Remembering Marghoob Qureshi
By Dr Ziauddin A. Ansari

It was December 16, 1963 when I was passing through San Francisco on my way to Boulder, Colorado for presenting a paper at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union. My director at the Geophysical Institute had encouraged me to spend some time in the so-called lower 48 states to have a feel of the real United States as I had been all along in Fairbanks, Alaska for my graduate studies since June 1959.
He encouraged me to take along my family on this trip also so that we could have a vacation as well as business. On the insistence of our American friend we left behind our infant son Irfan (now a physician at Tacoma, Washington) with them in Fairbanks, Alaska. Our party consisted of myself, my wife Zohra (now deceased) and my elder son Asif ( now Vice President Energy Innovations at Pasadena, CA).
While we were in San Francisco visiting various institutes such as UC Berkeley, SRI (Stanford Research Institute,) my wife came up with a strange request. She said she desperately needs to talk to somebody in Urdu as she has not done so for so many years while we were in Alaska where there were no Urdu-speaking people! Sensing her intense desire, I got hold of the telephone directory and started looking for common Muslim names of Indo/Pak origin. I looked under “Qureshi” and found several names. I selected one of them at random and it turned out to be that of Marghoob Qureshi.
I called him up and explained my predicament. His immediate response was a very warm dinner invitation to his place which if I remember correctly was at Vanness and Geary, a short distance from the hotel we were staying at. He gave us the necessary directions. That was our first meeting with Marghoob Qureshi and his wife Iffat, a delightful couple. When Marghoob came to know that I was a graduate of Osmania University he told me that he had a dear friend Syed Razi who was also a graduate of Osmania and who lived in San Jose. When I told him that Syed Razi was my class fellow and a dear friend he immediately called him to come over and meet his old friend from Osmania. Within no time along came Syed Razi and his wife Dr. Mahpara and we had a fantastic re-union. Marghoob and Iffat insisted that we stay with them for the night and catch up on the events that took place after our last meeting in Hyderabad in February, 1949 when I migrated to Pakistan.
That was the beginning of a lasting friendship with Marghoob and Iffat which I cherish to this day.
When we were leaving for Pakistan on October 23, 1964 Marghoob insisted that we spend at least a month with him at his new place in Palo Alto. With great difficulty and after much persuasion he finally agreed to a one-week visit. We had a wonderful time together with lavish treats like “Gajar ka halva” and “Haleem” which he prepared himself.
Whenever he visited Karachi he would invariably call me and let me know his whereabouts and when and where to pick him up for a re-union.
After my retirement from SUPARCO in 1990, I came to the US as an immigrant.. I was visiting my niece in Union City in the Bay area from where I called Marghoob to let him know of my whereabouts. He rushed immediately to meet us and his first question was as to why he was not informed about our travel plans before hand and the reason for our not staying with him!
From 1991 to 1995 we were in Chicago and lost contact with him when suddenly I bumped into him at Chicago at the wedding ceremony of my niece Bushra Yasmin Ghazi, daughter of my cousin Dr. Abidullah Ghazi and Dr. Tasneemah Ghazi of Iqra Educational Foundation. On my enquiry he told me that Dr. Ghazi was a great friend of his and he did not need an invitation to attend the wedding ceremony of his daughter whom he considers to be his own.
Marghoob was undoubtedly a man of pristine qualities. When he took somebody as a friend he would remain his friend for life and he would do everything in his power to help him even if it meant a great deal of hardships to himself. This is one of the attributes of a true Momin as indicated by Allah SWT in Surah Hashr: “Wa yutheroona ala anfusihim wa lau kana behim khasasah.” Those are the people who sacrifice their own needs to help out others.
I pray to Allah SWT to let his noble soul rest in peace and grant him a cherished place in Jannatul Firdous and bestow fortitude on his family to bear this loss. Ameen
Maqdoor ho to khak se poochoon ke aey laeem
Tu ne who ganjhaiy garanmaya kia kiyey

 



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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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