The city’s literary community has not been spared the wrath of dengue, with several writers and poets infected in the current outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease.
Renowned poet Zahid Dar is the latest to have fallen ill. He was admitted to hospital a few days ago when his blood platelet count dropped to a dangerous level.His older sister Sarfaraz Dar, a former principal of Lahore College for Women (now University), is battling dengue in the same hospital.
They were paid a visit by writers Intizar Hussain, Eraj Mubarak and Amir Faraz, secretary of Halqa-i-Arbab-i-Zauq, on Tuesday. Faraz’s sister Fatima Ali is also sick from dengue.
Hussain wrote a few weeks ago about his battle with dengue last year.
Novelist, poet and translator Zahid Hasan, having been unwell for a few days, received the results of blood tests on Tuesday confirming that he has caught the virus.
Begum Najma Sohail, wife of the late literary critic Dr Sohail Ahmed Khan and a well-known literary personality herself, passed away of dengue fever a week ago. Novelist Ikramullah’s sister also died of the disease. Poet Sultan Mehmood and his wife and poet Usman Zia are also suffering from the virus. Poet and television host Wasi Shah and his wife both recovered from the ailment a few days ago. Radio host and poet Afzal Sahir is said to be still regaining his strength after getting over dengue recently. Shafiq Ahmad Khan, writer of four books on poetry, got over the disease a weak ago. Qazi Javid philosopher, writer and director of the Institute of Islamic Heritage and Culture – has also recovered after 12 days of bed rest. Professor Karamat Ali Mughal, editor of Punjabi Journal Ravail, and poet Tahir Manzoor, also suffered from dengue earlier in the season.
Poet, writer and journalist Imran Naqvi is tending to his daughter Laraib, while Punjabi poet Younas Ahqar and poet Dr Saeed Ulfat have both been looking after sons struck down by the disease. The daughter-in-law of Zakaur Rehman, novelist and former editor of Adab-i-Latif, is also suffering from dengue fever.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2011.