Artistes, contemporaries shower accolades on Jamiluddin Aali
Karachi – A galaxy of speakers from various walks of national life, gathered at the Arts Council on Tuesday evening to reminisce about the late Jamiluddin Aali who could easily be described as the Poet-Laureate of Pakistan.
The literary great passed away on November 22 at the age of 90.
Noted television actor Talat Hussain while recalling Aali’s services and role in advancing his career, said that with the demise of the poet a golden period of Pakistan’s literary life had come to an end.
Talking about Aali’s thoughtful and sympathetic nature, Hussain mentioned when he had gone for further studies, his youngest brother, who was very attached to him, had suffered a nervous breakdown.
Aali, said Hussain, to divert his brother’s attention had inducted him into the National Bank of Pakistan
where his brother had now reached the post of Senior Executive Vice-President (SEVP).
Poetess Rehana Roohi said that the whole of Karachi was dear to Aali. Talking about his humility, she recalled a time in 1983 when she and her dear ones were residing in Saudi Arabia.
She said Aali came over and the family requested him to inaugurate an Urdu literary movement they had formed there.
“It was the fasting season there was extreme paucity of time,” she said. “But he still agreed to inaugurate the movement and came over at the time of Sehri.”
She then recited two of her own verses eulogizing the departed poet.
Najma Hussain, who came from England, said Aali had left everyone a precious legacy in the form of a treasure house of his literary work.
Former TV producer Zaheer Khan while reminiscing about Aali said it was the great poet who had taught them the niceties of conversation which he said had stood them in “very good stead in life”.
He said Aali not only composed patriotic lyrics but also melodies.
Almost all the 15–odd speakers who spoke on the occasion recalled the poet’s tremendous
contribution to the country in the form of national songs, notably, “Jeevay, Jeevay, Pakistan”.
In his very chaste Urdu and his highly musical voice, noted London-based Pakistani broadcaster, Raza Ali Abdi said of Aali’s poetic talent, “If Pak Sar Zameen Shadbad had not been the national
anthem of Pakistan, it would certainly have been, Jeevay, Jeevay Pakistan. Aali was a remarkable person. He knew how to turn small joys into big ones”.
Abdi also recalled one of Aali’s visits to London where he had expressed his desire for fish fried the Pakistani way. “We went to a restaurant called Kundan and the moment the staff there got to know that it was Jamiluddin Aali who was their guest, they showered all their hospitality on both of us. Aali never forgot this incident and always recalled it in the fondest of manners,” he said.
Almost all the speakers lauded the poet’s services to the nation in the formation of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences and Technology (FUUAST) and the Anjuman-e-Taraqqi-e-Urdu.
Poetess Fatima Hassan spoke of Aali’s commitment to the cause of Pakistan, which according to her, was manifested in his passion for the advancement of Urdu.
His son Zulqernain Jamil, aka Raju Jamil, was really touched by all the tributes that were being showered most generously on his late father and took the opportunity of setting the record straight in the matter of a news item about his father by a local English daily in its obituary of him.