Friends recall life and works of Dr Mirza
By Jonaid Iqbal
ISLAMABAD: Friends remembered late Dr Ayub Mirza, biographer of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, here on Tuesday evening as a man committed to progressive ideals.
Dr Mirza, who died in died in Glasgow in August 8, was recalled as a man of distinction with a noble heart eager to help his friends but also one who had a fiery temper.
Kishwar Naheed, Agha Nasir, Prof Fateh Mohammad Mailk, Iftikhar Arif and others gathered at the South Asia Free Media Association (Safma) auditorium to recall the life of physician who provided a platform at his Harley Street residence for left wing ideologues, and who was a profound promoter of progressive movement. They said Dr Mirza’s greatest contribution was founding the Pakistan-China Friendship Association.
Many speakers remembered Dr Mirza as author of Hum key tharey ajnabi, a biography of Faiz. Ashfaque Saleem Mirza delighted the meeting by quoting several anecdotes from the book. One was that when Faiz was asked about his faith, he replied he adhered to the faith of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi. The next question was: what was Rumi’s religion? “Same as mine,” answered Faiz. Mr Saleem also referred to biography of Dada Amir Haidar by Dr Mirza, which he initially started as a novel.
Iftikhar Arif recalled how Faiz wrote an obituary on Dr Mirza by mistake. What happened was that Mr Page of BBC heard about death of Mirza Zafarul Hassan, and asked Arif to tell Faiz, who was in Paris, about it. Faiz misunderstood and thought that Dr Mirza had died. The mistake led to Faiz writing a sincere tribute to Dr Mirza, who wanted the note as a collector’s item but was given only a copy of it.
Agha Nasir said Dr Mirza had reproduced the exact shade of words used by Faiz in his book, terming it a great achievement as he had done it by dint of memory. Kishwar Naheed said of the four Urdu biographies used in an American university, one was Hum key tharey ajnabi.
Raja Asghar, a senior journalist, spoke about Dr Mirza’s passionate devotion to Pak-China friendship. Muhammad Ishaque recalled meetings with Dada Amir Haidar at Dr Mirza’s Harley Street home. Ravish Nadeem spoke of his initiation as a leftist and the encouragement he received from the doctor.