On a Perfect Valentine’s Day, the Aga Khan Park, the Ismaili Jamatkhana Dome and the Aga Khan Museum Come Even Closer to My Heart
I couldn’t have asked for a better and happier February 14, 2021. I woke up very early to complete an exclusive photo piece of Mawlana Hazar Imam His Highness the Aga Khan’s historic visit to Pemba on November 18, 1957. Looking out of the atrium windows across my living room facing North-West, I knew the sun was rising on the South-East side. It was -9°C and there was absolutely no wind. I had been cooped up inside for the past few days and wanted some fresh air. I brewed Colombian Supremo Coffee that I had purchased a week earlier at St. Lawrence Market, filled a huge steel mug that keeps beverages boiling hot for about an hour, and headed to a nearby What a Bagel which was spewing out fresh hot bagels the minute I arrived there. “Give me a really hot one,” I said, and asked the ever-smiling server to make me a vegetarian sandwich. “Not toasted,” I reminded her, as many who come to the shop insist on having their order toasted, even if they are fresh from the oven.
I jumped into my car, turned it on with a low heat setting and enjoyed the bagel and coffee. What next? A visit to my Valentine, and I am sure that makes my readers curious. A meeting, maybe, at the Aga Khan Park?
Who might that “lucky” Valentine be? In the absence of my lovely daughter who is several hundred kilometres away and my beloved mother who was thousands of kilometres away and only passed away three weeks ago, my constant and beloved companions have been the Ismaili Centre with its unique Jamatkhana dome, the Aga Khan Museum and the Aga Khan Park. It is in these places that I have experienced much needed happiness and inspiration. I have adored being there. Can one make non-human object(s) around you as your Valentine for February 14th? Not by the definition of Valentine’s, but I contrived one just for myself!
I cannot thank anyone but Mawlana Hazar Imam for his vision in conceiving and building three extraordinary spaces for the enjoyment of people in Toronto and everyone around the world. I am one of the lucky ones, who gets to visit the grounds as and when I like. February 14, 2021 was a very special day. There was beautiful light snow on the ground, the sky was blue and sunny, it wasn’t cold and the flags stood still in the absence of any windshield factor!
I FaceTimed my daughter Nurin to show her the beautiful environment that I surrounded me. My face, she could see, had lit up.
After spending a good measure of my morning at the Aga Khan Park, I returned home to the Pemba photo essay. The remainder of the day was set aside for the Pemba post, while many others would be enjoying their Valentine’s day with their partners in creative settings necessitated by Covid-19.
Date posted: February 14, 2021.
Before departing this website, please review our Table of Contents or visit the Home Page for links to our fantastic photo essays. We welcome feedback/letters from our readers. Please use the LEAVE A REPLY box which appears below. Please share this piece with your friends!