MY FEELING,MY EMOTIONS ,MY THOUGHTS AND MY WORDS
Munawar Ali Malik
Our Mianwali is indeed a land of legends. One of these was Sajjad Sarwar Khan Niazi, who retired as Deputy Director General of Radio Pakistan around 1950.
Niazi Sahib belonged to the Punnu Khel family of Mianwali. I never saw him, but I heard a lot about him from my father, Malik Muhammad Akbar Ali, who was his close friend and classmate in Government College, Lahore.
After graduation from Punjab University, Sajjad Sarwar Khan Niazi got a job as Producer in All India Radio (about 20 years before Pakistan came into being). Eventually he retired as Director General of Radio Pakistan.
The picture with this post, titled ‘Media Giants of India ‘ , shows Sajjad Sarwar Niazi standing under the first yellow tag. He is standing with the celebrated Prof Patras Bukhari. The picture was clicked a few years before Pakistan came into being.
Niazi Sahib is very relevant for us, because it was he who paved the way for our Lala Isakhelvi. More about this legendary figure tomorrow, InshaALLAH.Munawar Ali Malik – 3
Everybody has one weakness or another. Mine is tea. To be honest, it is rather a source of strength for me. It inspires me, and gives me mental as well as physical strength to read, write and move about easily, even at my age. Don’t smile if I tell you few of you can walk as fast as I do.
I fell in love with tea when I was a student at Gordon College, Rawalpindi. Unlike other types of love, my love for tea has increased with age. My average intake of tea these days is 8 to 10 cups a day. Don’t listen to the doctor who says tea is harmful. It is not. I have seen a senior physician, (Dr Syed Ishaq) sipping tea every minute of his work hours. He was around 80 when he left Iskanderabad.
From tomorrow, InshaALLAH, I’ll be telling you interesting stories about my love for tea. I hope you ‘ll enjoy those stories. Munawar Ali Malik – 6
My intimate friends like Prof Saleem Ahsan, Lala Isakhelvi and Kitab Mahal publishers make sure to get me tea before I ask for it. Prof Saleem Ahsan does it in his own amusing style. The moment he opens his drawing room door to me, he smiles and shouts back to his family:
منور آیا اے ، چاء بنڑاؤ !!!
At the end of late night sittings, Lala used to drive us to Al-Hafeez Hotel at Isakhel bus stand (around 2 am) to get me my parting cup of tea.
The picture shows me at Kitab Mahal, Urdu Bazar Lahore, during a recent visit
My sons, Mazhar, Amjad, Arshad and Akram also know my paritality for tea. Therefore they see to it that I get a cup every hour. I often travel from Mianwali to Lahore and back with my son Prof Akram. We have two tea breaks along the way ; one at Sargodha, the other at Sukheki, simply for my cup of tea. Sometimes Akram adds a third break at Khushab. On our annual trip from Lahore to Murree, we stop at Sukheki, Balkasar and Islamabad/ Rawalpindi. In Murree of course, my 8-10 cups a day routine goes on as usual.
On our way back from Kohala to Murree we always have tea at a midway roadside tea stall.The picture in this post shows me at that midway tea stall last year.
Visited Obaid Noor Hospital for a routine check-up by our legendary physician, Dr Tariq Masood Khan Niazi..He is exceptionally kind to me, may ALLAH Bless him INFINITELY.
Dr Niazi is a Gold Medalist in Cardiology. He examined my fresh ECG and other reports, and declared me perfectly normal.So, you see, how your prayers work for me. May mine also work for you. May ALLAH Richly Bless you all.Picture : Dr Tariq Masood Khan Niazi at a reception after receiving his Gold Medal. Munawar Ali Malik – 10
with our Legendary Physician,
Dr TARIQ MAS’OOD KHAN NIAZI at Obaid Noor Hospital,
Back to my romance with tea.
I get up an hour before the Fajr prayer, go to the kitchen, and make myself a nice cup of tea. I never allow anybody in the family to help me in this labour of love. I do this wherever I am —- in Daudkhel, Mianwali, Lahore, Islamabad or Murree. I usually take one or two Wheat biscuits with this early morning cup of tea.
In winter I make a second cup after the Fajr prayer. My subsequent 8 to 10 cups a day are made by my Mrs. Munawar Ali Malik – 11
Don’t you know that Mianwalians are excellent tea-makers ? Go to any hotel, tea shop or tea kiosk (khokha) in Mianwali, and the very first sip of tea will tell you, you’ve got something very special to drink.
Much though I wish, I can’t go to any of these places in Mianwali, because wherever I go, I run into one or another of my students, who pays for my tea despite my loud protest.
Awkward, you see.
One night I went to a tea shop in Muslim Bazar, Mianwali, with Prof Saleem Ahsan and our friend Chaudhri Mukhtar. As we entered the shop, a few young men sitting there stood up, said Salaam to us, and quietly left the room. They were all our students.
We took tea. But when we tried to pay the bill, the shop owner said, ‘ No, sir. The boys who went out just now, paid for your tea as they left the room.’-Munawar Ali Malik – 13
Prof Nasir came to see me around sunset. Had a nice long chat about matters of mutual interest. Nasir told me about the current affairs of the English Department in our college. These days he’s Head of the Department, you know. He has the distinction of being my student from First Year to MA.
A few years later he joined me as a colleague. We also shared sweet memories of the good old days. Those were really good days, you’ll agree if you were around in those days.- Munawar Ali Malik – 14
SWEET, SAD MEMORIES
Department of English, Government College, Mianwali, 1993-94
Left to right : Me, Prof Malik Sultan Mahmood Awan, Prof Malik Muhammad Anwar Maikan, Prof Sarwar Niazi and Prof Tahir Jahan Khan Niazi. The boy in the middle is Fasihussalam, later a CSP officer, who passed away in youth. Munawar Ali Malik – 14
One day, on our way back from Lahore via Chiniot in a taxi car, I asked the driver to stop at Sheikhupura for a cup of tea,
The driver, a Mianwalian named Rana Ashfaq, said :
‘Sir, would you like to have Mianwalian tea ?’
‘Mianwalian tea in Sheikhupura ? Impossible !’ I cried.
Ashfaq laughed and said, ‘ Please wait just a few minutes’.
About 2 km ahead of Sheikhupura, our car pulled up in front of a typical open-front Mianwalian tea shop.
A small sign board displayed the words میانوالی ھوٹل
The tea confirmed the information. It was Mianwalian tea all right.
The young Mianwalian shop owner was very happy to see us. He refused to receive payment for the tea, but we forced it upon him, and left the place. Munawar Ali Malik – 15
Commenting on my last night’s post, one of our friends asked :
Sir, shall we get tea in Paradise جنت ?
An amusing question, indeed, but the answer is a flat NO , because there will be no fire in Paradise. Those who insist on having tea in the other world, might be transferred to that other place (you know where). And we are told that those who go there would stay there for ever.
Personally I’d rather quit tea, won’t you ? Munawar Ali Malik – 16
One day, on our way back from Lahore , we stopped for dinner at a roadside hotel between Khushab and Jauharabad . Two of my sons were with me.
After dinner we called the waiter and asked him to bring the bill. The waiter said, ‘ No, sir, the owner says he won’t accept money from you.
I walked up to the counter to speak to the owner.He turned out to be a young man from Daudkhel.
He said, ‘ Uncle, I know you, though you don’t know me. My father, Umar Khan, was your friend, I was just 6 years old when I saw you. That is why you don’t know me. I was very happy when I saw you coming to my hotel today, You are my father’s friend. How can I take payment for your dinner at my hotel.? The pleasure to serve you is more than money for me.’ Munawar Ali Malik – 17
I was coming back to Daudkhel from Pindi by train. At Golra railway station, the train had to wait for an incoming train from the opposite side. I got off the train for a cup of tea at the station tea-stall. When I came back, I found my seat occupied by a middle-aged man from Kohat. I told him it was my seat, and asked him to leave it. He said,’ Now it is my seat. جو کرنا ھے کر لو
Instantly half a dozen young men jumped off their seats and rushed to the spot. None of them was my student, but they were all Mianwalians. They took it as a matter of Mianwalian ‘ghairat.’ One of them said to the man :
‘ Chacha, you have challenged a Mianwalian, so now you have to leave the train , not just the seat. Leave the seat, and get off the train, otherwise we’ll throw you out’
Stunned with surprise, the bully (تڑی باز) left the seat. I thanked my supporters, and asked them not to force the man off the train. But shame did not allow the man to stay on in the compartment. Silently, he got off the train, and entered another compartment.. Munawar Ali Malik – 18
at Shehzad Hotel, Mianwali.
Mianwalianism is a sweet feeling that comes into action the moment two or more Mianwalians meet anywhere outside the district ; in Lahore, Pindi, Karachi or anywhere else in the world.
There is a whole Mianwalian mohallah even in Delhi (India) known as Mianwali Nagar. The residents of Mianwali Nagar are Mianwalian Hindus who migrated to India around 1947. They still follow the traditions of Mianwali in dress,speech and manners. They warmly welcome Muslim visitors from Mianwali, and eagerly ask questions about the people and places that they left behind at the time of migration. I have heard that they also publish a newspaper / magazine named Mianwali Gazette.
More about Mianwalianism tomorrow, InshaALLAH. Munawar Ali Malik – 19
Mianwalianism is perhaps a sort of smell by which Mianwalians identify each other wherever they are.
When I was a First Year student at Gordon College, Rawalpindi, I used to visit a tea shop on railway road. One day, a police constable came to the shop for a cup of tea. He surveyed me from head to foot, and asked, ‘ Beta, are you a Mianwalian?’
‘Yes’, said I, ‘ I am from Daudkhel.’
‘ او تیری خیر!!!‘
cried the policeman, shaking hands with me. ‘ Beta, I ‘m Shahbaz Khan Behram Khel from your own Daudkhel. I am posted at the police station in this area.’
(The light is gone. Rest of the story tomorrow, InshaALLAH.)
Received from Aslam Shah. Munawar Ali Malik – 21
Shahbaz Khan often met me at that hotel. I had to stop visiting that hotel, because he never allowed me to pay for my tea. Pretty awkward for me, you see.
25 years later when I came to Mianwali as Lecturer in English, Shahbaz Khan was posted at the city police station here. He often came to see me, and we loved to share memories of our good old days in Pindi.
A few years ago I was in Lahore when I heard that Shahbaz Khan had passed away. May his soul rest in eternal Peace. Munawar Ali Malik – 21
!!!! GREAT NEWS FOR MIANWALIANS
The first English novel by a Mianwalian writer , my son, Prof Amjad Ali Malik , titled IN THE SHADOWS, is being published by a well known American publishing concern AMAZON Kindle Direct Publishing USA,
he world’s biggest publishing concern.
The novel will be available in paperback book form as well as PDF ( online) . The publisher has advertised titles for both versions.
Further details will be shared later-Munawar Ali Malik – 21
I, my son Prof Amjad and our whole family are grateful to you for your kind likes and prayerful encouraging comments on my last night’s post regarding Amjad’s English novel. May ALLAH richly bless you all.
We regard all our achievements as special Blessings from ALLAH, for which we can never be thankful enough.
Today I introduce you to our hero, a source of everlasting pride for Daudkhel and Mianwali as well as for our whole nation.
The picture shows you a glimpse of Shaheed Gen Sanaullah Khan Niazi of Daudkhel.
Major General Sanaullah Niazi was the son of the legendary police officer, Khalas Khan Niazi of Baluchistan Police. He was posted as GOC (General Officer Commanding) in Dir / Swat Division, a highly sensitive area in the ongoing war on terror. The whole area was fraught with threats to life, as terrorists had planted a network of explosive devices (bombs) along the main road leading to the Afghan border. But Gen Sana kept moving around frequently to boost the morale of his soldiers, daring all the risks in the line of duty.
( Mr Muhammad Zubair tells us in his comment that Gen Sana laid down his life in action. His convoy was ambushed by the terrorists. The clash also resulted in the death of several terrorists).
On September 15, 2013, on his way back from the border in Upper Dir, his jeep was blown up by a bomb planted on the roadside. Gen Sana met a heroic end with two of his subordinate colleagues, a Colonel and a Lance Naik. May the three noble souls rest in Eternal Peace.
Gen Sana is survived by his widow and two daughters. His brother, Rehmatullah Khan is RPO (DIG Police ) in D. G. Khan. His youngest brother, Ameenullah Khan is ex- Nazim and a prominent figure of Daudkhel.
( The picture on the right is the grave of Gen Sanaullah Niazi in Daudkhel ).-Munawar Ali Malik – 23
Motorbikes have become more a traffic hazard than a facility. Too many around, let’s admit. Motorists have to sit on the edge of the driving seat, highly alert, cursing the bikers who overtake them, and sometimes startle them out of their wits by abruptly stopping just half an inch ahead of them.
Sometimes a bike brushes against the side of a car and the biker bluntly blames the motorist for hitting him. The two curse each other heartily, till the passersby intervene to prevent a clash of fisticuffs. Be it Mianwali or Lahore, such nasty scenes have become a common sight everywhere.
They make us nostalgically remember the good old days when there were no motorbikes around.
More of this tomorrow, InshaALLAH.Munawar Ali Malik – 24
Motorbikes flooded the market in Pakistan in early 1970 s. Before that, heavy machines known as motorcycles were used by just a few eccentric people in big cities. They were at least double in size compared with the motorbikes of today, heavier, clumsy and terribly noisy. Because of the noise they were known as ‘phut-phatta’.
In 1960 s there was just one motorcycle in Mianwali. It was owned by the great scholar of Political Science, Prof Farooq Akhtar Najib. It was a very old model of Triumph. It made a horrible noise like a burst of G-3 gun fire, which frightened away birds, and startled the people walking along the road. People used to stop to look at it with surprise. Munawar Ali Malik – 25
Sudden encounter (meeting) with an old student is always a pleasure for me.
One day, on my way to Lahore with my son, Prof Akram, we stopped at Sukheki food point for a cup of tea.
A young motorway police officer came to the tea stall. He edged closer to me, and said :
‘ Excuse me, sir, are you Prof Munawar Ali Malik ?’
‘ Yes, said I, ‘ What makes you doubt I’m not ?’
Saluting me, he said shyly, ‘ Nothing, sir, I was just a bit confused, because you used to be clean shaven when I was your student at Government College, Mianwali. Anyway, the beard has made no difference to your identity. It rather makes you look more affectionate’.
More of this tomorrow, InshaALLAH. Munawar Ali Malik – 27
Then my student ( the motorway police officer ) offered to get us lunch. But we told him we had had lunch in Sargodha. Suddenly I realized that our car had been running on petrol, because gas stations were on strike that day. As petrol was much more costly than gas those days, I asked him to get us gas, if possible. That, I said, was something more important for us than lunch that day. He smiled, and drove us to a gas station in Sukheki city, where he got us a cylinder-full of gas.
Not only that, he gave me his cellphone number and said, ‘ Sir, whenever you pass this way next time, please let me know, because my lunch invitation still stands’.
Thanking him, we left for our destination. On such occasions I always thank ALLAH for having made me a teacher.
Gone are the days when the good old bicycle was the most commonly used conveyance everywhere in Pakistan. The motorbike has almost replaced it. It won’t be long before the bicycle becomes only a showpiece in museums.
The bicycle, we don’t seem to realize, is a very good means of exercise. It is specially good for heart muscles. Heart specialists recommend cycling as an exercise at the initial stages of heart trouble. Why not do a bit of this exercise everyday before the doctor tells you to do so to save your life ?
The picture shows a Mianwalian young man’s style of bicycle decoration. Interesting, isn’t it ?