Saturday, February 27, 2010

Part 16: Pictorial History of Pakistan Air Force From the Brush Strokes of Hussaini - - 1978-1987 and the Afghan Conflict (P-1)



Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil
Date: Jun-87
Artwork Located:
Office of the AOC Northern Air Command

Description:
Aircraft on Air Defence Alert (ADA) during a cockpit stand-by on a hot summer day at Chaklala.

These specially equipped F-6s cannot be seen anywhere in the world other than the PAF. The pilot is wearing an American helmet and is sitting on the Martin Baker (British) ejection seat. The aircraft is fitted with specially manufactured Pakistani drop tanks for long range operations. The circuitry has been modified by Pakistani technicians to make it capable of firing the deadly American Sidewinder missiles. The electronic countermeasure system fitted in the aircraft is of French origin and the auxiliary power unit which gives quick start to the aircraft on order for scramble, is of Chinese make. This aircraft has been turned by the PAF engineers into a highly destructive weapon, and used very effectively by the pilots throughout. Note the locally manufactured umbrella over the cockpit.

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil
Date: 8-Jul-76
Artwork Located:
Air Headquarters Officers Mess

Description:
In the rough summer seas off Karachi an H-43B Huskie helicopter from PAF Base Masroor carries out a memorable rescue at sea. The Huskie scrambled on an SOS call from Merchant Vessel "Latakia"', an Egyptian ship foundering in the Arabian Sea. All on board the "Latakia" were winched up safely before it sank. Egyptian and Pakistani newspapers gave wide coverage to this challenging rescue mission.

The H-43 aircrew :

Pilot
Wing Commander Hamid Masood

Copilot
Flight Lieutenant Ansari

Crew Chiefs
Warrant Officer Shaban
Chief Technician Fateh

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil
Date:
Artwork Located:
Presented to the Chief of Army Staff (1996)

Description:
The painting shows a formation of A-5s attacking an enemy convoy near a battlefield. Although the A-5 is restricted strictly to visual roles, it is equipped with western avionics and provides Pakistan with a tactical strike capability it needs today. The configuration of the PAF's A-5s differs considerably from that of their Chinese counterparts, because several design features have been introduced at the request of the PAF.

Size: 6ft x 4ft Oil
Date: 17-May-86
Artwork Located:
Ministry of Defence

Description:
The painting shows Squadron Leader A Hameed Qadri of No 9 Multi Role Squadron of F-16s having a close look at the SU-22 which has just turned into a ball of fire after being hit by his AIM-9L missile while his No 2 Squadron Leader Yousuf Chaudhry is trying to get behind the other SU-22. The encounter took place at 16,000 feet over Parachinar, during the Afghan War, 1979-1988.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Part 15: Pictorial History of Pakistan Air Force From the Brush Strokes of Hussaini - - 1968-1977 and the War of '71 (P-7)



Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil Date: 1971
Artwork Located:
"Army Staff College, Quetta"

Description:
During the 1971 War, different types of fighters from some friendly countries were temporarily transferred to the PAF. Of these groups, a formation of three F-5As with PAF markings are shown here entering the Pakistani territory. The pilots who ferried the F-5s:

Squadron Leader Tahir Kheli Zaigham
Flight Lieutenant Ai~ad Bilal Khan

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil Date: 17-Dec-71
Artwork Located:
Headquarters Air Defence Command

Description:
The last aerial encounter of 1971 War turned out to be a dog-fight between a supersonic MiG-21 and the relatively slow and much older F-86 Sabre. The F-86 flown by Flight Lieutenant Maqsood, Amir emerged as the victor and the Indian Mig-21 pilot Flight Lieutenant Tejwant Singh who ejected after being hit, was taken prisoner. Squadron Leader Rab Nawaz was the Radar Controller for this interception.

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil Date: 1968
Artwork Located:
Chief of the Air Staff's Conference Room

Description:
The French Mirages are high-speed, all weather, delta wing, long range fighter-bombers which can also be employed in the interceptor role. The Mirages entered service with the PAF in 1968. In the 1971 War, these aircraft were effectively used for day and night air defence as well as offensive roles. The Mirage has a maximum speed of Mach 2.2 and a service ceiling of 54,000 feet. The painting shows PAF Mirages releasing cluster bombs during a low level attack.

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil Date:
Artwork Located:
"Air Headquarters Officers Mess, Islamabad"

Description:
Dissimilar Air Combat Training is an essential feature of a Pakistani fighter pilot's training. The painting shows an F-6 of the Combat Commanders' School manoeuvring against two PAF Mirages in simulated air combat. The main objective of the Combat Commanders' School is to provide fighter pilots with comprehensive courses in combat leadership and advanced fighter tactics.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Part 14: Pictorial History of Pakistan Air Force From the Brush Strokes of Hussaini - - 1968-1977 and the War of '71 (P-6)



Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil Date: 14-Dec-71
Artwork Located:
Presented to the Chief of Army Staff (1992)

Description:
During a major assault in the Shakargarh area on 14 December 1971, PAF fighters were called in for air support. The painting shows one of the supporting F-6s bearing down on enemy armour, while another one has just pulled off. The aircraft belonged to No 23 Squadron. Apart from being effective in the air defence role, the F-6s (introduced into the PAF in 1966) provided valuable air support to Pak Army in the 1971 War.

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil Date: 14-Dec-71
Artwork Located:
National Defence College

Description:
A flight of F-6s (Chinese built Mig-19s) from No 11 Squadron was on a search and destroy mission over the Shakargarh salient when Flight Lieutenant Aamer Ali Sharieff spotted four manoeuvring Mig-21s, much superior in performance to Aamer's F-6. Quickly sliding into the blind zone of the trailing Mig-21, Aamer launched his Sidewinder. The Mig-21 burst into flames and crashed.

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil Date: 15-Dec-71
Artwork Located:
Office of the Commandant Combat Commanders School

Description:
F-86E of No 19 Squadron Masroor, gets behind an IAF Hunter in the Thar desert. Within a few seconds the Hunter went down in flames.

Pilot : Flight Lieutenant Farooq Qari

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil Date: 16-Dec-71
Artwork Located:
"Army Staff College, Quetta"

Description:
F-86s from No 19 Squadron strike a battalion of Indian Army in the Thar desert. The napalm and strafing attacks were led by Flight Lieutenant Aliuddin.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Recent Visit to Lahore: The Land of Hazrat Ali Hajveri, Also Known As Data Ganj Bakhsh (Data Sahib)

Recently, I got a chance to visit the historical city of Lahore; which is also a capital of Punjab province.

The city is famous for its historical buildings of Mughals Era. The city as we know it today, reached its peak of glory during the Mughal rulers, especially in the reign of Akbar the Great, who made it the capital of his kingdom. His son, Jehangir, is buried in its outskirts and his mausoleum is one of the places frequently visited by tourists and Lahorites alike. Close by is the mausoleum of the famous Mughal Empress, Noor Jehan, who is known for introducing the rose plant and for initiating several cultural movements in the Sub-Continent.

The British during their reign (1849 -1947) compensated Lahore, by harmoniously combining Mughal, Gothic and Victorian styles of architecture. Victorian heritage is only next to Mughal monuments. The GPO and YMCA buildings built to commemorate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria - an event marked by the construction of clock towers and monuments all over India. They built some important buildings, like the High Court. the Government College, the Museums, the National College of Arts, Montgomery Hall, Tollinton Market, the Punjab University (Old Campus) and the Provincial Assembly. At one end of The Mall stands the University - perhaps the largest center of education in Asia. The city has built a new Campus in the quieter environments on the Canal Bank, but the old University buildings are still functioning.

Lahori's (People of Lahore) used to say "Lahore Lahore Hai" (Lahore is Lahore) because of its rich cultural heritage. Apart from everything in Lahore, from Mughal architecture to British monuments, whenever I got a chance to visit Lahore; I tried my best to visit the shrine of Data Ali Hajveri (Data Sahib) for spiritual peace and serenity.

And Almighty Allah gave me this chance again in this recent visit of Lahore. The peace and serenity; one finds sitting in front of Data Sahib, can't be found anywhere in Lahore. I captured few moments of my visit in my mobile camera to share with my readers to pass on a bit of peace and serenity I got from that visit.


The Entrance of Data Darbar (Shrine of Hazrat Ali Hajveri)

Meal (Langar) is Being Distributed outside the Shrine (Data Darbar)


People and visitors walking along the Bazaar.


Close views of main Sabz Gumbad (Green Dome) of Shrine.

Grassy sitting area for visitors in the premises of Shrine.



Few more images of Data Darbar.

I hope my readers and lovers of Data Ali Hajveri would love to see the recent pictures of the Holy Shrine of Data Sahib. I will try to share more of such visits with my readers very soon.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Part 13: Pictorial History of Pakistan Air Force From the Brush Strokes of Hussaini - - 1968-1977 and the War of '71 (P-5)


Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil Date: 14-Dec-71
Artwork Located:
Private Collection

Description:
The pilot of the Gnat going down in flames, Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon, was posthumously given the Param Vir Chakra, India"s highest gallantry award. Nirmaljit had taken off behind his group from Srinagar (in the background) to intercept the approaching air strike of four F-86s with two escorts. Before being shot down with a gun burst by Flight Lieutenant Salim Beg Mirza (leader of the escort F-86 pair), Nirmaljit was claimed by the IAF to have scored hits on two of the six F-86s but in fact all of them had returned to Peshawar without a scratch. The painting shows Salim and his wingman in the foreground. Two of the four strike F-86s can be seen at a distance, attacking their targets at the Srinagar air base, through the bursting ack ack shells.

Strike Element

Wing Commander S A Changezi
Flying Officer H K Dhotani
Flying Officer Amjad Endrabi
Flying Officer Maroof Mir

Escorts
Flight Lieutenant Salim Beg Mirza
Flying Officer Rahirn Yousefzai

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil Date: 13-Dec-71
Artwork Located:
Private Collection

Description:
Preparing to launch a piercing attack towards Hyderabad, the Indian Army was stopped in its tracks astride the KhokraparChor railway line. The air campaign involved several missions and a mix of combat aircraft from Masroor Air Base. The painting shows one of these missions that employed 5 F-86s and 4 T-33s. It was led by Group Captain Wiqar Azim seen here in the F-86. At some distance are the T-33s that were led by Wing Commander Asghar Randhawa. The lone escort was flown by Flight Lieutenant Kamran Qureshi.

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil Date: 12-Dec-71
Artwork Located:
National Defence College

Description:
Timely photo reconnaissance about where the enemy was gathering his armour provided precious intelligence on which the Pakistan Army developed its own battle plans. The painting depicts such a mission during the 1971 War. The high speed cameras in the photo recce Mirage-II1RP, flown by Squadron Leader Farooq Umar (foreground) brought back that afternoon's scene at the Mukhtasar railway yard. Indian tanks were loaded and ready to move towards the Pakistan border. In the background is the escorting Mirage, flown by Wing Commander Hakimullah (later CAS, PAF).

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil Date: Dec-71
Artwork Located:
Private Collection

Description:
Devoted and skilled technicians have always represented the backbone of all combat operations of the PAF. Here they load gun ammunition and refuel an F-86E of No 18 Squadron. The squadron provided extremely useful air support to Pakistan Army during the war, specially in the Chamb Sector.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Celebration in Pakistan - - Become a Tradition More Than An Event in Pakistan


Our homeland Islamic Republic of Pakistan is also deeply influenced by events like Valentine’s Day which were unknown in the sub continent before but now after so many years of celebrating it, it seems like it has merged with our culture. If such days are celebrated uncontrolled they can damage the growth of our children. This day is very much renowned and gleefully celebrated in different age groups but youngsters and teenagers are the one who are most influenced by this day and they wait for the whole calendar year to celebrate it again, and some even start waiting for it for months to celebrate the day of Valentines with their loved ones.

Like other parts of the world, St Valentine’s Day is also celebrated in most parts of Pakistan including Karachi. Several young, urbanites were busy buying red roses, heart-shaped stuffed toys, cards, cakes, purses, watches and chocolates for the celebrating the day.

However, the Sindhi-speaking people in Sindh would celebrate the day in an innovative style - by planting trees throughout the province, showing their love and respect for Earth. This was decided in response to a call given by Ali Qazi, a Sindhi newspaper’s owner. According to Qazi, the province is going through difficult days in terms of environment; therefore, everyone must plant at least one tree on Valentine’s Day to express their love for the planet in general and Sindh in particular. He received warm reaction, and in almost every town, people are celebrating the day by planting a tree.

In Karachi, several non-governmental organizations would gather at Sandspit, Hawkesbay, Ibrahim Hyderi and other coastal areas along the Arabian Sea to plant mangroves on the coast.

Every February, shopping malls, commercial centres, shops and cellular phone companies make special arrangements for the day across the country, and special advertisements target young urban consumers. Though gifts are exchanged between siblings, parents and other relatives in the name of St Valentine, it is usually assumed that the day only focuses on couples; therefore, it is looked down upon in the Pakistani society.



February has long been called the month of romance and many experts recognized the day of 14th February as the most celebrated and enjoyed among the participants. The way of commemorating this day has developed over the years since it was used to be celebrated in early ages. Mostly everyone knows the history behind celebrating this day, about St Valentine and the secret marriages he performed for soldiers, when the King of England had forbidden his soldiers from marrying. And as the month of February starts, people start finishing and finalizing their plans for it. To show their love ones how much they love, how much they care, promises are made between the couples, and may be it helps them to increase the love and need for each other by wishing each other. Over the past decade or so the ways of marking this day has also been developing rapidly. Every year in Pakistan people are getting more enthusiastic, energetic and more passionate to celebrate Valentine’s Day. If we talk about the outcome of celebrating this day we will get to know that there are two possible outcomes of this day, one is enjoyed by the participants while the other is enjoyed by the businesses and owner of different businesses.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day - - History, Traditions and Religious Views

What is Valentine's Day??

Valentine's Day is a celebration of romantic love occurring annually on February 14.

Although it is associated by legend with a Catholic saint named Valentine, Valentine's Day is not a religious holiday and never really has been. Valentine's Day has historical roots mainly in Greco-Roman pagan fertility festivals and the medieval notion that birds pair off to mate on February 14.


The custom of exchanging cards and other tokens of love on February 14 began to develop in England and France in the 14th and 15th centuries and became especially popular in the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries. Over the last decade or so, Valentine's Day observance has even spread to the Far East, India, and the Middle East.

History of Valentine's Day

The association of the middle of February with love and fertility dates to ancient times. In ancient Athens, the period between mid-January and mid-February was the month of Gamelion, which was dedicated to the sacred marriage of Zeus and Hera.

In ancient Rome, February 15 was Lupercalia, the festival of Lupercus (or Faunus), the god of fertility. As part of the purification ritual, the priests of Lupercus would sacrifice goats and a dog to the god, and after drinking wine, they would run through the streets of Rome striking anyone they met with pieces of the goat skin. Young women would come forth voluntarily for the occasion, believing that being touched by the goat skin would render them fertile. Young men would also draw names from an urn, choosing their "blind date" for the coming year. In 494 AD the Christian church under Pope Gelasius I appropriated the some aspects of the rite as the Feast of the Purification.

In Christianity, at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early lives of the saints under the date of February 14. Two of the Valentines lived in Italy in the third century: one as a priest at Rome, the other as bishop of Terni. They are both said to have been martyred in Rome and buried on the Flaminian Way. A third St. Valentine was martyred in North Africa and very little else is known of him.

Several legends have developed around one or more of these Valentines, two of which are especially popular. According to one account, Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for all young men because he believed unmarried men made better soldiers. Valentine defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young couples and was put to death by the emperor for it. A related legend has Valentine writing letters from prison to his beloved, signing them "From your Valentine."

However, the connection between St. Valentine and romantic love is not mentioned in any early histories and is regarded by historians as purely a matter of legend. The feast of St. Valentine was first declared to be on February 14 by Pope Gelasius I around 498. It is said the pope created the day to counter the practice held on Lupercalia, but this is not attested in any sources from that era.

The first recorded association of St. Valentine's Day with romantic love was in the 14th century in England and France, where it was believed that February 14 was the day on which birds paired off to mate. Thus we read in Geoffrey Chaucer's (c. 1343-1400) Parliament of Fowls, believed to be the first Valentine's Day poem:

For this was on saint Valentine's day,
When every fowl comes there to choose his mate.

It became common during that era for lovers to exchange notes on Valentine's Day and to call each other their "Valentines." The first Valentine card was sent by Charles, duke of Orleans, to his wife in 1415 when he was a prisoner in the Tower of London. Valentine's Day love notes were often given anonymously. It is probable that many of the legends about St. Valentine developed during this period (see above). By the 1700s, verses like "Roses are red, violets are blue" became popular. By the 1850s, romantics in France began embellishing their valentine cards with gilt paper, ribbons and lace.

Valentine's Day was probably imported into North America in the 19th century with settlers from Britain. In the United States, the first mass-produced valentines of embossed paper lace were produced and sold shortly after 1847 by Esther A. Howland (1828 - 1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts. Her father operated a large book and stationery store, and she took her inspiration from an English valentine she had received.

In the 19th century, relics of St. Valentine were donated by Pope Gregory XVI to the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland, which has become a popular place of pilgrimage on February 14.

But in 1969, as part of a larger effort to pare down the number of saint days of legendary origin, the Church removed St. Valentine's Day as an official holiday from its calendar.

Valentine's Day Customs and Traditions

The primary custom associated with St. Valentine's Day is the mutual exchange of love notes called valentines. Common symbols on valentines are hearts, the colors red and pink, and the figure of the winged Cupid.

Starting in the 19th century, the practice of hand writing notes began to give way to the exchange of mass-produced greeting cards. These cards are no longer given just to lovers, but also to friends, family, classmates and coworkers. Valentine cards are often accompanied by tiny candy hearts with affectionate messages printed on them.

The Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentine cards are sent worldwide each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, behind Christmas. The association also estimates that women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

In the last 50 years or so, especially in the United States, the practice of exchanging cards has been extended to include the giving of gifts, usually from a man to his girlfriend or wife. The most popular Valentine's Day gifts are roses and chocolate. Starting in the 1980s, the diamond industry began to promote Valentine's Day as an occasion for the giving of fine jewelry. Many couples also schedule a romantic dinner date on Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day Controversy in India and the Middle East

Valentine's Day only arrived in India a few years ago, but it has quickly gained popularity among young urban people along with a great deal of controversy among conservative Hindus. Traditional Hindu culture discourages public displays of affection between the sexes, including hand-holding, which Valentine's Day encourages, and Valentine's Day is also resented by some as a Christian and western influence.

In 2004, militant Hindu nationalists threatened to beat the faces and shave the heads of those who participated in Valentine's Day customs. "We will not allow westernization of Indian culture as St. Valentine was a Christian and celebrating Valentine's Day would be a violation of Indian culture," said Ved Prakash Sachchan, of the militant Hindu organization Bajrang Dal, in Uttar Pradesh. Similarly, a leader of the radical Hindu group Shiv Sena has condemned the holiday as "nothing but a Western onslaught on India's culture to attract youth for commercial purposes." Members of the group have stolen Valentine's Day greeting cards from a store and ceremonially burned them.

Similar Valentine's Day backlash has occurred in many Muslim countries. In Pakistan in 2004, the Jamaat-e-Islami party, an Islamist organization, called for a ban on Valentine's Day. One of its leaders dismissed it as "a shameful day" when Westerners "are just fulfilling and satisfying their sex thirst." Also in 2004, the government of Saudi Arabia issued an edict declaring that "there are only two holidays in Islam - Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha - and any other holidays ... are inventions which Muslims are banned from." Police closely monitored stores selling roses and some women were arrested for wearing red.

Despite this official opposition from authorities, many people in Middle Eastern countries seem to be enjoying the new holiday. One shopper, buying a red heart-and-rose card for her son-in-law, is reported as having dismissed the backlash as "only rigidity and cultural backwardness. Through the crackdown, they only buy people's greater hatred and enmity."



Friday, February 12, 2010

"Minno": Our Pet Cat and Her Grown-up Kittens Having Fun


I shared a video of our pet cat "Minno" back in Decenmber. That time she gave birth to her three kittens. She was licking her kittens with lots of love. You can see the pictures of Minno feeding her three kittens. One of my friend took one kitten named "Browny"; while the other two are still with us and a source of great fun when they are playing with each other.





Now I want to share few recent pictures of Minno and her kittens; which are now grown-up enough to have fun. Sometimes they need special attention and would not let me work.

Once I was busy to do my work on my laptop and Nazoo needs some kind of attention. He was wandering around me to attract me anyway and he couldn't succeed; he jumped and sit on my laptop. Everybody was laughing to see such a funny action.

The moment was worth-catching so I took my camera and capture that funny moment.



Another moment that I couldn't stop myself to share with all of you. Sleeping together, Pony and Nazoo, looking so cute and innocent.

I hope you would like these pictures and will continue to share more of such pictures if I would be appreciated by my readers. Therefore, please leave your comments and suggestion about this post and also for my overall blog.


Part 12: Pictorial History of Pakistan Air Force From the Brush Strokes of Hussaini - - 1968-1977 and the War of '71 (P-4)



Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil Date: 11-Dec-71
Artwork Located:
Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff Plans

Description:
Two F-104 Starfighters flown by Wing Commander Arif lqbal and Squadron Leader Amanullah are seen carrying out a surprise attack on an IAF desert base at Utterlai. An IAF HF-24 fighter is seen destroyed on the taxi track, after a gun attack by Squadron Leader Amanullah. The second of the two HF-24s, scrambled to intercept the starfighters, was shot up by Wing Commander Arif Iqbal, also by gun attack.

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil Date: 10 Dember 1971
Artwork Located:
"Army Staff College, Quetta"

Description:
Mirages from 5 Squadron Sargodha strike IAF Base Pathankot. Apart from the damage inflicted in the technical area by the bombing runs of the formation, the leader Squadron Leader Akhtar Rao (seen in the foreground pulling away after firing his guns) also destroyed two Hunters lining up for take off.
Escorts:

Strike Force:

Squadron Leader Aftab Alam
Squadron Leader Arif Manzoor
Squadron Leader Akhtar Rao (Leader)
Flight Lieutenant Shafique Haider
Flight Lieutenant Farooq Zapata
Flight Lieutenant Hameed Malik

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil Date: 7-Dec-71
Artwork Located:
PAF Art Collection

Description:
As a fierce ground battle raged in the Shakargarh salient below, 4 F-6s from Sargodha challenged 5+ intruding SU-7s of the IAF. Soon, one of the SU-7s began to disintegrate under a burst of 30 mm shells from the F-6 formation leader, Flight Lieutenant Atique Sufi. In the melee that followed, Flight Lieutenant Mushaf Mir sent one more SU-7 down. The remaining SU-7s quickly retreated as they were pursued by the other two F-6 pilots, Flying Officers Salim Arshad and Riaz Sarwar.

Size: 2ft x 3ft Oil Date: 7-Dec-71
Artwork Located:
Office of the AOC Southern Air Command

Description:
The painting shows the two-seat B-57C bomber trainer (No 846) of No 7 Squadron on a daylight raid against the Indian Army units massing up along the Khokrapar-Chor railway line leading into Hyderabad. Affectionately nicknamed "Baba"', the B-57 followed its bombing attacks by several strafing runs on the freight wagons lined up below. "Baba" and its two F-86 escorts from No 19 Squadron (top left) stayed over the target for over 30 minutes. A series of such missions from Masroor Air Force Base forced the enemy to abandon its planned offensive.

B-57 Aircrew

Flight Lieutenant Shabbir A Khan (Pilot)
Squadron Leader Shoaib Alam Khan (Navigator)

F-86 Escorts

Flight Lieutenant Mushtaq A Laghari (Leader)
Flight Lieutenant Khalid Mehmood Khalid (No 2)


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pakistani Talent in Bulgaria - - Story of Friendship With My Childhood Friend Saif


My friend in Bulgaria sent me an interesting video clip of his one-man-show type of performance on the stage in a cultural show on Indian National Day. Before you go through the video clip below; I would like to have an introduction of the guy in this video and background of our friendship.



The guy in the video is my childhood friend Saif, actually Saif-ur-Rehman, who settled in Bulgaria long back in mid 90’s. During this long period of 15/16 years he came only once in the year 2001 to visit his homeland and his family; but thanks to electronic media, we had been in a continuous touch with each other. He got married there and has a very cute son “Ilyas”.



Roots of our friendship go to the year 1985-86; when his father was transferred to PAF base Shorkot. (I’m trying to scratch my memory to dig out the as much details as possible and frankly speaking it’s really amazing to remember good childhood days.) I was studying in seventh standard that time and he got the admission in the same class; so soon we were good friends. But after only few months my father was transferred to Kamra (another PAF base); so our friendship had a sad end just at the beginning. After five years we again came across at PAF Base Sargodha in early 90’s, again due to our parents’ respective job postings.


We had a great fun during this tenure of our friendship. I was a good student contrary to my friend Saif; who was more interested in extra-curricular activities and games. I used to help him in his exams’ preparations. (I would not tell the way I was helping him…………….but I’m sure he would have reminded, if he read this story. It was a real fun). He had always been an active participant of college functions and games. He was crazy about acting and no doubt he has immense talent in this field. To satisfy his thirst of acting he made a dramatic society, named “Allah Tawakkal Art Society”. I’m proud to tell that I was also a humble part of it but he was quite active and enthusiastic member of that Society.


Our dramatic society was engaged in production of commercial stage plays in an open air theatre made on temporary basis. The best part of it was that we were spending the earnings from those stage plays for any social welfare work in our area.


He also made me to travel with him to Islamabad (Capital of Pakistan) to visit TV channels to get an opportunity in TV plays. That time there was only one semi private channel STN (Shalimar Television Network) with Government owned PTV (Pakistan Television). Despite of many efforts he couldn’t succeed to get any chance.


He was in his final year of college; when he decided to visit abroad just for fun. One of our common friends was also accompanied with him. When they were flying towards Bulgaria on a visit visa; no body knew that they had plans to settle somewhere very far from Pakistan. The other friend came back after 5/6 years but Saif couldn’t. He visited us for few days in 2001 and I was there at Jinnah International, Karachi to welcome and see him off again. Since then I didn’t see him live, until I got the video clip to share with you.


He earned a lot of respect in Bulgaria; as a founder member of Bulgarian Cricket Team and presently serving the team as captain and coach. He is trying to establish their name in cricket arena. Bulgarian cricket team participated in different tournaments arranged by ICC and exhibited impressive performance.


Along with his cricket career; he is also pursuing with his acting mania. So he took part in this cultural show on Indian National Day. I wish him very best of luck in his career in the fields of cricket and acting and wish to see him very soon here in Pakistan.


Now see the video below and enjoy.



video
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