Fiction-writer, critic and translator, Asif Farrukhi was born in Karachi. A public health physician by training, he was educated at the Dow Medical College, Karachi, and the Harvard University, USA. Known for short stories and essays, seven collections of his short fiction and two collections of critical essays have been published. He has published translations of prose and poetry from modern and classical writers. His recent publications include a collection of new critical essays on Manto and Look At The City From Here, an anthology of writings about Karachi, published by OUP. He has recently published a book length study of the Urdu novelist and short story writer Intizar Husain. Asif Farrukhi contributes regularly to the English-language press. Two of his adaptations have been staged in Karachi. He is the editor of Duniyazad, a literary journal of new writing and contemporary issues in Urdu. He has presented papers and participated in literary events at home as well as abroad. He is a founder member of the Karachi Literary Festival and the Islamabad Literature Festival. For his distinguished work, he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Literary Award by the Pakistan Academy of Letters in 1997 and the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan. Asif Farrukhi lives and writes in Karachi. He became associated with the Habib University, Karachi, as the Director of the Arzu Centre for Regional Languages and Humanities. He is a visiting faculty member of the Aga Khan University, Karachi.
Translation: Untitled Poem by Azra Abbas
Translated from the Urdu by Asif Farrukhi.
You need tears for weeping
And for laughing, a set of teeth
You need the earth for those who die
And for those who are left behind
What is left now?
An inconsequential frenzy
A ledger of torture
On which history will surely comment
Whenever somebody gets killed.
No, whenever the fields are choke-full
Of those who have been killed
Then only history will open its mouth
Don’t know if it will have a tongue left by then
Or its tongue would have been slashed.
رونے کے لئے آنسو چاہئیے
ہنسنے کے لئے دانت
مرنے والوں کے لئے زمین
پیچھے رہ جانے والوں کے لئےغم
اب بچا کیا؟
ایک حقیر وحشت
ایک ظلم کی بیاض
جس پر تاریخ کچھ کہے گے
جب جب کوئی مار دیا جائے گا
نہیں جب جب میدان پٹ جائیں گے
مرنے والوں سے
تو تاریخ اپنا منہ کھولے گی
لیکن جانے اس کی زبان ہوگی
یا جب تک کاٹ دی جائے گی
“Contemplating Home” by Irfan Ahmed. 2017. Digital photograph.