‘And there shall be more caravans of passion…’

Title for documentary 'Aur nikleiN Ge Ushhaq ke Qafley' - design by K.B. Abro

Several items uploaded to the Dr Sarwar blog over the last month:

1. Learning from history in an age of bombs
– my article based on research done for the 30-min documentary on the 1953 student movement directed by Sharjil Baloch, that I produced (we are making some final changes after which it will be available for distribution upon request).

2. Articles specially written for the Jan 9, 2010 Event Book on the 1953 student movement:
Keep the fire burning – End Note by Zakia Sarwar
Continuing Stories: Social Action and Change – by Ruqaiya Hasan
The High School Students’ Association and my rite of passage – by Ghazi Salahuddin

3. Scans of the Event Book, Jan 9, 2010 – Copies available upon request

9 Responses

  1. Oh dear Beena, why don’t you tell me about Zuhair Naqvi, the first president of the DSF at Lahore, as you are the only one of all the world who knew about him. He was a very dear friend of mine who was arrested from my bed in K.E. Hostel, Lahore, in 1950 (?) , but about whom I never heard any thing since then except from your post in chowk.

    Please let me have further information about him or any contact you think can help me in this regard.

    Please treat this as an SOS.


    • Btw, an important secret of my life which you divulged to my offspring: I had never told anybody that my younger son’s name, Zuhair Bokhari, an engineer in satellite communication, was kept after the name of my lost friend, Zuhair Naqvi. Maybe they are knowing it but never mentioned this fact in my presence.

      Talawat Bokhari


  2. I’m so sorry not to be of more help, but I did ask around before also and again now. Nobody seems to know anything. S.M. Naseem says he knew him only by name, and the only two people likely to know about him are Abid Hasan Minto in Lahore and Ziaul Haq (Munnan bhai) in Allahabad, as his familly was also from Allahabad. Will check with both when I get the chance.


    • Thank you dear! How about Zohaib, the brother of Zuhair, about whom you had made a mention in one of your posts? Can you please help me contact him or Abid Hasan Minto. I may tell you that I will be 80 tomorrow and being down with Parkinsons and what not of the bane of senility I am almost house-ridden living a retired life at Islamabad with my son Zuhair Bokhari and his wife Dr. Iram Zuhair.

      To recall back about 60 years, Zuhair Naqvi had come one night, at midnight, to my room in the Main Hostel of K.E. Medical College bringing some cyclostyled handbills, etc.. It was a cold night and he asked for a cup of tea. I called the room boy who turned up promptly but soon afterwords two persons entered my room and took away Zuhair.

      Soon thereafter I was also put under a sort of house arrest denying me all contact with the outside world. That day and this day I never heard about the whereabouts of Zuhair, who had left his cap and a muffler on my bed. I wonder how a well-known young man , belonging to a well-known family of U.P. -sum-Karachi, could disappear leaving no trace whatsoever.


      • Dear Talawat Bokhari Sahib, thank you for following up with Raza Kazim and Abid Hasan Minto about this. I am reproducing below Raza Kazim’s response to your query, which confirms what my father had told me (but he didn’t remember the year and the event that Zuhair Naqvi had gone for)

        “Zuhair Naqvi died in 1970. He was drowned while swimming with his friends in the river in Moscow during an International Conference on Physics.” – Raza Kazim

        This of course leaves further questions about what happened to him in those 20 years between the time he was arrested from your room and his untimely death. I wonder where we would get those answers from.


  3. P.S: It was just past 12.00, midnight, the day entering the18th April, 2010, which completed the 80th year of my life. What an achievement! Living on without life, without any friend, without any life-partner. It reminds me an old film song:

    “is dil ke tukrhe hazaar huey koi yahaan gira koi wahaan gira”

    Life comes into being from nothing and reverts to nothing.

    “Inna lillah hey wa innailley hi raajeioon (We are from God and shall return to Him)”

    But how beautifully Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi has put it:

    ‘Koun kehta he kih mein mar jaaoonga
    Mein to darya hoon samundar mein utar jaaoonga”

    The drop will vanish in the sea of Qul:
    “Ta kas nah goeyad bahd az een man deegram tu deegaree.”

    Please excuse my uncalled for rambling


  4. Thank you dear Beena, it is due to your incessant efforts that I now feel rest assured that Zuhair’s was a real name and he was not using it as a pseudonym as I had come to doubt due to lack of information about him. His sad death by drowning in a far off land recalls to me a couple of couplets from Ghalib:

    “Huey mar key ham jo ruswa huey kion nah gharqey darya
    Nah kabhi janaaza uthta nah kahein mazaar hota”

    It was a wish of Ghalib which was fulfilled as under:

    “Maara dayaare gheir mein mujh ko watan se door
    Rakh li mere khuda ne meri bekasi ki laaj”

    What amazing days were those which I passed with Zuhair Naqvi; he as president and I as financial secretary of the DSF. Once during my campaign for fund raising I went to the house of General Akbar. His wife received us very courteously and led us to her drawing room. There I was sitting on the sofa when she brought her jewelry box and sat on the floor carpet by placing the box at my feet and said, “Take away as much as you want as in you young people lies our hope for revolution”.

    The Principal of K.E. Medical College, Col. Illahi Bakhsh once called me to his office to question me about, what he called, my political activity. He, in the presence of the Vice-Principal Dr. Wasti, severely upbraided me for my activity and warned me that my scholarship would be stopped if I did not stop my ‘political’ activity. My reply was that I was prepared to face any consequences but I cannot stop that activity for fulfillment of genuine demands of the students.

    A couple of days afterward I happened to visit the Hailey College of Commerce. There a student came forward, bowed and kissed my hands. He told me that he was the son of Dr. Wasti, the vice-principal of K.E. College, and that his father had told him all that had passed between me and the Principal.

    There were terrible days also in what you call ‘The journey of passion’, but that later on.


    • I spoke yesterday to Mushirul Hasan an old friend of my father now in Germany. He told me that he knew Zuhair Naqvi very well, particularly his older brother Zoheb. Zuhair had come to Karachi after being released, and then went to study at the University of Manchester in 1962-63. He came back and worked at some institute, got married. His widow (whose name Mushir uncle did not remember) moved to Australia and now lives in Canada. At least this answers some of your questions above.


  5. Thank you dear Beena! So you have not given up the search for Zuhair and has opened up a new line of action with your contact with Mushirul Hasan on the subject and the information he gave about Zuhair, especially about his widow. But again the information is so cryptic that it tempts one to keep on track to complete the story which I had thought had reached its dead-end with the information given by Raza Kazim.

    The new source now is the widow of Zuhair (we can call her Mrs. Zuhair) who can tell us the full story. Had we known her name it would have been easier to trace her in Canada where she had gone. But why not contact Zoheb, the brother of Zuhair. first of all. Mushir, who new him, can be helpful in this regard. Kindly try this, if you can .

    As for search in Canada, I have lot of resources there. I have two nieces with their family settled there and their father, my cousin and brother-in-law, is leaving shortly for Canada to meet his daughters. Besides I have a number of friends there too who can be very helpful like you. I think , if my life permits me, I will complete this story by exausting all the resources available and hope my dear Beena beti will stand by my side in this quest.

    With all the good wishes

    Talawat Bokhari


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