in countless positive ways and can imprint their souls with lasting memories. Children need strong, caring, role models that share in their world, no matter how small or insignificant that time may seem. This is my wish for this Earth Day." - Ward Burton; NASCAR driver

Want to wear the cause?; get your own personalized Earth Day 2006 T-shirts for as little as $6 at Some views of the 2006 line:

You can also join "THE STOP GLOBAL WARMING VIRTUAL MARCH" to be a part of the collective voice to demand that the governments, corporations & people the world over commit to reduce global warming at

Some Important Marchers:

"Global warming and the pollution and burning of fossil fuels that cause it are threats we see here in California and everywhere around the world. These pollutants blanket the globe, trapping heat and creating the "greenhouse" effect - the warming of the earth's atmosphere. All of this impacts California's water supply, public health, agriculture, coastlines, forestry, and much more." - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The scientific consensus is clear: human activities are increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, causing our planet to warm. If we don't act soon to reverse this trend, future generations will pay the price. There are cost-effective measures we can take now to begin to address this critical issue, but Congress has been unwilling to lead." - Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

"Thousands of climate scientists agree that global warming is not only the most threatening environmental problem, but one of the greatest challenges facing all of humanity." - Leonardo DiCaprio

"Our generation faces the greatest moral and political crisis in human history. Will we take the steps necessary to avert catastrophic global warming or will we doom our children to a new Dark Ages in a world that is biologically and economically impoverished and defined by ever diminishing quality of life." - Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

"The vast majority of the most respected environmental scientists from all over the world have sounded a clear and urgent alarm. Global warming is real, it is happening already and the anticipated consequences are unacceptable. The evidence is overwhelming and undeniable." - Al Gore

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Eid Milad-un-Nabbi - Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)'s Birthday

I would like to wish all my friends a very happy and blessed Eid Milad-un-Nabbi. May you all be blessed with the best of health, wealth, happiness & peace.

Eid Mubarak!

Muslims, all over the world, celebrated Eid Milad-un-Nabi; Prophet Muhammad(PBUH)'s birthday yesterday. Holy Prophet(PBUH)'s birth anniversary falls on 12 Rabi-ul-Awal of the Islamic lunar calendar year.
For Muslims, Eid Milad-un-Nabi is the regarded as an highly important event and is celebrated as a third Eid.

On this occasion public meetings & processions are held in masjids where religious scholars and prominent figures make speeches on different aspects of the life of the Holy Prophet(PBUH).

The stories of the Prophet’s birth, childhood, youth and adult life, his character, teachings, sufferings, and forgiveness of even his most bitter enemies, his fortitude in the face of general opposition, leadership in battles, bravery, wisdom, preaching and his final triumph through Allah’s mercy over the hearts of people are narrated in detail.

Salutations and songs in his praise are recited. In some countries, streets, mosques and buildings are decorated with colorful buntings and pennants and well illuminated at night. Affluent Muslims generously donate to charity. Feasts are arranged and food is served to guests and the poor.

Muhammad(PBUH); One of the World's Most Influential Persons

My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.

Of humble origins, Muhammad founded and promulgated one of the world’s great religions, and became an immensely effective political leader. Today, thirteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive.

Muhammad was a secular as well as a religious leader. In fact, as the driving force behind the Arab conquests, he may well rank as the most influential political leader of all time.

Michael Hart, The 100; A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History

BBC Religions & Ethics
GEO News

Monday, April 10, 2006

To Georgie, from Sheikh Mo, CEO DP World

Dear Georgie,

I hope this letter finds you, your wife and Condi in the best of health. Allah-wa-Amin. I understand you just returned from your trip to Pakistan and India. I had been waiting for your holiday trip to get over. I did not want to disturb you while you were partying it hard with Mushy and Mani. Aren't they both adorable, esp. Mani. He is just so cute, just like a cuddly puppy. You should not have never frisked him at the airport, he is very harmless. Mushy called me the other day and didn't see too happy with the nuclear deal you just signed with India. Well, its between you and him but I think you should throw few F-16s at him just to keep him quite for now. International politics is not my cup of kehwah but it sure seems as interesting as a good Bollywood movie. That reminds me that they recently made a very good cartoon on an Indian God. I think you should check it out for since you adore cartoons. I am sure you will find it as entertaining as SpongeBob.

Now I must get to the point of sending this letter. Georgie, we all know how much you tried and worked for our American ports deal to get through but it seems the Congress is not in the mood for it. Hence, I am going to back off from this deal and transfer the interests to an American company. Of course, it will be an American company of our choice, perhaps Dick Cheney's Halliburton. Jazakallah, Congress still does not know how we control it through other Dubai-owned companies. Georgie, you don't have to worry about a single thing. I am not going to hold this against you at all. Mashallah, you have been a very good friend of ours and your always welcomed to stay at Burj-al-Arab's Buggs Bunny suite. We know how much you enjoyed it last time. Also, you don't have to worry about you dad's job at Carlyle Group. I have spoken to my cousin and have instructed him not to take any unnecessary steps.

Georgie, I just don't understand how your people could not see us as good people. Just like all American women are not as sexy as Jennifer Lopez, you should tell your people that all Arabs are not linked to terrorism. I have instructed my people to hire some American celebrities to carry out our PR job. Clinton and Madeline Albright have not done a good job at our PR. I think your people pay more attention to Entertainment Tonight, Extra and Hollywood Access than CNN and Fox News. Georgie, I think I am going to ask J-Lo to take care of this issue. She has been very nice and understanding so far, if you know what I mean ;)

However, Georgie, there is one thing that has been bothering me for the past few days and I was not sure how to bring it up with you. Georgie, as you had expressed your interests in working in Dubai after your presidency, I gave your resume to my HR Person. Unfortunately, according to HR, they have a very strict policy of hiring candidates with good educational credentials irrespective of their experience and political status. And your record is not that clear. Georgie, you are like a brother to me but I cannot do much in this area. You know we are trying to run our companies on WTO standards and practise complete accountability, the American way. Even my son is doing his MBA at University of California, San Diego so that he can work for DP World after me. You must understand my position. I hope you can enroll in a Masters program soon after your presidency and then there should not be a problem for you to get a job in Dubai, Inshallah.

Till then, may Allah bestow his blessings upon you and your family.

Fiamaan illaah

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (Sheikh Mo)
CEO, Dubai Ports World

Post borrowed from Abrar's Murgha of the Day

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Pakistan gets women combat pilots

The Pakistani Air Force (PAF) has inducted four women as fighter pilots for the first time.

"The women were part of a batch of 36 cadets who were awarded flying badges after three years of gruelling training at the PAF academy at Risalpur.

Being a fighter pilot has until now been a purely male domain. Women could join the armed forces but only for non-combat jobs like the medical corps. Three years ago the PAF decided to allow women to train as fighter pilots."

"It was a passing out parade with a difference. Never before had any woman been part of the batch of fighter pilots being awarded flying badges. And the difference was recognised by the vice chief of the army, Gen Ahsan Saleem Hayat, who handed out the certificates of honour to the successful men and women cadets.

Expressing his delight, Gen Hayat said the air force had taken the lead to induct women in the combat units of the armed forces."

"Although these trailblazers were few in number, many instructors admitted their presence was already being felt.

At the passing out, one of the graduating women flying officers, Nadia Gul, received the trophy for best academic achievement along with two of her male colleagues who got trophies for best flying performance and general duties.

The air force academy is still male-dominated, and it is not clear what the real feelings of the male cadets have been to the induction of women into the fighter pilot programme. Officially, most have welcomed the move.

Even so, the fact that four women are now officially fighter pilots is a clear indication that the new policy of opening up the combat units of the Pakistani armed forces for women is here to stay."

News Courtesy of BBC News

Thursday, March 23, 2006

23rd of March - Pakistan Day

23rd March 1940

It was today that All India Muslim League held its annual session at Minto Park, Lahore. Muslims from all over India gathered to attend this session that proved to be historical.

The founder of Pakistan, the great leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, decided to address a public gathering on the opening day. It was a huge gathering of the Leaguers, the Khaksars and the Muslims at Minto Park (now Iqbal Park). Jinnah had expounded the rationale of the resolution in his presidential address that lasted for hundred minutes and frequently punctuated by thunderous applause. Though, most of his audience of over 100,000 did not know English, he held their attention and visibly touched their emotion. He asserted that the Muslims were "a nation by any definition". In his historical address he laid the foundation of a separate state for the Muslims of India:

"The Hindus and the Muslims belong to two different religions, philosophies, social customs, and literature. They neither inter-marry, nor inter-dine together, and indeed they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their aspects on life are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Muslims derive their inspirations from different sources of history. They have different epics, their heroes are different, and they have different episodes. Very often the hero of one is foe of the other, and likewise, their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and the final destruction of any fabric that may be so built for the government of such a state."

In the end of this session, the Lahore Resolution was passed, which, founded the base for claim of a separate homeland for Indian Muslims, Pakistan.

This Resolution declared: "No constitutional plan would be workable or acceptable to the Muslims unless geographical contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary. That the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in majority as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute independent states in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign".

The Resolution repudiated the concept of United India and recommended the creation of an independent Muslim state consisting of Punjab, N. W. F. P., Sindh and Baluchistan in the northwest, and Bengal and Assam in the northeast.

Having passed the Pakistan Resolution, the Muslims of India changed their ultimate goal. Instead of seeking alliance with the Hindu community, they set out on a path whose destination was a separate homeland for the Muslims of India.

"Jinnah's Lahore address lowered the final curtain on any prospects for a single united independent India. Those who understood him enough know that once his mind was made up he never reverted to any earlier position realized how momentous a pronouncement their Quaid-i-Azam had just made. The rest of the world would take at least seven years to appreciate that he literally meant every word that he had uttered that important afternoon in March. There was no turning back. The ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity had totally transformed himself into Pakistan's great leader. All that remained was for his party first, then his inchoate nation, and then his British allies to agree to the formula he had resolved upon. As for Gandhi, Nehru, Azad and the rest, they were advocates of a neighbor state and would be dealt with according to classic canons of diplomacy."

Stanley Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan.


Friday, March 17, 2006

The legend of Narcissus & the lake

"The alchemist picked up a book that someone in the caravan had brought. Leafing through the pages, he found a story about Narcissus.

The alchemist knew the legend of Narcissus, a youth who knelt daily beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus.

But this was not how the author of the book ended the story.

He said that when Narcissus died, the goddesses of the forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.

"Why do you weep?" the goddesses asked.

"I weep for Narcissus," the lake replied.

"Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus," they said, "for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand."

"But...was Narcissus beautiful?" the lake asked.

"Who better than you to know that?" the goddesses said in wonder. "After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!"

The lake was silent for some time. Finally, it said:

"I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected."

"What a lovely story," the alchemist thought."

From Paulo Coelho's International bestseller "The Alchemist".

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A rescue-worker's Farewell

Isabelle Giasson of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has spent the winter helping earthquake victims find shelter in remote mountain villages of Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Here she recounts her final goodbyes to those she has worked with and helped.

"Today we left the mountain - for good. It is the end of our mission here.

We have been here four months - long enough to get to know people well and to make friends. Leaving them was both painful and emotional.

As we were going, Gul Hassan, who has worked with us from the beginning, came to see my husband, Daniel, and me despite the cold and rain.

He is about 50 years old, but physically very strong.

We always joked with him about the size of his family, teasing him that it could form a village in itself. He is the only man we know with two wives and 14 children.

Although illiterate, Gul Hassan would always insist on trying to write his name rather than putting a cross on paper when receiving his wages.

It was an act of determination that never ceased to impress me.

He had come with two of our other staff from our base village, Datura, to return his IOM hat.

We told him to keep it as a souvenir, a gesture that suddenly reduced this big, strong man to tears. Daniel hugged and comforted him as best he could.

I tried to shrink into the background because I knew it couldn't have been easy for a man like him to cry - not only in front of his peers, but also a woman."

Read the whole:

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Basant; A festival of Kites & Colors

The grand Badshahi Mosque

Basant is a true Lahori celebration of colors, flowers, kites, fragrances, of love & of a sweet youthful time called Spring.

Each March brings the colorful blooming of Lahore, the city of Gardens; my city.

Whole of the city is decorated with colorful sponsor banners and lights all along the canal, the Mall road and Main Boulevard, Gulberg. All major landmarks are lit up to show grandeur of Lahore's rich culture and its Mughal & Colonial heritage.

Asif Jha's Haveli; one of the main venues of grand Basant celebrations.

Friends and family gather at common places to celebrate reunions and party for most of the Basant Night. Starting from the sunset, flood lights are lit up all over the city's skyline as people start off with white-kite flying. BarBQs are served with traditional Lahori dishes as the cries of "Bo Katas" & Dhol (traditional drums) echo throughout the next day.

Basant Night

People from different cultures and countries are welcomed by their hosts. Many foreign dignitaries from the federal capital, Islamabad are invited over to different Basant events in Lahore.

Basant has become the biggest drawer of tourists for this historic city and Pakistan's cultural capital. Most of the suburbans book roofs in the old city especially for this event.

Guddi Luteray; Children run after kites that land

From 5-star hotels to Golf Clubs, from Banks to Telecom companies; all become a part of Jashn-e-Baharan (Celebration of the Spring) by arranging functions of their own in different vicinites of the city.

For a Lahori, Basant is a blend of joy, happiness, love and celebration; a moment of rejoicing with loved ones and that of just chilling out.

This time, Basant Day was on March 12, 2006 i.e. Yesterday.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Reason for no Blogging

It's been long since last update on my 'world'. The reasons were too obvious for a person in my place. It was my father going through a major heart by-pass surgery.

Finally, I'm out of the most hard times of my life. This previous month has been most crucial for me and my family.

During regular tests a few months back, it was discovered that my father was having three main arteries of his heart +80% blocked. After consultations with the best physicians and heart surgeons in Lahore, the only option was an open-heart surgery.

He went for it and by the grace of God, everything was perfect & quite well. Now, he's on the right road to recovery.

As far as making the world go round & round is concerned; here I'm back.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Railways becoming a scary, deadly ride

July 13, 2005
Ghotki, Pakistan

An express train heading from Lahore to Karachi slams into the rear of broken down Quetta Express at a station near Ghotki, about 600km (370 miles) north-east of Karachi.

A third train travelling in the opposite direction, heading from Karachi to Rawalpindi - the Tezgam Express - then hits a number of derailed carriages, which were scattered over several tracks.

More than 132 passengers died, in addition to many hundreds injured. The accident is officially included into worst railway disasters ever.

January 29, 2006
Jhelum, Pakistan

At least six people died and 40 others were injured when a train travelling to Lahore from Rawalpindi plunged down an embankment near the city of Jhelum.

There were more than 600 passengers on the ill-fated train - one of Pakistan's fastest. It was a sheer miracle that most of them survived.

February 4, 2006
Bahawalpur, Pakistan

A woman was killed and 37 were injured after 10 coaches of the Lahore- bound Karakoram Express derailed with four of them being overturned on early Saturday.

The derailment, which railway officials termed sabotage, occurred at 3:15am between Samasatta and Kalanchwala railway stations.

The four overturned bogeys included two air-conditioned lower class, one economy class coaches and a dinning car. They fell off the eight-foot high track embankment.
Eyewitnesses said they heard a loud crash as the train derailed.

February 10, 2006
Kotri, Pakistan

A train carrying chemicals hit an oil transporter near the town of Kotri, 110 miles (180km) north of Karachi. The collision started a fire which destroyed several wagons but nobody is believed to have been hurt.

At least 17 containers and an engine of two goods trains of the Pakistan Railways (PR) were badly damaged in an accident between the Meting and Bholari railway stations in Thatta district, about 27 km from Hyderabad district, on Friday, causing a loss in millions of rupees to the PR. However, no casualty was reported.

At 12:40pm a powerful explosion was heard when the goods train rammed into some stationary oil wagons as a result of which the containers caught fire immediately. A thick cloud of smoke could be seen all around. Six of the wagons were reduced to ashes.


Dawn Group Pakistan
BBC World

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Some Opinions on Danish freedom

Publication of cartoons mocking Islam's holiest figure; Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in newspapers all across Europe, Danish government's refusal to a public apology and Europe's defending it on account of "Freedom of Expression" has resulted in boycott of Danish products across half of the world, protests in front of Danish embassies in many countries and damaging Danish image & erosion of Denmark's diplomatic relations with the Muslim World.

Most of the Muslims already take America's War on Terror as a war by West against Islam,and this incident was too important to be ignored. It has strenghten this perception and provided some other groups a basic reason to go the extremist way for their own purposes.

Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus, Syria, Danish embassy in Beirut and Austrian embassy in Tehran, Iran have been attacked & ransacked by angry protestors. These protest and police's reaction has resulted in 4 deaths so far.

Of many people who voiced their opinions, bloggers among them, here, I quote a few of them:

"We strongly denounce and condemn this horrific action"
Iraqi Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

"Western culture had to know its limits."
Vatican cardinal Achille Silvestrini

"Inciting religious or ethnic hatred in this manner is not acceptable"
"We call for tolerance and respect for all communities and for their religious beliefs and practices."

U.S. State Department press officer Janelle Hironimus

"I share the distress of the Muslim friends who feel that the cartoon offends their religion"."I also respect the right of freedom of speech. But of course freedom of speech is never absolute. It entails responsibility and judgment."
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

"So now what are we going to do? … Replace the anti-Semitic prejudice with anti-Islamic prejudice?"
Bill Clinton

"The row over the Danish cartoons would probably have remained a local dispute between some Muslims and a Danish newspaper had it not been for three factors:

- the rise of violent political Islam
- America's war on terror
- modern transnational media.

America's war on terror is still largely perceived in the Arab world as a war on Islam - a perception reinforced by the fact that it is happening exclusively in Muslim countries, namely Iraq and Afghanistan. Issues such as the Iraq war are seen as catalysts in the row.

For them, the row over the Danish cartoons is yet another confirmation of this perception."
Magdi Abdelhadi, BBC Arab Affairs analyst

It's "a vicious, outrageous and provocative campaign" that has "hurt the faith and feelings of Muslims all over the world."
Pakistan's Parliment

"I believe that the republication of these cartoons has been unnecessary, it has been insensitive, it has been disrespectful and it has been wrong"
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw

Some BlogOpinions:


"The publication of the Danish illustrations of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and their republication in Norway offers not one but two separate offenses to the Muslim world. The most obvious is that not only was the Prophet depicted in ten of the twelve cartoons, but also that one of the illustrations portrayed him as a terrorist. The second offense is that people in Denmark and Norway and no doubt in most of Europe and North America seem blissfully unaware of precisely how outrageous these images are to Islamic sensibilities."

"A cartoonist in Denmark believed he could raise a smirk among his readers by perpetuating this distortion by depicting the Prophet in a scabrous manner."

"What Muslims are saying that with every freedom comes a responsibility. Hopefully out of ignorance rather than malevolence, something deeply painful to the entire Muslim world was published in a Danish newspaper. That in itself was an irresponsible use of the freedom of the press, which in no country anywhere is an unlimited freedom allowing journalists to vilify, libel or lie."


"Just because some religious groups have allowed their Prophets (peace be a pone them all) to be subjected to “satire” doesn’t mean that we all should. Why should we have a sense of humour about a man who we believe is the leader of our whole existence? Why should we allow other people to disrespect our beliefs? Fine don’t believe too, don’t accept what we believe, but at least don’t be rude about something that over 3 billion people around the world dedicate their lives too."


"It's ironic that the media in Europe that heaped scorn on Prince Harry for wearing a Nazi uniform to a fancy dress party and demanded he apologize for the offence caused now prints cartoons making fun of Prophet Muhammad, in the name of defending freedom of expression. Apparently, this freedom of expression is only useful when making fun of Muslims."

black feline

"It's prostitution of journalism!" Strong words from the leader of more than 200,000 strong Muslims community in Denmark.
"Freedom of one the license to slander, to ridicule..etc and fret not..the law is on your side! What baloney!

To me, the whole episode is cheap, deliberate provocation!
I think if you want to play with prepared to pay the heavy price of backlash...for a start, boycott of danish dairy products already in action..and worst..their action endangers the lives of their fellow brothers/sisters in the country and working overseas! If you need to draw...please use your brain too!"
Chai Anyone?

"As a non-muslim, anti organized religion kinda person I find myself to be a bit objective on the matter and was still apalled at the ridicule reflected in these cartoons. I can understand people's apprehension and angst at the political situation caused by some of these folks but, they do not speak for a religion in all its entirety. Yes, freedom of speech is a right but, there is a certain level of individual moral responsibility to stay within certain ethical limits. It is okay to express angst in a cartoon depicting a man wearing a turban - but the Prophet Muhammed himself??

When is it considered going too far?"

On how the Muslims should respond to this situation:


"I believe this is a fantastic opportunity for the Arab world. Cancel the boycott. Announce that any European visiting an Arab country will get a free tourist visa, and can live with an Arab family. Start with the Danes. The Arabs are famous for their hospitality, and many locals will line up to have an European family stay with them. Dubai and other places are already hot tourist spots, this will be a perfect chance for people to people contact, for Europeans to see that Arabs and Muslims are not so different or scary after all."

Ahmad Humeid:

In the spirit of the life of the Prophet, here are 5 ways how
the Muslim world could have responded the the Danish cartoons:

1. Apply to the Ministry of Culture in Denmark to organize a big exhibition about the Life of Prophet Mohammad and Islamic History. The Saudi and other Arab governments would finance this event and promote it in a big way in the Danish media.

2. Invite 100 Danish children to come and live with Arab and Muslim families to learn about life in today’s Arab and Muslim world.

3. Invite the editors of the Danish newspaper to a well publicized cultural debate in Doha, Qatar or Copenhagen.

4. The embassies of Arab and Muslim nations could commission a website in Danish about Islam, contemporary muslim thinkers and life in today’s Islamic world. A dedicated staff would respond to incoming questions and request for information.

5. Subtitle the movie ‘The Message’ in Danish and try to get many movie theaters and cultural centers in Denmark to show it.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Freedom; Out of control??

It all started with publishing of cartoons in blasphemy of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH); Islam's holiest figure.

In the wake of current global happenings, this was no time to make freedom of expression as an excuse and hurt spiritual & religious feelings of many a hundred million Muslims in the world.

Is it freedom out of control?
Was it freedom of expression, or, freedom of spiritual torture to hurt feelings of hundreds of millions??

BBC News:

"Newspapers across Europe have reprinted caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to show support for a Danish paper whose cartoons have sparked Muslim outrage.

Seven publications in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain all carried some of the drawings.

Their publication in Denmark led Arab nations to protest. Islamic tradition bans depictions of the Prophet. The owner of one of the papers to reprint - France Soir - has now sacked its managing editor over the matter.

The cartoons have sparked diplomatic sanctions and death threats in some Arab nations, while media watchdogs have defended publication of the images in the name of press freedom.

Reporters Without Borders said the reaction in the Arab world "betrays a lack of understanding" of press freedom as "an essential accomplishment of democracy."

"Protests have spread across the Muslim world over the publication in Europe of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

The drawings, first printed in Denmark, sparked a fresh row when they were re-run in several newspapers, leading to the sacking of a French editor.

Hundreds have demonstrated in Pakistan, chanting "Death to Denmark" and burning Danish and French flags."

"Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warned that the decision by some European papers to publish the cartoons could encourage terrorists.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai also strongly condemned their publication, saying it was "an affront... for hundreds of millions of people".

Hundreds of students demonstrated in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Multan, burning flags and effigies of the Danish prime minister.

EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson also criticised the European papers which re-ran the cartoons, saying they were "throwing petrol onto the flames of the original issue and the original offence that was taken"."

"The row intensified on Wednesday when France Soir, alongside the 12 original cartoons, printed a new drawing on its front page showing Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy figures sitting on a cloud, with the caption "Don't worry Muhammad, we've all been caricatured here."

Publications in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain also re-ran the Danish cartoons to show support for free speech.

Islamic tradition bans depictions of the Prophet or Allah."

Click here for more:

Cartoon Outrage photos:

Sunday, January 29, 2006

About my 'busy'ness & the great, grand comeback

Well well well! first of all, I thank you all for missing me so much (Am I flattering myself!).

And here I come back out of a heck-neck-breaking period of my most recent times. The basic reason, for keeping the online part of me un-updated, was me going through my semester finals.

It's really been tough time for me, as most of you would agree, with the postulate that "nothing can be as stressful as working on a divorce, struggling a loved one's death OR, the most crucial of them all; giving XaMs".

Mine went pretty well; leaving me hopeful to be passing them with flying colors.

There has been going on a lot around me that I desperately wanted to share with my BloGfrIendS. And, belive me, I really missed you guys.

And that's why I'm here, back with a bang.

There's going to be a lot new on my Blog from now on. I'm keeping the changes' details for my next post. For now, I just wanted to anounce my 'comeback'. Keep looking for more of me...

Love U All!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Eid Mubarak!

Here we are, with the biggest event on the Muslim calender i.e. Eid-al-Adha.

Muslims all over the world celebrate this 'Eid' to commemorate the great sacrifice of Abraham (Peace Be Upon Him), the Messenger of God, in form of slaying his own very son, Ismael (Peace Be Upon Him) on God's commands. The sacrifice was so pleasing to God that He replaced Ismael (Peace Be Upon Him) with a goat from the Heavens.

Since then, for all the Muslims, who can afford doing it, it is compulsory to do the Qurbani (Sacrifice) of a goat, buffalo, bull, camel or some other specified animal in memory of Abraham's (Peace Be Upon Him) 'Qurbani' to God's will.

Muslims start off with saying the 'Eid' prayers in the biggest Mosque in their neighbourhoods early in the morning. Animals' Qurbanis follow the Eid prayers.

In our case, on behalf of all our family, we did Qurbani of four healthy Bakras (Goats).

I'll be telling a lot more in detail in my next post. Till, then, I wish everyone who celebrates it, a very Happy, Blessed & Joyous Eid...

Eid Mubarak!

Monday, January 09, 2006

The never-ending Holiday Season!

First, it was Christmas; then, it were the New Year celebrations and quite incidently, the Muslim holy festival of Eid-ul-Adha is also right round the corner. It just seems that this season of festivities and joys is never-ending. Wish it were never be ending...

When most of my blogger friends are preparing for going back to that normal busy life at work, we, here in Pakistan are preparing for Eid-ul-Adha. The combined holidays have exceeded a week and as most of us donot have day-offs for Christmas & New Year, everybody's in a joyous mood.

For me, there still are reasons to be worried as I'm gonna have my semester finals just after two weeks. Oh God! help this poor soul...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Who's your Lady??

The above three, undoubtedly, are among the most influential women in the world.

Who is the one you admire/hate the most and why??

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happi Niu Ear!

I would like to wish a very Happy New Year to eveyone out there!

May 2006 bring a lot more of happiness, health & wealth for you and your loved ones.

Keep well and smile always!


Pakistan: Pakistani women and children light oil lamps in Lahore, Pakistan, to commemorate the victims of October 8's killer quake and to welcome the new year.

Hong Kong: Confetti flutters, ringing in the new year in Hong Kong's Times Square.

United Kingdom: A new year's fireworks display erupts behind the London Eye in London, England's South Bank area just after midnight.

Australia: Fireworks explode over Sydney Harbor marking the start of the year of 2006.

People in Sydney poured to vantage points around the harbor to watch this spectacular fireworks show at midnight.

India: A man decorated with a message of peace for India and Pakistan - with each nation's flag painted on his face - celebrates in Amritsar.

China: A Chinese girl looks over golden dogs. Chinese consider 2006 as Year of the Dog.

Brazil: More than 2 million people celebrate New Year's Eve under an enormous fireworks display at the Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Japan: In the precincts of Tokyo's Zojoji Buddhist temple, new year's resolutions attached to balloons are let off at the stroke of midnight.

In Japan, it is a popular custom to make the first visit of the year to Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines on New Year's Day to pray for health and prosperity.

United States: Fireworks explode over the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington, during New Year's Eve celebrations.

Singapore: Luminous colored fireworks go off at the stroke of midnight in the Marina Bay area on New Year's Eve in Singapore.

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gave a speech to the city-state on New Year's Day that encouraged citizens to continue building a vibrant global city, a land of opportunity, an inclusive society and a cohesive nation.

Germany: Fireworks explode for the new year above the Quadriga at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany.

Pictures courtesy of

Lahore Metblogs