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Monday, May 17, 2010

VI Mahajirzadeh:Inventions

I Mahajirzadeh: Mushtaque Ahmed Yusufi - An Introduction
II Mahajirzadeh:Manjhli and BaRi
III Mahajirzadeh:Choti and the Siami Begum
IV Mahajirzadeh:The Great Hand Car Wash
V Mahajirzadeh:Laws of Ventilation and Other Quotes

Mahajirzadeh operated on his own version of s--t--r--e--t--c--h t i m e. He never owned a wrist watch. It appeared as if he was allergic to time. Missed weddings, funerals, and meetings because of his unique concept of time. He used to shrug off saying, "It is my time." More than anyone we have known, he has evaded giving in to Mother Time. And when he did, as he must have, he gave the impression he was doing her a favour. But Mother Time being what she is extracts her dues inevitably.

We will credit Mahajirzadeh with OilFree Pakoras. Mix the ingredients for the pakoras the way you like. Instead of dropping them in the pan of boiling oil, he would spread them out on his waffle iron. In a few minutes you will enjoy pakoras, albeit shaped like waffle! In this age of calorie counting, this is akin to having your cake and eating it too.

He also invented KhatnaMachine. Made of surgical steel, it was the marriage of toe-nail scissors with the nail cutter. Dipped in anti-septic it would do the job in a flourish! Sadly, it did not take off, because of a slight oversight. 'Shurafaa', he told us wistfully, 'do not like to take things in their hands.'
He flew a lot. He invented the SpillFreeLota. Two plastic bags filled with water, saddling over the user's shoulder, with a long tube attached to the bottom of the bag. When properly unfurled and unblocked, the water will flow unabashedly to cleanse the user. He told us it was inspired by a visit to the intensive care ward, where he saw someone drip fed. (For the reader who cannot grasp the intricacy of this invention please ask a first generation desi to decipher it for you. Or check the toilets of PIA or Air India half an hour into the flight.)

His other great 'invention' was PantWarKameez. On an earlier visit to Karachi, as we were departing he presented us a package with a twinkle in his eyes. When we opened the package later we found a locally stitched suit of shalwar kameez. Further examination revealed Mahajirzadeh's unique touch. The shalwar was a pant at the top, complete with a zip and the bottom was a traditional baggy shalwar. PantWarKameez was also coined by him. We immediately put him on the same pedestal as the late Maharajah of Jodhpur. We had visions of patenting his invention. But the nation was preoccupied elsewhere.

In our last brief visit home, we specially sought him out. He showed interest in migrating to our barafzaar ---land of ice--- but he was reluctant to be separated from the Ponti. We told him to bring along the Ponti. Perhaps on its count he maybe permitted to retire in Canada. 'But how can I abandon these occupied graves,' he wondered. I reminded him of his relative youth and, and hinted that he could with some luck, fill some more graves over there. Mahajirzadeh sighed and for the first time that we could recall quoted a couplet:

ghazal oos nay chehri mujhay saaz daina
zara umr-e-raftaa kou awaaz daina



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