इंडियन आवाज़     21 Feb 2024 04:04:51      انڈین آواز

Urdu ka Musafir Kashmiri Lal Zakir is no more

Our Correspondent /

kashmiri lal zakirWell known Urdu poet, novelist and short story writer Kashmiri Lal Zakir passed away yesterday (August 31) in Chandigarh. He was 97.

Born on April 7, 1919, in Pakistan, Zakir, a postgraduate in English and Education, began his creative journey early on in life.

Credited with over 100 books on all literary genres in Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi and English, the classic novel, “Karmawali”, was the apex of his genius. The National School of Drama staged over 100 shows of the play before Doordarshan produced a TV serial on this landmark creation. Zakir was immensely popular in Pakistan, which bestowed on him the prestigious Nuqoosh award and the Lifetime Achievement Award in Lahore.

His literary prominence was acknowledged with the National Ghalib Award (1986), Nehru National Literacy Award (1991), Padma Shri, Shiromani Sahitkar Samman (2006), besides the NLM UNESCO Award, Sahir Ludhianvi Award and Faqar-e-Haryana to name a few.

He began his literary odyssey in the early forties with the publication of his first ghazal in Adabi Duniya of Lahore. He joined the galaxy of respected short story writers in 1943 with his contribution first appearing in Humayun magazine when he was hardly 24. Humayun was one of the prestigious publications of Lahore, and it was not easy to get one’s work carried in it. It had given a lucky break to such literary geniuses as Krishan Chander, Saadat Hasan Manto, Rajinder Bedi and Upendranath Ashk. Young Zakir had to struggle hard to see his name in print in Humayun. As he confesses, he wrote and destroyed more than two dozen short stories to finally get one selected for publication in Humayun.

This gave him a big boost and his literary journey continued unhindered. In 1955 he came out with his first novel, Sindur ki Raakh, published by Maktaba Shahrah, Delhi. Today he has a long list of literary achievements, including ghazals, short stories, novels, travelogues, dramas and awards.

In his own words:

Meray badnaam afsanay bahot hain,/ Magar unkay bhi deewanay bahot hain

But Zakir shows no signs of having got tired. He has as much zest for life as can be seen in a promising youngster. His Akhiri Adhyaya, which highlights the agony of AIDS patients, is his latest and 29th full-length novel. He is busy with many other such projects despite his onerous responsibility of looking after the Haryana Urdu Akademi.

 The themes in his writings often reflected empathy for human suffering, ranging from literacy, national integration to women empowerment. “It’s of human values that I write on. It’s my way of giving back to society,” he’d say. A Padma Shri, Zakir also received Life Time Achievement Award from Pakistan.

HaryanaChief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar condoled the death of Zakir who was also the Chairman of HaryanaUrdu Academy.

Khattar said, “With the death of Dr K L Zakir, a Padma Shri awardee, Urdu and Hindi literature have lost a doyen.

“He had been conferred with the honour of Fakhr-e-Haryanaby the state government. His contribution to the world of literature will be remembered for long. My heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family. May his soul rest in peace.”

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