The 32nd death.
[Text by Irfan Husain; photo by Daisy Bunn]
Columnist Irfan Husain shuffled off these mortal coils after an extended bout of moribundity. His last words were: “Too much temptation; not enough time.”
His long life – too long, said some readers of his Dawn column – was generally attributed to his love of good food and drink, and extended holidays at his beach house in Sri Lanka. As cynics put it, Mr Husain was on vacation from his perpetual vacation.
His thirty-year stint in Pakistan’s civil service was distinguished only by his inability to cash in on several lucrative assignments. People who worked under him complained that he would neither make money himself, and nor allow others to help themselves. They all breathed a sigh of relief when he took early retirement.
Going on to run a private university in Karachi, Mr Husain created a secular space on the campus. This did not go down well with either the board or most of the faculty. But using his private sector salary to travel, buy books and paintings, he was finally able to live the good life he had always aspired to.
Moving to England five years later to join his English wife, Mr Husain was allowed to indulge the streak of laziness that had long been suppressed. Using his expanded free time, he began spending more time in the kitchen, honing his culinary skills. After the beach house in Sri Lanka had been built, life slowed down even more, bringing about a fatal attack of moribundity.
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