The Eleventh PANA Reunion, Gaithersburg, MD, USA – 22 June 2013
by Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui, 671/Latif
I was indeed fortunate to have had the chance to attend this year’s PANA reunion here in Maryland. I would like to congratulate all of the members of the Organizing Committee for the wonderful job they did in making all the arrangements for the day picnic and the evening dinner. The beauty was in the detail – the introductions, the food, the banners, the plaques, the children’s games, the awards, the program brochure, the CCP ties, and the wonderful musical event by Zahid Hussain Siddiqui and his family.
Let me name the organizers here so that they are recognized once again for this excellent achievement.
Zahid Hussain Siddiqui
Needless to say, it was such a great feeling to be with all the Petarians who came from all over North America – Washington DC area, NY/NJ, Texas, Chicago/Midwest, California, Seattle, Oklahoma, and Canada. And those who came from Austria, Dubai and Pakistan.
The gathering was far larger than what I expected, which shows the hard work put in by the organizers to ensure that the word got around and were able to attract so many Petarians and their families to participate.
I will certainly look forward to the proper formal report by Adil, Wasif, Rifaquat or others, including a full list of names of those who attended and proper detail of the event. Arif has already posted an excellent set of photographs, which gives a visual feel to the event.
I am also thankful to the organizers for allowing me to make a presentation on the Petarians who passed away just before the dinner. It was meant to be in memory of Naeem Saroya, but I thought it prudent to include all.
The video prepared by Affan Syed for the occasion about Petaro and Petarians is also very well done. I enjoyed it very much. I am sure that all of you will once he uploads it on YouTube.
Lastly, the proceedings were full of colour with Shabieh Zaidi’s wit and quips and humour. Shoaib Yahya and Shabieh did a wonderful job of being the masters of the ceremony. They were second to none.
I would also like to mention that while it was absolutely superb to meet each one of the Petarians who came, there obviously was a very special place for Tariq Chishti Bhai, Mansur Single and Saeed Haider Farooq (623/LF) who I met after a decade. I was able to spend some really quality time with them. I got to meet Shahid Mian for the first time after we left Petaro. It was simply great to see Inam Haider, Anwer Kalim, Rifaquat amongst the other seniors.
I missed meeting Saad Shafi who was supposed to come, but couldn’t make it because his mother is ill. May Allah grant her shifa.
I would like to mention one person and this is Zahid Hussain Siddiqui 78125. I had never realized that we have such a fantastic talent among Petarians. Along with his wife and son, I think that his musical performance was second to none. He also arranged all the sound equipment and was up to speed on the show. And he has the capability to build up the tempo which got all the guys center stage. I would like to thank him. This is the first time I met him, and unfortunately didn’t have enough of time to even thank him personally for this show.
And Mansoor truly rocks. His wit and humor is so typical of Mansoor Razzaque Qureshi. Ever since I met him back in 1998 when he was still a student at NED, I have seen him grow and build on his gregarious character and his casual smile and laughter. Great guy!
I really want to thank all the juniors as well. In particular, I was fortunate to have met Adil Masood, all the 84 Imrans, Bhibs, Sohail, Nayyar (Hadi), Manzoor and Akhtar brothers, Jami, Sami Memon, Azeem, Waseem, Noman, Akif, Nadeem Baloch, Javaid Soomro, all the organizers, and all others whose names I am forgetting.
When I went for Juma prayers the previous day, I was happily surprised to meet Asif Naqvi and Shoaib Yahya at the same masjid in Ashburn.
Great job guys and congratulations once again to the organizers. I hope those who missed attending this year’s event will be able to make it up in the future.
PANA 2013 Gathering – My Thoughts
by Sohail Malik, 83140/Qasim
Wondering if this Petarian thing is an addiction? While Petarian hangover still lingers I am already feeling the withdrawal symptoms. What a gathering this really was. A perfect gift for an addict who craves friendships made within this fraternity.
Before I share my experience, let me say a few words for those you left us. They were honored in this reunion and their legacy of friendship and care is deserving of this respect. Naeem Bhai and Mahmood Ramzan Bhai your physical presence was missed. May you be amongst the chosen and be blessed forever.
As I have said this gathering was special. I had a chance to meet my mentor, my dearest friends and families that have over the years made me part of their own. This by far was one of the best events so the next year hosts have their work cut out for them. I hope these gatherings continue to evolve and become bigger and better. I highly recommend for those who did not attend to mark your calendar and start planning for next year.
If I were to use one word to describe the spirit, I’d say “Smiles”. Everyone had a big grin on their face. Just look at the pictures posted by Arif Bhai and you will know what I mean. With the exception of my 7 year old who was crying in rivalry of her best friend, the radiant smiles all around made it Petarian in spirit. Don’t worry, in the end the two best friends were giggling until wee hours in the morning. .
I would be a miss if I did not say special thanks to the following.
The CAP hosts you have outdone yourself. Adil and Arif Bhai, hope you get some rest. I know it’s a thankless job and consumes a lot of time. Your efforts made it a special event for me and my daughter. The Qureshi brothers for making it special for the kids with games and the clown. The trophy Duaa received, she sleeps with it. It made her day. Faraz and Kamal for their hospitality and help. Moin Bahi for ensuring the dinner was indeed special. KK bahi for photography and great company. Shoaib Bahi for to ensure I had some time left to mingle with the crowd by introducing Duaa to his kid. If I forget anyone by name your efforts and hospitality made it special and is deeply appreciated by me.
My special thanks to Adil and Zaidi Bhai. The medal for Duaa is working miracles. Whenever she fusses over food I take it back and she immediately makes it to the table. I hope it lasts but that idea thus far is proving to be genius.
Zaidi’s: I am truly blessed to have you all in my life. The kids now grown make me proud as an uncle. May you continue to accomplish all that you have dedicated your lives to and I hope to see you in Dallas soon (without abba jaan). Afrooz Bhabi, if you are ever in mood to adopt another kid, I know one who could use your influence and guidance. You are an amazing person, a great mother and a wonderful addition to our family. Zaidi Bhai your speech was not its customary length. Ali Abbas is doing a great job editing for you (ok fellows there is an inside joke here). I hope to see you again soon. Just did not have enough time for a sit down but soon Inshallah.
Danial Azim Khan, the next model in the making you are the cutest thing I ever laid my eyes on. May you be blessed with the long, healthy and happy life. I hope to see you soon and get to play with you more.
The Banbhan brothers, you need to move to NA or make sure you plan your vacations around the gatherings here. Hope to see you in the next years events.
Asif Naqvi, Adil Masood Bhai, and rest of the 1978 contingent. What a core of personalities you have in NA. You guys are the hallmark of camaraderie amongst the entry mates. Hope to see you all soon again
Kazi Bhai, as always it was a pleasure. I did not get a chance to talk to you at length but that just means you have to come to Dallas soon.
Cheema Bhai: You look younger every time I see you. How can someone live with Shahnaz Bhabi and not be over 300 pounds is beyond me. I am due for a trip to Kenosha. Will land there soon. It was great to see you once again after a few years.
Khursheed Mughal Bhai, once a year is not enough to meet you. You add new colors to each gathering with a sense of humor and stories. We need to see you at more of these gatherings.
Wasim Khan, my partner in crime thanks for everything and putting up with me and the kido. I know she must drive you nuts but your patience and Mysha’s help is appreciated. She wanted to pay you guys a visit last night but I know you need a break. May be today later in the evening I will see you again.
If I forget anyone by name it is due to lack of time and the post gathering Petarian hangover. In parting, allow me to share a couplet of Ghalib….
Kiyaa aaeena-khaanay ka woh naqshaa teray jalway nein
Kary jo partau-e-khursheed, aalam shabnamistaan ka
Until Next Time
By Wasif Malik, 7402/L
It has been a very hectic couple of weeks. Went to the 11th PANA Reunion to Washington DC for 3 days. Came back to Dallas, and embarked on a long road trip for 5 days to Chicago. Got back late Sunday night and trying to catch up with all the messages and emails.
PANA Reunion: I don’t have words to describe the elation I felt or the zabardast arrangement of this event. People with much better vocabulary such as Sohail and Kazi Bhai have done a masterful job in describing this event both from emotional and factual perspective. The elated feeling still lingers. Everything about this event was top quality down to very small details that included pre event, post event and main event activities. Results are for all to see. A million thanks to everyone who was involved including all organizers and participants. Thanks to two Petarians Gohar and Nauman, who decided to night before to make this trip and drove all night from Canada to participate and bring the youngest Petarian to this event. Thanks to Banbhan bratharaan, for coming from different continents, just because they love Petaro and Petarians. Thanks to Kazi Bhai for coming all the way from Pakistan and presenting the excellent tribute to all those who left us. Thanks to Affan for the exciting sequel to his earlier video and reminds us all of our days in Petaro. Thanks to Ishrat Bhai, Shoaib Bhai and Jami Bhai for coming over from Canada and all those Petarians who took long trips to make it a huge success. Thanks to Kamal Qadri for revealing his dance moves that he acquired at the Lyari Dance Academy. Kazi Bhai tried a song and my advice to him is not to quit his day job yet. Full kudos to the members of the organizing committee.
I would like to highlight Petarian Zahid Hussain Siddiqui of 78 entry, MBQ house. He is the younger brother of one of my very best Petarian friends from 74 entry Wajahat Hussain Siddiqui. In Karachi I used to visit their home often and took some music lessons from Zahid at that time, so he is also my Ustad. He was the president of the music club in Petaro. Later he continued to pursue his passion of music, creating jingles for ads and theme music for TV shows. He performed along with Bhabi for the music show at this event. It was totally professional style with all equipment and presentation. He is extremely talented and the talent continues to bloom with time. He started with the song ‘Purani Jeans’ and what could be a better song for Petarians seeking to reminisce, bond and talk about good old memories. The crowd joined him in this song. This was followed by many popular Pakistani songs. The highlight was the climactic song ‘Gharoli’ by Abida Perveen. It was passionate and soulful. Many Petarians joined in the jam dancing session in front of the stage and all around the hall. New dance moves were unleashed on the crowd. For those few minutes we all forgot everything around us. We were all dancing while immersed in the great sufi music. Then it was time to say reluctant goodbyes.
So many Petarians endured considerable hardship to participate in this program. In the busy life, it is not easy to take long trips, going through connecting flights, over night driving sessions, spending significant amount of money and resources just to attend a One Day event. People still do it, because they are Petarians and for them Petaro comes First above everything else. This is what Petarian spirit is all about. It is heartening to see that this spirit is growing globally and thriving in the hearts and minds of all Petarians. I thank Allah and my parents that they enabled me to join this great institution and become a member of the Petarians. This membership has truly enriched my life.
Long Live the Petarian spirit.
PANA 2013 – Final Wrap Up
By Adil Baloch, 7993/A
As we, finally, wrap up and begin the count down to close out the 11th PANA Reunion so very proudly hosted by the United States Capital Area Petarians, so kindly and thankfully organized by Petarians from all over the USA, so generously sponsored by some Petarian-owned businesses and so graciously attended by Petarians from USA, Canada, UK, Pakistan, UAE and Austria; I would like to share my thoughts on one of the most memorable, entertaining and fun gatherings of Petarians I feel so proud to be part of.
This email has the link to the “save the best for last” video of the reunion at the bottom but First of, let me be humbly thankful to the organizers of this event.
Yes, I will name some names now…..
If you wore a badge with that nice looking black ribbon at the reunion then please be proud of the fact that they were made personally by none other than our Petarian brother Moin Khan Bhai, ’78/IQ. Moin Bhai thank you!
If you wore that golf shirt at the picnic and wore that tie at dinner, well don’t be surprised that they were both brought over, personally, from Pakistan by none other than our Arif Mahmood Bhai, ’76/A. Arif Bhai also happened to be the PANA coordinator for 2012-13 but how many felt it actually? Probably none, other than the USCAPians:) He was the one who spearheaded the whole thing from beginning till the end but, again, did anyone feel it? Nope!:) Arif Bhai: thank you for being the leader with the quiet stick and very nicely balancing the walking with the talking as a true leader. You have set a good example for the rest of us.
If you guys saw those banners hanging up above the shed at the picnic and hanging on the wall behind the stage at dinner then please thank the man who actually hung those using virtually NO TOOLS! Yes, Faraz Khan, ’87/LQ actually climbed up those ladders and banged the nails in with bricks. Thank you big guy, you live for the brotherhood like the rest of us and we all know that.
For that discount that we all got at the La Quinta! Yup, that was an assignment for someone as well:) Ok, he lives in Houston I know but we needed him so we told him just that! Ashar Jafri, ’85/IQ thank you Bhaiyya! Only you could do it, so we know. Some of us were, however, surprised to learn that the owner’s last name wasn’t Patel:)
There were some nice, chilled and perfectly placed drinks at brunch right? You bet! That was all due to the hard work of Kamal Qadri, ’88/A. Those of you who kept up with the Facebook page of the reunion probably remember the picture of Kamal’s supplies cart right before the reunion day. He was our supplies hero for that day!
After brunch and actually before registration you all enjoyed some hot tea made in those giant percolators, right? Well, guess what, making that tea is quite a task…..try it some day so you can enjoy it for yourself but for the reunion day that was the work of our brother Dr. Masood Razaque Qureshi of ’91 entry. Yes, a doctor made the tea for all of you guys……feeling special yet?:)
Those of you with kids, must have enjoyed the games and the piٌata afterwards for the kids as well as the magician at dinner. Anything and everything for children along those lines, including the moon bounce, the cotton candy and the snow cone were all due to the efforts of Asim Ghaffar Bhai, ’78/IQ and Imran Qureshi of ’93 entry.
A special thank you note here for Sohail Malik and Dada for making the goody bags for the kids the day before. Those small white bags that you guys got at the registration were assembled by Dada as well…..no not in China but in Maryland by him personally:)
If your kid walked away with a certificate then you can thank KK Bhai for the professional text and the artistic design of those. I don’t want to write too much about what else Khursheed Bhai did because I know, he doesn’t want me to. All I can say is, like always, his contributions were significant. Hint: you guys saw some of the pictures taken by him, right?:):) Just an FYI, there are more to come from him.
I will let Javaid Soomro of ’85 entry thank Jawaid Shaikh of ’89 entry. Don’t ask me why, just ask either of those Jav(w)aids:):)
All of you must have seen some of the contributions made by Affan and Shoaib Bhai. At the end of this email, there is a link, you will see some more of their rather different kind of contribution in that:)
I don’t think I will do justice to Mansoor by mentioning what his contribution was. I’m pretty sure you all have seen it very clearly and there’s more at the end of this email.
A very humble thank to Rifaquat Bhai for giving us his blessings on letting us do our things. If we did not have his blessings on a few things, we would not have done those. Thank you Rifaquat Bhai. Btw, we gave Shahnaz Bhabi a trophy for Rifaquat Bhai’s contribution:):)
A profound gratitude is humbly offered to PANA 501(c)(3)’s BoDs for letting us take care of all our logistical needs through their organization. I request Shahid Mian Bhai, Chairman BoD to convey our message to his team.
I know, I have skipped a few names! I did that on purpose. Most of the folks have already been mentioned in the recent past and some more to follow down below. This last video, which we saved for last because it’s the best will cover all those names:)
Gentlemen: each and every name mentioned above is of a person usually busy in and upto his nose with his professional and personal life. It takes a lot more than just a few words to put something worthwhile together the quality of which only happens when the person responsible cares to do his very best. The happening of that quality can easily be schematically described by looking at the 11th PANA Reunion. If I were to describe it in two words though, I’d say: coordination and dedication.
In this last video, You may get carried away by Kazi Bhai’s song or Shoaib Yahya Bhai’s, Wasif Bhai’s, Shoaib Alam Bhai’s, Affan’s and Kamal’s dance or you may have a hard time deciding whether Jami Bhai’s dance was better or his chught bught lamdheeng but I’d like to point at the following for this video:
I think Azeem’s thoughts are the most unadulterated that you can expect from a Petarian; Asif Naqvi Bhai speaks for all of us and if you ever even try to repeat what Mansoor says in this video I can assure you, you won’t be living happily ever after:):)
Folks let me leave you with the thought that we at USCAP realize that people travel long distances with a decent level of expectations and a certain level of feeling to be welcomed. People like to see care and love indicated in efforts and results and we hope we delivered all that. We did all that not only for the sake of our guests coming in from far flung areas but also for the sake of appreciation for the brotherhood.
We sincerely hope that we have been able to set some timely, prudent, inviting and welcoming trends for future reunions as well. These are our reunions and we need to take these to the next level not only for the sake of giving back to where we came from but also for the sake of our coming generations in our adopted homes. I hope we all took something away on June 22nd.
Enjoy the videos!
PANA Reunion 2013
By Shabieh Zaidi, 7402/L
I admit, I am embarrassed after seeing myself babbling in the videos thus far posted on the forum. For anyone to assume that I had anything to do with organizing of this wonderful event would be unfair to the US Capital Petarians who put in countless hours planning, preparing and organizing. The whole idea of bringing together alumni, generations and geographically apart, with a view to providing a common sense of identity is admirable; add to that nihari and music, and what you have is a weekend to look forward to.
Over the years, we moved from informal get-togethers, to picnics, to this mini retreat. With the formality of a reunion comes expense and opportunities. This year PANA reunion’s expenses exceeded the collections and the burden was shared by Petarian owned corporate sponsorship – a trend that may expand in coming years. I am aware that the rising price tag of these events is a concern to many members but the ground realty is that any major event planned and executed well is expensive. That is why even public universities like mine are forced to seek sponsorships to offset such costs.
Like always, it was wonderful to meet familiar faces and discover new ones. I missed Naeem Bhai and the many other friends who have over the years tried to attend these reunions. The contingent from 71 entry was smaller than most years but then we had many other Petarians attending who had not been to one of these in the past. One regret I have is not getting to meet the children – they are essentially the ones who will take the torch and keep it lit hereon. I know it extremely difficult to organize such retreats ensuring that there are interesting events and activities that appeal not only to Petarians but families and children; hats off, thus to the organizers who went out of their way to keep everyone happily engaged.
Since I have been procrastinating and dragging my feet, numerous postings have already acknowledged the contributions made by various organizers and attendees. The methodical approach to registration, together with name badges, ribbons, conference attire, plaques, certificates, moon bounce, breakfast, lunch, dinner, music, presentations, photography, media coverage and the outstanding hospitality left me wondering why on earth would any other city wish to undertake this massive effort. However, the driving force behind the event was none other than the Redskins fan. Adil – if you ever tire from being a CPA, you may like to consider becoming a campaign manager for folks seeking public office! Thanks to PANA, I have come close to so many individuals who I may never have known otherwise. Sohail, Adil, Rifaquat Bhai, Bhib, Khursheed Bhai, Mansoor, Kamal, Arif, Kazi Bhai, Asher, et.al. These are in addition to the many who I knew from CCP and Navy. The Lord knows I am not a sportsman and over the years I have become accustomed to the solitude of rural Pennsylvania. This often translates into missing out on camping trips, golf outings and sleep-overs, yet I do not exaggerate when I say, that the fraternity of Petarians is something I have come to rely on.
I am sure that these reunions will continue to build on the foundations being laid and perhaps even develop into professional conferences of sorts with seminars and workshops aimed at service and support. However, even if they just remain an occasion to meet, greet and eat – I will always try to join in the fun. May the fraternal bonds based on our shared identity grow stronger. Dear Friends – Thank you!