Omer Kureishi - Omer Kureishi On
Written by English NewsPaper/Dawn/Others   

I was thrown into broadcasting — right into a test match at Dacca, in 1955 and it seemed to work out. I am very fond of cricket. It's one of my more successful love affairs, I know a great deal about it. So when I broadcast, it came very easily to me.

This is because I felt I was playing myself. I have never got over that sense of involvement.

URDU COMMENTATORS: They have improved enormously. In the beginning they were terrible. Theyhave to make up their minds what language they want to use. Half-way it's in English. It's very difficult to translate those terms I mean a square cut is a square cut!

CREATIVITY: There is not much requirement, respect or regard for creative people. We seem to be not wanted really. Even the word intellectuals has now become a term of abuse.

Senior journalists who should have been around in capacities like editors have left the profession. The new generation of journalists have missed their guidance and discipline. Journalists today are working under very difficult conditions. If you let them loose, they have the potential.

HIS BOOKS: When you read Black Moods and Out to Lunch together, you begin to understand that something has broken down. And the fact that you can write about it starting in 1956 and still say the same things are happening in 1980 is a cause of great alarm. It is pretty useless to be a writer because you are not able to change the world.

FAME: I don't seek any publicity at All my life I have maintained a low-key profile. I don't ring to people and say, 'Put me on the cover' or 'Do stories on me.' I really have nothing much to say.

RELIGION:  I'm not a fanatic. I have a very open mind. I believe in tolerance, I believe that your equation with God is one that you make yours self, I would prefer to eliminate the middle-mart.

I'm not afraid of dying. I don't worry about it. One ought to be afraid of life. At least death pro-mises some sort of peace.

WOMEN: I believe in women! I have given very practical evidence of that in my job. If I have a choice between a boy and a girl of equal merit, I prefer the girl She is more organized, more disciplined mentally. And less likely to be excessively ambitious - that to say ambitious beyond her capacity. They make very good executives and it's a pity there are not enough of them.

SELF-EVALUATION: I don't have as high opinion of myself as I ought to, I am very conscious of my short-comings. But there is a certain amount of discipline to being able to correct yourself.

HIS SHORTCOMINGS: Impatience with people (I'm now talking professionally, I'm not impatient at any level) who are not able to keep patient with me and not comprehend what they want.

CONFIDENCE: Confidence comes when you have the ability to doubt, my ability to realize that there is point of view. I am a man of strong convictions but not with a close mind.

Very Simple Image Gallery:
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WHAT HE VALUES MOST: A family-oriented person, {Mind you, he is a Cancerian - 26 June.I927) wife, my son, my brothers... more  or less  my world  outside work. We are honest with each other and lean on one another a great deal of pamper and spoil my son which gives me a great deal of pleasure. And to confine myself to as few people possible which gives the impression some people that perhaps I am difficult, very aloof.

HEART'S  DESIRE: At this moment I would like to devote more time to writing — and pleasantly about happier things, sunny, happy somewhat mean nostalgia.

REGRETS: As an individual frankly, I've no complaints. I've been lucky. I've held good jobs, I've had opportunities to meet very interesting people throughout the world some of them on a very intimate level, But a second life, at some time I interrupt my life to take some offers that were made to me -would have meant a very different career for me.

BEING REMEMBERED: I would certainly not like to be remembers as a cricket commentator, Because I am a little more than that. If I need to be remembered,  I would like people to say that he was a writer, a compassionate wanted to say that he was a good writer, a compassion who wanted to see according to his own light, a better world.
Publish in Herald in Jan 1981


From WikiPedia:

Omar Kureishi (1928–2005) was a distinguished Pakistani writer. He had also worked in the advertising, aviation and journalism industry, writing for many newspapers, including Dawn, The Pakistan Times, Morning News and The Guardian, London. He is best known for his cricket writings and commentary but he was also a keen observer of political and social developments and wrote about them, in his own words, not with fury, but certainly with “exasperation and anger”. He died on Monday, March 14, 2005, at the age of 77 due to a heart disease, leaving behind his widow, a son, Javed, and two grandchildren. He was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2001.

Kureishi's father, Col M.A. Kureishi, was a member of the Indian Medical Service.He had 11 siblings and his family was frequently on the move because of their father's many postings across prepartition India. Mr Kureishi took a degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California in the early 1950s. Mr. Kureishi has one son named Javed Qureshi, he also has two grandchildren Saif and Tanya Kureishi. Omar was a classmate of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in school in Mumbai and later at university in the US

Life as a Journalist, Writer and Socialite

Kureishi had his first encounter with the media and showbiz in the United States where he briefly worked with a radio station and also played a small part in a Hollywood movie.

Mr Kureishi came to Karachi in the mid-’50s and joined the defunct Pakistan Standard. Later, he became resident editor of the Times of Karachi. His brother, Sattoo Kureishi, lived near Karachi airport in a house called Air Cottage and used to hold regular weekly get-togethers there. “Friday Evenings at Air Cottage” became a byword in Karachi’s intellectual and avant-grade circles, and Omar Kureishi soon became an integral part of the set. He filed dispatches for many newspapers in Pakistan and abroad during his cricket commentating career, but he wrote most regularly for Dawn for a period spanning over 25 years. His did columns based on cricket, as well as those based on his memories of his time abroad in the US and traveling around the cricket world, in addition to his time in Mumbai and Delhi.[2] His books include Black Moods, Out to Lunch, The System, The Other Side of Daylight, As Time Goes By and Once Upon a Time.

Career at Pakistan International Airlines

In 1959, Pakistan International Airlines’s then chief, Nur Khan, persuaded Mr Kureishi to join the national flag carrier and he was thereafter appointed head of PIA's new public relations department. Kureishi spent the next 25 years setting up and maintaining an infrastructure which provided a financial cushion for Pakistan's sportsmen. Kureishi's long innings with PIA lasted almost till 1981, except for a brief interlude when he had fallen out with the then managing-director. When the Zia regime took over, he was asked, for political reasons, to leave the organization.

Life as Cricket Commentator

Kureishi's devotion to cricket, in his own words, started as "a passion" and eventually became "a love affair" which "remained a constant" in his life through all its "ups and downs".

Though he had never played first class or test cricket, (his only exposure to competitive cricket at an organised level was a brief stint in club cricket in the UK when he went there during his life as student), he was still recognised as an outstanding and extremely knowledgeable cricket commentator. He shared the Test Match Special commentary box during Pakistan's early tours to England[3] and together with Jamsheed Marker, he was a regular voice on the airwaves in Pakistan during the late 1950s and ’60s. Bill Frindall, the TMS Statistician, describes him as a "a lively, witty and popular colleague" and calls him "the voice of Asian sport". Kureishi counted many cricketers, most notably the late Abdul Hafeez Kardar, as his close friends. The media centre at the Qadhafi Stadium in Lahore is named after him. He was also member of the International Cricket Council panel which selects the world’s best Test and one-day international players for its annual awards.