A book on the life and work of eminent writer Anwar Maqsood titled Uljhey Suljhey Anwar written by his wife, Imrana Maqsood, was launched in Karachi on Wednesday evening.
Anwar Maqsood said Pakistan came into existence in 1947, and he and his wife had been married for 47 years. Pakistan got divided into two, but their marriage was intact. Although there did come Bangladesh-like moments during their married life, they managed to pull through, because marriages could not succeed if there were no altercations between couples.
Maqsood said Imrana had chosen a different name for the book, but upon his insistence she changed it. She’d written a good book. Certain things that he feared would be included were not there; they might appear in the next book. The success of this book would suggest when the next would be published. The cover of Uljhey Suljhey Anwar was designed by their son, Bilal.
Publisher of the book Hoori Noorani said some years back Imrana had met her and expressed her desire to pen the book. Things did not materialise. Later on, her (Hoori’s) cousin Asif Noorani came to visit her with Imrana. He told her that she was writing a book and requested her to publish it on the condition that Anwar Maqsood’s writings would also be included in it. That’s how the book saw the light of day.
She brought up one father and two children, negating her own life
Imrana Maqsood said it was not easy to bring up artists. She brought up one father and two children, negating her own life. To write a biography of an artist was not easy either, only God knew how that happened.
When Om Puri’s wife wrote her husband’s biography, they got divorced. Tehmina Durrani was cautious, so she wrote a book after the divorce. Emperor Humayun’s sister wrote his biography; had she written the truth, neither she nor the biography would have remained.
The author said when the day before Hoori Noorani brought the book to them, Anwar read it for 15 to 20 minutes and looked at her (Imrana) affectionately. That was enough for her.
Asif Noorani reminisced about the time when he and Anwar were university students. He shared quite a few amusing anecdotes with the audience.
Writer Hasina Moin said Anwar was her friend and colleague. They had disagreed on issues but also looked after each other. Today Imrana’s book, which was Anwar Maqsood’s story, was being launched. If Anwar had written a book, would it have been Imrana’s story? It’s hoped that the book proved to be just as successful as their lives.
Javed Iqbal said the book was an insider’s view [on the renowned writer]. It’s a unique effort.
Former senator and federal information minister Javed Jabbar said it’s generally believed that history repeated itself first as tragedy and then as farce. But in the case of Anwar’s life and work [as a humorist] history was, fortunately, neither tragedy nor farce — it was humour as intrinsic nature of life. You could only smile about the parodies and paradoxes of life. He said Imrana was the pillar of Anwar’s life.
Poet Zehra Nigah said Imrana did a good thing by writing a book on Anwar. Now whether the readers treated it as a biography or not is up to them, because each individual had their own narrative (style) and it’s for the reader to read it as a biography. An appropriate way would be to go through the book as an introduction (ta’arufi) to Anwar the way Imrana had thought about him.
Ms Nigah, who is also Anwar’s sister, said he encouraged the family in difficult times by cracking jokes and making them laugh. Anwar should also publish all the plays that he’d penned because books lasted forever, she urged.