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Monday, August 12, 2013

Men of Letters Series 'Ishfaq Ahmed (1925-2004)' Issue Date:- 12-06-2013 (2013-13)



Men of Letters Series Ishfaq Ahmad (1925-2004) Commemorative Postage Stamp June 12, 2013:- Ishfaq Ahmed – 22 August 1925 – 7 September 2004 was an eminent, fiction writer, playwright, and broadcaster, intellectual and Sufi writer from Pakistan. He started penning down literature alongside pioneers of Urdu Literature like, Prem Chand, Bibi, Krishan Chandar, Mumtaz Mufti, Saddat Hassan Manto, Quratulain Haider and Ismat Chugtai. His first master piece, short story “Guddaria” (The Shepherd) become classic as early as 1955.
He was born in Firozpur, British East Punjab and received his earlier education in his native town. In 1947, he migrated to Pakistan and made Lahore his permanent abode. He earned his Masters in Urdu Literature from Government College Lahore, where he met his life time partner and great Urdu writer “Bano Qudsia” and got married with her. Both contributed monumental volumes to Urdu Literatures.
In Pakistan he served initially at Walton Refugee Camp as a volunteer and later joined as Producer in Radio Azad Kashmir which was established in a truck that used to move around in various parts of Azad Kashmir. He also served as Lecturer in Dayal Singh College Lahore for two years. He went to Rome, Italy to join Radio Rome, Italy as Urdu News Caster. He became a professor of Urdu at Rome University, Italy. He learnt various European Languages and earned diplo9mas in Italian and French from the University of Rome, Italy and Grenoble, France. He also gained a diploma in Radio Broadcasting from New York, USA.
He started writing stories in his early childhood and after return from Europe to Pakistan he estabglished his own monthly literary magazine “Dastaan Go” (Story Teller). He joined Radio Pakistan as script writer initially, and later got appointed as Editor of popular Urdu weekly “Lail-o-Nahar” (Day and Night). In 1962 he started his most popular weekly Radio program “Talqeen Shah” (The Mentor) which made him a remarkable and iconic voice of Radio among masses of Pakistan and abroad. This uniwue program has the record of the longest weekly program in Asia which continued for over 30 years. In 1966, he was appointed as Director General in the maximum Grade B.P.S. 22 of the “Markazi Urdu Board” which later renamed as “Urdu Science Board”, a post he held for nest 29 years till 1979. He also happened to be the Advisor to the Federal Government in Ministry for Education. He once produced a feature film as well “Dhoop aur Saie” (Sunshine and Shadows).
Ishfaq Ahmed is a trend setter in sensitive, nation building, society reforming and Sufi Urdu Literary writing all times best Radio programmer and script writer of ever green Television Drama series. His television plays include “Aik mohabat sau afsane” (Bunch of Love Stories), “Uchhay burj Lahore dey” (Barbicans of Lahore), “Tota Kahani” (Story of the Parrot), “Lekin” (But), “Hairat Kadah” (Surprise House) and “Mun Chalay ka Sauda” (Bargain of the Wanderer). Throughout his life Ishfaq Ahmed endeavoured to reform society through his writings. He authored over twenty five books including a travelogue “Safar Dar Safar” (Long Way Journey), “A series of Zaviayas” (Angles) many other books of drama series and his last famous book “Baba Shaiba”. For his notable extra ordinary and remarkable services in the field of literature, television drama and Radio broadcasting he was awarded President’s Pride of Performance and Sitara-e-Imtiaz. Throughout his amazing creative life, he happened to be very close in person and thematic thoughts of literature with Qudrat Ullah Shahab and Mumtaz Mufti in Sufi trend settings and patriotic creative Writings in Urdu literature. He died of Pancreatic Cancer on 7th September 2004 at Lahore at the age of 79 years and is buried there.
On Men of Letter Series Ishfaq Ahmed (1925 – 2004), Pakistan Post is issuing a Commemorative Postage Stamp of Rs.8/- denomination on June 12, 2013.
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Men of Letters Series Shafiq-ur-Rehman Commemorative Postage Stamp June 06, 2013:- He was born on November 9, 1920 in a small town near Rohtak, India.
Shafiq-ur-Rehman was an illustrious humorist and a short-story writer of Urdu language. He was a medical Doctor by profession, and served in Pakistan Army.
He received his education in Bahawalpur. He completed his MBBS from King Edward Medical College Lahore in 1942, and post-graduation in 1952. He began writing humorous stories during his school days.
His stories were published in a literary monthly magazine “Khayyam”. His book “Kirnain” was completed before he joined medical college and it was published in 1938 while he was still a medical student. It was followed by Shagoofay, Lehrain, Maddojazar, Parvaaz, Himaqatain, Mazeed Himaqatain, Dajla (a travelogue), Insaani tamasha (a translation of “a human comedy”) and lastly Dareechay.
Though he was a humorist, but generally there is an air of romance I his writings. Early in his career, he became a household name. His popularity increased manifold from his second book “Shagoofay”
His later books “Lehrain” and “Parvaaz” further established him as a high class humorist. His wit and repartee put him way ahead of some of his contemporaries. Though his humor is not shy of practical jokes, he uses it sparingly. His jokes have meaning beneath the surface but on the outside they amused everyone to laugh.
As far as parodies are concerned, hardly any humorist in urdu can reach his level in satire and wit. His five parodies “Qissa Chahar Darvesh”, Qassa-i-Hatim Tai bai tasweer”, Qissa Professor Ali Baba Ka”, “Tuzk-i-Nadri urf siyahat nama-i-Hinda” and “Safar nama Jahazbad Sindhi Ka” are fine satires on our history and culture.
Shafiq became very popular among adolescent. He often philosophizes about joys and sorrows, sweeping the young readers with the bouts of optimism and pessimism, giving semi-philosophical, semi-romantic explanations to the queries that haunt the youth. In Urdu Language his style is comparable to that of Stephen Leacock and Mark Twain in English Literature.
He continued to write till his death. He gave a new look to Urdu humor and is the inspiration for many of the Leading humorists nowadays. He created a world that was very real with all its joys, pains and anguish. It was an affirmation of human values and compassion. The Language he used is simple and spontaneous.
His unforgettable characters include Shaitaan, Hukoomat Aapa, Maqsood Ghora, Buddy, Nannha and others. He ruled the world of humor for almost 60 years.
Shafiq-ur-Rehman joined the Indian Army Medical Corps and served at different war fronts during ther Second World War. After partition, he joined the Pakistan Army and rose to the rank of Major General. After his retirement, he served as Chairman of the Academy of letters of Pakistan from 1980 to 1985. During his tenure, the Academy of Letters really flourished and touched its zenith as a Literary Institution.
Grief came to his happy life in the shape of sad death of his son Khalique on account of an accident and his wife’s prolonged illness.
He died on March 19, 2000 in Rawalpindi.
He was awarded the Hilal-e-Imtiaz for his military and civilian services on March 23, 2001 after his death. He wrote following books:-
·         Kirnain
·         Shagoofay
·         Lehrain
·         Madd-o-Jazar
·         Pachtaway
·         Parwaaz
·         Himaqatain
·         Mazeed Himaqatain
·         Dajlah
·         Insaani Tamasha (a translation)
·         Dareechay
On Men of Letters Series Shafiq-ur-Rehman, Pakistan Post is issuing a Commemorative Postage Stamp of Rs.8/- denomination on June 6, 2013.