Logic is Variable

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Throne of Origins

This article appeared in the Daily Nation

The actual “Road to Swat” bifurcates from the great Grand Trunk Road near Nowshera. About a kilometre below the highest point on the Road to Swat, the commuters can see the view of Takht-e-Bahi Mountains in the middle distance standing from the road. The ruins of one of the grand monastery of the past are situated on the top of a 152-meter high hill, about 80 kilometres from Peshawar and 16 kilometres northwest of the city of Mardan. While Swat is famous for different reasons now (rise and fall of the Taliban), some interested people still commuters to visit Takht-e-Bahi - a Buddhist monastery developed between 1st and 7th centuries AD.
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The World, the Ideas, the Theory and the Present Position


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Mir Chakar Rind's Journey From Sibbi to Satghara

An old, sleepy and tranquil village Satghara lies about 80 kilometers from Lahore (10 minutes drive away from Gogera) in the quiet backwaters of the Punjab. The coins found at Satghara prove that the place was inhabited at the time of the Kushan dynasty. The rule of Kushans was one of the most decisive periods in the history of the Subcontinent. At the height in the second century (A.D.), Kushans ruled from Oxus to Ganges and yet their influence spread beyond even these frontiers. On the southern bank of the Ravi, it is a typical Pakistani village where farmers live like rustics in the face of urban attractions. Though off the beaten track, it has never been out of limelight. Besides heritage conscious travelers from all over the world, Baloch leaders and contemporary historians visit the hamlet. Reasons: it is a "Tukia Nawab Chakar Ki" - last resting-place of Mir Chakar Rind. I see part of our history buried here whenever I have a look at it. And I do that often.

As per one account, Mir Chakar Rind came to this village with seven families, hence the name. Another legend has it that the village was named Satghara because it was destroyed seven times by floods. Shah Abul Mo'ali, descendant of sixteenth century saint Muhammad Ibrahim Daud-e-Sani Bandgi in his book 'Maqamat-e-Daudi' maintains that Satghara was known by the same name even before the arrival of Mir Chakar Rind. In Baloch history, the sixteenth century was a very eventful period. Baloch fought series of wars amongst themselves. The result of these tribal conflicts not only caused large-scale bloodshed but also resulted in their mass migrations to the Punjab, Sindh and Gujrat (India).
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Books for Web Pros

This week Web Success Weekly e-newsletter has focused on the Internet related books that over the years have collectively inspired Web professionals like you to do amazing things online. Below you will find twenty-five books we’ve read recently and over the past few years that have changed the way we think about being Web professional and Internet success. What books have you read that have influenced and inspired you to do great things with your website? Comment below and let the readers know!
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Powerful Paradigm

There is a statue in a square of Rotterdam. This effigy has been carved out of stone. It is a human looking up into the sky, as if trying to stop what is coming down with his hands raised and there is a hole where his heart should be. Disproportionate, parts of the figure are not at the right places nor are seemingly fitting in the scheme of sculpture – neck is not exactly in the centre of the shoulders and is sticking out, elbows are at a little distance from arms. Similarly, legs, ankles, feet, stomach and chest all seem out of place. Seeing the sculpture from a distance gives an impression that it will wither away with the wind.

This Artwork was put on display in Rotterdam in 1951. Reflection of thoughts of sculptor Ossip Zadkine, thinkers of the city as well as the municipality, this statue was erected here after the World War II to commemorate bombing and burning down of the city.
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Dolls House

Thatta Kedona Dolls House


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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 6:11 PM, , links to this post

Roof of the World

The souls that pave the way for the modern tarmac road known as the Karakorum Highway (KKH) still seem to flicker amongst the sharp moving shadows of the unstable rocks and the almost countless but crumbly semi-transparent glaciers that constantly threaten its existence. There has always been a long pass into, and out of China and Pakistan over what is sometime called the "Roof of the World" but in ancient times it was a very hazardous passageway. One wonders how Alexander might have crossed the Karakorum Mountains in 325 BC or how early travellers like Marco Polo, Hieun Tsang and others might have tracked on the route without backpacks, four wheel driven powerful vehicles and even the roads, till Pakistan Army engineers spread asphalt through one of the most difficult terrain in the world and created this great engineering feat called as the eighth wonder of the world.Northern Pakistan has some of the most beautiful and mightiest mountain terrain -- Hindu Kush and Karakorum -- in the world.
Besides raw natural beauty, the territory is very difficult for men and machine to work even in this modern age. The road is in fact reflection of man's incessant struggle against transcendental power.

What one sees while commuting on the highway? Extinct writings, Chinese traveller's diary and quoted in the North West Frontier Province Gazetteer that reads, "the path is certainly narrow, and often clung to the sheer faces of the many deep resonant gorges that confine their turgid, animated rivers. A traveller along the path sees at one glance the shadowy valleys from which a shiny mist columns rise at noon against a luminous sky, the forest ridges, stretches fold behind fold in softly undulating lines -- dotted by the white specks which mark the situation of Buddhist monasteries -- to the glacier draped pinnacles and precipices of the snowy range. He passes from the zone of tree ferns and endless colonnade of tall stemmed magnolias oaks and chestnut trees, fringes with delicate orchids and festooned by long convolvuluses to the region of gigantic pines, junipers, firs and larches. Down each ravine sparkles a brimming torrent, making the ferns and flowers nod as it dashes past them. Superb butterflies, black and blue, or flashes of rainbow colours that turn at pleasure into exact imitation of dead leaves, the fairies of this lavish transformation scene of nature, sail in and out between the sun light and gloom. The mountaineer pushes on by a track half buried between the red twisted stems of tree-rhododendrons, hung with long waiving lichens, till he emerges at last on open sky and the upper pastures -- the Alps of the Himalayan - field of flowers: of gentians and edelweiss and poppies, which blossom beneath the shining store house of snow that encompass the ice mailed and flouted shoulders of the giants of the range."
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Beat dengue with yoga

A dengue awareness session was organised at the Faiz Ghar, Model Town, to raise awareness about the curing of dengue through ‘Yoga and Nature Cure Methods’.

According to the session, yoga provides a simple yet effective solution against dengue that is based on three basic healing therapies that are faith, breathing and diet. Faith includes conviction, positive thinking and hope. It is important because positive attitudes help the patient in fighting against the disease. The holistic system of yoga attaches great importance to a healthy mind while a depressed, weak mind would only make the disease overpower the body.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 7:38 AM, , links to this post

In case of flood, where will the aimals go?

This article appeared in daily the Nation

Roaming around anywhere in rural Pakistan where floodwater has receded reveals the effects of flood 2010 on human as well as animals. The bloated corpses of buffalos, cows, donkeys and goats can be seen at many places in flood hit areas. Many of the surviving animals are seen suffering from lameness, fever, muscle contractions or swelling of shoulder, chest, back, neck or throat, foot rot and more.

One wonders where the animals would stand on the scale of importance when so many human lives are at stake. The fact is that the survival of the livestock is crucial to the survival of human beings, particularly so in agrarian society like ours.
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Remember that flood of 2010

A phrase written on sand by a small boy who lost his parents in flood,"Dear River, I will never forgive you, I will never forgive you, even if your waves touch my feet million times."

Related at: Light Within and at Logic is Variable


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:33 AM, , links to this post

Karamar Mountain

Some ancient places that may not have stood the ravages of times but they still define our history and the process of societal evolution in this part of the world we call home. Quiet village Shahbaz Ghari (some time called Shahbaz Ghara) at the foot of Karamar Mountain in Mardan division is one such place. Hospitable people with rich culture and colourful traditions, oblivious of historic past of the place, live in the village. Shahbaz Ghari has been one of the important transit stations for all invaders and conquerors who came from the north. Every force regrouped here before crossing mighty Indus at the crossing point near Hund.

The Karamar Mountain near the village is full of historical evidences and signs. One of the busy ancient trade routes of the ancient times — Peshawar, Charsadda (Pushkalavati), Hund (Udabhandpura) — the capital during the Hindu Shahi dynasty, onwards to the plains – passed through Lotus Valley. There is also a natural pass through the mountain that is known as Gailey-Kandao. It connects Sudam Valley and Buner. Karamar rises to a height of 3480 feet above the sea. Many relics of Hindu temples and Buddhist stupas and monasteries are found standing near natural water sources in the Karamar. The excavations were first executed in the area by the British in 1871-72. Many of its Gandhara sculptures and ruins of the Hindu past have been taken away.
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