As a little boy in Lahore, I saw buffalos for the first time. They were strange animals, neither cow nor goat. To me they were like elephants without trunks. I was fascinated by them. I loved watching them wade in the water for hours. I would watch the young farmers accompany them, pamper them and clean them. The buffalos were the farmer’s pets, friends that they could whisper to. At times farmer and buffalo would swim together and the farmer’s wet clothes would cling to their bodies. I loved the buffalo and their young farmers. Continue reading The Boy and his Buffalos
Little did I know in the start of that summer it was my last one in Lahore. By the fall of same year I was 6,300 km away on British Council fellowship at Chelsea School of Arts. Then I was teaching photography at NCA. Most afternoons,after college, I would traipse the city to discover new places, sample food, drink copious quantities of sugarcane juice with lemon and ginger, and to photograph people.
If you have stored your treasures of archived negatives and slides like I have, hung systematically in a filing cabinet, I dare you to lift them out. Even a cursory glance using your naked eyes, will bring you face to face with those captured moments. Be prepared for a time travel ride in a golden carriage; the images have that magic.
One-off and unique, hand-painted and hand-crafted silk dresses for women, like no other. And with a mission! Created by my fine artist friend from Pakistan, Zehra Hasnain, who graduated from NCA the year I joined back then in 1980. It was she who gave my parents the much-needed nudge to agree that arts was the right career choice for me. Little was she to know, art is my way of life!
She was always an urban chic, though having gotten married and in raising her fabulous four sons, her passion for painting took a back seat. Nevertheless she created a home that can only be described as magical. From the sculpted fountains, to the clothes and interior designs, all have her creative signature. I met her recently after a gap of thirty odd years. Her aesthetics continue to transform the world around her. And she has shared her blessings all along with those less fortunate than her. She is now following her heart in a radical way. Continue reading Connections ~ Modigliani Chughtai and Zehra
9/11/1988 changed my world…
Three of my photography students insisted I spent the last night with them in Pindi, Pakistan. We chatted, ate plenty good food, watched films on VHS and barely slept. Crashed out and caught a few winks in the same room, the living room, on couches, sofas and some on the floor with little or no bedding. Morning came, we had breakfast as we were in the family home of one of them . A tedious, dangerous yet exciting journey through a hail storm as the little entourage on motorcycles Continue reading Marking my 9/11