Bibi And The PIA Connection

By Sonya Rehman

Thought of my grandmother early this morning. Not sure why. Maybe it has something to do with this ongoing, horrible PIA issue/tragedy, or the fact that her birthday is tomorrow on the 13th of February…

Raffath Aziz (known as Bibijoon by my brother and I) was the Deputy District Manager at PIA in Lahore. Previously she worked for Air France in Delhi in the 60s.
She was the first woman from PIA who went on a management posting abroad (Munich and Luxemborg) in the early 80s.

Pictured here with her mother.
Pictured here with her mother.

Immensely respected and looked up to, she had such a fan-following; both at work and socially.

She passed away when I was 14. Even though my brother was her sworn favourite, it was I who she called out to when she collapsed late one night while walking to her bedroom.
Calling my name in barely a whisper, my strong, brave nani spent her final days in hospital with immense dignity. She loved playing Bridge at the Gymkhana, always wore perfectly ironed saris and curled her hair (herself) twice a week.

She would often request me to pluck her eyebrows because Bibijoon’s hands were a bit unsteady by then.

Years ago when I was 7 or 8, I prayed very hard for a Polly Pocket toy on Shab-e-Barat. A few weeks later, Bibijoon brought me one from England. I never told her I wanted one.

May you continue guiding me Bibi. I know you do.

Happy Birthday.

Pictured here with her colleagues at PIA
Pictured here with her colleagues at PIA
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