Empower Yourself with the Power of Your History – Taste the Real Essence of Historical Places

Main Enterance to Dai Anga's Tomb

Main Enterance to Dai Anga's Tomb

Have you ever been to Dai Anga’s mausoleum, in case of Yes or No, here we reveal the essence of this historic place, which we call the “History” should be our present, for those whose answer is “No”, have the chance to visit this marvelous piece of architecture and art of our forefathers, its beauty of art is about to end.

This is a monument which gives us a spur to build an incredible future like our marvelous and glorious past. When the sun unveils the day, the horizontal directional rays expose the real texture and art work of this square brick structure built on a raised platform with a large dome and four square pavilion like kiosks carrying projecting eaves and cupolas. 

This is the perfect season to enjoy and understand the real ornamental and symmetrical beauty of the tomb; the fresh morning cool air gives you a rhythmic pleasant breath, which will allow you to properly concentrate on the nature of tomb and its art work. After few moments you’ll understand the splendid, magnificent and regality living of our subcontinent’s Muslim emperors.

As the sun rises gradually this worthy tomb, it’s top borders of the walls (parapet) having “Kashi Kari” (the mosaic) on it, which points towards the quality and kind of tile mosaic that in all likelihood once covered the entire façade and all this show you the love, respect and care for our loved ones. As being the Dai (Wet Nurse) of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, she deserves this honor. You can easily understand her importance as a Dai, as our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) respects his Dai Haleema R.A.

At noon when the sun is at its full glory and its peak, this fully lighted worthy memorial mausoleum describes our generation the real height and boom of our powerful Muslim rulers in this continent. This is the perfect time when the warmth of sun rays increasing the temperature of the surrounding to give us the grandeur feeling of the respect and dignity that we had. Now is the time to let you imagine and float with the feelings that you are in the past and part of that era.

Now it’s the evening after illuminating the whole day of more than 400 years of Mughals’ the sun started setting, and the tomb shows the damages by the Singh and the Englishman.

Sun is setting now, you can hear the sound of birds chirping, birds, those who lived the whole day out from their nests in search of food, just came back their homes awaited by their children, this calm and peaceful atmosphere is available on the roof of the tomb which make you realize that you also have someone who needs your care and love. At this time looking through the arc one of the kiosks towards the red sun it will knock on our minds that we are missing something, we are losing something, where is our glory?


Vien Voir – Africa Thinks Africa Blinks


Vien Voir, A Song from Africa

By Umair Ghani

WOP Contributing Editor and Photographer Umair Ghani is nowadays in Africa. On a special photographic assignment to capture the soul of Africa through his lens, he met many African artists, painters and poets there.
In his first report which he filed for our readers, Umair sends me a poem written by African poet, Tiken Jah Fakoly. As I read this poem, I was stunned to observe the feelings, the pain, the anguish Jah feels for his land. Its same story every where. You just put Pakistan in place of Africa and every thing what Jah says, seems to portray a perfect picture – of us – of our country – our own sufferings at the hands of unscrupulous rulers. A fact that betells, common people all over the world think the same way.

Its now time for more people to people contacts. Interaction between different civilizations, people and countries. This will definitely help usher an era of understanding between different cultures. It’s incumbent for our generation to act now, when things like North South, East West Polarization, War on Terror, Uni-polar World have turned this beautiful earth into nightmares, not only for us but also for our coming generations.

Umair Ghani reports…

Tiken Jah Fakoly (1968–)a reggae singer from Côte d’Ivoire, was born into a family of griots and christened Doumbia Moussa Fakoly on June 23, 1968 in Odiené, north-western Côte d’Ivoire. He discovered reggae at an early age, assembling his first group, Djelys, in 1987. He became well-known at a regional level, but would soon ascend to national recognition. Since the rise in political instability and xenophobia in Côte d’Ivoire in recent years, Tiken Jah has been living in exile, particularly in Bamako (capital of the neighboring country of Mali) where his concerts are well-attended. In December 2007, Fakoly was declared persona non grata in Senegal after criticizing President Abdoulaye Wade.

Viens Voir is a moving song by Tiken Jah Fakoly, a symbol of unity and strength for African people. Here in Africa, almost everyone is playing or singing his REVOLUTIONARY songs everyday. All taxi cars consistently blare out his voice, all cafes and bars and everyone on the streets is humming… Jah Fakoly is living in exile in Paris, after his severe criticism of Senegalese, South African, Ivory Coast and Congolesean puppet rulers in his previous albums. One of his songs goes like this….”give me arms Ohhhh people, so I can kill these criminals who are ruling over us for nothing.”

Come See [Viens voir]
Come see, come see
Come see, come see
You who speak without knowing
Bamako, Abidjan ou Dakar Bamako, Dakar or Abidjan
Sierra leone, Namibie, ? come see
My Africa is not what makes you think
It is believed still faces the same
It is believed the same comments
It is believed the same stories
Listening to my Africa would be drought and famine
When we listen, my Africa would be fighting and minefields
Come see
My Africa is not doing what you believe
Not a word about the history of this continent
On civilizations and wealth of yesteryear
No word on the meaning of values
People who t’accueillent hand on heart
My Africa is not what makes you think
Africa is not doing what you believe
Come in our families
Come to our villages
You know what hospitality
The heat, smile, generosity
Come see those who have nothing
Look how they can give
And leave you richer
And you will not forget
Come see

You can listen to this song by clicking on the title which provides the link to audio player. The website would demand for a code to be filled in (to avoid spammers), therefore, go on putting in the codes provided therein and the song will be played acc.

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Published in: on 29/10/2008 at 5:21 pm  Comments (5)  
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The changing colours of autumn in Leepa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Leepa - A Valley of Changing Colours
Leepa  is a valley of changng colours



by Syed Zafar Abas Naqvi 


The picturesque Leepa valley comprises of several villages, the principal being Reshian Gali, which at a height of 3600 M above sea level is also the gateway to the vale of Leepa. In addition to Reshian, there are other villages in Leepa like:-

  • Nokot
  • Chennian
  • Kappa Gali
  • Bigil Dher
  • Lubgran &
  • Ghaipura

Like Reshian, all these villages, the tiny small hamlets, equally contribute to a wonderful mosaic of patterns mother nature has so ornately and intricately woven here in this part of Kashmir.

Leepa is famous also for its typical Kashmiri style of architecture, mostly in the form of 3 storied wooden houses. A look at the houses here makes one believe, Leepa as a true extension of Indian occupied Kashmir into Pakistan.

The people in Leepa, as in other parts of Azad Kashmir, demonstrate robust character and a steadfast, a resilient way of living. Inspite of 18 years of Indian shelling and continuous fire almost every day (which takes its own tolls in terms of human life and collateral damage), and all this exacerbated by the deadly earthquake of Oct. 2005, life has gradually started turning to normalcy.

The paradise like mini Kashmir in Leepa has numerous water driven flour mills, the only kind of industry in the valley.

The valley has a population of about 75000 inhabitants who generally indulge in farming, cattle rearing and tourism related services. Nearly 400 jeeps ply daily from Reshian to Leepa and back. Jeeps are the only mode of transport in the valley though motor bikes are now also seen in ever increasing numbers on the bumpy jumpy road.

The red Kashmiri rice is grown in October by the farmers in Leepa. This is also the staple food for the people of the area. Husking of rice is done in traditional way, by first beating the rice stack with long sticks, thereafter, threshed along temporarily constructed ditches.

The highest peak is Shmasa Bari, which remains snowbound throughout the year.

Down hills, every year with coming of winter in the valley, when previous year’s snow melted on top of the mountains, soon fresh snow will be falling to interlace them all. It’s the time also when residents of this far flung vale have to brace the chilling winter  which brings heavy snow and thus brings increased hardships  for its 75000 residents. Due to lack of infrastructure, the valley is disconnected from the rest of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.

Apple is grown in the valley in its different varieties, most popular being Golden, Delicious and Kala Kullo King. These varieties have a unique, highly tempting flavor and taste comparable to none. Walnut is another fruit grown in the valley. It too ripens in early autumn when it is collected, deseeded and then sent to down country markets where they fetch price as high as Rs 450/- per Kg. In Leepa the cost per Kg is Rs. 300/- per Kg.Though poor in infrastructure and no industry worth its name, excepting the water mills, nature has provided spectacular beauty to this valley that can surpass even developed areas of the plains if only its tourism potentials were exploited to the full.

Water in its streams is crystal clear and there is absolutely no pollution. One can breathe, clean fresh air, full of fragrance from virgin forests and wonderful scenery all around to watch.

Allover the valley, high walnut trees likewise put on attire in yellow, red and orange, which adds extra sparkle to our stay in Leepa. We also come across yellow herbs and shrubs tucked nicely into green vegetation comprising of large conifer trees, adding variety to this miracle of changing colors during autumn in the valley.

 Walkways amidst jungle are filled with compost leaves signaling a momentous magnitude of autumn in the valley. The foliage from deciduous trees stays on the ground leaving a damp and decayed trail. The skyline in the whole vale transcends from ardent green to russet red, gold, orange, dark yellow and brown. Strong winds and mild storms also wreack further havoc with the delicate branches, turning them yellow and this too adds to the already damp compost like soil. A walk on these fallen decayed leaves reminds of the harsh winter ahead. Birds are also going nomadic ready to move on an arduous and long journey bracing the chilling winds on the way, to safe havens in down country areas where they can feed and breed.

Kazi Nag Nullah basin also hosts hundreds of poplar trees with ready to fall yellow foliage. Yellow chinar trees acquire a crimson hue as if on a fire, a unique view along the mountains, tracks and the valleys in Leepa.

Soon we reach Burthwar Gali and encounter nearly 300 chinar trees again with their yellow, orange and red mix of colous, shades and hues adding further fire to the panorama of winter in the valley. Local elders said, these trees were planted during the period of emperor Shah Jahan, the builder king of the famed Mughal empire – to provide shade and protection to travelers who used to journey between Srinagar and Punjab either on horses or even on foot. We couldn’t help but admire this wonder of nature which had laid down a carpet of innumerable crimson colored trees, when viewed while passing through Burthwar Gali Pass.

Appreciating the allure of autumn trees in narrow alleys is the best pastime in this vale of wonders – wonders that this picturesque valley showcases to the outside world.

Tailpiece: Daily strolls along the fabulous terraced fields devoid of any crop at this time of the year offers you chance of a life time to enjoy nature’s beauty at its best. No words are able to describe the true beauty and incomparable sight of this touristic paradise in Kashmir.

Each year, on start of autumn in Kashmir, Leepa, which lies at a distance of about 90 KM from capital Muzaffarabad, starts to dress up in a new and richly colored attire-a mix of red, orange and yellow shades. It’s the time when apple picking season in the valley comes to an end.




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Folk Tales of Pakistan – Heer Ranjha

It is said that when Waris Shah completed Heer, he showed it to his teacher. The latter was rather disappointed to see his talented student, instead of writing something on fiqh or shariah, had chosen to write a love story.
He is reported to have said: “Warsa (deflection of the name, often used in Punjabi to address juniors in age or rank), I am saddened to see that my efforts have gone waste. I taught both you and Bulleh Shah. He ended up playing the sarangi (a string instrument) and you have come up with this.”
Waris Shah then opened the book and started reciting Heer. As the teacher listened, the words slowly started sinking in. He was so touched by the language, the poetry, the powerful imagery, the intensity of emotions, and the melody that he is famously reported to have said, “Wah! Waris Shah, you have strung together precious pearls in a twine of “munj” (a coarse string of hemp or jute).”



by Mast Qalandar


Note for WoP readers: Here is another post on that great folk tale of Punjab. It already appeared in Adil Najam’s blog. Even then I reproduce this for you, as I think Mast Qalandar is a guy who has done full justice to the leading Sufi poet of Punjab when he details this ever living legend in a very lucid, very absorbing style especially as a writer, who is not a native of Punjab. I myself would never have cast an iota of doubt over his being not a native had he not divulged it himself in this very write up. (more…)

Is Zardari, the New Musharraf?

Asif Ali Zardari is notorious as ‘Mr. 10 per cent’, a “reputation” he gained when he was minister of public contracts during his wife’s tenure as prime minister. Zardari claims all the corruption charges against him are politically motivated and denies any wrongdoing.
But many Pakistanis, particularly in the powerful armed forces, are not happy seeing as their new president a man of dubious reputation and a penchant for personal excess. Even so, Zardari has apparently assumed all of the sweeping powers held by former president Musharraf. Now that Zardari is seen as Washington’s new Musharraf, these charges against him will redouble.



by Eric Margolis


The US has been in a bizarre state of semi-war against its ‘ally’ Pakistan for months, launching covert ground and air raids into its territory while claiming to be a close ally of Islamabad in the so-called war on terror.

Last month, it was revealed that President George Bush gave the Pentagon the green light to launch major ground attacks inside Pakistan’s tribal territory. (more…)

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