It was 6th February, 2008, that I was enrolled in a Masters leading to Ph.D. program at CEMB. And by destiny or design, it was the 6th day of November, 2012, that I was able to submit my Ph.D. Thesis to the University. I spent a little under 5 years in Lahore and every single day was a new experience. Some bad and some good. Now that I lean back and think about the time, I cherish every single bit of memories that I have. I plan to write some of the moments in chronological order shortly. For now, I am pasting the acknowledgement section of my Thesis as a token of thanks to you people. As most of you are not familiar with the system here, I must add that I am not a Doctor YET. Thesis submission indicates that I have achieved the goals of my Ph.D. research and now the University through its own process will determine whether I shall be awarded a degree or not and that process takes a while. A few months if I am lucky.
Monday, September 17, 2012
It was sometime in February, 1973. The Sardar (Chieftain) had another huff from his huqqa (Hubble-Bubble). The expressions on his face told that he was in a very serious conversation. Wind was blowing the flame of the oil-lamp which continuously shortened and lengthened the shadows on the opposite walls. The man on the other side was invisible in the dark. Nobody knew his exact name. In fact he himself did not remember what his real name was. People called him Prince – the assassin. He had his first kill at the age of 13 and after that he counted his age only in terms of killings. From business tycoons to politicians and generals, he assassinated without leaving a trace. His score was 21 kills in 21 attempts! The Sardar was told that Prince never returned and never failed and that is why he took his fee all in advance. Sardar was reluctant but had no choice. After all, he had to do something and there were less than 24 hours left. He could not afford doing nothing.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Although it was a full moon night but it was pitch dark. What to talk of cold winter night moon when sun-rays of the long summer days could seldom penetrate the thick roof of trees. As midnight approached, the fog got denser. The only sounds were those from the barking dogs on the outskirts of the village. It was the oldest graveyard in the country and legend has it that nobody has ever crossed it even in broad day light. And those who had ever attempted, generations ago, never returned. But it seemed like those 3 men would live there. Wanted by police, these outlaws did not have much choice but to live amongst the dead.
Monday, July 16, 2012
It was the third time during the last 20 minutes that he went to the water dispenser and instead poured hot coffee. He was not thirsty. He was nervous. He had reached 2 hours before the appointed hour. He had little food or sleep in the last 7 days. Only half an hour more and the wait would be over. The anxiety was killing him. He was on the verge of lunacy due to this extreme torment. There were other people in the room and their condition was no different. Stress and tension was dripping from their faces. An old man trying to read a magazine but could not get beyond the first few lines. The blonde was pulling her hair unknowingly. The brunette was trying to calm herself, in vain. But the most astonishing was that little kid with the football. What was he doing at a place like this at such a tender age? One by one, these people were getting their reports and left. Some left ecstatic, others were tragic while others indifferent. Finally, it was number 41. He tried to move but his feet did not support him. The scene, which was the only one for the last many days in his mind, played again. The what-if question reverberated in his heart. He did not want to imagine the unthinkable. This one report would make or break his life. Or at least that was what he thought. He dragged himself towards the window. After some identity checks, he received the report.
Monday, July 02, 2012
It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.
– Sherlock Holmes
During the latter half of the 20th century, the focus of science shifted towards molecular biology. Although late, Pakistan joined the bandwagon of research with the establishment of its first research center namely Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB). It is one of the best research centers in the Islamic World attracting students from all over Pakistan as well as abroad. Situated on the west bank of the picturesque Canal Road Lahore, it presents a mix of modern and Islamic architecture. During its 25 years of existence, it has contributed a lion’s share to research in Pakistan.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Sen. Mian Raza Rabbani and others representing Parliament of Pakistan and other non-parliamentary political parties of Pakistan.
Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman, Dr. Javed Laghari, Dr. Sohail Naqvi, Vice-chancellors of all Pakistani universities and students.
180 million Pakistanis
Monday, June 04, 2012
After drinking the potion, the maid fell to the ground, unconscious. The six-year-old boy looked at her in disappointment. He did not expect this. He had made the potion by grinding different insects. The whole idea was that since birds could fly after eating insects, there must be something in the insects. Instead of making the maid fly, he nearly caused her death. And as usual he was beaten by his parents. This was not the first time. A little while ago, he had lit the whole timber warehouse on fire to see what happen to wood after burning!
Monday, May 21, 2012
Sherlock Holmes said: “I am a brain, Watson! The rest of me is simply an appendage.” He may have said it metaphorically but after a century, we can see the practical manifestation. Stephen Hawking, the celebrated physicist and author of the famous book A Brief History of Time, has been paralyzed almost completely by a disease but yet he has made discoveries which most of us can only dream of. A cursory look at his life would convince you that he is nothing short of a miracle. But I am thinking of a more obvious yet unnoticed miracle that is happening around us.
Monday, May 07, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
A few weeks ago, there was an essay competition. There were many topics but the one I chose to write on was “Rights and Obligations of Parents”. I submitted an entry and with your support and prayers, I got 80,379th position amongst 80,380 participants. Relieved, I wondered who the one person could be whom I had beaten. And to my surprise, it was me. They have entered my name twice! I shall post that essay on the blog sometime in the future for you people to read. And before that competition, I participated in another essay competition about science fiction and as usual, I came last. So my friends, an ingenious idea came into my mind. I should announce to hold an essay/post/poem/writing competition on our blog. Next I would submit an article with a pseudonym (Forensic Biologist) and then after thoroughly reading every post, I would declare Forensic Biologist as the winner of the competition. So in order to do this exercise, I request you all kindly submit your writings if you want these to be posted on our blog as guest posts. And if I won, I will treat you all with a lavish party, all expenses paid by yourselves. Following are the rules.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Look at the picture below. What can you see? A baby with a mother, and you can feel the emotions, compassion and the love of a mother for her child. So what is special about this picture? The baby is symbolically the 7 billionth baby born in the World. But does the mother care? To her the baby is worth more than the 7billion minus 1 people around the world. It was April 12, 2011. Time was 11:37PST and I got the computer generated reply from the Newspaper to which I had submitted my article for the 10th time. Somehow, I remembered about a friend having a blog and his requesting us to comment on it. It was a long time ago. So I thought why not try to have my own blog. And hence, I posted my first blog exactly 1 year ago. Even though there were around 150 million more blogs already online but still I wanted to have my own. Just like the mother of the 7 billionth baby loving her child, I love my blog.
Thursday, April 05, 2012
“main apni sis ki profile pai hoon... kabhi vo bhi yahan shouq say aya jaya karti thi.... ajj vo hum main hotay hoay hum main nahi..... she is in coma.... plz all frnds ..pray for her ..........”.
(I am on my sister profile. At times, she would come here with zeal and zest. Today she is not with us even though living. She is in coma. Please friends pray for her)
I got this status update on a friend’s FB wall. And by this I thought that a sister of my friend is in coma. So I would pray for her. Through texts and FB we were in touch. And yesterday she asked, “Who are you?” I shot back, “Who are you?” She replied I am her sister. And suddenly everything was changed. I was in shock. I asked where is my friend and she replied that don’t know where is she please pray for her. I came back to the FB page and re-read this update and now I think how dumb I was. It was clearly written that it was my friend who is in coma. She is in coma for at least the last couple of weeks. Doctors are not sure what to say. I request everybody who visits our blog that please pray for her.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Years come and go. During the course of years a lot of things happen in life. So many things go unquestioned and a lot of questions go unanswered. Some of the questions have the great influence in our lives and sometimes they play very important role to survive they are not based on the consumption of oxygen per day but they are more important than oxygen. There are few words which remain unsaid while others go unheard. Some dreams are buried alive while some are born dead. Happiness and gloom walk together hand in hand. Things that sometimes make us laugh become a reason to cry and then life moves on. This is what life actually is.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Hujra is considered to be the most important part of the Pukhtoon culture. It can be loosely translated as a social club. From the western mountainous terrains of Pakistan to the heart of Afghanistan and throughout the world, where there are Pukhtoons, there exists the Hujra. Exclusively for the male population, it serves host to all parts of social life of the Pukhtoon society, from resolving internal community disputes to the ceremonies of wedding. Being prospered for centuries, the very existence of Hujra is threatened, due in part to modernization and in part to the Western democracy.
Monday, February 13, 2012
It was the summer of 1999. We had just moved into our new house, in yet a new city. After few days, we somehow managed to set our stuff in the house. One day, out of curiosity, I entered the underground hall. At the end of it, there was that tiny little room. Even though it was a sunny noon, in that hall it was absolute dark. With the torch light, I dared to enter it. There was a small rusty padlock. I touched it and the hall echoed with a clicking sound. The lock opened and with it, my heart skipped a beat out of fear. Gathering courage, I entered and the room was almost empty! There were no windows, no cupboards, no furniture or anything. And then when I was about to leave the room, my foot struck something and with it I fainted.
Monday, January 30, 2012
It is sometime in the month of november, 2008. The day is saturday and it is the last lecture before the final exam. The dial on the wall shows it is 9.25 A.M. and we are waiting for our English class teacher. Yes, being a non-English speaking country, we need English lectures even at Ph.D. level. It is more of a communication and writing class. In comes the teacher, sits as usual. and out of the blue, he says today is going to be a debate. We are surprised. How can he? The topic is "Life is Absurd?". Even though nothing pleases me more than an extempore writing, the exact opposite is true when it comes to speeches and that too an impromptu one. But unfortunately or fortunately, I am not feeling well and can not take part or else I would have liked to utter a few incoherent sentences in my blabber.
Monday, January 23, 2012
The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.
– Sherlock Holmes
It was said a century ago when there was no concept of DNA. But today DNA identification is used as the ultimate and irrefutable tool in criminal justice system and paternity disputes, immigration, endangered species movement, among many other applications. Forensic science has moved a long way from the time of Sherlock Holmes and the obvious things are surely observed in specialized laboratories with utmost care.
Monday, January 16, 2012
A seven year old child asked his mother, “Mama, are there schools in hell too?” feeling surprised his mother said “NO.” The child said, “Then why do people fear to go to hell?”
Surely a joke. An innocent thought of an innocent mind but thought provoking, nevertheless. Why do children, of all ages, fear their teachers or going to school?
Teacher is taken for as an initiator, a guide, a mentor and a moralist. He is expected to be a paragon of knowledge and morality. He is expected to work hard and sincerely discharge the duty of imparting knowledge, assigned to him.
Monday, January 09, 2012
A diamond is forever. This line was immortalized by De Beers and when we think of diamonds, the first image which comes to mind is that of the prospectors of Kimberley, South Africa, or the markets of Belgium or Surat, India. But in Lahore when the topic is diamond market, it means only and only one place: Shahi Mohalla (Royal Neighbourhood). Established by the Mughal Emperors some 500 years ago, it is located in the proximity of the Shahi Qila (Royal Fort) and Badshahi Masjid (Royal Mosque). The royals and the elites used to visit this place to entertain themselves with the music, singing and dancing. The most famous musicians and dancers used to live here. The beautiful girls (called Heeras or Diamonds) sat in the balcony type stalls to attract the visitors. Even though when the British came and the place was diluted with the ‘other’ trade, still there are dancers and musicians living in the area. But now it is synonymous with the Red Light area of Lahore. And then of those balcony type houses, one is converted into a 5-star restaurant, known is Cooco's Den, by one of the Area’s own, Iqbal Hussain, a maestro of arts and painting. The restaurant is frequented by elites of the city as well as foreigners. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are sitting on the roof top enjoying the food.
Monday, January 02, 2012
Sherlock Holmes is sitting in room number 221 in a five star hotel of Lahore. He along with his friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson, is on vacations. Dr. Watson is reading local news on his iPad while Holmes is busy staring down the windows observing the people in the street below. The intercom rings and the operator says that there is a Mr. Rana Mujeeb wants to see him. Both men look each other with surprised expression and then tell the operator to send the man in. Mr. Mujeeb is looking pale, is about 60 year old and visibly rich but worried. He barges in to the room and asks almost pleadingly for help to Mr. Holmes, but upon seeing another man in the room, he stops midway through his sentence.