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Friday, July 10, 2020


I keep trying to see which other Country has a White (or any color) Stripe or Symbol on the their flag to represent Minorities? Can someone list them here or in my Social media pages, please!
Placing these items 'separately' on the flag
already 'separates' them.

These minorities are part of the country and should be part of whatever the country stands for. Like Unity, Faith, & Discipline. (and I don't mean the rather new meanings these have been given!)

If Countries want Symbolism, that's fine. India has a Chakra. Many Countries have Crosses. Some have colored their flag backgrounds Greens … and others have Reds. They represent that most of these countries have a feeling about some ideology. They don't have a White Margin, like we do.

So often am I reminded of these things, specially when I pass by the large Christian Cross in Karachi, which is absolutely great to see. It's not about the Brits who ruled us (or the Americans who keep trying). It's about  Christianity. I was told that Christians are People of the Book, so that's OK. Lovely …

But there are a few Jews here (We even have at least one that 'officially' claims he is a Jew, while others hide themselves under different names). They don't have a Place of Worship here but are also part of the People of the Book. Can they build a large statue of the Wailing Wall (or something else) here as a token of being Pakistan's Jew.

I sometimes wonder if Hindus can put up a Large Krishna or Ganesh in a Public Place (but they are even opposed from building a new Temple). But that seems unlikely.

And there are other religions here (Sikhs, Parsis, even non-God religions like Buddhism). Can they build things here in Public Places? Guess not … other than their present day temples or whatever they have.

After all our adopted father country, Saudi Arabia, doesn't allow any religion other than Muslims to have a public place of worship there. So naturally we follow.

On the other hand, imagine Muslims wanting to build a Mosque and being disallowed by the residents of another country to do this. There's be riots everywhere, And protest marches. In fact we'd even have them in Pakistan where public property would be destroyed.

I think I'll give up thinking.

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Sunday, July 05, 2020

My Nānihāl … 4

That's me with my cousins: Najma, Razia, Attiya, Suraiya
at Pudlo & Nighat's Wedding in Bareilly

Of Nana Jan's three sisters (they were all older than him) I will start with the youngest one since he was very fond of her (probably talay oopar kay thay).

Her name (as I can glean from the shajrah I have) was Umme Shafique. She had a son called Shafique (which is why I think that her name may have changed to Umme Shafique after he was born), and two daughters: Nisar and Inam. These two will come in the next two chapters in this blog series. This is Shafique Mamooñ's family;

The First Generation

Qamarul Hasan, married to Anwari Khatoon 
       Children: Nayer (Annu), Nighat, Talat

* I met Qamar Bhai in Karachi and also at Bareilly at Nighat's wedding. Pleasant and affectionate. He was also a friend of my mamooñ, Asaf. Met his children at the wedding.

Qamarul Hasan

Shamsul Hasan, married to Zubaida Khatoon
       He died early. No children.

* Soon after partition Shammu Bhai (along with a relative: Fasih Mamooñ) used to come to our house very regularly. Some cousins (including me) used to call the two Laurel & Hardy because of their weights. Shammu Bhai died after a sudden seizure. My father, a doctor, arrived there at his house as soon as I phoned him but SB was already dead.

(I have no pictures of Shamsul Hasan but Rubina has said
she'd send one next week when she goes to Gorakhpur)

Zubaida Khatoon

Suraiya, married to Izhar Abbasi
       Children: Kamal (Pudlo), Pervez (Pozy), Rukhsana, Mahnaz (Nazo)

* Appi Jan (Suraiya) was a great favorite of mine. I spent much time with her children. I also stayed at her house for a few days in Lahore when I started at Government College.

Appi Jan and Izhar Bhai
Appi Jan & I

Najma (aka Safiya), married to Hasan Wahaj Alvi
         Children: Suhail, Samina, Kausar, Ijlal.

• Appi Jania (Najma) was a wonderfully amazing person. Sadly she died early with Cancer. I spent many nights at her house during my trips to Karachi during my Merchant Navy days. I miss her very often, specially her laughter at everything.

Appi Jania
Hasan Wahaj Bhai

The Second Generation
  — Ragni Marea's Cousins —

Qamar Bhai's Children

Nayer, married to Shahida.
        Children: Rubina, Ahmed

* Rather brief meetings, twice. Once at Nighat's wedding and once later. 


 Nighat, married to her cousin Kamal
        Children: Faisal, Saba

* Having met her at her wedding, I became very fond of her when she came to Karachi. There are so many things to think about when I look back about my life with her. Always a lot of fun and very friendly.


Talat, married to Aziz
        Children: Saman (married to cousin Faisal), Afreen, Omar

* Talat is a remarkable person. She writes well (in fact we started our correspondence when she wrote poems). Her strong interest in political ideas is fantastic and she comes across with some very good ideas.


Appi Jan's Children

 Kamal, married to his cousin Nighat
        Children: Faisal, Saba

* I met Pudlo and Pozy first in Calcutta when I was 6 years old. Later on they became my school-mates at Marie Colaco High School, Karachi. Pudlo was a Scout and Pozy & I were in his group. He was an absolutely adorable person and extremely affectionate. It was really sad to see him go with his illness. Very brave person.

(Pudlo came to the Karachi Port to see me on my ship at 19th September in the early morning. He asked me to accompany him to see my father whom (he said) was sick at the hospital where he had been taken the day before. Actually my father had died, but Pudlo didn't want to say that to me.)


 Pervez, married to Askara
        Children:  Amir, Samia 

* Pozy's birthday was very close to mine. We became very great friends and remained so until his untimely death. He was brave, much like his brother. He died earlier, though. He laughed a lot. Apart from his own business, his skills were in cars, and guns. Strangely none of these were interests of mine, other than his interests in boats and my being in the Merchant Navy :)

(I remember that when I was staying in his room in Lahore he pulled out a gun and shot at the curtain, thinking someone was trying to enter the house. Actually the curtain had been pulled over an open window and the air had blown the curtain. I always teased him saying he could have killed someone … and he always laughed and said "Yār, it was only a curtain").

Rukhsana, married to Iqbal Talib
        Children: Iram, Saman, Aman, Danish

* Rukhsana was absolutely wonderful as a child. I remember she was learning dancing at that time. I spent a lot of my time with her and her siblings.

Mahnaz, married to Hafiz Pasha
        Children: Waris, Mehreen, Aadil, Omair

• Mahnaz - or Nazo, as we all call her - is someone we all are extremely fond of. She brings us all together. Keeps in touch with everyone. Been awfully ill with all sorts of problems … but is happy and always available for anything one wants. May she live long.

Nazo (I just adore this picture)
Appi Jania's Children

Suhail, married to Shahina
        Children: Ishma, Nida

* Suhail has been a great nephew of mine. Very loving. And his wife, Shahina, is wonderful (and has a lovely voice!). — He runs businesses that I know nothing about, but they are successful :)

Samina, married to Asif Kheiri
       Children: Saqib, Adeel

* Once a wonderful little sister … but she has changed from a Rakhi Bandhan Bahen, to a disappearance that I fail to understand! But I do keep wondering!!! I did meet her at her second son's wedding. Asif I had met many times. Good man. They live in USA.

Kausar, married to Iqbal
       Children: Adnan, Arsalan

* Extremely affectionate and very well behaved. Lives in USA.

Ijlal, married to Arshi
       Children: Maham, Insiya

* Great kid … but we meet very little since he has started living outside.

Kausi, Ijji, Sallu, Samina

(The Third Generation will be in a much later post)

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Monday, May 25, 2020

My Nānihāl … 3

As I had written earlier (and am repeating it again in this post) Nana Jan' and Nani Jan's children were: Shamim (died young) -  Vasim, Married to Asad Ali Qidwai (No children) - Kishwar. Married to Azhar Kidvai (they had Kehkeshan died as an infant, and Me) - Syed Arif. Married to Safiya. (No children) - Syed Asaf.  Married to Sarwar (Amir, Khalid, Nuzhat, Tariq, Belal, Shariq).

Abi, Ammi Jan (my Khāla), Me, Abbu Jan (my Khālü), Ummi
My parents and my khāla/khālu have been mentioned several times in this blog as well as in my other blogposts in Koee Mayray Dil Say Poochay so you can look at those posts there.

Arif & Safiya (Mamooñ Sahab & Mammi Jan)
Sarwar & Asaf (Jan Mammi & Mamooñ Jan)

Mamooñ Sahab was my favourite Mamooñ probably because I had always seen him even after coming to Pakistan when he'd visit us or I would, occasionally, go to his house after school. He was a classmate of Syed Mohammad Jafri and Shaukat Thanvi and often came to our house with Jafri Sahab whose poems I always loved.

Mamooñ Jan lived in India so I was not in touch until he finally shifted to Pakistan a year after Mamooñ Sahab died (19th March 1955). That was the day when Aqeel (Kirmani) Bhai (son of Shahabuddin Kirmani) was to get married … but the wedding had to be postponed. My father took Mamooñ Sahab to the military hospital and was asked (strangely) to sign the death certificate as a Doctor because the doctors there refused to sign it. This has been a source of worry to me, always.

Mamooñ Jan came here after his elder brother died and Ammi Jan (mainly) insisted that he come here. So he arrived here in 1956 and lived here. Mammi Jan always remembered India and they all used to travel to Delhi where her family was … until perhaps it was no longer possible.

Amir, Khalid, Belal, Tariq, Shariq, Nuzhat
Amir married Nuzhat (aka Nukki and was always called that because Amir's sister - my wife - had the same name). His children are Ali bin Amir and Ayesha binté Amir.

Khalid married his cousin, Sajeda, She left for India fairly soon after Khalid's death. No children.

Our Wedding
Nuzhat and I got married on May 8th 1970 … and had a really quiet 50th Wedding Anniversary this year, thanks to COVID-19 :) Maybe we'll have a party some day if this problem ever goes away.

Shariq, Mufti Sahab (Me!), Tariq, Belal, Amir, Khalid
Nuzhat, Mamooñ Jan, Jan Mammi, Ali bin Amir, Nuzhat Amir, Sajeda Khalid
Here is our whole group. Because I had long hair, Ghulam Farid Sabri - the elder brother of our wonderful Qavvāls, the Sabri Brothers group - always called me Sufi Sahab.

Khalid who died early - Missed by all of us!
Khalid died on December 10th, 1977

He was in and out of the hospital several times with a constant pain in his head. His Brain Biopsy (the piece had to be sent to UK to test) had said he had a Tumor that was not touching his Brain. There was no reason to worry. Medication would put him right.

Dr. Juma, a brilliant Brain Surgeon, was his Doctor, initially. He had soon left JPMC and was replaced by Dr Bhatti, who didn't agree to the Brain Biopsy result and decided that he was going to operate.

Dr Juma came back and visited his old patients. I was there and Khalid spoke to him. Dr. Juma said to me that there was no need for an operation at all and he would talk to Dr. Bhatti.

Two days later, while I was bathing at Mamooñ Jan's home, Shariq came and said Khalid was very ill and we should get there. The rest of the family was already there. Nuzhat and I left with Shariq.

I jumped over the wall at JPMC and entered his room. I was told that his feet were turning blue. I looked around. There was Dr. Bhatti, a couple of nurses, and two assistants there. I noticed that the breathing tube that was going into Khalid's mouth had a doctor's foot covering it. I shouted and said this ... but no one listened. I was then told a few minutes later that Khalid had passed away.

The next morning Dr. Juma phoned up and said that Khalid had been killed but we should not go to court as they will go through this several times and Khalid's parents will have to listen to all this and cry all the time. We'd never win the case because people will say parents always worry. There will be nurses, assistants, and Dr. Bhatii who will be there to deny that all this ever happened. 

We never said this to his parents, because it would hurt them a lot more. Throughout their lives they lived thinking how terrible it was to lose a son.

Tariq is married to Zarafshan. His children are Summaiya and Onaisa.

Belal is married to his cousin, Nusrat. No children.

Shariq was married and is now divorced. His son is Rayan.

Newborn Ragni
Ragni Marea Kidvai now lives in Brooklyn and has a child who is just over 6 months old. We were there when he was born. Now we get to see him only on the screen. He is named Meka Elijah and his nickname is Beanz (because of Ragni's great love for Sabeen Mahmud who had that nickname).

Meka Elijah Beanz on his First Eed

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Sunday, May 10, 2020

My Nānihāl … 2

Syed Iftikhar Husain was my Nana Jan. His father was Afzal Ali who traced his roots back to Hazrat Ali's son, Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyah. He was the third son of Hazrat Ali', and was born to his 6th wife, Khaula Binté Ja'fariya, who was the daughter of Jafar Hanafiyah. 

Muhammad's surname was taken from his mother's family of Banu Hanifa. When I was helping edit Ziauddin Kirmani's book on the Prophet ('The Last Messenger with a Lasting Message') he mentioned that a group among some Muslims did not like Muhammad at all. This is because he was sent by Hazrat Husain to Khalifa Yazeed after hearing that Yazeed was very immoral and extremely nepotistic. He came back and told Hazrat Husain that while Yazeed was nepotistic, he was not - otherwise - an immoral person. In addition, when Hazrat Husain wanted to go to Karbala, Muhammad advised him to not go. But Hazrat Husain did go and was killed at the Battle of Karbala.

While all the sets of Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyah's children write Syed before their name, considering that Hazrat Ali's children should all be Syeds, many people agree that word 'Syed' was only applied to Hazrat Ali's children from Bibi Fatima, since she was also the daughter of the Prophet. This, certainly, is also a controversial notion: Hazrat Usman (written in Arabicized English as Uthman) was married to two of the Prophet's daughters. His children most generally don't write Syed.

(I have really no idea what all this means because the Arabic News when Gandhi died mentioned him as Syed Gandhi and also mentioned Nehru Ji as Syed Nehru when he met their King.)

Afzal Ali had three sons (Ba∂ay Abba, Altaf Ali, Iftikhar Husain) and three daughters. The daughter's names are not mentioned in the shajrah that I have. They were called dukhtar here (and bibi in their husband's shajrah). Not much use: All names must be written, if you decide to write your shajrah on the net or on paper!

Ba∂ay Abba … that's what Ummi and Māmooñ Jan called him! I couldn't remember his name. I now know from an old shajrah that he was Riaz Husain Alvi and was born on 5th April 1848.

He was a really strange person and stayed separately in an outhouse that he preferred. He was also a bit of an Afeemchi (=Opium taker). Apparently he gave up before his later life, well before he was married. He did travel for Hajj with one of his maternal aunts but came back to his outhouse.

Ba∂ay Abba did go out often for a walk … and fell in love with a Mughal neighbour's daughter (who didn't know about this, of course). He would walk past her house where she used to swing in the garden.

One evening - imagine this is just over 150 years ago!!! - he was walking past her house and 'grabbed' the Mughlani from her swing and took her to his outhouse. Her servant informed her father who came to Nana Jan and was terribly upset and angry.

Nana Jan said that he is my eldest brother and while I apologise to you here, there is very little I can do. Nana Jan finally put his cap on the father's foot (an old tradition of respect and pleading) and said if you agree I will ask him to marry her right away. This was agreed upon.

Nana Jan went to his elder brother's outhouse and said that he has to marry the girl right away. I am sure Ba∂ay Abba must have been thrilled and agreed … so they were married. Wow!

Ba∂ay Abba had a son by this wife who was named Agha (to make sure that her Mughal relationship was confirmed somehow in the shajrah). His first wife gave birth to Moonis, Mateen, Musharraf. He also married again - after his first wife's death - within his own biradari, and had three children from his second wife: Murtaz, Murshid-un-nisa, Mursil-un-nisa.

Altaf Ali (another Deputy Collector!) was very disturbed at his father's death. He lived peacefully until his own death. He was a wonderful person and a blogpost about him will be put up soon.

Nana Jan had three older sisters. 

The eldest sister, Ummé Mumtaz, had a son, Qazi Iftikhar Ahmed, who was married to Wasi-un-Nisa. Among her children are Shakeela, Jalees, and Saghira. They will be mentioned in this series on another blogpost.

The second sister, Umme Ahmad Ali Alvi, was married in to a rich family who settled in a large gāuñ where a train stopped. She had two sons: Mumtaz Ahmad (Kallan) and Iftikhar Ahmad (Chuttan).

The story that we heard was that her sons would go to the station when a train came in. They would see if there was someone whose family or friends hadn't arrived to receive them. If there were people like that, they'd be brought to their home for dinner. Later they would trace their families/friends and leave them there.

The family was extremely strong Muslims. After the cooks had prepared their meal they'd serve it and then join them and eat with them.

When her husband died there was a battle over property. Finally the sons agreed to divide it 'in half' , and, as a result, almost everything was halved 'properly'. If for example there was a teapot, it had to be cut in half and divided. To me this sounds like a legend but some members of my family believed this to be true. This part of the story was always told to the children so that they understood how not to behave :)

The third sister, Umme Shafique, also Nana Jan's favourite sister, was married to Maqbool Hasan Alavi. Children: Nisar-un-Nisa, Inam-un-Nisa, Shafique Hasan.
— Nisar Fatima was married to Shahid Husain Kidwai, a close friend of Nana Jan. Children: Zakia, Razia, Reshad, Attiya, Fuad.
— Inam Fatima was married to Sheikh M Habibullah, another close friend of Nana Jan. Children Ali Bahadur, Inayat (once written as Enaith), Isha'at, Tazeen.
— Shafiq-ul-Hasan was married to Asrar-un-Nisa (aka Saira). Children: Qamar, Shams, Suraiya, Najma (aka Safia)

This sister's children will be on another blogpost.

Nana Jan's children were: Shamim (died young); Vasim. Married to Asad Ali Qidwai (No children); Kishwar. Married to Azhar Kidvai (they had Kehkeshan, a daughter who died in infancy; Me); Arif. Married to Safiya. (No children); Asaf. Married to Sarwar (Amir, Khalid, Nuzhat, Tariq, Belal, Shariq).

My next blogposts will focus on my immediate family
followed by my cousins and their children.

Aisha Amir Ahmed
Farhan Hafeez Kermani
 Muneeza Shamsi
Shama Habibullah
Tanveer Fatima,
Iram Ansari
Tauqeer Kirmani
Sami Ansari
Roohi Abbasi

Thank you all for your help.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2020

My Nānihāl … 1

Syed Iftikhar Husain
(s/o Afzal Ali)
was my Nana (= Maternal Grandfather)

Born: Allahabad 10 January 1868
He was also called Junaid Ahmad (his Aqiqah name) 
Died: Lucknow 24 April 1932 
Buried at Shah Karamat Ali's Dargah in Kakori

From Ummi (My mother: Sohail Fatima Iftikhar aka Kishwar Jehan) all I learnt about Nana Jan was that he was very particular about food and spoke very little. 

From my khaala (Vasim Fatima) I heard only that Nana Jan was very affectionate.

I know very little about him. What I have heard about him come mainly from my Mamooñ Jan (and father-in-law) … Syed Asaf Husain, and three of his children who must've heard many stories from him. MJ was a tremendous story teller with a brilliant memory … and he loved his father. He always said that Nana Jan was brilliant and very honest.

Nana Jan learnt Law but was never a practicing Lawyer. He was in the Indian Civil Service. However, he refused to obey the orders of his Commissioner in Lucknow (which said he was to convict all the people brought to him during the Khilafat Movement). He was then transferred to the Judicial Services. He became a Registrar of the Lucknow High Court. Later on he became a Judge of the Rajestan High Court.

A story that MJ told us all (and was also something that Ummi had said to me) was that Nana Jan was a FreeMason once, but had left the organisation and was no longer one.

My elder mamooñ, Mamooñ Sahab (Syed Arif Husain) was a person that I loved immensely. I used to spend time with him often when I left school. One day I asked him, "FreeMasons can't really leave, can they?" … and he laughed and said "Asaf says this because that's what our father may have said to calm him. Of course they can't leave." Sadly, MS died on 19th March 1955 of a heart attack.

Nana Jan and Nani Jan had an eldest daughter, Shamim, who died very young (14th June 1912). Akbar Allahabadi, a friend of Nana Jan, wrote her Tarikhé Vafāt:

شمیم خلد شدہ گفتِ فضلِ رحمانی

A newborn daughter, Tasneem Fatima, died in infancy.

Nana Jan died much before I was born … and I am older than my cousins. So none of us have any real memories of him except through our parents. (While I refer to him as Nana Jan in this post, in real life I called my wife Nuzhat's nana Nana Jan).

Nani Jan (Haseen Fatima) died when I was less than 3 years old but I remember her extremely well. I used to tell her stories that I insisted were real but they were really children's fantasies with family characters thrown in as birds.

Her death scene I remember so well about who was at her bedside: Abi (my father) reading a verse from the Quran; my aunt weeping. There were many people around at the time that she died.

One day, when I was around 11, I drew a map of who was sitting where. Ziauddin Kirmani (Māmooñ Abbu is what I called him) was visiting us and he had been there at Nani Jan's funeral. He was astonished to see how I could remember almost everyone and where they sat outside.

I was sent to Abi's cousin's house and when I got back they had buried her. I went into the bedroom and saw an empty bed. I asked and was told that Angels had taken her away to cure her. For a full year I thought all deaths meant that Angels had taken the person away.

Nani Jan passed away on 29th August 1943 and is buried at Takia Sharif next to her father, Muzaffar Husain Sahab, who was a Deputy Collector.

(My wife and I have always wondered why 
there were so many Deputy Collectors those days.)

Nani Jan had an elder brother, Mustafa Husain, who was the first Bar-at-Law from Kakori. She had a younger brother but I can't find his name so far. If I do, I will post it here.

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Thursday, April 30, 2020

What now?

Bol, keh lab āzād haéñ tayray?
Now UFOs are REAL

A few people think it could be China. Others think it could be another country. They believe that testing these amazing UFOs is being done until the Crafts are perfect … and then they will declare a world war and conquer the world.
Others, like most people I have asked or have seen in the Press, agree that these are Alien crafts. They have been happening well before China or USSR or any country could have existed.
One of the reasons that many people stated was that it could lead to a general panic. In fact they think the Governments were aware of that and chose to refuse the facts just to stay safe.
I doubt that!
When have we ever been so wonderfully close?
Many people thought news like this would lead to a religious panic. Who would God be? Allah, Jesus, Bhagvān, Zeus or many other gods people have believed in?
doubt that, of course!
After all a larger number of scientists are atheists?
Would they care?

Imagine the number of people from all walks of life who saw this. From Police people to Army Officers to well-known citizens who were accepted in high positions. Also a couple of US Presidents. They were called Liars,  Schizophrenics, Hoaxers (Yes. There were many fakes, of course!) and even more by the Press. This was because the Governments had said so about them. Now they are all sane! We need to reinterview those that are available.
What's your view?

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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Favourite Artists: Dali

The Dali Mustache :)
Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí
Marquis of Dalí de Púbol
11 May 1904 – 23 January 1989

Dali was as controversial in life
as are many of his artworks

Dali loved old and new Masters and has mentioned many in his writings and conversations. The best way is to read the long piece in Wikipedia which talks about not just about his art and his life but also the problems he had among frenemies and family.

While extremely fond of several great people in Hollywood, Dali worked with some of them. The Mae West Sofa was his tribute to one of the great stars known for her charms. He also sent Harpo Marx a Christmas present of a Harp with barbed-wire strings. Here is his Mao-Marilyn portrait. 

In Hitchcock's Spellbound he did the famous Dream Sequence. He also worked with Walt Disney on Destino - a film that he painted. Dali was part of many videos and films and you can see some of them on YouTube. The famous photographer, Philippe Halsmen, did a video of Dali painting. Here is a BBC recreation.

Here are some of my favourite works. There are many more by Dali that I love … but this will have to be enough to whet your appetite.

The Sacrament of The Last Supper

Figure at the Window

Slave Market with the Disappearing Bust of Voltaire

The Persistence of Memory

Geopoilticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man

Metamorphosis of Narcissus

Portrait of Picasso

Soft Construction with Boiled Beans: Premonition of Civil War

Autumn Cannibalism

The Great Masturbator

Young Virgin Autos Sodomized By Her Own Chastity

The Ecumenical Council

Head Exploding

Soft Self Portrait With Fried Bacon

Discovery of America with Christopher Columbus

Lincoln in Dalivision
(There's Gala in the middle at a Cross;
If you move further you can see Lincoln)

(Shaheen Jaffrani: My Covid Tesselation has this Man hidden in the Beige area)

The Anthropomorphic Cabinet

My Dali Remembered has this image re-done in Photoshop

Among the most wonderful things that Dali did
was painting Alice in Wonderland on Glass

If you need a book on Dali, there are several around,
from a small price to a heavily large price.

My recommendation would be to start with this.

It is a great start to see what he could do.
Take a look at his eye here.
Do you see something?

Here's a real close-up of it

Still not convinced?

You can see Gala and a Warped Clock!

In his last few days Dali would make paintings but not sign them. They'd be put up in various shops  were sold there. The buyer would then have to bring the painting to Dali and ask him to sign it in front of themself. A gentleman bought a painting that he had seen Dali paint and took it to the artist. Dali said he won't sign it because it's fake. The buyer said that he had seen Dali paint this. "Oh", said Dali, "but I paint a lot of fake Dali's myself."

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Saturday, April 11, 2020

I don't believe in coincidences, but …

My father
- Abi is what I called him -
was born on 11th April 1900

Abi loved books (English and Urdu) and poetry (which he also wrote in Urdu) and music (he had a lovely voice and could read Music in the way it was written in the West) and adored humour of all sorts. He wrote well - a bit strange for a Doctor - and his English and Urdu were really well-written. 

All my loves come from him.

More than anything else, he admired good movies: mainly English (finding the Urdu movies too similar and 'old fashioned', unless they had some good classical songs in them).

In the last days of his life - although he had been an Atheist in his college days and when he was in the UK (and I don't remember him saying his prayers until much later in life) - he became a strong Muslim, for reasons that I understand and have written about earlier, much to the annoyance of some erstwhile friends.

This meant that he stopped going to movies,
for they interfered with his prayer times.

In 1957 on his birthday I asked him to accompany me to a film, for it had his favourite actors: Charles Laughton, Marlene Dietrich, Tyrone Power, Elsa Lanchester. It was Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution. I pleaded and pleaded and pleaded … and he finally agreed to go, saying that he would say his Maghrib Prayers as Qazā.

What an amazing film that was!
I have seen it a number of times since then.

After the movie he and I went to my Mamooñ Jan's place, where he said his Qazā Namāz. Shah Sahab was also staying at Mamooñ Jan's house. An amazingly interesting man, Shah Sahab seemed to read minds and then talk to someone in the crowd about something … but it actually was meant for someone else sitting in the crowd that came to see him. I don't believe such things any way.

When Abi came out and after a few minutes another friend dropped in, Shah Sahab addressed him and said Qazā can't be decided from before and is only permitted if you have missed a prayer. And it is certainly not allowed after a movie. I was there and no one had said Abi had gone to a movie and was now saying his Qazā prayers. Hmmm. 

It is now 11th April 2020

Nuzhat and I are in our Lockdown Mode and looking through YouTube … and I find Witness for the Prosecution. No. Not the version I had mentioned earlier, but a BBC TV version. Ralph Richardson (later a Sir), Deborah Kerr, Diana Riggs. All wonderful stars. I had never heard of this … and we decided to see it.

if you haven't seen the 1957 version.

Strange to find it on Abi's 120th birthday, though.

From Abi's birthday in 1957 to today is 63 years.
Abi died on 19th September 1963 at 63 years.

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