meme from islamabad

arrived in islamabad today after a brief flight in the smallest aircraft i have travelled in. usually air travel is done aloft those flying houses -the giant boeing 747s and their airbus equivalents- and save for those few bumps with the drop in air pressure outside as the craft flies through clouds not much is felt; but now i realize the smaller the size of the plane the more felt the contours and ups and downs of the flight, and hence that bit more exciting (or scary) the flying experience. also it is always a bit unsettling to see for one’s own self the mechanisms on whose proper functioning one’s life pretty much depends; i.e. in the case of flying, how the plane actually works and flies. it is a bit obscene, frankly. in the giant planes, the jet propulsion mechanism is safely tucked away in under those massive wings and inside protective chambers. but to see the propellers at work and turning and revving… i don’t need to see it. i just want to trust it to work, that’s all.

apart from the flying experience, i was a wee bit glad to visit islamabad again. i have liked this city and have visited it before in its happier days and have spent a happy many days in it. now things feel a bit different -a wee bit off. which could be attributed to any number of things; from the way things have been going in this country to the way my way of looking at things has changed over the years. but all the same, it is nice visiting this city again. the taxi driver summed it all up: things are a bit off kelter around here nowadays.

and i visited the faisal mosque again. i love the architecture and do think that it is one of the masterpieces of islamic architecture in its paying homage both to traditionalism (of the tent dwelling beduin) and the modernism of the edges and spires -and all of it amazingly put together around the structure’s basic functionality. however, having visited two other white, marble, symmetrical structures in the past few weeks (the taj mahal and the lotus temple) i could not help but be struck at the many commonalities that the trifecta share.

luckily, i was able to time my visit to the mosque around the time of the dusk prayers and that perfect time of lighting in the day that photographers call the ‘magic hour’. the shots are up over at my flickr account. here is one i particularly liked:

The faithful rushing to evening prayers


~ by safrang on March 5, 2008.

2 Responses to “meme from islamabad”

  1. That is a gorgeous piece of photography—-and here’s to hoping things can get back “on kelter” in Islamabad and all of Pakistan.

  2. It confused me to no end: a Bedouin tent in the middle of (judging by the hill sides in Islamabad) a lush temperate forest. I was so befuddled that I stayed away from it all these years.

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