Yusufi was born in a learned family of Jaipur
AMN / KARACHI
Legendary Urdu satirist and humour writer Mushtaq Ahmad Yusufi passed away here today. He was 95. Yusufi was admitted at a private hospital a few days back after contracting pneumonia. He was shifted to ventilator after his health deteriorated.
Yusufi served the Urdu literature throughout his life. His famous humuor books include Chiragh Talay (1961), Khakam-ba-dahan (1969), Zarguzasht (1976), Aab-i-gum (1990), Sham-e-Shair-e-Yaaraan (2014).
His Chiraagh Talay (1961) had established him as a humorist who knew how to use repartee and pun. His other works, Khakam Badahan (1970), Zarguzasht (1976) and Aab-i-Gum (1990) only reaffirmed his status as a great wit and a master prose writer of Urdu.
What made Yousufi remarkable was not only his wordplay and repartee, but his refraining from traditional ways of invoking mirth, such as situational comedy or slapstick. His one-liners are often quoted in Urdu’s literary works.
Yusufi also served as the head of several national and government and private financial institutions.
Yusufi was born in a learned family of Jaipur, Rajasthan on 4 September 1923. He completed his early education in Rajputana and earned B.A. from Agra University while M.A. Philosophy and LL.B from Aligarh Muslim University. After partition of the sub continent, his family migrated to Karachi, Pakistan.
He received Sitara-i-Imtiaz Award in 1999 and Hilal-i-Imtiaz Award in 2002, the highest literary honour by the government of Pakistan.
Ibn-e-Insha, himself an Urdu satirist and humorist, wrote about Mushtaq Ahmad Yusufi: “…if ever we could give a name to the literary humour of our time, then the only name that comes to mind is that of Yusufi!”
Another scholar, Dr Zaheer Fatehpuri, wrote, “We are living in the ‘Yousufi era’ of Urdu literary humour…” The Yousufi era started from 1961 when Yousufi’s first book ‘Chiragh Talay’ was published. So far 11 editions of this book have appeared. It has a foreword titled ‘Pahla pathhar’ written by the author himself plus 12 satirical and humorous articles. As of 2008, he is living in Karachi and often appears on TV programs as well as seminars.
His fifth book Shaam-e-Shair-e-Yaaran (2014) was launched at the Arts Council of Pakistan in Karachi in 2014 at a ceremony presided over by a well-known writer Zehra Nigah who said at the event, “Neither Yousufi sahib, nor any of his books will ever get old”. Another distinguished writer from Pakistan Iftikhar Arif also spoke on this occasion.A major English language daily newspaper in Karachi calls him, “a wordsmith par excellence”.