(Grand)Father’s Day

I’m happy to observe that some family members have expanded their honoree on Father’s Day to include Grandad, and I intend to do likewise this June the 17th by conjuring up memories of Nanaji, my maternal grandfather, who played an indelible role during my formative years in India.

80 years ago, the 1938 Edition of Who’s Who in India gives a snapshot of the worthy gentleman as follows:

Excerpt from the 1938 Edition of Who’s Who In India

MIRZA ZIAUDDIN AKMAL

From the age of 17 to 39, a globe trotter with a love for adventure. Lived in London during the Sinn Fein outrages, visited Turkey during the Turco-Greek war of 1897; Hungary during students’ riots; Cuba during the rebellion of 1899; and South Africa during the Boer War and the Zulu rebellion. For many years a cigarette manufacturer, abroad and in India. (At the time of this article), he was General Manager and Technology Expert of the Hyderabad Deccan Cigarette Factory. A believer in the militarisation of the British Empire as the only safe-guard of world peace, and a writer of pamphlets and books on the subject.

This was followed by a famous Hungarian scholar’s recommendation to English literature aficionados:

A Referral from the Pen of Professor Vamberg Armin, Budapest, Hungary

A distinguished linguist, Ziauddin Akmal, at the Oriental College in London has written articles on Hindu legends as well as on the origin of the Hungarian nation that have been translated from English into Hungarian and published in the Budapest Naplo from time to time. He is now in Budapest and intends to instruct pupils in English in his spare time. His literary qualifications are exceptional as will be seen from the following:

Ziauddin Akmal, an Indian gentleman of high culture, well qualified in many oriental languages and specially in English, desires pupils for the English language.

I recommend him to all those interested in English literature. I have known the gentleman for some time and esteem him.” – Professor Vamberg Armin

A couple of years ago, I did celebrate then the life of my own pater, Edgar Samuel Lewis, MBE, by posting a blog on the occasion. In addition, earlier this year I published on this January the 30th – Daddy’s 130th birth anniversary – a biography penned by my older brother, Lt. Gen. Misbah Mayadas, PVSM.

References: My Diary

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