Hundreds gather to say goodbye to Ardeshir Cowasjee

Published: November 28, 2012
House staffers put out a remembrance book as attendees queued up to pay respects. PHOTO: NEFER SEHGAL/FILE

House staffers put out a remembrance book as attendees queued up to pay respects. PHOTO: NEFER SEHGAL/FILE

KARACHI: The funeral rites for Ardeshir Cowasjee, the renowned columnist and patriarch of all things Karachi, were held on Tuesday morning in a dignified way befitting of his stature.

His Bath Island residence was packed to capacity with some of the city’s most well-known residents turning up to pay their respects to Cowasjee, who died in Karachi on Sunday.

His children, Ava and Rustom Cowasjee, and his brother, Cyrus, greeted each mourner as they passed by to the place where Cowasjee’s body was laid. After the completion of the rites, his body was to be transported to the Tower of Silence.

Unlike the crowded, far-too-public spectacles that funerals have become, replete with screeching sirens of government cars bearing influential power brokers and their entourages, the air was silent, broken only by the murmurs of people speaking to each other.

Among the hundreds at the Cowasjee residence on Tuesday were Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation’s Dr Adibul Hasan Rizvi and Dr Anwar Kazmi, Dr Faridoon Setna and his wife, Dawn Group’s Hameed Haroon and Amber Saigol, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre Executive Director Dr Tasnim Ahsan, Unilever’s Fareshteh Gati-Aslam, Canvas Gallery’s Sameera Raja, author HM Naqvi and Nazish Ataullah, formerly of Lahore’s National College of Arts.

His bel

The house staffers put out a remembrance book as attendees queued up to view his body and pay their respects.

Cowasjee had insisted that his funeral would be open to followers of all faiths, and his belief in a pluralistic Pakistan was evident in those mourning his death: if on one chair, a woman prayed on a rosary and clutched a bouquet of flowers, at another, a woman was clad in a burqa and on a third, a man wore the traditional Zoroastrian prayer skull cap. The attendees reflected the wide social circle that Ardeshir Cowasjee inhabited, and the number of people who had had some interaction with him, however brief – through his columns, his occasional speaking engagement, an off-chance meeting.

Attendees sat by the pool against which Cowasjee was photographed and interviewed countless times. His cars, that he once whizzed around on all over Clifton, were locked up in the garage.

From a window, one could spy his chair, now empty forever.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 28th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Pakistani in US
    Nov 28, 2012 - 2:34AM

    The last line almost teared me up.


  • Paki optimist
    Nov 28, 2012 - 3:53AM

    May God bless his soul. A true son of the soil, so passionate in his writing that evoked a feeling of emotion even about topics that one would not have felt any feelings towards before Cowasjee would bring them to light with his powerful writing. You will remain forever alive in our hearts. Thank you Sir


  • Karachiwala
    Nov 28, 2012 - 4:32AM

    True Karachite and historian of my city passed away. Sir you will be remenbered and missed dearly. Hats off to you…


  • Eli
    Nov 28, 2012 - 6:00AM

    A few hundred to mourn a great man like Cowasjee and many thousands to celebrate a killer like Quadri. It’s really sad.


  • Jalal
    Nov 28, 2012 - 8:55AM

    You will be missed for ever but your thoughts and love for Karachi and your courage to speak boldly against the evils of society will be remembered for times to come….May God bless his soul in peace….Bon Voyage Mr Cowasjee….Respectfully yours ardent admirer/ reader of Sunday’s DAWN column…..


  • Syed A. Mateen
    Nov 28, 2012 - 9:11AM

    I was among the hundreds of people who went to pay my respects ad regards to the late Ardeshir Cowasjee.

    People from different walks of life gathered to say good bye to the great philanthropist, a renowned columnist and a senior citizen and above all a friend of all who fought for a long period in his life to establish a dividing line between the right and the wrong.

    May God rest his soul in peace and give strength to his bereaved family members and friends.


  • Baby ka Husband
    Nov 28, 2012 - 10:22AM

    Hope your afterlife is better than the life you lived in Karachi. We knew your ache and pain for the city of your birth and choice. What we could never fathom was your everlasting love for the people of this country even though many charlatans were after your skin. Bon Voyage on your everlasting chariot and do drop by the city while you fly above us from time to time.


  • El Duderino
    Nov 28, 2012 - 10:28AM

    The thought comes to my mind at this time, has the last of Quaid-E-Azam’s Pakistan whisked away… Or does the dream still live on….


  • UMSyed
    Nov 28, 2012 - 10:34AM

    As an NEDian, I really appreciate his efforts for NED University of Engineering & Technology.


  • Haris Farooq Wattoo
    Nov 28, 2012 - 12:23PM

    Cowasjee had insisted that his funeral would be open to followers of all faiths, and his belief in a pluralistic Pakistan was evident in those mourning his death.emphasized text

    I wish and pray that we could have a Pluralistic Pakistan. This is the most important statement that I read today.


  • Sherry
    Nov 28, 2012 - 12:37PM

    @Pakistani in US:
    it made me cry! cowsajee sir will be missed… FOREVER!


  • Faisal
    Nov 28, 2012 - 12:51PM

    The man has left the society, and he will never be replaced by anyone. Say goodbye to pluralism in Pakistan.


  • Adnan Khan
    Nov 28, 2012 - 1:02PM

    What a forceful, shrewd, uncompromising, relentless, unmasked crusader for all who believe in fundamental principles, human dignity, civil rights and equal opportunity & justice for all. No political party, or mafia could shut him up. He looked into their eyes and told the unvarnished truth. And coming from him, with the moral authority he enjoyed, they took it.
    Not just Karachi, this world is a poorer place today, without Ardeshir Cowasjee… looking out for us.
    May he be rewarded for his good work on this earth and may be find eternal solace & peace. Amen.


  • Nov 28, 2012 - 1:50PM

    may he forever rest in peace, and be granted eternal paradise, for his sacrifice, maybe like many other sincere citizens this country, a choice of not leaving Pakistan, staying back to work for people of Karachi, for feeling with integrity for Jinnah’s Pakistan and for attempting to rouse souls of governments! love to all Parsi community, for their and our great loss, for the grand and of course one and only Ardeshir Cowasjee!!


  • Dec 7, 2012 - 3:37PM

    He was a courageous man following his dream of seeing Pakistan a progressive, secular Muslim country. Giving up was not his idea of living despite seeing Jinnah’s dream of Pakistan crumble to piece, he tried to influence Pakistani mentality with his words and thoughtful columns.


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