Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ahmed Faraz - an ‘Un-Partitioned’ poet

with Ahmed Faraz, October 1994, Islamabad

AFTER joining the Indian Foreign Service in 1971 and allotment of Persian as the language to be learnt – and there by learning Urdu by proxy – during training period, I had been keenly entertaining hope to be posted to Pakistan at an early or middle stage of my career. The dominant deeper thought-impulse was to undergo the intimate experience of the special circumstances of being among the people who became ‘Foreigners’ for Indians by an unprecedented man-made tsunami of human history.

The opportunity to serve in Pakistan came my way in 1992 when I had least expected it. ...

... It was a chance 'poetic encounter' in Islamabad club with Ahmed Faraz which made my two year plus posting a rewarding experience of enduring friendship. I had walked across to him, 'Faraz Sahib!...Main sifart-e-Hind mein Naya Naib Safir hun' without a moment's hesitation, he embraced me, saying, 'aap se tou bahut baaten aur mulakaaten honi chahiye!’ And a friendship forever was forged.

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