Dil mein chubhe kaante launched
KARACHI: Dil mein chubhe kaante, a book by renowned journalist and former editor of Akhbar-i-Khawateen Shamim Akhter, was launched at the Karachi Press Club on Thursday.
To give an insight into the book distinguished media person Farhad Zaidi read out three excerpts from it. One of them was to do with the time when during an Ahl-i-Qalam Conference a former dictator of the country, Gen Ziaul Haq, was being introduced to journalists. When he was introduced to Ms Akhter, after going four steps ahead, he came back to say ‘Aap Shamim Akhter hain’ (you are Shamim Akhter?). Afterwards, Ms Akhter’s name was included in the media team that accompanied Gen Zia abroad. On one visit the dress code mentioned in the invite was ‘sherwani’. When Ms Akhter met Gen Zia she said to him that she couldn’t get a sherwani for herself but had made a coat in that style. A little later, one of Gen Zia’s men came to her with a chador saying that the general had sent it for her. Though Gen Zia was no more, but his chador was still with her.
Mr Zaidi said the book had 275 pages with 16 colour and 24 black and white pictures.
Shamim Akhter said it was Dr Tasuseef Ahmed Khan who forced her (zabardasti likhwai) to write her memoirs. Responding to one of the earlier speakers’ objection to the mention of a vegetable vendor in the book, she said she hadn’t written about him, she wouldn’t be able to complete society’s picture.
Ms Akther said although she didn’t find any difficulty in writing the book, it was hard for her to get it published without a sponsor. She urged the office-bearers of the Karachi Press Club to have a fund which could enable the club’s members to publish their books. She said already the culture of reading in society was on the decline and if the club established such a fund it would be of great help to aspiring writers.
Journalist Mehmood Shaam said he met Ms Akhter for the first time in 1974 when they toured Singapore with a group of journalists. He said she had the same smile as she used to have in her salad days. He said the author had talked about her family with affection in the book. He said the language she had used to write her memoirs was simple and had a great deal of flow. He said she could pen a novel.
Prof Dr Tauseef Ahmed Khan said journalists visited the Karachi Press Club for a variety of reasons — some came here to have food, some for casual chitchat and some to discuss everything under the sun. He said he was one of those who discussed all matters. He said when Ms Akhter joined his group in the club, he got to know her better. He had earlier thought of her as anti-trade unionist, he said, but it turned out that she had revolutionary ideas and was anti-extremism. He said subsequently he urged her to pen down her memories as a journalist. He said there were points in the book that he agreed with as well as points with which he disagreed.
Journalist Musarrat Jabeen, who presided over the event, said she’d speak on Shamim Akhter more than her book. She said she first saw Ms Akhter in 1967 when she (author) looked like a blooming rose. However, she said, it was her writing that caught her attention. She said her writing had spontaneity (bey sakhta punn). She also went down memory lane when she was editor of Akhbar-i-Khawateen and Ms Akhter was looking for a job.
Raziuddin Khan, Tahir Masood and Agha Masood Hussain also spoke. Zeb Azkaar delivered the vote of thanks.