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11 September 2011

In waiting

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I had an excellent time photographing the skies from my roof yesterday. Felt extremely relaxed after it. This was something I found waiting patiently on the old rusted fence. It never moved.

30 August 2011

Colours



I feel I am divided into two persons, one who loves vintage and monochrome to the point that he thinks and sees everything in it, and secondly a person who is a sucker for colour.I wonder what allows both to co exist and that too at the same point in time.

09 August 2011

The greatest gift

Humans have often questioned the existence of God Almighty, and the trend has increased in the recent times. One of the reasons they give is that since humans cannot understand God, since science cannot understand God, He is not there. But this argument contains in itself a basic flaw and we will understand that in a very small period of time.

In Islam, the concept of God is most unique, and it indeed answers all the questions of human mind. But for it we need to things; faith and logic. Yes they are both mutually dependant on eachother. We will be understanding this as well.

If we look closely at the 99 names of Allah (s.w.t), we understand that they define certain qualities of Him. Looking even more closely a question is asked, how can one person be som many things, many of which oppose each other at the same time? This question has troubled many of us, and the answer is simple. God, is no person. What differentiates God from his creation is to have many traits that might appear opposite to eachother, without causing a contradiction. To make the argument simple it does cause a contradiction in the human mind, but how will that not qualify for a contradiction? Let us see.

As it is, the human mind bases its conclusions upon logic. So we try to analyse him with pure logic. And yes, we start gaining understanding, but then suddenly, we come to a stop, and from there logic cannot proceed further. For example “Al Hayyu” and “Al Qayyum” tell us that Allah is infinite. But the logical mind starts questioning, how can someone exist without being created and without having to die.

The reason for this question is very simple. This is the very point that human mind reaches its limit. To prove this, let’s try to imagine the phenomenon of infinity. Imagine, for example the universe is infinite. The mind automatically questions, how big is infinity? Is it a trillion billion million miles? And what lies beyond it? Immediately you start counting. No matter how hard you try you just cannot picture something infinite, although the concept of infinity does exist around us. Erect two mirrors face to face and they will project infinite number of images, but no computer no camera no human can ever capture the true infinity in them. So if we fail to understand such simple infinite things, its no wonder we cannot comprehend God’s infinity!

And there we reach the point where we can say that God has to be incomprehensible, in this world with this limited mental strength humans possess. And this is where faith steps in. But faith too is based on some things. Things which are very subtle but still there to be see and by everyone. If God appeared to us in embodiment, there would have been no point in believing, because then everyone would see it all right there. Then where would there be a test? God chose to leave clues leading to him in the world around us, in the skies, mountains, oceans, flowers, in us! He subtly left huge miracles for us to decipher and to use to identify God. And the biggest miracle was knowledge. God knew that the generations after Muhammad (p.b.u.h) would be more thirst for knowledge than anyone else, and He knew they would see the miracle of knowledge. And the finest specimen there exists, is the Quran, the word of God. Its sad how many people take for granted that the book given to them is the biggest miracle of God and in fact the greatest gift He ever gave. And God gave us many gifts. But the sole reason for those gifts is not to sit back and enjoy them, but to use them to discover God, to know Him much better, to love Him like He deserves to be loved. And in the process, you witness things that you would never have, to see what no one does, to transcend boundaries of logic, to base your faith on these subtle hints he set there for you. Some people through science aim to prove the absence of a supreme being but in my understanding, and from what is obvious, they prove the contrary every time. But that is a separate argument for another time.

One final question arises, will we ever understand God. The answer, is yes, if we prove we deserve it then God has the biggest gift in store for us. And He doesn’t call eternal life or heaven or health as the eternal gift, the eternal gift is an answer! Knowledge. How beautiful is this now? The thing that transcends every other gift or blessing God ever granted to mankind from Adam to the last man on earth:

Meaning of a hadith: at the end of the day of judgement, Allah will speak to the people in the heaven and say “I have the greatest gift for you”, the people in the heaven would exclaim “But we already have everything, we have an eternal life, a home in paradise, we have it all”, and then Allah would reveal himself from behind the veil, and all those people would bow down and remain there for thousands of years, unable to grasp the awe of the Almighty.

And there, the greatest gift. The answer. God himself.

05 August 2011

The trees are talking

It is said that black and white photography captures the real soul of
the subjects. At least I know that is true about trees.

13 June 2011

The first change


One question that has always troubled me is "If I change for better, how big an impact will it have on the rest of the world?"

The answer has usually been dismal. Until now.

I aimlessly pondered over this question again that day when suddenly I stumbled upon a simple clue I missed. Or maybe I never understood it before.

HASSAAN AKRAM the person isn't just a person. He has a world in himself. Just like 6 billion or so other worlds. Worlds of perception. Or infact worlds generated by perceptions. The world inside me has a country has a society has multiple ethnicities just as the world outside. The only difference is that in my world, I see things just the way I want to. While in the real world things happen according to some other pattern.

But astonishingly, the situation is almost the same in both worlds. In my own world I make sure I don't have to go through any pains and for that I use money, influence and all that Jazz. I only want my loved ones to develop and I make sure my enemies are hindered. I miss no chance of dreaming a dream and perceiving a world that has me as the centre of it all. And I succeed.

I am one of 170 million worlds of this country. In fact, we all link up to form a cluster called Pakistan, our Home our society. Imagine 170 million small world's with as many centres, imagine the singleness of purpose, to live selfish dishonest lives, to lie to God and ourselves, and the world, the real world, becomes that. We curse the real world but fail to crush our own.

Let me think. If I detach myself, think a bit, change a lot and change for the better, now what will happen?

My place in the cluster will be filled with a better world, or a better perception of the world. Every link around me would notice, with hatred or with love, they will. Maybe somewhere else someone else decides to change, then someone else then it grows. We'll start seeing our own worlds differently. Our actions would testify the change.

I saw this new world more clearly when I threw my last wrapper on the road. Immediately I thought, 170 million wrappers on our roads? Quickly I picked it up.

Somewhere else someone else must have picked one too.

Then I imagined a clean world. I picked someone else's wrapper.

Imagine, if even half of us had thought of changing at that moment we would have cleaned the entire mess.

We all exist individually and collectively. Thus changing for the better, no matter how small that change is, is very important. This change is important because somewhere someone else who wants to change like you do needs to know its possible. And that they have company.

May God give us to be the first raindrops. They are always the most delighting :)

08 June 2011

Dichotomy


I feel very dichotomic in my own self. One part of me takes the corrective pen in Hand and wants to heal the society, to counter poverty, depravity, faithlessness, dishonesty, intolerance etc while the other part just closes eyes on all of it and imagines man inside a cocoon, a being given so much potential he's never realised. This part of me sees all of us as works of complex art, wanting to be understood. This part considers travelling and exploring this world one of the most important things in appreciating the creation of Allah.

But however dichotomic all this is, the one satisfying thought is that both these ways of discovering God are neither mutually exclusive nor mutually dependant and they aren't the only ways in the world.

over time I have developed an intense energy that comes from the feeling that all is unknown and all is uncertain to me. Thank God He never gave us the ability to see the future, it would've killed whatever little desire we have to use our God given abilities.

04 February 2011

Coffee shoffee

One of my most favourite pictures. I have loved taking coffee as a photography subject for a simple reason that I love making and drinking it. A coffee and newspaper morning, preferably with a crossword puzzle is surreal. One of the simplest most pleasurable pleasures.

Break free

These days I have been doing a lot of thinking. And I mean A LOT.  I have been more sensitive to the things around me, have realized a lot of things about myself my religion and the world around me, and I feel its made me a totally different person. But I wanted to share my thinking with people in an attempt to make them see the world from my eye for starters, but every time I looked for a way to do it I stumbled along the way. Therefore I decided I can never ever completely right whatever I have thought and explored about myself.

But one thing I have realized recently is how beautiful every little thing in this world is. And this realization has led me to a plane totally different from what I used to tread upon previously. Suddenly, I am transported into people’s minds, into lifeless things and to places I have never been to. But most of all, the realization that nothing in this world can be taken for granted. Nothing. Not even a particle of dust. God’s creation and the beauty in everything He has created, the science in each molecule, atom and cell has brought me closer to realizing myself. There is now an urgency. To explore the world around me, because we don’t have much time. To see the reality of everything behind the superficial material layer. Once we realize the importance of realizing the reality only then can we get closer to God.

Imagine a particle of sand infront of you. Imagine its components, the silica, the minerals in it. Imagine its age. Imagine the beauty of this single nothingness. Imagine it could be home to a million creatures. Imagine, it in itself is a part of the desert, so it has the spirit. Imagine the exactness in its composition, its relationship with a hundred billion other particles. Now, understand how beautifully Allah created it all. And this is just a sand particle. Nothing else. Everyday it stood idle on your doorstep you maybe whisked it away. You never realized it came to knock on your door, to wake you up, get you out of your world. And this is nothing. This is just a tip of the biggest iceberg. This is just a sand particle. Imagine how beautifully complex would things get.

And imagine yourself, the best thing Allah created. Have you ever realized how beautiful you are? How beautiful are the people around you? There is photographable scene in each and everything you set your eyes upon.

The time is running out. There’s only one way to realize the importance of yourself, break free from your little worlds.

 

24 January 2011

23 January 2011

Many tries later.

There was once a time that blogging was an everyday passion for me. Then slowly, gradually my posts dwindled and finally came to a stop. That doesn't mean that I lost my passion for writing, infact, the passion grew manifold. I started writing facebook notes, as I thought they were more accessible to the people around me but slowly gradually my writings grew lengthy and it took people lots of courage to start reading them all. Besides, I always missed blogger, and the template of my blog, and my readers who I found I out I loved and missed. Though I never had that many readers but the ones who always visited and commented certainly had left their mark on me.
I started writing for an online magazine too. It was then I discovered a startling fact about myself. That magazine demanded serious and positive articles about current issues. And the contribution had to be regular. Sadly this was a lethal combination. I wrote for a few weeks and then all of a sudden I realized that I looked for opportunities to write some more interesting, witty and light hearted stuff. So gradually, at the first chance it got, the heart complained of lack of issues to talk about and at the very first opportunity, I stopped writing complaining of being busy. Atleast that's what the excuse my heart made to my mind.
This wasn't the end, I registered at ODesk too, deciding to earn a little money from writing. Firstly, I never got a project, secondly, I decided it was totally unlike me to sell my creativity. Therefore immediately I dropped the idea.
What it seems is that my longest standing affair has been with blogger and I am finally, once again making a return. I won't expect many witnesses, but if there are any readers still left looking for me, well I am here. For good.
Btw, some changes in my life. I have started working. And I have bought an SLR too (old news now btw). So life's awesome Alhamdulillah.
And yes, introducing a new character to my blog, Moo. She appeared under a different name earlier (of wrist bands fame :p). Moo is the most important part of me. Full stop :)

02 November 2010

My cities


There's someone who's taking the color out of my picture, who's causing darkness all around, robbing my markets of life. The voices, once chirpy and excited have all gone quiet. I wait for my death to hit me sometime.

But not yet.

There is a light. A blinding light. There is hope.

Maybe.

(for the city of Karachi)

24 August 2010

Ramadan Relief

There's just so much one gets to hear that’s wrong with the system and the society that sometimes we wonder if there's anything at all that's right. But then there's always something that might brighten us up even if for a split second. This post goes out to all the people who are victims of Monday blues and are thinking of something to look forward to, this Monday and a few more.

The Ramadan timings.

Gone are the days when it used to be cold and it was hard getting up without a blanket wrapped around yourself, the sehris are more like any other meal of the day. Of course the extra consumption of yogurt does make you feel much better about yourself, but imagine if its a Monday. Sehri takes an entirely different shape as we keep convincing ourselves that today is just another day at the same office you go everyday to. But it's not that easy I've learnt. So you start thinking of things to look forward to.

The best way is to go to other extreme of your day at work which is when you're driving back home. Thinking of that time eases a little pressure on the shoulders sometimes and the thought that you'll be going home while the sun's still out makes you even happier.

But then again these are mere thoughts, the day always goes on at its pace. But one thing you notice is that the tea cups from desks and coffee mugs are understandably absent and work goes on at a slower pace. If I'm not exaggerating its always a good time to shout out to someone at the other end of the office to discuss last night's news bulletin, our country is a happening place.

Somehow there's a general understanding amongst most people that not a lot of work can be expected during Ramadan, except obviously if yours is a company that does greater business in Ramadan. So, across the board the Ramadan phenomenon prevails. This certainly gives a relief from the merciless corporate grind of today.

As the day ages, people start looking at their watches and wall clocks, starting to wind up the work hours before the clock strikes home. This is one of the longest times of the day when you do everything to ensure that the time passes quickly. Inside everyone knows, overtime isn't expected plus the boss has to go home early too, he has Iftar parties to attend, what more could you ask for?

And finally the agonizingly slow clock strikes out, and immediately there's this urge to scream 'freedom' as loud as possible. And this is the part of the day you thought at sehri about. You make a mental note of this event to cherish next Monday so that you can avoid the Monday blues, but then you remember you did that last Monday too.

Suddenly all you have in mind is the slow drive back home and a bed that's ready for you to tuck into, and that too at 4pm. This is how work was meant to be.

12 May 2010

Fad


For some reason, I've always loved wearing wrist bands, simple ones. Somehow they compliment me. Now is like a dream come true. A new band everyday.
Thank you MAQ :)

10 April 2010

tick tock

Every hour here is pretty strange. Lets take one of the 12 examples each day.

6:59…shucks one minute left that’s it, damn I had to iron clothes, make a smoothie, iron my clothes, dust the car and now there’d no light in the garage, had to vacuum my carpet, my cell’s running out of battery so is my laptop, and a bigger problem, only one minute till my modem goes off nadd I can post this post no longer, I had to do my research for my report, had to mail umair my cv, had to change my status on facebook, well that I can do from my cell too but still, I had to watch that match on tv and fight with sis for the remote, damn the match would be over effectively when the electricity comes back again, one minute one minute one minute, damn, so much to do so little time, so little so little what should I do first….mmmmmmmm

7:00…*BLUCK*

In the dim light of UPS powered energy savers and noisy fans I sit there in helplessness, almost expecting to be surprised by the WAPDA people, that for once we’d have another hour of civilization. But no. Strangely, WAPDA employs sadistically punctual people but who can blame them, its obviously very pleasing to make so many millions helpless with the push of one button…aaargh…

7:01… haye its okay, I can rest for a while, play solitaire till the battery of the lappy goes out…sigh sigh sigh

And an hour passes, like the negative part of the sine wave, yes its that mechanical now.

7:59… power’s about to be back what should I do what should I do…yessssssssss I’m so lucky its gonna come back yoohoo…

Like it wasn’t supposed to…

8:00… thank God…lets see…hmmmmmm…I’m so happy I cant think of anything to do, really, Kasmay…so happy so happy….woohoooo

And the happiness lasts for another 59 minutes. Needless to say, nothing can be done in that time period, because of sheer joy. Its like the most intense high, experienced 12 times everyday yet more powerful than the last.

Who needs drugs?