Khurram Ali Shafique: Person of the year contd. posted by Ranu

As promised I am writing a biography of Khurram Ali Shafique:

He was born in Karachi, Pakistan. His father was a lawyer and his mother is a retired Mathematician.

He studied in various schools in Karachi,he also feels fortunate for the opportunity to study in Lawrence College Murree, it is one of the best schools in Pakistan. The experience in this school had a very positive effect on him.

At the age of nine, he got interested in Allama Iqbal, who was a very famous Poet and  Philosopher. He is not quite sure how he got interested in Iqbal, perhaps it was Iqbal’s poems caught his attention.

On his tenth birthday his parents gave him  a collection of Iqbal’s poetry. He was very pleased with  this gift, he spent a lot of time reading the poems, and before he was fourteen he could recite most of these poems from memory.

His father who was very fond of Iqbal’s writing, introduced him to Iqbal’s poetry. His father never forced him  to learn about Iqbal.

The adults who inspired him were his parents and some uncles. Some of the subjects he was interested in were, History and English, Urdu and Persian Literature , from a young age he was influenced by his father and seemed to like the same subjects as his father. His mother being a Mathematician helped him with Math. His favorite in math. was geometry, he was delighted to solve the theorems in Geometry before they were taught in school.

After he completed his master’s degree, he tried to get enrolled for M.Phil or PhD.the university told him clearly that original research is not acceptable and one must follow some framework which was already approved among the academics.

He is also an author and has written biographies of some famous people ,Allama Iqbal is one of them. He has also written textbooks for schools and  a number of books both in Urdu and English.

He has just completed a biography of Waheed Murad, who was an actor , producer and director.

Of all the books he has written and published , his favorite book is ,Iqbal: His life and our Times.

He has  developed the Marghdeen Learning Center for Iqbal Studies, to promote the ideas of Iqbal within the existing systems of education.

His ambition is to spread the message of Iqbal  widely. He feels The poet and Philosopher is appreciated but not understood by the people.

What he wants to do is challenging , he wants to find connections between cultures , ideas and personalities.

I accidentally knew about Khurram Shafique when I was looking for Iqbal’s poetry. Mr. Shafique had already started an online course on Iqbal in 2011.

I was interested to join the course and he helped me to register. I have taken all the courses he has offered so far, and intend to continue.





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DP Daily Prompt: First Sight

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Whether a person,a pet, an object, or a place,write about something or someone you connected with from the very first second.

I used to watch a lot of Bengali movies sometime ago, once they had an ad for a Pakistani movie, I never watched them I thought they didn’t have actors impressive enough, I still wanted to check it out. Well My feeling about Pakistani movies completely changed because of one actor.

His name was Waheed Murad, he was very different from the ones I watched I liked him the very first second I watched one of his movies. He was handsome, articulate and charismatic. I began watching his movies one at a time and have quite a collection.Overnight he became my most favorite actor.

I was actually amazed to know Pakistan film industry had such a talented actor, I read his biography and found out he was well educated, had an English degree in literature.

I read more about him than any other actor I know, sadly he died at age 45 in Karachi,years ago. I found him and his movies long after his death.


DP Daily Prompt: The Wanderer

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Tell us about the top five places, you’ve always wanted to go. Go!

The top five places I’d like to go are:

1. Vienna( Austria)

2. Venice( Italy)

3. Barcelona(Spain)

4. Paris(France)

5. Karachi(Pakistan)

Vienna: Attractions: Am hof: it’s the biggest square of the city center.

Giant Wheel: It was constructed by British engineer, Walter Basset. It offers a splendid view of the city.

Natural and Art history museums: They were built symmetrically opposite each other.

House of Music: An interesting attraction is the virtual orchestra where anyone can take a baton and conduct the Vienna Phil on a large screen.:

Venice: Points of interest: Grand Canal; Piazza san Marco; Saint Marc’s Basilica;Doge’s Palace; Rialto Bridge.

Barcelona: Points of interest: Sagroda familia; Gothic Quarter; Park Guell; Casa Mila; Palau de la Musica Catalona.

Paris: Points of interest: Eiffel Tower; The Louvre; Notre Dame de Paris; Arc de Triomph; Musee de Orsay.

Karachi: Mohatta Palace; Clifton Beach; Shopping.

These are the top five places I’ve always wanted to go.






Alphie family’s final trip

Toronto Skyline

Toronto Skyline (Photo credit: Bobolink)


English: Nizamuddin Dargah and Jamaat Khana Ma...
English: Nizamuddin Dargah and Jamaat Khana Masjid, in Nizamuddin West, Delhi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Moinuddin Chishti Dargah in Ajmer, India

English: Moinuddin Chishti Dargah in Ajmer, India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been a long time since I was employed as;Alphie,Susan and Gepetto’s guide. We all had very pleasant trips.We learned a lot from this experience. Gepetto has written the names of all the places they visited.He is excited, he will be able to show all his collections. He will see his friends and he will know,who his teacher will be.

Alphie tells me he has acquired a lot of very important lessons.Something he wouldn’t have learned,if he hadn’t gone on the long trips. Visiting the mazars(holy places) was very educational.He liked visiting Nizamuddin Awliya’s mazaar.There were lots to see and a whole lot to learn. He also said,he liked his visit to Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’s Dargah. This is the place that convinced him,  “A lie is a lie,he was thinking of the word,”Outwit.”  He felt guilty for deceiving his master.His plan to continue deceiving people was outrageous. It seemed as though he had a reawakening,he made up his mind to apologize to all those who were tricked by him.

The family’s itinerary was slightly changed.They took a flight from  Lahore to Karachi.They had few stops on the way. From Karachi they will land at Heathrow international airport. They will fly to Toronto and stay overnight. Hopefully they will reach Yellow Knife sometime this week. I spent a few very delightful weeks with the family.Susan reminded me to wish all our readers the best and to bid them goodbye and God bless on their behalf.

So, this is the temporary tour guide, Ranu ,wishing all our good friends Goodbye and God bless you!

UK - London: Heathrow Airport - Welcome to Britain

UK – London: Heathrow Airport – Welcome to Britain (Photo credit: wallyg)

Alphie and his family have decided to go back home

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero

English: Eden Gardens cricket ground in Kolkat...
English: Eden Gardens cricket ground in Kolkata, India during the 2011 Indian Premier League (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Rabindranath Tagore with Mahatma Gand...

English: Rabindranath Tagore and Indira Devi i...

English: Rabindranath Tagore and Indira Devi in Valmiki-Pratibha, 1881. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

"Ra-Tha" wooden seal by Rabindranath...

“Ra-Tha” wooden seal by Rabindranath Tagore. Source: Rabindranath Tagore and his World of Colours (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An example of handwritten Bengali script. Part...

An example of handwritten Bengali script. Part of a poem written by Rabindranath Tagore in 1926 in Hungary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kolkata on the Hooghly

Kolkata on the Hooghly (Photo credit: seaview99)

Alphie ,Susan, and Gepetto changed their booking.They will now go to Kolkata .They will stay in the city for a day.From there they will fly to Karachi.Their stay in Karachi will be for two days. They will leave Karachi after two days en route to Canada.On the way there will be a stop at Heath Row airport in London.There will be a two hour stop at Heath Row.Then they will board the plane to Toronto.This is their itinerary at the moment.

There was a  sudden change in their plan.Gepetto was missing school.All the schools re-open  after the summer in early September.Alphie wanted to go back.Gepetto had already missed all of September.It was wise to go back as soon as possible,Alphie said. The family wanted to see part of Bengal.Ranu was a Bengali. She will be able to show some interesting places.Tomorrow morning we will fly to kolkata,arrangement has been made for our stay in the hotel for a night.They plan to visit Shanti Niketan,the school founded by Rabindranath Tagore.

The day has finally arrived for our journey to Kol Kata.Gepetto was sad to leave Delhi,he had so much fun visiting so many beautiful places.He loved the Taj Mahal. He bought a tiny replica of the building.Kol Kata Airport is named after a famous Bengali.THe name of the airport is Netaji Subhas chandra Bose international air port.It took two hours and five minutes by Indian airlines to arrive in KolKata.Hyatt Regency hotel was booked for the night.

From the airport we took a cab to the hotel.The receptionist was a lady.she was extremely friendly.She showed us our rooms.Alphie ordered room service.The food was European style.I was not comfortable ordering,Indian food.We had supper and afterwards made plans where we  would go for a visit first.A list was made up and we went to bed.We only had a day but made sure to visit as many  important places in the time we had.

Our first stop is Fort William.It was named after King William The third of England.It was established during the time of the British rule in 1696.A new fort was built after the old one was damaged by the war of Plassey in 1757 The construction began  shortly after the war, and was completed in 1780.The next point of interest for us is The Eden Gardens. Gepetto was eager to see it because it is a cricket stadium.It is a large stadium about 120,000 people can be accommodated.From the Eden gardens We went on to Botanical Gardens.It is 8km away from the city.It was built in 1787.It contains about  12000 living perennial plants and millions of dried out plants collected from all over the world.The main attraction in that garden was the Banyan has the second largest canopy in the world.The gardens also have trees of rarest  variety..Next is the Birla Mandir,it is known as Tara Mandal as well.There are more than a hundred astronomical projects dealing with facts of astronomy space science as well as  myths concerning stars  and planets.We were short of time.We could not visit Shanti Niketan founded by Rabindranath Tagore.I was disappointed.I wanted to see it in person.I could also give them a lesson in Bengali.I had to keep in mind,I could only take them to places,they wanted to see.

After moving from one place to another we were tired.It was time to head back to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose airport to go to Karachi,Pakistan. We boarded the Indian Airlines in the evening.While on the plane,Alphie wanted to know about Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.He sat next to me.Susan and Gepetto wanted to sleep.

Subha Chandra Bose also known as Netaji(the revered leader).He was the most prominent Indian Nationalist,who attempted to liberate India from British rule.He was born on January 23rd,1897 in Cuttack,Orissa.Although his name is not mentioned that much as Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru  ,he fought just as hard as them for India’s independence from British rule.Throughout his political career the liberation of India remained his foremost political goal.

Jawaharlal Nehru had said,after his death ,”alongwith his abiding love for his country,he held an equally passionate hatred of the imperial power that ruled it.

We did not have that many interesting places to visit in Kol kata,but enjoyed the visit.

It is time to say,Adios Amigos from me ,Ranu,Alphie,Susan and Gepetto.

Netaji House at Kolkatta. The house from where...

Netaji House at Kolkatta. The house from where Netaji Escaped (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The location where brilliant Indian poet and N...

The location where brilliant Indian poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore was both born and died. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel prize for li...

Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel prize for literature. It is the first Nobel prize won by Asia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)