There was a time when the world was comparatively peaceful, with less violence and load shedding and I was a younger fool. There was a strange charm in the air that I don't feel any more. People used to be nice but later on I learned a the truth that everyone wears a mask and tries to show the best of them. With time, the mask wears off and then we are left with the ugly real person whose ugliness remains hidden from them and even if someone tries to show them the mirror, they take that as an offensive act. I moved to a different city and even here I met some masks. This time I was prepared to see the ugly part. Somewhere deep in my heart, I was curious to see the faces of Darth Wader and Leatherface. I knew they are gonna be real ugly. Time flew by and many masks were gone. All the fears turned out to be true. One villain of my story had a really beautiful mask. I cannot help but narrate the beauty here. I still remember those deep eyes lined with thick rows of lashes. Their magic had pulled many men to ruins. The lips that could make any man, and in a secular world women too, crave for them. In fact when I am writing them, I am putting my perspective and experience into the shape of words which is a proof that I was one of those effected. Someone once told me "Every lie has an age. Every spell has an age. After that we are not attracted to that any longer" And I remember those words. That age ended and the mask flaked out revealing a hideous and mean face underneath. Another of the villain had the mask of goodness. She was too fat to wear a physical mask, that's why she sent her pictures to get them edited. And her apparently incapable looks were hidden under the literal masks programmes like Photoshop offered. But that wasn't a mask I would be mentioning here. I mean who won't want to look good in pictures. We all do. So did she. But one night I came across her real mask. That goodness was a lie, a trap she used to lay before the steps of boys and men of all age, all race to trap them. I picked up the mask praying inside that I be wrong. But another time my fears became true. It was hers. She wasn't what she portrayed. It was a mask. I picked that up and brought home. By that time I had become allergic to the villains. Something inside me started irritating me when I come across someone like the villains already been there. The third time it was a lady who like any other young lady would have wishes and desires and among these desires, there must exist desires of passion and love. But love is not for sale, at least not until it is a handsome price. And a Punjabi Saint has said it well that no price is too handsome for love to be bought or to be sold. But this villain did. She sold that love for some price tag. I was expecting what we normally expect out of modern love stories - breakup. But something else happened. The family got to know about her masks and tales and that upset her father to an extent that he ended in a hospital. She said he is unwell because of his arthritis. But I have been to the wards. It was a cover-up I saw through. And then one day, she disappeared. I got the news that she was moved to another city and is getting "settled". I picked up the mask she had dropped and came home and added to the collection. It's just a coincidence that all these villains I have mentioned so far were ladies. But I didn't do that out of bias. The villains are following a code of equality and the ladies have outnumbered men so far. But if it might make someone or anyone uncomfy I can add a villain who without any mask robbed a car outside my college, he was a man. Another man tried to kill his wife and was arrested by the neighbors and was beaten to near death. He ended in the ER of the hospital and was not wearing any mask. Here it was a talk about masks and not the gender equality. But an exposure so far to the villainous world has shown that men might be more violent in the acts of villainy they do but they won't hide that. Boys are known to think between the legs. It has become a stigma. I do accept that they do. But that still doesn't change the reality that women are human too and humans have desires. It is not, at least in a present society, that out of shame they don't express. It remains a mask of goodness. We should face this reality that whenever it is said that boys would talk and want only sexual appetite, won't there be a question of what would the counterpart girl want? But there remained so many poets and philosophers but none succeeded in measuring the depths of the heart of a woman. If an enormous goodness can fill that depth, so can a massive darkness. It doesn't take one villain to use some of that darkness and stitch a mask out of it. A mask of innocence, excuses and lies. 

Aamir Bilal

(SirfAB-Repair)-Our Words Our Lives

Writing has remained one of the oldest known things to man. Even history books have chapters on hieroglyphs and caveman drawings which include some writing and other prescriptions on the walls which have reached to us thousands of years later and until I had history lessons in school, those words had marks. Now I realize that words do carry their weight. This takes time to realize but examples are many. In fact, without words this page you are reading would appear blank. The billboards we come across while on the roads have words on them. I once could not write correct words in an exam and I remember a long scold that followed. Words are really important. That's why we have places, at least I can say that for sure regarding my city, named after literature, the building block of which are words. Urdu Bazar is a place to get books on almost any topic and subject. We cannot reach levels of satisfaction without consuming words on a regular basis. Last semester I had a psychiatry ward in which a teacher taught about an illness which affects people who confine themselves at home and don't talk to anyone. Words flow to us in the form of ads, talks, texts, emails, dramas, movies, newspaper, gossip, backbiting (lets not forget we are still humans), blogs, videos, pictures as is said that a picture is a thousand words, and even the holy books. Atheists and secular folks can skip to the next paragraph. God has enormous resources, he build the sun, the moon, the earth etc and so many other things but the most amazing creation of God is man. And here it means both man and woman - the human! And as religion says Prophets have been good versions of humans so if God can make humans and billions of them, he can keep sending good men to guide them. He is not short of resources. But he sent books. Books to keep at least some who are willing to be on a path of righteousness, even though some recently published and popular secular books claim that a man can be a good man without involving religion. But hey! This is not an argument about religion. It is something about words. And it was an example to show that with all his super awesome resources, God preferred words. And even that writer who wrote the secular book also used words to support his claim. I must add one thing here. This is not a piece of writing affiliated with Microsoft. They make a software which goes by the name of word but that is not the meaning I am conveying. Obviously why would God use Microsoft Word!

In recent days I witnessed some uncivilized activities in the country I live in, including some mistakes people are doing. I cannot elaborate what they were and what role I played to correct that and to cut the long story short, I saw a social injustice happening and reporting that could have been futile as the system of society is blackened on the inside. Newspaper seems a boring path, at least for me as most of the content of news is of political origin and politics don't interest me. I used two things i.e. the internet and some words. Those words I threw forward in a hope to bring about some change. A week passed and nothing happened. It was a bit depressing but later on the words hit their designated target. The higher authorities took a notice of that and I was much relieved to see my words making a little change in bringing a little good to some social evils. A few good words are like a few good soldiers. They can bring a change. I didn't hear this, I lived this. And then I used some words to write that here for others to believe that our words are our lives. Make them count!

Aamir Bilal

(SirfAB-Repair)-Your Vote Can (NOT) Make A Difference

I was told that my vote can make a difference. The voice that said that came from with in. Deep from within some thoughts provoked a statement which in simple terms would be

"I must play my part in the change to kick out the corrupt leaders and vote for those who can, hopefully, do something good to make Pakistan a better place. I don't want my children to be born in a country where women are raped by influential


 and land mafia of political origins snatches people's life savings or even atrocities are on the rise."

May 11th, 2013. The sun rose like it rises. From the side all cameras and


come but it brought with it a new hope. I have never been to the polling stations. And this was my first time I ever been to the polling station. The roads were deserted. It felt much like


 day but without kids in colorful clothes or goats depending upon the


. The activists of a political party came to my apartment and rang the bell. They were providing a service to the people to take them to the polling station and convincing the people to vote for a political party. I reached the polling station in less than five minutes. The first thing that shocked me was the number of people there. It was not packed but the number of people there was handsome. Uncles and aunties, boys and girls, even people on wheelchair and crutches filled the place. It was a women college near my home. The queue was long but I didn't get bored. People from all walks of life were talking politics. I must say that our nation is good at talking and so


 good at talking about politics. Deep inside me, I had a solemn prayer that my vote adds to the millions of other votes to bring a change that we all want, we all need and we all dream about. We want a place where people are NOT killed by

Namaloom Afraad

 and the next morning their bodies end up in gunny sacks and the deaf eared leaders don't hear the wails of mothers, a place where an ambulance carrying a dying man is NOT stopped to let the convoy of a powerful and politically connected man pass, a place where a woman is NOT raped or killed in the name of honor. I want a place like many other fellow countrymen where it is success and peace. I don't want an "income support programme", I want a job. I don't want "loans", I want a stable life.I don't want corrupt land lord's son kidnap the women of my family. I don't want to ride on "Metro Bus" when the roads are a killing ground. I don't want my children to be born in a place where injustice prevails! With there thoughts I stamped the papers and folded them into their respective boxes.

The evening turned depressing as massive rigging was done throughout the city. Videos and pictures of ballot boxes being opened and the votes already cast being torn circulated on the internet. The cheaters and traitors won again. The hope that was born was killed before it took its first step. People who support evil, pay the price of that sooner or later. All those who support the evil don't enjoy the gains. Only a handful masterminds of such corrupt atmosphere of the city are enjoying it while many "workers" of the political party are used like like condoms and one day killed and thrown. They are replaced by new faces and this goes on. One can pick up a newspaper and find the number of people killed in the city on a regular basis. Someone once told me that Living in Karachi is really something to brag about. So many have gone in the wait of change and a future with happiness. I wonder how many more precious lives we have to sacrifice until we see that dawn.

(SirfAB-Repair)-Late Night Lesson

A lady called me last night. Being a Saturday night, and a tiring one as well, I was trying to sleep as much as I can as the week had been full of adventures. At the time when I gathered my stamina to get myself a glass of water, I noticed my phone's screen blinking constantly. I had no courage to have a long talk. Each joint was in dire need of rest. But the blinking started again when I gulped down two glasses of water. With a mixed feeling, I swiped the screen to talk. It started as every call starts and ends like almost all others. But I was given an advice. It was quite a short one but like a mirror that shows wrinkles and all those moments gone with it, the memories were alive. She talked about what normally a girl would talk about; dramas, music, clothes, more clothes and even more clothes. Oh yes, add the ex-lovers of the girl too. They fund for these clothes who later on get labelled as "meri pocket money se liye hain". She told me that she loved someone in the past who, as all the boys of the world, left her. And she was honest in her relationship, it took her time to come back to the normal life which still is not that normal anymore. She kept talking as this is another universal phenomenon, that in a call between a girl and a boy, she talks and he listens or not. Wink!

She mentioned two things which were enlightenment. First, it takes time for a person to come out of a tragedy, which in her case was a failed relationship despite her being honest. For some people that time can be weeks, for others it is months and for some others, it never happens in this life. Even if one such person is able to come out of that trauma, the memories become ghosts that haunt the house of mind and the heart. Now the second thing. If someone is true to a thing, which as I must point out in her case was a relationship that never ended in a positive manner, that person feels the most in case of a tragic end. Her love was not fruitful and it hurt her a lot, as she claims, more than it had hurt that boy. Although there is a chance of a bias as she was narrating the story, she would call herself the innocent and the other as the villain. But if we look at the architecture of the event rather than the characters, it becomes obvious that someone who has invested in a venture, feels the most hurt if that venture gets impaired. Whether it is time, or money or feelings, no one would want them to go waste. I feel, personally, that this is the one thing why teachers love their kids. They invest their love, their affection and knowledge and never want their investments go bad. In her life story, she invested her time, her efforts, her own self but it still never returned as she wanted it to. And now she has become a wise person, compared to a foolish teen she once were. Her eyes can now see the world more clearly, despite her spectacles.

Her words are still echoing as my fingers touch the keyboard. "The one who never wants a good end finds the excuse one after another. Whether it is money or faith or even an ideal khala ka beta, excuses would keep flowing in like a river of lies. And for a girl, even making up a khala ka beta is no difficult!" - The Lady

Oh, I remember. I slept after that!

Aamir Bilal

(SirfAB-Repair)-A Rich Man. A Poor Man

I recently got posted to the Surgical-3 (S3) at Civil Hospital Karachi. It is nice so far. There is something to learn every day. The teachers are nice, at least so far, although this has happened very rare in my life that teacher and nice go together. Maybe it is the other way around but that's a separate story. Since my first day at the medical college, I come across students and doctors that bear the common qualities and traits much like birthmark attributes. So coming across people who always talk about books and something academic is a makeup I see on a daily basis. I have never seen a person from my class who talks about music, good music at least! Or movies, good movies at least or art and here I mean art in any form. I feel surrounded by grey souls who are crazy about exams followed by results. I am not Picasso or even DaVinci. But one can understand the situation only by comparing one fact; in almost all medical colleges of the Punjab, there is one "Debating Society" and even one "Arts and Photographic Community" which comprises of those students who like the grey souls of my college have to appear in exams and remain curious about results. Ah! We have none in my college. So expecting something artful from a colleague is like expecting a man to be pregnant! And I would never expect that. Never! It's so creepy even to think like that.

Today I had a class in the Operating Theater(OT) of the hospital. When a patient was brought to the ward, she was unconscious already. It was the first patient of our room. She had abdominal hernia for which she was to have the surgery. I reached earlier today as it was Friday and everyone is in a haste on a Friday, even the Christians. No you got me wrong. The buses leave at 12 noon so everyone has to grab one. I was not referring to the Juma! The first surgery was lengthy and it got some PG trainees awarded with serious scolds from the Head of Department who was there as well. No one asks about the final year to that serious level of concern. My phone always remained a wonderful companion. It makes me stay connected to the world of internet but as I had no internet access today, I killed the time by continuously snapping pictures. It is fun.

The next patient was a poor old man. He came to the theater by himself. And he looked really old. A white beard and black spectacles were the only striking features that I noted first. He came silently and sat on the bed surrounded by all sorts of scissors and equipment. But he remained calm, unlike other patients. I was sitting across the hall waiting for the surgery to begin. They took him to an adjacent room and gave him a plain robe. It was really plain, just like the dress of a new born or someone in plain coffins. The surgery began shortly and we got called to another unit where a female patient was being operated upon. She happened to be someone from middle class. It was obvious from her appearance. And even she was wearing the same dress all patients are supposed to wear when they are undergoing a surgery. It brought back to my mind a moment when I was in Lahore and I happened to visit someone really rich who was suffering from some granulation in liver. He was in a really posh hospital of Lahore that time. And before going in, he was asked to wear plain green color dress that, as the story goes, all patients wear. In all these three cases, the patients had successful surgeries. But the teacher once told us that some unlucky patients go to their "death" beds rather than theater beds. It is a fight a doctor must win but at a level, all human knowledge fails, all machines become useless and the angel of death takes the soul away to a promised land. What if that patient is a billionaire? What if he is a beggar? The worldly possessions and the un-understandable race seems totally an illusion. The technicians removed the watch from the old man's arm and the rings from the ladies hands just like they took away the precious clothes of the man in Lahore. Every grey soul of my class discussed the arteries, structures and incisions involved in the surgery. I took a picture of the hand of the patient. It was so similar to all the hands I have seen, including my own. Why a difference then when all that matters is beyond illusion? But it takes time to see the truth beyond illusion for both a rich man and a poor man, just like being a human is more important than being a poor or being a rich. A poor man. A rich man.

Aamir Bilal

Drag image to look around. Image below is stereoscopic. View on a capable browser. 

(SirfAB-Repair)-A Late Night Visitor

Just when I was about to sleep, I had a guest. It was a man younger than me. He looked like that he was born after I had celebrated some birthdays. But from his face, he appeared wise. Wrinkles showed what he had been through. And that was nothing good. He came in my room. I remember closing the door before moving to bed. Then how did he come in! This thought sent a shiver down my spine. It was then he came closer and sat next to me. I was not asleep or dozing. I was wide awake. Light was pouring in from the window and as he moved towards me, his face was more clear. It was my own self. My experience! Younger than my age but battered enough. Born after me but filled with wisdom extracted from the cruelty and injustice of people with fake egos. He handed me some papers. I grabbed what he had to offer. I looked at them turning on my phone's screen. And I started reading. It was new set of lies and a new avalanche of deceit and dishonesty. I paused what I was reading and looked up. He was gone. But before going, he imparted some wisdom like an honest friend. I looked at the words again. It fills me with an uncomfortable feeling in writing this confession that some dishonest, corrupt and cunning people have made me hate places, music, the art I adored and even people themselves. I learned the hard way that humans are scary. Very very scary.

Aamir Bilal

(SirfAB-Repair)-A New Friend

We love our gadgets. And for most people gadgets mean the cellphone, only! A few educated ones will include their laptops and tablets in this category and a few more levels of education and some more electronic devices are added to the bag. Unfortunately, gadgets are a big family. From my perspective I include all those in the list too that I find scattered at my place of profession. Only to name a few, that would be stethoscopes with built-in audio recorders, flexible vacuum pumps to suck blood, portable audiometers etc. On the way to canteen I find some more including lipsticks and mascara cases which to a boy are more advanced and complex types of gadgets that when used somehow can make a NOT to a HOT. In short, gadgets are many far beyond the traditional scope of a cell-phone. Secondly, they can be simple in usage like a phone and complex like a mascara box. Isn't mascara a similar word to massacre? There would be some similarity in their origins.

In the last century, man's dependency on machines grew. Earlier it were more mechanical and less electronic type of equipment humans incorporated in their lives. But in the recent years, social media replaced traditional ways of interaction, Facebook and Twitter caused divorce and breakups and friends who used to write letters and post cards send only some emails and text messages on birthday and Eid. A change is obvious in humans, their behavior and thinking which undoubtedly IS worlds apart from what it were few decades ago. And with every day the impact is getting stronger and stronger. In my teenage, I had a cell-phone which kids of present will call a joke. It had no camera, music player or other sophisticated technology but it given a joy of its own flavor. As teenage ended and I stepped into my twenties, I found the attraction in all the aspects of a cellphone fading. By even looking at my texting history of a month one can interpret that a cell-phone has become my ex. We are not frank any more. But the boom of technology was astonishing in the past few years and cellphones have really become computers in our pockets. All the interesting aspects of a cell-phone have diminished except for one. My first digital camera was not in a cell-phone but when I saw the first cell-phone that had a camera, I was really impressed. Mine was bulky and needed a new battery after every fourth or fifth day, and that was hard to carry everywhere, a camera in the phone was something that I hadn't even dreamt of. Even at that time my digital camera produced better images than a camera on the phone and had massive( according to that time) 64 Mb of memory. As more years added to my age, the world became a victim of terrorism and technology.  The elders could not sleep because of the instability of life and the young one cannot sleep because of the internet. The megapixels grew and the sizes of machines dropped. Even today I can live without a cell-phone but I cannot be a happy man without a camera and a space to save what I shoot. Before leaving home, my brother like many other people check the cell phone and wallet. My set is a bit different. I check for a cell-phone with a good camera or the camera itself. A missed call can be attended later on, an angry girlfriend can be convinced again, a message can be read later but if a moment is gone that was worth capturing, it would never come back.

A few days back, I changed the eyes through which I see the art and save the moments. Time can never be stopped but freezing some moments and seeing them later on is my favorite. It is the first SLR that I bought. Saving money is the hardest thing when you have ladies who get upset. Still, over past three years I kept pouring the savings in a saving box. Breaking it open was not a good feeling. But all those coins and notes that I poured in that had sex and given birth to an SLR. The first picture I took from it was of the woman I love most, Mom. Coincidentally she happens to be the woman who has beaten me the most. A new stage has already begun. I got a new saving box. It is for the next stage. Some coins are already there as I write this post. I shall give them enough time to have sex. Obviously I would need a new friend in a few years!

Aamir Bilal

(SirfAB-Repair)-Wounds That Never Heal

Nobody likes accidents. They look good only in the movies. There a hero can meet a girl of his dreams accidentally but such coincidences never happen. At least they never happened to me directly. All the tragedies that occurred including the accidents remained things of regrets, sorrow and pain. Even today I wish life had a rewind button and I could undo all these bad things that happened including some apparently good things. Deep inside only the person himself knows what he goes through. The world sees only the outer shell. It's better to decorate that shell with smiles as most of the people laugh or mock upon knowing the troubles. Only a few help. Only a few.

Out of all these tragic moments, few are the accidents that happened. Once I was riding a bike and sadly I was not alone. The bike collided with a bus at about fifty kilometers an hour making us all bruised. I remember staying in bed for two days. My knees hurt so bad that time. But when I am writing this, there is no pain in the knees but I haven't forgotten that day. In another recall I once had an accident on a car. Sitting at the right side, which collided in the crash, I still have a physical mark of that memory. All these happenings kept on adding in life's journal as I grew up. The pain lasted for some days but then vanished. All that remained was its memory which is eternal.

When we hear the word accident the first thought that comes to mind is of something that happened quick, like a car crash etc. But I assure all those who follow me in the line of life that it isn't the case. I have seen, witnessed and even personally experienced that accidents can be as long as some years in length. One such accident occurred in when I was living in Lahore. The most recent occurred here. Accidents that were never instantaneous and took years to occur and one can imagine that if sudden ones left late-healing scars then what type of scars and lessons would be left by those which took a longer span to take place. I find no words to explain them. A narration even in volumes won't be enough to explain the real intensity of the pain they inflicted. Now one can read the narration, know the story and learn the lesson but living a thing is really different from reading it.

This post came suddenly when I earned a taunt out of a bad moment from the past that I really wish deep inside me to change somehow but as I must say again that life has no reset buttons to correct the mistakes, the taunt went way down damaging dreams, courage and hope. In fact these words that I am writing come when composed over a period of two days. Last day I was able to write only up to the last paragraph and the mood to express finished. In a mixed feeling I discontinued the post but now I am feeling fresh and the words are back again. Taunts and mocks over someone's accidents never make anyone stronger. It only shows what our upbringing remained and what our elders taught us also proving that they failed at some point. Nothing is permanent. Even a king's kingdom ends one day and painful life of a beggar ends as well. What remains behind are lessons, memories and scars. Just like the knees don't pain now but the scars recall every second of that accident, words of people, especially the bitter words are never forgotten. We might forgive even after one apology or maybe more apologies but inside some wounds never heal, and by never I mean never ever. Ever!

Aamir Bilal


Bond, James Bond.

That's how my favorite spy agent introduces himself. And people like him. But recently I had an experience that made me realize that it is really very hard to spy on someone. Though it was not the first time I was "forced" to keep an eye on someone, but this time it demanded some cover. And over the past months I added on weight which makes me unfit for sports and spy agent equally. In fact I once tried to hide behind a pillar but that too was a failure. Funny na? I know. Anyways, some days ago, I got some information that I was not expecting, at least not so soon, but it reached my eyes. I called my most reliable companion who agreed to meet. I have to be very careful about this piece of writing and as such a narration of events can lead to the leakage of information about a precious companion, I would be narrating my company who helped in spying as Batman and Robin.  

Summers are my favorite but both Batman and Robin hate it. So I had to keep an eye on the moods of both of them. Prior to meeting we arranged our equipment and then patiently waited for the target to arrive at the rendezvous, even though this words only suits me. I was patient while all others were constantly complaining. Far away from home and place of work, near the sea this took place. In short, this whole event took way longer than it can possibly be narrated here. But out of many life experiences, one is this and I learned from it two golden things:

1- It is really expensive, risky and tiring to follow someone. Keeping an eye or maybe four pairs of eyes on someone is really risky. I know sharp eyes will know that beside Batman and Robin there were two more. Yes, Adam and Eve. Numerous risks are involved in this which include getting caught by some other vigilante and supreme authority or getting pointed in public. All this was done for a good cause but when people are hitting you with punches and slaps, there is no time to explain the good cause and goodness of cause! Besides, the equipment that we carried also cost money and taking it to some part of the city naturally increases the risk for the time when it is being transported, at least! Finally no one knows the outcome of the effort. It might end in smoke which in this case didn't. And I thank God that it didn't and the five member team was successful.

2- A shameless person would remain shameless. God puts a lock over his or her heart, so spying or no spying makes no difference. It's better to invest energy, money and time in a place useful enough.

Bilal, Aamir Bilal

along with Adam, Eve, Batman and Robin.

(SirfAB-Repair)-Perfect Night Shots

I love taking pictures at the night. There is always something romantic about these shots. But sadly, cameras that are affordable to a hold on perform so bad at low light. Flash is just a fake tale like that of Santa Claus. When we age in the art of photography we come across this truth just like children realize at a later stage that there is no bearded man who comes down the chimneys and brings them gifts. On the more sad side, the chimneys are filled with dark soot that is far away from their innocent expectations.

Over the years the cameras we use have shrunken in their size and evolved in their performance. Yet they still pose some serious artistic flaws in their designs. And one, out of a hundred is their pathetic performance in low lights. I am talking about my favorite point and shoots as the city I live in is a dangerous place to roam around carrying a high-priced gadget. In these advanced cameras of today the manufacturers have tried to assemble as many resources as possible to take great pictures at night or low light moments yet they all come with a pain. A picture on a point and shoot can never be as good as an SLR or MILC and then SLR or MILC can never have a picture of night shot as good as CC. Even I hate abbreviations so I would open them once to avoid any confusion. SLR's are single lens reflex system, MILC are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras and CC are cinema cameras. But as we move from one generation to another, the price of these change from three digits to four digits and then five etc.

So moving from a class to another, from a ward to another, the camera that suits my needs is either a point and shoot or MILC which can be bought easily if a person is single. A committed man has his woes. On each camera that I had, whether that was a cellphone's feature camera or a dedicated camera, my wish was to capture night just like they shoot and show in the movies. But it was something that never came equal to what the movies show us or what the eyes see naturally. These modern gadgets failed at regenerating the image as they were supposed to. Obviously they didn't do that on purpose or to tease me. It is a drawback that all cameras suffer from and I believe that everyone I know of must have seen this flaw at least if they don't know it technically. When shooting at night, in the dark areas some unwanted dots appear that make the image much ugly that it originally is. This is due to the camera's sensor. At day light, even my six year old cellphone's camera performs like Anushka Sharma in her latest film but at night even the new ones are as scary as wives to husbands. These unwanted dots or grains are called noise. The more the shadows, the more is the noise. After an image is taken, there are ways to get rid of this noise but that utilizes some post production software like Photoshop or Lightroom etc. But even a skilled artist cannot get rid of this noise once it is there. Hence the golden rule for getting rid of this noise is not to have this noise in the first place. And this trick comes in different price flavors which in descending order of price is (i.e. from most to least expensive)

1. A high quality, full frame and maxed resolution camera

2. A wide aperture lens

3. Shooting pictures in RAW rather than Jpeg

4. Getting stable shots using a tripod

5. Editing in some good image editor

A full frame maxed resolution camera can cost a price of one arm and one leg. A wide angle lens costs about US$600. Images that are taken with RAW take more memory space(10megapixel RAW is about 20Mb average). A tripod is a blessing that only a photographer can understand. And what can an awesome image editor that adobe's offerings.

This works well with moving images that we call as video. Attached below is a video by some creative artist who made a timelapse which in short is taking many pictures and attaching them using some software to show time. The video is an awesome example of night photography, which is quite an expensive wish.

I hope to have some night shots ready by next week. I hope. And hope is a good thing.


(SirfAB-Repair)-Good or Bad

Goodness is always rare. Bad things are always outnumbering them. Pause reading this and think. Got my point? Now resume. Our experiences vary. Some enjoy more goodness all their lives. Rest face the opposite. But whenever someone is narrating the story of his or her life, all they can recall is the bad part. They can hardly remember the goodness and blessings that were showered on them. This proves two things; the first is that whether it is good or bad comes from a source towards people in a quantity set by destiny. Secondly the bad is as important as the good as people keep mentioning it. However my experience narrates that if bad events have ruined people's lives, bad events have even made such good people out of those bad moments. Wisdom lies embedded in the tales we read, the happenings we see and the events we live. Yet every eye has a different focal power to see through these events and extract the wisdom out of it.

A few minutes back a thing happened that made me realize the blessings that I am born with. One woman in the neighborhood got divorced on the day of her delivery as she given birth to a female child. I saw that woman crying before her in-laws. They are from the interiors of the province. I wonder why a daughter is still a bad omen. Seeing that lady break into tears was a sight that made me realize that I enjoy the blessing of never going to the maternity ward and then facing someone shout me a b*tch it's a girl! Yet we need to see and then compare and then analyze all the blessings God has blessed us with. Oh please if some atheist is reading this, don't agree with my thoughts and enjoy the blessing of being an atheist that God has made you already. Stepping in someone's shoes makes us realize how that pain feels which they live with. Sadly we are not in their shows nor are they in ours. And I personally don't like anyone using my towel or wearing my shoes!

Aamir Bilal

(SirfAB-Repair)-What we need for a good writing

I hate touchscreens as much as I love my iPhone. But this hate is only existent when it comes to typing. Rest is all a love story with the big screens. When I had a qwerty in the past, there was a regular rush of blog posts that declined when qwerty moved out of the life. I sometimes imagine how would an iPhone be if it had a physical keyboard. Being a human makes me crave for tactile senses. And I cannot feel the joy in touching the virtual keys that I get when typing on a real life sized keyboard. Back in good old days, I had spent a sum of my savings to buy a top notch keyboard that I still own. And all this was for writing. I find that just like spellings of people have fallen with advancing technology, so has the grammar and the keyboards. Every new laptop that ships is thinner and they are on way to become more and more thin as we step in the future. That makes a need for slimmer keys, and sadly, for keyboards that are not fun to touch. 

So in a drawer of my table I have one cherished thing that I always need to write the things I write. Even a number of written stuff comes when I am in motion, yet the longer the tale, the charming it gets and that needs keys that are classic and if I put that in a better way, exquisite. And no touch-screen can ever impart that degree of satisfaction that comes from a keyboard that sleeps with fountain-pens, parchment sheets and inks. Under the curtains of a digital age, some classic love never fades. Love however is so much misused that I had to say classic before it. You never know when like the keyboards, love starts to get slimmer and then suddenly, vanishes!

Aamir Bilal

(SirfAB-Repair)-Camera Bag

A picture is a thousand words. If they are the right words, one is successful in conveying the meanings one wants to convey. But moments of life fly by at such a speed that what we capture is not what we have seen. Even with passing years man and machines have been progressing a lot and cameras and other optical instruments have reached the heights of quality, nothing replaces the quality our eyes see and I guess that's why we find a whole bunch of poetry and literature on just the eyes. What we see through the eyes remains a charm that can never be, at least up to now, cannot be regenerated with all the pictures and videos we make.

However, cameras have reached into our pockets and go with us wherever we go, even to our rest rooms. It is a blessing to generate the tokens we can look back after an event passes away. Pictures do speak to us in a language that our hearts are well aware of. But all pictures cannot be conveying the same amount of meaning that one wants to convey. Photographers in the past kept a camera-bag with them that they carried wherever they went and that helped them in making the perfect shots. But we aren't carrying any camera that needs a bag for ND-filters, extra lenses and batteries or cables etc. But that camera in our cell phones we use all day long need some extra elements to make things work better making the pictures rich with words that we want to say. A good camera-bag needs for our digital cameras of our phones got to be digital too and needs to be placed in the same place where the camera is.

Over months as many pictures are generated, the camera bag has grown with dedicated tools that make the pictures polished and laden with the words that we want to say. Some have asked quite a number of times what I use to alter the ugly pictures and make them appear better like a girl going to the beauty saloon and look good. Here below is my camera bag that I use when I need to say something in picture when words fail to convey that I want o convey.

Snapseed, 360, Photoshop Touch, Percolator, Photosynth, Kitcam, Krop Circle, Quipio, Action Movie, VJAM, Picframe

Many of these are free, some however are paid. I highly recommend each of the above shown. After all a picture is thousand words, why not make it say a million, eh!

Aamir Bilal

(SirfAB-Repair)-Post Exams Feeling

I hate exams. 
This makes me a normal human being. There is a sense of bounds when a person is constantly appearing for exams. There was a time when I used to be a good student but as this sentence carried a past tense, so are the meanings. Exams are a long-term phenomenon. But as the elders taught that an idle mind is a devil's workshop, I feel as the devil is coming back from his vacations. This was obvious when I missed the morning's prayers. And the breakfast was served way after the sun had come up. Last day's questions were still ringing in my head. Vivid dreams made me feel as if I never slept. I drifted after the breakfast again. 

I woke up to find sunlight gone. Karachi's weather is always a mystery. In five minutes it had rained violently and in the same five minutes the sun comes out again in the same fiery it shines through the summers. Karachi faces summer for most part of the year, that's what the books of geography say. I would say for ten out of twelve months, it is my favorite season in Karachi. When I woke up the sun was somewhere behind the clouds and my phones were out. Batteries are still to progress as much as humans have progressed in lying and cheating. Mom and bhai had gone to the market to get something for cooking. Here I sit alone in my room, with a mug of tea and all my cellphones powered off. I confess that I never like exams when I am appearing for them but once they end, I feel sad at their departure. They keep me occupied in them. I don't think about the good and evil, religion, love and philosophy during these days. Once they leave, devil is back in his office along with the artist. Though I have resigned the later one, some dedicated workers continue to work even after being fired. Like a big, fat and ugly wife whom I never loved, I miss her laundry, cooking and arguments. In the hate, love is hidden somewhere. Just like we wide open our eyes in the dark to see better, just because there is some glow in the dark after all. 

Aamir Bilal

(SirfAB-Repair)-Digital Novel

I recently got my hands on a digital novel. It is first of a kind. No I am not talking about an ebook. It is an interactive novel. I play the main character's point of view and as the story unfolds, the interest rises. I have never read one before. This became the biggest download I ever downloaded on the phone with the whopping 2 GB of data! But it was worth the download. The story is a mystery and suspense. It is quite a gripping genre and the story's plot keeps one on the edge.Due to exams almost fifteen of my writings are on rough pages that I am supposed to neat as soon as the exams end and now I am already under the charm of this novel. I would suggest everyone to "play" this novel. The link is given at the end. It is undoubtedly a remarkable story book. Makes me feel as I am living a book.



(SirfAB-Repair)-There is a DEVI in devil. Part 1 of 3

Don't believe in the dramas. I mean the ones that are aired on the TV. It can be taken in other meanings too, as TV is a dying art. And now even all the dramas are available on the internet. So wherever you see a drama, beware of the deeper threat it carries. Dramas are based on stories so we can call them like visual stories. And every story has a plot played between two ends, one is positive and the other being dark and dirty. The hero side normally wins at the end. So a story has always got a protagonist and antagonist between whom the viewers are trapped until we reach "The End" or "The Last Episode".

Life itself is such an awesome story. It has all those things that are there in the drama or the films yet all the elements of this story are hell real! The pain, the blood, the death etc. although I cannot say this for certain regarding love. My experience with this element made my beliefs regarding this quite shaky. Over time I have witnessed a number of protagonists and antagonists. From uncle Dracula to Thomas Hewitt aka Leatherface and from Gabbar Singh to Mogambo, my favorite antagonist of all times remains "Khala Ka Beta". I know it sounds very odd but I assure you that none amongst Dracula, Leatherface and Gabbar Singh sahab is dangerous outside of the fiction they live in. On the contrary they made people happy when they enjoyed their films on the screen. However the "Khala Ka Beta" has been very damaging, even though he himself never knew that he possesses this ability. Before proceeding any further, I must clarify that I don't have a khala yet there exists a "KKB". Naughty minds, it is Khala Ka Beta. You can make your favorite expansion from the abbreviation though. It is a free country we live in anyways. Free enough to kill anyone, anywhere.

I know a lady, or as I should put it better, a DEVI G, who claims to be at the heights of piety and holiness. Over time she grew into a more frightening monster than all those mentioned above. So one day to prove her good on the basis of "good doubt" or hope, a test was conducted that was a blessing in disguise. A chain of proofs poured out that were like final verdicts for breaking all hopes of goodness. It was like walking into a big castle and hoping to find bottles and flasks of wine which upon examination come out to be blood. The owner is proved to be a vampire and not a drunkard! It was hurting and pleasing at the same time. Though she was never told about all the proofs but something when learnt by a heart is seldom forgotten. It is easy to imagine the moment when you already know the truth and the person before you is lying. And collecting sympathies from others including the ones against whom she is still spitting poison, you know the traditional enemies, becharay! And the devil pulls another of her bigger tricks. She blames that others did to her what she herself did in the past, is not ashamed of still and keeps doing again and again. Even though I remained just a spectator of the entire event, all of this scared me, made me think that a woman can become so cruel that from a devi she become a devil. Thanks to the age of technology, a proof of innocence and a proof of not innocent are possible to have. The devi got caught in the act yet the waterfall of her tears is big. It has a flow that it normally wipes away the hearts of STUPID boys whom the devi keeps flirting with and remains successful in proving her as the victim. To make people fool and to grow angelic wings on her shoulders, she created a character named as "Khala Ka Beta". I cannot name any of the real persons as it still is against ethics or at least the human rights devi g possesses. But in the happenings of the surrounding there always lies enlightenment that keeps showing us the path.

(SirfAB-Repair)-One Love. His Love

A man loves only once. At least that's what the book say. But the truth still rests with men. And it is a coincidence of nature that a man is writing this post that can get a bit offensive to women. I assure, that what I write here can be quite pungent for a lady and she is most likely to disagree, but I also assure that it is not.

When we grow up we normally don't realize that God has given us many blessings. I was told that life has two phases. In the first it keeps giving and soon after the attaining youth, the second stage takes over which is the part when life starts taking back all that it has been awarding us for free. It begins with grannies. Even when she was alive, her "death" saved me many times from the principal. I love her unconditionally but if there had to be any other reason, it would have been the enormous number of times she blessed me with holidays. I miss her a lot. A boy grows into maturity and a man is carved out of him. The loved ones departing and then tragic experiences make a very stable and wise man. This writing in no way is a claim of wisdom of a man or a token of mental maturity but it still has bolts of experiences like scars on the body of a soldier who just returned from the battle only to find one more loved one in the family no more. Alas!

We all believe in love. Those who deny are also adding a stall to the great circus of love. People who are murderers, rapists, killers etc also have hearts in them that drive them to do such crimes against humanity. Yet still no one can ever deny that a heart that should be filled with positive glow of love was taken over by the darkness of hate. And as everything has an opposite like Satan to God, good to bad, there got to be an opposite to hate. That is love. We all believe in it, one way or the other. Sometimes, the belief reaches us easy way. At other times, it takes very long. Even when it can't reach us, the dark void of hate itself becomes an evidence of it.

These words are coming from deep corners of a young man who likes music, colors and even Anushka Sharma. So it would be logical to expect love in its classic favor rather than the love for country or faith. Even those flavors do exist but hey, why on earth move from Miss Sharma to Zubaida Aapa. At least I ain't. Oh and the by the way I know a fact about Zubaida Aapa. She is only two years younger than Bhagwaan. When Bhagwaan was in KG2, Aapa was in KG1. Don't be serious, it was just a fact. Growing up, surroundings had impacts on me, coincidentally most of them curvaceous impacts. I fell in love when one curved hit made me flat. Physics would deny it but we are not in a physics class. I cannot mention exactly when that occurred but it was so intense that all that happened before and after that hardly matters at all. The charms of it still live on like ghosts in a haunted house. This makes me say it that a man can like a hundred times, choose four partners and keep having four in a combination of one, two, three, four and then second, third, fourth and fifth followed by a newer making it third, fourth, fifth and sixth but the counting of that positive token of love starts from one and stays at one. A man would never say the exact truth that lays buried in his heart but if he loves, he can never be torn in that. A love can depart making a massive void. Yet a man''s heart can be mistakenly identified by a woman as something she feels in between her thighs. How unfortunate that what men keep thinking is mostly sex but that never makes their heart long and cylindrical. If a woman reads this, she would smile or even laugh and would never agree as this is something pro-male. These words are an effort that men do love unlike most women believe. But I would ask the reader if she happens to be a woman would she consider the same for her father that even her father's heart is hanging down his pants. Now she will stop smiling and become neutral. Think now. It was never a claim that men love or women love. The story is still that humans love, and men happen to love only once. Rest of the truths remain in his heart. I will not say. God would not say either. He doesn't answer his secrets. And he is a "he" in the Quran, in the Bible and in our prayers.

Aamir Bilal