Those were the days my friend [1.1]

A couple swings into action at a New Year’s party at a nightclub at Karachi’s Hotel Metropole (1957).
·

THE PAST IS ANOTHER COUNTRY

·

by Nayyar Hashmey

·

Nadeem Paracha is a columnist, who writes for the daily Dawn, Karachi. The pieces he jots down are very much to my liking, even though many that he composes are more sarcastic, and sometime unfathomable.

I read his columns mostly through Dawn.com blog or from a blog that carries his name and appears on WordPress.

Recently I came across a series of his posts titled ‘Also Pakistan’, a remarkable piece indeed.

Having gone through this piece and read of the events, it was a memorabe déjà vu to the grand old days, when Pakistan used to be a much liberal, friendlier and progressive place, even during the harsh dictatorship of “Field Martial” Ayub Khan.

General Ayub arriving to take command of the P...

17 January 1951 – General Ayub arriving to take command of the Pakistan Army. Later – October 1958,  he took over the command of the whole of Islamic republic declaring a Martial Law in the country.

That was the time when Ayub’s state apparat had fully gripped the Islamic republic. No one could speak against the all and mighty Ayub and his chosen Nawab in the province of West Pakistan [which is now Pakistan]. But for the lone voices of a skinny Judge of the High Court, Justice M. R. Kiyani and poet Habib Jalib. Otherwise no one would dare speak a single word against the dictator.

Ayub’s nominee in West Pakistan was the Nawab about whom late Justice Kiyani dared remark for the first time, “Our pevious rulers promised us greener pastures [sabz-bagh] but our new king is so kind to present us a dark pasture [the kala-bagh].”

On literary side Jalib wrote:

·

Ye Tera Pakistan hae na Mera Pakistan hae,
Ye Uska Pakistan hae jo Sadr-e-Pakistan hae.

·

But believe me dear readers, even in those days, inspite of the CID goons raiding the houses of liberal progressive writers, workers and journalists putting them behind the bars, most being sent to various interrogation centres, still! despite all these oppressive tactics, Pakistan in those days had no such soffocation, no such haven of extremism, no mayhem and high handedness which are now a hallmark of our Islamic republic.

After 1965 war on Kashmir, which we so shamefully lost, the country saw the downfall of the first dictator’s Raj followed by the dictator in waiting Gen Yahya Khan. After our second defeat when we saw the break-up of Pakistan into two parts, one getting independent and other being hailed as Naya Pakistan by Qaid-e-Awam Janab Z. A. Bhutto, gradually things started getting back to square one, when our Islamic Socialist Qaid started adopting the same rejected feudals of Pakistan against whom the people of West Pakistan had overwhelmingly voted him into power.

But in spite of the dictatorial policy adopted also by the civilian Qaid-e-Awam, Pakistan was not such a depressingly haunted state as we see it today.

Unfortunately ZAB inspite of he being apparently a progressive fella, had in his genes the same feudalism which he apparently despised and therefore was as much power addicted as any other opportunistic ruler of Pakistan, for it was he who declared Friday as the weekly holiday. It was he who under the pressure of the Mullahs, declared Ahmadis as non Muslims. It was he who succumbed to different Islamic measures which suited the maulvis and not the people of Pakistan. It was he who selected the biggest snob of our history as the COAS. So came the man [his own selectee] who ultimately sent him to the gallows.

The great Qaid-e-Awam did not do all this in the interest of either Islam or in the interest of the people of Pakistan, but just to save his rule. But alas! he could not, in spite of him having bowed before the Mullahs.

In essence, these were the very appeasement tactics of the great leader of the people, who ultimately paved the way for Mard-e-Haq declaring for the second time a Martial Law in this country, and introducing in this land of the pure an unending night of the Mullahs, a night whose darknesss still hovers over the Islamic republic and God knows when this long dark night will end???

Back to Nadeem Paracha’s piece, I tried to contact him through his email ID but in spite of my best poossible effort I could not trace any contact of him. So through this note, I do request if he happens to see this, please let me know of intent in putting this piece on WoP pages.

No sooner that I saw this must read piece by Paracha on Dawn blog I wished I should share this with you dear readers on WoP blog. So it will stand for viewing, until and unless I receive a counter response in which case this piece will be removed from these pages..

Now about the photo write up, Also Pakistan. While going through this piece, I happened to see an old lyric, Those were the days…..

Paracha’s piece reminds me of this lyric again and again when it says Those were the days my friend, we thought they’ll never end…. But the days ended and now we have our dear Pakistan in the grip of extreme religiosos who are out to brandish this nation of 180 million Pakistanis into what these religious zealots themselves don’t know. If they do then it is the state of religion infested mad men who will be out to destroy every thing whih does not fit into their framework of a Khwariji Islam!  [Nayyar]

***

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THOSE WERE THE DAYS

·

Once upon a time,

there was a tavern
Where we used to raise a glass or two
Remember how we laughed away the hours
And dreamed of all the great things we would do

Those were the days,

my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose, we’d fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way
La la la la la la, La la la la la la

Those were the days
Oh yes, those were the days

Then the busy years went rushing by us
We lost our starry notions on the way
If by chance, I’d see you in the tavern
We’d smile at one another, and we’d say

Those were the days,

my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose, we’d fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way
La la la la la la, La la la la la la
Those were the days
Oh yes, those were the days

Just tonight I stood before the tavern
Nothing seemed the way it used to be
In the glass I saw a strange reflection
Was that lonely man really me

Those were the days,

my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose, we’d fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way
La la la la la la, La la la la la la
La la la la….
La la la la la la, La la la la la la
La la la la….

Through the door there came familiar laughter
I saw your face and heard you call my name
Oh, my friend,

we’re older but no wiser
For in our hearts the dreams are still

the same

Those were the days,

my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose, we’d fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way
La la la la la la, La la la la la la
La la la la….
La la la la la la, La la la la la la
La la la la….

Contd…

Next: Once Upon A Time in Pakistan…[2 of 3]

       Page   1     2     3

Source: Title image Lyric Text  Video

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. For the good days, the transformation is still continuing and may be, in next 5years or so I can see a much stronger, mentally healthier, vibrant and tolerant Pakistan INSHA ALLAH.

  2. […]  Those were the days my friend in three parts] […]

  3. […] Those were the days my friend [in three parts] […]

  4. […] 1. Picturing Pakistan’s Past [in two parts] 2. Those were the days my friend [in three parts] […]

  5. […] 1. Picturing Pakistan’s Past [in two parts] 2. Those were the days my friend [in three parts] […]

  6. […] part of this series, we took you down the memory lane to those years of Pakistan’s history (here, here, and here), and then to the second part. Titled under “Picturing Pakistan’s Past”, we […]

  7. […] also Pakistan [ 3.2 ], Picturing Pakistan’s Past, [2.1] Picturing Pakistan’s Past, [ 2.2 ] Those were the days my friend [1.1], Once Upon A Time in Pakistan…[1.2 ], Once Upon A Time in Pakistan… […]

  8. […] 1. Picturing Pakistan’s Past [in two parts] 2. Those were the days my friend [in three parts] […]

  9. […] 1. Picturing Pakistan’s Past [in two parts] 2. Those were the days my friend [in three parts] […]

  10. […] 1. Picturing Pakistan’s Past [in two parts] 2. Those were the days my friend [in three parts] […]

  11. […] Revolutions in the Southern Hemisphere 4. Colors of Punjab, Rural Pakistan [in four parts] 5. Those were the days my friend [1.1] 6. Achievers despite heavy odds [in three parts] 7. Rewinding the Tragic Saga 1947 8. The […]

  12. […]  Those were the days my friend in three parts] […]

  13. […] Those were the days my friend [in three parts] […]


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