KARACHI, Nov 9: An exhibition of Allama Iqbal’s personal belongings and photographs in connection with the poet’s 135th birth anniversary began at the National Museum of Pakistan on Friday morning.

There is a decent variety of historical objects on display, some of which relate to Iqbal’s creative endeavours and others to his personal life. The very first publications of ‘Zarb-i-Kaleem’, ‘Javed Nama’ and ‘Masnavi — Pas Che Baid Kerd Ay Aqwam-i-Mashriq’ — catch the eye as soon as the viewer enters the exhibition hall.

Javed Nama has the poet’s signature on it as well.

The organisers are proud to have put on display books from Iqbal’s personal library. It indeed makes for a unique viewing because it is a known fact that Iqbal was an avid reader of western literature. Therefore it’s no surprise that a copy of ‘The Poetical Works of Lord Houghton’ is one book from Iqbal’s collection. That master Victorian monologue writer Robert Browning too is there. Amongst the anthologies, a valuable copy of ‘New England Poets — Emerson, Hawthorne, Longfellow, Whittier, Lowell, Holmes’ — gives the viewer a fair indication as to how varied Iqbal’s reading habits were. In the same showcase, a copy of ‘Lingua Arabica’ published in 1739 in the German language also makes its presence felt.

As far as the poet’s personal belongings are concerned, his turban, umbrella, stick, and a chair he used to sit in diversify the display, not to mention a certificate indicating that he passed his intermediate examination from Sialkot’s Scotch Mission College (Punjab University).

Perhaps the most interesting exhibit is a letter written by Iqbal to a physician, Dr Qureshi, in January 1938. The way the poet describes his health issues in chaste Urdu language in the letter is a literary treat.

Apart from that, quite a few black and white photographs of the poet and members of his family adorn the walls of the hall. The exhibition will continue for a fortnight.

Updated Nov 09, 2012 08:12pm

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