Mushtaq Yousufi – “greatest Urdu prose writer” recalls



The Pakistan Arts Council (ACP) Karachi paid tribute to famous writer and comedian Mushtaq Ahmed Yusufi on Wednesday on the occasion of his third death anniversary. Scholars from across the country – some physically present and others joining by video link – spoke in remembrance of the late satirist.

He has been dubbed the greatest Urdu prose writer of all time.

Speaking on the occasion, ACP Karachi President Ahmed Shah expressed gratitude to Yusufi’s family for their efforts to ensure that future generations can enjoy the rare collection of the late writer’s manuscripts.

Likewise, artist Shahid Rassam, from Lahore, expressed hope that the way Yusufi’s creative works are showcased will add to his popularity. He said the satirist was the “life of the party” and a friend to all who knew him.

“People say poetry is a difficult genre, but in my personal opinion humor and satire are the most difficult genres in literature,” poet and screenwriter Zehra Nigah said. She recalled that Yusufi, a renowned banker, had established himself on the literary scene with the publication of his first book. The way he wrote prose and evoked the meaning is commendable, she added.

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A virtual participant from Islamabad, literator Iftikhar Arif said the late author was a multi-faceted person. “I shared a unique relationship of love and compassion with him. He was my mentor and his teachings are my assets.” He is the greatest Urdu prose writer not only of our time but of all time, Arif added.

Poet Dr Fatima Hassan fondly recalled her friendship with Yusufi and expressed her gratitude for her mentorship. “The greatest quality of his humor was that he made fun of himself, not other people.”

Speaking via video link with the Lahore scholar, Dr Nomanul Haq appreciated Yusufi’s love and respect for the principles of the Urdu language.

Participants fondly recalled Yusufi’s playful essay collection Chiragh Talay and recalled that the late satirist’s love for Urdu was such that he gave up using the English language.

Posted in The Express Tribune, June 24e, 2021.

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