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Noted poet Tabish Dehlavi dead

September 24, 2004

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KARACHI, Sept 23: Veteran poet Tabish Dehlavi died at a private hospital here on Thursday after a brief illness. He was 93. His funeral was attended by hundreds of relatives, friends and admirers , including senior literary personages and intellectuals. He was laid to rest at the Sakhi Hassan graveyard in North Nazimabad.

The poet leaves behind a son and four daughters. Masoodul Hassan Tabish was also widely admired as a broadcaster and Urdu news reader. As Masood Tabish, he read the news bulletin announcing the establishment of Pakistan on August 14, 1947, from the All India Radio.

He was associated with Radio Pakistan as programme producer and was regarded as one the best news readers in the 1950s and 60s. Tabish Dehlavi was born in Delhi on Nov 9, 1911.

He received his early education from his mother and later from Maulvi Sheiv Diyal. He was called by his grandfather Maulvi Inayatullah to Hyderabad-Deccan where he completed his secondary education from Darul Uloom. He later became a disciple of famous poet Fani Badayuni. He passed his BA from the University of Karachi in 1958.

Tabish Dehlavi was considered among the classical poets who valued the sanctity of idiom and usage. His intuitive commitment to classical expression and construction notwithstanding, Tabish Dehlavi was always thematically alive to present-day sensibilities.

His first contribution to the Urdu prose was an essay on Fani Badayuni published in 1941. A collection of his essays, "Deed baaz deed" contained sketches of personalities and reviews of works of Fani, Josh Malihabadi, Yagana Changezi, Meeraji, Zulfiqar Ali Bukhari, Shahid Ahmad Dehlavi, Mahirul Qadri, Mehshar Badayuni, Saba Akbarabadi, Zakir Ali Khan and others.

His first poetic collection 'Neemroz' was published in 1963, which was followed by 'Chiragh-i-Sahra' (1982), "Ghubar-i-Anjum' (1984), 'Taqdees' (1984), 'Mahe Shakista' (1993) and 'Dhoop Chaoon' (1996).

Always respected and admired for his civility, Tabish Dehlavi symbolized the refinements and sophistications of the 19th century Muslim culture of the subcontinent. He was a major name among ghazal writers of the present era, and was also known for his command of the Urdu language.

In recognition of his services and achievements he was awarded Tamgha-i-Imtiaz in 1998. His soyem will be held between Asr and Maghrib prayers on Saturday - for women at III-A, 6/19, Nazimabad, and for men at the Masjid Taiba, near Hussaini School, Nazimabad.