Why You Should Never Stop Watching Films

Source: Universal Pictures/Working Title Films/Mike Zoss Productions

In this past year, I have kept myself busy with a lot of work after a shattering episode of depression just about this time of the year last year. But while you are at work every day, especially in full employment where you leave your place to spend time in an office, you tend to lose perspective. You tend to forget about your mental growth, about your physical well being, and even your perspective about the bigger picture. About life.

While there are things that you are never going to fix, or can fix, which are lost with time. Second by second. There is no turning back from there. You could at least get your focus right. You could at least slap your face and wake yourself up from the slumber and start paying attention to the things that matter. Now there are plenty, not just limited to human relations. But one of them is your appreciation of art, literature, and cinema.

And especially when you are put off by the sort of films that are coming out. So while I cannot believe that audiences have rejected “Hail Caeser! (2016)” of the ever-magnificent Coen Brothers and rather watched X:Men Apocalypse and Deadpool, it only increases my appreciation for things that I admire. It tells you that cinema is still alive.

Haha, there was a time when I said to my friend Faheem Zafar who had introduced me to such great cinema that I was afraid one day we would run out of films to watch. He laughed off my comment and rightly so as I hardly watch a film anymore until in the recent days. But it is true in a way because I am pretty much out of anymore Bunuel or Fellini films to watch. That is all what matters.

Now these works of art (if you can call them that) inspired you to be a filmmaker when you were young. When you grow up and enter the industry one way or another, you wonder if you are really all that into it. Even if you don’t want to, or cannot, do anything else.  And you wonder if you can really keep up.

But what we forget at those times is that it is telling your personal expression which was once the dearest to us. We are here because we wanted to tell our -stories, even when we are not able to. Because we are telling stories in some form. Even if it is someone else’s story.

So when you are putting on thick armor around your skin to survive, it is important not to forget to live the way you did when those moments of inspiration struck you. Those moments of inspiration that set your sail this way.

It is very important that you should not stop watching films. Or even reading books.

RIP Ardeshir Cowasjee

Ardeshir Cowasjee (1926-2012) – Source: Herald

One of the most illustrious, colorful, vibrant and daring freethinkers in the Pakistani history, Ardeshir Cowasjee has passed away. He was 86. He was a columnist, primarily for Dawn , a businessman and a philanthropist.

I can’t say I know a lot about him but he has always been a huge inspiration for as long as I have known about him. And I am sure I am not the only one. Everyone likes someone with great clarity of mind and zero tolerance for nonsense.

It was his outspokenness towards nonsense in a nonsensical country that earned him his reputation and made him an inspiration for so many others who want someone to take a stand.

I believe that despite the fact that he had extraordinary charisma, what further enhanced his status was that he lived in Pakistan. I think most people would easily say that he was probably out of place for the country, a misfit, but then again, it really was Karachi.

Of course I never met him and have no experiences to share but I find it fascinating to read how he touched other people’s lives. Nabiha Mehr Sheikh wrote a particularly impressive eulogy that actually celebrated him more than it really mourned his death, something inevitable for almost anyone, let alone a man of his age.

But what really is a concern is that probably there is no one around to fill his shoes. Simply no one who could carry forward his legacy.

That sounds a bit like an overstatement considering that he had remained inactive in the recent years, but then again being inactive is not the same as being dead.

Still I take acknowledging a man of his stature a religious duty and can only hope that his impact lasts for as long he is remembered.

I hope we never forget him.

The Lessons to Learn from Einstein



My last post was about Stanley Kubrick and he had something in common with Albert Einstein, whose brain must be celebrating his 132nd birthday. I am saying that because both of them had very little formal education, a University degree, if you will, and went on to become really admired and acclaimed figures in their respective fields. While you could work that way if you are to become a film director, it is always more difficult for a scientist-to-be.

Of course, the scientific world would not really offer weight to the opinions and the crazy ideas of a young man out of a clerical office who suddenly was teaching the world with chalk in hand.

He was teaching the teachers, and it seemed horrifying to a lot of people.

But at a very interesting and turbulent point in history, Albert Einstein changed the way we thought about the Universe forever. Well, the view is still evolving of course, but he started it in a way. Of course, there were others too.

But what are the lessons to learn from Einstein, without boring you talking about Relativity. While he will always remain to be the incarnation of human intelligence and inspiration on an individual level, but he must also inspire scientists to work the same way as he used to do. While of course, it is important to keep into consideration the existing theory as a part of the Scientific and Research Method, it is important not to get too much tied by it and give up on the margin of creative reasoning or “thinking outside the box”.

Researchers in universities at times seem to be too lost in the existing and accepted practices. A kind of bureaucratization of knowledge is prevalent in educational institutes, which could seriously affect the progress towards attaining more knowledge, which is the better understanding of the Universe and the laws that govern it, especially the ones which we have not been discovered yet. It does take a little bit of creativity to carry out the Thought Experiments needed to even have a little idea about something as apparently obnoxious as Relativity.

I hope science would some day learn more from Einstein than just Photoelectric Effect and Relativity.

I don’t really have a license to speak about science or about anything for that matter, but that’s how I feel about it.

And I know, they need a mathematical proof.

Maybe, some day science would be able to explain Albert Einstein.


P. S. I still have not found the answer to what surrounds the Universe, or the matter that makes up the Universe, if the question seems that crazy to you.

The Iqbal Day Post: Pakistan Need to Revisit Iqbal for Inspiration

On this day, November 9, in 1877, Allama Muhammad Iqbal was born. His works had great impact on whoever they reached, particularly the Muslim community of India. Like the undying words of a Philosopher-Poet, his legacy lives on.

The Poet of the East and the Sage of the Nation.

We are good at bestowing titles, but never following what the Great Sage would say.

While Pakistan is in a state of shambles thanks to a morally corrupt mechanism of government and disenchanted masses with a lack of direction, it will not take more than a minute to get everything fixed.

Not more than a minute to find direction, not more than a minute if the intentions were right.

Adversity is not misfortune. It is in fact, the best of the teachers and trainers.

In the words of Nietzsche, What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

However, snap out of false pride, megalomania and blind patriotism. If you need to build a strong fortress, then build on the foundation of honesty, truth and if there is any such thing, justice.

Maybe this is what you need to fly higher, the resistance of a strong gust of wind.

Only struggling will keep you afloat, keep you from drowning.


The Words of Iqbal.

طالب علم

خدا تجھے کسی طوفاں سے آشنا کر دے

کہ تیرے بحر کی موجوں میں اضطراب نہی

تجھے کتاب سے ممکن نہیں فراغ کہ تو

کتاب خواں ہے مگر صاحب کتاب نہیں

To the Student

May God Offer Thee a Storm to Fight

A Challenge for the Ship of Thy Effort

Have Ye Time to Ponder, O Reader of the Book

That Ye Read Without Learning

We know everything we need to know.

Do we want to act is the question?

You could keep on sleeping though.

I hope I never wake up after I fall asleep.

Therefore, today

If only for a moment

Revisit Iqbal.