“Art for Music” — 35+ Spray Paint Pieces, Installation by Me

Art can take any form. Great work.

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

This is a collection of pieces (35+) that I did for a 40ft wall installation for charity at The Lagond Music School in Westchester, NY – Just outside of NYC.

On April 13th there is an event at the School to raise money for at-risk youth and children with special needs.  All of my art pieces that I donated will be for sale with 100% of the proceeds going to the school for the needs mentioned above.

*** If YOU or ANYONE you know is in the NYC area please come out for a night of Wine, Art by me, & Live Music.  FREE EVENT.

Here is the event link.  Please join if in the area or Invite ANYONE in the area that you know.  I really want this to be a great turn out for the school and children in need.

***********–> http://www.facebook.com/events/141551189347578/  **************

Ferrer - LAGOND1   Ferrer - LAGOND5

Ferrer - LAGOND6   Ferrer - LAGOND2

Ferrer - LAGOND3

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To Balance the Scales of Gratitude to a Hero

To Balance the Scales of Gratitude to a Hero

Its sad when you die with a whimper. Sadder still when you die with a whimper, when you have once been famous. Napoleon comes to mind. Out in the middle of the Atlantic, the man who ruled Europe and filled everyone with fear was dead and the world did not know. What an awful culmination to such a huge existence.

Today I had the same feeling, when I read a tribute to Haseeb Ahsan. Then, much to my chagrin, I found in a subsequent report that in fact he had died yesterday. Yes, I can see so many saying ‘who was Haseeb Ahsan?’ That is exactly my point.

Yet, I remember him being on the front pages of newspapers not only here in Pakistan, but England, Australia and I am sure in India also.

So who was Haseeb Ahsan? In a bygone era he used to spin his off spinners more than Muralitharan did. Not many will remember that. Unlike Murli, he got banned from cricket for doing that. They said his action was not correct and in the days when the ICC was really the Imperial Cricket Council, it was not so accommodating as now. So his career finished after 12 tests for Pakistan in 1962, when he was sent back from our England tour.  It was a defect due to an unnatural bent of arm and he had nothing to do with it… Like Murli! but fate played a role and he went out.

However his best days were yet to come. His headlines were still 20 years away, in the 1980s. And for once you can say a Pakistani hero returned more to the country than he took away. Did more than his actual ability warranted. And in doing this, he took on all and sundry simply for Pakistan.

Haseeb finished with cricket and had a great career as an executive with PIA and then American Express. He rose to head the organisation. Being an acknowledged expert in management it was not surprising that he was so senior. But in later years, his association led him to play a role in BCCP (PCB today). He eventually rose to be Chief Selector – role presently held by Iqbal Qasim. Those were the days when Pakistan was led by Imran Khan and the BCCP chief was the great Nur Khan- giant of a personality.

Haseebs understanding of humans led him to blood many youngsters. His star pick was Wasim Akram. I still remember Haseeb putting Wasim in  the tour match versus New Zealand in Rawalpindi. A strapping youngster, all hair and legs and did it pay off! Eventually Wasim ended up taking wickets in New Zealand a few months later and of course the rest is history.

As Chief Selector Haseeb’s hour came in an earlier confrontation, where he must have graduated to be the ‘Most hated man in Pakistan’. Yet he held to his principles and months later was proved right. Pakistan were on their way to Australia in 1983-84 under Imran’s captaincy. However, Imran was suffering from pain in his shins and there were some doubts on his fitness. It seemed Nur Khan and all of Pakistan had aligned itself into sending Imran, except one Haseeb Ahsan. No budging the man, his mantra “prove your fitness and you can go”. The confrontation made the front pages, everyone abused Haseeb and yet the man was adamant. Eventually Imran went, based on a Nur Khan decree. Result, Imran could not play any of the 5 test matches and the balance of the team was upset.  We lost 2-0, where we had begun the tour as equal favourites. It took a lot of guts to take that stand and  in later years Imran was very appreciative of it.

Cut to the 1987 tour of England. Haseeb is now Manager of the team – in pre coach days, a very important role. Haseeb and Imran knew that Pakistan had a good chance against a strong England team. They also knew that like in all previous tours, a controversy will be thrown at the team to unsettle it. So the plan! Haseeb will take on the English press and let Imran get on with the job of winning the test series. Haseeb put in a request to delete a couple of English umpires from the panel -Messrs Constant and Palmer. In the 1982 tour these gentleman had been the source of many controversial decisions against Pakistan. All hell broke loose and the whole 3 month tour was consumed by a three way battle. English papers, cricket authorities and Haseeb. All done forthrightly , but with a nice smile. An English speaking wiley oriental gentleman (WOG) took on the mantle of controversy. The result, nary a single major controversy related to the players, the team worked as a unit and it became the first series win by a Pakistan team in England. The plan was acknowledged by Imran. Haseeb went smilingly about it, drawing the fire on the person for the sake of Pakistan.

In later years age and changing personalities meant that Haseeb disappeared from cricket. It has then come to this, that a man who had substantial part to play in building the team which won the World Cup 92, has died a quiet death. This article has been written to thank this man posthumously and to try and balance the scales of gratitude just a little bit, on behalf of the Pakistani nation.

Time – An Enigma….

Reflections — 18 December 2012
Time – An Enigma….

I remember my fascination with time when I read Einstein’s theory. It was difficult to visualize, us traveling around Andromeda in 56 years (at speed of light) to return to Earth. But lo! When we return, the Earth will be gone, as 3bn years would have passed. The whole concept seemed surreal. Then the Time Tunnel program and mans capability to travel back. So what would happen if I went back and changed history? The concept of a parallel universe where another ‘ME’ could be living a different life, in a similar world just blew one’s mind out.

 

Now, almost 38 years later, as I reach the end of my career, the relativity attributes and quality of time has become apparent. These 50 plus years of life seem like a whisper, which soundlessly slipped by. I could swear it was only yesterday, one was being entered in the daily class register in early school. One can remember the teacher’s voice; smell the scents and the murmur of chatter. Yet the days have long gone. Worse, now they seem to move at breakneck speed week to week; we wish to stop time, but it is hurtling along at a pace of a train downhill without breaks. And therefore comes a time, when we too shall depart this world.  The question to be answered then is ‘have we done enough with our elusive time?’

 

For me the benchmark description has become Surah Al-Asr in the Quran and I translate:-

 

I swear by the time, Most surely man is in loss, Except those who believe and do  good, and enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience.

 

The above is the description which has given some realistic shape to that enigma called time.

 

Imam Sha’fi explained that he would often wonder about Surah Al-Asr, till one day in the market he came across an ice-vendor. Remember those were the days of non-refrigeration. What the Imam saw was that the ice was melting and for the vendor, the race was that he could somehow get the best out of his time and be able to sell off the highest possible amount of ice. If he did that, he would go home successful. If he failed, well the ice would melt and he would fail. Substitute time for the ice and good deeds for the act of selling.  And there you have our life’s struggle. We are like that ice vendor, fighting a losing battle, unless we can perform meaningful deeds within the time we have. Time, which is elapsing fast!

 

Of course it is easier said than done, especially when ones commercial life is all encompassing. Most of us do have good intentions. We come across so many youngsters who are idealists by nature. But they are hampered by the need to earn ample legal tender, so they can achieve the legitimate aim of fulfilling responsibilities. These young idealists get involved more and more into the commercial world. Soon they are running pillar to post to fulfill their professional duties. Time is sucked out of their day, tiredness and jadedness sets in and soon decades pass. These idealists lose their original reason to live and begin to chase a profit mirage. Alas one day soon, Father Time will be up and they will depart this world, having missed out on the opportunity to fulfill their passion, dreams and goodness.

 

A classic example of this loss of opportunity occurred during the time of our Prophet (saw). In the early days of the mission, a man from Taif came to Mecca for business. Of course he went to the Haram. There he saw a man, a woman and a young boy praying in an unusual fashion. His curiosity aroused, he enquired from a prominent resident Abbas (ra), as to their background. Abbas (ra) replied that the subject people were his nephew Muhammad (saw), who claimed to be a prophet, his wife Khadijah (ra) and his cousin Ali (ra). They were praying to their God, Allah (sbt), who they claimed was The One God and they rejected polytheism. The man was intrigued and wished to speak to them, but was also short of ‘time’ and hurried off to Taif, knowing full well that his business shall bring him to Mecca again and he would learn more!! 20 years later after the conquest of Mecca, as Arabia converted to Islam in droves, a group of tribesmen came to Medina to accept Islam at the hands of the Prophet (saw). Amongst this group was a man who cried uncontrollably! When asked about the reason for his tears, he replied that 20 years earlier he had the opportunity of being among the pioneers of Islam, but allowed that moment to slip by. This man lost an opportunity given to a handful in human history. Today history while recording the event does not even recognize his name or his whereabouts – an opportunity lost indeed.   

 

Let’s not be like that poor man, who is lost in the folds of time.   May Allah make us like a successful ice-vendor, where we have seized the opportunity and done what we believe good and worthwhile, for time slips away. 

 

This note has been inspired and influenced by www.eislam.co.za. I totally acknowledge using their article as a base for creating this blog. 

photo credit: ToniVC via photopin cc

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