LAHORE - Ibn-e-Insha and Nazr-ul-Islam share a common date of death; January 11, although with an almost two-decade difference in their years of death. Their anniversaries were celebrated by their beloveds and followers across the globe.
OF INSHA ... Urdu literature has rarely produced a writer and poet who had the skills that Ibn-e-Insha had. Known for his sense of humour which varied from wit, to satire, Insha was the writer of books, letters and poems, all of which gained fame during his time. But he is best known for his satirical take on his childhood Urdu text book, with his version being called "Urdu Ki Aakhri Kitaab". His travelogues "Awara Gard Ki Diary" and "Duniya Gol Hai" were also well known books, while his poem "Ye Bacha Kis Ka Bacha Hai" is still remembered as a moving and melancholic account of a war torn orphan. His most famous ghazal "Insha Ji Uttho" sung by Amanat Ali Khan is a modern day classic. Three collections of his poetry have been published.
Insha was born on June 15, 1927 as Sher Muhammad Khan in Phillaur tehsil of Jalandhar District, Punjab, India. His father hailed from Rajasthan. He did his Bachelors in Arts from Punjab University in 1946 and received his Masters degree from the University of Karachi in 1953. He was associated with various governmental services including Radio Pakistan, Ministry of Culture and National Book Centre of Pakistan. He also served UN for some time and this enabled him to visit a lot of places and gave way to his travelogues.
Today he is still remembered for his work. Shahzad Ahmed, a renowned poet, who had the honour of meeting Insha on more than one occasion, says that as a person he was very polite. "I have met him many times. He lived with Sahir Ludhianvi near Capital Cinema in Lahore, but since I was much younger than him, I never crossed a certain line of informality with him," says Ahmed. He describes his writing light columns as a most unique contribution to which left an indelible mark on Urdu literature.
"Today people are most affected by the wit that he employed in his columns and articles, and have adopted that style too. Even his poetry was awe inspiring, as his romantic style was usually done in Hindi poetry, but never in Urdu," he says.
Insha was also an active part of the Progressive Writers' Movement. Insha's mentors included Habibullah Ghazanfer Amrohvi, Dr Ghulam Mustafa Khan and Dr Abdul Qayyum. Insha spent much of his time in Karachi and died of Hodgkin's Lymphoma on January 11, 1978 in London and was buried in Karachi.
AND NAZR-UL-ISLAM ... Famous Pakistani film director Nazr-ul-Islam's death anniversary fell on Tuesday. Nazr-ul-Islam was born in Calcutta in 1939. He started his film career as an editor in Dhaka in the early 1960's. After making some films in Bengali, he directed his first Urdu film in 1966 called "Kajal". After the fall of East Pakistan, he shifted to Lahore and directed some of the most successful films in the 70's and 80's.
The most successful Urdu film in Pakistan's history was "Aaina" (1977) directed by Nazr-ul-Islam himself. His other successful films include "Ahsaas" (1972), "Sharafat" (1974), "Ambar" (1979), "Bandish" (1980), "Nahin Abhi Nahin" (1980), "Do Deewane" (1982) and "Kalay Chor" (1991).
Today renowned actors like Faisal Rehman and Shabnam are remembered best for working in his movies. He depicted realistic cinema and grit, while also worked with interesting human emotions and themes which were more or less new at that time in Pakistan. He died and was buried in Lahore on January 11, 1994.