The city of lights

The sight, the scene and the experience - simply unforgettable

Past Perfect

NIGHAT HAFIZ

Intelligence is akin to intellect, an individual’s cognitive ability to understand ideas. It is how well we reason and how readily we solve problems. A general intellectual knows how to think rationally, deal effectively, and act purposefully in a situation that demands more than common sense. It is doing something new when you don’t know what to do. In its simplest form, an intellect put to use in figuring out plans and achieving dreams and goals with speed and accuracy. All things being equal [accidents, growths] it remains relatively constant throughout life, whatever amount of education and training you put in, only some slight changes would  follow. Intelligence is not quantity of knowledge rather quality of heritable endowment with a mechanism of inheritance, an ancestral property with “gene environmental effect” that is distributed with bias, making even children from the same parents completely different from each other. Some people are born with least intelligence, some genius and all others in between.  Network of brain connections is different for a genius and a person born with intelligence deficit. Psychologically speaking the faculty of intelligence is spread over a number of areas which can be captured and evaluated. Independent sub- faculties or areas involve judgment and reasoning, numerical ability, speed and accuracy, power to retain and memorize, spatial connectivity, ability for language and comprehension and many more. The sub-faculties although independently different from each other show a positive correlation with each other and a person high on one score is usually high on all other scores. Sometimes a variation may occur and a person may score high in a single area, exceptional creativity in language may make an average intelligent person reasonably good but it does not make him a genius, rather it shows brilliance in single area of linguistic ability only. There is a line and degrees of difference between being brilliantly creative in every area and in a particular area; a genius is genius in all the areas.
 I always felt a need for a good definition and a separate test battery for the measurement and evaluation of areas of intelligence that depict an individual’s taste and understanding for good poetry. Good Poetry needs some super sensitive brain connections with highly sophisticated mechanisms for its production, understanding and comprehension. For me poetry is the essence of life and sensitive poetry an asset from heritage and culture.  Some poets from the past definitely possessed an extra rich area of intelligence to produce poetry that could make a difference and leave an impact for generations to follow. Our generation was `baptized' with Allama Iqbal’s poetry and it ran into our veins like blood. We inhaled it like oxygen. We as young teenagers remembered Allam’s poetry by heart from morning prayers in schools and impressions were further strengthened by teachers who adored Iqbal.
Iqbal with his extremely influential thought and message throughout the world in general and Islamic world in particular enlightened our imagination. His spiritual striving embedded with philosophical adventures breathed a spirit in us. I would learn him by heart without understanding and at times would try hard to grasp and comprehend its philosophy in depth. It would leave me wondering for meanings, doctrines, and, places. I would visualize Masjid-e-Qurtaba; try to understand connection between philosophers and poets like Machiavelli and Nietzsche, Rumi and Jami, a state of spell- bounded ecstasy would follow. I could visualize” Khirqaposh” mystic with a luminous hand under his sleeves, differentiate  “ kargis” [vulture] from  “bazz” [falcon] and look for “shaheen” in mountains and sky. It was a world of fantasy with a striving to achieve unachievable. The main motivation behind this aesthetic space of imagination was my father’s death wish which said, if you want to follow your dreams follow Iqbal’s concept of courage in word and action. I remember, in the heart of my hearts I had nourished a deep desire to visit Allama’s mausoleum in Lahore. The tomb of this great poet is situated between the Badshahi Masque and Lahore fort with a blend of Afghan and Moorish architecture. Made up of all red sand stones, with Quranic verses inscribed in best calligraphy on a white marble grave, it is simply elegant. The walls are decorated with couplets from Zabor-e-Ajum.  Entering this small and simple structure in between two marvelous giant historical assets had a profound effect on me; the cool inner sanctum with all red stones had a tremendous green effect which even dhamal and qawali at Data Durbar couldn’t create in me. My temporary blocked thoughts over powered me, It was not the “grave-effect” but exhilarating moment when repressions resurrect and find an outlet for relief. My emotions left me awkward and I broke down.
What is that infuses one breath in a hundred hearts?
It is one of secrets of faith in Tawhid!
Faith and wisdom and law all spring from it,
It is source of strength and power and stability!
There is no god but God” is the capital of our life!
Its bound weaves our scattered thoughts together.
We were booked on a train from Lahore to Karachi next morning. I remember a small gathering of our relatives came to wish us bone voyage.  A discussion followed about sell out nature of our leaders. They were blaming our beloved leaders as match fixers in politics. First time I was acquainted with concepts of “we” and “they”, something I never expected.
The trains were similar in both the countries, with a difference of color that divided us. As soon as the train set off, our co –passenger started treating us with great hospitality. People from all over sub-continent had a great love for the people of Kashmir; we were yet to become a target for suspicion. In a cool friendly atmosphere they made us comfortable and shared their food stuff which they had packed for the long journey of two days and three nights. I remember miles before reaching Karachi two tall handsome boys, all in navy colors entered our cabin near Jungshahi. My mother in native language asked me to be very careful, thinking them as intelligence agents from India or Pakistan. I told her both countries have not enough money to waste following common people visiting relatives after many years. Her expression was hilarious, as if a bunch of poor people from Kashmir was under attack from KGB, CIA, Mossed, ISI and Raw. I watched a smile on the faces of so called spies, as if they understood our language but mother was in a state of suspicion beyond reason, with a stern look she told me not to look at them. The mystery was solved when a big laugh followed by our waiting relatives on the Karachi Railway station, the boys were none other than my mother’s young nephews who wanted to play a little mischief with their guest.
 Ultimately we were in captivating city of Karachi, a city of life and lights, a city with visibly vibrant people for politics who were caught between field marshal  Ayub Khan and Zulfi, one a dictator with a difference, other a world famous politician in making.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 3 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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