Tehmina Durrani was born into a very rich and dominant Afghan family. Her family was also very educated, which resulted in Tehmina’s independent spirit. At the age of 17 she was betrothed to Anees Khan, giving birth to her daughter Tania, but the couple divorced and she married Ghulam Mustafa Khar. 13 years and four children later, Khar and Tehmina were divorced. The reasons for this divorce became apparent in Tehmina’s book ‘My Feudal Lord’ which turned into an international bestseller, translated into 36 languages and gaining worldwide reputation and fame due to her courage to stand up and openly write about the sexual and mental abuse she received at her husband’s hands. The book describes how her marriage life turns to a living hell as her husband’s huge ego and feudal and backward thinking deprives her of the sanctity of a married life. She describes how she is beaten daily and treated like a sexual slave instead of a wife. The book also describes how Khar, the then Chief Minister of Punjab, subjected her to the severest of beatings at small issues, kidnapped her children and seduced her younger sister. She reconstructs how people’s misunderstanding of Islam, especially in the rural areas are the reason feudal lords like Khar are gifted with so much power that makes them an unstoppable and all powerful force in their region.
With ‘My Feudal Lord’ turning into an internationally acclaimed bestseller Tehmina made good use of her emerging popularity as a writer and wrote ‘A Mirror to the Blind’. The book was inspired and written on Abdul Sattar Eidhi, Pakistan’s celebrated social worker. In 1998 she once again, controversially so, returned with her book ‘Blasphemy’ which is based on the lives of Muslim spiritual leaders known as ‘pirs’. Claiming it to be a true story Tehmina once again highlighted cases of women being tortured and abused in her novel. Since then she has actively been working with NGO’s to raise her voice for the women ofPakistanwho are distressed and tormented due to gender discrimination.
Born on 10th December 1976 in the thriving city of Sialkot, Umaira Ahmad has turned into one the most well read and famous drama writer and novelist of the Urdu entertainment media. She is one of the biggest names when it comes to Urdu fictional writing. She received her masters in literature from Murray College in Sialkot and started teaching as an English teacher before deciding that her permanent profession would be script writing. Therefore she gave up teaching and focused on her favorite line of work. Initially she wrote compilation of short stories that were printed in Urdu digests. Some of them were later published as books. ‘Peere Kaamil’ was the novel that brought this talented lady into the spotlight. Hence began the career of a woman who was bound to end up as one of Pakistan’s most revered and respected writer.
Umaira Ahmad’s Career
Umaira, blessed with immense talent quickly made her way to fame and fortune with novels like Lahasil, Darbar-e-Dil, Meri zaat-e-Zarrae Benishaan, Daam and Sauda and thora sa Aasman. Many of her novels and stories have been used by subsequent television channels as drama serials. In fact, she received the best writer award for ‘Meri Zaat Zarrae Benishan’ in the Lux Style Awards. Her stories have a realistic and friendly atmosphere that draws the whole family together. Her stories are based on the real life problems of the common people, giving people a chance top relate to their lives. Her stories also highlight the social, economic, spiritual issues and she blends them realistically with basic human emotions like love, friendship, betrayal, loneliness etc. Like fairy tales, her stories not only entertain but leave the audience guessing the moral of the story. It is therefore no doubt that she has received numerous awards and it is only inevitable that she will add to her already glowing list of accolades.
An Urdu and Hindi short story writer, Krishan Chandar has written 30 short stories and also around 18 novels. Educated at the Forman Christian College, initially he started writing English but after he was given the post of editor of an Urdu Magazine, he chose Urdu as a means to express himself. A humanist, he wrote against power abuses and his work on the massacre that took place during the separation of the subcontinent is one of the finest and deepest literatures on the topic. He passed away on March 8 1997. Shikast and Matti ki sanam are one of his most beautiful novels.
Born in Uttar Pradesh, Ismat Chugtai was one of the fiercest and outspoken Urdu writers. Her spirit of independence was the reason she explored topics in her writing that were deemed obscene and taboo for women. An inspiration to the younger generation of writers, her passionate writing is the reason she was seen as the voice of the weak. Angaaray and Lihaaf are two of her greatest works, the latter causing so much conspiracy that she was eventually called to court, where under immense pressure she won her case. She died in Bombay on October 24, 1991.
Munshi Prem Chand
Munshi Prem chand is famous for his Urdu and Hindi writing skills. He wrote many plays, short stories and essays. He was nicknamed ‘The Emperor of Novels”. Before him literature considered of fairy tales of King, queens, magical creature but he was the first writer to base his novels on the rural life of peasants and other daily life examples. He also refused to use complex Sanskrit, as was common in those days which is the reason many critics refuse to give him the prestige and respect he deserves. He used simple language and his novels were well described and easy to read. They were about the daily life of people and not heroes and villains. Niramala, Godan, Saut and Pariksha are a few of his works. Kafan, Mantra and Poos ki Raat are stories about people’s daily lives.