Omar Azfar was an incredible combination of wit, intelligence, irreverence, charm, warmth and generosity. But to say that barely begins to scratch the surface. He didn’t just have all of that in spades. He absolutely radiated those qualities. He spread them around to everyone he cared about. I know many of you experienced that. I certainly did.
He was outrageous. Absolutely outrageous and crazy – in the best possible way – from my very first memory of him – crawling on the floor in kindergarten at Karachi Grammar School, with the teacher, Mrs Kizilbash, shouting “Omar Azfar have you forgotten your pencil again? Get up off the floor and stop searching for broken pencil nibs”. There were a million moments of craziness in the years since then – stories that I will savor and retell, again and again and again.
To say I owe him a great deal is a massive understatement. He made me feel smarter and funnier. He made me more adventurous. He also made me more thoughtful. His care for both humanity in general and the people in his life in particular made me a better person. He made me more interesting and he made my life more interesting. He made it happier. He made it more fun. He made it more exciting.
He was never self conscious. He was always willing to make a fool of himself for the sake of providing some entertainment. He was an integral part of many of the most memorable moments of my life. We often traveled to see each other – and we often traveled to new places together. I like to think we made a fun pair. But while the rapport we had was exceptional, it was mostly just his brilliance that carried us. I quoted him whenever I had the opportunity and told stories of our time together over and over again – and I always looked forward to building further what we had as friends.
I’m proud to say he was my friend. I’m proud to say I was his friend. I can only hope I was able to contribute to his life a fraction of what he did for mine – although in his inimitable style, of course, he always made me feel that I was an equal partner.
My admiration of him, my gratitude to him, my love for him is more than I can possibly express. Thank you, Omar Azfar, for being my friend. Thank you for the team that was Omar Azfar and Meherwan. Thank you for the opportunity to absorb and reflect the genius of your personality. Thank you, Omar Azfar for the brilliant celebration that was your life. Thank you for letting me participate in it. It was an honor.