What we don’t see

Every day of our life, from the time we wake up to the time we sleep, we come across hundreds of faces.  If we step out of our home most faces we encounter are unfamiliar and we remember nothing of them. They come in our line of vision only to vanish a second later leaving not even a vague memory. However, when we wake up the next morning and open the newspaper many of the same fleeting faces stare at us and we look at them and talk about them.

It is as if the printed image has given what was non-existent an existence.  This is such an irony that what is alive is ignored but a dead, unmoving image has the power to move us. - Text and photos by Vaqar Ahmed

This man, spotted outside the Shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi in Karachi, has a very troubled face. It is a powerful blend of worry and seething resentment.  What is his life and of those around him? Would his anger explode destructively one day?  We can only speculate and wonder.
This man, spotted outside the Shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi in Karachi, has a very troubled face. It is a powerful blend of worry and seething resentment. What is his life and of those around him? Would his anger explode destructively one day? We can only speculate and wonder.
A true child of the sea!  Almost as if he was born out of water like a mermaid! ? Ibrahim Hyderi, Karachi.
A true child of the sea! Almost as if he was born out of water like a mermaid! ? Ibrahim Hyderi, Karachi.
If I were to say that this is a picture of a Baloch princess taken from the British India Office Library archives, people would look adoringly at this lovely child.  In reality, she is just a kid photographed recently in the Benazir Park in Clifton, Karachi.
If I were to say that this is a picture of a Baloch princess taken from the British India Office Library archives, people would look adoringly at this lovely child. In reality, she is just a kid photographed recently in the Benazir Park in Clifton, Karachi.
Portrait in Black - two mysterious women enjoying the mystery of the sea  - Seaview Beach, Karachi.
Portrait in Black - two mysterious women enjoying the mystery of the sea - Seaview Beach, Karachi.
On one of my trips to Ibrahim Hyderi (a fishing village in Karachi) I noticed this man ? most likely a seasoned fisherman.  His handsome, battle hardened but yet gentle face startled me. Dress him up, take him to Buckingham palace and he is fit to be the King of England!  But why subject him to that old grouch the Queen? He is probably happy where he is.
On one of my trips to Ibrahim Hyderi (a fishing village in Karachi) I noticed this man ? most likely a seasoned fisherman. His handsome, battle hardened but yet gentle face startled me. Dress him up, take him to Buckingham palace and he is fit to be the King of England! But why subject him to that old grouch the Queen? He is probably happy where he is.
Look into my eyes if you dare! This man can be only one thing ? a snake charmer, and he is! Outside the Hindu Mandir next to the Jahangir Kothari Parade in Clifton, Karachi.
Look into my eyes if you dare! This man can be only one thing ? a snake charmer, and he is! Outside the Hindu Mandir next to the Jahangir Kothari Parade in Clifton, Karachi.
I would have loved to eavesdrop on this conversation between these two policemen! Saddar, Karachi.
I would have loved to eavesdrop on this conversation between these two policemen! Saddar, Karachi.
Spirituality, technology and style blend seamlessly at Sehwan Shareef Shrine in Sindh.
Spirituality, technology and style blend seamlessly at Sehwan Shareef Shrine in Sindh.
In a modern society obsessed with physical appearance, this man with a winsome smile seems perfectly contented with his one tooth! ? At Golra Shareef Shrine in Islamabad.
In a modern society obsessed with physical appearance, this man with a winsome smile seems perfectly contented with his one tooth! ? At Golra Shareef Shrine in Islamabad.
How could one not notice this face chiseled from black rock? Yet, many of us must have passed her by with nary a glance ? Beggar woman outside Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine in Clifton, Karachi.
How could one not notice this face chiseled from black rock? Yet, many of us must have passed her by with nary a glance ? Beggar woman outside Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine in Clifton, Karachi.
I think it is not the lines on the palm but the lines on the face that tell a person's fortune. Learn to read between the lines and there is a novel in every old face  - A beggar woman at Golra Shareef shrine in Islamabad.
I think it is not the lines on the palm but the lines on the face that tell a person's fortune. Learn to read between the lines and there is a novel in every old face - A beggar woman at Golra Shareef shrine in Islamabad.
Strange that the young ones have to hide themselves while the old are allowed to show their faces to the world. How would it look if one covered the fresh roses in a garden? ? Near Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine, Karachi.
Strange that the young ones have to hide themselves while the old are allowed to show their faces to the world. How would it look if one covered the fresh roses in a garden? ? Near Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine, Karachi.

Comments (15) Closed




Balwanjee
Oct 13, 2012 05:56pm
Each picture is worth of a book.. Vaqar has an eagle eye.
farida
Oct 14, 2012 01:43am
Vaqar, your analysations were pretty right... but in some places ur imagination got better of ... :) like in the case of mysterious women.... they were simple women enjoying the sea... they hid behind the veils to protect their honours.... and the snake charmer was way more then just the snake charmer, he was a man full of love, dreams and innocent smiles.... his eyes showed his simple soul. over all a great compilation:)
Obaid Qureshi
Oct 13, 2012 02:04pm
Beautiful pictures. Wonderful description. Thank you.
aaa
Oct 13, 2012 03:51pm
only if we all would love who we are and accept this is us raw and beautiful.
Vaqar Ahmed
Oct 13, 2012 07:48pm
I do indeed; these shrines are the few places left where I find decency, humanity, a comradeship between people from all walks of life and a sense of peace that comes from the acceptance of human vulnerability.
Neer Nayan
Oct 13, 2012 08:11pm
Amazing images, nostalgic narrations, and pearls of thoughts to ponder over... Thank you, Vaqar Bhai!
fraz
Oct 13, 2012 04:12am
looks like you like to go to shrines:)
Pradeep
Oct 13, 2012 07:42am
Just awesome.......
ANEES
Oct 14, 2012 04:55am
Every child is a prince or princess. Every child is handsome.
ANEES
Oct 14, 2012 04:58am
They are NOT mysterious. You have tried to create mystery by taking the photo without their knowledge for obvious reasons.
Tamilslevan
Oct 13, 2012 12:25pm
Excellent pictures. Keep it up and keep clicking away
Amir Saeed
Oct 13, 2012 12:36pm
A real Neptune - god of the sea
dr vimal raina
Oct 14, 2012 06:06am
Beautifully poignant.
Shivam Dadwal
Oct 14, 2012 12:39pm
Nice pictures. Every picture tells us the same story - we are all humanbeings, the fact which we are forgetting day by day.
Gulap
Oct 13, 2012 10:43am
paparazzi -