Photo of the Day: From Little Children to Seniors at Aga Khan Park; a Drone Whizzes Past the Jamatkhana Dome; and, YES, Shamshu Alidina is Very Much Alive!

By MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor  SimergphotosBarakah and Simerg

There appears to be nothing extraordinary about the first photo I am presenting to readers of Simergphotos as “Photo(s) of the Day” — it could have been an action packed photo with the individual, Shamshu Alidina, a great cricketer in his youth days, hitting a glorious cover drive boundary with his Gray Nicolls bat at one of Dar es Salaam’s cricket grounds.

But I have him here for a very very special reason! I chose him to appear at the top of this website’s “Photo of the Day” feature because of my sheer happiness and joy of seeing him on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021, after a recent WhatsApp message had declared him dead from Covid-19 and other serious illnesses. The fake story spread like wildfire. I was numb when I first read the news about his death. I rang up a few friends who confirmed that they had also seen the message. Little did many of us know about a retraction that was made to the story a little later. The retraction never reached me, and I assumed that my dear Shamshu, who I had last seen at the Aga Khan Park in December 2020, had indeed left this world. I was then alerted that he was alive, albeit in serious condition. I felt happy once more.

Photo of the Day, Aga Khan Park. Shamshu Allidina, Simergphotos
Shamshu Alidina photographed in front of the Ismaili Jamatkhana when the author, Malik, bumped into him again on Monday April 5, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: iPhone

On the weekend of Easter, on both Saturday April 3 and Sunday April 4, 2021 I set off for Aga Khan Park. I was determined to spend much of my day strolling around, taking short videos as well as photographs for presentation on this blog. I was almost done for the day on Easter Sunday. The sun was behind me in the west and crowds were diminishing. I was walking towards one of the parking lots when I heard my name being called out about 5 metres in front of me. The voice was familiar but his mask, which extended upto his eyes, made made him unrecognizable. I looked at him for a few seconds before he told me in Kachi, “I am Shamshu.” I asked, “Shamshu ker?” because I never imagined I would see him that soon. And he said “Alidina”. I could have gone and hugged him to death because that’s how happy I felt, but there are health guidelines in place for Covid-19 and I had to hold myself back. I was thrilled. His voice was loud and clear. I was now looking at a new vibrant Shamshu, different from the man I saw in December 2020 at the same park. I could not have felt happier, so his photo tops the selection among several other striking pictures I took. Reason: Shamshu is alive and gaining strength as well as looks very happy. The whole world can now see that in the two photos in this post, and that should please his friends in Canada and around the world.

Now my plea to everyone using social media: Please verify the WhatsApp messages as well as everything that comes your way, and do not forward any message thoughtlessly. The news of a death causes immense pain, sorrow and grief especially among close family associates and friends. We must be alert and educated, and keep this indulgence with fake matters — news as well as accusations — a thing of the past.

To Shamshu, I say on behalf of everyone who knows him as a cricketer, a dynamic volunteer and leader in the Ismaili community, “We are deeply grateful you are still with us and we wish you complete recovery and good health.” As we think of you, we also remember your wife Ishrat, and pray that her soul may rest in eternal peace. She passed away in 2018 at the age of 68.

Enjoy the photos, and keep Shamshu in your thought and prayers.

Note: All photos taken with Olympus E-M10, except for 3 that belong to the iPhone.

The Aga Khan Park on Easter Weekend: April 3 – 5, 2021

Photo of the Day, Simergphotos, Aga Khan Park.
A visitor reads President Barack Obama’s recent book “A Promised Land” at Aga Khan Park on a bench located close to the dome of the Headquarters Ismaili Jamatkhana (not shown). Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Cycling at Aga Khan Park, Simergphotos and Simerg Malik Merchant
A young girl cycles past the main wall of the Aga Khan Museum and a waterless pond at Aga Khan Park on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Geese at Aga Khan Park, Simergphotos.com
Two Canadian geese who have been at the Aga Khan Park grounds for several days, take a leisurely stroll on a slope at at the park on Easter Sunday April 4, 2021, with the dome of the Ismaili Headquarters Jamatkhana in the background. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.
Geese at Aga Khan Park.
A third goose joins the the duo pair on Easter Monday, April 5, 2021 in a seen of complete relaxation on a slope at Aga Khan Park, with the Ismaili Jamatkhana dome in the background. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: iPhone.

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Senior citizen Aga Khan Museum Simerg
A colourfully clad senior citizen enjoys her walk by the front wall of the Aga Khan Museum on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Drone at Aga Khan Park and Ismaili Jamatkhana
A drone flown by a visitor to the Aga Khan Park on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021, approaches the Ismaili Headquarters Jamatkhana. See additional drone photos below. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Drone at Aga Khan Park and Ismaili Jamatkhana
Enlarged photo: A drone flown by a visitor to the Aga Khan Park on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021, approaches the dome of the Ismaili Headquarters Jamatkhana. See additional photos below. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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dr
A drone flown by a visitor to the Aga Khan Park on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021, closes in on the dome of the Ismaili Headquarters Jamatkhana. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Drone passes the Ismaili Jamatkhana dome. Simergphotos Malik Merchant
A drone flown by a visitor to the Aga Khan Park on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021, whizzes past to the dome of the Ismaili Headquarters Jamatkhana. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Modelling at Aga Khan Park, Simergphotos
With trees and ponds of the Aga Khan Park as well as the Aga Khan Museum forming as a backdrop, a visitor stands in a modelling pose while her friend takes a picture on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Modelling at Aga Khan Park
With the Aga Khan Museum main wall as the background, two visitors seen in the previous photo change turns for a modelling pose on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. At left, at end of the building, is the Big Heech steel sculpture with its shadow. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Spikeball at Aga Khan Park, Simergphotos Malik Merchant
Members of a family with friends all look up at the yellow ball as they play a game of Spikeball at the Aga Khan Park on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. The Ismaili Flag (left) along with the flags of Toronto, Ontario and Canada tower above the players. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Birds perch at Aga Khan park Tree
Birds perch on top of a tree at the Aga Khan Park on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Audio 1: A Serene Gathering of Birds at Aga Khan Park and Their Uplifting Chirping

Voices of many kinds of birds

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Aga Khan Park cycle ride
Friends enjoy a cycle ride around the Aga Khan Park on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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A senior citizen pushes her 4-legged walker with two front wheels along the main block of the Aga Khan Museum. The sun in the west casts her shadow as well as the shadow of the Big Heech on the museum wall. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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senior citizen at Aga Khan Museum pushing her walker, simergphotos malik merchant
A determined senior citizen shown in the previous photo is almost at the half-way point of the Aga Khan Museum’s main front block, as she pushes her 4-legged walker with two front wheels towards the south east section of the museum wall on Easter Sunday April 4, 2021. Sunlight from the west casts her shadow on the wall. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Aga Khan Park Easter 2021 Simergphotos
A determined senior citizen, shown in previous photos, makes it well past the main front wall of the Aga Khan Museum with a 4-legged walker with two front wheels. Her round trip distance travelled was approximately 200 metres, and she took a few short breaks during her walk on Easter Sunday April 4, 2021. She was closely followed by a couple of adult members of her family. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Sunset Toronto from Aga Khan Museum
The sun sets west of the Aga Khan Park on Monday, April 5, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: iPhone.
Shamshu Allidina Ismaili community Mukhi Willowdale Jamatkhana, Malik Merchant photo simerg
Yes, Shamshu (“Shams” meaning “Sun”) Alidina, cricketer, volunteer and a leader of the Ismaili community for decades, continues to live and shine after a fake message on WhatsApp notified its recipients that he had passed away. He is pictured on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021 next to staircases leading to the Ismaili Centre. During his life, he and his deceased wife Ishrat (d. 2018, age 68) rendered years of service to the Jamat. They were Mukhi and Mukhiani of Toronto’s Willowdale Jamatkhana from1996-1999. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Audio 2: Another Serene Gathering of Birds at Aga Khan Park and Their Uplifting Chirping

A Message from the Birds

Date posted: April 6, 2021.

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