Aik Shaam Patras Bokhari kay naam
The Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) hosted an event “Aik Sham Patras Bokhari Kay Naam” at the PAD Niaz Muslim Library on 13th October 2017. This tribute to the renowned Professor Ahmed Shah Bokhari (1898-1958), who is well known as the unique and distinctive writer of the humorous stories in his “Patras Kay Mazameen”, was held to commemorate his 119th birthday which falls on 25th October.
His numerous achievements as a writer, teacher, intellectual, broadcaster and international diplomat were showcased in a 2-hour event. Mr. Tariq Rehman, Cultural Secretary of the PAD gave an overview of his achievements in these various fields. Quoting Faiz Ahmed Faiz (a student and later a close friend of Patras Bokhari) and others he shared insights to the magnetic personality of Patras Bokhari who was the central figure in the spectacular collection of leading writers, poets and intellectuals like Chiragh Hasan Hasrat, Soofi Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum, Syed Imtiaz Ali Taj, Dr.M. D. Taseer, and a host of others.
Readings of some of the hilarious short stories was performed by Dubai based Mr. Sharafat Ali Shah, a leading Pakistani figure in the world of Urdu theater in Dubai, followed by video recordings of Mr. Zia Mohyuddin’s readings. These short stories had the audience rolling with laughter.
Patras Bokhari was a Professor of English Literature, Director General of All India Radio for many years till 1947, then moved to Pakistan as the Principal of Government College Lahore, the speech writer to Pakistan’s first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, Pakistan’s first Permanent Representative to the UN and later Under Secretary to the Secretary General of the UN. Among his several other achievements, he is well remembered for his principal role in advocating the cause for the freedom of Tunisia from France and the formation of the UNICEF. The government of Tunisia honored him by naming a road after him in their capital city Tunis.
Mr. Zahid Azeem, Principal of Pakistan Education Academy, Dubai, and a scholar on Allama Iqbal talked about the elevated intellectual stature of Patras Bokhari and how he became the subject of a poem written by Allama Mohammed iqbal, is a unique distinction. Allama Iqbal was inspired to write this poem on Patras Bokhari titled “Aik Falsafazada Syedzaday Kay Naam” (which appears in Iqbal’s Zarb-e-Kaleem), after the two had met and had an intellectual discussion on the philosophies of the German and French philosophers Hegel and Bergson. He said that the trilogy of Iqbal-Patras-Faiz in the 20th century as leading intellectuals in succession and thought influencers similar to the teacher-student succession of Socrates-Plato-Aristotle.
Mr. Ayaz Bokhari, grandson of Patras Bokhari, who has produced a comprehensive website www.patrasbokhari.com on the life and works of Patras Bokhari, shared some insights to Patras Bokhari’s personal life which included some letters Patras Bokhari wrote to his sons. These brought some laughter as well as some tears to the audience.
The audience was spell bound and enriched to learn of the many and varied achievements of this great son of Pakistan who lies buried in the Kensico Cemetery in the outskirts of New York.