Forever Hidden

by Tirzah Shams

Those cloaked figures clouded my past
Time is going away too fast

I need you to show me the moonlight
Entangled in the darkest night

You taught me to be so strong
What we are is forever wrong

The blood in my veins is yours forever
I’ll always be free when we are together

And till I dream, I dream of you
I love you so much I never knew

But our love is too forbidden
It will remain forever hidden

Emma to Julian

by Tirzah Shams
(Based on The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare)

Even when I lost every one I knew
The only thing I thought about was you

And when I lost my mum and dad
You were the only person I had

We’ve been through so much
My only hope was in your touch

We even became orphans together
Doesn’t that mean we last forever

We are partners in battle, soulmates one may say
I confess here I love you, standing in front of you today

We did have moments of sadness
When I was filled with tears and madness

But happiness we did find
You never seemed to ever mind

Our fights were big but love always lasted
Two in a million, perfectly casted

Our love broke the law, we didn’t know it was a curse
We wanted to be forever, but things just got worse


You took away all I care about
You took away all I like
You took away all I love
You made me hate my own life

Your words were like daggers
They hit me straight in the heart
You said things that made me feel useless
You took my life apart

Ignore him he’ll leave you alone
That is what I was told
But how ignore when he’s right in front
Tearing you in pieces from whole

Bulling me again and again
Till the door of my happiness shut
You knew you harmed me
You gave me a huge cut

Don’t worry no one can see it
It buried deep in my heart
Don’t worry no one can see it
But it’s tearing me apart


by Tirzah Shams
The mask we wear everyday
The mask that helps us hide
The mask that hides impurities

The mask that gives us pride

The mask we wear when we bully
The mask we wear when we fight
The mask we wear to make us pretty

When nothing we do is right

The mask that forgets friendship
The mask that forgets humanity
Why wear such a horrible mask

When it makes you forget your sanity

The mask that gives you power
The mask that makes you special
It just makes you a monster

It’s brings you closer to the devil

At least Lucifer accepted his truth
He knew he was a fallen angel
But you don’t know what harm you do

You don’t know you’re a danger

So take that mask off for a minute
And take a long look around you
These aren’t your crowd, the people you need
Because you aren’t how they found you

Our Love

For love to be extraordinary
Life doesn’t have to be perfect
Cause I want to be with you
Even if it’s not correct
So give me your heart
As you already have mine
Cause even if you don’t love me
One day you shall be mine
I know I will love you
With a love that shall not die
Until the sun goes cold
And birds do not fly
You always had my heart
You’re the keeper of my soul
And when I am with you
I finally feel whole


What is the love of Jesus?

(a poem)

A love not self centered
A love always remembered
A love that would free us
Is the love of Jesus

The Messiah, the chosen one
He died on the cross for what we have done
A love that would save us
Is the love of Jesus

The Lord of Moses, the Lord of Abraham
He suffered for our sins and became the lamb
A love that would complete us
Is the love of Jesus

He lived on earth and saved my soul
He gave me a chance to finally feel whole
A love with a second chance for us
Is the love of Jesus

He rose from the dead to give us new life
Prepared for us a place in afterlife
A love that would claim us
Is the love of Jesus

Labor Day

Every year on 1st May, in Pakistan we celebrate Labor Day by enjoying a gazetted holiday, by doing nothing but relaxing in the comforts of our home. Whereas, the real labor, for whom this holiday was declared goes out in search of his “dihaari” wages, so that the families could be fed and the needs be met.

Internationally the date of Labor Day differs from Pakistan, here in our country we celebrate this day on 1st May since our labor policies were devised in 1972 and this date was selected for a national holiday. Right after independence in 1947 Pakistan also became a member of ILO (International Labor Organization) which promotes social justice and human / labor rights.

Unfortunately, along with all such organizations and realizations, the labor is still in poor condition. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. We lack basic necessities, the rich can afford alternatives, but think of the poor labor lot, who work each day to win their bread and butter for that day alone, where would they find UPS and bottled water to fulfill the basic needs of their families.

Imagine, Labor Day was dedicated to labors, so that realizations could be generated among the worthy to be able to upgrade working conditions of laborers who are one important module of our society. Instead, we see people dying of drowning, getting electrocuted from open and multiple high-tension wires, falling off high rise buildings, getting burned alive, getting crushed under cranes and what not. Over and above they still work in the same conditions. No change occurs for the betterment.

Labor laws have been made but they are not being implemented. The rights of laborers are defined but they are not being given, the holiday is being celebrated but the labor himself is still out on roads seeking his bread and butter.

The Perplexing Dream

Chained in Dreams

My eyes fluttered open to see I’m stranded on a hill, chained to a tree, its branches digging into my back. Graves all around, of wood and metal and marble. I could feel the chain, cutting through my hands, my body ached with a pain unknown to me. I was soaked in blood, mine or someone else’s I didn’t know. Where was everyone, my parents, my brother?

Something, at the back of my mind tells me that they are all dead and the world I once believed in destroyed. I struggled a little and the chains fell down. I dragged myself into a cave, wanting shelter more than anything. Inside, I screamed and shouted, but nothing came out of my mouth.

I saw a stream, flowing with blood, a heavy fog everywhere. The deafening silence killing me. It took all the energy I had, but I got up. I went outside the cave to see what was happening, but nothing was right. A moment ago there were graves, now bodies piled up on each other. All the silence was now gone, mocking jays around me. They were whistling a tune that hurt my ears and blood tickled down my spine.

Then I woke up with tears in my eyes and my palms sweaty. Everything is back to normal. It was just a dream, I thought. Or was it?

Big Bird Day 2014 – Punjab, Pakistan

Big Bird Day - Arthur Anab Shams

Big Bird Day 2014

Big Bird Day 2014 in Pakistan was a propagation of the annual event initially started by the Delhi Bird group to celebrate the joy of bird-watching, the first of which was arranged on February 22, 2004. The main objective of this activity is not just bird-watching it also provides for counting the species seen in a particular area. By doing this activity on a fixed day we have better chances of reaching to a more accurate population of at a particular time. More over with such activities we have a p

Big Bird Day 2014

ossibility of re-discovering a particular species which was not seen for a long time. Recording the confirmed sightings across the country on the same day would provide the essential and realistic data which will show the actual diversity of Bird Life in an area. A great advantage of this activity in Pakistan came out to be that it brought Pakistan on the international map of Birdwatchers.

We had an opportunity to go to a place called kala khatai in Punjab close to Pakistan India Border for bird species count. A team of six members was formed by us and we made our best efforts from dawn to dusk to count the maximum birds of the said locality. We were able to spot 52 species in total and another one as a probability.  A summary of confirmed sighting was compiled and submitted to the ebird website Species that we were able to locate were as follows. Graylag Goose Bar-headed Goose Ruddy Shelduck Gadwall Mallard Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal Common Pochard Gray Francolin Black Francolin Great Cormorant Little Cormorant Gray Heron Purple Heron Little Egret Indian Pond-Heron Black-crowned Night-Heron Eurasian Spoonbill Black-shouldered Kite Eurasian Marsh-Harrier Eurasian Moorhen Eurasian Coot Black-winged Stilt Red-wattled Lapwing Common Ringed Plover Common Sandpiper Eurasian Collared-Dove Yellow-footed Pigeon Greater Coucal White-throated Kingfisher Indian Roller Eurasian Hoopoe Long-tailed Shrike Black Drongo House Crow Crested Lark Barn Swallow Red-vented Bulbul Ashy Prinia Common Babbler Jungle Babbler Black Redstart Pied Bushchat Bank Myna Common Myna Asian Pied Starling European Starling Western Yellow Wagtail White Wagtail Red-headed Bunting House Sparrow Nutmeg Mannikin Participants of the Activity: Bilal Qazi
Abel Griffen
Ali Shah
Arthur Anab Shams
Awais Ali Sheikh
Yawar Khan Looking at the current response from our country (Pakistan) we expect a higher turn over from passionate Bird Watchers to join us in this activity. It was a wonderful experience and a great learning opportunity.

Ustad Parvez Paras

Ustad Parvez Paras

Ustad Parvez Paras

Ustad Parvez Paras is a well-known musicologist. He is knowledgeable in the unfathomable field of music and has been generously imparting the knowledge and skill of music to enthusiastic learners since 1973.

Music of the Indian sub-continent is dominated by classical music which has its roots in the Vedas (the oldest Hindu scriptures). This music is elaborate and expressive.

The concept of “gharana” گھرانہ (family) originates from the musical culture of the sub-continent. In the field of music, a gharana, apart from the biological family, can take on diverse connotations which affect the thinking, teaching, performance and appreciation of music. Almost all leading classical musicians of India and Pakistan associate themselves with one or the other gharana, taking great pride in the rich heritage of the particular style of music which they represent. This also refers to a line of musicians in among whom the knowledge of music, primarily style-specific music passes down from generation to generation.

Interestingly, there are some rare jewels of musicians in the sub-continent who have not originated from any specific gharana and yet possess an excellence of the mind-soothing art. Amongst them outshines the stellar name of composer, performer, director and music teacher Ustad Parvez Paras, a highly respected maestro. He imparts the art and skill of music to a large number of learners since over four decades.

Born to Mr P D Paras in 1944, Parvez Paras received early lessons from his father (his first guru گُرو and ustad اُستاد). Way back in 1956 the young Paras started learning from his father the dexterous art of playing the tabla, fundamental to Indian music of Northern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, since the 18th century. In 1962 he formally submitted himself to shagirdi شاگردی (Discipleship) of G A Farooq (himself a shagird of the Gawalior Gharana) who taught him tabla and classical singing. In 1966-67 the shagird, Parvez Paras, started learning classical music from Chotay Ghulam Ali Khan.  He also learnt tabla from Ustad Manzoor Hussain (Kasoor) and classical singing from Ashiq Hussain Ashiq, brother of the famous Ustad Tawaqal Hussain Khan. Last but not the least, Baba Muhammad Ali gave the seasoned Paras antique bandhishes (بندھِشیں) of raags of different gharanas, raising him to the level of connoisseur and maestro.

Ustad Paras holds the Presidential National Cultural Award which was conferred upon him in 1990. Along with this unbounded musical talent, the ustad also possesses a flair of writing and has authored three books: –

  1. Bolte Sur (on raagas) بولتے سُر
  2. Taal Ahang (on tabla) تال رنگ and
  3. Sham Ke Panchi (poetry) شام کے پنچھی

Since 1973 Ustad Parvez Paras is committed to imparting the great art of singing and tabla playing to scores of shagirds, thus also teaching good character through rhythm and song. He gives lectures at National College of Arts (NCA) to Fine Arts students of Post Graduate Classes. Ustad Paras also gives classes to young scholars of  Lahore Grammar School (LGS)/ Amongst his disciples / chailas he has some notable names including Faheem Mazhar, Muhammad Javed, Haroon Samuel, Beenish Parvaiz, Riaz Ali Khan (of Sham Churasi Gharana), Shehzad Ali Khan (of Sham Churasi Gharana), Javed Bashir and Anil Waqas. He also has among his shagirds two very young kids (Horeb Shams & Tirzah Shams) who are learning Classical Music from him.

Ustad Paras is currently the President of Lahore Music Forum (LMF) , Adviser & Coordinator All Pakistan Music Conference (APMC) since several years and Urdu Teacher at Full Gospel Assembly (FGA) Bible College. He has also been the Editor of Magazine “Satoon-e-Haque” ستونِ حق.