A WOMAN OF GREAT SUBSTANCE
Artist, Poet, fashion master, freedom lover
A woman ahead of her times. Our contact with her was the printed word. We grew up in an art environment and the books of M.A. Rahman Chughtai were ever there to mesmerize us. One book which fascinated us was CHUGHTAI’S PAINTNGS which had an Introduction and notes by Razia Sirajuddin and a foreword by DR James Cousin. Both people were like spiritual Masters, floating in some air, we could not ever imagine.
Another artist of that period Miss Razia Feroze too had a personality like that. But she never went into the experimentation of marriage. But Razia did, and got married to another icon of English literature, being Professor Sirajuddin, and we do not know what happened or how. But Razia ended up in London. And we do not know any details.
However our letter archives show that M.A. Rahman Chughtai and Razia Sirajuddin were in contact with each other. Her letters from Oxford also include a NEW foreword and NOTES on a proposed SECOND EDITION of CHUGHTAIS PAINTINGS. Unfortunately that never happened but we still have her Foreword. In fact the next book that got printed in 1952 was CHUGHTAI INDIAN PAINTINGS and that is another story. Her letters are dated around 1949 to 1955. The 1955 one is from Ormonde Hotel, Berlize Grove, London N.W. 3. Others are from Oxford itself. She expresses her thanks for the artist’s kind words on her own works.
In any case the original Notes she wrote for the book of M.A. Rahman Chughtai, at the suggestion of Pitras Bokhari to the artist, still keeps her on the scene of Pakistan. In her life time she was remembered by many, and made her presence felt. But the society is fickle and today she literally stands forgotten by time itself. Our tribute to her is ever there. May Allah bless her soul!
Thanks to her niece Ms Amna Omar for sharing her images with us. Perhaps someone has some art work of her too. Contribute!