Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Widening The Gulf

NTM was a popular TV Station then.


January 31 - February 6, 1991

The American Gulp

CNN is one of the most Popular stations here.


January 24-30, 1991

Practical Politics

Begum Nusrat Ali Bhutto


January 17-23, 1991

Kharzan, King of the Bungle

Benazir, Zia, Jatoi, Nawaz, Ejaz


January 3-9, 1991

The Dancer

Dancer named after Nighat Chaudhary & Sheema Kermani


December 27 1990 - January 2, 1991

The Prayer

December 20-26, 1990

Author! Author!

December 13-19, 1990

The Environment

The Reporter was Moni Mohsin
People Interviewed were Nawaz Sharif, Qazi Husain Ahmad, Benazir Bhutto


December 6-12, 1990


Investigative Reporter & Poet Kaleem Omar's Image was used here.)

Nov 29-Dec 5, 1990

Friday, September 25, 2015

He Who Laughs Last

I can't seem to find Nov 8th-15th & Nov 16th-23rd.
If TFT can help me I'll add them before this one.


November 22-28, 1990

Renaming the Newspapers?

I sent this to Najam, but he refused to print it 

because it parodied another newspaper.

So I sent him this:

which he did print
without the cartoon in the middle!
(Aww, c'mon!!!)


Cartoon (without the Cartoon) : November 1-7, 1990

Moving ahead …

I received my TFT Identity Cards soon


The 2-column piece I had sent with Najam was also printed.

And so it began … 3 years of regular cartoons. Sadly there are many that are missing now. Have asked Najam and Jugnu to see if I can copy them from their office. If that happens this will be complete and my daughter, Ragni Marea, can have her book.

Jam Sadiq Ali was known everywhere for selling plots.


Cartoon published on October 25-31, 1990

The first OFFICIAL cartoon in TFT.

My first 'official' cartoon appeared.

We are still trying to establish who 'the folks' were,
but liberalism started going further down, way beyond Zia had imagined.


October 18-24, 1990

TFT Editor Sends Me A Letter (& I Succumb)

I wasn't a Kidwai (I am a Kidvai),
I decided to read it, anyway :)

I don't have my reply, but I think I said I'd accept what they pay.
However, I'd sent them a bunch of cartoons whenever I made them.
I couldn't hold on to a deadline. Was busy with my work.

Najam phoned and insisted that I agree and send them regularly.

I succumbed & agreed to do so for 2 months to try and see.
But it just went on and on and on

Jugnu decided to put my cartoons under 
'Signs of the Times'
a title that I didn't like
(and still don't).

The 'Original' Return of the Fundos

The cartoon that had been 'castrated' by TFT is here, in full:

Now your readers are totally corrupted, Najam & Jugnu.


Cartoon drawn, using Comic Strip Factory - August 6, 1990


I used to read Jugnu Mohsin & Najam Sethi's The Friday Times. Apart from some fairly daring articles, I always loved the funny bits in it. Moni Mohsin's columns were always hilarious. Faisal Naqvi (now a Lawyer and married to Juggan Kazim) used to write some of the most laughable bits in that paper. So did a regular columnist father who wrote funny things under his son's name … but we'll leave that.

My own drawing skills were terrible and were just above my singing skills. So I never ever drew a cartoon, although I was often inspired by Jules Feiffer's work to try my hand at it. I even purchased software to try cartooning on my Mac … but apart from loading it and trying it out, I never worked on it.

And then, on August 6, 1990, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan threw Benazir Bhutto out of the parliament. Oops! I thought her friend would Happy-ly have found out and told her. He was having breakfast with the Pres that morning. But Pres Ishaq could 'dissolve' anything, including his talk at breakfast.

I opened up Comic Strip Factory and decided to make a cartoon strip. (CSF was the best program, I soon discovered. Its gone now and many new programs have come up … but not one offers me the delight I had with that application.) … I drew my very first cartoon. It seemed ok-ish. So I decided I'd send it to Faisal Naqvi. I didn't know him but I thought he might like this a bit. So off it went, with a little note saying I loved his work. The letter was signed Zak. No full name or address.

October 6th: I was sitting on my Thinking Throne, reading that week's TFT, when I got a call from Tariq Jafar, a friend and a fellow Apple Computer dealer. "TFT wants you", he said. "There's an ad inside that says they are looking for ZAK." - I had the paper so I looked inside and there it was.

"Tariq, that could be anybody," I said to him, laughing. "There are so many names possible. And why on earth would they want me?" … "Really," said TJ. "Well, go further down the pages and you'll find they've got your cartoon on it." … I looked ahead, still laughing, and came across a cartoon - slightly truncated to lose a graphic that they didn't want to print.

Gerry Kahn (For Geriatric Khan) who was the President.
The Shadows we can't name!
Husain was for Husain Haqqani.

I asked TJ why he thought it was mine. He said, "I don't think anybody with those initials and a sense of crazy humour could be anyone else but you." … I said, "Nopes. It wasn't me",  and we forgot it at that.


About three weeks later I drew a small 2-column cartoon (you'll see it on the published date) and put it in an envelope marked "For FN", and went off to listen to a lecture by Najam Sethi on what the removal of Benazir meant for all of us. I went up to him during the interval and asked him if he could give this to FN. He took it and went back to his friends.

A few minutes had passed when Najam came up to me, with the cartoon open, and the conversation went something - not verbatim - like this:

NS: How do you know ZAK?
Me: Why?
NS: I saw this cartoon and I thought it had to be a kid in the American School who knows cartooning. I sent off colleagues to find him. No one knew about him there. And now you are giving me his cartoon in Karachi. Does he go to the American School here? How do we contact him?
Me: Here's my business card. Read my initials.
NS: What? It's you??? You've got to draw some for TFT.
Me: I don't draw cartoons. These were just two that I drew. I can't start drawing for you.
NS: You'll her from me again, soon.


And that was the start.
(If cartoons in posts look too small, click on them. They'll enlarge.) •••••

Ad & Cartoon in TFT : October 4-10, 1990

Thursday, September 24, 2015

This will all have to be online now …

Starting with my very first (and I mean my very first, coz I had never drawn one before) cartoons that were published in The Friday Times, I did a few other things: A few cartoons for The News; A few photos or book covers suitably altered; a few Fake-Ads. And maybe a few more items.

Sadly, my dear friend, my adopted daughter, my mentee and then my mentor, Sabeen Mahmud (Sab), is not there any more. And I can't even try to tell you how many of us feel about this. There are nothing but tears that flow out. Every few hours. Every day. And there are many silent sobs in between.

Sab had asked me to print quite a few of the cartoons and put them up at T2F for 3 days, beginning with my birthday. (I'll be 75 on the 2nd October this year). This was her idea of having me appear on a program, on the 2nd & 3rd October, where I'd be asked questions by her about my crazy life and crazier ideas. She mailed me a long list of questions that she'd ask.

Yes, Sab. I will answer them, too, in Koee Mayday Dil Say Poochhay, a recent blog that I have started. The posts may be written, pod-casted, or video-casted.

Among things that Sab thought T2F would print some day would be my book and a collection of my father's (Azhar Kidvai) stories, essays, and poems. My poems are now put up every Sunday … but not in any chronological order. You can see them on Alamzadah. Abi, my father, has a website now - and it is being added to every few days. It will have his entire collection, including all his verses in his own handwriting. There are also some memories and some pictures.