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Loveable Murree


I was recently asked to write where I would spend my summer. For a few minutes I kept my anguish at Pakistan’s situation aside and wrote the following lines for the NEWS. Indulgent and nostalgic, it was fun nevertheless.

Hackneyed as it may sound but Murree remains my favourite destination for the summer.

Alas, the luxury of spending months at the alluring foothills of Himalayas is no longer available with the day-jobs, and other commitments. But there was a time, over a decade ago, when I lived in Murree for three glorious years. It was May when I moved there with a wild rose bush joyously waving with the […]

May 13th, 2009|My paintings, Personal, Published in the NEWS|0 Comments

My painting – “Raheem and Kareem”

 Rahim & Karim – Acrylic on canvas – 12″ x 18″

This is a small painting that I created in December 2007. I wanted to paint the names of Allah also used in Sufi Zikr (or Dhikr) – Ar-Raheem (the Merciful), Al-Kareem (the Generous). I did not […]

On Buddha, Silence and Impermanence

The celebrated artiste Vidya Rao from Delhi has sent this tender and profound letter after reading my post on destruction of Buddhas in Swat (and the painting that was inspired by the vandalism). I am reproducing this letter with her permission as it adds to the debate and brings in a multi-religious and multicultural perspective that is close to my heart. Her words can be so moving:

But who can silence Silence? Who can erase Emptiness? The Buddha is, and yet is not, in the stone or metal representations of him. Nor is the truth of Islam contained within the structures of a mosque. It is not the Buddha or Islam or anything such that is destroyed. What is destroyed is the connection to the inner Buddha, the inner light. We are all the poorer for this, because form, the beauty of form, gives joy and love to our lives. The task is to both mourn, work in whatever way to prevent such destruction– but also to see this as yet another teaching on impermanence.

Here is the full text of the letter: […]

February 23rd, 2008|Arts & Culture, My paintings, Religion, Soul|3 Comments

Buddha, the Taliban and Pakistan-

I have been working on this composition for quite a while. I was angered, rather revolted by what the Taliban were doing in the pristine Swat valley that has recently undergone full scale war. What has the peaceful and serene Buddha to do […]

February 16th, 2008|Arts & Culture, History, My paintings|12 Comments

Isfahan’s Blue Mosque inspires a painting

On a long tiring flight, I was not too amused by another predictable rant on “Intimidation in Tehran” in the Time magazine.However, while browsing through, I could not help notice a stunning photograph taken by Olivia Arthur. […]

Sufi Zikr – inspiration for a painting

This is a painting that I revisited and converted its earlier abstract form into a calligraphic experiment. Now the challenge was that in addition to the lack of training in oil painting, I was also a novice in calligraphy. Anyway, the image inside Rumi's tomb that I posted on this blog earlier as well as the three attributes of the Almighty helped me in putting this together. The letters in the centre are Hu (affirmation of the Divine presence and a Sufi chant) and its mirror image.

Another accidental painting

This weekend was remarkable: visions and confusions found their way on a plain canvas and before long I was in a strange dialogue with the canvas – here is the result of this dialogue: Full entry here >>