Random Thought: ‘Goodman Lantern’

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Irshad Salim, Karachi: Couple of months ago a former Vice Admiral shared with me about Goodman Lantern. I honestly didn’t know about it. What I knew though from my college days was that anyone who is friendly, a team-player, non-combative in nature, and has integrity, character, was called “Good Man Di Laaltain.” This was a buzzword used by PSF (Progressive Students Front) senior workers at NED during the “internal marketing (IM)” for team-building.

At that time, I did not know about IM until 2014/2015 when Raed G., an American of Lebanese descent in Riyadh said to me, “We did IM, and the firm doesn’t meet our standards”.
“Why?”, I asked.
“Their key players are low on Human Index (HI). Their Performance Index (PI) is okay though”, Raed added.

I related HI with the “Good Man Di Laaltain” criteria used by the PSF guys in the 70s–to do IM in team-building. (IM as I understand means developing a consensus internally to say yes or no to accepting a person or a firm be part of a project or team).

Badar Shakaib would say Good Man Di Laaltain even now to my comments above –he is the one, if I recall, who started with this catchword along with his whisker friend Tao. Both were Ivan the Terrible, had similar size, color and style of whisker –both are now “well-settled” in USA after all the “Saathi, Comradeship, and left-philosophy” they tried to do IM then at school.

“Good Man Di Laaltain” they both were, and still are. Tanweer Alam and Anis R Ally (both are also in the US) still use this desi tongue-twister, as I recall.

“Desi Word?”. Not really, as I found out this year with the WhatsApp share by Hasham Sahib. He suggested I should post my memoirs, experiences, etc. in different countries I lived in –when I shared with him that back in the late 60s and early 70s in Khulna, those who were associated with the Chalna Port had a lantern hung at their home entrance gates, and in the evening lit, they were landmarks for the rickshaws on the road, and for the visitors.

Whenever, the game of Bridge or Poker on an off day was taking place in any of these homes, Goodman Lantern at the entrance gate pillar was on, day or evening! What I recall, they all were good man di laaltain: Capt. Umar, Capt. Bhombal; Capt Bondrey; Capt. Ismail, Capt. Mukaddam, Capt. Azmi et al. BTW they all used to eat Haleem with tarka, and with a spoon, not with Naan or Roti, and sipped British tea or Green tea –Doodh Patti was unheard of there, and in those days.

Rest of the homes in the wider neighborhood, rich or poor, had lanterns also –they were all good man di laaltain too.

1 thought on “Random Thought: ‘Goodman Lantern’

  1. I found the article on ‘good
    man the laaltan’ very interesting. Have shared with childhood friend whose father spearheaded the development of Khulna port in the 50’s. Thanks for the insightful article.

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