Reminiscences of a visit to Bhaun (2 /2)

·  About 12 kms south of Chakwal lies the historical town of Bhaun, formerly known as Bhavan, famous for its splendid temples, highly-revered shrines and Havelis with exquisitely carved doors and r…

Source: Reminiscences of a visit to Bhaun (2 /2)

Published in: on 19/01/2017 at 7:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Reminiscences of a visit to Bhaun 1/2

The Hindu temple architecture is an open, symmetry driven structure, with many variations, on a square grid of padas, depicting perfect geometric shapes such as circles and squares.  According to a…

Source: Reminiscences of a visit to Bhaun 1/2

Published in: on 19/01/2017 at 7:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Reminiscences of a visit to Bhaun 1/2

The Hindu temple architecture is an open, symmetry driven structure, with many variations, on a square grid of padas, depicting perfect geometric shapes such as circles and squares. 
According to ancient Hindu texts, a temple is a place for Tirtha or the  pilgrimage. It is a sacred site whose ambience and design attempts to symbolically condense the ideal tenets of Hindu way of life. 
All the cosmic elements that create and celebrate life in Hindu pantheon, are present in a Hindu temple – from fire to water, from images of nature to deities, from the feminine to the masculine, from kama to artha, from the fleeting sounds and incense smells to Purusha – the eternal nothingness yet universality – is part of a Hindu temple architecture. And this essence of the Hindu spirit was visible in every mandir that we visited in Bhaun.




By Nayyar Hashmey


First the origin of the name Bhaun:
There are many stories (mostly apocryphal) about the origin of the name Bhaun. Some say it is derived from the name of a Raja who founded and ruled this village. Others say its named after some Hindu goddess. Some even attribute it to the times of Alexander the Great in whose times some Greek General made a stopover at this place.   His name after a lapse of so many centuries has finally took the shape of Bhaun.
 Yet the most agreed upon version is that the name actually is a distorted form of Bhawan which in Hindi means Abode or a Palace. According to the Hindu mythology, this village was an abode of gods and hence the name Bhawan. But since for us Muslims who mainly inhabit this area ever since Islam came to this part of the world, the Hindi name was difficult to pronounce, therefore, it became Bhaun.


Last November, we four friends, me myself, Razzaq, Shakil and Dilawar made trip to a small town near Chakwal in the Pothohar plateau of our Punjab. Though we went there to condole the death of a friend’s brother, one of us that’s Ch Razzaq who is diabetic (BTW I too, am in the same category) felt that our sugar levels seem to be dropping. So to have some sips of tea, we took up a nearby lane. And vow, there in the narrow lane, we discover an amazing little town bursting with its old charm, its historic buildings, its temples and its monuments.


While we stood at this particular point, we spotted the cone shaped top of this mandir that motivated us to go near the mandirs and the old houses of Bhaun.


This is the street we passed through discovering the beauty of Bhaun’s old houses.


The cone shaped towers of mandirs are a hallmark of Bhaun.


An old Mandir that tells the story of neglect by our authorities as well as by our public.


A boy walks past an old carved door. You can also see the wooden arch above the main door carrying similar carving.


A scene of the town’s bustling market, where you can get every thing. Special attraction of the market is Landa Bazar which the poor and the middle class frequent  to purchase warm clothing for coming winter season.


At the market place, there are many such stalls selling fresh vegetables to dwellers of the town.


Another view of the town’s market place.


An old house in decay. Yet you can see the beauty of the brick filled door and the ventilators carrying embellishments that speak of Bhaun’s past grandeur.


Bhaunians seemed to be fond of keeping cocks because after every third or fourth house we passed along had the cocks and the hens roaming in the verandas or the courtyard of the house. 


A proud rooster stands with his madame. Note the guarding posture.


In streets of Bhaun, we came across many such baskets or tokras as they are locally called. The tokras are used to keep the poultry fowls enclosed in the bounds of this small yet open bottomed cage.


While we were passing through the old street, we passed along this Chai-Wala, who  has a superstore. Here you can get all things (anything you have in mind and he has it). From groceries to all things for stitching, and things that are already stitched. You can even get wood charcoal to heat your hearths and stoves.

When we told him, we have come all the way from Islamabad to his shop; he prepared a special brew (Doodh Patti) for us. And believe me, his brew had a taste far far better than any of the so called posh restaurants in Islamabad.


The Tea Stall


This shoe mender interrupted his work to greet us when we passed along his shop. A kind and gentle face, he greeted us with an affectionate Aslamo Alaicum. His motto, “Mehnat main azmat hai”.


When old gets new things, new materials, new fixtures. Here a house, probably built in the pre-partition days, has been fixed up with a steel gate. Though more robust than wooden doors, yet such modern structures cannot beat the beauty and the style, the aesthetics and the compatibility of the civil structure to the intricately carved doors and windows, a hallmark of wooden exteriors of the houses in Bhaun.


Another house in decay, yet the intricate patterns speak volumes for the aesthetic sense of the builders in erstwhile Bhaun, who constructed these houses and richly decorated them with beautiful patterns.


The signboard says, Kashish Tailors. Kashish means Attraction in Urdu. Can’t say how much attraction do his tailored dresses get, but what attracted us was the old street that mostly had the houses with artistic embellishments of the pre-partition days of Bhaun.



When old world meets modern gadgetry. Like everywhere in Pakistan, technology has made its mark even in these old fashioned, artistically decorated houses of Bhaun. Here a young Bhaunian talks on his cell phone reminding us that Bhaunians are no less smart in using modern gadgets than their country’s counterparts.


Yes there is also a wall of kindness / wall of fraternity in Bhaun.


A general view of the town of Bhaun..


The main gate of the Haveli of Risaldar Bhagat Singh Oberoi. A nice piece of woodwork similar to the art and craft of the wood carving industry that now typifies the city of Chiniot.

Next: Reminiscences of a visit to Bhaun (2 /2)

Photo Credits: All images in this article (except  the two, the sources of which are relevantly linked) were captured on spot by my friend Dr. Shakil Ahmad while we were in Bhaun.
Related Articles:
1. Traveling through Pakistan – The Katas Raj Temple 2. KATAS – A Paradise Lost and a Paradise Regained! 3. Hinglaj, the Hindu holy shrine in Hingol, Balochistan



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Published in: on 19/01/2017 at 4:57 pm  Comments (5)  

Tidbits, PTI and Crows’ Burning Ass



By Nayyar Hashmey
     Every day in the evening we five or six friends join together in Islamabad Bahria Town nearby a mini hillock. There we exchange views on almost every damn thing in the world. But the principal mover, the motivator and the liveliest spirit among us all seniors is our young friend Dr. Shakil Ahmad. And as I mentioned in one of my earlier notes on face book this our young but most knowledgeable person is an encyclopedia on almost every subject in the world. However, the most discussed are the national politics, the social events, jokes from here and there and last but not least the stories of elopement of young village damsels, stories of love and hate but his forte, as ,always, is the political personalities in Pakistan.
Image below right: Dr. Shakil Ahmad (left) with his friend, Dr.Athar Rafique at Khanaspur (Ayubia) during one of his usual sprees to the mountains. 10885509_749372651811615_1512933153735727675_n

     But from personalities, dear readers, do not get confused. Its not the personalities that are discussed by ordinary minds. He analyses all ideas, all events and all personalities with their political parties, their manifestos (if there are any) and their deliverance to the masses.

  As is usually the case, most of us now understand and recognize the forces which were behind the Khan of Mianwali to stage his dharna of 2014-2015 which kept the whole country in a state of utter confusion when no one knew what ultimately this dharna will lead to, i.e. the Khan himself, Mian Nawaz Sharif and above all the people of Pakistan.
     Whereas most of us believed from the day one that this whole show was staged at the instigation of the country’s ace agency which is responsible to do intelligence on Pakistan’s enemies, however, with successive military regimes which crudely used this agency to malign/target and defame the civilian politicians, also enabled the top General in Command of the ISI to play the power of a Supremo, the power broker. At that time, exactly did the ISI boss in 2014 believe that he could topple a duly elected government by using the two popular leaders in the political arena of Pakistan.
     One of these two, was one Maulana Tahirul Qadri, who was miserably defeated at the polls and therefore, had come to the conclusion that parliamentary elections is a phenomenon in which he stands no chance, therefore, entering the corridors of power through backdoor was the only option. The second and more popular, with a still greater mass appeal than the Maulana imported from Canada, was our great Khan from Mianwali.
     I do admit, from the day the PTI was conceived, I had always a soft corner for the party led by Imran Khan. Before I shifted to Islamabad, I was living in Lahore and there I did everything to support the Khan and his cause. However, things started changing in 2011 when I smelled that the “angels” of Pakistan’s political chessboard have started blessing the party chief and the result of such blessings was the October 2011 jalsa in Lahore which though was a grand success but led every sane analyst to believe that such perfection in making that jalsa a bumper success could not have been achieved without the secret hand, which even then was considered a secret any more.
     Most of us then too believed that the then head of the ISI, General Pasha was the person who had done his best to bring an hitherto unknown party to the lime light of country’s mainstream politics. Having gained an overnight popularity after October jalsa, both Gen. Pasha and the Khan got emboldened and hatched a plan to unseat Mian Nawaz Sharif who was neither liked by the General nor the Khan and who had come to win the 2013 elections with a thumping success. A plan was, therefore, hatched to challenge the elections by sabotaging the results of 2013 polls altogether.
      To implement this plan the so called theory of 4 halqas and 35 penchures was falsely brought forward. What happened during the dharna and afterwards, we all know. So I would come to the point what has made me to jot down such lengthy introduction to what Dr. Shakil Ahmad opinionated on the latest confession by KPK Chief Minister Pervez Khattak.
     Khattak is reported to have said in his statement, “Development in KPK cannot be achieved in just four years, so people can’t account us for what we have not done, what we could not do in 2013-2016″. Then, continued he, “Even in countries like Great Britain and US, 100% results are not possible”. Well said Khattak sahib, we were saying the same thing when you and Khan were lambasting Mian Nawaz Sharif for not having been able to change the whole country in last three years.
     However, in spite of all the diatribes you and your boss the great Kaptan, Mian Nawaz Sharif has so many development projects to his credit. In this period he and his younger brother have completed so many prestigious projects and these have been completed after 2013.


     With its success in Lahore, the same jangla Bus was completed in record time in Islamabad/Rawalpindi and I have personally seen how it has helped the people of the twin cities to travel from one part to the other. Not even the travelers in the Metro Bus, but also we who travel in our own car, have seen how an alternate route to Islamabad Express way has eased out the traffic congestions on Murree Road as well as on the Expressway.
     The next project to come up on surface is Metro in Multan which is going on at a very quick pace. And after Multan, it will be Pakistan’s textile metropolis (Faisalabad) to have its own Metro.
     Another milestone in alleviating the city traffic and its outmoded, worn out transport is the Lahore Orange Train project which is going on smoothly too. And the Green Line Project for Karachi is also on the way.
·   Then finally is the great game changer, the CPEC project which has an outlay of 46 billion US dollars. This is the biggest ever project that China has undertaken outside its borders.
     With such models of development in Punjab and elsewhere, I ask the PTI boss, have Khan or Pervez Khattak even a single project that has ameliorated the traffic problems of the cities like Peshawar, Kohat or Nowshera? Which means, to talk is a simple matter, you can talk, talk and talk. But to deliver; is entirely a different story, which is why said, Mian Nawaz Sharif, there are people who lambast us, who talk against us, who complain against us, who accuse us day and night, who even do our character assassination but we never reply. Our reply to them is what we perform and the people of Pakistan are the best judge.
     Anyway, coming back to Pervez Khattak’s statement, one of our group members Afzal Butt asked Dr. Shakil what was his take on Khattak’s statement this week. As usual Dr. Shakil narrated an anecdote and dear readers, I share this with you.
     Two crows were flying when an F16 passed along with a big bang. So says one crow to the other, Look man, what a terrible speed has this F16. Oh no, nothing special dear! Don’t you notice the fire that is burning their ass. Its the burning ass that has made them fly at such an unimaginable speed. The day our asses will burn like fires, we too shall gain the same speed as those F16.
     With that concluded the doctor: Butt Saab, Now that their ass has started burning, they too (the PTI walas) are trying to flow at the speed of F16.
     I too pray for their success if even for this reason, they will do something for our poor brethren in the Khyber Pakhtunkwa.
     Aap bhi dua karei’n, mai’n bi krta hoo’n. Shayad issi bahanay, KPK mai’n bhi koi behtari aa jaye. 
Additional reading:
Tabdeeli jo ga’ndi ho gyi, an Urdu column by Saleem Safi

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Published in: on 03/08/2016 at 3:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Recent Updates [Wonders of Pakistan’ Blog site]

Dear all, 

Here is a wrap up of posts which I have recently put up on Wonders of Pakistan  ( website.


1. Resilient Pakistan


2. Pakistan: The Next Colombia Success Story?


 3. Reflections from Pakistan

4. Smart service of the too Smart guys at PTCL


In addition to the title of each post which is hyperlinked to the main post (hover your mouse over the title and click. You will directly land on to the post your want to read).


Alternatively, have also given the respective URL’s. If the title doesn’t work, copy paste the URL in your browser bar and you will likewise reach the desired post.


Plz go through content of your choice. As always I would be glad to have your brief, review or comment (or even a note of dissent).





Published in: on 13/03/2016 at 9:10 pm  Comments (2)  
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