5 Pakistani Urdu Writers You Must Know Of
Saadat Hasan Manto
Saadat Hasan Manto is loved and loathed, but never ignored. He is considered one of the greatest Urdu short story writers of all times. He was not interested in formal education; rather he engrossed himself in reading fiction and ended up translating Victor Hugo, Oscar Wilde and Chekhov. He started writing at the age of 19 and died at the age of 42, leaving behind a collection of 22 stories, five radio dramas, three essays, two sketches, one novel and seven or eight film scripts. Some of his best known works include; Khaali Botlien, Thanda Gosht, Kaali Shalwar, Toba Tek Singh and Dhuan.
Manto is considered the first rebel of our literature with being tried for obscenity six times. Even then, his writing style remained unchanged as he believed the society is as dirty as his stories, and that he is just exposing the truth. In a society where humanity was divided by religions, he struggled to end that division. Manto was awarded Nishan-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan in 2012.
Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi
Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi is a Pakistani poet, journalist, literary critic, dramatist and short story author; a very important figure in contemporary Urdu Literature with 50 books to his name on topics such as poetry, fiction, criticism, journalism and art. His poetry included both Ghazals and Nazms which can be easily distinguished by the unique element of humanism blended in with his impactful words. His famous poems are Jalal-o-Jamal, Shola-i-Gul and Kisht-i-Wafa.
He also worked as the editor of the Urdu daily Imroze and edited several prominent literary journals, including Phool, Tehzeeb-i-Niswaan, Adab-i-Lateef, Savera, Naqoosh, and his own journal, Funoon. He also contributed weekly columns to national newspapers like Rawan Dawan and Daily Jang for a very long time.
His famous short stories include Chopaal, Gandasa, Sannata, Kapaas ka Phool and Aabley.
His literary work is still admired by Urdu writers, poets and critics. He received the Pride of Performance award in 1968 and Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 1980 for his outstanding literary work that is well acclaimed widely.
Fatima Surayya Bajia
Fatima Surayya — Bajia to everyone, Urdu novelist, playwright and drama writer did not have a formal degree but had a great grasp on Persian, Arabic, History, English, Urdu and Japanese literature. She wrote poems in the Japanese-style Haiku and adapted Japanese short stories and novels into stage plays in Urdu. She was awarded Japan’s highest civil award in recognition of her works.
She helped develop the modern drama industry of Pakistan. She wrote for PTV Centers in Islamabad and Lahore. She focused on topics related to women, children and historical depiction of culture. Her famous TV adaptations include ‘Afshan’, ‘Tasveer’, ‘Shama’, ‘Ana’ and ‘Aroosa’, all which portrayed huge families and their problems. Bajia bagged numerous awards, including the Pride of Performance Award in 1996 for her services to the performing arts in Pakistan. In 2012, she was awarded Hilal-i-Imtiaz by President of Pakistan. Her demise left everyone in chaos and heartbreak.
Parveen Shakir was a woman with raw romance and tragedy running not only in her poetry but also in her bloodstream. She was not only an Urdu poet who started writing at a very early age, but was also a teacher and a civil Servant of the Government of Pakistan. She was 24 when her first volume of poetry, Khushboo, was published which received immense praise and later, the Adamjee Award in 1976. Her later collections, equally well-received, include Sad Barg, Khud Kalami, Inkaar, Maah-e-Tamaam and Kaf-e-Aaina.
Parveen Shakir was awarded the Pride of Performance for her remarkable contributions to Urdu Literature.
Parveen died on 26 December 1994 in a car accident and her death left literature fans in severe melancholia. In 2013, Pakistan Post Office issued a commemorative postage stamp of Rupees 10 denomination on Parveen Shakir’s death anniversary.
Hajra Masroor enjoys a very prestigious position in the world of Urdu Literature because of her extraordinary writings. She is known for the brave feminist writer she is, who started writing at a very early age. She has written several books in which she has focused on the social, political, legal, and economic rights for women. Her stories were published in literary magazines and they received a lot of appreciation and admiration. Her short stories include Chand Ke Doosri Taraf, Tisri Manzi, Andhere Ujale, Choori Chupe, Ha-ai Allah and Woe Log. She also wrote the script for the 1965 Pakistani film ‘Aakhri Station’.
She received the Pride of Performance Award for best writer in 1995, Nigar award for best script writer and Aalmi Frogh-e-Urdu Adab Award from Aalmi Frogh-e-Urdu Adab Organization
Written by Salman Bokhari