The life of poet and critic Ashfaq Hussain, his celebrated work – Journal

KARACHI: Speakers shed light on the life and work of poet and critic Ashfaq Hussain, who resides in Canada and is currently visiting Pakistan, at an event held in his honor at the Arts Council of Pakistan, in Karachi, Thursday evening.

Presiding over the event, poet Anwar Shaoor said that despite the longevity of the program (speakers before him were slow to make their case) was not enough to get to know Mr Hussain. He claimed that the visiting guest is a multi-talented person, who has good judgment (sa’ib-ur-ra’i). To back up his claim, he mentioned Mr. Hussain’s book, Faiz Ki Muhabbat Mein.

Poet Firasat Rizvi said the first thing that comes to mind when talking about Mr. Hussain is that there are basically three sides to his personality. The first is: he is a poet. He began his literary career by composing verse. Poetry is his first love. Her second love is the legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

“It was in 1974 that he [Hussain] did his MA in Urdu Literature from the University of Karachi and wrote a thesis for the degree. There are a good number of people whose master’s theses have proven to be more important than their doctoral research papers. For example, the book that Dr. Farman Fatehpuri wrote on Urdu Ruba’i was essentially the thesis he wrote while pursuing a master’s degree in 1958. Hussain wrote his thesis on Faiz which was published by Idara-i-Yadgaar-i-Ghalib in the late 1970s. It was the first book of reviews on Faiz,” he said.

Firasat Rizvi says that sometimes masters thesis work turns out to be more important than doctoral thesis

Mr Rizvi said Hussain went on to write nine books about Faiz. “About one of his books, Faiz Ke Maghribi Havaley, Professor Sahar Ansari once told me that he hadn’t read a better book on Faiz. And his latest post also revealed the seeker in him.

The third facet of Mr. Hussain’s journey that Mr. Rizvi referred to is his association with the progressive writers’ movement. He underlined the fact that throughout his life, Mr. Hussain did not leave the ideology to which he adhered.

Ashfaq Hussain began his speech by talking about the guests who were present in the Haseena Moin hall of the council on Thursday, some of whom he said he had known for 50 years. He then traveled down memory lane while living in Karachi, especially the time spent in Korangi. He also recited some of his poetry.

Shahid Rassam, Dr Sher Mehrani, Akbar Laghari, Mujahid Barelvi and Ahmed Shah also spoke. Shakil Khan, who exuded nervous energy, hosted the event.

Posted in Dawn, July 30, 2022

Maria D. Ervin