This is the story of the time when radio broadcasts were the most important thing on airways. The many hues of colour television and the melody of FM were yet to spread. Radio Pakistan was the only organization where barring politics programmes ok everything from education, literature, sociology, drama and music were broadcasted.
‘Basme-e-Tulaba’ (Assembly of Students) was a very popular show in those times. I came across an advertisement in the daily Jang, inviting students to come to Radio Pakistan to audition for the show.
My friend Khalid Rehman and I also went to the (then) beautiful building of the state-run radio station situated in Bandar Road (M. A. Jinnah road). Quite a few young candidates were waiting for their turn. Ibrahim Nafees, a famous voiceover artist, was taking auditions.
While we were waiting for our turn, we heard a thundering voice that captured everyone’ attention. On the microphone was a thin and lanky young man reading confidently from the script.
We all turned to look towards the microphone. A thin and boney young man was delivering sentences in his strong and attractive voice. His voice and presentation were so powerful that even Ibrahim Nafees could not hold back his praise.
After the audition, we went to meet this young man ss he seemed familiar. After exchanging of customary greetings, we found out his name was Nadir Shah, while Adil was his alias. He was a resident of Saifi Lane in Lyari’s Baghdadi neighborhood. He turned out to be the younger brother of another friend, Syed Imdad Hussain Shah. That was my first meeting with Nadir Shah Adil.
It is difficult to define the multi-faceted personality of Nadir Shah Adil. He is counted among the best journalists of Karachi today. After leaving the daily Jang, he joined the Daily Express as magazine editor and editorial board member. But this is not the end of his expertise.
He is also known for his poetry in Urdu and Balochi languages. He is also a performer and has done some fine dramatic roles. He also wrote the script for and acted in ‘Hamal Mahganj’, the first Balochi language film.
Despite his many achievements, Nadir Shah Adil is a considerate and kind-hearted man. Humility and modesty are what define him.
Nadir Shah was born in a literary family on April 23, 1950, in Saifi Lane, Baghdadi. He is the son of the first female Baloch poetess Banal Dashtyari and the maternal-grandson of Balochi Sufi poet Syed Malang Shah. Nadir is also a close relative of famous Balochi language poet and writer Syed Zahoor Shah Hashmi. Nadir Shah grew up surrounded by literature and literary activities. He also grew up with journalism after prominent and well-respected journalist Israr Arfi became part of his family.
Unlike his elder brother Syed Imdad Hussain Shah, Nadir Shah was never interested in politics. However, that did not mean he stayed away from educational and social activities.
A youth club known as ‘Saifi Club’ was located near his house. The positive activities of the club are famous across Lyari. Young men would gather here after school and play football, cricket and other sports. There were free tuitions in the evening. Nadir Shah was an active participant in all the activities.
In those times, Baghdadi was considered to be the best neighborhood for sports and education. This area was known for encouraging girls’ education. It has a great number of girls enrolled in schools as opposed to other areas.
Under Nadir Shah’s leadership, young men formed groups to go from house to house to create awareness about education in their area. The movement to set up street schools also started from this area. The street school on Mombasa street is considered to be among the first such schools. Nadir Shah Adil was one of its founders.
Nadir Shah has proven his mettle as a principled and ethical journalist. Popularly known as ‘Shah Jee’ in the journalistic fraternity, this pride of Lyari never forgot the lessons learnt from Lala Lal Bux Rind, Waja Yousuf Naskandi and Waja Akbar Barakzai.
He elevated the sanctity of the pen by advocating for the poor and the marginalized. He never compromised on the ethics of journalism. Even when faced with grave challenges, his conviction never wavered.
Nadir Shah Adil has always used the print media to give voice to the woes of the voiceless and the weak. From the helplessness of those being treated inhumanely in Baluchistan in serf-like treatment of Lyari’s innocent people at the hands of leaders and politicians, or the ignominious fate of international footballers, Nadir Shah has become a voice for all.
Nadir Shah is a simple man. He has reached this position after a long and arduous journey. He is a role model for everyone who wants to lead a purposeful and principled life.
From ‘The Case for Lyari’ written by Abdul Latif Baloch