Now that The Man of Steel is recovering from open-heart surgery, his friends are hoping that he will adhere to a healthy diet and keep his weight down. The trouble with The Man is that he, like most Lahoris, can’t resist good food. Amongst his favourites we hear is spinach with mutton (paalak gosht) and aromatic biryani. A friend recalled that earlier in this term, on a trip to Lahore, The Man went to condole the passing of a relative and smelt the fragrance of “degs” on the boil. It was lunchtime, and The Man’s team had brought his packed low-calorie lunch. The Man, however, preferred the degi food and when the official offered him his low-cal lunch, The Man asked him to eat it himself!
Not over till it’s over
Pundits may write off the Quaid-e-Qiwam, but it’s not over till it’s over. He’s had many challenges, some of them seemingly insurmountable, but he appears to be valuable to Her Majesty’s Government which granted him political asylum in 1992. He’s been in London ever since, suffering from bad health, but the Quaid continues to confound his foes and survives. He has recently had a toe amputation, we hear, because gangrene had set in, following long-term diabetes. An ancient hack, upon hearing this, recalled his editor’s instructions in 1962 to “write Maulana Bhashani’s obituary”. For those not in the know, Maulana Bhashani was a popular political leader and Islamic scholar of British India and East Pakistan. He was born in 1880 and was renowned for his selflessness and solidarity with the oppressed. He was a founder of the Awami League and the National Awami Party. The hack recalled that he had to “update” Maulana Bhashani’s obit “at least ten times” before he finally passed away in Dhaka in 1976, four years short of his 100th birthday! So, let’s not write off the Quaid-e-Qiwam prematurely.