Exactly 90 years ago today, the Quaid-i-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, married Ruttenbai Dinshaw Petit, a charming Parsi girl; Mr Jinnah was 42, while Ruttie, as she was known more commonly, was 18.
Despite her father’s strong opposition, Ruttie married her beloved ‘J’ — as she called the Quaid — and converted to Islam in 1918.
Unfortunately, the marriage was not a happy one, given that within 10 years the couple separated.
The final blow came when Ruttie died after protracted illness. According to Hector Bolitho, author of Jinnah — Creator of Pakistan, her funeral was one of the rare moments that Mr Jinnah abandoned his defences: he bowed his head and sobbed. The couple had one daughter, called Dina, who now lives in India.—Mamun M. Adil
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