The date 26 December marks the death anniversaries of two great poets, Munir Niazi and Parveen Shakir who left an everlasting impact on modern Urdu literature.
Born in Karachi, Shakir completed her Masters in English and became an acclaimed poet with her first published collection “Khushbu” in 1976. Following 'Khushbu', she further wrote volumes “Sadburg” and “Khudkalami”. After her last published work, “Inkaar” in 1990, a collection “Kaf-e-Aina” was published posthumously in 1996. All of her collections can be viewed in the volume called "Maah-e-Tamam".
Popular for her outspoken feminist sentiments in poetry, Shakir received country’s highest honor—the “Pride of Performance” award for her significant contribution to Urdu literature. She also served as a teacher and a civil servant.
Belonging to the generation before Shakir, Munir Niazi was born in 1928 in India and following independence of Pakistan migrated to Sahiwal with his family.
Known for his melodious ghazals and harmonious poems, Niazi also penned songs for famous films like Uss bewafa ka shehr hai aur ham hein dost for Shaheed (1962) and Zinda rahen to kya hai jo mar jaaen ham to kya for Kharidar (1976).
Unlike Shakir who wrote in Urdu, Niazi also had command over Punjabi and published three of his works in Punjabi namely “Safar di Raat”, “Char Chup Cheezan” and “Rasta Dasan Walay Teray.” Some of his Urdu collections include “Taiz Hawa aur Tanha Phool”, “Jungle main Dhanak” and “Mah-e-Munir”.
While it has been 20 years since Shakir’s sad demise in a car accident in Lahore in 1994, Niazi passed away in 2006 after suffering from a respiratory disease.
Fans of Urdu poetry remembered both poets by sharing their poetry on Twitter: