Flickr

November 5th, 2018 / 4:08 AM

After twelve years of love, the old flame still keeps burning. The sting of nostalgia and everything associated with it is always hard to give up. Like an old city where a person has lived keeps calling him. Again. And again. And yet again. The old city of Flickr.

I still remember the time when sharing a picture was more of a problem. It was a bigger problem than taking a picture and transferring it to your computer was. that is why more genius people started thinking of a cure and came up with a wonderful service called Flickr. The solution was remarkable but the only shortcoming that I faced with it was the number of images that I could share with someone else was limited to 200. But even that did not stop me from uploading the images as I knew that all the images were safe. At least I intended to get a paid subscription in the later years when I can happily enjoy all the pictures that I have uploaded to the service. Many detailed articles on the Internet talk about how Yahoo purchased a vehicle and then destroyed it eventually selling it to Verizon after a data breach. But even Verizon could not contain the fallout and the fiasco led to people leaving Flickr. The love for photography has not died, at least not yet. That’s the reason why I was hopeful when Smugmug bought Flickr in 2018. They have recently paid attention to all those free hoarders which we can find in almost any community and any service who are there only to pollute the beautiful walled gardens. Just look at what they have done to Facebook Twitter and Instagram. These were really good places just like mountain towns. Now the crowd has destroyed them. The same crowd found free enterprise-grade storage of 1 Terabyte on Flickr. They were the people who were least bothered about community interactions in photography. They just wanted a place where they can store their photographs and delete them from the computer and save some space. I remember once a property broker came to the hospital. When I asked him where he lived, he told of an average neighborhood just to keep his low profile from all the extortionists. A colleague added, “Why is that posh town so expensive?” The broker replied, “The taps don’t push out milk in that area. The price exists just to keep the filthy poor out.” To this day I remember his ideology. Free is what made Facebook filthy, Android filthy, Twitter filthy, Instagram filthy. You will never find Bahria Town filthy, DHA filthy, Cantonment filthy, etc. Flickr was great. Then the free-minded settlers moved in. This recent price tag push will kick them out just to let those who care about photos stay.

It is a good move in the long run. Technology giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook or even Microsoft should introduce a bundled service that packs some services under one roof. Only if there existed such a service that had a section for all the tweet-like statuses being streamed and a blog section for longer blog posts, a photo drive where all photographs one has ever taken are saved (in their original quality) along with those cherished screenshots and a video drive where all the videos are safely backed up. Those who care about their data would move to this amazing town instantly. The service would be more ideal if a personal domain could be linked to it. It is quite possible and eventually, someone is going to make this dream a reality.

Flickr may start looking like a posh neighborhood in the future. But that is what I fear too. I seek peace and harmony that was destroyed by free hoarders. My experiences are riddled with dust collected from the surroundings from Saddar Town and Walton Colony to Nishat Colony and Old Anarkali that if life moves me to a palace, I might leave the fancier walls when everyone else falls asleep, sneak out, take a ride to that part of the old city, sneak into my old home and fall off to a peaceful sleep on the cold concrete floor.

Aamir Bilal

 (Zafar Gorakhpuri) (Zafar Gorakhpuri)

August 26th, 2018 / 7:26 PM

 

ردیف قافیہ بندش خیال لفظ گری
وہ حور زینہ اترتے ہوئے سکھانے لگی

کتاب باب غزل شعر بیت لفظ حروف
خفیف رقص سے دل پر ابھارے مست پری

کلام عروض تغزل خیال ذوق جمال
بدن کے جام نے الفاظ کی صراحی بھری

قصیدہ شعر مسدس رباعی نظم غزل
مہکتے ہونٹوں کی تفسیر ہے بھلی سے بھلی

بیان علم معانی فصاحت علم بلاغ
بیان کر نہیں سکتے کسی کی ایک ہنسی

حریر اطلس و کمخواب پنکھڑی ریشم
کسی کے پھول سے تلووں سے شاہ مات سبھی

گلاب عنبر و ریحان موتیا لوبان
کسی کی زلف معطر میں سب کی خوشبو ملی

کسی کے مرمریں آئینے میں نمایاں ہیں
گھٹا بہار دھنک چاند پھول دیپ کلی

کسی کے شیریں لبوں سے ادھار لیتے ہیں
مٹھاس شہد رطب چینی قند مصری ڈلی

کسی کے نور کو چندھیا کے دیکھیں حیرت سے
چراغ جگنو شرر آفتاب پھول جھڑی

کسی کے حسن کو بن مانگے باج دیتے ہیں
وزیر میر سپاہی فقیہ ذوق شہی

نگاہیں چار ہوئیں وقت ہوش کھو بیٹھا
صدی دہائی برس ماہ روز آج ابھی

سیاہ زلف گھٹا جال جادو جنگ جلال
فسوں شباب شکارن شراب رات گھنی

ظریف ابرو غضب غمزہ غصہ غور غزل
گھمنڈ قوس قضا عشق طنز نیم سخی

گلابی گال شفق سیب سرخی غازہ کنول
طلسم چاہ بھنور ناز شرم نرم گری

نشیلی ٹھوڑی تبسم ترازو چاہ ذقن
خمیدہ خنداں خجستہ خمار پتلی گلی

گلا صراحی نوا گیت سوز آہ اثر
ترنگ چیخ ترنم ترانہ سر کی لڑی

ہتھیلی ریشمی نازک ملائی نرم لطیف
حسین مرمریں صندل سفید دودھ دھلی

جو اس پہ بوند گری ابر کپکپا اٹھا
اس ایک لمحے میں کافی گھروں پہ بجلی گری

قیامت آ گئی خوشبو کی کلیاں چیخ پڑیں
گلاب بولا نہیں غالباً وہ زلف کھلی

کمال‌ لیلیٰ تو دیکھو کہ صرف نام لیا
”پھر اس کے بعد چراغوں میں روشنی نہ رہی”

عطائے حسن تھی قیسؔ اک جھلک میں شوخ غزل
کتاب لکھتا میں اس پر مگر وہ پھر نہ ملی

 

Twice the same crop

August 5th, 2018 / 10:09 PM

A man in my neighborhood just divorced his wife. That is not a new thing. It’s not the first time somebody has divorced his wife and certainly it’s not the last time either. The term divorce and the whole dilemma that surrounds it is our social stigma. People are happily accepting bigger monsters yet this word frightens many. It is not just the act that is scary. The repercussions are what go deeper. When one faces a similar situation they don’t want anybody else to talk about it as it pertains to them. But when they listen about someone else getting divorced, this talk becomes a favourite topic for them. It itself is the evil polarity that will destroy the society in the end. Polarity will kill as many as global warming would. 

My next door neighbour is a very polite and a humble man. I’ve not heard any negative air about him which partly is because he does not interfere in the works of either the union or anybody else in the neighborhood. He limits to himself. That is why when I heard that he had divorced his wife after a night of long, loud and scary arguments which started after midnight, I took some time to believe in what the people were talking about. The very next day when I was going for work, I saw that man with a burqa clad woman. Right at the entrance of the building, two old ladies were whispering something to each other and pointing towards my neighbour. I knew that it could not be something good or positive. Obviously the biggest monster in our society is not the vampire who can walk on walls and can suck all the blood out of you in a minute. The biggest monster is not the one who becomes a wolf when the first ray of moonlight hits him. It is not even that unstable mind who would pick up a gun and without a second thought kill the innocents. You guessed it right! It is that man who divorces his wife even if the bridge of the marriage started to collapse at the end of the wife. At the time of this writing, I came to know that he divorced his wife for another woman. 
Nothing new. 
It happens. It can happen. 
That is how humans are. Nobody likes to eat the same thing at dinner for the rest of his life. But my neighbour’s new dinner came from the same restaurant. He married the sister of his wife. The size of the monster grew in the eyes of the society when the people came to know that both of his wives are living in the same apartment and he has not formally divorced the first wife before marrying the second one. It is a twisted society perhaps. I was hungry at the start of day and decided to eat something fancy. However at this moment I am feeling that no restaurant can serve me good. I would skip dinner.  
 

Waves

August 1st, 2018 / 05:51 PM

They don’t understand the waves that reach the shores.

They don’t understand the songs they carry.

They don’t understand the things they speak.

They don’t.

The Skin Of A Woman

July 28th, 2018 / 10:55 AM

I peeled the skin of a woman out of curiosity. Under the layer was a truer being. The monster who used to looked good. Undoubtedly, with the charms of those appearances, there would be many fools of men the monster would have pulled and swallowed. A monster, however, lives inside me too. It is neither as charming nor as ugly as hers. It’s the monster under my skin who saw her broken skin. Curiosity made him have a peek. In the end, it was frightened but content. Its hunch was right. The ugly monster is still alive. I guess it takes a monster to know a monster.

First of July

July 1st, 2018 / 4:24 AM
It’s someone’s birthday. Every day is someone’s birthday. So is today. We spent a good time together. A golden time perhaps. Only if that could be re-lived. I cannot overlook a question. Will any of us forget and forgive if we relive it? I fail to reach any answer when I realize that I have not forgotten anything even today. It is being very unwise of me. A fool here. I have no idea of the other side. If anyone comes to see my end, they will find my side of the bridge intact. Maybe the other end is intact too. Yet the bridge fell. It is another question that keeps peaceful sleep and harmony at bay. We once talked about life and the afterlife and decided that the one who outlives the other should tell the next generation of ours about how many years we stayed in each other’s lives. I believe that silence is not absence. It never is. Has God ever talked to us? Yet when we pray, we believe that he is there. This example does not apply to those who don’t believe in a God. The number of years we talked is now less than the number of years we haven’t. I wish the wiser of us was more wiser. It is the first of July. I wish happiness for the other end of the bridge, even if it has fallen. 

 

بھولی باتیں

June 8th, 2018 / 02:42 AM 

اپنی ڈائری میں لکھی ہوئی کچھ باتیں دوبارہ پڑھیں تو بہت حیرت ہوئی. مجھے کچھ یاد نہیں کہ یہ سب میں نے کب لکھا .لیکن جوں جوں ایک ایک لفظ میری آنکھوں کے سامنے سے گزرا ہر پرانی چیزتازہ ہوگی. لوگوں کی کی ہوئی مہربانیاں بھی. اور دوستوں کی کی ہوئی نا انصافیاں بھی . نہ جانے میں نے یہ سب کب لکھا . اتنی پرانی باتیں پڑھ کر لگتا ہے کہ شاید وہ کوئی دوسری زندگی تھی. لیکن میں تو تب بھی میں ہی تھا

Doppelgänger

June 3rd, 2018 / 7:14 PM

I had been reading some older writings that although I want to push here, this effort to digitize older creations cannot be achieved without the mentioning of those people that defined life. With time some people become too irrelevant to not even think about, let alone write anything about them. I faced the dilemma when left with only two possible solutions. Either to drop those posts completely which mention those now-unworthy folks. Or to give them alternative names. Both of these solutions have an advantage and a bigger disadvantage. Dropping the posts kills the purpose of the idea in the first place. And if I give every person a new name, it will become very hard to remember who became who. Besides, it slows down the thought process bringing it to a snail pace. That is when a very remarkable solution lit up like a beacon.
Doppelgängers.
Everyone who left a mark on life in any way bears resemblance to someone popular like a movie star. Thankfully most, if not all of the exes have a doppelgänger. One has such a striking similarity to a pornstar. The problem looks solved already. An adult performer who bore a resemblance with an ex took her own life in the December of 2017. Many have already forgotten her. Now, whenever I see that ex, the face of that dead performer pops up. I guess it is not easy to be a doppelgänger. Whom do you bear resemblance to?

  

301

June 2nd, 2018 / 6:51 PM
These days of Ramadan are riddled with hot and unbearably long days. These fasts are not for the faint of the heart. In this life, I don’t have the perks to take an entire week off. Still, I am VERY happy with this path of life instead of the other side. After waking up, I either have too little energy to write anything down. I feel falling short on finishing the books and graphic novels that I started. This is my 301st post that I intended to publish. I spent last week reading old parchments and collecting them all in a workflow to push them here. Internet is where I hope they outlive my biological life and their paper life. Some scribbles have become irrelevant. Some are too personal. Some are broken. Some trigger regrets. This is the price of nostalgia. It brings not only the happy feelings. This isn’t the first post that I have pushed today. Work is happening since the first of Ramadan. I hope to get this done soon. I want to place my diaries back in the locker as soon as I can. But as I look back into the older days, a time machine states to work. Three weeks of collecting notes and newspapers (for visual additions along posts) while having long summer fasts is no easy task. Reading old time is reliving in a way. You can live the same day for more than once, only if it is better documented.

Djinn

March 13th, 2018 / 05:43 PM

The subject of paranormal and Ghosts have fascinated people from across cultures. I have come across a new graphic novel. That is the reason why a lot of recent commercially successful movies and dramas are of the genre of paranormal and unexplained. Events of 1947 have divided a bigger piece of land But from my perspective I think that the border is separating people who have different beliefs about ghosts. Sadly the more closer you are towards that border the more possibility of getting contaminated from the beliefs of the opposite side exist. Just look at the people from across the border. A lot of them believe that if somebody is wrongfully murdered and their Aatma comes to take revenge.  I had this question since I was a child whose mind was Somewhat damaged because of these beliefs shown in the movies. So if an Atma comes and murders a man then the Aatma of that man will continue to do the same and eventually everybody on this planet would die. That is one way of saying how the human race will perish and frankly it is a very boring possibility which I cannot believe even if I was living on the opposite side of the border. But all the great religions of the world have talked about the extension of life beyond the moment everybody believes as death. There are many books and debate about what life is and what that actually means. Nobody from the other side has ever called back and told anybody about what and how the other side looks like. Besides it is this obscurity of truth  which takes the hold of fascination of man and pushes him to write about the subject of peculiar. almost one third of the books that I have read revolve around the topics of mystery and paranormal. Many people don’t know that there is a dedicated streaming service  for horror movies only. just like Netflix, we have the matchless service called shudder. it is no less than a blessing for somebody who likes horror and paranormal. religion is something majority of people living in Pakistan are very sentimental about. a lot of people have been killed just because their religious beliefs were different.And religion talks about the world hereafter and death which is why our writers and philosophers have polluted the stories they have created with the beliefs they follow. a Pakistani writer always brings someone from the mosque to clear A Haunted House. Who would a Christian man bring in Philippines if a house is Haunted?Just like humans are divided into groups religions and cultures, so are the ghost and all the hideous monsters who appear in our books and movies. When I heard about the graphic novel Djinn, I was a little sceptical because I was raised in a country seeing people fight over language, colour and religion and I thought that the ghost mentioned in the book would be as extremist as the people who created them. Created by Jean Dufaux, Djinn is a story of a girl, Kim who travels to Istanbul in search of answers about her grandmother’s shadowy past. She soon learns that during the declining days of the Ottoman Empire, her grandmother was a harem girl, and the favorite of the Sultan. As she finds more evidence, the mystery thickens and she finds herself dealing with crooked characters and determined paramours in bookshops, baths, and bedchambers all over the ancient city.