Point 1-updates

June 18, 2011

I will be working in stop-motion animation.
The point I have chosen is the cabin which switches tracks. right next to it, between the tracks is a small white mosque. Now making a mosque in the middle of tracks is quite unusual but it has an aura of silence against the noisy and busy background. Also, this little white structure stands in the middle of the browns and greens and other colours of the busy railway station.
 
For me, the mosque is the presence of hope in the midst of all the fares of the quotidian. Almost like a white lotus standing in a swamp.
The track changing cabin which is accessed after climbing a creaky flight of stairs made during the colonial times brings the human attempt to run things in order, while the little white mosque down the steps gives a silent prayer to retain our faith in ourselves and our sense of control on the future… (Ancient Greeks believed that hope gives a false sense of control on the future and argued its positivity).
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Q: Would they be solely religious or could they have been tied there for other reasons?

A: I believe they are solely religious in this context. but we can manipulate it into our own story…

the “exchange”  idea sounds intriguing. i like the stencil idea… keeping in mind a: the language barrier and b: questioning who we are talking to? as in who is the audience for the public intervention… do we want to get the point across? or should we even worry about it? i think this idea can be cooked more ( i’m thinking… im thinking)…

i discovered two  new facts/fiction about this Shrine! well the first one is definitly a fact… the tree is sticking out of a mosque right behind the shrine. its one building with single entrance but a different room. secondly it is said that Gujja Peer has healing powers. so people come here for Shifa- healing i saw a huge container filled with salt and i was told that the salt is taken for the very same purpose. so here is another string to hold on to may be?

lets think about it and call back…

i managed to take some pictures inside the shrine.. i sneaked in when the care taker was not around…

have a look!

"Charhawa" on the grave of Gujja.   

 

 

hay all

just to keep you all updated…

Steve and I have something to share

hi nida

its Steve here from the London slice – how are you??

I’m just wondering if you could: 

a) briefly re-tell me the history of the shrine 

and 

b) if we could find a way of creating an address for the shrine (even though I think you said that it currently does not have an official form of address) so that I can maybe send something/s there… ideally I’m thinking that I don’t want to send anything ‘care of’ but rather directly to the location…

however I’m still not exactly certain how my work might manifest itself (the balloons idea I talked about via Skype is currently just one of many) so hope that any information you can provide about the shrine (beyond there being 2 trees growing through the structure) might potentially expose a way forward for me… I’m happy for whatever is eventually sent to fail to arrive but would like to give it at least the best possible chance of arriving

trusting that this finds you well

best wishes from a grey and damp London

Steve 

hi Steve

I’m fine thanks 🙂

well… I asked the gadde nasheen (a saint who practically lives at the shrine) about the history of that place, I asked who was Gujja Peer and who made this place? he said nobody knows anything about Gujja. he told me an interesting story. I don’t know how authentic it is but here it is: while goorai -white skinned- were making the railway ,which is now right behind this place, they failed thrice as the land was not accepting it. so, it was decided that a holy spirit or some saint  lives here.. so this place was constructed… this other person told me that a lady from London called Shama spent a lot of money and constructed this place.. I’m assuming before the London lady got this place constructed dr must be a humble set up here..

I can try and find out the address. but you have to wait for a few days. Ooo and also, only one tree is growing through the structure. please find att. the  image of the tree..

I am thinking of giving niaz  (donation in any form food drinks clothes etc)in that place. you see I was given Niaz when I went there…  I am thinking of giving out food in rapped in letters… I’m still thinking about the letters and its details though.. may be a prayer list.. I don’t know… but I really want a strong connection with the tree… hmmm… thinking…

lets copy paste his conversation on word press if you don’t mind.. let’s make it part of the process..

feel free to ask more questions.. 🙂

Reg

Nida

hi nida

thanks for your swift response

posting these exchanges on the blog is fine with me… I think it should show all our working processes, thoughts, and ideas as they grow and form…

hmmmmnn just one tree not two that’s even more intriguing. one tree here to another tree there, across the continents …it gets more intriguing by the minute. 

perhaps we could construct a cross-continental conversation between the two trees (my ‘i love u’ tree and your shrine tree – or send gifts or offerings from one to the other??) I’m happy to wait for the address if it can be located. thank you.

I really like the notion that the tree has survived where building efforts have not, and that the only way to stop the constant falling-downs was to erect the shrine to ease the spirit believed to be causing them. so much superstition…

I’m thinking of spending some extended time in the park and asking people who pass there if they know anything about the person who left the ‘I love u’ messages, and maybe who they would tell that they love them, and then perhaps send those names somewhere (maybe by balloon or by letter or even some other format) or do something with them…. I’m not certain yet and its all still rather vague… 

I like your idea of offering something to passersby – do you think we could perhaps exchange something (it could be names, or prayers, or something more tangible) and then distribute those to people in each-others cities?? the possibilities are endless…

looking forward to your next reply

best wishes

Steve

good am Steve!

I got the address… though I’m not entirely sure if the things you send will get to this place or not.. but the care taker gave me this address..

darbaar Gujja peer

Dou moria pull,

Lahore,

Pakistan.

I asked for more details but the guy said that is all you need.. this is the address… this didn’t come to me as a surprise.. all my questions are answered like this in and around the shrine… nobody knows the authentic history of this place… it always His-Story.. it’s always begins with our forefathers told us that…. and it seems every father had a different story to tell, which is interesting because I thing my work is evolving in the same manner. I’m now thinking of making a photo essay and text , perhaps supported by sound… yes I know it sounds a lot different than my previous donation idea.. 🙂 perhaps I should stop going to the shrine now!

I love the idea of an exchanging “something”.. will share an image on the blog today.. and copy paste chunks of our conversation.. you would love that image and I’m sure it will give you some ideas and maybe we can build up on it!

Kind Reg

Nida

————————————————————————————————————————–.

okay.. yes yes Steve i know i know… that was not chunks of our conversation.. it’s pretty much all of it! 😛

Here is the image i was talking about…

well.. these are some objects hung to the tree at my end…  im assuming they are Taweez (The defenition of a Ta’weez is simply ‘a written Du’a,’ which is from the Qur’an or Ahadith, and isfor the one who cannot read or has not memorized that particular Du’a. It is written on a piece ofpaper and is worn around the neck. retrieved from: http://www.scribd.com/doc/2624285/TAWEEZ)  or pieces of cloth hung in shrines here as an act of mannat- phrasal translation would be “to wish upon a coin”- whatever they are im sure about the fact that the do have some kind of spiritual significance.  to my surprise, not many taweez are hanging on this tree… perhaps its not Holy enough for people? i asked so many visitors about this tree and it seems that people just miss it and they ask back … what? which tree?  ooo that tree? yes its a tree.. its very old… and its been here just like any other tree…

So yeah Steve here you go! “do you think we could perhaps exchange something (it could be names, or prayers, or something more tangible)”  here is a version of “tangible prayers” My tree has to offer.

lets talk here now!

 

Gujja peer and the tree

June 12, 2011

in my first visit to the point, i stood outside the shrine for some time. saw people stopping by in front of the black opening for the daily quick performance… the must do ritual… the little black opening had two “dea” (oil candles),  a metal door with a tiny slit for donation secured by a thick metal bar and two big metal locks. the name of the shrine ” Baba Gujja Peer”  was engraved on a white  marble piece above this opening. people on cycles, motorbikes, rickshaws or even on foot paused for a few min… prayed, donated and touched the oil of the “dea” for good luck and blessings.

this might look like a quite shot but the noise around it was an experience i could not miss!!!

this tree growing out of the concrete structure was the other fascinating part of the mysterious shrine.

a lot is cooking in my mind. the black prayer hole, the tree, the railway line right behind the shrine, the noise around this place and much much more…

The tunnel joins the part of the Walled City with that of the railway colony, passing under  the railway tracks. The elemento f surprise just blows of ones mind everytime you cross the tunnel, but its not only about going under the lines, its about how you go through the transition. Everytime you cross the tunnel the air changes, the sight & sounds changes. The tunnel takes you into a whole new world of your own.

 ‘For the project i have taken footage from the point and will now work in making Experiential Orbs as a piece of slice.these orbs will be made in round and will have visual, auditory and textural pieces from different points of my designated area. so the idea is the i am breaking my slice down in smaller points of my interest. Its like taking different scoops out of the point.
  • The orbs are sculptural and in round.
  • They will have sound
  • Uploading options are still being worked out
  • Sketches of these orbs are still in process.

Agent Chitta

May 23, 2011

Agent Chitta is the main character of my story whose task is to watch over Point2 and always operates around the slice point. One of the few chats that I had with Chitta while on Slice is here

My project :initial draft

… story of “slice” 1940-2011…

The project is about life with its dynamic phases.It is about the sounds that one stores in his mind while passing through the seasons of life/age.
It is about how and what makes a man happy .A real life story of a man who spent his life on a machine which cuts fodder for the cattle,horses etc and later he turned it into a timber shop.
The project will define and drive the story through sounds .It is about a man who spent more than 80 years of his life in the area we have marked as SLICE (Lahore).
The “sound design” will be a combination or fusion of sounds which triggers my mind while grasping the moments of life lived by a lahori(ee) old man.It will also carry the vocabulary of sounds that he listened and still remembered as an emotional attachment.

Background

I went to walk -slice- and immediately hit by a -nostalgic burst- .Though it was the first time of my life that i walked on the roads of the area we marked as slice but believe me it takes you some where.I don’t know how true u would think it is cuz on the surface it is as noisy, overly populated and kinda unhealthy environment as any other down town area u would think of,but it has that “period effect” if u know what i mean.So i started asking(few) shop keepers as if ,how long have they been living here etc and got many interesting answers and in the quest of finding the real story of the area i luckily went to this timber shop (pointed out by a man at a public bath).

The shop is owned by an 80 year old man who has 4 sons and two daughters . The man himself is quite a character he can make u laugh or can very easily touch your emotional notes with his unmatched quality of telling stories.The man never went to school in his life but has been deeply profound in his thoughts and routine discussion.He (on his own) comes to the shop very early, around 5-6 am and later joined but his sons.He has lived all his life in the heart of Lahore and has seen most of the memorable events/moments that Lahore has gone through in the last 100 years. A man who has no regrets in his life but don’t even want to imagine, having a new or another life cuz he does not want to live in dreams or imaginative world.He shared a lot of new (and first hand ) information about the culture of the city.So I m hoping to explore his world with my sound design although the whole process is so unpredictable that i can hardly tell (at this very moment) as how and where the project is going to end…….

Cheers.

kashif