UA 9-20-2020C

Urdu Academy of North America pays tribute to Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi

By Adus Sattar Ghazali

The Urdu Academy of North America's September 20, 2020 literary event was dedicated to the life and work of prominent Urdu poet and writer, Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi. Mehboob Alam at UA 8-19-2029 event-resized2

At the outset, Tashie Zaheer, President of the Urdu Academy informed the audience that one of Urdu Academy's member Mehboob Alam has expired in Karachi. Mehboob Alam’s family was also living in California and he used to attend in person when he was visiting US while he was a regular participants of Urdu Academy’s programs via zoom. (Picture shows Mehboob Alam at 2019  event of Urdu Academy.)

Arshad Rashid, a senior member of the Urdu Academy of North America, welcomed the guests on behalf of the Urdu Academy.

Dr. Ghazala Ansari was MC of the event. She presented a well-researched maqala on the life and work of Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi.

In accordance with the Urdu Academy traditions, a number of Urdu enthusiasts presented poetry of the distinguished Urdu poet and prose writer. Among those recited poetry included: Dr. Tahir Mahmood, Mah Talat Shazi, Hameeda Bano, Hatem Rani, Abdus Sattar Ghazali, Bano Vijaypura, Anjum Zeeshan, Ayesha Ansari, Nagesh Avadhany, Suraiya Jabeen, and U. V. Ravi.

Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi emerged as a towering Urdu poet and short story writer, coupled with his remarkable pursuit and contribution in the fields of journalism, literary criticism and play writing and became a literary colossus in his lifetime. He wrote 50 books on topics such as poetry, fiction, criticism, journalism and art, and was a major figure in contemporary Urdu literature.

In the poetry, he has written both traditional ghazals and the modern nazams. His poetry was distinguished by its humanism, and his Urdu afsana (novel writing) work is considered by some second only to Prem Chand in its depiction of rural culture.

There was a special attraction in his personality for the emerging poets and writers for whom he opened new horizons through mentoring and encouragement. His love for the emerging writers was matchless. He trained female writers and imparted literary excellence in them to establish themselves as unique writers in their own right.
Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi’s literary labor can mainly be categorized into two streams of consciousness, poetry, and short stories.

His poetic work included Jalal-o-Jama, Shola-i-Gul, Rim Jhim, and Kisht-i-Wafa. The poetry of Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi is filled with love, beauty, nature and idyllic rural landscape. He strives to create a better world through his poetic expression. His unique quality is his ability to merge the poetic sentiments with the prosaic realities of life in order to create a fresh sensibility.

Whereas, his short stories include Chopal, Gandasa, Sannata, Kapaas Ka Phool, Aabley, Tuloo-o-Gharoob, Sailab-o-Gardaab, Anchal, Baseet, Muheet, Dasht e Wafa, Ghar se Ghar Tak, Nila Pathan, Dawam-dar-o-Deewar, Bazar-e-Hayat, Koh Paima, Aas Paas, and Jhoota.

Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi was born on November 20, 1916 in Khushab District of Punjab. Qasmi received his early education from his native village and from high school in Campbellpur (now Attock) in 1931.

He had long career in writing and editorship, rendering services editing several prominent literary journals, including Phool, Tehzeeb-i-Niswaan, Adab-i-Lateef, Savera, Naqoosh, and his own brainchild, Funoon. He also worked as the editor of the prestigious Urdu daily Imroze. He also became active member of the Progressive Writers Movement, and was consequently arrested many times during 1950s and 1970s.

Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi  died on July 10, 2006 in Lahore at the age of 89. (This is a May 1949 portait of Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi)

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