Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

An original in every sense

Updated Oct 18, 2018 12:10pm
Remembering Aamir A. Mallick (1970-2018)

A man apart, born into the creative wilderness, Aamir A. Mallick discovered a thing or two about writing very early in life, which he believed was akin to raw animality: “A true creative mind should rule the world with guts, instinct, prowess, impulse, intuition and, above all, a sense of pride without prejudice.”

Thriving on an excess of self-confidence, Aamir could always be seen striving to redefine the Archimedean theory of Fulcrum in the world of advertising. “Give me a place to stand and I will turn over the whole world.” But, at times he used to ask himself: “Is it that I have inherited a world already upside down?”

Aamir was the National Creative Director at Blitz and although he had worked at JWT, Manhattan, Leo Burnett, M&C Saatchi and Publicis, Blitz was his “home” as he would call it. This was his third and final tenure with Blitz, as he had promised – and he always kept his promises. On Saturday, September 15, 2018, Aamir passed away due to cardiac arrest, turning the world upside down for everyone who knew him.

I had the distinct pleasure of knowing Aamir both as a formidable rival and a devoted friend. If you knew him in either capacity, you know he was the best there could be. He could effortlessly drive you to your wits’ end with a smile on his face. He had a gift; what he could do with words was unique and extraordinary. He had numerous awards to his name but he didn’t keep any in his room. What he valued more was a drawing by his youngest daughter. Aamir never put together a portfolio or showcased his work; he called his apprentices and his critics his portfolio. Almost everyone I know who worked under Aamir’s supervision was there at his funeral. I asked every one of them to write this piece, as I know I could never do justice to the greatness Aamir was. Turns out, I am not the only one who felt that way. I am not afraid to admit that their loss is greater than mine; that perhaps, I didn’t know Aamir the way his creative folk did.


His death leaves a huge hole in the hearts of his colleagues at Blitz. Reminiscing about him, Ahsen Idris, CEO Blitz, his eyes brimming with tears, said: “Ab kaun har subh darwaza khol ke mujhe kahe ga ‘Boss kabhi humare paas bhi aya kijiye.’” Aamir is gone but his spirit will live with us for a long, long time. He will be with us every time a Blitz person makes a creative presentation. Thank you Aamir for the memories and thank you for having been a part of Blitz!


Here is an eulogy for the man who could speak words raised to the power of infinity, written by Yakub Mirza, Executive Creative Director at Blitz.

The phone rang, I picked it up: “Assalam o Alaikum.”

Heavy voice on the other end: “Yaar bas ap hamein bhool gai.”

“Arey Aamir kya haal hai yaar. What a pleasure. Kaise mizaaj hain?”

“Yaar mizaaj to badshahon ke hote hain, faqeeron ke nahin.”

“Tum ho na badshah. Aamir bhi ho aur Malik bhi. Yaani ke mutlaq al anan qisam ke.” Aur woh hans diya...

This was Aamir. His own man with a lively sense of humour; an original in every sense of the word. And a magician with words. He could string together a sentence or a phrase like no one I have ever met could – and I have been in the industry for nigh on 40 years.

He was a self-made man with basic academics. Yet he rose to become a DAWN staffer and later the Bureau Chief for Arab News, Saudi Arabia’s leading English daily – achievements of a man who had this uncanny, God-given ability to rise above the ordinary and meet the challenges of life head on. For many in his circle, it was a bumpy ride; they found him aggressive and at times almost unforgiving. As he would often say: “Har shakh pe ullu baitha hai. Why should I suffer fools gladly?” He didn’t.

My first encounter, so to speak, with Aamir was in 2005, when Blitz first opened their offices in Lahore. One of the first accounts we won was Nurpur and Aamir took the lead as the Executive Creative Director. Come presentation day, Aamir walked into the presentation room, sat down on the conference table facing the Noons (owners of the brand) and took over the proceedings. There was conviction. There was eloquence. There was creativity. A magical stringing together of words and phrases delivered in a quiet, firm, confident tone to sell the core idea. That day we saw a master at work. This was typical Aamir, yet given his creative abilities there was nothing typical about his work.

I last met him two months ago in Lahore. The door opened and he walked in with arms outstretched, ready for an embrace. Pleasantries over, I cleared my desk, offered him the chair and walked out telling him the creative department was at his disposal. He followed me out, tapped me on the shoulder and as I turned, he embraced me again. “Yaar ap ke baghair to nahi, kabhi nahi.” There was genuine love in his eyes as he took me by the hand and together we walked back to the creative studio. He had mellowed and in the process, become an even more lovable character.

His death leaves a huge hole in the hearts of his colleagues at Blitz. Reminiscing about him, Ahsen Idris, CEO Blitz, his eyes brimming with tears, said: “Ab kaun har subh darwaza khol ke mujhe kahe ga ‘Boss kabhi humare paas bhi aya kijiye.’” Aamir is gone but his spirit will live with us for a long, long time. He will be with us every time a Blitz person makes a creative presentation. Thank you Aamir for the memories and thank you for having been a part of Blitz!

Umair Saeed is COO, Blitz Advertising. umair.saeed@blitz.pk