The Him of Our Society

Every day is a new challenge. But the real challenge of everyday is to follow that one same aspect of your routine that you most despise. In my case, it is the walk. The walk, which might have been the best part of my day, had it come with different circumstances.

I wake up at the same time every morning and drive up the Mall Road of Lahore to get to my destination, the National College of Arts. I park my car behind one of the heritage buildings of Lahore known as the Tolinton Market and get out of my car, which is when my heart starts to race and my breath becomes heavier. Now is the time to cross the street filled with dark eyed, smirking men on bikes and rickshaws, staring and gawking at every passing female pedestrian, one of which is me. I know I have to walk fast, I console myself thinking, “watch your steps, don’t trip, don’t worry, it’s just a thought and a building to cross.”

I hold my bag close to my body, and stiffen my shoulders, as I start to walk away from my car and towards the first street. As I leave the parking lot I look towards the right and then the left to see all the cars, rickshaws and bikes. As the traffic breaks I pull my thoughts together and cross the street as fast as I can. Now and then I wish there was someone walking by me, a familiar face, a person who is safe. I look around to see if someone I know is close by and would walk with me to the NCA gate, but I catch the eyes of the men staring at my direction, scanning me with their dark piercing eyes.

My heartbeat fastens and I quicken my pace, I cross the Lahore museum, lowering my gaze towards the path and console myself thinking, “It’s just a few more steps.” As I reach the college gate and take the first step inside, my heartbeat goes back to normal, the horror is lifted. I can finally feel the air I breathe filling my chest and thanking God for the life ahead.

Over the past year I experience this every day and I feel like I may never get over this, but then I question, is it just my thought or is this actually happening? One of my professors once commented on this attitude of our nation saying, “our people are just prone to stare, we are a staring nation, and it doesn’t necessarily have to mean anything if someone is staring at us. We just can’t get rid of it.”

I agree to the fact that we are a staring nation, and I myself sometimes get lost in a thought and don’t realize where my eyes are affixed while I am experiencing a metaphysical realm of reverie.  However, the women on the streets, going about their business in this part of the world are more likely to have their eyes fixed on the ground than the men roaming the streets purposeless, as they may seem.

This makes one wonder is it the clothing or the figure of a woman, which of these is so enticing, even though she is most likely covered from head to toe with no room to peak.

With literally millions of women, maybe even more than men in this world; so common it is to see ‘her’ moving past you every single day, then why is it that the ‘him’ of our society feels the need to hold a sociopathic stare as she passes by in the markets and streets?

 

 

The Essence of Life

Go back in time to a dream you first saw. That dream which you confused with reality. Or was it a reality which you perceived to be a dream? The souls exist in the back of your mind, those conversations which supposedly happened in front of your eyes, that house which was once your home, the house which might not exist anymore. Now you go ahead and shut your eyes, you are already living way too many lives. Take a deep breath so that the air may travel to your heart; make this connection to what is a world apart. The past which was once in the innocence of your childhood may show you the intimate threads of connection. You see yourself where and there is where you live, the place where your child self is not at all afraid. He is safer, he is calmer, he is once again curious. He is excited about the future with no memories of the past, and that is the past which you long for, a past which was the present with no memories of the past.

The house that you visualize is yours alone. You live in peaceful solitude, as you visualize your private, warm corners in that dim lit room. You are connected to yourself and your beautiful pure soul. The air is light, blurry is your sight, but it is and will always be yours and yours alone.

It’s vast, it’s far and wide. It is as you saw it as a little knight, fighting your emotions, accepting what you have without the knowledge of it being real or a dream perhaps. The movement is smooth; you walk through that room, up the stairs as you rise, the compassion, passion and butterflies. You are eager, curious to explore that house; a space which you think is only without. But, you have to know, just, need to know, the house is not without, but a space within. Every dream you ever had with open eyes, every second you were lost in the well of thought, you explored the depths of your own existence and reunited the fragments of the treasure of memory; the calm and hopeful treasure and the very essence of life.

 

THE EFFECTS OF LIGHT

TADAO ANDO: THE CHURCH OF THE LIGHT

For Ando, the Church of Light is architecture of duality – the dual nature of existence – solid/void, light/dark, stark/serene.  The coexisting differences leave the church void of any, and all, ornament creating a pure, unadorned space.  The intersection of light and solid raises the occupants’ awareness of the spiritual and secular within themselves.

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CHRIS FRASER: 2010 INSTALLATION

The One line drawing on the ceiling of Mills College Art Museum. 2010 installation by Chris Fraser is a horizontal aperture. Through the day it rapidly changes the effect of light on the space of size, 17 x 17 x 10’ (LWH).

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LE CORBOUSIER

The church of St Pierre in Firminy. The building is ever-changing with accidental waves of light projected across the walls from refracted sunlight that appear at certain times of the day and year. There are much smaller, circular openings that emulate star constellations twinkling and shimmering as the angle of sunlight changes and as the natural light becomes diffused or direct.

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LOUIS KAHN

“A plan of a building should be read like a harmony of spaces in light. Even a space intended to be dark should have just enough light from some mysterious opening to tell us how dark it really is. Each space must be defined by its structure and the character of its natural light.”

The “mysteriousness” of shadow was also closely linked to evoking silence and awe. For Kahn, while darkness evokes the uncertainty of not being able to see, of potential dangers, it also inspires deep mystery. It is in the hands of the architect to evoke silence, secret or drama with light and shadow – to create a “treasury of shadows,” a “Sanctuary of Art.”

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LIGHT GRAIN BY YOSHIAKI YAMASHITA ARCHITECT & ASSOCIATES

Light Grain is a minimalist residence located in Osaka Japan. The structure is characterized by a mesh metal grate that provides the residents with natural lighting without visual transparency to the pedestrians below. In addition, due to the proximity of neighboring homes, the architects created an interior courtyard to allow for additional illumination and air flow.

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THERMA VALS BY PETER ZUMTHOR

 The design of the building uses slits in the roof at the joining of two slabs which leads the formation of apertures leading natural light inside the building in a way that it has a cooling visual effect as well as an abstract light and shade effect.  Light comes from many sources, from the walls, the windows, and even the water. There is a play with reflection and refraction as a result of the water’s effect on the textured walls and the color of the walls. The light then creates an atmosphere that is serene, healing, and luminous; almost mysterious as to where it is coming from, similar to a cathedral.

THE LAVOURE ABU DHABI MUSEUM BY ATELIERS JEAN NOUVEL

 The design aims at creating a welcoming world which associates lights and shadows as well as shimmers and calm places in a serene atmosphere. It also aims at emphasizing the fascination generated by rare encounters.  It is rather unusual to find a built archipelago in the sea; it is even more uncommon to see that it is protected by a parasol flooded with a rain of lights. It is both a calm and complex place which clearly stands out in a series of museums that make a point of maintaining their differences and their authenticities.

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A FEW RANDOM LIGHT IMAGES

An Oblivious Existence

Staring into oblivion, his eyes see what he does not see.

He looks far and deep unto the horizon, he breathes what he does not speak.

His mind blinded by the light so bright

His eyes blinded by a desert of fright.

 

He sits with his legs crossed at the knees.

As the world in front, is buried beneath.

The sorrow wells, he turns to rock,

As time passes, his peace dissolves.

 

And then the life of his is distorted,

In the form of crystals and bruises blotted.

He’s ripped to shreds with complete dignity,

He’s a coward, a dog, a hog and incendiary.

 

His mind is pierced with the thought of thinking,

His heart smells the danger condensing.

And then he trusts what’s not to be trusted,

The earthly, the ecstatic and the worded.

 

Now, he’s old and brittle, decrepit,

But, he’s strong and stubborn, masculine.

He believes and endures what comes to him,

As he knows he brought it unto him.

 

A lover tries to console his soul,

The lover he has neglected and loathed.

He seems to forget, what he has never heeded,

Staring into oblivion, he’s rigorously rigid.

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L’oeil, David Altmejd, 2017

Healing

A layer of metal under my skin.

A protection for what is fragile.

So you can’t tear my beautiful fin.

My heart and soul is bright and agile.

I healed myself by myself.

I healed all that was to heal.

You broke nothing, you should know.

All your efforts are a fail.

Do me a favour and ask youself,

What your words worth ehat you lost?

My heart and soul are synced too well,

For negativity to penetrate the shell.

If your vision told you the worst,

Why did you tolerate me thus?

For all so long you dragged me on,

Then I’m hanging and you’re gone.

But doesn’t it all matter no more

Since my life is so much better than yours.

Whatever you judge of me

Only be a reflection of thee.

Whatever you claim it is

Says what in your heart besits.

Now my heart and I are so free

Of thee and all other adversity.

I shall breathe the long and happy breath

Deep and relaxing it shall be.

I will live with a purpose and genuine beam,

This ignorance shall never make me scream.

TRY

You tried so hard, you tried consistently.

You say you did, but, did you really?

You seem unhappy, you are always depressed.

It takes the best of you and you claim to have panic attacks.

But all you do is ‘try’.

Why is it that you ‘try’?

You dont ‘do’ you just ‘try’.

You try to fight for what you want.

You try to fix what went wrong.

Is it that you console yourself?

Or is it that you actually ‘try’?

Because, what you and I, both don’t realise is that ‘trying’ is a ‘thought’ and not an ‘act’.

‘Try’ is a ‘barrier’, a ‘hurdle’, a ‘rock’.

So don’t you ‘try’, don’t you dare ‘try’.

Just do what you can, and then do what you can’t.

Do that which is ‘mad’, do that which is ‘bad’.

Do that which is ‘wrong’, do that what makes you ‘strong’.

Because whether you like it or not.

“YOU ARE DYING ALONE”.

The Perfect Pen

Art is a word. It is just a three letter word, a sound one makes from their mouths, like every other sound we produce to talk, express or impress. But it is the meanings, the romanticism, the clichés and all the other vast meaning we attach to this word which need to be contemplated. We describe things we don’t understand as art. We label thing we refuse to understand as art. And once we have done that, we attach the idea of madness with the one who forms the art. The artist is widely known as mad and eccentric.

Another way we see art or artist is a person who creates visuals out of paint and brush and other tools. The instruments and gizmos used to create what the eye can see and the mind can name, tools which are used with sheer level of skill to create visuals, so pure and perfect to be named with one’s mind and held with one’s eyes.

But little do we understand that art in itself is a word so fluid, it can be used to appreciate anything and every skill which exists on planet earth and beyond its horizons. But there’s a condition, the idea and skill behind anything called art should be nothing less than the excellent and exceptional.

One of my favorite quotes, from a brilliant movie describes this, and i.e. the idea: “Not everyone can become a great artist, but great art can come from anywhere.” And that is exactly what distinguishes the ordinary from the extraordinary. The ability to take a leap of faith, to think the new, to understand the existing, and to observe the ordinary from a phenomenal, unprecedented angle leading to an excellence of consciousness and instinct together working on producing the “new”.

ART: The Essence of Life

Art come in all forms, from the mother excellent at cooking breakfast pancakes to the painter, who is a master at using his brush, and the writer who uses his pen in the ambition to make a change. The tool, the idea, the conscious, the subconscious, the knowledge and the ignorance; all of it together becomes the perfect pen. And a pen is the agent for recording the essence of life. And that record is ART.

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Empty Souls by Muhammad Ali Bhatti

 

Full Stop

I told him, I cared about his work more than he did, and it was a tongue slip. I did not mean to say it but it came out that way. I believed it to be true because it was true because I wasn’t consciously saying that. Yet I destroyed it, it was in front of me and I destroyed it, he trusted me and I broke it. I disappointed myself more than I disappointed him. I felt broken and sad and helpless. I was better off being completely helpless. I tried. But I was ignorant.

I care, but I proved otherwise. I am naive, it is worst to say and destroy rather than just destroy. But earlier on I criticized someone who ruined something of mine, and I was mean to him, and it was karma which worked against me. Now I can’t show him my face. I can’t see his. I can’t face him at all. I have lost all my chances. I never get a second chance

I don’t want a second chance. It will be true to just look at him from a far. And never get near. I don’t want to hurt him again. I love him. But wait, about how many have I used the word love? Am I real with this? I have made this word so mediocre. I hate me for it. But do I really hate me? Because if I did. I would be dead. Am I even sincere? No I am not. What am i? I don’t know. I have feelings for him. I want to see him succeed. I want him to be the artist. My friend called him a stud. Yes he is. And what am I a big blob of flesh. Yes I am. I am despicable. Everyone in my life seems to despise me including me.

Acting like a hopeless romantic isn’t going to cut into anything. I want him to be something great which he is and is capable of more than this. But I am not going to be piercing into his life anymore. And the solution to all of my problems seems to be silence. If only I could condition myself into being silent, and listening to all. I need to stay silent, observe, and work on my life and my body.

Talk about body: If this is actually love the way I feel at the moment is supposed to make me a little more than slim, and that is skinny. I do love him. I will keep living him. And keep these feelings alive, I shall never tell him. I shall stay secretive. I will keep it in my heart hidden in the safest place so that no one can take it out of me. I will stay this way, this will be my success. It is amazing how the minutest thing as a dot can actually become a full stop. And this is a stop.

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