February 16, 2020

Urdu Academy of North Americpays tribute to Mohsin Ehsan

By Abdus Sattar Ghazali UA 2-16-2020 (2)

The Urdu Academy of North America dedicated its February 16, 2020 literary session to the life and work of  prominent Urdu poet, Mohsin Ehsan. The event was held at India Community Center, Milpitas CA.

Dr. Ghazala Ansari was MC of the event. She presented a well researched maqala on the life and work of Mohsin Ehsan from Peshawar. Dr. Ghazala Ansari appeared in the Urdu Academy event after a long time because lives on the east coastMohsin Ehsan2.

The February 16, 2020 literary event had two session. The first session was dedicated to the life and work of popular Urdu poet Mohsin Ehsan.

As usual a number of Urdu enthusiasts recited the poetry of Mohsin Ehsan. Sarwat Iqbal amused the audience with her presentation of a writing of Mohsin Ehsan’s wife. Among those who recited Mohsin Ehsan’s poetry included: Arshad Rashid, Asim Bajwa, Tasssadduq Hussain Attari, Hatem Rani, Abdus Sattar Ghazali, Surbho Kaul, Npamaka Ravinder, Nagesh Avadhani, Sarwat Iqbal, Anjum Zeeshan, Mukesh Kackar.UA 2-16-2020 (1)

Mohsin Ehsan got international recognition owing to his immense contribution to Urdu, Hindko, Persian and Pashto languages. He was a committed poet, who believed in the substance of literary tradition, and considered poetry a tool for highlighting the issues of poor, love for humanism and spreading of peace.

Born in Peshawar in 1932, Mohsin Ehsan did his masters in English literature from the University of Peshawar and then joined Islamia College Peshawar as a lecturer. He retired as head of English department of the college and died at the age of 78 in London on September 24, 2010.

Mohsin Ehsan was awarded the President’s Pride of Performance award in recognition of his meritorious services to literature. Mohsin Ehsan was also a recipient of Abasin Literary Award 1974, 1981; Allama Iqbal Poetry Award by Academy of Letters, Ministry of Education, Islamabad, 1981; Naqoosh Award 1989; Faiz Ahmed Faiz International Award for poetry, New Delhi, 1988; Naimat Ali Shah Award by Bazm-e-ilm-o-Fun, Islamabad, 1994; Waseeqa - Aitaraf, Hamdard Foundation, Karachi, 1994 and Pride of Performance 1999.

Prof Mohsin Ehsan used simple diction to convey his message to people as he was a metaphor of refined literary expression, which distinguished him from his contemporary poets. He had many unique shades both in his literary works and personalityUA 2-16-2020 (4).

Mohsin Ehsan had complete command over Urdu, English, Hindko and Pashto. He authored around 13 books including four popular poetry collections -- Natamam, Naguzeer, Nashuneeda and Naraseeda.

He had to his credit 13 books namely Natamam, Naguzeer, Nashuneeda, Naraseeda, Ajmal-o-Akmal (naats), Matti Ki Mehkar, Urdu translation of “All for Love,” Urdu translation of “Arms and the Man,” Phool Phool Chehray (Poems for Children), Razm-Nama (a narrative poem on the September 1965 war), Report on the teaching of English language as Member of the Commission on Languages, University Grants Commission, Islamabad 1979, Urdu Translation of Rubayat Khushal Khan Khattak published by the Pashto Academy and stories for children and critical essays and several Hindko poetic poems that he contributed to various publications.

Some of his selected poems were translated into English, Chinese, Hindi and Malaysian languages.

Mohsin Ihsan also composed poetry in his mother language Hindko which was published in monthly “Hindko Zaban” a literary magazine launched in Peshawar on March 23, 1973 by Ibne Qmar with Mukhtar Ali Nayyar as its editor and Syed Qamar Abbas, a slain Pakistan People’s Party leader, as its assistant editor. His poems to highlight the work of Hindko mystic poet Sain Ahmad Ali were highly appreciated by the literati. He remained associated with Gandhara Hindko Board since its launch and motivated it to launch weekly poetry recital sessions in 1997.

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