Murtaza Razvi | The Sadness Lingers

April 2012

In a country where, despite the proliferation of media in recent years there remains a scarcity of exceptional media persons, we have tragically lost an outstanding media specialist in the demise of Murtaza Razvi on 19th April 2012.

There was something distinctly earnest,boyish and innocent about Murtaza Razvi. He had not yet succumbed to cynicism ,the occupational hazard of journalism, despite having spent many years in the sector and being one of its finest practitioners.

He had a pleasant, amiable, friendly manner, a ready smile, a kind of shine in the eyes that lit up an intrinsic sense of humour . He had a strongly developed aesthetic sense well- reflected in his appreciation of art as in his professional skills, particularly in overseeing the transition of Dawn's magazines into a new phase of content diversity and design.

Apart from our occasional inter-actions about shared interests in writing and the world of media, we occasionally spoke on the telephone or met in person at social events. He was unfailingly courteous and conversed with ease on diverse subjects. The feedback one received from overseas conference hosts about events in which he had participated was highly appreciative of his contributions, both during the exchanges and later, when he wrote about them.

In early 2009 when he conducted an extensive interview with me for his book " Musharraf ; the years in power " he put questions and made comments that were deceptively formal and polite but which deftly managed to draw from me responses that I had not been so ready to share with other interviewers.

The reproduction of our conversation by him in the book was unusually accurate and free of the intrusive biases of some writers. In our last telephonic conversation a few weeks ago we found common grouse as authors whose most recent books had sold out their first editions but which had not been listed as best-sellers in a certain published list. We had resolved to explore the scope for a writers' union !

His wife, Shahrezad Samiuddin worked with me in 2004-5 as a research associate on a book-project commissioned by UNESCO . Murtaza was greatly benefitted by being the husband of an intelligent, charming, diligent woman who efficiently managed a home with a busy husband and, eventually, three beautiful daughters while also working with focused competence outside the home.

The very last thing that Murtaza would surely have wanted to do is to leave the four ladies in his life bereft of a caring, loving husband and father. Though death is inevitable for all, Murtaza's final departure, and the cruelty inflicted upon such an extraordinary human being makes the shock a strangely enduring sensation. This is not a transient grief. There is a sadness that lingers. May his wife and daughters and sibling and others bear the absence with courage and derive strength from the experience of Murtaza's innate goodness.