An undiscovered treasure at Karachi Univeristy

The Dr Mahmud Husain library at the University of Karachi is home to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s personal book collection. The collection arrived at Karachi University in 1976, and comprises of over twenty-five hundred books, letters, photographs and posters from the Pakistan freedom movement stored in the Quaid’s personal book cabinets.

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The Quaid e Azam Personal Collection of books was presented to the University of Karachi in 1976.

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The collection consists of over 2500 books, letters and photographs

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Pictures, banners and letters from the Pakistan Freedom Movement are also part of the precious collection. However, most of these photographs are uncaptioned.

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Books signed by the Quaid e Azam are marked with a star.

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Original logo of the All India Muslim League.

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The section is looked after by Assistant Librarian Nargis Fatima. She initiated the digitization of books in the Quaid’s personal collection in August 2015. However, the project could not reach fruition due to a lack of funds and interest by the administration.

This national asset remains hidden in the underground floor of the central library, locked and long forgotten. The old books are slowly collecting dust and the lack of regular maintenance is evident by the condition of the bookshelves and the uncaptioned photographs.Students, the library staff and the administration are  oblivious to this treasure residing inside the University premises.

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You Learn

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,

And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure…

That you really are strong

And you really do have worth…

And you learn and learn…

With every good-bye you learn.

Author: Veronica A. Shoffstall

One-Sided

There is always a sinking feeling when someone sitting next to me gets up to leave, stronger when it is a friend, a light tinge if it is someone I did not even exchange pleasantries with.
The sense of departure haunts the best of us. My friend is there, yet they really are not. I am so full of love, of affection, of sacrifice for them, yet my actions surprisingly fail me even before my friends could gauge the emptiness of my flowery words. I am never enough. That friend is never enough. They will leave, if not now, then later. If they don’t, I eventually will.
The cynic in me can always smell of a hidden motive in the most selfless of their acts. Then I recall the last time I checked on my friend solely for their sake. I was there for them, at all times possible, but it concerned my needs in some way or the other. If it didn’t concern anything tangible, it was the hunger of companionship, of belonging, that ‘we-feeling’, which is valuable than any material thing could ever amount to.
Then there was the oft-said, “Agar hum bure waqt main kisi ke kaam nahi ayenge tou humare bure waqt main kon hoga?” It plays on the back of my mind as I count how many times I could be of service to anyone, and the number of times they let my messages go unanswered. Both of us have our reasons as to why we frown on each others’ names as they flashed on our individual screens. Their words are equally reasonable to my explanations of unavailability.
My selfish nature and the loneliness it brings along has left me without a choice. I am alone except Him. It is He who comforts me in my friendlessness, in my capacity of never sufficing to anyone at anytime. My friendship with Him is entirely one-way: whatever I do for His sake is a favour on my inadequate self.

Make-believe.

Pretend.

Pretend your way through school and society. Appear calm, bright and attentive at all times. Shed light on the ugly lawn fabric prints of the season and the terror of the Daaish in the same breath, and somehow relate the two. Cover your ears with your hands if you have to, but do not give in to the horror of listening to the person sitting next to you. Never allow yourself to drown in a piece of art or music; discredit the artist and belittle his creations since nothing new is possible. Have strong opinions on all things imaginable and do not budge even an inch from your view point, lest your mind creaks open a little to entertain someone else’s perspective.

Carry on bullshitting. Don’t appear fazed or surprised if you hear something new today; there is nothing you do not know or couldn’t have predicted. The beauty of the sun setting or rising should not shut you down because a thing as repetitive as nature is romanticized only by idiots with too much time on their hands and too minute a life goal of happiness. You can’t afford to admit to your weaknesses, feelings, fears and mistakes unless you want to give an impression of being humane and not a super-human: all mind and no heart. Keep on acting forward in this stage-show called life.

Survive.

The Blogger Awards!

My very dear friend, Moniba,  awarded me with the Versatile Blogger Award. Being so out-of-touch of WordPress and blogging, I was surprised and of course, delighted to be given one.

 

As per the Awards’ tradition, here are seven things about me:

 

1-I want to write a book of short stories. One day.

2-I lack self-motivation when I have plenty of time. Last minute:adrenaline!

3-I love socializing with fictional people.

4-Lengthy things bore me. I like my books and movies short and sweet. (There are special exceptions)

5-Right now is a good time for me, Alhumdullilah. I have been through all those things which  frightened me last year. I feel stronger.

6- I am an extremely lazy person. A procastri

7- I want to play a part in changing this world for the better, through my words, actions and behavior.

Thank you for reading about me. I hope you didn’t find me as boring as I think I am.

And Moni, thanks for everything.You have always been very kind to me. I owe all my posts and likes to you.

 

The Only Truth that Matters

Channel-surfing through the FM last night, I heard an ad.  A child whose voice drenched with innocence,  was saying, “Do you know what my brother wants to be when he grows up?  He wants to be a doctor-world’s best doctor! And my friend Ahmed? He wants to be a pilot!

“And I?!” He sounded quieter, his voice suddenly taken over by melancholy.

“I just want to live long enough to see my brother and friends become what they’ve always wished for.” 

 This touching, masterpiece of an ad was for a Cancer hospital. Death-the only truth that matters-stood in front of me, stripped off of all the sweet, comforting lies I tell myself before I go to bed each night. Lies that give me hope of living long enough to repent and be forgiven by Him; lies that have hindered my betterment.

In this exact moment, there are many, fighting battles worse than the worst of my imagination, content to be able to experience happiness on behalf of their loved ones, while I look around and question myself: “Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?”