One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Monday, September 23, 2013


There were a total of four people working in the workplace, two shoemakers and two apprentices. It was a tradition in the handcraft shoemaking business that each shoemaker had apprentice/s learning the trade. The business owner was a self-made person. He had started as an apprentice and had spent many years to learn the trade, many more years worked really hard to save enough money to start his own business. He had hired another shoemaker to increase his productions. That afternoon, they had a friend visiting them. The cozy shop, hot tea and casual talks had created a pleasant environment. Their conversation was interrupted by entrance of two men. One of the man was the father of business owner and the other man was his friend that he had brought to show the achievements of his son. 

The father introduces his son to his friend, "The one sitting in the center is my son."... Then he points to the other shoemaker and tells his friend, "He is my son's servant, and the guy sitting next to him is my son's servant's servant"... Out of respect for the elderly man, others stay quiet (despite of getting offended by the introduction) but the visiting friend replies back, "Uncle, even if this guy is servant's servant, still he is in the business. Look at poor me, I am not even in the business!!!" .... 

I don't remember any passing week in recent years that Taliban haven't blooded it with lives of innocent people in the Af-Pak region. This Sunday, the Christian community at Peshawar was their target. Beside anger and grief, one more thing that is common in the aftermath of attacks is helplessness of the citizen. They protest for the killings but they know well that, the government is either complacent or scared of Taliban.Taliban is free to attack at their will at any place and any time. People are helpless against both government and Taliban but they have to channel their anger anyway, so they express their anger in unique ways (that hold some truth in them). A general expression of anger is cursing Taliban, especially calling them, the servants of the servants. When I hear that Taliban is servants of gulf states, that in turn are the servants of US and UK, I remember the introduction in the shoemaking shop. At least, Taliban and government is the servants of servants. The people are not even in the business. All they can is to curse the attackers and their government and helplessly wait for the next attack. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Childhood Subjects

Flowers, 19 x 12 cm, ink on paper 

Roses, 21 x 16 cm, ink on paper 

Birds, 18 x 13 cm, ink on paper

Today, I went to Walmart, to find some sort of quadrate for my upcoming field trips, and there I stuck at crafts sections ending up buying colors and brushes. As soon as I came home, I couldn't resist but trying them out. When I was kid and got my first bicycle, I couldn't wait for the morning out of excitement. Identical feelings were there, so I let the color celebrate it and chose the simple childish subjects :) The surreal artists let their unconscious take control of their hands. I guess an unexplored area is painting the meditativ perceptions. The childish subjects are meditative in the sense, children have less distracting thoughts and their imaginations are less judged by their rationale thoughts. These are not meditative paintings, but I may try out soon. Let's see ... 

Friday, September 6, 2013


Sunflower  : Ink on paper 21 x 27 cm
Sunflower seeds are considered to be useful in improving short term memory by providing essential Vitamin B complex, however, my fascination with this plant is more than its seeds. I was always looking to its flowers as majestic flowers that get their inspirations from sun. At its core, its flower is simple like old black and white photographs, yet open and highly productive (large number of seeds). Despite of having shallow roots and hollow stems stands tall and give big flowers. In short, it deprive its roots and stems to reach out sunlight and maximize its productive parts, the flowers and seeds.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Pride: 12 x 22 cm, Ink on Paper 
Pattern is all that matters. A naturalist like Darwin observes the Nature, and impressed by its diversity struggles all his life to find a pattern. Once,  he thinks, he has something that make sense, he calls it evolution. Picasso, an artist, on other hand, tried to find a style in Nature and tired by trying to find a particular style in it, declared, “God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant, and the cat. He has no real style. He just keeps on trying other things.” A modern trend is finding a pattern in choices of colors and strength of strokes to interpret the feelings of the artists. As emotions do not have a style or pattern, an artist can't force himself to be in a particular mood (called style) and let his hand to be in control of his subconscious mind (if that is something that do exist). 

Monday, September 2, 2013


Resurrection: 17 x 18 Crayons on paper 

Who Says, Economy is in Trouble?

One of the worst habits, I am struggling with is that, at times, I become inconsiderate and turn a casual conversation or discussion into arguments. One of this awkward moment was, my argument with a Bengali student who was doing research on economics. "We can change the world ... Let’s believe in it; let’s make it happen so that someday soon we will visit the museum to see poverty because we will never see poverty in society. It does not belong in a civilized society." These inspiring words of Muhammad Yunus topped my mind, when the student sitting next to me, introduced himself as a Bengali student doing research in economics, and I couldn't stop myself to ask him about the success rate of microcredits in Bangladesh, and the template that it can offer for others to build on. He stared at me in puzzlement and replied, "It is terrible, it is a failure". I realized that my knowledge of economics is not credible, as it is based on second-hand writings (reports, they call it, I guess), so I tried to bring in a more credible source, "But, last year, I attended a conference at UN headquarters and the Bengali ambassador, as chief guest of the conference was asking the rest of world to learn and copy the successes of Bangladesh in microcredit and empowering of women?". "Of course, he would boast about it. It is his job to convince the world that all is well, so people come and invest in his country. He will be doing a disservice to his country, if he tells the truth". he replied, while his intelligence was appeared to be shining through his eye glasses. Impressed deeply as I was, I wanted to be enlightened by His presence, and asked this time, "The Indian rupee is also falling in value and Pakistan's economy is a total mess. What do you think, is the basic problem with South Asian countries?" "A bunch of problems?" he answered back. "Can you elaborate, please?" I asked him, hoping some great solutions. "I depends" he answered by being very terse. I tried to change the question, hoping I get some details, "So, does your research suggests some specific solutions to the bunch of problems?". "Yes, a bunch of solutions". His aphoristic answers made me impatient. I thought, because economists are heavily obsessed with statistics, I can't expect from him to give me answers in the form of bullet points but instead scattered points, somehow linked to a straight or a curved line. And as, I am not good at reading statistics, so I should bring some examples and he might provide explanations that I can understand. This time, I asked, "As you know, Pakistan has experimented with nationalization, privatization, microcredits and mega-projects over her short life history, but none has proved to be working?" From his look, I understood that my answer was very naive. "There is no economic solution for the economy of South Asian countries. The problem is not with economy, but with bad politics, at the core of them corruption". I felt somehow relieved as now, there was no chance of asking any further questions. Everyone has to wait for politicians to become good, as unless, there is bad politics, nothing is going to work (What a relief ;)

I had some doubts, when he claimed that all economic troubles are rooted in bad politics, but the following news cleared all my doubts and proved that my economist friend was right (he should be as his knowledge was first-hand : research ;)

Taliban has really an effective government and has proved to be really good at politics, as the news report is suggesting. Their economy is flourishing rapidly, and now they can't rely just on abducted chartered accountants to monitor their revenues from taxation, ransom money, smuggling and blood-money but are hiring chartered accountants. I am really convinced that good politics result in economical-leaps and our future is really bright, as Taliban is appearing to be the light at the end of tunnel.  

(For friends, who might get angry: Please don't get angry. Relax and enjoy it, as it is a sarcastic writing :)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Too Close, Too Far

Water Color on Paper, 18 x 16 cm (Practically, we also treat many human groups as Invasive Species under the titles of minorities, others...etc)

Too Close, Too Far 2, Ink and Crayons on Paper, 23 x 17 cm (Practically, we also treat many human groups as Invasive Species under the titles of minorities, others...etc) 
There is a mountain that neither flood, nor wind can move. A few kilometers down the mountain, there is dust that are originated from the same mountain, but are at the mercy of wind and water. Some day, these dust particles will become a mountain. This is part of a process, we known as rock cycle. There is nothing special in it, except the stories that time imprint in them in the form of rock features and fossils, and we read these stories as earth history. There is a man called Nelson Mandela, the most respected, among world leaders, who is struggling with lung infection (tuberculosis). Doctors are trying to kill the bacteria that are feeding on his lung tissues. People around world are concerned for his health and pray for his recovery. Bacteria are thought to be the oldest life form on earth and all other life forms originated from bacteria. It doesn't matter, how much we value men and care for them, they were once bacteria and they will turn into bacteria (decomposed). It is just the story one writes with his/her in his life time that remains and are in reality valued. The same is true about life forms. They have the same origin and are dependent on each other. It is just our perceptions that creates differences of values.

It was my second time, that I was hearing the term invasive plants. The man who was educating us on local ecology , lectured us about importance of native plants and the dangers of invasive plants overtaking them, and then asked us to remove the invasive plants. Within minutes, everyone wearing gloves and armed with spades and shovels starting uprooting plants. For a while, I followed the crowd and then stopped, as I remembered my conversation with the ecologist, the first time, I took part in uprooting invasive plants. I asked him, "why we are supposed to interfere with nature?"... "The invasive plants are introduced accidentally by men and are harming the local population of plants".  he replied. "But isn't evolution supposed to be a phenomenon of accidents and competition?" In fact, what we were doing was artificial selection and we were thinking that we are doing an ecological service. Artificial selection is not "Natural Selection" in the sense that, it is based on human interests and values. Our artificial selection of pets, for example are more based on social trends and sometime, social status. 

We talk about our values and systems and values and systems of others and have created a geography of values. In our eyes, men that born in the geography of our values are more valued that are born in a geography of a "foreign values". Napoleon has rightly said, "Geography is destiny". The fact is, we don't value, what we call facts and value what we have constructed. We accept, evolutionary theory as fact, but then then put our values based on our social constructs. Even further, we distort the events (facts) by constructing stories or our versions of interpretations to convince ourselves that we are better than others.

In short, we are too close, if we want to, and are too far, again if we wish so. All contradictions, all differences are nothing more than our wants and wishes. It might seems just a claim (or babbling), but if we seriously deconstruct the social constructs either by facts, or a thought process, this won't be just a claim. Recently, I come across deconstruction of social construct by a thought process. I didn't agree with it, but I liked it and want to share it (hope, you may also enjoy reading it),

" Meeting God

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that's when you met me.

"What... what happened?" You asked. "Where am I?"

"You died," I said, matter-of-factly. No point mincing words.

"There was a... a truck and it was skidding..."

"Yup." I said.

"I... I died?"

"Yup. But don't feel bad about it. Everyone dies." I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. "What is this place?" You asked. "Is this the afterlife?"

"More or less," I said.

"Are you god?" You asked.

"Yup." I replied. "I'm God."

"My kids... my wife," you said.

"What about them?"

"Will they be alright?"

"That's what I like to see," I said. "You just died and your main concern is your family. That's good stuff right there."

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn't look like God. I just looked like some man. Some vague authority figure. More of a a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

"Don't worry," I said. "They'll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn't have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved." "To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it's any consolation, she'll feel very guilty for feeling relieved."

"Oh," you said. "So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?"

"Neither," I said. "You'll be reincarnated."

"Ah," you said. "So the Hindus were right."

"All the religions are right in their own way," I said. "Walk with me."

You followed along as we strolled in the void. "Where are we going?"

"Nowhere in particular," I said. "It's just nice to walk while we talk."

"So what's the point, then?" You asked. "When I get reborn, I'll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won't matter?"

"Not so!" I said. "You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don't remember them right now."

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. "Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It's like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it's hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you've gained all the experiences it had."

"You've been a human for the last 34 years, so you haven't stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for longer, you'd start remembering everything. But there's no point doing that between each life."

"How many times have I been reincarnated then?"

"Oh, lots. Lots and lots. And into lots of different lives." I said. "This time around you'll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 A.D."

"Wait, what?" You stammered. "You're sending me back in time?"

"Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from."

"Where you come from?" You pondered.

"Oh, sure!" I explained. "I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there's others like me. I know you'll want to know what it's like there but you honestly won't understand."

"Oh." You said, a little let down. "But wait, if I get reincarnated to other places in time, could I have interacted with myself at some point?"

"Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own timespan, you don't even know its happening."

"So what's the point of it all?"

"Seriously?" I asked. "Seriously? You're asking me for the meaning of life? Isn't that a little stereotypical?"

"Well, it's a reasonable question." You persisted.

I looked in your eye. "The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature."

"You mean mankind? You want us to mature?"

"No. Just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature, and become a larger and greater intellect."

"Just me? What about everyone else?"

"There is no one else," I said. "In this universe, there's just you, and me."

You stared blankly at me. "But all the people on Earth..."

"All you. Different incarnations of you."

"Wait. I'm everyone!?"

"Now you're getting it." I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

"I'm every human who ever lived?"

"Or who will ever live, yes."

"I'm Abraham Lincoln?"

"And you're John Wilkes Booth." I added.

"I'm Hitler?" You said, appalled.

"And you're the millions he killed."

"I'm Jesus?"

"And you're everyone who followed him."

You fell silent.

"Every time you victimized someone," I said, "You were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you've done, you've done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you."

"Why?" You asked me. "Why do all this?"

"Because someday, you will become like me. Because that's what you are. You're one of my kind. You're my child."

"Whoa." You said, incredulous. "You mean I'm a god?"

"No. Not yet. You're a fetus You're still growing. Once you've lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born." 

"So the whole universe," you said. "It's just..."

"An egg of sorts." I answered. "Now it's time for you to move on to your next life."

And I sent you on your way.

 - Meeting God was originally posted in "Philosophy Circle"  accessed on 9/1/2013 -

What I liked in "Meeting God" is its deconstruction of the social constructs, that somehow, we are superior than others because of geography of values. It is not the geography of values that make us more valuable, but personal values that earn after dying many times in our life times. Every time, we are broken, we re-emerge with new set of values, that born out of our realizations of our shortcomings and mistakes. Every time, the old-self dies, the new-self becomes a better person. Every time, an old society dies, a new better society emerges. What I didn't like, in the "Meeting God" is the concept of growth of fetus to become god (perfection is not the aim, development is). I don't feel easy with the concept of perfection (although, earlier during my teenage, I was obsessed with it and had an idea of "elysium" as an utopian society). The concept of perfection, magnify our imperfection and increase our intolerance and do not let us to be accepting us and others, as they are. I usually blame social constructs, not because they are human-made, but because they are based on the concepts of perfection and lead to uneasiness and unhappiness. The idealization of our appearances, our lives, our desires, values and our notions, and expectations from others are all based on social constructs, that are seeded in the concept of perfection.