Saturday, August 06, 2011

rote hue aate hain sab hasta hua jo jaayega wo muqaddar ka sikandar wo muqaddar ka sikandar jaaneman kehlayega

One year on....

With apologies to the Akhtars (Javed and Farhan), Amitabh Bachchan, SRK and anyone else involved with the Don franchise:

Safwat Ghayur ko competition deyna mushkil hi nahi na-mumkin hai

Though I could have also played around with another famous dialogue from the film

Safwat Ghayur ke dushman ka sirf ek hi kasoor hai woh Safwat ka dushman hai! ...

but you get the gist.

I first encountered this gentleman as the paramapada of an elaborate game of snakes and ladders a very charming young woman outlined on the dining table for her elder sister. That the young woman went on to marry the hero of our tale is- well -another story. She is a bit vague with the details, but how fortuitous for someone who answered  a "police officer" (when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up), to marry one when she ended up  in medical school instead.
But going back to the enigmatic Mr Ghayur. Yes, I don’t think his fan group was remiss in placing him on a pedestal, not for him the human vices of sloth, pride, vulgarity, boorish behaviour or pettiness and laziness as someone who was born to such good fortune as him could have succumbed to—somehow this suave French speaking, globetrotting, head strong, incorruptible law enforcer reminded you of the heroes from popular cinema who would battle baddies, dodge bullets, with not a crease in their well stitched suit – and here I am leaning towards a certain Secret Service Agent and not the Jat, for our hero preferred to deliver his killer lines at a lower decibel. Interesting aside: Mr Ghayur has been to the local cinemas, well at least for one Pushto movie when he chaperoned a visiting friend. The said friend was pretty scandalized with our domestic fare and declared it made French erotica seem like a training manual by the Taleban for virtuous behaviour (or words to that effect). But I guess this excursion of his, gives us just cause to add the line “he was a patron of the local arts” to his resume, lest he sounds too pucca saheb for you.

Yes, yes nothing got to our debonair man in uniform, not battling the thugs, nor sweating out in the thanas, and the various encounters he found himself in--- or made sure that he made a detour to “find" himself in. Yes, not even the most hair raising adventure of all --that has people tearing out their hair ,  running out of the house in their pyjamas. Raising two under-twos!! Yup, he did that too. Unfazed, and as quite the dapper gentleman.

But the same person who introduced us to Hotel California,

played Everyone Loves Kungfu Fighting in a band in Bangkok,

had friends who set up restaurants in Islamabad THAT WERE OPEN AT 9pm (which was really cool for a city where you walked on the wild side if you spoke to someone in a different BPS grade than you), 

who drove off with his new bride in a car come rukhsati time, and a very nice car I should add! ALONE! gasp!(with no sisters, cousins, and the ubiquitous five year old niece who will tug at the bride’s veil for the entire journey) in the process scandalizing all the old aunts and well the not so old amongst us as well

was also the good son who abandoned a really good first job offer (yes teaching karate is a pretty fine job) to accompany his family back to Pakistan, who might have dreamed of joining the foreign service (and would have been very good at it ) but chose instead the police so he could be around when his family needed him –and in turn took care of a family far far larger than his own. Ok, fine! maybe, we should go ahead and call him the desi hero after all!

 I don’t think I am the stage in my life when I can find meaning in the things that happen to our heroes—but I do find comfort and a lot of laughter in the image of the foolish young man who goes up there believing himself to be a martyr with all the 70 houris and rivers of milk and honey it brings and encounters Safwat Ghayur instead. 

Yes, perhaps there is some divine justice after all.


  1. RIP, Safwat Ghayur.

    I am so sorry for your loss, Aneela.

  2. I read your post in the morning and could find any words that might be meaningful. Your writing stayed with me all day. Have come back just to say this- still have not been able to find the words to express the emotions your post stirred.

  3. *hugs*

    I didn't have the words when I read this post that day and I don't now, but I love, love, love the idea of the suicide bomber meeting your hero up there. I do strongly believe in a larger concept of justice, beyond what we can see and understand.

  4. He sounds like loads of fun, among everything else. With tributes like yours, he will never be forgotten.


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