A biography of Faiz in English has long been overdue. There has been a biography in Urdu by the distinguished Russian Writer/Urdu scholar Ludmila Vasilyeva, friend and translator of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Faiz: Hayat Aur Takhleeqat, but something coming from his own family naturally raises the curiosity of the reader, is expected to be authentic and it is hoped that it would shed light on those aspects of the great poet’s life that have remained undiscovered or less discussed. Love and Revolution/Faiz Ahmed Faiz: The Authorized Biography comes at a time when commitment and poetry seem to have taken diagonally opposite directions and Urdu especially is seeing a revival of the traditional meters, ideas and concepts. The author Ali Madeeh Hashmi is the eldest grandson of Faiz; a psychiatrist by profession and a trustee of the Faiz Foundation Trust he is also a writer and translator. For an admirer of Faiz it does not get better than this. The narrative begins with Faiz’s death and rather surprisingly goes on to a defence of why he was buried in the Islamic manner with a reference to Faiz’s contemporary Noon Meem Rashid who willed that he should be cremated at the electric crematorium.
October 2017, volume 41, No XLI