The village of Farmana Khas (that I covered on 7th January for its early Harappan Archaeological mounds) is surrounded by three large Johads (tanks) that sort of acted collectively as a defensive moat. These Johads, viz. Dhobhi, Jauna Aala and Dhamma Aala have a large storage capacity, but are degenerating gradually because of garbage and debris strewn around them. The once self-sustaining economy of the village, thanks to forested land that surrounded the village is majorly defunct due to the disappearance of the forest. But, Farmana Khas moves on, proud of its rich past, its present-day social fabric, and ancient relics that have pronounced the village on an archaeological map.

It’s on the western bank of Dhamma Aala Johad that a 140-year old well colloquially known as Baniyon Ka Kuan stands majestically depicting a syncretic Indo-Islamic architectural style. Said to be built by the grandchildren of Lala Hira Mal, who moved here in 1810 from Kirsola Village in Jind State (now a bordering district of Rohtak in Haryana). According to the local lore, masons from Bhiwani (another bordering district) raised this impressive structure, where the depth of the well was 90 feet.

How were these wells built?

Lime stones or ‘Rodi’ (gravel or grit) were shaped and sized according to the plan of the well. Later, brick masonry was introduced. The mud bricks were locally made and burnt using agro-wastes and wood as fuel. The quality of binding materials or mortar for bricks consisted of limerock, acacia seeds, white jute or patsun, and urad dal (black lentils) ground with water and occasionally yogurt, then thoroughly mixed and pounded as a reinforcement. When the wall of the well was sufficiently raised, a platform (Chabutra) would be built around it. Then minarets (burgee) and tubs (khelskothe) would be raised. In Haryana, it is common to see four-pillar wells with four pulleys. But, wells with 8 to 12 pulleys were also built (examples of such can be seen in Beri and Dujana in Jhajjar district). Water was pulled using a ‘Charas’, a large leather bucket.




4 kms east on the road to Hodal from Badkali in Nagina tehsil of Mewat, one encounters a non-descript village that goes by the name of Mohammad Nagar (aka Havananagar). The village boasts of the ruins of a spectacular Haveli made in Lakhori bricks (will cover that some other time). The village really caught the attention of archaeologists, when a team led by BR Mani carried out excavations here, and deciphered that the cultural sequence of the site was similar to Harnol. The site is damaged now, but some traces of the excavations still remain. I found Shunga-period sherds here, and some bones.

Trenches in the form of squares measuring 10 x 10 meters were laid and five quadrants of four squares were taken up for excavations that were continued up to natural soil. 34 Habitational Layers were encountered in both trenches, and natural soil was encountered under the 34th layer. The soil had kankar deposits through which water began to ooze out.

A 35 cm thick deposit over the kankar mixed natural soil with water yielded sturdy red ware sherds that were not found in the upper layers. This layer represented Period 1 (700 – 500 BCE). Period 2 was represented by layers 29-33 having red ware, grey ware and some sherds of Painted Grey Ware (PGW). Iron objects too were found from these deposits, and this suggests Ghaggar-Hakra River Valley civilizational period (1300 – 500/300 BCE). Layers 22-28 represent deposits associated with Northern Black Polished ware (NBPW) which existed between 700 – 200 BCE. Here remains of a brick wall having four courses and a drain with vertically placed bricks in EW direction were noticed. Evidence of post-holes also suggested the existence of thatched huts. Red, grey and NBPW were the main ceramic products excavated. Layers 12 to 21 represented the Shunga Period (185 – 73 BCE). Lowest course of a circular structure with wedge shaped burnt bricks were found suggesting that this might be a Stupa.

From its sealing deposit three similar terracotta dealings with the figure of yupa (a Vedic-era sacrificial altar) were discovered. Terracotta bangles, beads, plaques with human and animal figures, and incurved bowls in red ware comprised the main ceramic industry of this period. A 4 meter deposit belonging to the Kushan Period in the form of house complexes, a narrow lane running east to west and paved with bricks was noticed. A sunken wall of 26 courses of bricks with an opening in its upper courses suggesting evidence of a window was noticed. From the exposed southern section of the damaged part of the mound several huge structures were noticed, some of which rose to almost 40 courses of bricks. Terracotta human and animal figurines, beads, stone beads and four Kushan copper coins were found. Red ware ceramic included bowls, basins, vases, lids and lamps. Layer 1 to 3 were associated with the late mediaeval period. Part of the structure was exposed in the southern part of the trench which was constructed by using bricks and stones. A large hearth full of ash too was discovered. Some dishes of fine red ware besides other ceramics in associated red ware were found. Seven courses of a structure with reused bricks were also noticed in sectional scrapping, which are seemingly contemporaneous with the mosque towards the north-east of the trench on the mound, which has now been rebuilt. A most interesting find was a loose mutilated sculpture of a seated deity in red sandstone.



Kot, which literally means a Fort, lies along the Nuh – Hodal Road. This ancient village did have a fort at one point, which was destroyed by the invading armies of Mahmud of Ghazni or Mahmud Ghaznavi (reigned 998 – 1030 CE). Ghaznavi founded the Turkic Ghaznavid Dynasty. His Empire extended from Northwestern Iran to Punjab, and from Khwarazm in Transoxiana to Makran. He is said to have invaded India 17 times during his reign, and sacked Somnath in Gujarat and Mathura, the latter considered to be the richest city in India at the time. In 1018 CE, during his expedition to Mathura, Baran and Mahaban, he is said to have laid to waste the Yaduvanshi Fort in Kot. Unfortunately, no trace of the fort remains at present, though the village still takes the name ‘Kot’.

The history of the place is reborn after almost 1500 years during the reign of the Third Mughal Emperor, Akbar, and an influential and venerable personality in Rao Bahad. Rao Bahad, aka Dada Bahad lived in the latter half of the 16th Century, and occupied the place from the Rawat Jats. The Jats still form a majority towards the east of the village. The local lore is that he took on the might of Emperor Akbar, all by himself. According to the lore, Akbar once on his expedition passed through Bisru Village (In modern-day Punhana Tehsil of Nuh District). As he happened to be near Kot, a Khanzada offered his daughter’s hand to Akbar, which Akbar accepted. Akbar married the girl and took her to the Harem at Agra. This infuriated the Meos of the area, and Kot Chieftain Dada Bahad decided to bring the girl back. Dada Bahad covertly slipped into the military workshop in Agra, and from there into the Harem, where he convinced the girl to accompany him to Mewat, and the girl readily agreed. After their return, the elders of the village suggested that Dada Bahad enter into an alliance with the girl and disappear into hiding for a while until Akbar’s search party returned empty-handed. But, Dada Bahad was already married with children, but the villagers convinced him to take his second wife, which he did. Meanwhile, Akbar’s search party searched nook and corner of the area for Dada Bahad, and eventually flushed him out. He was taken to Agra and executed. But Akbar allowed his body to be taken to his village of Kot to be buried there. And that’s how the simple graves of Dada Bahad, and his two wives are situated near a Mosque said to have been built by Dada Bahad himself. The Mosque is undergoing renovations at the present, and in all likelihood is to lose its original signature carried from the middle of the 16th Century. Meanwhile, the graves are extremely simple in the form of mounds with nothing to shield them from the elements. The graves lie in an enclosure, which is built in stone and is broken at numerous places.

The mosque is built in bricks and has a fine plaster with good masonry work and floral designs (All of these characteristics were unseen during my visit as renovation is in full swing). This mosque was in a dilapidated condition, and no wonder the villagers took it upon themselves to restore it. This mosque is built on the raised platform of about 4 feet height. The main building as roughly calculated is 40 feet long and 10 feet wide with three bays, the middle one larger than the other two. The mosque has three arched entrances, which open into the courtyard. The building has roofing of high architectural value. It has (had) a grave-shaped half-domed roof divided into three portions. All the four walls have rounded corners made of bricks and plasters. The main gateway is arched and made of the brick-shaped stones. 

Philosophical Time and the Israel-Palestine Stalemate – Note Quote



Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot treats the notion of time as a traction between change and changelessness scrutinizing human condition in the light of an absurd universe. In exposing the barest of existence, the protagonists undergo a devitalizing process through repetitive actions with slight variations, signaling a passage of time ever so slowly, yet changing without any logic whatsoever in consonance with the absurdity of the universe. The micro-level individuation encounters this change, albeit very slowly, but in relation to the macro-level universality that hardly does, because “nothing ever happens”, Beckett transcribes this temporal circularity of changelessness by means of a stasis. In the 4-dimensional spacetime, Beckett’s Pozzo wanders through space in time only to be trapped in the vicious circle of nowhere-nowhen in congruence with Heidegger’s phenomenologically existential construct of the negativity of transition from transpiring. The traction of change and changelessness is tangible here, with time having become a deadener in its repetitious circularity, and despairing when confronted with the reality of the situation. That there is no escape from this existential prison-house is likened by Javed Malick in his Introduction to Waiting for Godot (Malick, 1989). The play is a philosophical treatise of trying to come to grips with “accursed time” resonating with Hamlet’s angst, “Time is out of joint, O cursed spite/If ever I was born to set it right.” 

If this conception of space and time is angst-ridden philosophically, or even psychologically, the absolutizing of space and time by Isaac Newton; as a priori formats of intuition by Immanuel Kant; as a property of matter dictated by the spacetime continuum of Einsteinian relativistic physics; or, Bergsonian la durée (lived time) of subjectivity or lived experiences, are deep reflectors proposing a unity of empirical, pragmatic, abstracted and rational realities. This, though is achieved in philosophy historically, it mirrors an epistemic synthesis in interactions between the subject and the object in the present, a deviation from the prescribed unification. Kant is apt here, when he says, 

Without sensibility no object would be given to us, without understanding no object would be thought. Thoughts without concepts are empty; intuition without concepts are blind…the understanding can intuit nothing, the senses can think nothing. Only though union can knowledge arise (Kant, 92: 1929).

But what guarantees slipping against this reductionism generically? This gravitates significantly in the light of space and time, or spacetime  considered philosophically as an array that is continually in flux. Here the boundaries permeate unbeknownst of trying to enforce demarcations and distinctions. Be it spatial when regarded in field theories in physics, architectural spaces, sculpted voids, Cubist positive negative space, the pauses and blanks in Mallarmé’s poetry, and silence in literature and music, such cross-cutting disciplinarian constructions only involve a gerrymandering of traditions (Kern, 7: 1983). Or be it temporal, where the human agency is paramount, especially in Bergson’s la durée and is influenced by subjective and specific memories of the past and shaped by the anticipation of the future. The coming together of the spatial and temporal components is oftentimes distorting as it stretches the fabric of space, time and spacetime in a movement where nothing much happens or even if it does, it does slowly, dragging to a point where the schema appears to be a naturalized real, an external construction superimposing on the lived experience. This distorted sensibility of the Real when imported into the political realm can at best be instantiated from an inter-disciplinary perspective of philosophy and anthropologic psychology. It is here that one of the cardinal focus of Palestinian issue of waiting and in exile could best be thematized. Here, the morphic approach moves towards the psychopathological interpretation of the experience of exile from a phenomenological viewpoint, as highlighted in the philosophies of the Chilean Eduardo Carrasco (2002), the Spaniard María Zambrano (2009), and the psychiatry of the Spaniard José Solanes (1993). 

If José Solanes details the failure of discursive narrative to encompass exile in its definability, Zambrano (2004) thrashes out the problematic nature by stating that exile does not feel like such until one begins to feel abandoned.  This sense of abandonment is a suspension of space and time to which Carrasco alludes as the non-static condition of this exiled and lived experience. The phenomenon is more an issue of feeling alienated rather than differences between places or objects. As Solanes (1993) says, 

Alienness is clearly a response to a qualitative diversity that is overall perceived as a fact of discovering that in some dark way – though sometimes funny, but often disturbing – in exile we are personally related to this larger whole. Being in a qualitatively different world brings the experience of being alien. 

Carrasco (2002) matches the following with an understanding of abstract disposition of distances, geopolitical organization, our memories of the place left behind, “a world that is dwelled from specific meanings, requirements, obstacles, stimuli, possibilities, objects of desire, fear and different feelings, calling for thought, imagination, strangeness, astonishment.” This is the phenomenological perspective that was referenced to above, in that the space left behind must be understood just as it is given in consciousness, while a qualitative geography intervenes in emphasizing the configuration of space as a mode of being. Phenomenologically, consciousness is in essence deterministic when there is a convergence or unification between an individualized consciousness and the contextual circumstance in which the people find themselves in after having been displaced from their origin. This extrapolation of the individual to the people is liable to suffer the symptoms of generality, unless the loci is marked to measure and thus arrest ipseity, which is a kind of explicit self-representation, and used heavily in recent phenomenological literature in attempting to empirically study pathological self-experience (Carruthers & Musholt, 2018).  

If exile is a spatial displacement, then waiting is a temporal displacement. The allotropy of waiting is best summed up by John Milton (1673) in On His Blindness, 

They also serve who only stand and wait. 

Waiting reflects helplessness, an inability to control the pace as well as the course of events, or the dromological aspect of what Bergson means by the disorientation between la durée and objective time. The notion of time in exile or waiting for that matter is a little bit more complex even if the general agreement that time’s experience runs parallel with space’s (Silva Rojas, Nuñez & Nuñez, 2015). Eduardo Carrasco (2002) contends that to “original where”, which determines individuality, there corresponds an “original time” contouring that individual’s location within history. Zombrano (2004), not only is in consonance with Carrasco, but goes a step ahead by differentiating between Solanes’ idea of “un-space” (desespacio) and “un-time” (destiempo), where the exiled is also expulsed from her original time. This is deconstruction in principle where the exiled is frozen in the past and is only presence. This loci of the exiled on the periphery of history is caught between the past and the future through nostalgia and hope, or the stress between the ontic and the ontological. The tension here can be paraphrased from medieval scholasticism as an haecceity that perseveres with the ontic as it continually encounters the strangeness of a new space (exiled to) in its desire for hope. If the ontic were to lose out, it is nostalgic as struggle ensues once a link with the self is severed. Here takes place a consequential substitution in the form of hope, a future of undetermined time, or waiting. In the tradeoff of nostalgia and hope, past and future, the philosophical basis of past, present and future as a linear continuum is broken, and what we have instead is a traction between space and time, where the newness of space proportionates time as standing still for the exiled. 

A combination of such distortions in space, time and/or spacetime for the exiled could lead to psychopathological symptoms. In introducing the phenomenological notions of psychopathology, Karl Jaspers (1997) opened up the avenue for the structures of subjectivity that underpin the experience of a reality, which, when modified determine psychopathological lebenswelt (Fuchs, 2010). There are five dimensions of phenomenological psychopathology that gain significance, and in a way links to the thematic issue of the Palestinian cause, viz. lived time, lived space, lived body, intersubjectivity and selfhood. Lived Time is Bergsonian in import. Lived Space is an embodiment of a relationship between a person and her world as situated. Lived Body is a 3-dimensional experiential self-awareness, object-meaning & meaning-bestowing, and experiences of the other. Intersubjectivity as an emergent phenomenon is the pragmatic constitution of reality as regards other’s behavior and expression. Selfhood is either pre-reflexive or reflexive, primordial acquaintance with oneself or Self’s narrative identity respectively. The permutations of these five dimensions help understand human existence and determines psychopathological experiences. In connecting these rudiments with the exiled population that have distinct memories with its evocation of the past and a future-oriented hope, phenomenology impresses a qualitative rather than a quantitative parametric. For instance, when spatially treated, phenomenological distance supersedes geometric distance because the baggage of temporality is always accompanying the exiled. In itself, exile might not be true to psychopathological experiences, but generates enough conditions where symptoms of psychopathology are realized, be it in the form of melancholia or anguish. This completes the circle back to angst-ridden philosophy we began with. On the other side of the equation, exile could augment socio- and ethnocultural acculturation through a process of miscegenation, which in the words of Sonia Montecinos (1998) occurs through a process where “the purely biological yields to other processes linked to the history of our territories; coupling of people is a coupling of cultures: the acculturation that is the mixture of cultural elements, and assimilation – i.e., the absorption of an individual or a people by another culture.” But, this side of the equation in the considered case of the Palestinian cause is a far cry from being realizable, and does nothing substantial to assuage the fractious intersubjectivity that is the unwritten principle of the day. 

This, in fulfilling the main research questions also draws to close the hypothesis of how the ideas of space and time with their multi-dimensional characteristics are ingrained in the lives of the Palestinians. 


Beckett, S. (1989). Waiting For Godot. A Tragicomedy in Two Acts. Introduction and Notes by Javed Malick. New York: Oxford University Press.

Carrasco E. Exilio y universalidad. Interpretación fenomenológica del exilio (Exile and universality. Phenomenological interpretation of exile). In: Carrasco E, editor. Palabra de Hombre. Tractatus de filosofía chilensis (Word of Man. Tractatus of Chilean philosophy). Santiago: RIL; (2002). p. 203–61. 

Carruthers, G. & Musholt, K. (2018). Ipseity at the Intersection of Phenomenology, Psychiatry and Philosophy of Mind: Are we Talking about the Same Thing?. Review of Philosophy and Psychology. 

Fuchs T. Phenomenology and psychopathology. In: Schmicking D, Gallagher S, editors. Handbook of Phenomenology and Cognitive Science. Dordrecht: Springer (2010) 546–73.

Gómez Blesa M. Introducción. In: Zambrano M, Blesa MG, editors. Las palabras del regreso (The Words of Return). Madrid: Cátedra; (2009). p. 11–59.

Jaspers K. (1997). General Psychopathology, Vol. 1, 2. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Kant, I. (1929). Critique of Pure Reason. Trans. Norman Smith. Unabridged Edition. New York: St. Martin’s Press. 

Kern, S. (1983). The Culture of Time and Space 1880-1918. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 

Milton, J. (1673) “[On His Blindness] Sonnet 16 .” Poetry for Students. . Retrieved June 21, 2022 from

Montecinos S. Mestizaje In: Boletín de Filosofía (Bulletin of Philosophy) no. 9. Santiago de Chile: Universidad Católica Blas Cañas; (1998). p. 226–35.

Silva Rojas, M., Armijo Nuñez, J., & Nuñez Erices, G. (2015). Philosophical and Psychopathological Perspective of Exile: On Time and Space Experiences. Frontiers in psychiatry, 6, 78.

Solanes J. Los nombre del exilio (The Names of Exile). Caracas: Monte Ávila Editores; (1993). 

Zambrano M. Los bienaventurados (The Blessed). Madrid: Siruela; (2004).

The Baloch Conflict with Iran and Pakistan – Aspects of a National Liberation Struggle by Naseer Dashti


Three thousand years ago, a group of Indo-Iranic tribes (called Balaschik at that time) settled in the northwestern Caspian region of Balashagan. Circumstances forced them to disperse and migrate towards the south and eastern parts of Iranian plateau. In medieval times, they finally settled in present-day Balochistan where they became known as the Baloch. During their long and tortuous journey from Balashagan to Balochistan, the Baloch faced persecutions, deportations, and genocidal acts of various Persian, Arab and other regional powers. During the 17th century, after dominating Balochistan culturally and politically, the Baloch carved out a nation state (the Khanate of Kalat). In 1839, the British occupied Balochistan and subsequently it was divided into various parts. In the wake of the British withdrawal from India in 1947, Balochistan regained its sovereignty but soon Pakistan occupied it in 1948.

Balochistan stretches from Southeastern Iran to the east bank of Indus in Punjab, and from the lower reaches of Helmand in Afghanistan to the Arabian Sea. This logical sequel to Naseer Dashti’s earlier ‘The Baloch and Balochistan’ about a conflict with potential to flare up regional tension and instability in a strategically crucial and volatile region that has been subject to violent and protracted conflict.

#baloch #balochistan #iran #pakistan #thebalochconflict#naseerdashti



At Mandikhera on the Arterial Nuh-Ferozepur Jhirka Road take the road leading east towards Nai Nagla village. After about 1.5 kms with mustard fields on either side (in winters) you reach this mound. The mound is in a damaged state after having been abandoned post the excavations in 1997-1998. Said to be from the late Harappan period, the Western portion of the Mound has had earth removed to build embankments to protect from breaches at the nearby Rawli & Kameda Check Dams.

The excavation was carried out to a depth of 16 m from the top having structural phases of different periods with 40 Habitational Layers. The bottom most 4 Habitational Layers unearthed Black-Slipped Ware and Red Ware (associated with the Neolithic, Harappa, Bronze and Iron Age dating to 700-500 BCE). Layers 31 to 36 yielded sherds (broken ceramic) of the Painted Grey Ware (PGW), Grey and Red Ware (Ghaggar-Hakra River Valley Civilization dating to 1300 – 500/300 BCE). The PGW overlapped with the Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW) as terracotta plaques (a lady figurine) were unearthed. Bangles, beads including arecanut shaped ones, bone point and carnelian bead were discovered. NBPW sherds were excavated along the Habitational Layers 27 to 30. Habitational Layers 18 to 26 were brick structures from the Shunga Period (185 – 73 BCE) with iron objects, lower part of the terracotta mould showing human legs, toy cart and crucible exhumed. Habitational Layers 8 – 17 are the early and later Kushan Period (3rd century BCE – 3rd century CE), where burnt bricks, iron arrow head, shell bangle, decorated tile, and a terracotta relief of a male deity (most likely agni-dev or God of Fire) were found. Along the Habitational Layers 1 – 7, mediaeval artefacts, including brick masonry works, Red and Glazed Wares were discovered.

The Western and Southern faces of the wall at the SW corner have a tapering nature, which suggests that it may be the base of a Mauryan Stupa (322 – 185 BCE).