Chauburji

  • TThe sight of a five foot long slithering reptile is bound to give the shivers to any ‘right minded’ individual (barring snake charmers, zoo keepers and snake hunters). The snake is a creature that generates fear, loathing and mystery, notwithstanding the fact that not all snakes are ...

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  • TThe residents of Islamabad are indeed lucky that they live in one of nature’s most beautiful spots, where the mighty Himalayan Mountains emerge from the Potohar Plateau. Driving or trekking up the roads or trails winding up these foothills, known as the Margallas, is an unforgettable ...

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  • TThere was a time, when amongst other good things, being good neighbors was considered to be an essential virtue. It did not extend only to next door homes, but the entire community referred to as the ‘mohalla’ was a brotherhood that spanned religion, caste or color. The system provided ...

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  • TI was awakened by the sound of loud tapping of hail on the window panes and the howling of wind in the chimneys. When I opened my eyes again, the storm had gone and the sun was peeping through the clouds. Drawing back the curtains I was greeted by one of nature’s greatest wonders – a ...

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  • TAlthough the Sunday piece, by precedence makes light and nostalgic reading, I cannot restrain myself from briefly touching upon a recent incident that greatly bothers me. The disturbance involves Mr. Bilawal Bhutto, who very recently made a public statement that echoes the enemy narrative with ...

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  • TWhile attending a wedding reception the other evening, I was drawn into conversation by another guest sitting next to me. Talking of this and that, we drifted onto the subject of natural organic food. I was surprised to discover that the gentleman had never sampled nature’s bounties that grew ...

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  • TThe sight of Shahji and his brother walking up our drive, carrying a pair of canvas buckets, a large much-used sheet of thick cloth and sickle like knives, was a sure sign that somewhere in our compound there was a honeycomb ready to be harvested. This unique pair of individuals belonged to a ...

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  • TMy friends say that I am a ‘foodie’ and this pleases me no end, in spite of the fact that in my family’s opinion, I don’t eat ‘healthy’. I consider this point of view to be untenable, simply because I eat all things ‘halal’, whether they walk, hop, ...

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  • TOver more than five decades or perhaps more, I have achieved notoriety amongst friends and family as someone, who is irreparably footloose. Those close to me, sometimes give me amused looks in the knowledge that the urge to ‘rush’ outdoors is triggered by billowing clouds, gusting winds ...

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  • TThe art of baking in the Subcontinent was traditionally confined to creating one of our staple foods – ‘Naan, Kulcha and Roti’ These bread cakes were fashioned out of kneaded wheat meal of various refinements and cooked in clay ‘tandoors’, embedded in hearths. The fuel ...

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  • THave you ever been startled by hearing sounds that have nothing to do with the spot you are in and which may unsettle you as faulty hearing or in some cases cause a scare by appearing to be paranormal or portents of the Apocalypse. Five years ago an open forum Reddit contributor on Internet ...

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  • TI first began my ramblings in the lush green and beautiful environs of the dense forest that covered the area from Shakarparian to the Margalla Hills somewhere in the mid nineteen sixties. The vast tract of this exciting piece of God’s earth was full of thrills – teeming with wild life ...

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  • TMy inspiration for this recurring thread in my Sunday pieces stems from one my favourite writers Gerald Durrell. Good old Mr. Durrell has not only been gifted with a wonderful wit, but the ability to put it on paper, leaving the reader riveted to whichever of his works one may have the privilege of ...

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  • TFreezing winter evenings with a strong wind howling through the chimneys and falling sleet that penetrates woolies like icy barbs, is what I like about winters. Before anyone jumps to the hasty conclusion that I have perhaps lost my marbles, let me clarify that it is the opportunities that such ...

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  • TThe two oblique lines intersecting at the center creating the alphabet X is an enigmatically mysterious symbol used to denote anything that does not carry an identity, is inexplicable or unknown. To give a few examples, this unique letter has been used to mark spots on maps, featured in the title ...

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  • TThere was once a time many centuries ago, when a great and powerful empire flourished with its capital located, just a few miles from what is now Islamabad. This was Takshila or Taxila as we know it during our time. Connecting the various settlements and towns in this beautiful valley was a road, ...

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  • TThis week’s piece is for those of my readers, who have never been inside the real Lahore with its maze of narrow streets, overshadowed by surviving ornate wooden balconies and expansive brick paved spaces known as ‘maidans’. It is also for those, who were raised in the old city, ...

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  • TIt was in August 1975 (or perhaps 1976) that my footloose impulse prompted me to undertake a journey by road from Peshawar to the idyllic land of Kafiristan. This week’s piece is composed of memories of what was nothing short of a thrilling adventure and also an ode to the many people, who ...

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  • TThe month of December is upon us and Christians all over the world are preparing for Christmas. This is a time, when I tend to fondly recall distinct childhood memories of the holiday season in the ‘city of my birth’ – Lahore, which at one time had a much larger Christian ...

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  • TYesterday, I received a gift of fruit from a family friend, who had brought it from the Philippines. I had never seen or tasted this particular variety before and I found it to be full of a new and exotic flavor. As I sat enjoying the experience, I was reminded of my childhood, when everything ...

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  • TOnce upon a time Lahore was a city of gardens (the word park was very rarely used) and leafy, tree lined roads, a sight that I have been privileged to enjoy as a child. Then, as if infected with a plague, this beautiful metropolis was transformed into a concrete jungle. The gardens and hundred year ...

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  • TAnother winter is upon us and that too rather early. The weather and along with it, the seasons appear to have gone crazy. The Pundits of Doom say that the theory about the Mayan Calendar appears to be manifesting itself (if you do not know the Mayan Calendar thing, I shall write about it, one of ...

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  • TOur home on Lahore’s Queens Road was located on a strip of asphalt that offered many adventures to our band of ‘little rogues’. The three of us, the other two being Awais (who passed away before he could see the world as an adult) and Yusuf (whose elder brother was my senior in ...

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  • TThe history of Punjab’s capital city of Lahore, is replete with lore and legends, many of which have an aura of mystery surrounding them. If archeologists were to excavate the area that lies outside the walled city in any direction, they will find layer upon layer of architectural remains ...

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  • TWhen I started writing my Sunday piece more than a decade ago, I named the thread ‘Lahore – The Golden Years’. As time went by and my storehouse of tales from the city of my birth began to dwindle, I decided to expand the scope of my writing under the umbrella ‘Lahore and ...

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  • TMy friends tell me that if I had not taken up three careers, one of which was media, I would have spent a better part of my life as a vet or an animal right’s activist. I tend to agree with this notion since my love for four legged creatures and birds is something that is perhaps a part of my ...

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  • TI once wrote a piece on ‘clouds’ and thought that I would not write another story featuring this particular phenomenon in the sky. Little did I know that my fascination with, what appears to be a very common weather manifestation, would reach a point, where another ‘cloudy ...

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  • TStories of haunted houses is something that is commonplace, but there are paranormal events on record, which indicate that such activity is not restricted to brick and mortar structures, but can manifest itself in other objects too – objects such as trees. There is a three hundred year old ...

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  • TIt was a routine September morning for Pakistanis. In Lahore, people went about their business with no inkling of events taking place at the border with India. There was however some speculation in the public as residents living along roads leading towards Wagah and Burki, reported hearing, what ...

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  • TWhile driving to work, I stopped at the red light on Jinnah Avenue watching a pair of beggars moving from vehicle to vehicle towards my direction. One of them appeared to have an amputated arm, while the other was using a single crutch to hobble along. As they drew closer, I was reminded of a ...

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