Elsa Kazi: The Mother Elsa of Sindh

Elsa Kazi (1884–1967), normally called as “Mother Elsa”, specifically in the Sindh province of the state Pakistan was a German writer of 1-act plays, short stories, novels and history, and a poet. She was also a famous composer and a musician of thorough victories, engaged in virtually each conspicuous branch of fine arts. Her paintings are mostly observed in various distinguished family houses.

However, not well fluent with the Sindhi language, she yet handled to come with few of the best translations of selected verses of Shah Abdul Latif into the language of English with the support of her husband, Allama I. I. Kazi. She victoriously managed the substance of those verses in a poetical atmosphere which, in musical terms, depicts the genuine Sindhi metrical structure and expression in which the Latif had cast them. Her translation of the poetry of Shah Abdul Latif is believed by many to be the best so far in the English. Her works have been the subject of various significant doctoral theses. She is also popular for her stories for kids. Moreover, the University of Washington Libraries has ranked one of her works “Temptation: a drama of Sind country life in 3 acts” issued in the year 1942 and “Aeolian: notes of an over strung lyre” published in the year 1920 amongst the best South Asian literature that developed prior to the Separation of India in  the year 1947.

Short biographyElsa Kazi: The Mother Elsa of Sindh

Born Gertrude Loesch in the place of Rudel Stadt, a small village in the country of Germany, in the home of a musician who finally shifted to London, she gave the name of Elsa after marriage. Her father, the late Mr. Elderman, was a well established German having property in the big city of London that was ruined during World War II. After the horrible war, compensation was paid to her for the same.

It was in the city London that she met the famous philosopher from the province of Sindh, British India Allama I. I. Kazi by merely a chance. It happened like that Mr. Kazi, having reached at the railway station while the train had already began moving, somehow managed to step in the last compartment which was empty, instead of a solitary young woman occupying a corner quarter. Born and bred in a conventional family background, Mr Kazi felt very shy and kept standing near the door with his back to the lady. Elsa was shocked, impressed and amused to meet a person who would not take a seat instead of her repeated requests, and would just repeat apologies. For such a person, she sought his address and thus established a lifelong connection. The couple was married in the country Germany in the year 1910.

The couple lived in the city of London from the time period of 1911 to 1919, and frequently made short visits to the province of Sindh. Altogether, the couple spent thirty years of life in the state England, during which they sustained to be involved in research, detecting the evolution of religion through the periods up to the advent of Islam. Both of them contributed various numerous essays, articles and addresses in numerous primary branches of contemporary knowledge, despite of preaching Islam under the aegis of Jamiatul Muslimeen. In the year 1919, the couple came back to the province Sindh, and Allama Kazi first stepped into the judiciary as Chief Justice of the Khairpur State. Owing to few differences with His Highness Mir Ali Nawaz of Khairpur, in addition to his argument with the British policy towards the States, he gave resignation after a 2-year stay, and the couple left for the city London.

The couple sustained to propagate Islam in the city London till April 1951, when Allama Kazi accepted the office of Vice Chancellor of the University of Sindh. He gave resignation from this office after 8 years, and thereafter the couple led a retired life at the city of Hyderabad, Sindh at the house of Ahmed Mohammad Kazi, an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and Principal of the Sindh Law College. In the year 1967, Elsa was immediately taken seriously sick with a renal issue, and lost her life at the age of 83. She had no kids of her own, but all the university students and all the households of Sindh call her Mother Elsa. Moreover, various girls’ hostels and other infrastructures in the university district of Jamshoro developed at the instance of her husband are named after her. She was buried along with Allama I. I. Kazi in the New Campus of Sindh University in the place of Jamshoro, Hyderabad.



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