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Me With The Mahatma Gandhi of Delhi ,, Ashraf Ali Abidi




He was my mothers favorite nephew son of her step brother , my mother loved him like her own son ..she called him Huzoor Miya and she would pamper him when he visited Mumbai when she was alive ,,she was equally fond of his sister Hamida ,,
Huzoor Miyas dad was seriously ill when she was young , and he stayed during his illness at the house of the Durannis , it was here she served him ..and would talk about the old days her aunt Phupi Jan sister of her father erstwhile Daroga Nabban Sab of Thwai Tola Imliwali Gali Pata Nala descendant of poet Mir Anis ,,
Daroga Nabban Sab had married his brothers widow .Nazmi Begum she had one daughter from his brother and three children from Nabban Sab.. my mother Begum being one of them.
My mother held to the past firmly till she was alive , and her fathers first family relocated to Pakistan but her mother and some members remained back in Lucknow ,, my mother kept in touch with her step family in Pakistan..
Huzoor Miya was the apple of my mothers eye and we were young and we watched with fascination as she took care of him , feelings you hardly see in extended families anymore ,,
We called Huzoor Miya Bhaisab he was there when I got married in Lucknow in 1977 to his adopted daughter my wife , my wifes family and Bhaisabs uncle and aunt lived in the same place that belonged to her grandfather Dr Matin Qazilbash..
Bhaisab visited our house when he was playing the role of the Mahatma for an ad film being shot in Mumbai , he is erudite a noted Urdu scholar and highly well read but totally down to earth ..he is very fond of my wife as he bought her up when she was young ,,
Bhaisab and my Bhabi his wife are a very closely knit family settled in Delhi .. I visited their house first time in my life to take part in Moharam in 2007 and later in 2012
They have two daughters as bright witty as their father Kulsoom and Lubna ,,
And a son the famous photojournalist Adnan Abidi of Reuters
Thinking of Gandhiji made me think of Huzoor Miya Ashraf Ali Abidi.
My brother Firdaus M Shakir has been the closest to Bhaisab having lived in Delhi with them ..he and Bhaisab get along like bread and cheese ,,,

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(In having the beautiful Taj Mahal built, an emperor has given the whole world a token of love"

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