A FORGOTTEN HANIF RAMAY OF 1954
AN ASPIRING ARTIST WHO BECAME A POLITICIAN
Lohari Gate to Ravi road on a bicycle
My cousin has a great memory. He recalled many visitors to the house of Chughtai Artist. Of many of these, one was Hanif Ramay. From the shop at Lohari Gate, he would take a bicycle to the house of M.A. Rahman Chughtai in a bid to secure his works for a magazine or show him his own works. Obviously the artist encouraged every body and there certainly was potential in the artist. Of the many meaningless artists at work at that time, the artist saw talent in this young man, and my uncle would say that of all the persons working in Calligraphic Art, Hanif Ramay excelled them all. That obviously included even Sadequain the artist.
The artist came to the residence of the artist again on 18th January, 1975, to participate in the Qul ceremony of the artist. But this time he was the Chief Minister and came in official protocol. But he never met me, nor my mother. He met his own comrades who were there to receive him and was whisked away in minutes, and all that he could promise was the acquisition of everything we had, for a generous amount of RS 1000 per month for us. Obviously he forgot that what he was talking about was priceless and the RS 1000 was not even the salary of a Chowkidar even at that time. Thrones confuse people and he was back to normal when the Bhutto government hounded him out of power and sent him to Lohari Gate jail in Lahore. When I went to see Mrs Nusrat Bhutto at the Prime Ministers House in Rawalpindi, she abused him all the time, much to my embarrassment. I was friendly to the American wife of Pervaiz Murad, that is Joyce, and when later she married Hanif Ramay, it was news for me.
There is no doubt that he was an intellectual of high order and we saw him at the funeral of Ghulam Ahmad Pervaiz again. Well done to him! His brother did call at our house to request Abdur Raheem Chughtai to inaugurate an exhibition of Hanif Ramay at Alhamra. My uncle refused simply for Hanif Ramay as Chief Minister had refused to see him.
There was duality in him which few can understand. He reached both highs and lows at the same time. But he was a nice man and a very good artist. I pray for his soul. May Allah bless him in heaven!