Renowned screenwriter’s first book reviewed
ISLAMABAD: ‘Paaon’, by the famous author Irfan Ahmad Urfi, was discussed at a book distribution ceremony held on Saturday. The text is a collection of short stories written by Mr Urfi over the last two decades.
The ceremony was conducted by the development communication company Black Box Sounds, and was attended by a number of literary figures.
Mr Urfi is a screenwriter who has authored several Pakistani television shows. His works include the popular shows ‘Bus Chup Raho’, ‘Band Khirkiyon Ke Peeche’ and ‘Nail Polish’.
He entered the industry in the ‘90s and is now one of the industry’s most well known screenwriters. However, his shows have also garnered much criticism for their realistic depictions of society and its secrets.
Poet Haris Khalique said that a number of writers use clever sentences in their stories to grab the reader’s attention, but Mr Urfi’s stories show that he has written all the sentences spontaneously.
“There are whispers in the stories, through which the author has tried to give courage to the weak and show them how they should live. Urfi should write another book soon,” he said.
Mr Khalique recalled his first visit to Mr Urfi’s home. He said that in Islamabad, most people don’t have a collection of books, but it was a welcome surprise to see that Mr Urfi had a number of books in his home.
Shamoon Hashmi, a writer, said that in the 1940s Ismat Chughtai wrote a short story called ‘Lihaaf’ which received a lot of criticism.
“This book is great as well, but I have concerns that he may not be able to write more because of some ‘burqa brigade’.”
Mr Urfi told Dawn that this was his first book of short stories.
“I was writing these stories for the last 20 years, but could not get them published. These stories are [on] contemporary issues, globalisation and other facts of the current age,” he said.
In response to a question, Mr Urfi said he faces criticism because he is realistic, and does not believe in hiding the facts or writing according to people’s wishes.
Hameed Qaiser, a writer, said Mr Urfi is not just an artist, but possesses many more qualities.
“It seems like Urfi has been searching and his search never ends. This book will surely become famous. Although the book has come very late, now another book should come in the market,” he said.
Shakeel Akhter, one of Mr Urfi’s college fellows, said Islamabad is recognised by people like Mr Urfi, as the city has only produced a few artists.
“Urfi never talked much [in college] and even now he doesn’t speak much. But in his writing he has said everything he could not say verbally,” he said.
“He wrote what he felt, and some of the characters from the short stories are still present in our surroundings, so the stories are based on realities,” he said.
Black Box Sounds representative Tauseeq Haider said the inaugural ceremony for the book will be held later.
“It took a long time to write the stories, and, at last, now ‘Paaon’ is in your hands,” he said.
Young writer Mariya Patel said she was given a chance to read Mr Urfi’s bold scripts and was impressed. She said only a courageous person could write in such a way.