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Musharraf's mother revisits ancestral home, college
March 17, 2005 13:48 IST
Last Updated: March 17, 2005 19:44 IST
It was a trip down the memory lane for Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's mother Zarin when she visited her ancestral home and the college she passed out from in New Delhi on Thursday.
Octogenarian Zarin, along with son Javed and Musharraf's son Bilal, inspected the Neharwali Haveli in old Delhi's congested Daryaganj area. The haveli was once was the family's abode and Musharraf was born in there.
Enthusiastic crowds thronged the lanes and gathered on rooftops for a glimpse of the high-profile visitors. The trio spent around 30 minutes inside the building, interacting with the current inmates of the house.
Frail Zarin, on a wheelchair, recalled her memories of the family's ancestral place, which she was visiting after a gap of nearly 23 years.
"Everything seems to have undergone a change here. There is a new sky here. I remember meeting Aruna Asaf Ali the last time I came here, which was in 1982," remarked Zarin. The trio also took part in the birthday celebrations of ten-year-old Aiswarya, a resident of the haveli.
Deputy Speaker of Delhi Assembly Shoaib Iqbal received the Pakistani guests at Daryaganj.
Later, Zarin also visited the Indraprastha College, from where she had passed out 70 years back.
She went around the college compound, recollecting the time she spent with friends, whose names she tried to recall.
"We enjoyed the college days. We used to be a gang of six students, called Chagadha gang. My favourite hang-out place was the garden," said Zarin, accompanied by Javed and Bilal.
"We used to come to the college in a bus. It was a fun place. But I lost contact with my old friends after partition," she said.
Recording her emotions, she wrote in the visitor's register: "I am touched to be back here in my beloved college. It made me indeed very proud to be associated with this great institution."
While interacting with students and teachers, Zarin favoured an exchange programme for students of the India and Pakistan to improve relations through people-to-people contacts.
Asked whether she was ever punished during her college days, she said, "I got scolding in high school, not in college."
When the students sought her blessings, she advised them to 'concentrate on studies'. She quickly added, "Do not neglect sports. Sports is also important. Body and mind should be fit. You should have fun, but within limits."
While on sports, she said Sachin Tendulkar was her favourite Indian cricketer.
Zarin, who spent almost half-an-hour at the college, also promised to attend an old students association programme next year.
The college presented her a shawl.
Before visiting the college, Musharraf's family visited the historic Red Fort and drove around Chandni Chowk.
"We have got a very good tour guide. He gave a very detailed description of the origin of Mughals," said Bilal at Red Fort.
"I have been to Turkey and I was constantly drawing parallels between Ottomen and Mughals," he said.
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