Fatima Surrayya Bajia remembered on first death anniversary
Noted playwright, television personality and social worker Fatima Surrayya Bajia was remembered in the most tender and affectionate of terms by a galaxy of prominent people from all walks of life on the occasion of her first death anniversary at the Karachi Arts Council on Thursday evening.
All the speakers recalled how she was a reservoir of human sympathy and love, especially for the downtrodden, the dispossessed and those whom fate had given a rough deal.
Her former colleagues at Pakistan Television recalled how she had just seasoned them in the craft of television plays, and how she had really polished up their existing talent.
Her brother, another TV and showbiz celebrity, Anwar Maqsood, voice quivering with emotion, said that Bajia was one of those people God created to keep others happy.
“Bajia’s home was a haven of human sympathy, the way she genuinely cared for the problems, the tragedies of others,” he said.
Her sister, Zubeida Apa, spoke of Bajia as one who cultivated in them the art and etiquette of civilised conversation. She taught us how to indulge in conversation that would not break the other person’s heart, even unintentionally. “She was a beautiful, tender-hearted person,” Zubeida Apa said.
Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, former vice-chancellor of Karachi University, said that Bajia was an extraordinary personality of our era. “The whole society was her family,” he said.
He suggested that Bajia should be the subject of dissertation of a PhD dissertation as a lesson in social sciences and philanthropy. He said that our society was rapidly gravitating towards western culture.
Siddiqui said Bajia was always concerned and always laid down that in order to resist this undesirable trend and make herculean efforts to conserve our own rich cultural heritage.
Another TV personality, Qazi Wajid, said, “Bajia should not have gone so early for there still are people who have lots of problems and with Bajia there, they were sure to have been overcome.”
Speaking of his association with the departed, he recalled her endearing antics and narrated how she once came over to the rehearsal of a play carrying two peacocks.
Former TV star Iqbal Lateef, who had worked in plays directed by Bajia, said that time, years, decades may roll by but we could never forget Bajia. He most tenderly recalled Bajia’s sympathy at the time of his mother’s demise.
Behroze Subzwari also spoke very tenderly of Bajia and her family.
Others who spoke were former TV plays director Ishrat Ansari and Zaheer Khan, apart from some others.
Arts Council President Muhammad Ahmed Shah, in his tribute to the departed, recalled her qualities of head and heart and the love that she harboured for all of humanity as such.
Zehra, Bajia’s sister, spoke of her departed sister in very tender terms.