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PAL Writers` Café hosts renowned poet

By Asma Kundi 2018-10-05
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Academy of Letters held its 34th Meet a Writer over a Cup of Tea session on Thursday featuring renowned poet Syed Nusrat Zaidi.

Prominent writers, poets and intellectuals attended the Writers` Café event to listen to Mr Zaidi speak about his life and to discuss his literary worl(.

Mr Zaidi was born in the Memon village in India and moved to Lahore in 1943, where he worked for the newspaper Partaab.

`There I met Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, an eminent writer. After the partition of the subcontinent, I started my career as a clerk in the military accounts. I had a great time in Lahore, I would meet the famous poet Ehsan Danish and participated in different mushairas with Habib Jalib,` he said.

He also spent some time with the poet Abdul Hameed Adam, and when he was transferred to Peshawar he met Ahmed Faraz, Khatir Ghaznavi and Fariq Bukhari. He got married in Peshawar in 1963, and his wedding was attended by Mustafa Zaidi.

`I never followed any poet in my poetry, and always trie d to maintain my individuality,` he said. Talking about his wife, Mr Zaidi said: `My life partner was a very sensible woman, and in her whole life she never demanded anything of me.

He recalled that at the request of the Humdam magazine published in Kohat, he wrote a poem for the nawab of Swat.

In response, the nawab announced an annual Rs500 stipend for him at a public rally.

After Peshawar, he was transferred to Rawalpindi where he met renowed poet Jamil Yusuf, who he has remained friends with to this day.

Mr Zaidi added that he has visited many countries, and spoke about a mushaira in Los Angeles where he received an unforgettable reception.

Poet Iftikhar Arif said Mr Zaidi had served out his own identity in both prose and poetry, and his poetry refiected the culture of his life.

`I love Mr Zaidi for many reasons, like his way of speaking, his dress sense and his silence in front of his wife. He is a very simple and kind man,` he said.

Mr Zaidi`s daughter Sadaf said she considered herself blessed to have a father lil(e him.

Dr Ehsan Akbar said he was a great admirer of Mr Zaidi`s work, while Prof Jalil Aali said Mr Zaidi was a poet of pure language and classic traditions, and only a few people have attained the place he has in the field of poetry and literature.