One of Pakistan’s oldest and most renowned columnists, Ardeshir Cowasjee, passed away in Karachi on Saturday at the age of 86. Cowasjee's weekly columns graced the Dawn newspaper from 1988 to 2011.

“Now, old at 85, tired, and disillusioned with a country that just cannot pull itself together in any way and get on with life in this day and age, I have decided to call it a day,” he wrote in a column in December 2011 for Dawn. He went on to write two more columns that year before he finally put his pen to rest.

Here are some photographs, spanning over three decades, looking at the life of Ardehsir Cowasjee.

Home with cockatoo Ben, and Billie. – Photo courtesy Sama Books
Home with cockatoo Ben, and Billie. – Photo courtesy Sama Books
With Amina Jilani and Humayun Khan, former Deputy Commissioner of Bannu and Swat. – Photo courtesy Sama Books
With Amina Jilani and Humayun Khan, former Deputy Commissioner of Bannu and Swat. – Photo courtesy Sama Books
With Syed Sajjad Ali Shah, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. – Photo courtesy Sama Books.
With Syed Sajjad Ali Shah, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. – Photo courtesy Sama Books.
With Sardar Ataullah Khan Mengal, former Chief Minister of Balochistan. – Photo courtesy Sama Books
With Sardar Ataullah Khan Mengal, former Chief Minister of Balochistan. – Photo courtesy Sama Books
With Asfandyar Wali Khan, President, Awami National Party. – Photo courtesy Sama Books
With Asfandyar Wali Khan, President, Awami National Party. – Photo courtesy Sama Books
With Akbar Bugti and EIahi Bukhsh Somroo, former Speaker of the National Assembly. – Photo courtesy Sama Books
With Akbar Bugti and EIahi Bukhsh Somroo, former Speaker of the National Assembly. – Photo courtesy Sama Books
With Fatehyab Ali Khan (L), former Chairman of the Pakistan Institute of Internal Affairs, and artist Ahmed Saeed Nagi (R). – Photo courtesy Sama Books
With Fatehyab Ali Khan (L), former Chairman of the Pakistan Institute of Internal Affairs, and artist Ahmed Saeed Nagi (R). – Photo courtesy Sama Books
Ardeshir Cowasjee with wife, Nancy Dinshaw. – Photo courtesy Sama Books
Ardeshir Cowasjee with wife, Nancy Dinshaw. – Photo courtesy Sama Books
With daughter Ava, and son, Rustom. – Photo courtesy Sama Books
With daughter Ava, and son, Rustom. – Photo courtesy Sama Books
With parents, Mecca and Rustom (sitting R and C) and brothers John (sitting L) and Cyrus (Standing L). – Photo courtesy Sama Books
With parents, Mecca and Rustom (sitting R and C) and brothers John (sitting L) and Cyrus (Standing L). – Photo courtesy Sama Books
Ardeshir (standing L), Cyrus (R) and John (sitting). – Photo courtesy Sama Books
Ardeshir (standing L), Cyrus (R) and John (sitting). – Photo courtesy Sama Books
With brother in law, Ambassador Jamsheed Marker. - Photo courtesy Sama Books
With brother in law, Ambassador Jamsheed Marker. - Photo courtesy Sama Books
In the garden with Billie, his Jack Russel terrier, and in the company of (L-R) Nadirshah Eduljee Dinshaw, Eduljee Dinshaw, and Hormusjee Jemsetjee Rustomjee. – Photo courtesy Sama Books
In the garden with Billie, his Jack Russel terrier, and in the company of (L-R) Nadirshah Eduljee Dinshaw, Eduljee Dinshaw, and Hormusjee Jemsetjee Rustomjee. – Photo courtesy Sama Books
Cowasjee at home, instructing his cook to make some tea - Photo courtesy White Star
Cowasjee at home, instructing his cook to make some tea - Photo courtesy White Star
Cowasjee at his breakfast table. - Photo courtesy White Star
Cowasjee at his breakfast table. - Photo courtesy White Star
Climbing the stairs at his home.- Photo courtesy White Star
Climbing the stairs at his home.- Photo courtesy White Star

Comments (29) (Closed)


A Sheikh
Nov 26, 2012 01:18pm
Perhaps one should think before posting a comment like this. All the corrupt Politicians of today and past speak fluent Urdu - how has that benefited Pakistan. Cowasjee was an intellectual like very few in Pakistan. These days Media is powerful and can say a lot of things. Cowasjee was writing about corruption and land mafia in Karachi when nobody dared speak against political parties. Very courageous man indeed.
Zahid
Nov 26, 2012 06:43am
RIP Ardeshir. You were one of the few remaining good men in Pakistan, one that voiced bravely against all that is unjust in Pakistan, and upheld the truth, justice, and fairness above all else. You could never be silenced or corrupted.
A Sheikh
Nov 26, 2012 01:19pm
Totally agree. Please publish a compilation of his columns in a book form.
winston
Nov 26, 2012 06:33am
A man who lived and died in Pakistan could not speak Urdu, tells you how disconnected he was to the society he lived in.
tahir
Nov 26, 2012 12:44pm
RIP. enjoyed his columns, though have not read the paper for a while, saw the picture in Ummmat of his body being moved,that brought me to Dawn this morning.thanks again Cowasjee.RIP.
abdul hameed kasi
Nov 30, 2012 10:41am
the truth loving noble soul will be remember ever in truth loving people,may his soul rest in peace.
Zalmai
Nov 29, 2012 07:46pm
Millions of Pakistanis don't speak Urdu they speak their own provincial languages.
Vishnu Mahant
Nov 28, 2012 04:53pm
Mr. Cowasjee was my favorite columnist. Parsies have made very good citizens of any country they resided, India or Pakistan. I have great respect for his writing. May God bless his soul.
fmeducation
Nov 25, 2012 12:52pm
Rare pics. Please rearrange captions
Asim
Nov 27, 2012 04:09am
A man of amazing clarity, courgae, knowledge, and conviction. Rest in peace.
Dilip Shah
Nov 26, 2012 09:17pm
Na rok sake, Na daman tham sake unka, Bade hi kareeb se uthkar chala gaya koi. One reason I used to read Dawn was to see Mr Cowasjee's column. He said what he believed in, without hiding in diplomatic words. His compassion for the commonman as well as his passion for justice, freedom and truth was outstanding. I salute to him and send my condolances to his family. May his soul rest in peace with Khodai. Dilip Shah from India.
Gulzar Ali, English Lecturer at a University
Nov 27, 2012 04:39am
Ardeshir cowasjee was really a vast ocean of knowledge .His departure from the literary world is untimely as readers like me Is still unfamiliar to his multidimensional personality to equip knowledge and benefit from his deep experience and political analysis.He was like a benign Alma mater to inculcate what was the necessity.He whipped every despotic with his satirical tone and convinced the people to overthrow the shackles of tyranny and injustice.His departure is a great loss for our literary society and a hiatus has created which is difficult to be abridged in future.Personally I mourn over his death and pray for his siblings to bear the demise with patience.Such kind of intellectuals can bring in our society revolutionaries changes.He has played his role honestly but now it is our responsibility to fulfill his unfulfilled dream, the dream of a democratic Pakistan.
Mehdi
Nov 27, 2012 03:14am
IN GOD WE TRUST WE HAVE FAITH IN HUMAN FEALTY. GOD BLESS MR. COWASJEE'S
humanfealty
Nov 27, 2012 03:15am
IN GOD WE TRUST WE HAVE FAITH IN HUMANITY. GOD BLESS MR. COWASJEE
Amir
Nov 28, 2012 05:40pm
He loved Pakistan with all its flaws, issues, and problems. He felt disappointment but never disheartened. His death is a loss that may never be completely filled.
Mr.T
Nov 25, 2012 01:48pm
it's column should be republish by dawn as a reward for his role as a journalist and to media...
Viraf
Nov 28, 2012 08:18am
I think you should get an education before making such comments!
M.S. Khalid,
Nov 25, 2012 04:40pm
Ah! Respected Ardesher Cowasjee was a rare kind of gifted pen-weilder. Really a great writer/columnist of unmatched courage and conviction. His writings were always a source of new knowledge and newer learning , thought provoking. He lived a successful life reminiscent of the ideals and noble memories of the Founding Father of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. May God bless his soul and gives special strength to the grieved family to bear this great loss. Ameen
Farooq
Nov 27, 2012 11:14pm
RIP, Cowasjee we will Miss you and your wisdom, you were passionate, honest and truthful in your columns.
whodunit
Nov 28, 2012 06:35pm
A sad loss indeed. May he rest in peace.
vijay, chennai, India
Nov 28, 2012 05:50am
I wrote a mail to him immediately after Mr. Bugti was killed asking him whether pakistan has one more bangladesh in the making. I was very surprised to receive a reply from him telling me that no body should wish the same. RIP Mr. Cowasjee
Saleem Khan
Nov 25, 2012 10:44pm
To celebrate the remarkable life of Cowasjee we must pay heed to his words of wisdom to meet the challenges facing the Pakistani Society. Cowasjee was a true Pakistani, sincere and patriotic. May God bless him with eternal peace. Amen.
Dr. Navzer D. Sachinvala
Nov 26, 2012 08:03pm
Mr. Ardeshir Cowasjee was my father's, Dr. Dinshaw Sachinvala's class mate at the BVS school, and both matriculated school the same year in the early 1940s. I remember Mr. Cowasjee at my dad's institutes and visiting us time to time at home when we were children. To me Mr. Cowasjee was very kind, clear in his thoughts, direct in expressing them, and enjoyed humor. I felt then that he made teenagers field questions that changed paradigm by creating need to enhance self confidence with legitimate achievement. My last conversation with Mr. Cowasjee was a few days before I left Karachi for Minnesota in late summer 1974. He had asked my father to bring me over for tea. At parting, Mr. Cowasjee asked me to be true to myself; never be afraid to speak my mind; and to be open and verifiable. Villi (my wife) and I raised our son Cyrus by those words. Cyrus practices taxation law in Cleveland and Chicago. I will miss Mr. Cowasjee. Best wishes to his son, daughter, and his friends. Navzer D. Sachinvala, Ph.D., MBA Retired, USDA-ARS, New Orleans; E-mail: sachinvala@aol.com
Ahmed
Nov 26, 2012 05:08pm
indeed a lover of Pakistan has passed away. his hope for a better pakistan will rise one day, InshaAllah.
Dara Acidwalla
Nov 26, 2012 01:56pm
R. I. P. Ardeshir Cowasjee I was pained learn that Mr Cowasji passed away after an illness last Saturday. I have been an admirer of his fluid and brutally haonest style for several years now. On the last Sunday of the year 2011, he did a "Winding down" on his 22 years of service to the readers of Dawn ... Then after a brief hiatus -- by his own admission there was no "final farewell" -- Ardeshir Cowasjee returned in April this year. I read, relected and rejoiced as i read 'The greening of justice" Many a Sunday i would return to your website and be disappointed that he was not there till suddenly four months later in August he wrote "Lost in the mists of time". You will agree with me -- in hindsight -- that he definitely had the prescience and foreknowledge that that was that would be his last hurrah. As an avid reader from India i shall miss him. dara
Viraf
Nov 27, 2012 08:03pm
Hear, hear. Excellent rebuttal.
Kumail Ahmed
Nov 26, 2012 12:32pm
Hello WhiteStar, Can I share these pictures without any copyright issues. Thanks.
Viraf
Nov 27, 2012 08:01pm
I feel Ardeshir Cowasjee’s passing is a great loss to the people of Pakistan and I truly am saddened to hear of his passing. I pray that Ahura Mazda may bless his soul and my deepest condolences to his family. I also feel that the people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan should realise that this great man, Ardeshir Cowasjee, who cared so much for the nation was in fact a Parsi Zoroastrian and his life reflected the values of a true Zoroastrian; Good Words, Good Thoughts, Good Deeds. Other important Zoroastrian principles are that of Hamazor which is to help humanity for its betterment, and truthfulness at all costs. I would say Ardeshir Cowasjee encapsulated all of these qualities. It is people like Ardeshir Cowasjee who make me so proud to be a Parsi Zoroastrian. Pakistan is being run by Islamic zealots and yet how many of them follow Islamic principles of Umma, Zakat and truthfulness!? It seems to me the modern day rulers of Pakistan care nothing for humanity and everything for money and power. Not many people know that Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s direct descendants too are Parsi Zoroastrians the most notable being Dina Wadia Jinnah's daughter and Nusli Wadia Jinnah’s grandson. I would suggest this reflects the pleuralism that Jinnah had in mind for his country and yet where is this pleuralism today with so many minority communities in Pakistan feeling threatened by the rise of extreme Islam? We are all God’s creation and we should all learn to love and respect each other irrespective of our individual backgrounds as we are all part of God's humanity. Email: zarathushtri@gmail.com
Ali JAfari
Nov 25, 2012 11:03pm
Cowasjee was one of the loudest, prominent and respectable voices of conscience of Pakistan. Alas, it is no more. May God bless his soul, what a unique man of freedom he was (from Ghalib)