The Everlasting Brilliance of Ahmad Faraz

Brief Intro to the Bright Poet

Ahmad Faraz came into this world on the 12th of January, 1931 in Kohat. Syed Ahmad Shah was original name but he gained popularity with the name Faraz. He was a commendable Urdu poet and is still known for his heart touching writings. His parents compelled him to go for mathematics  but Ahmed never approved of the idea. In fact, interestingly, he says that he was terrible at math as well as geography and could barely remember roads and maps. He came from a noble family of the Syeds who were the descendants of Kohat’s famous saint named “Haji Bahadar.” With his entire family, Faraz migrated to Peshawar and focused on studies at Edward College. He did Masters in Persian and Urdu from the esteemed Peshawar University. While he was studying in college, Faraz was highly impressed by Ali Sardar Jafri and Faiz Ahmed Faiz who were the greatest progressive poets of that time. Ahmad also started working as a lecturer at Peshawar University.

Gloomy Political Life of the Great Poet

Daringly, the respectable poet was outspoken when it comes to politics. Due to this feature, he was found in exile during Zia-ul-Haq’s reign after getting arrested for delivering specific poems at mushaira which criticized the rule of military very strongly. Ahmad Faraz stayed in Britain, Europe and Canada for six years before he returned to Pakistan. For the sake of maintaining the tradition introduced by his revolutionary mentor “Faiz Ahmed Faiz,” he came up with his best poetries during his days in deport. The most prominent and popular one among his poetry was “Mahasara.” His health started to deteriorate but even then, he stayed vigilant in Judicial Crisis that took place in 2007. Ahmed faraz himself shook hands with the lawyers for protesting against the cruel government and encouraged all his colleagues and fellows to do exactly the same. He once visited Glasgow at Zia ul Haq Qureshi’s call who was an affluent Pakistani businessman.

Highlighting Literary Career of Faraz Ahmad

Faraz had such a peculiar way of writing that he was compared with the most renowned poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz who holds a very special status in galaxy of poets in his era. He owned a simple but very refined writing style. His writings have been so convenient to understand that even a common man could know what the poet had to say. In one of his interviews with Rediff, Faraz recalls his father’s incident when once he bought clothes on Eid for him. Faraz rejected the clothes but preferred for his brother elder to him. this instance forced him to jot down the very first couplet:

He brought clothes for everybody from the sale

For me, he brought a blanket of a prisoner from jail.

Applauding Accomplishments of Ahmad Faraz

He was appointed as the chairperson of Islamabad National Book Foundation and chairman of Academy of letters for many years. He has been blessed with numerous international and national awards. Ahmed was rewarded Hilal-e-Imtiaz and Sitara-e-Imtiaz in the year 2004. He was recognized for literary achievements due to which he was splendidly awarded. In one of his engaging writings he stated that he only writes when forced from his inner self. Faraz was such an outstanding writer and heart winning poet that he got mentioned by the famous actor named “Shahzada Ghaffar” in Mirpuri/Pothwari telefilm. Surprisingly, he returned the Hilal-e-Imtiaz award somewhere in 2006 because he was badly disenchanted and disgruntled with the policies of the government and the government entire system.

Melancholic Death of the Visionary

in 2008, a shocking rumor was inculcated in people’s mind that spoke of Ahmed Faraz’s death in Chicago at a hospital.  Tahir Rohail MD (Faraz’s physician) who was also his friend since childhood quickly denied the erroneous report. Although later it was confirmed that poet’s health is diminishing with time and he is exceedingly ill. Faraz’s health kept on degenerating and he sorrowfully died on 25th August, 2008 in Islamabad’s local hospital due to kidney failure. His funeral took place on 26th by numerous government officials and admirers at the H-8 Graveyard in Islamabad. After the death of legendary poet, the government of Pakistan bestowed him with Hilal-e-Pakistan award.

Remembering the Legend

Ahmad faraz was undoubtedly among the few literary movements protagonist progressive writers movement that enforced a drastic and tremendous change in Urdu Literature landscape of 20th century. Faraz was truly God gifted with the unique vision of outer world, had an intuitive eye, the capability to translate and deliver into words the feelings of downtrodden and shaping their miseries in heart sobbing masterpieces of Literature. The path this marvelous writer had chosen dealt with impediments and obstructions but the poet acknowledged the disease that plagued his people. Fall of Dhaka had left scars on Faraz’s conscious and the inhumane heinousness committed by the Pak-Army in opposition to Baloch people provoked him to write down one of the most controversial and famous poems “Peshaawar Qatilo“. He wrote it in protest against brutally of Pakistan’s Army. Comprising of such powerful criticism against Pakistan army, his poem turned out to be sign of resentment. In 1977, Ahmed Faraz got whisked away without any criminal charges but just for narrating the poem somewhere in Islamabad. He was completely heart wretched by his country’s situation that he delivered his suffering in poetic masterpiece named as “Aesa nahi honay Dena.”

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