Chai With Arif Hassan

Chai With Arif Hassan

Text | Khadija Raza Baig & Maria Aslam
Visuals | Khadija Raza Baig &

From the moment you set your eyes on the house, you know you are in for visual and intellectual treats. A delightfully warm orange wall in the porch beckons you through the low gate, guiding your eye to a well- manicured, simple and elegant garden on the left. A narrow staircase leads you up to the dreamy office chambers where everything is organized and seems to be in place. The walls are lined with bookshelves and photographs; the potent, musty smell of papers, papers and papers add to the aura of the place.

We say our grace. There’s a brief exchange of courtesies and introduction before “chai” is declared open. The conversation has no tangent, no agenda, no direction, and floats like summer clouds on a breezy day. The candid conversation is generously sprinkled with wit, and couplets and quotations from a rich, literary repertoire.

The evening is spent with Mr. Arif Hassan an architect, a historian, a town planner, a much loved grandfather, a caring husband, a bereaved employer (of a recently deceased trusted secretary and companion of thirty five years) and a bemused manager of a domestic employee with high tech communication skills!

An open ended evening that leads one to more questions…