KARACHI: Ahmed Faraz was among those distinguished poets whose literal sense and multifaceted poetry became widely popular sometimes for romantic adolescent and other times for hailing revolution. He left the world nine years ago yet remained alive through his poetry in the Urdu literary work.
Born as Syed Ahmed Shah on 14 January, 1931 in Kohat city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he rose to fame as Ahmed Faraz (pen name). He belong to the Sufi family of Haji Bahadur.
Despite wrapped in nostalgia and talking about the breakdown in relationships in his poetry frequently, Faraz’s verses in literary circles show that his relationship with readers remains strong and consistent.
His first poetry collection – Tanha Tanha – was published in the 1960s when he was pursuing his Bachelors at Peshawar University.
Like many other Urdu poets, Faraz was also inspired by Mirza Ghalib, Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Ali Sardar Jaffri for their progressive sentiments and traits. He began his career as a script writer for Radio Pakistan and later became an Urdu teacher at Peshawar University.
Having versatile personality, he became active in politics too during General Zia-ul-Haq’s dictatorial tenure after raising his concerns for democracy. Faraz was exiled for six years for his liberal thoughts during that period, spending time in London, Canada and other European states.
He was awarded with Hilal-e-Imtiaz in 2004 for his literary services.
Faraz returned the award in protest against the unconstitutional measures taken by General Pervez Musharraf and took active part in the famous restoration of judiciary movement in 2007.
From 1950 to 2008, Ahmed Faraz received many accolades and praises internationally and locally. He received six foreign awards for his literary contribution. Many famous singers of the subcontinent have crooned Faraz’s poetry including India’s legendary vocalist Lata Mangeshkar.
Six years ago on August 25, 2008, Ahmed Faraz passed away due to kidney failure. He might be physically absent today but his poetry, his words and verses will remain alive forever.