Abu Md Jehangir (Dhaka, Bangladesh)

My family

Jehangir's father A. J. Ziaul Haq was affectionately called 'Nabalok mian' by everyone:

'Nabalok' means a newborn and his pirbaba [a kind of living patron saint] used to say that his heart was as pure as that of a new born baby. He had the curiosity of a child and was highly gifted. He was an amazing painter, a gifted linguist, an extraordinary architect and a very kind man.

My father also acted as a marriage registrar when he worked in Mymensingh, in Gaffargaon subdivision. He worked there temporarily. My family were zamindars [landlords]. The book Rare Photographs of Eastern Bengal (1880–1940) by Waqar A. Khan has pictures of my aristocratic family. My ancestors were the landlords of Sonargaon – Abul Khairat owned three areas: Panam, Boddar Bazar and Mograpara.

My father built a mazar [tomb of a saint] that is like a small jewel. It is called the Mazar Shah Syed Yusuf Al Quadery Jilani Rahamatullah in honour of our family pir whom everyone affectionately called 'Kashmir Baba'. He was also my father's maternal aunt's husband [khalu] and my youngest sister married the pir's eldest son's son. So the pir's grandson is my own sister's husband.

Abul Hasnat, his grandfather's brother, was twice vice-chairman of Dhaka Municipality Corporation during British times. There is a road named after him, Abul Hasnat Road. It runs from the jail gate to Bangsal Road in Old Dhaka.

In those days we were friends with the landlord class and the officer class. Senior officers used to educate their sons and mix with the aristocratic families. The British ruled India with the landlord class; they collected revenue from them after the fall of the last Mughal Shah Alam.

Jehangir's family history is illustrious and has been described in various papers and books.

Today you will find my family name in a book, while I enjoy watching life pass me by from a small by-lane in old Dhaka.

Nabalok mian

Map showing Abul Hasnat Road


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