“So what do I do? Cry?”

When his dog had run over to me while I was sitting with him in his home during an interview, I had leaped up in fear and asked if it could be taken away. Cowasjee had become angry and exclaimed, “Mullah hai kya?” – File photo courtesy The Herald
When his dog ran over to me while I was sitting with him in his home during an interview, I leapt up in fear and asked if it could be taken away. Cowasjee became angry and exclaimed, “Mullah hai kya?” – File photo courtesy The Herald

It was the first time I was sitting in a fancy convertible Mercedes – that too with a man. So what if he was in his 80s and taking me to a park in Clifton? He was like no other and now he’s gone.

Ardeshir Cowasjee, the boldest man I have ever met, passed away today after trying over and over again – for decades – to talk sense into his fellow Pakistanis. Although everyone will clearly remember his colourful language, distinctive dressing and resilient personality, I wonder how many will realise how important his words were?

“Do you know where Tonga is?” He asked me one day while visiting our newsroom.

Embarrassed, I tried to sneakily check on Google what or where this Tonga place was. After failing to give him an affirmative answer, I shrugged and said no.

“Well find out where Tonga is and then look for a boy there and get married and live far, far away from Pakistan,” he replied with a sad laughter.

For someone who was quick to tell others to leave Pakistan behind and find a better life elsewhere, he was never one to take his own advice.

“Why should I leave it?” He would ask defensively, almost angrily, when one would question him why he stayed back.

“This is my home!” He would snap.

But what about the fact that his beloved city was turning into a fearful lawless state in front of his eyes?

“So what do I do? Cry?” He would respond, once again, the sad laughter accompanying his words.

From 1988 until 2011, Cowasjee wrote weekly for Dawn. Readers hungrily took in his words and marvelled at how brave and sensible this old man was. Whether it was providing financial support to students in the country or waging a verbal war on the enemies of Karachi’s mangroves, Cowasjee was not shy to speak or act.

Born on April 13, 1926, Cowasjee completed his education from the Bai Virbaiji Soparivala Parsi High School and DJ Sindh Govt Science College in Karachi and joined the family business. In 1953, he married Nancy Dinshaw and had two children. His daughter lived with him in an adjoining house while his son is an architect in the US. His wife passed away about 20 years ago.

Despite the small family, Cowasjee didn’t really seem lonely. Outside, he had a city to fight for and at home, he had an assortment of pets keeping him company.

When his dog ran over to me while I was sitting with him in his home during an interview, I leapt up in fear and asked if it could be taken away.

Cowasjee became angry and exclaimed, “Mullah hai kya?”

I sank back into my seat. The dog stayed.

Hearing his stories about Karachi was like listening to someone speak about a city existing in some parallel universe. He spoke about the early days of Karachi with such joy and happiness that it was only natural for the listener to realise the pain he must be going through looking outside his window. However, when Cowasjee spoke of Bhutto, that’s when things got a bit feisty.

In 1976, Bhutto had sent him to prison for 72 days. Each time Cowasjee narrated that story, there was a gleam in his eyes and a mischievous grin on his face. He swore until the end that he had no idea why Bhutto sent him to prison. However, knowing his blunt nature and forward thinking, I am sure it was probably something he said. After all, he had annoyed many people with his outspoken thoughts and he had been threatened in response too but did that scare him? Not a chance.

He blamed the country’s ills on over-population and education. If these could be sorted, everything could be sorted. He made it sound simple. Almost easy.

We walked through the Bagh-i-Rustom in Karachi’s Clifton area. A park he had built, naming it on his father. He walked through the shrubs and bushes pulling his gown up until his knees while I chased after trying to scribble his words on my notebook. Eventually I gave up trying to note down what he was saying and tried listening instead. The man always made sense.

“This is not for me, this is for everyone,” he mused while proudly gazing into the gardens ahead.

Be it funds, be it land or be it wisdom – Cowasjee never hesitated to provide to the masses. Where politicians and officials never took him seriously, Cowasjee in return never lost an opportunity to publically discredit Pakistan’s leadership. His vocal thoughts are perhaps what his readers prized most about him. And when in 2011 Cowasjee stopped writing his weekly columns, his readers from all around the world sent in requests for him to change his mind. They said no one said it like he did. He, however, stayed firm on his decision and said he’s bored of writing the same thing over and over again – he didn’t believe anything would change.

Now that he’s gone, the hope for change becomes even bleaker. His dreams for Pakistan may never be fulfilled but his hope and efforts will probably never be forgotten.

Walking down Dawn’s corridor in an olive three-piece suit with a shiny handkerchief in his pocket and a cane by side, Cowasjee was chuckling to himself.

Too nervous to approach him, I wondered what he must have been thinking: About Jinnah? About journalism? Or perhaps he must be trying to figure out why women in Pakistan are so reluctant to show their ankles – a musing he had once shared with me. To him, this remained a great mystery.

To me, how he acquired the strength to fight against the system day after day, will always remain a great mystery.

Rest in peace, sir. You made me terribly nervous and easily overwhelmed but if you were still here today and I had a chance to meet you again, I’d dash for it so I could hear you speak once more.

The author is the Deputy Editor at Dawn.com.

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Comments (124) Closed

Syed rizvi
Nov 25, 2012 06:18pm
We will miss him always. An honest brave and socialman. God bless him
Nov 24, 2012 07:21pm
I saw a book of his all his columns at Liberty Books (near BBQ tonight) about two weeks ago, it was called the Vintage Cowasjee I believe.
Zaki Hassan
Nov 26, 2012 10:52am
I subscribed Dawn because of him, me and my father always felt en-lighted after reading his articles. May Allah rest his soul in peace. We need a lot of more Brave & honest journalist like him.
Ifty Saeed
Nov 24, 2012 05:20pm
Even one of a kind may not be up to the personality of Cawas Jee to describe him fully and his Herculean efforts to correct the system.
Nov 24, 2012 05:22pm
He was a great thinker, excellent columnist and proud Karachiate. Revolutionary thoughts that he provided on paper, if just one revolutionary action taker would have decided to change Karachi or Pakistan that would have completed his mission.
Nov 25, 2012 02:35pm
I knew him, for short time we were in touch but like you have written i also got fed up and stopped writing to him as nothing seems to have changed.
Nabeel Rahman
Nov 26, 2012 03:59pm
What a man... let's hope we can create a Pakistan that he had hoped for, AMEEN!
Ras H. Siddiqui
Nov 24, 2012 04:27pm
Last me him very briefly at Dawn's offices in 2004, quite by chance. Rest In Peace Sir, you were one of a kind. Ras H. Siddiqui PS: I doubt if him and ZAB had a falling out in 1962 as reported here. 1972 maybe?
Nov 25, 2012 11:57am
sad.... the fact he died giving up on pakistan and its awam!!! too bad!!! but what was he to do... i wud say he was a fool to beleive in something so impossible, but then if he hadnt his life had been even more miserable... i am glad he is saved anymore anguish and pain on the state of affairs... Mr. cowasjee may we meet again in some better world:P it was my dream too to take your interview... but knowing how abruptly you could make anyone feel so little so foolish made me wonder if it was really a wise thing to do, seeing my low self esteem that was the last thing i needed:) i know i cudnt have gotten out of you what you already have so liberally and freely offered to us all... your wisdom and for us to be atleast a bit like you forr if we all can even have a ten percent of what u had... this country may have been something different:)
Nov 24, 2012 04:02pm
God bless his soul. I use to live on 25-bleak house road. A great man always writing the truth about what is going around the country
Nov 26, 2012 08:12pm
mullah ha kia..sometimes truth is very simple.
Faisal Alizai
Nov 27, 2012 10:52am
Very few Pakistanis have the courage to speak / write like him .... he was a true patriot. May Allah rest his soul in peace... we will miss him
Farishteh Dastur
Nov 24, 2012 10:01pm
lalit bagai
Nov 25, 2012 01:25pm
i suggest that dawn could search its archives and present some of his columns once again
Mustafa Kamal
Nov 25, 2012 05:03am
Cowasjee, the great man!!
Nov 27, 2012 12:31am
There are many but not on the front seat
akhter husain
Nov 25, 2012 06:40am
Who says that the "YOUNG OLD MAN" Cowasjee died,he is living in memories .
Nov 28, 2012 05:56pm
Cowasjee will be dearly missed. A person who witnessed at first hand the slow and steady slide of Pakistan into the miserable state it is in today at the hands of our vision-less leaders that Pakistan is so much blessed with but Cowasjee tirelessly spoke out against the inept officialdom's at all levels, in the hope that this beloved Pakistan of ours will halt this slide into the abyss and alas join the comity of the successful nations that stand for some good on this small planet called Earth! My own father died waiting in the same hope that just maybe our country will turn the corner but unfortunately it will take many years to reverse the process of decades of decay, once some brave visionary leader halts the the present slide.
Aslam Khan
Nov 26, 2012 09:52pm
Where is Tonga by the way? Do the people there respect life? What about Mullas? Are they there too? If only, Mullas are not there then Pakistanis may migrate?
Nov 27, 2012 04:50am
I don't think its necessary to give the intricate details but this is about my first encounter with Mr Cowasgee in 1990. An international seminar was held in Karachi in which the government authority I worked for was one of the sponsors. We arranged to host one luncheon for the participants at a well known hotel where the seminar was being held. The subject of the seminar was related to my unit and I was representing my organisation. When the morning session ended it was soon to be time for lunch, I was paged and hurried to the reception to take the phone call at the desk. Mr Cowasgee was standing nearby. Of course I recognised him. I had seen him on TV and read his columns religiously. At that time my father was seriously ill and the call was to summon me home urgently as his condition had deteriorated significantly. As I put the phone down Mr Cowasgee approached me. He could see that I was distraught. He put is arm round my shoulder and guided me to a set of sofas. He asked what the matter was. I told him why I had to rush home but at the same time my Director General was expected any minute and I didn't feel comfortable about leaving without informing him. Somehow almost immediately cup of coffee arrived. He told me to drink it and gather myself. When I finished, he told me to go and not to worry. He would explain to my boss. Twenty two years have passed but I recall that incident like it occurred just yesterday. It is not just Mr Cowasgee's kindness toward me, a total stranger, it is also the way he expressed it, the warmth, the gentle reassuring voice and the concern in his eyes that I can never forget. I met Mr Cowasgee a few times later but after many years. Rest in peace Mr Cowasgee.
Nov 27, 2012 07:34am
To all the beloved admirers and mourners of Cowasjee a message of thanks from Mother Earth. O all of my beloved human children who are mourning the departure of one of my most beloved sons Cowasjee. All of you humans are my children, dead or alive. But not a single so beloved to me and alike. While many of the top to bottom level of my human sons, for the lust of money and wealth, were engaged in exploiting, raping, trading and selling their mother earth ( i.e. me ) day and night. The only son of mine Cowasjee continued his fearless war against earth pollution, corrupt & influential land mafias and clean earth environment even putting at stake his life! I know you too love and miss my Cawas so much. You may wail, you mourn, you may bereave and cry, so much so your heart may bleed and your eyes may get dry. But my beloved children, this is request of your Earth mother, pls do not loudly cry, Because my most beloved Cowas exhausted after life long fight for me, has just fallen to deep sleep under the warmth of my arms, hence no more wail and cry. You may see your beloved " Proud of the Earth brother, Cowas any day and every day as the most shining Star, on the Sky" Thank you all of you and Good By.!
Dr:A.Qadeer Memon
Nov 25, 2012 03:46pm
Kindly correct in urdu or English In English there is : In 1976, Bhutto had sent him to prison for 72 days. When in urdu edition there is 1962 regards
Nov 25, 2012 04:17am
A stunning tribute to Cowasjee, indeed, I relished his pieces and shall cherish the ones I have collected in my archive. You have beautifully manifested your thoughts on this post! Cheers from Toronto, Canada !
Usman Durrani.
Nov 25, 2012 05:10am
Ardeshir Cowasjee was a brave writer.He wrote truth without fear.Today is a great loss of print Media. Hope the vision he give to Pakistan other brave columnist carred his mission towards peace and prosperity.Lecturer (University College of Karachi).
Nov 27, 2012 11:13am
Blessed are those who contribute. May his soul rest in peace.
Nov 27, 2012 12:41pm
A good tribute for a great man by Shyema Sajjad. Thank you. Please be brave and write as Cowasjee would have wanted you to do.
Dr Siddiqui
Nov 27, 2012 04:23pm
Well written it brought a mistiness in m y eyes imagining him as if alive and carrying on all over again in his own inimitable style..such a man is born perhaps once in a century ..and in a place which could only read him from a distance but not follow his vision as if he did not belong to them ...may his soul rest in peace !
Nov 25, 2012 01:44am
In one of my email to him I misspelled his name and he sent reply with correct one .funny dude
Nov 25, 2012 01:43am
A Great Soul....A Great loss to Pakistan....May his Soul rest in Peace...From a Great Fan from India
Nov 25, 2012 01:25am
A million Zahid Hamids or Zardaris cannot hold a candle to this great man. Pakistan, find your compass before it is too late.
Nov 25, 2012 06:54am
To keep his great memory alive, now is the time for selfless, conscientious people who admired Mr. Ardeshir Cowasjee to follow his footsteps and take on the task of gearing their strength to bring about a change in the system. A corrupt system that he strived to change through his strong & fearless thoughts, words & deeds. His dedicated efforts should not go in vain.
Nov 27, 2012 09:21am
Pakistan is going through its own development challenges which one way or another many countries had gone through. People like Cowasjee are required to benchmark these events in the history and we benefit from their absolute honesty as real time commentators and therefore he will be sorely missed. What's amazing is that he was not just honest about his views and the surrounding environment but was also truthful to himself and his home....
Nov 25, 2012 08:20am
Reblogged this on munira's bubble and commented: 'For someone who was quick to tell others to leave Pakistan behind and find a better life elsewhere, he was never one to take his own advice.
Nov 25, 2012 04:02am
Lost one more rational person.We're a little more poorer today than we were yesterday.
Nov 25, 2012 03:41am
another depressing news from motherland!
Nov 25, 2012 12:37am
Each time I wrote email to him, he replied. Getting a reply was like a gift. It is sad. Allah subhan o tala apko jannat naseeb karay (ameen).
Nov 25, 2012 08:10pm
cowasjee efforts are really remarkable. Our govt or DAWN should give him attribute for his work.
Imti from Dallas
Nov 24, 2012 11:44pm
Cowasjee was one of those rare individuals who felt compelled to write about the bigotry of the establishment in Pakistan. A democratically elected, powerless central government pretending to have control, an Army which has the Power and encourages Religious zealots to kill innocent people who do not subscribe to their brand of extremism. I once wrote a letter to him congratulating him on the courage he showed in his writings. He wrote back and thanked me. He was a National treasure, and I hope one day Pakistan and Karachi will be become as he wanted it to be.
siddiq karim
Nov 24, 2012 11:40pm
Karachi and all of Pakistan has lost a true patriot. May God bless him. He will be missed. Pakistan need to get to family planning, education, no more religious meetings other than the 5 daily prayers. We have no future the path we are on.
Nov 24, 2012 09:47pm
I have stored mails with him <I understand your disappointment...But crusaders never leave battle half the way Jinnah did not get what he got by his ability only. Deputation of the Best in his time persuaded to come back and take over. It was preordained for him and so is Pakistan . From Sir Syed Ahmad to martyrs till now....their efforts and blood never go in vain. Your body may have become frail....not your brain and noble wishes. Plurarism will soon take over. French revolution and marxist ways were outcome of desperation and later it got a near right path...So will this nation. I strongly urge you not get disappointed and losing faith....Messiah is waiting a long rope to End You go on doing your duty with full faith. Dont be a part of frustrated 180 millions.... Struggle is meaning of life...Defeat or Victory is in Hands of God...but struggle itself is mans duty and should be his Joy. We are not path makers....we are just to clear/clean path and lighten it for those who are to follow.Leave rest upon Creator....May be delay... but finally HE is to Clean up as all holy books say. This is a period of Punishment of our doings....It is not that it will never end. Discipline Democracy will come ...my Faith and I earnestly Hope you will Live to See It...AMEN
Nov 24, 2012 11:22pm
We will miss you Sir. You were a sure asset and a legend of Pakistan. It is so unfortunate that we never took care of our true "assets"! Rest in Peace
Nov 25, 2012 04:44pm
yes, it seems as if he was a nice fellow. didn't read his articles earlier but sure i would give it a try. MAY ALLAH REST HIS SOUL IN PEACE.
Nov 24, 2012 11:04pm
RIP Mr. Cowasjee. Today was a huge blow to free speech and the true spirit of journalism! You will be missed! You were truly one of a kind....God bless you!
Nov 24, 2012 11:01pm
Cowasjee, He is my hero and I am saddened to hear the News of his passing away. He was a towering figure and there are not many who had the true grits and boldness like him. I am so proud to be born in times where he wrote some amazing pieces in Dawn. R.I.P.
Nov 24, 2012 10:34pm
A light has gone out, the like of which may never be seen again. A great loss to the nation, may you find your paradise, goodbye dear man, and God Bless you.
Behrooz F
Nov 25, 2012 07:18am
To keep his great memory alive, now is the time for selfless, conscientious people who admired Mr. Ardeshir Cowasjee to follow his footsteps and take on the task of gearing their strength to bring about a change in the system. A corrupt system that he strived to change through his strong & fearless thoughts, words & deeds. His dedicated efforts should not go in vain. Educated, selfless, honest & sincere people should come forward and struggle to wipe out corrupt, selfish, incompetent & hypocrites that are currently running the system.
Nov 24, 2012 10:23pm
By that logic every Pakistani at partition lives/lived in his/her adopted country as everyone had the choice to move. Ravi is correct.
Nov 25, 2012 04:59pm
well said
Nov 25, 2012 03:31am
I remember, when once I sent him a short story about an Indian's life as an immigrant in Canada. I did not think, he'd even reply..let alone read it... To my amazement, a few days later, he sent me an email, asking if it was my own experience that I may have fictionalized into a story, and that he was very sad to hear of the life of the protagonist in a country which by then had progressed to be a model of acceptance of different cultures. And he told me his sister lived in Brampton... but that he himself was not interested in coming to Canada.. He was a great man of peace, of generosity, a true patriot of Pakistan.... Pakistan has lost an icon...
Noor Ahmad Khan
Nov 24, 2012 08:38pm
Rest in peace Sir! We needed you more than we deserved. I believe you have moved on to a far better place.
Nov 24, 2012 08:25pm
I am so sad today. A friend has died. He helped me through some dark and confused times... that too with a simple short reply to my email. I wish I had met him. Then again he had a more permanent impression than most people I actually met. Rest in peace, friend. Rest in peace. I will look to the skies tonight in search for a new bright star. For that is where you belong. He was my definition of a true patriot and a gentleman. I already miss you so very much.
saleem khan
Nov 24, 2012 08:23pm
Cowasjee was a real Sher as his first name . I remember conversation with him,when I painted a very gloomy picture of Pakistan, he replied in return " Don't be in despair,no use " Of course since that day I stopped thinking negatively about Pakistan's future .
Ashok Pandey
Nov 25, 2012 10:14pm
Hello, I am an Indian and had been following Sir Cowasjee's columns since last 5 years or so till it was stopped by him. Its a loss to Pakistan and to the world. Its fortunate for a Country to have an elderly scholar like him. My salute to HIM. Cowasjee - RIP
Nov 24, 2012 08:21pm
Nice little tribute, simple and yet you have managed to catch some of the essence of the man. Like all good things , he will be appreciated more, now that he's gone.
Haji Ashfaq
Nov 25, 2012 06:52am
I have held myself not writing any comments for months but this is a special moment. There was none that daring to speak about the current ills and corrupt of this country. Have been reading his articles for decades and will miss him. No other Cowasjee. All have to die one day but all are seldom remembered.
Nov 24, 2012 08:19pm
He did not go with the silents one, but expressed him very well when ever he thought things are not right. He was a brave man.
Nov 24, 2012 08:15pm
A great visionary writer with good sense of humor. He will be remembered as who always wanted to see Pakistan as the Jinnah's Pakistan. He could have lead this nation on the path of Jinnah's vision, but did not like the politics and politicians of Pakistan. We will not have people like him. If they are gone, they are gone for ever. Alas we could have learned some lessons from his writings.
Nov 25, 2012 08:56am
I remember once he wrote in his column: may be we are alive because there is no sack of our size available in the market. Although his death leaves a great void that can never be fiiled, i am happy for one thing i.e. he at least died a natural death.
Nov 26, 2012 05:11am
I have never met Cowasjee in my life and have only seen his pictures and read his views in Dawn newspaper. It seems strange but it is a fact. On 24th November 2012 (day before yesterday) after offering my Fajir prayer I was coming out from mosque and I saw a man wearing an off-white Pashto cap, a tuti -fruity color kamiz- shalwar and a cane in his hand and he looked at me. I live in Bath Island and for a moment I thought he was Cowasjee having a morning walk. Later in evening when I was going out for a drive I found many vehicles parked near to a house as there was a gathering and unusual a police team was there. On 25th I came to know through Dawn newspaper that; man has departed this world and that house was Cowasjee house. It is really strange we don
Syed Nazim
Nov 24, 2012 08:13pm
With the passing of Cowasjee Karachi is Orphon. He was most loving father of this unfortunate city.Now land grabbers and corrupt government sevants will have field day.
Latif Khan
Nov 26, 2012 07:28am
A great writer and visionary thinker who had a clear thinking for his country. His writings I am sure would provide guidance for the nation for setting up goals and the path of the righteous. It is a great loss of nation.May Allah bless his soul.
Ata Bangash
Nov 24, 2012 08:08pm
Cowasjee. The person who professed the truth. We are all liars, we have double standards. We will miss you.
Nov 25, 2012 12:07pm
the only thing worth finding in dawn was cwasjees columns... Now we are not going to have that as well... and though i was not always reading his words... i was sure there were some who were taking strnegth from it! we did lose a very strong backbone!:) but guess wat... we are the ones who take our assets so for granted! nowwe all are relying on imran khan like the only hope... god forbid something happens to him tomorrow... any back up plans ppl? how weak are we depending on only one person so much! how unjust!
Noor K
Nov 24, 2012 08:02pm
Can''t belive I won't be able to meet my mentor again! Mr. Cowasjee's blessings, wisdom and help had drastic impact on my life! Don't know how much the nation would mourn him but this legend for me will forever be missed and treasured! RIP Mr. Cowasjee
Urooj Abbas
Nov 26, 2012 05:19am
Great servant of Pakistan
Nov 24, 2012 07:50pm
This is what is ailing Pakistan today. You are not able to accept even your own people as your country's citizen. Mr. Khan if not for anything else, plz respect this man for what he was rather than where/which religion he belongs? If you would have just read at least 10 of his articles, then I don't think you would have made such a comment. I bet you would not find a better devoted Pakistani than him in a 100 mile radius from from where you live, which includes all and sundry. Request you not to sullen a human being of his stature.
Nov 24, 2012 07:38pm
He was correct
Syed Shareef
Nov 25, 2012 12:24pm
A great legend has left and It is indeed a huge loss for Pakistan. We have lost icon of wisdom. He will be missed.
Nov 24, 2012 07:38pm
He was born in Karachi.
Nov 26, 2012 05:48am
one more unique intellectual lost from Pakistan.......May Allah rest his soul in peace.........I pay great honour to him.
Nov 24, 2012 06:44pm
this country will forget you, media will forget you, forget your all effort, none follows your foot steps to aware the people. i wonder who left more like him...
Pind Da Munda
Nov 24, 2012 06:32pm
His uncanny ability to use others' utterances to express his own views about even the most sensitive matters, his concerns about the environment, education, and increasing polarization of the society, and his gift of seamlessly connecting the past with the present were unmatched. He continuously lamented how far the modern day Pakistan had deviated from what Jinnah had meant it to be. And, of course, he had a gift to so vividly present a story that it came alive to the reader. For example, his description in one of his columns of how Zia's honchos had tried to intimidate him by grabbing his lunch basket which his wife had carefully packed was moving. Move on we must but what matters most is the kind of footprints we leave behind. He left good ones. Rest in peace, Mr. Cowasjee.
Nov 24, 2012 06:21pm
very good suggestion to publish his column in a book format..but always we wake up late? why we did not do it in his life? we dont appreciate our heroes in their lives..do we? will we ever do it for someone else?
Krish Chennai
Nov 24, 2012 06:12pm
Sad. When I read his article in Dawn in 2011, in which he wrote would be his last, I knew it would be that, in more ways than one. I keep a dog for three years now, and I know after this article, I am going to be even more close to it.
Nov 24, 2012 06:05pm
In 1947 many had the choice to live either in India or Pakistan.
Agha Ata
Nov 24, 2012 06:05pm
I took his advice. I am in the USA. I wish I had written this beautiful article! So much of it are my thoughts. And . . . I am an Aries , too.
Nov 25, 2012 05:33am
Mr. Cowasjee. Ah THE MAN. There are very few of them - I mean MEN - in our miserable land of the pure. Mr.Cowasjee was among the few. What a MAN he was! A man of truth spoken and written. A Man who waged unceasing war against the building mafia, the corrupt leader (are there any uncorrupt ones? ) and those who set out and successfully destroyed my adopted country and city. THE man lost. The mafias and the corrupt won. But Mr.cowasjee won the hearts and minds of a few million in and outside of Pakistan. I always wished him with the words, "May Allah give you health" . Now I shall pray for his place among those blessed by the Divine.
Mubarak Abbas Shah
Nov 24, 2012 05:57pm
Maqdoor ho tou khak say pochoon kay aay laheem (if it is possible, I must ask from the soil?) Tou nay Gunj haiay graan maaya kia kiay (What have you done to those wonderful gems?)
Nov 25, 2012 04:45am
Cowasjee was a great man. Most people know him as a columnist. He was not. He was writing out of his feelings and pain for the nation of Pakistan, not for sake of writing a weekly column for Dawn. It would be a good idea, if Dawn could assemble all his articles and publish as a book. I will wait for my copy to buy.
Khalid Pathan
Nov 25, 2012 04:43am
Cowasjee is dead. He is gone and with that an era has come to an end. He had a pessimistic view of the future of Pakistan. In this era of uncertainty there is just one thing that is certain "that there shall not be another Cowasjee." He was truly a great philanthropist, a fearless journalist and an honest and courageous person. ,
Nov 25, 2012 05:31am
Its sad, especially when going through some of his articles, the wish to see Jinnah's Pakistan again but seeing the state today...you can't help but cry. RIP.
Majid Sheikh
Nov 24, 2012 05:55pm
I once heard him in Lahore Gymkhana and he told the audience that they were all frauds and cheats and lied to themselves and to the people. "This cannot last long", he said to a crowd that was getting uneasy with what he was telling them. "I will not come here again. You are all frauds".
Nov 24, 2012 05:53pm
One by one the lights are going out in the city of lights. All the next generation will have are the indoctrinated fundos and the self proclaimed guardians of religion and morality. After Cowasjee few voices of reason remain and few people who will not shy away from acting in the interest of the many. RIP Cowasjee, you were a true son of the soil.
Nov 24, 2012 05:52pm
Hard to find a man with such qualities. Rest in Peace.
Nov 24, 2012 05:51pm
a great philanthropist, we all miss you
Nov 24, 2012 05:01pm
RIP Cowasjee. You'll be missed.
Nov 26, 2012 12:28am
A true patriot. Thank you Mr. Cowasjee and all other Parsis who have contributed so much to Pakistan.
Nov 25, 2012 06:13am
Rest in Peace - It was always easy to pick which article to read at Dawn, if there was a Cowasjee's column it had to be first pick... Will miss you Mr.Coswajee.
Dawar Naqvi
Nov 26, 2012 04:20pm
Yasser Masood
Nov 25, 2012 09:21am
In 2007 I wrote to him these words, 'Can our hope lie with Imran Khan in future?', my frustration with how things were panning out with Pervez Musharaf. Mr. Cowasjee emailed me the next day with these words, 'Not you. Not me. Helpless. But if one can, one must protest. Luck may help the victim. Thank you for your msg. AC.' I still feel there was a 'yes' in there, but I can't say for sure, still, he said the right thing, 'we must protest' - this is something we don't do as a nation, in the right manner. We hide and talk in drawing rooms, or go crazy in the streets, but we never find the right way to protest. I am hopeful, yet sad at one thing, Cowasjee won't be able to see the massive change that is close by. Optimistic, yes, and God Willing it will come.
Nov 25, 2012 09:16am
Your writing has the power to inspire shyema. even if its some others words or thoughts that you are sharing. Im sure Mr. Cowasjee would have enjoyed this :) keep it up
Syed Ali Naqvi
Nov 25, 2012 11:31pm
A real Karachiite, lover of Karachi and Pakistan. A patriot and philanthropist. Outspoken in the true sense of the word. Rest in peace. Syed Ali Naqvi.
Nov 25, 2012 09:24pm
"Cowasjee became angry and exclaimed,
Yasser MasoodMasood
Nov 25, 2012 09:19am
In 2007 I wrote to him these words, 'Can our hope lie with Imran Khan in future?', my frustration with how things were panning out with Pervez Musharaf. Mr. Cowasjee emailed me the next day with these words, 'Not you. Not me. Helpless. But if one can, one must protest. Luck may help the victim. Thank you for your msg. AC.' I still feel there was a 'yes' in there, but I can't say for sure, still, he said the right thing, 'we must protest' - this is something we don't do as a nation, in the right manner. We hide and talk in drawing rooms, or go crazy on the streets, but we never find the right way to protest. I am hopeful, yet sad at one thing, Cowasjee won't be able to see the massive change that is close by. Optimistic? Yes, and God Willing it will come. We need to learn to become part of our system and protest.
Nayyar Ahmad
Nov 26, 2012 06:54am
so rightly said: Cowasjee became angry and exclaimed,
dilip guru
Nov 25, 2012 10:49am
I did cry . Read many of his articles on Gandhi. You don't find this kind of guy.
Nov 25, 2012 06:37am
A sane lonely voice is now silent permanently in Pakistan. A loss that would never be recouped. RIP, Mr. Cowasjee.
Mohdudul Huq
Nov 25, 2012 07:52pm
It is a great loss for Pakistan.
Nov 24, 2012 04:16pm
How come it is his adopted country? It is his country.
Najam Gandhi
Nov 27, 2012 08:40am
To all the beloved admirers and mourners of Cowasjee a message of thanks from Mother Earth. "O all of my beloved human children, the lovers, admirers and mourners of my most beloved son Cowasjee. mourning the death of one of my most beloved sons Cowasjee, I am your loving Mother Earth of all the living and dead equally? Cowasjee is one of my most beloved sons While many of the top to bottom level of my human sons, for the lust of money and wealth, were engaged in exploiting, raping, trading and selling their mother earth ( i.e. me ) and harming my weaker and poorer children too, day and night. The only son of mine Cowasjee continued his fearless war and selfless fight gainst earth pollution, corrupt & influential land mafias and for his weaker and suffering human fraternity too, putting at stake his own life. I know all of you may be missing him a lot. For him, you may wail, you may mourn, you may bereave and cry, so much so your heart may bleed and your eyes may get dry. But my beloved children, this is request of your Earth mother, pls do not mourn and cry any louder. Beause, my most beloved Cowasjee xhausted with long fearless and selfless fight has just fallen a sleep under the warmth of my arms ( i.e of her Earth Mother ).. I will advise you, that when ever you may miss my most beloved son Cowas. you can see him any day and every day, as one of the most shining Stars, on the Sky" Thanks to all of you. Good By. Yours loving Mother Earth.
Qamar Ahsan
Nov 25, 2012 07:23am
Mr Cowasjee,I miss you Sir,You were an asset and a legend of Pakistan.It is a huge blow to the true spirit of journalism.Your colorful language,distinctive dressing,resilient personality and every Sunday Dawn news paper columns will always be remembered.It is very unfortunate that you could not see Pakistan become what Mr Jinnah wanted to become and that was your dream too. GOD BLESS YOU SIR. "GOD REST HIS SOUL IN PEACE"
Pervez UK
Nov 24, 2012 05:15pm
So true !
lalit bagai
Nov 25, 2012 01:23pm
i exchanged views with him. he was a man of courage, honesty and simplicity.
Nov 24, 2012 05:45pm
you fought the good fight... rest in peace
Nov 24, 2012 05:38pm
I miss you cowsjee
Gerry D'Cunha
Nov 25, 2012 11:35am
Cowasjee loved pakistan - he always spoke the truth in his articles - he admired Quaid-e-azam and wanted the people to follow his examples. a great man will never be forgotten. May his soul rest in peace
Mahmood Saeed
Nov 24, 2012 05:35pm
I was privileged to meet him, correspond with him and hear his favourite forms of address (saalaa hijraa hae, saalaa maulla ho gayaa etc) for most of those who got the opportunity to share his company. I am sadden and grieve. For all his philanthropy towards education including scholarships to poor students, I know he was a good man and that is the essence of life. Rest in peace, Sir. Dawn should publish a collection of all his columns as a tribute to him and as an historical record of governance in Pakistan. Ik chiragh bujh gayaa, sau chiragh jal uthay - in sha Allah
Nov 24, 2012 03:49pm
Tremendous loss. He was man of character,integrity, who called spade a spade. We'll always remember him.
Kashif Khan
Nov 26, 2012 05:33am
I first started reading Dawn because of Ardeshir Cowasjee. My Allah Bless his soul.
Abdel Rahim Chundrigar
Nov 24, 2012 04:17pm
I am in shock that he left for final abode. Once i exchanged few emails and he thanked for all. My first choice on Sunday was to read his column. May Lord bless him.
Nov 24, 2012 04:03pm
Ek aur diya bujh gaya!!
Dr Saad
Nov 26, 2012 05:36am
A man of values in this time of deceit and chaos, he was perhaps the only voice of logic in our journalist community. His demise is a great loss to the nation. Lets pray that we have more Cowasjees with us who are willing to call a spade a spade in public.
Nov 25, 2012 06:47pm
I Salute Him.
Javed Qamer
Nov 24, 2012 04:47pm
I used to exchange emails with him. Once I told him that you are a gloomy sad old man In reply he started calling me judge Javed. Enjoyed my brief interaction with him. He loved Pakistan and he saw what was happening to it. God give Ardeshir a place in Heaven
Nov 24, 2012 04:26pm
True. Actually, Pakistan has lost a great gem, but most of us do know.
Taufiq Shelley
Nov 24, 2012 04:51pm
A wonderful man will be sadly missed. I only met him twice, but felt it was a great priviledge to have been able to do so. He always talked perfect sense and I believe his understanding ot the nature of the problems of Pakistan and their cure remains totally correct.
Babar Khan
Nov 24, 2012 03:49pm
I read and admired this wonderful gentleman's writing. Seems that the Pakistan I loved and knew is almost gone.
Nov 25, 2012 11:31am
The first time I got hold of Dawn was decades ago n that was to read his column recommended by a friend of mine.Strolling in the park he reminded me of Hemingway.
Nov 24, 2012 03:59pm
A Pakistani by choice; he not only loved his adopted country, but truly cared for it also. RIP Mr. Cowasjee.
Nov 25, 2012 06:34pm
Must have been a remarkable man. Pakistan needs more like him.
Nov 24, 2012 03:49pm
My condolences for the Pakistani journalist community and Dawn to have lost a gem.
Arif Alam
Nov 25, 2012 09:56am
I met Mr Cowasjee in an ice cream palour early morning 1 am sitting with Mushtaq Chapra, he told me a story that once being quite depressed he went to visit a nephew in London. His nephew sent him to a therapist who listened to his stories and later wrote Mr Cowasjee a letter stating that he (the therapist) would be more worried if Mr Cowasjee was not depressed and attached was a bill of 250 Pounds Sterling, which made him even more depressed......
Nov 26, 2012 07:07am
Mr. Cowasjee and the entire Parsi community is the pride of Pakistan. I urge all my fellow Pakistanis to work towards driving this country out of the current mess. Muslims, Parsis, Hindus, Christians and followers of all other religions residing in Pakistan have absolutely equal right to this country. Only wish this nation was more educated.
Nov 28, 2012 08:33am
Cowasjee a man of great thought and vision. It did sadden me to read the headline Cowasjee is no more, I was a fervent reader of his articles an I always looked out for them a very conscientious and truthful columnist I will miss his articles .