The notepad: Anwar Maqsood

Scriptwriter and satirist Anwar Maqsood jots down a few of his favourite literary companions

April 10, 2016

Scriptwriter and satirist Anwar Maqsood says that books are a man’s best friend — friends can grow apart or get angry, but books never do. If one is fond of reading, one can never be lonely. Here he jots down a few of his favourite literary companions

Allama Iqbal

The first poem I ever read was a poem by Allama Iqbal called Humdardi. Till date, if there is ever a big event or a fundraiser, I always end by reciting the last line of this poem, Hai log wohi jahan mein achay, jo aatay hai kaam doosro ke. I read it in my childhood, and I remember it till today. He is another poet whose works I read everyday. Bal-e-Jibril is one of my favourites. I also enjoy Masjid-e-Qartaba a lot, it is one of the best Urdu poems in my opinion, and I think if I had to pick my most favourite I would name this one.

TS Elliot

He was such a lovely poet. My favourite of his works is a play he wrote called Murder in the Cathedral. It is a verse drama that portrays the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. Later there was a film made based on it too, after which India made their Nawakara.

Dylan Thomas

I really like his poetry. He was a Welsh poet and writer, who wrote lovely poems including Do not go gentle into that good night and Death shall have no dominion. He also wrote some wonderful stories such as A Child’s Christmas in Wales and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog.

Faiz Ahmad Faiz

He was a great poet of his time though I feel he did not get as much recognition as he deserved. Every century has produced one great poet, one century produced Mir Taqi Mir, one produced Ghalib and one century produced Iqbal. Faiz sahib wrote in the same century as Allama Iqbal. Whenever I get the chance, I pick up one of his poems and read it.I find his poetry extremely enjoyable. Even if I read it a hundred times, I never get tired of it.

Noon Meem Rashid

Noon Meem Rashid was an influential Pakistani poet of modern Urdu poetry from Gujranwala. He wrote Hassan Kooza Gar, a beautiful poem that I often like to read. He was a rebel in the sense that he moved away from the traditional form of Urdu poetry and was the first to bring free verse into Urdu literature.

Wolfgang Mozart

I enjoy painting, as well as music. It is fascinating to me how at such a young age Mozart became such a prolific and brilliant composer. There are several books written about him and I enjoy reading about him, as well as listening to his compositions. In fact, even Beethoven and Bach were brilliant composers of their time, and I have read about them extensively as well.

Shamsur Rahman Faruqi

I read a lot and it is very difficult for me to answer which books are my favourite. They all are. The last book that I read was by the author Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, a book called Kahi Chaand They Bharay Aasman, which has been translated to English with the title The Mirror of Beauty. It’s a really wonderful book.


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