CHUGHTAI ART IN EMBROIDERY AS FASHION
BASIC LISTING OF EMBROIDERS IN PAKISTAN
Chughtai Art has been used variously in time. Pitras Bokhari had fire shades made by the artist for his fire place. Done on silk cloth but painted on same. A letter exists about same. Jewelers have taken inspiration from Chughtai Art and his designs of jewelry. There was a cinema in Karachi as well as a cinema in Delhi which had paintings from the book Murraqqa e Chughtai done on the walls of the cinema hall in huge proportions. We saw them ourselves. That was the time when in cinema halls shows used to be started with documentaries on Chughtai Art. Made by Information Department, it had his interview too. People were familiar with the artist.
Embroidery caught up too. Chughtai Art on cushions as well as dresses. The pioneer was Fatima Bai of Salika Sewing Machines, which made long stitch possible on the machine itself. The singer Malika Pukhraj was very fond of embroidery and had done complete paintings of Chughtai from the Murraqqa in stitch. She showed one of the work on PTV, namely Desert in Bloom. But this did not Stop with her. Sajida Hanif Abbasi (now sick with cancer) also made paintings from Amal e Chughtai as embroidery.
Even today one can find embroidered cushions of Chughtai Art on the International market. Neelofar Shahid did a show on Chughtai, as well as Maria B who took inspiration from Chughtai Art. A student from Dallas Texas, Fawad Khalid Hamza wanted to print Chughtai Art on T Shirts. There is a mrket out there for Chughtai Art products, and unfortunately we do not have capacity to undertake it. Perhaps one day we will enter this sector and make Chughtai Art a household word in the world.
DEAF, DUMB AND BLIND, HELEN KELLER SURVIVED IT ALL
THE VISIT OF HELEN KELLER TO LAHORE IN THE YEAR 1955
Helen Keller is the stuff of legends. An international icon, she showed the world optimism in everything she did in life. Presidents met her with humility. She carried an air of hope everywhere. Much traveled, she even came to Lahore. Addressed a Press Conference, which was reported on 15th May, 1955. The city of Lahore welcomed this stalwart with open minds and hearts and she left a deep impression behind. Full of laughter, one could hardly find her in a different mood. She overcame her disabilities, and she poured her hope all over the world.
One can learn a lot from her. A documentary was screened by the USIS here, entitled THE HELEN KELLER STORY and we indeed saw it ourselves. From where her energy came, one does not know, but that energy she passed on to the world. With an age of 88 years, she really was outstanding in her achievements. These are the Americans who made America, America. Legends which impressed the world.
Even today her name is taken in Pakistan with respect. Events are held in her name. United the world, and never sowed discord in life.
MUHAMMED KHAN A FORGOTTEN HERO MARTYR OF WORLD WAR ONE
DEBRIS OF A HOUSE IN LAHORE REVEALS MEDAL SENT BY KING GEORGE
The Britishers used the Indian Army in their fights in World War one in 1915. We do now that a lot of soldiers went from Punjab to France at that time. Villages in Punjab boast of soldiers sent to fight the British cause. In the area of Pakistan, Chakwal is famous for contributing such brave men to the mission. It is also known that people from Lahore also went to France and are acknowledged by plaques in those fields of Europe. Of the many people martyred there, King George sent a letter of condolence to the family of the dead soldier.
A recently demolished house in Lahore turned out a forgotten medal in its debris. The man MUHAMMED KHAN FROM LAHORE died in the British service in World War one. To commemorate his death, King George sent a BRONZE MEDAL highlighting that HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR. The letter obviously is missing. Who was Muhammed Khan? We do not know but this we know that the urban city of Lahore did produce brave men in those times too and they fought on the battle field of Europe, and scarcely remembered by any one. There is knack of history that it enfolds itself sooner or later. Obviously the man must have belonged to the Punjab Regiment, and that regiment is active to this day in the Pakistan Army.
AN UNKNOWN TURKISH SULTANATE PRINCESS OF LAHORE
IS SHE SISTER OF AYAZ WHO MARRIED SULTAN MAHMUD?
Personalities and events are not normally remembered in time. A forgotten world surround us all the time. But memories leave fingerprints here and there, and these are the fingerprints of time itself. Figurines of Lahore is a virgin topic, left unexplored, and juicy with details of the past. Deep down Lahore’s earth are memories of time gone by, and little to remember that time itself.
A face occurs here and there in full splendour of some Princess, some Queen, who the people of Lahore cherished, and put figurines of her in their homes. Twenty five to thirty feet means the Ghaznavid period in Lahore, or even the times of Qutub uddin Aibeg (Aibek). Or even later. History recalls a SHER DE BACHI, who was a sister of Malik Ayaz, the Governor of Lahore, who the Sultan loved very much. That is Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi. It is not known whether the marriage took place or not, but Sultan himself asked his courtiers for their opinion about the prospects of that marriage. The rest is smoke of history. In any case enjoy a Lahori Princess of the past with her enigmatic Turkish cap. And imagine her days of splendour.
The soil of Lahore reveals us the past all the time.
INDEPENDENCE DAY OF PAKISTAN 14TH AUGUST, 1947
THE CONFUSION OF 15TH AUGUST AS POSSIBLE DATE
No one bothers to clear history of Pakistan. A deliberate confusion is generated by vested interests about the date of independence of Pakistan. Very few would know the way of seeking the truth. The first independence day of Pakistan was celebrated on 15th August, 1948. There is valid reason for same and we have a commemorative postal stamp (First stamp designed by M.A. Rahman Chughtai) that was issued on same date. It was realized by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan that this confusion had to go. Jut like the Two nation theory, the same day of Independence would not work in the long run. It was found that exactly at 12 pm Independence for Pakistan was announced and that would make it 14th August, 1947. Independence for India was announced five minutes later at 00.05 am. It was decided to commemorate Pakistan Day on 14th August each year, while India would retain its India Day on 15th August for the future. All this is on record. The 2nd Independence day was on 14th August, 1949. It is found in older Pakistani guide books published officially but no stress is given to it now. Now you know!
GOD MADE THE COUNTRY AND MAN MADE THE TOWN
A PROPOSAL OF CELEBRATING PAINDO DAY: HA HA HA
Pakistan is embroiled in actual warfare with our enemy. On the other hand the Ideological warfare is on at the same time. There have been many funny movements in the past but the latest is indeed so funny as to give a fit of laughter all the time. All our life we heard the word PIND and that meant village, and we heard the word PAINDO and that meant inhabitant of a village. No degradation here. They are honourable hard working people and deserve to be treated with respect by all. That is egalitarianism. We believe in that. But their culture is not only basic, it is also vulgar in many contexts. Remember when your Aunt used to sniff at the shopkeeper in Anarkali by saying Paindo Rang (colours). God made the country but God also made man. And God entrusted man with moving forward in civilization. Achieving pinnacles of things. No status quo anywhere. Culture stopped in Pind ages ago.
All branches of knowledge have to have a start and epitome. Similarly other facets of culture. A rustic song is entertaining but a Tan Sen it will never be. You cannot expect Beethoven to be found in any village and even so, Beethovens are one of a kind. There are no higher thoughts expressed in Rustic songs. Similarly no aesthetics derived from simple colours and lines. Every facet of civilization has to have an USTAD or a MASTER at the top. That Ustad defines the civilization of that facet of culture. Even in his wildest imagination a Paindo cannot understand the sophistication of colours as used in Chughtai Art. Ideological warfare is meant to erase our superiority in anything. Everything mundane about us.
A stone is thrown in an environment and its gradually picks up that environment and becomes cultured with that surroundings. But Ideology is not that of a stone. The living organism that is HUMANKIND has been conditioned with ideas not merely of surroundings but the very IDEA OF EXISTENCE as defined by the LAWS OF ALLAH. We are an extension of the Laws of Allah, whether we actively accept them or not. We are nature bound to react to existence. Our Ideology is to move toward perfection in every sphere of life. Pakistan is an Ideological State and it sends fit of volcanic eruptions on those who oppose us. Suffice heritage of things is different from heritage of ideas. When people started moving at partition leaving homes and luxury behind, it was not meant to seek better things alone. They were moving with an Idea of a State, and that was the Idea of Pakistan.
The idea of Pakistan prevails and will prevail. No warfare, actual or Ideological can erase that from our existence. Foreign lobbies are seemingly so much worried about us that they are always giving us directions. Going back to village is keep us down forever. Our direction is Paradise, not Hell in any way.
ARE THERE SONIC BOOMS OVER PAKISTAN
UNNATURAL RATS UPRISING SUGGESTS SO
We have hear of Sonic booms with inaudible weapons in Cuba, but abnormal rat activity in Pakistan suggests some sort of sonic issues in Pakistan too. For instance a newspaper reports:
Earlier this month the U.S. State Department disclosed that several Havana-based diplomats have experienced “incidents which have caused a variety of physical symptoms.” Secretary Rex Tillerson said the incidents began last fall, calling them “health attacks.”
They were not the good kind of health attacks. Symptoms have included severe hearing loss, headaches, and problems with balance—forcing some diplomats to return to the United States. “We hold the Cuban authorities responsible for finding out who is carrying out these health attacks,” Tillerson said.
His remarks came after a search for the cause of the symptoms—also reported among Canadian diplomats living in Cuban housing—led some U.S. officials to conclude that the weapon is inaudible sonic waves.
A word about Sonic weapons:
Sonic and ultrasonic weapons (USW) are weapons of various types that use sound to injure, incapacitate, or kill an opponent. Some sonic weapons are currently in limited use or in research and development by military and police forces. Some of these weapons have been described as sonic bullets, sonic grenades, sonic mines, or sonic cannons. Some make a focused beam of sound or ultrasound; some make an area field of sound.
Some time back there were reports of unusual RAT activity in Peshawer, and a bounty was issued for any rat killed by people. Children flocked the municipality with killed rats. A device is available in the West, which you embed in soil and the field is evacuated of all rats. Inaudible to our ears, the rats cannot accept that in their life. An unusual rat activity is also seen in Lahore. Hordes of rats are common these days, disturbed from their natural habitats by sonic booms.
But we are not alone. It is reported that millions of rats have invaded London too. You can find these reports in leading newspapers. Habitats are disturbed and animals are shifting grounds. But how much is natural, and how much contrived? One does not know. But it is indeed a RAW deal for us.
FATHER OF URDU LANGUAGE IN OUR REGION
HAZRAT NIZAMUDDIN AULIA AND AMIR KHUSRO
A meeting was in progress under Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia and many people were seated there. The list included Khawaja Hassan Sanjari, Khawaja Saeed Muhammed, Khawaja Saeed Mussavi, Khawaja Syed Rafiuddin Haroon, and Har Dev, along with his three relatives, Sumbal Dev, Chanel Dev, and Sunil Dev. Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia was of view that a language issue in addressing people of Hindustan was occurring, and it had to be resolved with a new communication tool. We have to devise a language which mixes local language with language of Muslims that Is Persian, and Turkish. Already inter exchange of words are taking place and people are familiar with same. And to teach this language I have written a small booklet by name of KHALIQ BARI. I want that a system of new language should be started and it should be call Hinduvta. But so that people can really know it, I want Amir Khusro to compose songs in same, so that not only people can talk and read it, but can also sing songs in it, so that it really becomes common with use. As Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia lived between 1238 AD to 1325 AD, so the birth of Urdu started in the 13th to 14th century. The language has a history of about 700 years and was avidly used in Hyderabad Deccan too. It became the language of the Mughal Court with Bahadur Shah Zafar in Delhi.
The result was that Amir Khusro composed Urdu songs with music, and the songs became well known and common and people started singing same and Urdu language came into being once for all. The songs of Amir Khusro survive to this day and were the first in Urdu language. Urdu became the Modern language of our region. Pakistan proudly claimed it as its national language. Lahore became center of Urdu long ago and produced many Urdu writers, poets, and thinkers. Dr Allama Iqbal was the foremost of them. But there were many others, and we will talk about them too.
TEACHING US OBJECTIVITY ABOUT OUR SUBJECTIVITY
OBJECTIVITY THAT IS SIMPLY THEIR OWN SUBJECTIVITY
There is a narrative in my life. I have learned that narrative from my parents, friends as well as environment. I also unlearn that narrative all the time by listening and encountering new facts. If my life experiences are to end with me and I cannot pass on those experiences to my next generation, the meaning of my life would be useless. I am a product of many generations, and I am the past of many future generations. Would I in the name of objectivity leave my next generation without any clues of facing the world!
My DEEN teaches me the value of TRUTH. There is no denying that truth matters, but truth is not merely facts. Truth is my opinion about those facts. And those opinions are not in any way a product of bigotry, but my believes in the Laws of Allah. Our Quran is the communication of Allah. For instance the Quran tells us the value of Jehad all the time. And yet in a very pseudo objective way the western media belittle the holy concept of Jehad, and attempts to relate it to Terrorism that is going on in the world. Jehad and terrorism are poles apart and the objective truth of the western media is blasphemy in my view. Can the West be objective about Jehad?
A degrading concept like Homosexuality is a very objective notion of the West. Its concept is repugnant in Islam. And yet it is being imposed as a view in ordinary TV shows, documentaries, writings, and what not? And yet a student whose name we say as “A” got a tremendous grant from a University in London to write a PHD thesis on Permission of Homosexuality in Islam. My narrative would be called subjective here.
Basil Gray, an international scholar of Islamic Art, called here in 1946 and tried to persuade artist M.A. Rahman Chughtai to part with his Art treasure. M.A. Rahman Chughtai was wise enough and refused to do so. In 1977 Basil Gray was our guest here, and the objective Basil Gray burst out laughing and told us everything. He said that MI6 had sent him to India to remove art treasures from all places before the partition of the region. He said that he was able to fool everybody with his objective rationale of a big show but the artist Chughtai would not listen to him at all. We have reproduced part of those letters in our publication. Gemma Sharpe the researcher on Chughtai Art in 2017 said the same thing and was utterly surprised that Basil Gray had blurted out the truth.
A number of leaders in Pakistan met fatal ends. To this day we do not know the truth. Objective truth is that they died, the subjective truth is conspiracy. Ridiculing truth as conspiracy is the name of the game. To this day we do not know the facts about the assassination of iconic leader John F Kennedy. Why? Narratives here or objectivity!
There is a confusion in our next generation, carried away by OBJECTIVE notions, they too dismiss our narratives as SUBJECTIVE. But you need a big heart to know the Truth. Yes, truth matters, but our version of Truth is no less than anybody’s else. The real life is so different. For instance President Zia ul Haque and Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto both met tragic fatal ends. One group of people called one a Shaheed, the other group call their own person a Shaheed. What is the truth here? Both died unnaturally. I have my own narrative about it, the West has none. Our political leaders basking in the shadow of most massive corruption in historical record, term themselves as martyrs. What is objectivity here? Calling a spade a spade, yes, but look at it carefully: Is it really a spade?
In the season Game of Thrones, a cult of Faceless men is there who can steal the face of any person. In this objective game the acceptable faces are stolen by non acceptable persons. All events have narratives. Nations must rise to assert their truths. No poker face here is possible!
YES, BROKEN APART FROM US BY DECEIT AND FORCE
ARE OUR BENGAL BRETHREN HAPPIER THAN BEFORE?
Chaos and Anarchy prevails all the Muslim world. Turkey which looked untouchable by factors is facing vulnerable times. And so is the rest of the Muslim world. Deaths and poverty has become routine in our world. And nobody seems to be listening to it, or even doing anything about it. Our hearts pain at the conditions where even survival is becoming like a dream, replaced by our worst nightmares. The land of jute, the golden sparrow, has it become rising star, as proclaimed by Machiavellian politicians.
A long lost friend SAIF UL HAQUE wrote to us from Bangladesh asking about the memories he left behind here. Nostalgia surrounds him to this day when he received his education here. The same situation as in Pakistan, as one set of Bengali people , pitted against the opposite set of Bengali people. Imagine the Chief Justice of Bangladesh being forcibly put on an aero plane to Australia for he made a judgement which was against the Ruling party. Even more drastic measures than ours here. Replacing one with an Acting one, obviously with the connivance of foreign lobbies. Leaders of Islamic parties were first hanged to death (what about human rights?), and now forcibly imprisoned. While elephants fight, the grass remain trampled. When Dr Henry Kissinger called East Pakistan a basket without a bottom, the situation still stands. The poor in Pakistan, the poor in Bangladesh are all suffering the same misery. The world may have lost compassion but the Muslims have lost compassion for each other. Why should we not feel the pain of our Bengali brethren? Democracy in a nutshell is forced choices on us, to select and elect the evil of society, concerned with massive corruption.
The Laws of Allah are moving and we know they are there. Retribution will come. Our patience is tested beyond limits. What can our empty prayers do?
We still feel for you East Pakistan.