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Friday, September 11, 2009

Kaesay Kaesay Loag - Revelations (1)

It was disappointing that, despite the scores of visitors to the earlier post in this series, no one took the risk of guessing. What a 'safe-playing' nation we are!

Ok, I admit that guessing the author of the nazm would have been a shot in the dark - but who the young man in the photograph is (no, he is not the poet) I'd figured out the moment I set eyes on him because he bears a lot of resemblance to his father (though the environment in which we met helped, too).

This is Shehzad Mahmood. Assistant Manager | (Library /Archives / Museum) at the Pakistan Cricket Board National Cricket Academy, a task that has him surrounded with Wisdens. Once I'd have died for these …

Standing before such a collection of them and other cricket books sent my head spinning back to my pre-seafaring days when Cricket was a religion for me and Shehzad's father sent girls into the kind of swoon that only Imran Khan, years later, elicited more strongly.

Yes, folks, Shehzad is the son of the great Fazal Mahmood. Hero of many matches, he will be remembered most for the memorable Oval Test that put Pakistan on the map and caused sports headline in UK papers to scream "Pakistan Fazals England!". What a man he was … and a rarity, too: an honest Police Officer.

The PCB-NCA is well laid out and, as you can see, has at least tried to complement the old Lahore-architecture charm unlike some of the newer horrors that architects have unleashed.

(I still remember the shock and horror of returning to Lahore after years and seeing the monstrosity known as the WAPDA House - and things have gotten even worse over the years through replacement of beautiful old trees by palm trees. Palm trees? Trees that are bare and ugly. Trees that cast no cool shadows. Aaaargh. Do some people really think that by turning this country into Little Arabia by doing this, and by uttering a few guttural sounds, we will all go to Heaven? We won't. But we may become as uncouth as the Soddies, sooner than you think.)

Sorry for that distraction, but it does make my blood boil. OK. Lemme get back on track.

So what was I doing at this NCA? Had I reached it by mistake while looking for the other one? No! I'd gone there after years of promising myself to do so, just to meet my real cricket hero, the legendary Imtiaz Ahmed (T.I., Pride of Performance), who is Advisor to the PCB Women's Wing. Little wonder they are doing so well :) My face lights up even now when I recall the magical duo of Imtiaz and Maqsood ('Merry Max') on the pitch. Their partnerships drove the old men at the even older manual scoreboards mad.

There was so much to talk about with him, so many wonderful stories to hear. It was a delight to travel back to a time when even the tense Indo-Pak political relations did not mar sports. When the Commonwealth XI played the Indian Prime Minister's XI three of our cricketers were chosen and invited personally by Panditji (a great cricket lover) to play on his team. Bowlers Fazal Mahmood & Khan Mohammad and Batsman-Wicketkeeper Imtiaz Ahmad —whose score of 300 Not Out not only saved the match but still stands as the highest score on that ground.

I will blog about some of the wonderful things he spoke about and recount a few of the anecdotes next week.

Thank you, Imtiaz Sahab and Shehzad, for spending so much time with me. It was wonderful to see you both together. Until next time …

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Blogger Zakintosh said...

What election?

11 September, 2009 22:25

Blogger Jawad said...

OK I try again.

Who are the Soddies? Does it include all 25 million citizens of Saudi Arabia, most of whom had no hand in SELECTING the criminals in charge?

11 September, 2009 22:30

Blogger Zakintosh said...


My 'What election?' comment was in response to your initial "Who are the Soddies? Does it include all 25 million citizens of Saudi Arabia, most of whom had no hand in electing the criminals in charge? " which sems to have gotten deleted by one of us. it cpuld have been my mistake when trying to delete a duplicated comment of my own, so i have quoted it.

now i will try again, too: What selection?

btw, a useless link to your hyperlinked name which leads to no profile is rather pointless … for one has no idea whom one is really getting into a discussion with and to what end?

hence I shall not prolong this conversation.

11 September, 2009 22:40

Blogger Vic said...

@zak: you asked: "(2) What is the loose but definite connection of the poet to the video above?"

I still don't have a clue. Of course, that may be due to my inability to read the poem, but I don't think I had that difficulty while reading this post.

Now you say, "It was disappointing that, despite the scores of visitors to the earlier post in this series, no one took the risk of guessing. What a 'safe-playing' nation we are!" which is certainly a disservice to your more than scores (at least, I am sure) of readers who don't happen to share the same 'nationalist' tag, but failed to essay guesses.

13 September, 2009 11:51

Blogger Zakintosh said...

@Vic - This was Revelations (1) … all will be revealed in the next part in a couple of days.

Point taken. In my defense all I can say is that I said 'nation' because it seemed unlikely, given the personalities and the Urdu poetry, that many non-Pakistanis would have hazarded a guess, anyway. No offence meant via this 'exclusion'.

14 September, 2009 08:25

Blogger Vic said...

@Zak: No offence meant via this 'exclusion'

None taken.

But it seems to me there are many Urdu savants and wannabe savants amongst your blog readers, from points across the globe, so quite possible that someone else would know of the poet in question.

And even that I might know of said poet, with or without knowledge of specific poem or verse.

20 September, 2009 09:01

Anonymous Sabeen Mahmud said...

Great teaser. It's past next week. Anxiously waiting for the anecdotes.

21 September, 2009 00:10

Blogger Zakintosh said...

@sabeen ... Apologies. but it's there now. Go see.

23 September, 2009 13:42


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