Eminent poet, critic and writer Shamsur Rehman Faruqi passed away at his home on Friday morning. He was 85.
He will be buried next to his late wife Jamila at the Newada graveyard in Ashok Nagar amid the presence of family members and friends in the evening, informed his nephew and writer Mahmood Farooqui.
“He had been Covid-19 positive but was discharged on November 23 after test results came negative. However he developed complications and fungal infection, mycosis, which further worsened his condition. He was being treated at a hospital in Delhi. He wanted to come to his beloved city where he spent all his life. He arrived in his home town Prayagraj in an air ambulance on Friday morning and died shortly afterwards around 11.15am,” the nephew said.
Faruqi was considered a fine Urdu critic, poet, writer, and theorist. His works ranged from literary history and criticism to poetry and fiction. Considered an authority on llm-e bayan (the science of poetic discourse) and classical poetry, he was also a noted lexicographer.
Faruqi’s book ‘Kai Chaand The Sar-e-Asmaan’, written in 2006, has been hailed as a masterpiece of Urdu fiction. An English version of this book ‘Mirror of Beauty’ was published in 2013. He has also translated his stories into English which are included in a book titled ‘The Sun That Rose from the Earth’ in 2014.
He has also been credited with spearheading the revival of the Dastangoi – an urdu oral storytelling art form.
He was awarded the Saraswati Samman in 1996 for his work ‘Sher-e Shor-Angez’, a study of the major eighteenth-century poet Meer Taqi Meer published in four volumes. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2009.
Born on September 30, 1935 in a village in Azamgarh, Faruqi completed his MA (English) from Allahabad University in 1955 and began writing in 1960. He worked for the Indian Postal Service also. He was also editor of his literary magazine Shabkhoon and part-time professor at the South Asia Regional Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania, US.
Some of his well-known works include Early Urdu Literary Culture and History (2001), The Flower-Lit Road: Essays in Urdu Literary Theory and Criticism (2005), Urdu Ka Arambhik Yug (2007) and The Mirror of Beauty (2013).