Salman Aslam

Candid Schmooze

On the Precipice of Grand Canyon Arizona

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Finally my wanderlust shifted from US Midwest to the southwest state of Arizona. Ruminating in retrospect my last sojourn to the US Dakotas was a real lollapalooza of an experience. It was really invigorating, memorable and monumental.


Arizona a state known as the city of the sun with sunshine glaring at maximum intensity 360 days of the year was rather disconcerting. The landscape straddled with Saguaro cactus appeared to be an eye sore.Fortunately it was February of the year a period of intense rain and snow. Weather pundits predicted good weather forecast for our gallivanting to the Grand Canyon South Rim.


Our itinerary was a 3 day trip starting from Scottsdale to Sedona with an overnight halt at Jun pine Resort Lodges followed by billeting at Holiday Inn Grand Canyon. This was followed by sauntering across the brink of Canyons southern rim.


GPS was aligned to Arizona 101 and I 17=AZ 260 followed by Arizona 89A setting course for Sedona. The desert strewn country side peppered by massive growth of Seguin cactus was a surreal thriller. One wondered when the landscape would change to the ponderosa pines and greener pastures.Perambulation would be incomplete without stopovers at Sedona and Flagstaff.


Derig the drive one could see quaint towns, ghost towns of gold rush era. Stagecoach stations almost deserted dotted the route. Enroute the area was sparsely populated. We took detour off exit 289 to see the famous Montezuma Castle Monument. Dwellings of the Sin guan people ensconced in the sides of limestone cliffs a 1000 year old preserved national monument.


Moving to Sedona a graduated change of scenery occurs. Cactuses are replaced by Ponderosa pines. Towering and stunning red rock formations dot the landscape. Rivulets and brooks meander across the route. In the backdrop sun filters a stunning view of red rock formations. Gradient of the road ascends with winding roads and thick forests.


The south western area of USA Sedona provides excellent trails for trekking and sauntering amidst an area nestled with red rock formations. The weather was upbeat with temperatures in range of10 degree Celsius. Jun pine Inn Resort provided excellent amenities for the night stay. Apart from a mouse scare and no breakfast facilities the inn gets a 3 star rating.


Next day we embarked to our next destination Flagstaff --a stunning 1hour drive. The entire sojourn would be incomplete without visiting Sedona and Flagstaff. Oak Creek Canyon provided spectacular and stunning views. One’s impression was dispelled that Arizona was a desolate state devoid of picturesque beauty.

Entering Flagstaff one was overwhelmed by the majestic and towering site of Humphreys Peak. This was Arizona’s highest snow-capped mountain over 12000 feet above sea level. Arizona Ski Bowl Resort near Humphreys Peak is a major tourist attraction. Other tourist vistas include the White Mountains which is going to be next on the gallivanting calendar.


Web dropped anchorage at the Holiday Inn Grand Canyon for the night after a 90 minutes’ drive from Flagstaff. The hotel amenities and services get a 4 star rating. The entire next day was dedicated to exploration of Grand Canyon Southern Rim.

The Grand Canyon is a gargantuan gorge carved by Colorado River and its tributaries that stretches over 270 miles long exhibiting powers of erosion over a millennium. Over1900 miles of the park is dedicated to wilderness. The air is pollution free.

The Colorado River meanders across the length of the canyon and aquatic activities like rafting and canoeing. Other activities include hiking, skydiving, and helicopter tours. Hiking to the bottom is strenuous and not encouraged for the frail and handicapped. Accidents and mishaps are common for those pushing beyond their physical limitations.


The southern rim is the most popular tourist bonanza. It is open entire year and offers panoramic and picturesque views of the canyon along the brink of the canyon. The gorgeous vistas and spell binding views are really exhilarating from the lookout towers standing on the threshold of canyon.

The high water mark of our jaunt would be incomplete without traversing the spectacular Desert View Drive along the southern rim for 25 miles. Main attraction is the Desert View Tower perched on the brink of canyon. Catalyst transformation of terrain into desert mode with its stunning and exquisite vistas is an unforgettable experience.


This area was the site of a 1956 disaster involving 2 Super Constellation aircraft. Route back to Phoenix was by highway 89 and I 17 bypassing Sedona via Flagstaff.

This was the culmination of a visit to a historic wonder of the world.

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Social Etiquettes and Fauxpas

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An overview of  last two decades saw a major resurgence in technological advancement. Massive advancement in form of laptops, computers and tech savvy mobiles has resultantly caused an alarming moral retrogression. Apart from its plethora of advantages it exudes moral retrograde and decay. Resultantly societal values, manners and courtesies have been dealt a stunning blow.During course of my discussion I shall be dwelling on certain major gaffes, acts of impropriety and in decorum. With passage of time how the written word which reflected personal touch has been replaced by texts’ and E-mails.There is a very apt saying that when you are young you want to change the world. As you get older you want to change youth. Good manners reflect consideration for others, politeness and decency. Some of the major social blunders and breaches of decorum and decency are appended below:-

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Images Eau Claire Wisconsin Washington

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Traffic Maelstorm in Pakistan

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A casual glance at the traffic pandemonium of a city speaks volumes about its national character leaving an indelible impression of more misery and chaos to follow suit.

Pakistan is in the midst of a traffic quagmire as its woes get further compounded by totally inept and lackadaisical management machinery. Driving in Pakistan has become a horrendous nightmarish experience. Road rage and intolerance has reached endemic proportions. Road side lynching has become a common sight followed by torching of vehicles.

This commotion and turbulence on roads reflects moral degeneration, anarchy and dwindling moral values/ethos. Courtesy on roads, etiquettes and mannerisms seem to a saga of fairy tales. Burgeoning and mushroom of motorcycle menace with its teeming millions has clogged all arteries. Population boom has resulted in massive increase in vehicles and motor cycles. All those blue collared workers who were on cycles are riding bikes owning to easier availability, faster conveyance and economy.
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Swim Demo with Paddles

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Dressed to Kill

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HBL Security Seminar

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Farewell on retirement from HBL

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Ambulating on Lalazar - Mushkpuri Trek

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Travel Through America

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Related: Sojourn to the US Dakotas

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Sartorial Elegance and Dress Etiquettes

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Sartorial pertains to finesse in clothing, tailoring and sophistication in dressing etiquettes. This is a manifestation and embodiment of an aesthetic taste reflective of a man’s penchant for resplendence. Very few are gifted by this trait which involves meticulousness in ones mien and attire. With the passage of time there has been a massive decline in dress etiquettes and mannerisms. The British left a legacy of their customs after independence which the local goras followed for quite some time. Gradually their customs faded away and we were faced with a dilemma of hotchpotch and assortment of dresses which we have not been able to crystalize.


I remember few of the dresses in vogue in late 50s and 60s like the Solar Hat, shorts with stockings as part of uniform, Sam Browne Belts, which remained in vogue. When our generals like Zia became obese with protruding bellies it was time to doff the cross belt. To add to the unkindest cut Kayani was instrumental in getting rid of the web belt. For a moment one was bewildered to see all being under open arrest. It was such aslovenly and disorderly sight to see.


During yester years we had one of the finest combinations of tailors. Tailors and outfitters who took great pride in provision of services to great personalities like Field Marshals Ayub, Auchinleck, Wavell, Messervy Gracey and the Quaid. Topping the list was Muhammad Shah and Shaikh Ismail. Their cutters were trained from London who took immense pains in measurements. The dresses were impeccable. Despite all efforts one could not find a bulge or flaw in their expertise.


These days you have an assemblage of tailors in every nook and corner making dishevelled suits. One gets the impression if it is the work of a cobbler or a tailor!!Sartorial implies no fancy or expensive attire bit exquisitely tailored clothing emanating perfection and aesthetic taste. It is always better to be overdressed vis-vis few blemishes here and there.


As one gracefully ages the dresses in turn become conservative yet retaining its former glory. A gentleman’s wardrobe should have clothing which remains in vogue irrespective of vacillating trends in fashion. By that I infer 2 button single breast suit has always withstood test of fashion gimmicks at all times. Trousers with 18 inches straight bottom will continue to remain in favour whether bellbottoms or teddyism rules the roost.White shirts will always bein favour at all times irrespective of dress codes.

Following sartorial dress gaffes and fauxpas fall within the realm of indecorousness:-

To encapsulate sartorial elegance as an art this does not emanate naturally. It requires aesthetics, perfection and being a fashion connoisseur. To avoid embarrassment one has to keep abreast with dress codes prescribed at functions and gala events. Being overdressed is a safe bet to avoid being ticked. Colour combinations and contrasting is equally significant in selection of a man’s attire. The entire edifice of a perfect sartorial look befalls on the tailoring of clothes. Even a modest suit yet tailored with painstaking precision will give a debonair look over an expensive dishevelled suiting.

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At the Coast of Lake Superior city of Duluth Minnesota USA

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One Arm Butterfly Drill with Dolphin Kick and Full Stroke Drill

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Standing With Pike Twist

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Mississippi Meandering En Route

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