Literature icon Intizar Husain remembered
Speakers, including the intellectual glitterati and close friends and associates of the late writer, novelist and a key figure in Urdu literature, Intizar Husain, spoke of him in the fondest of manner on the occasion of his first death anniversary at the Arts Council on Thursday evening.
Most nostalgically, they recalled his conversations which, although seemingly simple, embodied lots of wisdom and eye-opening truths.
Akhlaq Ahmed, recalling the late writer and his memories in the most sentimental of manner, said that it was impossible to get reconciled to the fact that Husain was no more.
He spoke highly of the departed’s intellectual acumen and his love for nature.
Lauding Ahmed Shah’s efforts to organise an evening dedicated to Intizar Husain, Nadeem Mirza said that the late writer’s contribution to Urdu literature was massive. “He did not just write novels but was a critic too,” Mirza said.
He said, “Intizar had a deep relationship with daily personal life and was really nostalgic. We see intellectual giants like Intizar deciphering political events,” he said.
In this context, he recalled commentaries by Intizar Husain on events like the 1965 and 1971 wars.
Shabahat Husain, a nephew of Husain, talked of his uncle as a very affectionate and family-oriented person and highlighted his sensitive nature. He thanked the gathering for turning up at the reference for him.
His niece, Naseem Zehra, talked of her association with and closeness to her uncle. “He accompanied me everywhere I went and was so indulgent,” she said.
A noted literary personality of the country, Dr Asif Aslam Farrukhi, said that he could still feel his smile all over the place. “Intizar Husain was deeply entwined with Pakistani culture and literature. We are really lucky that we got to know him,” said Farrukhi.
“Intizar Husain will live on as long as Urdu stories are read,” said Asad Muhammad Khan. “He supported us with advice at literary conferences and his literary finesse enriched the Urdu short story,” he added.
Arts Council President Muhammad Ahmed Shah recalled Intizar’s inclination to be nostalgic, especially when it came to his home province, the UP.
He recalled Husain’s love for nature and in this context, recalled his love for Lahore’s Lawrence Gardens and the birds and the flora and fauna therein.
In a tone of disappointment, Shah said that in this age of mobile telephones and mind-boggling technology, people who understood life in its truest colours and the profundity were rapidly departing. He recalled Intizar’s acquaintance with the late artist Shaker Ali.
Poetess Zehra Nigah recalled her meetings with the departed. “It was a really happy moment,” she said.
She recalled a gathering at the residence of Asif Aslam Farrukhi, the evening before he was to leave for London to receive an award.
She said he complimented her as being the only poet/poetess who was so well informed on Hindu poets.
Dr Huma Mir compered the function. She said, “The world will never forget the contribution he made to literature.”