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Monday, April 11, 2011

11th April 2011

This would have been Abi's 111th birthday.

He died on September 19th, 1963
(just a few days before my 23rd birthday.)

All that I do well today has to do with him.
(All the bad points are my own.)

A congressman in India, he came to Pakistan hoping to go back soon.
We never did!

His arguments were generally difficult to beat,
except as he got more and more religious from 1953 onwards
(based on his failed ideology and constantly failing health.)

He was a Doctor, a music lover, a prose-writer, a poet.

Prior to coming to Pakistan he was
Secretary of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association
Secretary of Anjumané Taraqqié Urdu.

He was taken into the British Army's Medical Mission
during World War II
and resigned in 1947 after coming to Pakistan (as Major).

His written collection of essays, short stories, and a playlet
appeared as 'Naee Paud' in 1939 —
and parts of it (and some of his poetry) will come out this year.

Here is a ghazal of his
(sent in by my cousin Ali Minai.)

He had a sense of humour that I adored.
In Shafiqur Rahman Chacha's 'Lahrayñ'
you can see a piece that mentions him and some of his verses.
You can also read a bit about him in Iqbal Ismail's
'Footprints in the Sand'.

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Saturday, April 09, 2011

Sidney Lumet — died at 86 today

What a director!

He was one of the finest directors in the USA. He gave us 40 feature films (and more programs for TV, too).

I started with his his absolutely brilliant and wonderful first film,12 Angry Men — and then he kept me on my toes in Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, Stage Struck, and Network — each of which I have seen several times.

Lumet also made the powerful Fail-Safe, the cleverly directed Murder on the Orient Express, and - recently - Before the Devil Knows You Are Dead.

You can see his filmography here.


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