Ahmad Faraz (احمد فراز), one of the most influential and beloved poets of Pakistan, was born on the 14th of January 1931 in the city of Kohat. In the then India (now Pakistan). He is a Pakistani poet to pen down hundreds of poems in Urdu, expressing his feelings full of passion and patriotism. He belonged to the Pashtun tribe and was a direct descendant of a popular saint of Kohat, Haji Bahadar.
The Life of Ahmed Faraz
Coming from a respectable Syed family, education was an utmost priority, but Ahmed was a poet since a very young age and hated the idea of studying mathematics. He shared in an interview with Dawn:[quote]”I was weak in mathematics and geography. I still don’t remember maps and roads”.[/quote]
He enrolled in the prestigious Edwards College when his family moved to Peshawar. There, he made the acquaintance of Ali Sardar Jafri, one of the most influential and famous poets of his time, who soon became an inspirational role model of Ahmed Faraz. Later, he obtained a Master’s Degree in Persian and Urdu from the Peshawar University.
Ahmed took up a job as a scriptwriter for Radio Pakistan Peshawar, but soon, he started working as a lecturer at the Peshawar University. He was extremely active in the political arena, voicing his opinions through his poetry. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and the Pakistan People’s Party drove his inspiration. He wrote about politics and a wide range of modern subjects.
He went into a self-imposed exile for 6 years, which he spent traveling through Europe and Canada. He was appointed as the founding Director General of the Pakistan Academy of Letters upon his return in 1976. Later, also served as the Chairman of the National Book Foundation in Islamabad.
Ahmed Faraz Poetic Career
Even in his college years, he was drawn towards Urdu poetry and managed to publish his first volume ‘Tanha Tanha’ when he was doing his BA. Naturally, he emerged as an aspiring poet with a charming signature of his own. His poetry won the hearts of people all over the world with his simple and easy poems, which were easily understandable. His writing style resembles the styles of Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Allama Iqbal.
While he did focus on love and romance in many of his poems, he did also write on a number of current events of the time. Many of his poems showed his disappointments, despairs, and expectations. These poems related to the present time and are some of the finest specimens of resistance poetry ever written. At the time, many people got motivation from his words and his lines.
Ahmed Faraz was blessed with the skill and the ability to convert his feelings of love into thought and phrase them to create affectionate poetry. Composed of love from within while battling the presence to add meaning to the feelings is a tough task. However, Ahmad Faraz pulled off the task with stunning beauty that still captivates his readers.
There are a number of poetic masterpieces, which are credited to his Ahmad Faraz. Some of the most famous ones include ‘Tanha Tanha’, dard-Aashob, Mere Khwab Reza Reza and Pus Andaz Mausam.
Ahmed Faraz was awarded countless national and international accolades and awards, and his work garnered appreciation all over the world. He acquired the Adamjee Prize in 1966.
His third assortment of poems, “Nayaft”, (Unattainable) was announced the best booklet of the entire year in 1970. He received the Dhanak Honour for typically the most popular countrywide poet in 1972. Also in Pakistan, he acquired the Abasin Honour for books, the J.N. Tata Honour for Serenity and Human Privileges, and the Naqoosh Prize for Books (1992-1993).
His health began to deteriorate towards 2006, and in 2008, he left his fans desolate after a fatalistic episode of kidney failure. He lays at rest at the H-8 Graveyard, in Islamabad. Huge crowds of fans, who had lost a powerful voice of the resistance movement that inspired their political vision, attended his funeral.