Book Review: Shaam-i-Shaer-i-Yaraan By Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi


Reviewed by: Nadeem Zuberi

Book: ‘Shaam-i-Shaer-i-Yaraan’
Author: Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi
Publisher: Jahangir Books, A-89 Deen pur Road, Lahore.
Pages: 437
Price: Rs 1199

For celebrated humour writer Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi’s fans who enjoy every page and take delight in each sentence he has written the iconic humour writer has now come up with a fifth book an addition to ‘Ahd-e-Yousufi’. Yousufi Saheb’s previous four books were published after a gap of 10 years (‘Charagh Talay’ (1961), ‘Khakam Badahan’ (1969), ‘Zarguzasht’ (1976) and ‘Aab-e-Gum’ (1990)).While ‘Shaam-i-Shaer-i-Yaraan’ saw the light of the day after an interval of 25 years.

Yousufi Saheb describes his coming back to the literary world like this:

 “Laya hai tera shouq mujha hujra say bahar”

The book is a recollection of events, encounters and discussions with many different people having totally different personalities and professions. The book offers evergreen linguistic twists with poetry and powerful description along with choice of words as sublime as ever which are the attributes of Yousufi Saheb. And of course digression, which has always been his hallmark.

While going through the book one feels the delightful sketches and enjoys his memoirs. He had always been careful about his diction and adds subtle elements of surprise to humour. He is also meticulous about the usage and application of words which gives strength to his writings.

The collection and compilation is done in such a way that readers get all the flavours and colours of Yousufi Saheb’s writings. He has also written about the works of renowned artists of our country like Gulgee who happened to be Yousufi Saheb’s neighbours for eleven years, Sadequian, Jamil Naqsh and Shahid Rassam. Penned in his inimitable style of writing he shares his relationship with Shahid Rassam especially in a piece of writing titled “Palkoon Say Paint Karnay Wala Musavir”. He has talked in detail about the working environment and techniques of the artist and his artistic journey.

He describes his logic of avoiding delivering a speech in an essay in the recent book.

 “Delivering a speech in six ceremonies is useless in my opinion”, he writes.

 “1- In a fashion show, as the attendees was keenly waiting to see beautiful ladies on stage pass by them while catwalk and a speech before the show is unbearable.

2- At the time of ‘Rukhsati’ of a bride, the groom become impatient.

3- In a ‘Mushaira’, as people came to enjoy poetry not a piece of prose which they listen all the day.

4- At a dinner, if speech is before dinner it will affect appetite and if conducted after dinner it will disturb digestion.

5- At a musical concert, where guest came to listen to Mehdi Hasan, Mehnaz and Abida parveen’s ghazal and a speech is just like eating ‘Gandari’ after having soufflé, ‘ferni’ and Shahi Tukray’.

6- At experts conference, where masters of any branch of science, business and art have spoken and a speech by an outsider who has no knowledge of the subject is just like being disrespectful.”

The book includes a selection of 21 unpublished miscellaneous writings containing essays, articles, speeches he had penned down at various stages in his life and lectures he conducted at various occasions while invited as a chief-guest from medical doctors to business graduates and artists exhibitions to book launchings to random gatherings in different cities. Thus the book offers a glimpse into the writer’s life, which had never been discussed in his writings before.

Courtesy: Business Recorder

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