Lahore: My favorite city

Lahore the most impressive city in Pakistan and inhabited by friendly people.

I was fortunate to visit this place to study B.Ed., I lived for a year and had the best experience of my life. My classmates were the best I’ve ever met.

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by wikipedia

History of Lahore: It is the second largest city district in Pakistan. It is originally the largest city of the Punjab region. Since its creation it has changed hands from Hindu,Buddhist, Greek,Muslim, Sikh, and British rule to becoming the cultural capital and the heart of modern day Pakistan.

A mythological legend based on oral traditions, states that Lahore was named after Lava , which means” particle,” son of the Hindu god Rama who supposedly found the city.

Ptolemy celebrated astronomer and geographer mentions in his geographia, a city called Labakla, situated between the Indus river and Patna.

The oldest authentic document about Lahore was written anonymously in 982 and is called Hudud-i-Alam it’s an original Arabic phrase which means, “The Limits Of The World.” It was translated into English by Vladimir Fedorovich Minorsky and published in Lahore in 1927. In this document is referred as a small city with impressive temples, huge markets and huge orchards.

Ichhra_Bazaar.jpg (480×640)

Wikipedia image of Ichhra  Bazar in Lahore

………………………………. 🙂

 

 

365 Writing Prompts: Ghostwriter

If you could have any author –living or dead— write your biography, who would you choose?

I’d choose Tagore to write the introduction, he is a Bengali like me,he’d be able to begin with an appropriate song, describing the places I visited foods I like, books I  read and songs that are my favorite.

I’d love to have Wordsworth write a small paragraph, explaining my love of nature.

The last part I’d implore Iqbal to complete, he was a Muslim, since our religion is the same he’d be able to explain my dedication for daily prayer.

These are the three authors I would select to write my biography. If there are any confusions writing it, Tagore will make it interesting by filling in the blanks with one of his remarkable songs.

If Wordsworth volunteers to get the blanks filled. It would be terrific, his wealth of knowledge of nature will fit in nicely to cover the spaces.

While I think Iqbal would do even better by covering the gap with his philosophy of human mind!

https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/365-writing-pr…ts-ghostw

 

DP Daily Prompt: Curve Balls

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When was the last time you were completely stumped by a question, a request, or a situation you found yourself in? How did you handle it?

Last week we were given a paragraph in our online course which we had to read and quote one brief passage from Iqbal’s prose or poetry which may be connected with this thought— and explain briefly why we think so. And also make an effort to be brief, keeping in mind that my comment needs to be read by others. I am writing it here so that my readers know what the passage is.

Every Muslim believes in the Unseen, and understands the term to include all the invisible realities mentioned elsewhere in the Quran,e.g. angels, heaven, hell, and so on Iqbal wants us to expand that the signs of God in our soul which are mentioned by the Quran itself are to be included in the Unseen in which we believe.

We were expected to quote one brief passage from Iqbal’s prose or poetry which may be connected with this thought–and explain briefly why you think so.

This is where I was stumped I could find the poetry and prose without any problem,but they didn’t seem to be brief. Eventually I found two, which were very brief, here it is: The actual words with translation, ” Hai tujhe wasta bazahir se,

Aur Batin Se Ashna Hun Main.”

Translation : You deal with the outward aspects of things

I know what lies within.

I took the word briefly seriously and wrote my answer accordingly, then found out I didn’t have to be so brief.

So as they say in the phrase,”You live and learn.”

I certainly learned something very valuable.

: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/dp-daily-prompt-curve-balls/

DP Daily Prompts: New Dawn

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How often do you get to ( or have to ) be awake for sunrise? Tell us about what happened the last time you were up so early (or late…)

I wake up every morning before sunrise, we have a prayer which is called “Fajr”, we have to say this prayer before the sun rises.

Since the days are getting shorter I am able to wake up at five, the sun rises after six these days. I need to have plenty of time before sunrise to enable me to wake up wash and prepare for the prayer.

“The Fajr” prayer takes about five to six minutes to finish, I add some extra prayers for my parents, friends and loved ones, in all it takes close to twenty five minutes. If the day is warm I stay up and do some writing. If it is cold like it is today I go back to bed and take a nap.

I leave the bed by seven a.m.

Waking up early is not a problem,if I am late and wake up after sun rise it means I’ve missed my morning prayer, I still pray but there is a difference I begin with words that say I’m late!

You might wonder why I have to be awake before sun rise. It is because I am a Muslim, we have set time for prayers. We pray five times, one is before sunrise called ‘Fajr’, second one is ‘Zuhr’, third is ‘Asr’. fourth is ‘Maghrib’, and the fifth is ‘Isha’.

‘Zuhr’ is when the sun has passed its zenith i.e.,has passed the highest part of the sky and starts to descend towards the west.

‘Asr’ : this lasts from the time the sun turns yellow until sunset.

‘Maghrib’ :  it starts after the time for ‘Asr’ ends, which is when the sun sets.

‘Isha’: It begins immediately after Maghrib ends, which is when the red glow disappears from the sky and lasts till midnight.

https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/dp-daily-prompts-new-dawn/

 

Eid al – Adha–The major festival,The Greater Eid

English: Map of the Muslim Population by Perce...

English: Map of the Muslim Population by Percentage in the World (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Qurbani campaign in Somalian refugee camps, Ei...

Qurbani campaign in Somalian refugee camps, Eid Al Adha 2011 (Photo credit: IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation/TURKEY)

Quran Passage

Quran Passage (Photo credit: jmortonscott)

Let the Quran Speak

Let the Quran Speak (Photo credit: umar nasir)

English: A picture of people performing (circu...

English: A picture of people performing (circumambulating) the . This picture taken from the gate of Abdul Aziz seems to divide the Kaaba and the minarets into mirror images of one another. Français : Pélerins en train de réaliser la Circumambulation (ou Tawaf) autour de la Ka’ba. Photo prise depuis la porte Ibn Saud, d’où la vue présente une symétrie en miroir presque parfaite. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A plate served to guests during Eid-al-Adha, i...

A plate served to guests during Eid-al-Adha, in Turkish traditions. It contains dolma (sarma, stuffed vine leaves), börek (a traditional Turkish pastry), and kavurma with a little piece of traditional home-baked bread… kavurma is a meat meal served during Eid-al-Adha and almost always made from the meat of the sacrificed animal (Eid-al-Adha being the Muslim holiday of sacrifice). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the Twenty sixth of October the Muslim world celebrated Eid al -Adha.It is also called ‘Feast of the sacrifice’,the greater Eid and Bakri Eid. It is an important religious holiday,celebrated by Muslims worldwide.It is to honour the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his young first-born son Ismail,as an act of submission to God’s command and his son’s acceptance to being sacrificed, before God intervened and provided Abraham with a ram to sacrifice instead.

Eid al -Adha is the latter of the two Muslim holidays,the former is Eid al-Fitr.The basis for the Eid al -Adha comes from the 196th verse of the second Surah of the Holy Quran.The word Eid appears in the 5th Surah of the Holy Quran with the meaning “Solemn Festival”. The three days and two nights of Eid al -Adha are celebrated on the tenth,eleventh and twelfth and the last month of the lunar Islamic Calendar.In the international Gregorian calendar,the dates vary from year to year, it is approximately eleven days earlier each year.

The Eid al -Adha celebrations start after the descent of the Hajj from mount Arafat,it is a hill east of Makkah. The ritual observance of the holiday lasts until the twelfth day of Dhu-al Hijjah. Eid sacrifice may take place until sunset of the thirteenth day. The days of Eid has been singled out in the Hadith, as “days of remembrance.”

In many Muslim cultures the graves of the dece...

In many Muslim cultures the graves of the deceased are also visited during the day of Eid al-Adha. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Baset

razia

razia (Photo credit: hari sundaram)

English: kolkata university, I took this photo...
English: kolkata university, I took this photo on the summer of 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I read fiction,I tell myself this cannot happen in real life.Really,are you sure my inner self questions me? Let us take a ride in the world of fiction and facts,and try guessing which part is fiction and which one is not.

My story is not a science fiction,rather it is about an every day family,it will have laughter,sarcasm,pain,suffering,everything associated with life of a middle class family.

My story begins in a remote village in Bengal.There was a farmer,who was blessed with six sons and two daughters.Two of his sons,opted for farming,three chose education and one was in favour of enjoying life. He believed in the phrase, “we are only going to be here for a short while, I want to enjoy my life.”

The farmer was not in favour of allowing the son to do nothing and enjoy life. He was very unhappy. He called all his sons one day and asked how to change the decision of the third son. Hafiz suggested,he should send him to learn how to fish,one by one they gave their opinion. The youngest one refrained from giving his advice. He said Abbajan let him do whatever he wants.

Riazuddin the farmer was in a quandary,he decided to examine the thoughts of his four boys for a couple of days. At the end of the second day,he made up his mind. The indecisive Reza will have to leave home and make his fortune else where.

Five years passed, no one heard from Reza.The two daughters,Samia and Razia got married.They left the father’s village and one of them Samia was only two miles away.  Razia was married off to a man,who was relatively well-off than Samia. Reazuddin was happy his daughters were married. In his heart he was still longing to see Reza.

On the seventh year ,Reazuddin felt he was going to get some good news.He was unsure what it will be but his inner self was telling him,the news was good.Meanwhile his three sons were pursuing their education.They were doing very well in the village school.Hafiz the eldest finished school.He wanted to learn a trade. His good friend told him to apply for a place in a polytechnic school. Hafiz was selected. It was a two year course. Hafiz successfully finished the course. He got a job in Feni ,a very small town in Bengal. His parents selected a girl for him from the nearby village. He married Saleha. Hafezuddin was a devoted son,he wanted to help his younger brother, he made arrangents to bring his brother ,so he would be able to finish school. Baset showed tremendous potential from a very young age. He got admission in a school . This happened to be the town where his brother lived. He didn’t have to pay tuition fees,he was getting a scholarship every year. Baset then moved to another school in a larger town. He was continuing to get scholarship. He finished high school easily and went to kolkata  university to study Intermediate and Bachelor of Arts.After completing his studies. He took a job at the Post Office.It was a government job.

All the sons of Reazuddin were doing very well. His heart ached for his son whom he sent away to live on his own. He could not enjoy the success of the rest of his sons. He was heart broken and died suddenly. Baset however was going up the ladder of success at a relatively fast pace. His brilliance caught the eye of his superiors.Around this time the ministry of defense was in need of a bright young man for a short period. They were informed about  Baset. Upon learning about him the Ministry borrowed his services for two months. Soon the Ministry found out, how good he was,and decided to keep him permanently.

Baset was moving along slowly and steadily in his job.His hard work and brilliance helped him finish law. At a very early age he had learned to read the Quran.It was his interest and his talent that helped him to learn Urdu,Persian and English.He was a Bengali,he knew his mother tongue well. His family decided since he has accomplished what he wanted. This would be a perfect time for him to get married. They didn’t have to look for a bride too far, she was the sister of Baset’s sister-in-law. The family was elated. The parents of the girl were not quite sure,they  didn’t like the idea of two daughters  married in the same family.Their eldest daughter convinced them, her brother-in- law  was a perfect match for the sister.

With strong pressure from his family,Baset gave in and got married. In the years that followed,his family’s number increased. He now had to think of their education. While he had no idea of tuition fees and all the other nitty- gritty that comes with it, he took everything in strides. He was confident everything will fall in place eventually.

Everything was falling in place.Unfortunately it was not the way he wanted. There were disappointments along the way. He was once told,  “think about the good things that come your way and be contented with it.” The eldest son was sent to a well-known university to get an engineering degree. The son was not interested at all. He spent some time in school but was only keen on having a good time with his friends. Baset then concentrated on the second son and shipped him to a commerce college. This time destiny was not cruel at all. In life we all have to face challenges, Baset was no exception. He was working in a place,where he was a minority. Yes, he was a Muslim too, but his mother tongue was different from that of his colleagues,he could feel discrimination from  all sides. He tried to ignore it and continued with his job. But soon the unfriendly atmosphere took a toll on his health. He fell ill,but showed a brave front. It was not that helpful. He became seriously ill and within a month he died. His family was devastated with this untimely loss. All his dreams remained only that. His brothers felt,had he stayed in Kolkata and came back close to his village. He would be alive. These things cannot be predicted. His family came back and learned the meaning of life and its challenges the hard way!

The challenge of humanity is manifold,if we try to remove jealousy, discrimination and hatred,this world of ours would be a tolerable place to live.

Sylhet—Bangladesh

Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal Sylhet Bangladesh

Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal Sylhet Bangladesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Khasi_people

sylhet railway station
sylhet railway station (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Surma River, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Bangladesh

Surma River, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Bangladesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sylhet forest village scene

Sylhet forest village scene (Photo credit: bongo vongo)

Hill's in Sylhet, Bangladesh

Hill’s in Sylhet, Bangladesh (Photo credit: – Ariful H Bhuiyan -)

Tea Gardens of Srimongol

Tea Gardens of Srimongol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My friends:  Alphie,Susan and their son Gepetto wanted to see Sylhet. I therefore thought it will be a terrific idea.We made up our mind that the best way would be to take the train. It was a unanimous decision. We considered it would be a valuable experience. Travelling by train would help us to view the scenic beauty of the country. We were not disappointed, the train journey helped us to see all the little places we would not have been able to appreciate,if we went by airplane.

From my research I was able to find out a lot about the area.My friends were eager to know everything, I found out about it. Here is the knowledge I gathered from my research.

It is a major city in North-Eastern Bangladesh.It is the main city of Sylhet division and district.In March 2009 it was granted metropolitan status. It is located on the banks of Surma valley and is surrounded by the Jaintia ,Khasi  and Tripura  hills. It is well-known for its tea gardens and tropical forests.

The city is described as a city of saints.There is a mausoleum of Hazrat Shah Jalal.He brought Islam to Bengal in the 14th century. After the partition of India in  1947,it became a part of Pakistan.

The 14th century marked the beginning of Islamic influence. As the early forms of Islam originated in 7th century Arabia, the early forms of Muslim cultures were predominantly Arab .With the rapid expansion of the Islamic empires, Muslim culture has influenced and assimilated much from the Persian.Bangladeshi Turkic,Pakistanis, Mongol,Chinese,Indian,Egyptian,Indonesian,Filipino,Greek Roman,Byzantine,Spanish,Sicilian,Balkanic and western cultures.

The climate of Sylhet is humid subtropical with a predominantly hot and humid summer and a relatively cool winter.It is within the monsoon climatic zone, with annual average highest temperatures of 23°C(August to October) and average lower temperature of seven degrees celsius(January).Nearly 80% of the annual average rainfall is 3,334 mm,occurs between May and September.

The city is located within the region where there are hills and basins which constitute one of the most distinctive regions in Bangladesh.the Geosystem of Sylhet consists mainly of hill soils encompassing a few large depression known locally as “beels” which can be mainly classified as oxbow lakes,caused by tectonic subsidence primarily due to the earth quakes of 1762.

This is all for today from ,Alphie,Susan, Gepetto and the guide. Thank you for giving us the opportunity, to present to you the city of Sylhet in Bangladesh.

Good day and God bless you to all our respected friends,thank you very much!

March 2009

March 2009 (Photo credit: Vanessa (EY))