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KARACHI: A literary sitting with Razia Fasih

June 05, 2003

KARACHI: A short story writer, poet and a novelist Razia Fasih Ahmad, known for her versatility in literature, was the chief guest at Karachi Gymkhana on Tuesday. She recited a prose piece from her fiction, presented some couplets of her ghazals and enthralled the audience.

Dr Hanif Fauq was in the chair while Fatema Hasan did the compering. Mercifully, the speakers were in small number and unlike most moderators, Ms Fatema was economical in the use of words and adjectives.

First the moderator read out an introductory paper describing the landmarks in the life and works of Razia, her emphasis being on the writer’s prose. She was followed by Asif Farrukhi, a writer and editor of his publication Dunyazad. He also analysed the art of story telling with a deep sense of social commitment, the hallmark of Razia’s volumes. He in a light vein complained that she was more inclined towards poetry and thus less attentive to fiction, which at a time was her first love.

Prof Saher Ansari was judicious in his treatment giving full marks to her poetry and admiring her fiction.

Dr Hanif Fauq was full of admiration for Razia’s poetry, drawing parallels with the masters. Many fiction writers in our literary history had been poets as well, Dr Fauq said and named Sarshar, Haleem Sharer and Hadi Ruswa in that regard. He found in her poetry, the subtle reflections of Mir, as in ‘Chaak-i-Qafas, her latest poetry collection.

Earlier, Prof Ansari found in Razia’s poetry, a dimension that only fiction could provide, and also feelings of prevailing social realities.

Razia Fasih Ahmad’s first novel ‘Abla Paa’ was published in 1961, for which she was awarded the Adamji Award by the Pakistan Writer Guild in 1964. ‘Sadyaon ki Zanjeer’ written after the fall of East Pakistan was her another popular novel. Moreover, Intezar-i-Mausam-i-Gul, Mataa-i-Dard, Ek Jahan Aur Bhi Hai, are known as part of her best writings. The touch of feminism in her stories has an added appeal, as described by Fatema.

Ahmad Saeed Qureshi presided over the occasion while Nasim Gandhi welcomed the guests.—Hasan Abidi