Conversation With Qalandar on His Doodles

IRSHAD SALIM: Dr. Gholam Mustafa, a California-based professional whom we used to call ‘Qalandar’ in NED –this was in the early 70s, until, to quote Hamza Shahid (Oscar), “we lost such individuals to the West” pinged me on WhatsApp today.

Decades later, both of us connected last year –thanks to Anis Raza Ally and Nasir Raza, both from NED.

As I had expected, Qalandar has not changed –his sun glasses (welding glasses) DP is an understatement of him as a person. With his doodles and doo dats shares, to me the recent Chinese flying car debut in Dubai news sounds like a classified page insert in a daily newspapers of good gold days. Some weeks ago, Qalandar had shared this with me:

It was his first after many years. I took it as one of the doodles fast forwarded that he and some of us used to scribble on our note books (Khata) hanging out in the NED cafeteria and as like some of us used to standing up at Shah Ji’s Bun Kabab khoka in DJ.

Today he shared this one –both add up to be a perfect toon at The Onion website:

Sharing the second one today, Qalandar wrote, “From braid to link to knot and back to braid. First two are due to Alexander, last two due to Markov,” he explained as I asked him, “what’s this”.
“First one is due to Alexander”, he said about his previous share.
“Who is Alexander and who is Markov, Qalander (Q)?”
“Two mathematics,” and he shared links.
“So how do all these relate with your ongoing studies/efforts? What r u trying to do/prove?”
Q: “It started with symbolic dynamics, describing sequences with symbols…like tossing a coin multiple times gives 10100111001010. Turns out (the) behavior of complex nonlinear systems can be captured via symbolic sequences. Turns out, sequences can be periodic 1001001001. Turns put periodicity corresponds to closed loops”.
“Tell me like something simple, like Amjad Subhani’s (another Qalandar in those days now a tableeghi I’m told) ‘Knots & Nets’ I asked Q. Subhain’s exhibits in the 70s using ropes were displayed at the Arts Council and turned to be a hit and a miss for many.
Q: DNA is braid. Molecules are knots,” Q explained. Adding, “Solutions of a differential equation…in layman’s terms.”
“What’s the point of all this? Why are you doing this?,” I asked.
Q: Why do people climb mountains? Why do they jump out of planes? “They make connections with seemingly desperate ideas,” he said. Like connecting AI to statistical mechanics.
Or the other way, I asked. And suggested it was all about connecting Statistics mechanics to AI.
Q Shares thumbs up emoji, says, “Sorry in meeting now” and shares this:

“Flows, as in flow of a vector field ‘f’ on a manifold ‘M'”

Oscar is right. We lost him to the West! I may have regained him and definitely his doodles on WhatsApp. And I’m back!

Honorary contributors to DesPardes: Adil Khan, Ajaz Ahmed, Anwar Abbas, Arif Mirza, Aziz Ahmed, Bawar Tawfik, Dr. Razzak Ladha, Dr. Syed M. Ali, G. R. Baloch, Haseeb Warsi, Hasham Saddique, Jamil Usman, Jawed Ahmed, Ishaq Saqi, Khalid Sharif, Majid Ahmed, Masroor Ali, Md. Ahmed, Md. Najibullah, Mushtaq Siddiqui,, Mustafa Jivanjee, Nusrat Jamshed, Shahbaz Ali, Shahid Hamza, Shahid Nayeem, Shareer Alam, Syed Ali Ammaar Jafrey, Syed Hamza Gilani, Shaheer Alam, Syed Hasan Javed, Syed M. Ali, Tahir Sohail, Tariq Chaudhry, Usman Nazir