Shah Mehmmod Shakib is reading his Persian-language poetry in house of a drawing room situated on Zarghoon road Quetta.
A group of people are carefully listening to him and praising his poetry. In the center of the room is an old man sitting on a wheel Chair. This old man is not an ordinary man but Abdullah Jan Jamaldini, a literary giant, and this is Balochistan Sunday Party.
Abdullah Jan Jamaldini was born in 1922 in, what is now, Noshki district of Balochistan. Mr. Jamaldini quit his job as Naeb-Tehsildar in 1953 to pursue literary activities. He then joined University of Balochistan and retired as an Assistant Professor form the institute in 1986.
He was immortalized by his autobiography which is famously known as Lat-Khana.
After Shah Mehmood Shakib finished reading his poetry collection, Qazi Abdul Hameed Sherzad, a retired judiciary official, took the charge as the president of this week’s Balochistan Sunday Party.
Since 1993, Balochistan Sunday Party is taking place regularly on last day of the week. Initially it was called Balochistan Friday Party because Friday was the weekly holiday. Since 1998, it was renamed as Balochistan Sunday Party when Sunday was made weekly holiday by then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
“Balochistan Sunday Party is an informal gathering of likeminded people who come from different literary backgrounds, Jiand Jamaldini, elder son of Abdullah Jan Jamaldini and Treasurer of University of Balochistan, told Balochistan Point.
Mr. Jiand added, “Most of the participants in the meeting are regular visitors and ensure their presence in the party on Sundays.”
Participants of the group include people who come to Quetta from Kharan, Muslim Bagh and Mastung, amongst other places, to attend Balochistan Sunday Party and catch a glimpse of Abdullah Jan Jamaldini.
Elder Jamaldini greets every participant in the party and silently listens to what participants say in the party.
A participant of the gathering started discussion on the topic of religion in politics and this kick started a heated but a rational debate.
After detailed debate on the topic, Dr. Shah Muhammad Marri, a famous intellectual and medical doctor, started his monologue on why religion is destructive when mixed-up with politics. The logical arguments made by Dr. Marri summed up the debate on the said topic.
This is what transpires on weekly basis in Balochistan Sunday Party.
At 1:30 PM the party is concluded and the participants leave after saying farewell to each other only to return next week same place and same time.
Published in The Balochistan Point on October 10, 2015