The 10th issue of the literary periodical Tasteer is a literary treat from editor-in-chief Naseer Ahmad Nasir, a profound poet of international renown.
Its 10th issue covers introductions from new and old subscribers in September two thousand and twenty-one, published by Book Corner Jhelum. Naseer Ahmad Nasir is associated with Sofia Zakir and the editors are Gagan Shahid and Amar Shahid. Every issue of Tasteer has been in book form since its launch. It is considered one of the best literary treat due to its strong content, variety of themes, and variety of fields. It is still a long-awaited series by literary people all over the world, who are fans of Urdu literature. This time the calligraphic title cover was provided by Mazhar Shahzad of Bhalian, Vinhaar, Chakwal. Previously he contributed to other magazines like Auraq, Fanoon. Asaar, Mahenau, Seep, Adbiaat and Tasteer in the fields of poems, short stories, chronicles and calligraphy. This issue of Tasteer pays homage to the late Hameed Shahid by quoting Anwar Masood’s stanza which says’ Waheen By Hei Taba’at Ka Woh Markaz / Jo Shahid Ki Mushaqat Ka Samar Hei / Buhut Mashoor Hei Ab Sheher Jhelum / Wohi Jhelum Jahan Book Corner Hei ‘. It can be noted that the publishers are from Jhelum and have their bookstore there. This bookstore exists thanks to the efforts and hard work of Hameed Shahid.
Following the guest editorial, a section titled “Lams Rafta” includes essays by Quratul Ain Haider on Sadeqain as a “Darwaish Sift” man. She is nostalgic to join PECHS College in Karachi. Despite this, it was a very expensive college as it raised large funds every year on behalf of the Building Fund. Yet every student was eager to be admitted. Colonel Majeed Malik’s wife, Amna Majeed Malik, administered this college. She kept in touch with her husband’s friends even after his death. Notable celebrities were Faiz whose ghazal ‘Gulon Main Rang Bhare’ was sung by Mehdi Hassan in his presence. Singer Afshan Ahmad sang ‘Mere Bachpan Kei Din’ to the music of Melody Maker Suhail Ra’ana. Runa Laila was a student here. The author has also met other celebrities like Himayat Ali Sha’air, Shabnam Roomani, ZA Bukhari, Saroor Barabankwi, Jamiluddin Aali, Raju Jamil, Iftikhar Arif, Quraishpur, Ubaidullah Beg, Lady Nusrat A. Haroon, Lady Daulat Hidayat Ulllah , Begum Khursheed Mirza and Shaukat Parvez. Begum Alice Faiz, head of the fine arts department, has been seen painting all day. Sadeqain would be seen converting poetry into canvas painting. When he painted he came across a lot of cactus plants rather than flowers, as Pakistan had a lot of problems and very few sources to solve them.
There are many ways to go through the journey of “Aagahi” which is considered a rebuke of life. This was the case, says Sarwer AlHuda in the case of Shameen Hanfi. This state of mind intensifies all the more as one continues to study and absorb more. Some manage to find a way out of this punishment
There are many ways to go through the journey of “Aagahi” which is considered a rebuke of life. This was the case, says Sarwer AlHuda in the case of Shameen Hanfi. This state of mind intensifies all the more as one continues to study and absorb more. Some manage to find a way out of this punishment. In the case of Shameem Hanfi, this ‘aagahi’ was due to the reading of creative literature, which he calls ‘Baseerat’ (wisdom).
Three essays by Rasheed Amjad appear in this section; one unpublished short story titled ‘Gari kaun chala raha hei’ (who’s driving?), two analyzes of Anwaar Fitrat’s poems, and three, Naseer Ahmad Nasir as a gigantic poem author. In very simple terms, he explains the difference between ‘Paband Nazm’ (standard meters) who struggles to stay different from Ghazal who had rhymes and fixed meters; a difficult proposition because the two domains follow the same grammatical rules. The modern poem focuses on the philosophical approach approached with a variety of themes. This latter area of poetry began with Meera Ji, Majeed Amjad and Wazeer Agha and currently culminates in Naseer Ahmad Nasir, concludes Rasheed Amjad. He observes that Naseer is fundamentally an imagist poet. Using images and metaphors when they appear in words, the poem itself takes the form of a short, short story. Musharaf Aalam Zoqi calls Naseer’s poetry carrying dreams into a dream. Tabasum Fatima feels that she and her brotherhood are meeting the dawn with the poems of Naseer.
A separate corner is dedicated to Shahid Hameed (Pages 87 to 108) where all the writers pay homage to him. Mustansar Tarrer has stated that he has access to Hameed’s soul (page 95). Khalid Masood Khan summarizes Shahid Hameed’s work from an Anna Library at Book Corner Jhelum. Dr Inam ul Haq Javed is more specific and says he was the book tycoon. Irfan Javed says Shahid Hameed is anything but stingy. Thinking of Shahid Hameed. Mubashar Ali Zaidi thinks of a Books Center in which among the bookstores he dreams of, he meets Shahid Hameed in Book Corner, founder of this store. Husnain Jamal writes that all he could cherish was a half meeting where all he remembers is a smiling face (page 106). He wrote a long final obituary on Shahid Hameed. In a chapter devoted to interviews on the childhood of writers, Uzma Salim writes about the poet Amjad Islam Amjad. Another titled Covid 19 covers eleven poems by Gulzar (page 16). He says in his poem “Lockdown Again” that after every eight days my captivity increases as the rods in my cage are changed. Jalil Aalli and Akhtar Shumar are satisfied with autobiographies. To add to the variety of fields of work, Nasir Baghdadi contributes to the translation of Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wild (page 145). Three short stories and three short stories are presented from page 156 to 303. The Ghazal section presents the poetry of Ehsan Akbar, Jalil Aali and Abid Sayal. Nazm is the specialty of Naseer Ahmad Nasir and those of Jamil ur Rehman, Jawaz Jafri, Tanvir Qazi and Khushbakht Bano up to page 351. A section titled ‘Sunehri Khazan Ka Phool’ (Canada Sei) (golden autumn flower of Canada) includes eleven poems by Gul Rukh Kazmi.
The most important part of Tasteer has always been research, criticism and philosophy. The September issue features a speech on the existentialism of Iqbal Afaqi and the postmodern critique of Nizam Siddiqui. Qazi Afzaal Ahmad in his well-researched essay titled “Ghair Ki Tashkeel” concludes that in literature the concept of “Ghair” (stranger) is different from the concept in other areas of general knowledge. A writer or a poet refuses to accept that the construction of the concept of “Ghair” by foreign groups has the least impact. Attiq Ullah speaks of Russian “Heyatpasandi”. Nasir Abbas Nayyar is more precise when he explores the link between language, stereotypes and literature (page 408). Zafar Sipple writes about Marx. Qazi Jamal Hussain writes on Bedi and Rawish Nadeem on Manto. Mr. Khalid Fayyaz compares the problems of Shameem Hanfi and the visions of Manto. Aurangzeb Niazi wonders when the invasion engulfs him. Iqra Ghaffar discusses the current status of beauty.
Another large section is devoted to Nazm. Tabassum Kashmiri, Jail Aali, Ayub Khawer, Abrar Ahmad, Iftikhar Bukhari, Rafiq Sandelvi, Rawish Nadeem, Rukhsana Saba, Syed Majid Shah, Muhammad Sajjad Alvi, Sultan Nasir, Sarwet Zohra, Fahim Shanas Kazmi, Qazi Abulaza, Ali Raza Sarmad Sarosh, Adil Dard, Sanober Ataf, Sajjad Azhar, Asif Jamali, Ikram Basra, Arshad Ali, Fatima Mehru, Nasim Khan, Asma Tahir, Sana Fatima, Shaista Seher, Memoona Afzaal, Ambareen Ahamd, Ijaz Ahmad Baloch, Fatima Najib, Saif Ali and Shahab Ikraam contribute their poems. Now comes the turn of the editors. Naseer Ahmad Nasir, Sofia Zakir contributes their poems in a separate corner. Sofia Badar in her poem ‘Mera Gaaon Abhi Aalmi Nahi Hua’ (my village is not yet international) is happy that her village has not yet become international. Some lines are quoted here ‘Main Nei Boorhon Ko Bachon Ki Tarha Bilakte Daikha Hei / Mera Gaaon Abhi Global Village Nahi Bana’ (I have seen old people cry like children elsewhere but my village has not yet become a global village ). Naseer Ahmad Nasir pays homage to plants that smell like flowers without blooming, in his poem ‘Khiraj e Tehseen’ (tribute) Page 547).
There follow two small sections entitled “Mutala e Fun” (student talent) and “Maqalma” (dialogue). Afshan Malik’s Former Estate explores the female characters from Naeem Baig’s short stories. In the final section, Umar Farhat and Deeba Salam discuss the state of the creative work done in the new century with Nizam Siddiqui. Khalid Mahmud Samtia interviews Akhtar Raza Saleemi.
Ghazals of many more poets form the bulk of the final part of Tasteer’s volume 10 (pages 588-598 and 655-674). Muhammad Izhar ul Haq’s poetry emphasizes socio-economic disparities more than the traditional romantic tradition. The other contributors are Khwaja Waheed, Ilyas Baber Awan, Neelum Malik and Muhammad Masud Akhtar. In the second part of Ghazals 35 contributors present their creations. Saleem Kauser, Naseem Seher, Ashraf Javed are included in the 35 poets, the translation, which is a very difficult proposition to achieve by sixteen writers of works made by others. Like previous issues, this issue of Tasteer features literature from the recent past, which represents a considerable effort to keep abreast of their overseas counterparts in other languages and themes.
The writer is the recipient of the prestigious Pride of Performance award. He can be reached at [email protected]