Voices: Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III – Stories from Readers (I)

Zarina Bhatia on the train and boat trip to celebrate Diamond Jubilee in Dar-es-Salaam, submitted November 18, 2009

In response to Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah’s visit to a shop and the Weighing scale:

You bring back some lasting memories as I was then just a few years old past the age of an infant in my first or second Primary School days. We from Kampala left via train to Mombasa and then by a boat called ‘Vasana’ please correct me if wrong! Our family minus one of the brothers were all on the deck as the whole idea of the sea was totally alien to me. My mother has prepared some thepla, puri, chevdo etc. to eat on the way sharing these with other families around. We reached Dar-es-salaam where the Diamond Jubilee was to be. My parents were then united by the late-coming son who had stayed behind so that the house could be safe as long as possible. Then we stayed at Akbar camp where it was very easy to lose your way. My youngest brother Nizar and I were thrilled to feel the texture of sand so we filled-up our shoes with it. Parents persuaded us to empty them!…Please forgive these very childlike memories but they are REAL.

Hamida Cassum on the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Bombay, submitted November 12, 2009

Thank you for starting this wonderful series of sharing. Many of the personal  encounters with the Imam would otherwise be unknown to the younger generations. In those days the 48th Imam gave personal audiences to individual families, and this is unknown and very remote now.

Though I was only nine years old in the Jubilee, I can still recall the magnitude of the celebrations in Bombay when an empty hospital called Parsi General was acquired to house the visitors from many countries who came down to be a part of the celebrations. There used to be a Mulaqat with the Imam almost everyday and lots of Sagri Dham (delicious food) and Dandhia Raas wherever the Ismailis lived. There was an air of celebration all over the city with a lot of lighting done to decorate the buildings where Ismailis lived.  Every evening we came out to walk by the lighted buildings to be a part of celebration.  It was indeed an event to remember, and recall it many many times in our life time.

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We want to hear from you. Your stories will be published in this or related pages under Voices. Certain stories may merit their own page and title because of their length.

Please forward your contribution to simerg@aol.com along with any pertinent photos (scanned). Specify subject as “Aga Khan III Anecdotes.” Alternatively, for text only, please complete the REPLY form below with your name and correct email address. All contributions are subject to editing for language and brevity.

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