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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

History now lives at someone else's house …

The Templar Knights were part of the First Crusade that, with the blessings of the Pope Urban II, attacked Jerusalem, killing millions of Muslims and Jews. (Recently some Christians say that the Pope did not order the killing of Jews … but they were killed, anyway.)
The Knights used to stop at Malta before heading towards Jerusalem. A replica of their armour in lighter metal is still available at Malta. We bought this in 1983 at US$450 and shipped it to Karachi for US$150.
Displayed on my staircase since then, as you can see in the photos. But I am moving into a small house and can't have it there. This is despite the fact that Cyra Anklesaria suggested that I move it into my new home's WC. That would mean we'd have to crap in our kitchen (yes, it is a small house).

The parts of the Knight are in three pieces that can be removed and carried separately … which is how they came from Malta from where I shipped it.

Top Half


Bottom Half

Here is the whole Knight, for those who haven't see it.

Anyway, it's now been sold
to a couple who are very close friends
and they will look after it well.
I'll let them announce it.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Dr Syed Mahmud

Dr Syed Mahmud, Jawaharlal Nehru, Khwaja Abdul Majeed

Dr. Syed Mahmud was born in Bhhitri (a qasbah in UP, India). He was educated at the Aligarh Muslim University. During his time at the University, he became involved in student political activities and attended the 1905 session of the Indian National Congress, the largest Indian nationalist organisation in what was then British-ruled India. 

Dr. Mahmud was amongst the Muslim students who opposed the pro-British loyalties of the All India Muslim League and were drawn more to the nationalist Congress. After being expelled from Aligarh for his political activities, he travelled to England and studied Law at Cambridge University before going on to study at Lincoln's Inn to become a barrister.

In 1909, in London he came in contact with Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. In 1912, he obtained Ph.D. from Germany and came back to India, and from 1913 he started his legal profession in Patna under the able guidance of Mazharul Haq. In 1915, he married Mazharul Haq's niece. After practising law for a few years, he was soon drawn into the strengthening movement for India's independence.

In 1931 the Congress Party held a session in Karachi. There were roads named after the people who attended. Motilal Nehru Road later became Jigar Muradabadi Road (although Jigar was an Indian, too). There were smaller roads leading from Motilal Nehru Road and some had Muslim names that were not changed by our Government.

Dr Syed Mahmud Road was one of them. Many years later someone remembered that he actually lived in India and changed that road name, too.

Nana Jan was the Joint Secretary in the Congress Party for 16 years with Motilal Nehru and remained a very close friend of Jawaharlal Nehru. After India’s Independence he became the Foreign Minister and also visited Karachi which was the capital of Pakistan, then. I was extremely fond of him as he was of me.

My father's book of essays, short stories, and a play were items that he wrote between 1926 and 1931 and they were published under the title Naee Paod. (Just to get you what the prices were in those days: There were 1000 copies printed and it was priced at Rs 1). The book was dedicated to Nana Jan.

I always called him Nana Jan.
Nuzhat's mother was treated by my father as his young sister.

Nana Jan with Nuzhat and Khalid (who died so early) •
Nana Jan also appeared at Nuzhat and my wedding.
He seemed so old since I had last seen him.
Nana Jan with Nuzhat's mother (Jan Mammi) •
Indira Gandhi was a close friend of Jan Mammi,. She flew out of Karachi on Pandit Ji's death and remained with Indira Gandhi to carry Pandit Ji's ashes after his cremation.

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