‘Politics is all about lies and procrastination’
By Irfan Bashir
How would you describe yourself in a word?
I am a package. I am a footballer, painter, cook, workhorse, journalist, writer, poet, stage artist, actor and a broadcaster.
Who influenced you the most as a child?
The day you remember the most from your childhood?
I couldn’t see my younger brother being buried.
Do you remember your first day of school?
It was a very horrible experience. I was forcibly admitted to school, I never wanted to go.
How do you define friendship?
Friendship is a very relative term. I don’t believe that a friend in need is a friend indeed. Sometimes even a true friend is helpless to help us. Friendship is a bond of faith and mutual respect.
Which person has influenced you the greatest?
My grandfather. He was a scholar of Urdu, Persian, Arabic and English.
Who is your best friend?
Myself, I believe.
Do you consider yourself successful?
Because I don’t want to be a successful person; if I believe I’m successful I will cease to work hard. It would be the end of the world, it would be death.
Do you have more enemies or friends?
I have created enemies, while helping the society and doing my job honestly, I seem to have made more enemies.
What do you like most about yourself?
I’m very emotional and I like it. I can’t hurt anyone. There have been times when I had to compromise my own interests for the sake of others. I can’t deceive a person.
Your Zodiac sign is?
Your favourite dress?
Kurta Payjama. It is very comfortable.
Your favourite gadget?
A simple laptop.
Do you have pets?
Yes I do. I have three cats but I didn’t get them. There was a stray cat that gave birth to them. My daughter got a cardboard box and brought them home. Since then, the cats have never left. They take food they are offered and don’t stray off. The interesting thing is we also have chicken in our backyard but the cats have never attack them. They have simply grown to live in harmony with each other.
If not in this job, what would you like to be?
I would beg people so that I could elevate them.
Do you like movies?
I live black and white movies. They have an emotional quotient in them. They reflect art and truly have a class of their own. They make you feel nostalgic.
Who are your favorite actors?
Clint Eastwood and Dilip Kumar.
Your favorite Sports heroes?
I like Diego Maradona. He was simply brilliant.
Which is your favorite cricket team, India or Pakistan?
I was on facebook chat and one person from Pakistan messaged me. He said, “I am a muslim, are you a Muslim?” I replied, “Alhamdullilah, I am a Muslim.”
He asked whether I liked Pakistan. I said I love my country India but that does not mean I hate Pakistan. What I want to convey is that one has to like the game rather than teams. I love Pakistani players like Javed Miandad and Zaheer Abbas. In India, I like Ganguly, Irfan Pathan and many others. It’s more about talent than taking sides.
What were your childhood engagements?
I was not a vagabond or a bookworm. I was the favorite student of my teachers. I was very much into football and I could speak well. I never failed in my studies. I always tried to work harder.
If you could have dinner with a famous personality, who would it be?
I would choose Prophet Muhammad (SAW). That would simply be the best thing to ever happen to anybody.
What are you most proud of?
I never let anything stick to me. I like to be oily in my profession.
How would you like to be remembered?
Let history decide that.
What do you dislike most in others?
I dislike sycophancy.
Which was the happiest day of your life?
When I got my orphan niece married. It was a moment of ultimate joy for me.
What was the most beautiful moment in your life?
When my wife gave birth to my third daughter, I was simply thrilled.
What makes you happy?
Making others happy.
What irritates you the most?
When things don’t happen as planned or when everything falls out of order.
How do you spent your free time?
I write and write.
Is there anything you miss in your life?
I’m very short tempered which later results in regret. I wish to I had more control over my negative emotions.
Your future plans?
I have not seen the future and I would like to unravel whatever is in store for me.
I want to do social work so maybe I will do something for the society.
Do u like cooking? What is your favourite dish?
I’ve stayed away from home for many years during my service and cooking is something I learned over time. I’m a good cook and I like cooking. I love cooking chicken and some delicacies of eggs.
What does family mean to you?
Family means everything. It’s peace.
What is your view on politics?
Politics is simply a bunch of lies. I’ll give you one example. The employees of the state are demanding that retirement age should be raised to 60. Every time the government says the talks are going on, but when I talked to certain ministers they made it clear that nothing would happen. They are simply betraying people. Politics is all about lies and procrastination.
Which section of the society do you want to work for?
I would love to work for the underprivileged. Those people who have not been able to get basic facilities and live in a living hell. I would truly want to help them.
What have been the major challenges you encountered in your life?
It was always about living upto my own expectations and the aspirations of people. In a way, it was doing what I wanted to do.
What do you count as your greatest contribution so far?
Nothing worth bragging about.
How important is money for you?
Money is something that suffices your needs and nothing more than that.
What is your favorite quote?
Hazrate Ali (RA) said, “Talk to people at their level.”
What was your first personal experience with death?
I was coming from Srinagar to Jammu, I boarded a matador. He was asking for 250 rupees as far but I was willing to pay only 200. In a moment another bus came and I decided to board it. The moment I got into it, the conductor of the other bus shouted that he would take only 200 but before I could even think, the bus I had boarded started moving. One Sardarji was with me. We were now behind the other bus. We got into the Nandani tunnel and it was all dark. Just a minute later, the other bus fell down the hill. Had I got into that bus, I would certainly have died.
Is there anything you would want to confess?
Yes. In 1967, I once forged a certificate that showed my age as 18 though I was only 13 years old in order to attend a camp organized by the army. They were paying 20 rupees for attending the camp for 3 days. And 20 rupees was a lot of money then. It was simply childish on my part, some nonsense thing I did for fun.
Is there a message you would want to give to our readers?
Always be oily, let nothing stick to your coat. Never let your judgment be clouded by your differences with someone. Ultimately, we all are answerable to the almighty Allah.