Norman- The Man, The Legend



From rocking the 1970s to reaching 70 years of age, this man, the legend, has
played an unimaginable serenading role in transforming the music scene in
Pakistan like no other in his brand of crooning. He is, without an iota of doubt, an
iconic person and the epitome of ‘western music’ phenomenon in Pakistan. He is
And the good thing is, he shares his glorious 70 years this year with
Norman’s contribution to the ‘popular’ variety of music and singing of the 1960s,
1970s and 1980s has been colossal; he is clearly one of the most popular
personalities of his era and continues to mesmerize audiences. As the lead
singer for some of Pakistan’s original live music bands, such as the Moon-Glows,
In-Crowd, Talismen, Keynotes etc; his voice alone could launch a thousand
people tapping their feet at discotheques, clubs and the party-scenes in Karachi.
When singing his favorite songs, his deep penetrating voice, powerful and soul-
searching, is familiar to the vocal chords of legendary artists such as Louie
Armstrong (What a Wonderful World); Frank Sinatra (My Way); Jim Reeves
(Put Your Sweet Lips); Billy Ocean (Caribbean Queen); Engelbert
Humperdinck (Please Release Me) and Tom Jones (Delilah).
Norman was among the first popular musicians to have been interviewed on
television’s mass-appeal ‘Zia Mohyuddin Show’ in the 1970s and also toured
Singapore with the Talismen, playing at the famed Merlin Hotel as the first pop-
band from Pakistan! One of his fans in the Far-East was none other than the
world boxing heavy-weight champion Joe Frazier! (See Picture)
Music and singing keeps him going. His 3-piece band today, including Gerard
Vanderlowen and Clifford Lucas is in great demand throughout Karachi at music
shows, club-evenings, weddings, family gatherings and special occasions. There
is no other group of musicians that can match this trio’s virtuosity in singing the
delightful songs of the golden era of music.
Above all, Norman has been a family man all through his life; his wife Nancy has
stood by him like a rock and his two girls Narissa and Nicole-Ann have made him
proud. I can recall the beautiful rendering of ‘But You Love Me Daddy’ which
Narissa sang as a 6-year old alongside Norman on the guitar. On the other hand,
the 70th birthday party surprise, aptly called “Vintage Dude” by Nicole-Ann was
indeed, very creative, thoughtful and stunning.
Though he is forever performing at some show or the other throughout Karachi,
he is always there in church lending his echoing voice at the daily morning Mass
at 6.30 a.m. and with his Sunday Morning Choir for the 8.00 a.m. service.
God bless you Norman. Keep going.

Posted in Contributions by Christians, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pakistan TV Karachi Shows in 60-70’s


*Raju Jamil*

“Sach Khedoun Aie Barhamin…Gar Tu Bura Na Maanay
Tere Sanam Kadoun Ke Butth Ho Gaye Puranay”

This famous verse of Allama Iqbal had a whole meaning that one of its line was adopted by PTV-Karachi’s GM Aslam Azhar to create a comedy show—the Frost Report of David Frost kind—-in 1969 as “Gar Tu Bura Na Maanay” which had Mohsin Shirazi as it’s “David Frost” supported by a stock cast of four; Zafar Masood, Mohammad Yusuf, Zahoor Ahmed and Shahnaz Ghani (of “BAMBI” child wear outlet since 60’s).

“GAR TU BURA MAANAY” (GTBNM) was hilarious and a parody of many of our customs held during marriages. It was mostly a satire well presented in a formidable style with boxed laughters and sometimes generating a roar of laughter from the viewers of the only network in Pakistan then.

The ongoing golden jubilee year of television in Pakistan…essentially PTV….has many a tales to talk about and remember–from each of it’s several centres which all–produced some most remembered dramas, talk shows and events which remain as infectious as ever. When the private networks will celebrate their golden jubilee—if they reach that point—all people will remember will be advertisements and political battles with no results they were subjected with …every day but never never on Sunday:)

GTBNM…. ran for several weeks and took a break when Aslam Azhar, the Wizard of PTV left for Islamabad on a higher assignment..later becoming the only and ever MD of PTV and later Chairman of PTV and Radio Pakistan. No one has held such combined assignment at Ministry of in Pakistan. Hail Aslam Azhar! He should be awarded NISHAN e Imtiaz on 26th November, 2014 when (or if) the Ministry of information finds time to celebrate such an important event of this wonderful Nation Pakistan. I am certain to have a million “aye’s” on my recommendation above for Aslam Sahab.

GTBNM…..made a come back in 1970-71 with the same name and this time Neelofer Alim Abbasi, Zeenat Yasmine, Qazi Wajid, Shakeel Chughtai, Khurshid Talat and myself were stock artiste and after a few weeks—my friend the producer Ishrat Ansari told us or rather gave us a surprise that the name of GTBNM has been changed to “Sach Jama Jhoot Battaa Dou” (Truth+Lies/2) which was presented before a live audience at the open air stage of Hotel Metropole. The excitement of East and West separation had gripped the Nation and in order to suitably stage a media war against our neighbours…this stage show turned into a satirical one focusing on our enemy….and indeed it was a success that the live audience was jam packed and the regular telecast was keenly awaited or in today’s nomenclature…the “rating” was very good ( I can never understand this anomaly of the word RATING which appears to be too sacred and pious for some of the networks—:) ha ha ha ha ).

GTBNM….from PTV-Karachi will always remain in the minds and memories of those 50+ who saw that beauty of the sitcom and such sitcom can never ever be produced again…..unless it’s sponsored which is one good thing to mess up something great of the last without risk–:)

Thank you Aslam Azhar Sahab, Mohsin Shirazi (where is he? How is he?) and so fondly the late members of the stock cast; Zafar Masood, Zahoor Ahmed, Mohammad Yusuf remembered. RIP all of them. The then viewers who are around these days do thank you for giving them an entertainment worth every second of watching it.

PTV has carved its name so strongly that it needs to continue with its great deeds well mixed with the achievements of past and the new dawn of current era.

“Sach Khedoun Aie Barhamin…
Gar Tu Bura Na Maanay

Tere Sanam Kadoun Ke
Butth Ho Gaye Puranay”

Raju Jamil,
PTV Drama Debut 2nd Dec-1967

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mules Mansion

By Dr. Saad Bashir

This building has been mentioned before.The family of a boyhood friend of mine lived in an apartment in this building for nearly 40 years – till 1985.On the roof at the seaward corner of the building was a bunker – the remains of which can be seen. Till 1947 it housed a cannon which was supposed to shell any ships attacking Keamari harbour.During WWII, the building functioned as a hospital and therefore was built in such a way that the apartments on both floors were interconnected and if they opened their doors one could walk from one end to the other.The building was named after Charles Mules, the 4th Chairman of the Karachi Port Trust (1902).In July 1947 Yousuf Haroon arranged to rent apartments in this building for 7 Dawn reporters who had migrated to Karachi. My friend’s father was one of them. He later became the founding editor of the Sun newspaper which inaugurated a new era in print journalism in Pakistan.

Let me add to the list of other lumanaries of this building since 1947: Mohammad Ashir (I think he was associate editor of Dawn), Sultan Ahmed (Editor of Daily News and Morning News and a regular contributor to Dawn), M.A. Zuberi (started with Dawn, later founder of Business Recorder), I H Burney (Dawn and Outlook),Minai family who lived there (Ishaq, Suleiman). Pirzada Qasim (the VC of Univ of Karachi and poet) and many more.

  • Edwin FigueiredoThe Architect was Moses Somake2
    • Like
    •  · Reply
    •  · 6d
    •  · Edited
    2 Replies
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The R101 Crash

By Dr. Adnan Zuberi

The ‘Largest Airship’ Destined for Karachi Crashed in France
The Air Disaster which Shook the British Aviation
Karachi was Ready to Welcome the World’s Largest Airship
Mooring Mast for R101 was already build to Receive ( Docking) at Karachi Airport

Lord Thomson were among the unfortunate passengers who killed in crash
Today is the 90th Anniversary of crash of R101.

It was a major set back to British aviation when the airship R101 crashed and burned in France on October 5th, 1930, on its maiden overseas voyage. R101 was headed to Karachi, the Gateway to South Asia, then part of the British Empire as part of a project to serve long-distance imperial routes. Two rigid airships were authorized in this programme, both publicly funded, and effectively in competition with each other.
This airship ( R01 ) was designed and built by an air ministry-appointed team under Lord Thomson, the Labour Secretary of State for Air.
I am going to present some excerpts of an investigation report by ADAM SMITH INSTITUTE.

“”The R101’s trials had not met expectations. Its lift was nearly 3.5 tons lighter than anticipated, and its weight was over 8.5 tons heavier. Moreover, because of much heavier than expected tail surfaces, the ship was nose heavy. The ship was modified as a result, lengthened by 45 ft to add another gasbag, making it the world’s largest aircraft at 731 ft in length. The modifications caused new problems. The hydrogen-filled gasbags could rub against the frame, with risk of tearing, and there were problems with the covering skin.

The ministerial team had made bad decisions in introducing new and untried technology. The diesel engines and the frame were too heavy, and the servo motors that steered the rudder were excessively complicated.. There were too many untested features, and to meet political pressures, the ship was making VIP joyrides before it had been properly tested, and before it had gained an airworthiness certificate.
The R101’s tragic crash in France killed 48 of the 54 people it carried, including many VIPs. Lord Thomson, the Air Minister, died along with senior government officials and most of the Air Ministry’s design team.

The subsequent Enquiry concluded that one or more of the forward gasbags had probably torn, leaking hydrogen and making the ship too nose-heavy for its elevators to correct. On impact the escaping hydrogen had ignited, possibly from a spark, or perhaps from a fire in one of the engine cars that carried petrol for the starter engines. The death toll exceeded that of the later Hindenburg disaster of 1937, and was among the highest of the decade.

It effectively ended Britain’s airship programme. The R100 was grounded and retired, and work was stopped on the planned R102. The Air Ministry concluded, somewhat belatedly, that hydrogen was just too dangerous a material for airships, and stopped all subsequent development, just as the Germans later did after the Hindenburg disaster.It was an unhappy episode, costly in lives, but it ultimately led to safer and less weather-vulnerable passenger aircraft. Airships may make a comeback, probably as heavy lifters for such things as transformers within city construction. They may carry passengers across oceans for luxury flights with bedrooms, restaurants and glittering ballrooms, as zeppelins once did, and just as the Orient Express takes passengers on nostalgic train journeys across Europe. If this happens, it is to be hoped that they will be designed and constructed by private firms rather than by government committees.””
Photos: R101 Docked at Mooring Mast, Flying over Cardington, Bedfordshire , Hanger at Cardington Airfield and Wreckage.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

O.B. Nazareth: The All Time Favorite Teacher.

By Menin Rodrigues

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mickey Correa: A Karachi Goan Boy Who Became India’s Greatest Jazz Musician

By Menin Rodrigues


28 August 2020

Mickey Correa was born in Mombasa (Kenya) in
1913 before moving to Karachi in 1924 where he spent most of his
childhood, attending St. Patrick’s High School and playing on the
streets of Saddar. His penchant for music and Jazz was evident
from an early age, as he was adept in a range of instruments
(piano, violin, clarinet, banjo, guitar, and accordion). He died on 22
September 2011 in Mumbai.

I had the privilege and honor of interviewing Mickey Correa in Goa
on 28 December 2010.

Music came naturally to him and both Mickey and elder brother
Alex, and their ensemble “The Correa Optimists Band” mesmerized audiences in the swinging Karachi of the early 1930’s. Mickey and his band played at the city’s top night clubs entertaining people and playing alongside some of the great jazz musicians who stopped by in Karachi. His popularity as a master jazz musician spread across the country before All-India Radio Bombay invited him for a recording in 1936. There was no looking back, the Karachi-maestro was offered several opportunities to play in a thriving foxtrot city, and at the Eros Cinema (1936) where he displayed his dexterity in churning out a repertoire of classical and contemporary music. He was destined to be a terrific musician.

After much convincing Mickey and his brother Alex moved from Karachi to Bombay in 1939 where he was fated to make an indelible mark on India’s jazz music scene. Mickey’s band played at the city’s celebrity hotspot, the Taj Mahal Hotel in Colaba, for 21 consecutive years (1939-1960), a record for a single band to have played for so long at one venue. People from all over India and faraway lands came to Bombay to see Mickey perform and dance away into the wee hours of every other new day!
In his interview, Mickey fondly remembers the best years of his life as a budding musician, his time at school and playing on the streets of Karachi, one of the cleanest cities at that time. ©

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The LightHouse Cinema Karachi.

By Dr. Sohail Ansari

Following the arrival of the British, growth in Karachi was regulated as new developments arose. Old parts of the town were Kharadar and Mithadar. Wadhumal quarter, named after a sahukar, was one of the new developments and was well planned for its time. It was populated by rich Hindu merchants and considered modern. At its edge developed the first formal theatre of Karachi, the Parsi Theatre. I am not sure exactly when it was set up but it was one of the four theatres in the city in 1921. The last drama to be staged there was in 1928. The following year it turned into Globe Cinema. It was in 1946 that its name changed to Lighthouse Cinema. The cinema belonged to Memon family of whom Farooq Memon was a doctor qualified from Dow Medical College. His brother Sharfuddin Memon (nicknamed “Bobby”), who qualified as an engineer, owned a construction company.In our youth Lighthouse was famous for Lunda Bazaar on the next street.As you know, the cinema doesn’t exist anymore.

15You, Yasmeen Kazi, Wajiha Karatela and 12 othersLikeComment


Write a comment…

Sohail AnsariAdmin  · 1d  · 

Posted in Entertainment in Old Karachi | Leave a comment

Annexation of Karachi and Battle of Hyderabad


By Dr. Adnan Zuberi


Corruption of East India CompanyB: Politics between British Establishment and East India CompanyC: Role of Major James Outram and Charles Napier It was the last day of 1600 AD when Queen Elizabeth I granted the Royal Charter to East India Company. EIC was a corporate founded by some rich english merchants. They first establish their trade office in Surat( Gujrat). Later they moved to Madras and Calcutta. British Parliament wants to determine the role of this private trading company. Plassey (1757) and Buxxar(1764), now this company successfully in position to control the wealth of Bihar, Bengal and Orissa. The officers of EIC was corrupt right from beginning. Shah Alam II appointed Lord Clive as Governer and authorised him Tax Collection. Lord Robert Clive was also involved in corruption and transfer his wealth back to england.Clive suffered from mental illness, now thought to be bipolar disorder.  Parliament set a committee to investigate and Lord Clive committed ( allegedly)suicide in his mansion in London Mayfair District, not far from Avon field apptt of Mian Nawaz Sharif.

Lord Clive was famous as The Richest man of Europe.In 1772-1785 Warren Hastings , who joined the EIC as a clerk, served as the first GovernorGeneral of India. He looted the tax money collected from India.In 1787 upon his return to Britain Hastings was impeached by parliament. His trial lasted seven years, the longest impeachment proceedings in history, before – astonishingly – he was acquitted of all charges.Many financial irregularities and mismanagement were noticed with time. Bengal famine is one example. In 1773 then PM Lord North suggested that the company should be managed directly by Crown. Therefore they drafted East India Company Regulating Act. With the passage of time EIC became so powerful that it has his own private Army of 260,000 desi soldiers, almost twice the British Army.The politics between the Parliament and EIC continue and the company slowly and gradually annexing neighboring territories. In 1832 Governer General Lord Ellenborough and Charles Napier decided the annexation of Sindh region, against the wish of establishment of British Crown.

Major James Outram, Outram Road in Karachi which connects Pakistan Chowk to I I Chundrigar road via Haqqani Chowk and James abad sindh is named after him, was against this adventure. But he has to take part in this battle because he was junior to Gen Napier. Later he recieved the medal of bravery. According to Major Outram  the Amirs of Sindh of Hyderabad  and khairpur state were friendly to EIC therefore it was unethical to attack on friends. But General Charles Napier was determined and finally decided  to attack. First they attacked Manora Island and captured Karachi and then  in 1843 the success of Battle of Hyderabad completed his mission. Charles Napier explained that he didn’t want the Ranjit Singh Army to attack the Sindh region. Further more he created the “Fear of Bear”. I mean he want a safe garrison near the NW border of India to combat the Russian forces through Afghanistan. I think Pakistani establishment Inheret the Fear of Bear(Russia) from their Ex Colonial Masters. The annexation of Sindh further sharpen the conflicts between the Westminster ( Parliament) and EICFinally in 1857 The Indian War of Independence began when the people rose against the Company’s rule. It was the most strong retaliation of its time from any colonial people. This revolt was severely mismanaged but after huge blood shed they able to crush the independence movement. Enough is enough In 1858 the British government decided and removed the Company’s powers beginning the era of the Raj as the British Crown took direct control over the territories held by the East India Company


Posted in Karachi History | Leave a comment

General Post Office Karachi 1866

By Dr. Sohail Ansari.

It was in 1864 that the first telegraphic message was sent from India (Karachi) to England (London) when a telegraph connection was laid.

The Telegraph and Post Office of the city designed by Captain P. Phelps was built on McLeod Road in 1866.

The following news appeared on 17th August 1960:

‘When Pakistan obtained independence it found an immediate need for improved telegraph communication.

The old telegraph once at Karachi, built about 100 years ago, has been demolished, and on the site of the ruins a new building is growing.

Official opening took place in June last. The structure is rising in stages — as funds permit. Its foundation was laid back in 1955.

Erected in May /June 1866, the old office cost only 20,500 rupees, whereas the new one is estimated at 1.5 million rupees.’

Should this building have not been listed and saved as our heritage?

Posted in Karachi History | Leave a comment

Sadhana Shivdasani

By Dr. Sohail Ansari

Actor Hari Shivdasani’s brother Shivo and his wife Lali were blessed to have a daughter born on 2nd September 1941 in Karachi. They were only too pleased to have her. Shivo named her after his favourite actress-dancer Sadhana Bose. The post-partition riots and killings in Ratan Talao in 1948 scared the family; they fled to Bombay with their only child, a daughter called Sadhana Shivdasani. Lali schooled her with devotion at home until she turned 8 years.She was spotted from a play at Jai Hind College and offered a role at the age of 15. She acted in India’s first Sindhi film titled ‘Abaana’ (1958) and received a mere token amount of Re. 1 for the role.Hari’s daughter and Sadhana’s cousin, Babita Kapoor as most would know her, also grew to be an actress. Babita’s daughter’s are Kareena and Karisma Kapoor.This fashion icon of her days with well known hair style ‘Sadhana cut’ and dressing, passed away in 2015.Happy Birthday Sadhana Shivdasani.

Posted in Contributions by Hindus | 1 Comment

From Longitude 00’00.00 Meridian Line: KARACHI HISTORY


Dr. Adnan Zuberi

FROM  LONGITUDE  00’00.00 / Meridian Line— HISTORY of KARACHI

  My last visit to this line , Longitude 00’00.00, Greenwich Observatory and National Maritime Museum was in 2015. Here I found a history of Karachi.The watercolour painting  is from National Maritime Museum, Greenwich London.

This is HMS Wellesely, built in Bombay Shipyard in 1815. Sir Admiral Frederick Maitland was the first commander appointed by EIC. Sindh province was not the part of British Colonial Rule yet. Lord George Eden the 1st Earl of Auckland, then Governor General decided to occupy Karachi. On 19 June 1938 Admiral Thomas Maitland, then Captain, took the command of this vessel. When they decided to annex the port in South  Westren India they set asail to Karachi and anchored near Manora. The night between 2nd and 3rd February 1839 they proceed to fire on Mud Castle of Manora Island. That was un expected attack which forced the occupiers of castle( local rulers) to sign a treaty and Karachi came under the rule of EIC. Later HMS Wellsely took part in Persia campaign and more important is First Opium War, ended up in occupation of Hong Kong in 1841.HMS Wellesely was named after Arthur Wellesley,the 1st Duke of Wellington. In 1868 the govt converted this ship into  Reformatory School. She was renamed Cornwall and docked at Purfleet, Essex near London.. Later, Cornwall, renamed Wellesey, was moved to the Tyne, some 20 miles of my home, and served as The Tyne Industrial Training Ship of Wellesley Nautical School. In 1928, due to industrial development at that location, she was moved to Denton, below Gravesend, Kent. In WWII, this vessel was  sunked by bombardment of Germans. Later resurfaced and dismantled. Some of its Timber used in Royal Court of Justice, London. So we can say that this Magnifient building of Royal Court of Justice is a Part of History of Karachi. Admiral Thomas Maitland, 11th Earl of Lauderdale, the conquerer of Karachi died in 1878 in his Family Home in Thirlestaine Castle.Photos:Watercolour painting at Greenwich,  A Model of HMS Weslley, Cadets at Training on ship, Meeting with Chinese authorities at HMS Wellesley for occupation of Hong Kong and Thirlestaine Castle, Scotland- family home of Capt Maitland, conquerer of Karachi, Wellesley House near my Home.

Posted in Karachi History | Leave a comment

Sudden Death Lodge

The cursed
Sudden Death Lodge
By Dr. Sohail Ansari 

This is the tale of a Pir in Karachi whose tomb, under a pipal tree, was lit by a small oil lamp. A naked care taking fakir sat there for fifty years. A rich Parsi Seth Sohrabji Rustomji Potwallah decided to erect his bungalow over the site. The fakir pleaded to the wealthy seth not to disturb Pir’s resting place and cried. However, the seth was determined to raze the tomb, evict the fakir and build his mansion there. The fakir cursed him, saying the building will never serve the purpose and fell dead.

The construction work commenced, during which three builders met unexplained mysterious deaths and so did the chowkidar.

As the bungalow was done, the family moved in. The very day, his nephew accidentally fell off the stair case and died. Few days later, it was his son who fell off the bulstrades, ruptured spleen and died. The third person in the family, his grandson, caught his wrist on a nail. It got infected and he died of sepsis. The merchant, himself, met a fatal accident.

The house was sold to Reilds. Following which their manager died suddenly of cholera. Within a few weeks in a bizarre event Mr Reild slit the throat of his wife in that house before killing himself there.

The mansion became known as ‘Sudden Death Lodge’.

Consequently the building was razed in 1925.

It remained a junkheap until the site was chosen for the new US Embassy. Construction began in Sept. 1957. When it was being built similar and unexplained events occured. An electrician died at work under unexplained circumstance. It probably would be the first time in the history of state dept to succumb to the threat and alter architectural design sparing the exact site.

The curse of the Fakir is also found in Ripley’s believe it or not.

Image may contain: tree, sky and outdoor
Posted in Karachi Recalled | Leave a comment