It gives me great pleasure to share, with members of our extended families and well wishers, around the world, a brief account of the Family Eid Milan 2012, held at the Services Mess, Abdullah Haroon Road, Karachi, (behind Hotel Metropole) on Tuesday 21st August, 2012, attended by over one hundred and fifty persons, including children. It could be said that the Eid Milan.2012 was perhaps one of the most successful annual get-togethers, in Karachi, of members of the Dhaka Nawab Family.
For the past many years Eid Milans were held on the lawns of the residence of the late Aliya Tebawi (May her soul rest in eternal heavenly peace) and Nabeel Tebawi, who were most kind and gracious to give us an open cheque to use their premises for family functions whenever required. We were able to do so with the kind help and cooperation of Khwaja Murad Mashooqullah and Khwaja Munir Mashoqullah, respectively, who were looking after the house. Since this property was sold earlier this year, we had to look for an alternative venue for which e-mail was sent for suggestions. The one and only person, Major Khwaja Safi Wasiuddin, responded with the suggestion to try the Services Mess where he had arranged the wedding dinner for one of his daughters. Action was taken immediately to meet Captain M. Tariq (P.N. Retd.) Administrator, Services Mess, who very kindly agreed to make a provisional booking subject to confirmation/cancellation by 15th August. Meanwhile, Khwaja Arshad checked up various other Clubs/Shadi Halls etc., and we came to the conclusion that the terms and conditions offered by the Services Mess were most attractive.
It is unfortunate that members of our family are shy of responding to our requests to register their names so that we might have an idea of the total number of persons expected in order to confirm our booking by a given date.
As always, Khawaja Arshad got busy sending text messages to a large number of family members and, it was through his own effort, single-handedly, that he was able to gather information and convey to the Services Mess, by the date stipulated, the total number of persons to be catered for.
The management of the Services Mess had made excellent arrangements on the smaller lawn with fairy lights and other decorations which created an atmosphere of festivity. The time for the “High Tea”, was from 5 to 7 p.m. Soon after 4 o’clock, Khawaja Arshad (lovingly known as “Laley”), and his younger son, the Dental Surgeon, Dr. K. Atyab Arshad, arrived with all the prizes and presents and got busy setting them up and prepared themselves to hand over a token with a number to each person on arrival – except children under 12. There were 58 beautifully wrapped prizes for the lucky dip donated by Khwaja Murtaza (Monty) Mashooqullah and 48 parcels of goodies to be given to all the children under 12. These prizes were donated by Khawaja Arshad. As always, all these presents and gifts were wrapped by Arshad and his family which included his wife Shehnaz, daughter-in-law Nida, daughter Tuba and son, Dr. Atyab Arshad.
It was as early as 4.30 p.m. that Shoaiba, daughter of the late Zeenat and Shah Alam, arrived along with her husband Javed Ashraf, son Asif, daughter-in-law Sana and grand-daughter Nida Fathema. Soon thereafter there was a continuous flow of men, women and children in twos, threes and in groups.The ladies with beautiful saries, shalwar qameez and dopattas added colour to the festive atmosphere. What a lovely sight it was seeing every one so happy and meeting and greeting one another.
At around 5.30 p. m. the Master of Ceremonies, Khawaja Arshad, requested everyone to be seated and started the programme by asking his grandson, Muhammad, son of Atyab and Nida, to recite verses from the Holy Qur’an.
He then asked me to say a few words which I did, wishing Eid Mubarak, welcoming and thanking all present for making it a successful gathering. I then recited Surah Al-Fatiha and requested every one to remember all our near and dear ones who are no longer with us and pray for them.. May their souls rest in eternal heavenly peace, Aameen! I then welcomed the two families who are not residents of Karachi. Seema Talha had come from Islamabad some time ago, while Khawaja Khurram Arshad, with wife Mahr, and children: Maheen, Muminah and Ahmad had come from Lahore.
Khawaja Arshad then announced that there were two special prizes. One went to Shoaiba and family for being the first to arrive, and the other went to Anita, daughter of the late Hitcha and Bobo, for being the first person to respond to the text message and register her family for the Eid Milan. This was followed by Khawaja Abdul Haseeb son of Khawaja Wajihuddin and Aashi rendering one of the popular national songs. Fadeha, daughter of Atyab and Nida recited a naat, and a poem was presented by Nabila, daughter of Aamir Usmani and Guria..
It was time now for the lucky dip supervised by Dr. Atyab Arshad. He went round asking various persons to pick a number from the container he had and the person who had the token with that number collected his or her prize. There was great excitement all round as each person expected his or her number to be called. While the lucky dip was on, tea and refreshments were served. Since this was the first time that we had the function at the Services Mess, it would be appreciated if, from among those who were present, we could get a feed back about the menu and suggestions, if any, for the future. When all the prizes had been given away, Khawaja Arshad announced that the owner or owners of the last three numbers would receive three bumper prizes in the form of Designer Suit kindly donated by amir Adnan
Throughout the evening Tuba Arshad was busy taking photographs which Khawaja Arshad plans to send to the Family website. The event was well covered by these highly professional photographs.
We are deeply indebted to Khwaja Murtaza (Monty) Mashooqullah, Syed Sami Mustafa and Naheed for their generous donations, and so many others, who were kind enough to add extra amounts with their contributions. Because of their help and support it was possible to keep the amount of contribution (Rs.350/- per adult and Rs.200/- for children above 12) as reasonable as possible. It was with great sadness that goodbyes were said with the hope that, God willing, we will meet again next year
The day following the Eid Milan, the bill submitted by the Services Mess was settled and a letter – copy of which is attached – was sent to Captain M. Tariq thanking him and all members of his staff for the excellent arrangements they had made.
May the Lord Almighty bless us all by His grace and mercy.
With best wishes,
Khwaja Sayeed Shahabuddin