KARACHI: Famed poet Rasa Chughtai died from a heart ailment at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre on Friday night at the age of 90, the president of the Arts Council, Karachi, told a renowned media outlet.
His funeral prayers will be held at Taj Masjid, I Area, Korangi No 5, after Zuhar prayers on Saturday.
Rasa was born in 1928 as Mirza Mohtashim Ali Baig in Sawai Madhupur district of the Indian state of Rajasthan. He arrived in Karachi in 1951 after being stuck at an Indian camp for several months because of the tense situation in India and Pakistan, post-partition.
After migrating to Pakistan Rasa worked in the Treasury department before he opted for an early retirement in 1977 and joined daily Hurriyat, where he worked till 1989.
In an interview dated back to 2008, Chughtai admitted that he was hesitant to leave India. “I had become an alcoholic. My parents were deeply religious and I didn’t want to embarrass them any longer. I even told my wife that she was free to decide whether she could get along with me and my addiction,” he said.
Writing mostly in short metres and simple Urdu, Rasa was one of the most popular poets of Karachi. The major part of his poetry comprises of ghazals, gham-i-rozgar (the anguish of life) and gham-i-yaar (the pangs of love).
Chughtai’s collection of poems was published as Zanjeer-e-Hamsaigi, while his complete works, published subsequently, were called Tere Aane Ka Intezaar Raha.