Some posts from Abdullah Hussein’s Facebook Wall

One of the major and celebrated Urdu writers Abdullah Hussein is no more, and lives in our hearts and his writings. I just scanned his Facebook Wall, and share of his posts that enlighten and educate.
I will attempt to share all or most from the same wall later.
It is in response to a friend: Edward Raj,
I just extracted some posts from Abdullah Hussein’s FB wall.

You may find some relevant comments. Some between the lines impression on criticism, a warm hearted appreciation of some good folks like Asif Aslam, and others. Also important is his note for Khalid Ashraf, where he thanks him for appreciating “Baagh”.

It may be long but I am sharing for the future generations as you said. I am actually going to cull his wall and plan to put all his posts at my own blog. That may be a good record.
“My one great friend Mustansar Hussain Tarrar has fallen ill and is hospitalized. All friends please pray for his early recovery.”

“Milo jo hum se to mil lo keh hum banok-e-giah
Misaal-e-qatra-e-shabnam rahey rahey na rahey. (May 08)”

“I have been thinking (ha ha, some might say!) that I have wasted away my life. Living in one’s ripe years a man has no time to ponder that he might have done some useful things in the past. Seeing life ebbing away, he is seized by the moment and laments, O what a waste! Some like Proust and Rimbaud stop, or want to stop living altogether in their different ways. Nearly all writers escape backwards and write about their childhoods, using it as a piece of torn cloth to hide the bits and bobs created by Life’s sleights of hand.”

“My dear Khalid Ashraf sahib, how can I forget you. I met you here in Lahore and you gave me your book (which is lost, because people borrow book and never return them). The really unforgettable memory that I have about you is that you not only wrote about all my novels but especially you said in your review that “Ba’agh” deserved to stand alongside world’s best novels. I will be eternally grateful to you for this because it is my favourite novel and it has always been underappreciated. But right now, fortunately, it is being read and talked about more and more. It is all because of your efforts because as far as I remember you were the first one to have appreciated it. I would very much like to meet with you again, but I am not keeping good health and rarely travel anywhere. If you happen to come I’d love to see you. It was a great pleasure receiving your message and I hope we continue to correspond. All my love. Abdullah


“Birthdays on August 14:
Friends , I noticed at least 8 of my friends birthdays on August 14. May they always be free in life, thought, speech, words, and action. I can vouch for nearly all of them and offer my greetings:
Abdullah Hussein Akif SyedAsif SaleemMalik KhanAjmal Siraj Arfan ChLiaquat Ali AsimShafi QureshiNaseem Chaudhary”

“Abdullah Hussein Thanks Munir. Wait for my note in my status slot in a day or two about this.”

“Asif Aslam, my estimable friend, yesterday signified the importance of birthdays in his post. Every year on my birthday (14th of August) I apologise on this page for having lived so long with so little to show for it when so many of high merit are rent asunder so early in their time. I think I owe some explanation to prevent it being taken as false modesty. I look back to that distant morning when I was a schoolboy and had been hearing constant firing all night long. At daybreak a bunch of us rode our bicycles and, instead of going to school, headed towards the railway station. A train coming from Bannu taking Hindu and Sikh refugees to India had been stopped and the passengers were being butchered by the tribals housed in our city to go to fight in Kashmir. They were joined energetically by the locals. We saw our Drawing Master, a poet and a singer whom we idealised, wrestle a fat man to the ground and repeatedly stab him with a large tailor’s scissors that he carried. Tearing open the front of the man’s kurta he cut off the pockets of the man’s cotton waistcoat, which were full of banknotes and gold ornaments, with the same scissors. Without looking back Master Sarwar took off with the loot. The platform was heaped with the dead and the dying. I was not yet sixteen.
It was not only the end of illusions but also the death of our romance with the world. Many of us later went into self exile, some never to return. But wherever we went, we were unhappy. We were an unsettled, lost generation.

Disabled and Disadvantaged in Pakistanterestingly, in the forty years from 1940 to 1980, the best of Urdu literature was created. Poets Majaz and Sahir to Firaq and Faiz; critics like Saroor and Askari, fiction writers like Krishan Chandar and Bedi and Manto and Ghulam Abbas among others, produced their best work. People usually talk of broken hearts. But writers of that generation wrote with wounded minds. We all have in us our places of exile.”

“Attn. Asif Aslam: The cannonisation of Saadat Hasan Manto has been done to the disadvantage of Ghulam Abbas. Manto wrote a handful of stories that will last; the rest were hastily written of necessity in indifferent prose, never revised and quickly sold by him to buy booze. Ghulam Abbas was neglected because he was a “Shareef man”, never went for theatrics, pedalled around town on a push-bike, lived within his means so that he didn’t have to sell his stories in haste but paid attention to his art. He wrote over forty stories and kept a uniform level of quality. Toba Tek Singh suffers in comparison with Anandi because it is based on a political event while Anandi is about human nature and will still be appreciated by people in fifty years time when the partition of India,though still remembred, will have largely gone from their concerns. It is the duty of people who manage literary opinion to restore reputations.”

عبداللہ حسین کہتے ہیں کہ جب لکھنا شروع کیا تو جو اردو رائج الوقت تھی اس میں بڑے مشکل الفاظ تھے، لچھے دار زبان مجھے نہیں آتی تھی، جو الٹی سیدھی زبان آئی اس کو لکھتا گیا، مجھے تو پتہ نہیں تھا کہ اس کو کوئی پڑھے گا یا شائع بھی کرے گا۔
اردو کے ایک معروف نقاد مظفر علی سید نے تو یہ تک کہہ دیا کہ پہلے عبداللہ حسین کو اردو سیکھنی چاہیے پھر ناول لکھنا چاہیے۔ کچھ عرصے بعد ہی عبداللہ حسین اور مظفر علی سید کا آمنا سامنا ہوا تو عبداللہ حسین کہتے ہیں کہ انھوں نے مظفر سے کہا کہ ’میں نے تو آپ کا ریویو سنا تھا پشاور کے ریڈیو سے جس میں آپ نے بڑی تنقید کی تھی، آپ نے کہا تھا کہ اس نے عجیب و غریب زبان لکھی ہے اس کو اردو سیکھنی چاہیے تھی کہ ناول لکھنے سے پہلے۔‘
دوسرا انہوں نے اس ناول میں زبان پر زور نہیں دیا بلکہ اس میں انہوں نے اظہار، جذبات پر یا جو کردار ہیں ان کی نفسیات پر زیادہ توجہ دی ہے چنانچہ وہ آسانی سے لوگوں کی سمجھ میں آجاتی ہے۔ اور آپ اس چیز کو ملکیت سمجھتے ہیں جس میں آپ اپنی جھلک دیکھتے ہیں اپنے اظہار کی یا اپنے لب و لہجے کی یا اپنے ماحول کی یا روایات کی۔مستنصر حسین تارڑ
عبداللہ حسین کے مطابق انھوں نے جواباً کہا کہ ’نہیں نہیں اور وہ تھوڑاکھسیانا ہو گیا اور ہنس پڑا کہ نہیں یہ اس وقت کی بات تھی اب تو ٹھیک ہی ہے، اب تو اردو کا مزاج بدل گیا ہے اب ٹھیک ہے۔ میں نے کہا کہ ٹھیک اس وقت بھی تھی لیکن آپ کو سمجھ اب آئی ہے۔ وہ بیچارہ جیسے پنجابی میں کہتے ہیں، زمین وچ ہی وڑ گیا۔‘

“If I have a hundred hats they are off to the Baloch Missing people marchers”

“My two innocent posts in the last two days have been faded out. Have the Facebook administrators blacklisted me?” Febrauar 13, 2014

“In the first post I said that this country is ruled by criminals masquerading as political parties. In the second I detailed my visit to KLF Karachi where the fiftieth uninterupted anniversary of “Udas Naslein” was celebrated in a session at the Festival and the special publication of a Jubilee edition of the book in a special size.”

“Abdullah Hussein Asif, it was something on these lines:

“The most astonishing thing that happened was Asif Aslam(Farrukhi) not just mentioning me in passing (which would be just about appropriate) but reading a whole page from my old story “Naddi” in his introductory speech as a co-sponsor of the Festival, before the entire august company of luminaries.

It was unprecedented and stunned me. It was like him putting his career on the line because I think he as well as I made some enemies there.

Later, I had a session moderated by Ahmad Shah in which the Jubilee edition of “Udas Naslein” was launched. There was question & answer period which went well.

But the publishers surpassed themselves by publishing the book in a special size: a milimeter or two longer and a millimeter or two wider than the usual size of an ordinary book, but just that much made all the difference by making it look quite remarkable.

Then there were private parties, most enjoyable at the home of Hanif and Nimra and HM Naqvi and Alya. All in all, I can say that “I had a goog Festival”. Just as well, as I am getting old and don’t know how many times I will be able to participate, or if at all.””