Eulogy of “Pak Tea House”

Dr. Irfan Zafar

Am I really dead? No, still trying to breathe but the lights seem to be fading away as I hear voices, not the familiar one’s, strangers walking in and leaving behind nothing but painful reminders of what my past used to be. Broken tea cups, sticky tables, cracking chairs, flies and dust all around is all what is left; staring at me crying for help but as I lay dying, my mind continue to go back bringing in visions of the past ferociously.

I remember the Sikh brothers looking at me for the last time with vacant eyes as they walked away in tears leaving behind the “India Tea House”; my original name which was changed to Pak Tea House by the new owner Siraj-Ud-Din Ahmad to avoid any retribution from the blood thirsty souls roaming around in the streets as a result of the 1947 bloodbath which took place as a result of the great divide which left many lives shattered and many more totally eliminated from the face of this earth.

I can feel something crawling on my body, the insects, sucking my blood slowly. Can anyone help, I cry with pain but my sound echoes back. But it’s not my voice which echoes but I can hear soft voices, beautiful words, unity of art mingled with literary beauty making the surroundings dance to the overflowing tides of creativity. Are you there Faiz? I can hear Manto’s voice or is it Mira Ji? Can’t distinguish, can’t see clearly trying to open my eyes with vivid images of Ibn-e-Insha, Faraz, Muneer Niazi and Intezar Hussain flashing past me along with so many others. They are talking about Progressive Writers Movement, the fundamental postulate being the unity of art, life beauty and reiteration of values and social systems which are lost over the years to modernism and commercialism of the thought process.

Why am I crying for I have suffered the same fate as the trees on the mall and so many other profound memories of the places now remembered as history & whatever remains are the ashes and the relics of the past. Is it only my demise which hurts me so much? No it is the demise of a literary age and an era when life used to be so simple but elegant. Happiness was found by interacting with people and not with the electronic devices. We somehow seem to have lost it all, if not most of it.

Is it the smell of Tea or the fresh pastries mixed with the cracking sound of the crisp biscuits. I can’t breathe, it’s suffocating. Heat, filth, smell of auto shops, oil dripping from the bodies of motor mechanics finding literary enlightenment using poetic abuses. Voices of stall vendors, traffic noise, the snoring sound and the noisy ceiling fan are making my nerves shatter.

Let’s move on, some say. Why waste time and money on books, reading, writing or literature? SMS, yes it’s a true literary trend of the modern age and it has led to the death of the literary age which we cherished so much but could not translate into sustainable art. I hear someone say “Let’s open a more profitable business venture, a Tyre Shop” instead of this useless relic. “Why not musical/disco evenings”; another voice. Go ahead, just do it for what really matters in the end is money. Yes money which one can take to his grave.

As I Lay Dying, just wondering where did we go wrong. All of us. When will my breathing stop? I have only one wish before my end; just one last wish. Surrounded again by all those who are no more with us, listening to the lost voices again and going back to the time, just for once, when the tea was made to perfection, biscuits were crisp and the patties fresh.

(The writer is a Social Activist and can be contacted via email:


Filed under History, Pak Tea House, Pakistan

7 responses to “Eulogy of “Pak Tea House”

  1. yasserlatifhamdani

    India Tea House was just another Tea House… a good one. It was Pak Tea House -post partition-that got famous as the center point of all left and literary activity.

    The name was changed by Sirajuddin because well the name of the country had changed. Had nothing to do with anything else…. otherwise… walk down the road and you’ll see “State Bank of India” building still hosting Banking Courts.

  2. Dr. Irfan Zafar

    Boss why do we change names. Why distort our history. We did this to Lyallpur (Faisalabad), Cambulpur (Attock) and Montgomery (Sahiwal) etc

  3. yasserlatifhamdani


    First of all…. the reason why the names of these cities were changed is not the same as why Pakteahouse was renamed. No need to distort history by comparing apples and oranges…

    I like Montgommery and Lyallpur much better than Sahiwal and Faisalabad.. but then this is your post-colonial nonsense that makes my blood boil… I mean Bombay has been renamed Mumbai… Calcutta Kolkatta? Puna Pune? Madras Chennai?

    This is post-colonial hogwash by post-colonial hogs… So no need to compare the two issues which are entirely different.

  4. Ron

    Hi YLH… some one from Kolkata….i quite like this name!

    Thats how bengalis always called “Calcutta”…..!

    Only the english speaking class ever called it “Calcutta”…..

    By the way , PTH rocks!!…..


  5. navanavonmilita

    I Love Pak Tea House.

    “navanavonmilita,” Sanskrit, New and newly bloomed.

    I like Pakistan too. Pakistan is also new and newly bloomed.

    I cannot say the same for Hindustan. There never was one. That name was given to a land by Persians. India is a petrified country. It signifies the past, all except all those foreign invasions and influences.

    The culture, culinary arts, system of administration and justice, education, I mean secular education, came from others. Arts, literature, music, architecture which signify true culture, also came from non Hindus. Aryas were the first non-Hindus.

    It is a sad fact that they are portrayed as Hindus. Aryan literature is considered as Hindu scripture. Mythology is considered as history. Non-persons are either gods or demons.

    …and I am Sid Harth

  6. Akash

    Typical self hating, deluded, asinine lefty lib hindu, spitting on his culture, religion and nation.
    There was no Aryan or Dravidian, moron – wake up. We are all Indians, and even the Pakistanis who run this blog were at one time either Buddhists or Hindus. Yes, India has its problems, its biggest being that it has idiots such as you in it.
    SidHarth – it seems.

  7. navanavonmilita

    My dear Akash,

    Thanks for your enlightening comment. About nobody being Aryans or Dravidians fart, you must be what I call “Hindu village idiot.”

    Yes, my dear Akash, Aryans destroyed natives in a civilization called Mohen-jo-Daro. They take due credit for that heinous act. Aryan god’s god, Indra, was also called destroyer of citadels. Mohen-jo-Daro people/settlements used to have protective walls around their city-states.

    Yes dear dunce, which is to say idot, Akash, there were whole lot of native tribes, very happy or unhappy, depending upon whose opinions count, before Aryan destructive hordes ever stepped their dirty feet in Jambudwip civilization, that is Bharat for you.

    Dravidian language and culture is older than Aryan invaders’. Tamil language has produced more literature than Sanskrit. Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Prarthana Samaj, Karnataka’s Lingayats, all left Aryan/Brahmin dominated beliefs.

    There are thousands, perhaps, millions who give a damn to Aryanism. Their belief systems were native and more ancient. They still survive and grow in both strength and size.

    Keep {EDITED} you RSS fascist feind/devil. You are my exhibit one. Thanks for your certification. I shall cherish it along with all the faggot, bigot garbage I collect and keep at my following blog. Please leave some of your fresh shit there too.

    …and I am Sid harth