Love with birthplace has pushed an elderly Indian man to travel to Lahore and visit the Sooha Bazaar – the place where he was born before the partition of the sub-continent.
But to Gulzari Babber’s dismay, the local dweller’s atrocious occupation coupled with the resultant commercialisation has eaten up everything associated with his childhood days.
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants’ Vice-President, Gulzari has crossed 67 milestones of his age, but he still loves the land where he spent his early years of life. He reached in the City with his wife Anjna and, unlike most Pakistanis, kissed the soil where he was born on September 9, 1944.
He has roamed around the world, frequenting cities of his choice with remnants of civilisations, but Lahore is certainly sweetest to him.
During his three-day tour as part of his official leg, Gulzari went to what he called Saraffa Bazaar, looking for Gali Hingnaan, where he is from. He reached there, but could not find his residence since shops have been constructed there. “In desperation I called my mother, but her ever-fading memory could not help me figure out the exact location. I roamed around, talked to loving people, but they could only tell me what was obvious – places of yore have been commercialised,” said Gulzari with wet eyes.
FCMA Gulzari, who is expecting to be CIMA president soon, is certainly a successful man, who became a CIMA student in 1967, admitted as an Associate in 1984, and became a Fellow in 1997. He is one of the Institute’s Registered Members in Practice and has run his own accountancy and taxation practice in Harrow, West London since 1985.
Gulzari has served as an elected member of the CIMA Council since 1997, representing the North London Thames Area. He has also been a member of the Institute’s Executive Committee since 2001.
Gulzari is a UK national now. His parents moved from India to Nairobi (Kenya) in 1956 where he obtained his GCE before taking up full time employment. Gulzari married Anjna in 1969, and is a devoted family man. They have three sons and three grandchildren. His well-off family is living in the UK, but Gulzari’s heart is still in Lahore. “Dharti ki khusbhu mujay yaha lay aai – Love for my soil brought me here,” concluded Gulzari, who wanted to tell the Lahorites that a son of this soil has become one of the leading men of the world.