Saturday, September 19, 2009

It just happened like this !


Sweet Innocence


Well timed shot !




Sunset behind Packages Ltd


Oh my gosh .... ohhh my gosh !


An interesting piece of nature's fine art. Look minutely.


Looks like a fantasy


Beauty of Jinnah Baagh. How many notice it?


Another piece of nature's fine art


See a scared bear-cub clinging to her mother?


Nature's marvellous fine art


Nature's fine art


Great landing


Nice ride !


Kids enjoying holiday


Street Kids, no tension ... no depression!


Street girl


Joining friends


Enchanting reflections in Nawaz Sharif Park


A nice lakeview of Nawaz Sharif Park

Scary clouds from rooftop


No Mars, Neptune. Just street lights with Moon in background!


Friend Ayaz leaving Lahore for Dubai


Still life by younger daughter Sofiah


Murad Barber's shop I visited after 45 years!


Hurry Up, my jaws are aching - Muneeb


DJ FM107 Manzar Bashir


A beautiful view of Jillani Park


Shy of camera


Walk resumed after heavy rains




With friend Ayaz (now in Dubai)

Through office window




Morning workout at Jillani Park


Sunrise in Jillani Park


Watching reflections


My office window


A roadside view


Missing human presence


Friday, September 18, 2009

After heavy downpour


Another sunrise shot from rooftop


Sunrise from rooftop


Fate .... Faults .... Fiasco !

By Saalik Siddikki
The kid was just three and a half when sent to a home-based English medium school, the only one in the area back in 1959. He picked a piece of chalk, in the absence of class-teacher and tried to draw a bird on the blackbaord. The teacher Agha Jee returned and ordered him to keep standing against the back wall of the classroom. Classmates disdained. A little while later, during the short break, a teenager student killed a sparrow using his catapult. Everybody admired his skill except the punished kid. He cried, wept, remained sad and gloomy for the rest of the day and got sick. Later he was sent to a state-owned school commonly known in Pakistan as Corporation ka School or TaatoN waala School where students of primary classes (Grade one to five) used to sit on floor mats.
He kept his flaire fueled with regularly drawing distorted images of nature but to be punished ultimately till he advanced to grade six and moved to Chishtia High School.
A senior drawing teacher Mr. Ramzan initially took him as a wayward and ignored his passion for drawing. Then in September 1965 war erupted between Pakistan and India. The whole scenario changed. He started playing cricket and the obsession cost him failure in five subjects in the matriculation examination. The shocking humiliation shook him and he quit all extra-curricular activities, abandoned all friends and put himself to grinding by studying 12 to 16 hours a day without getting any tuition. The reward was obvious. He got first division with science subject.
He applied for admission in the prestigious National College of Arts for graduation in Architecture, appeared in entry tests, easily cleared all and rather got appreciation from the teachers for his skill of freehand drawing in shortest time. But on the advice of a friend his father disallowed him to join NCA simply for co-education there. His father threatened to kill himself in case of difiance.
The big dream was brutally crushed on the anvil of fatherly authority! He declared rebellion and refused to continue his education because prior to that he was also denied joining Pakistan Air Force for the sole reason of being the only child.

Nevertheless one of his friend's father convinced him to continue his education. So, on the last day of submission of applications he applied, joined Government Commercial Training Institute, Wahdat Road, Lahore and was awarded a scholarship.
Being a lonely child he was not allowed much to play with the street kids which seems to be the major reason for his developing the habit of deep thinking and creating methods to keep himself engaged in one activity or the other and enjoy his solitude as well.
Sometime between eight and tenth grade and particularly after matruculation examinations while waiting for the results, he discovered another passion which was buried somewhere deep inside. He began reading newspapers, books and magazines. Started listening to light music, reading and writing poetry.
The poetry factor made him popular among the student community. Quite surprisingly he got either of the top three and many times more than one prizes of every competition he participated in. And more amazingly he achieved all this without being groomed or mentored by any teacher poet. He was declared Best Poet of the Year in 1972 & 1973. Once he even brought a trophy to honour his college, in a poetry competition by winning three out of four enteries .... two in Urdu and one in Punjabi.
He had to discontinue his education due to serious illness of his father. He had to take care of familiy's monetary affairs continuously for a couple of years.
His passion for drawing vanished in the mist of circumstances far behind. Flair for reading, writing poetry also remained in low profile for years. Multiple jobs kept him engaged to the extent of exhaustion.
Then a friend introduced him to photography by asking for his company, on weekends, to go out and take candid shots. This fascinating activity became a source of inner enlightenment for him. He managed to buy himself an old German camera that became his best friend for the next couple of years. During those times nobody ever saw him without his camera. His personal interests were photographing nature and candid / street photography.
He learned basic photography from photography magazines. Again no teaching or grooming by some experienced teacher. Took some incredible pictures which were unfortunately destoryed by someone during his stay in Karachi for employment.
In 1982 he married a relative girl from India and a chain of disturbing incidents and family disputes distracted him for years to come.
Though he kept writing poetry and using his camera, a Yashica this time, yet he couldn't make a mark in either of these two passions. He was never much encouraged at home and totally ignored by friends.
His flare for writing poetry and photography became like a low level stream of water silently running without disturbing anyone or making any splashing sound.
That's the breif story of Saalik Siddikki who still loves poetry and photography but dislikes to be called a poet or photographer because he feels that he has failed to nurture his passions to the extent of becoming a professional in these fields. There are many other factors not mentioned here for personal reasons which also raised great obstacles in his way to achieve what he had anticipated and dreamed. His dreams are shattered, hopes diminished and desires remain unfulfilled. And very fairly he also considers himself as much guilty as fate, friends and circumstances.
Now it is upto the visitors of this blog to see whether Saalik's claim to have a different angle of vision is worth acceptance and appreciation or not. At least, at 53, he is not crying over spilt milk.
Have a good time to go through the nostalgia of vanishing moments of life !
Best wishes.