A discussion on and readings from the book Uljhey Suljhey Anwar, written by Imrana Maqsood, was held at T2F on Wednesday evening. The book is about writer Anwar Maqsood and the author is his wife.

Answering a question put to her by the host Sabuha Khan about how she managed to muster the courage to pen down her thoughts, Ms Maqsood said people may be afraid of her husband, she is not. It’s difficult to write on such a subject, and oftentimes when people choose to write on a topic like this, they do it by writing it in a difficult manner trying to show off how educated they are rather than communicating the message. She, on the other hand, wrote it in an uncomplicated way with plain diction, which makes the book approachable to all.

Responding to the query that why Anwar Maqsood, who would be surrounded by girls in his youth, chose her as his life partner, Ms Maqsood said the bunch of girls that hung around with him basically was there for a good laugh; they would listen to his jokes, giggle and move on. But he liked her.

She said her husband didn’t read the manuscript of the book before it got published. Giving a measure of the success of Uljhey Suljhey Anwar, she told the host that once at its launch a boy came to her and said that he and his mother fought over the book, following which they decided that the mother would read it first.

Ms Maqsood said it’s not easy for a girl to lead a peaceful (pur sukoon) life with a showbiz person unless the girl wants it to be peaceful and help her house remain together. She claimed she was the boss of the house, because her husband doesn’t like to speak much.

Discussion held on book Uljhey Suljhey Anwar

Ms Maqsood said it’s no joke to spend 50 years together with someone. Today, when so much time has passed, the husband and wife spend their lives in distinct ways. In that regard she interestingly described how the two interact with each other these days, adding that she has seen painters grow throughout her life (since Anwar paints and her father too used to paint), so she can tell how good a work of art is.

Journalist Khursheed Hyder said Imrana Maqsood is a practical person and her husband is an idealist. It’s because of Ms Maqsood that the household is intact and “the credit goes to Imrana”. She said she’s known the family for more than two decades. It’s such an extraordinary unit which has ‘masters of all’: the family has writers, poets and chefs.

She said the book has been written in a simple style and she enjoyed reading it despite the fact that, the journalist confessed, her Urdu is not that great.

After the chitchat, theatre artist Fawad Khan read out excerpts from the book which were Anwar Maqsood’s selected pieces of writing. They were Ghalib and Jaun Elia’s letters to Anwar.

Originally published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2020

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