Dil ki Awaz launched An ophthalmologist’s ‘heartache’ reflected in poetry

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Zubair Qureshi

Pakistan’s well known eye surgeon Dr Ijaz Shafi living abroad for last many decades has paid a poetic tribute to the country of his birth in the form of his maiden collection of poems titled ‘Dil Ki Awaz”.
The 150-page book describes various stages of evolution in the poetic journey of Dr Ijaz Shafi who was born in Gujrat, educated at Lahore’s prestigious institutions—Central Model High School, Government College and King Edward Medical College—married in Pakistan to Nilofar also a doctor and after a brief practice in Pakistan’s leading hospitals headed left for the West for higher education and settled there. He is currently living in Farmington, Connecticut, US.
However, living away from his ancestral land developed a sort of nostalgia inside Dr Ijaz and he found comfort in poetry (both reading and writing). His poetry, according to the acclaimed poet of Pakistan Amjad Islam Amjad has the spark that compels the reader to identify himself/herself with the poet. In Islam’s words, “It is not easy to get recognition as a poet particularly in Urdu poetry that is already rich in great names but it goes to the credit of Ijaz Shafi who has not only made inroads into this realm but done so with his maiden book.”
In critic and poet Fayaz Munir’s words, Ijaz Shafi has not followed a particular school of thought in his poetry rather he has listened to and acted upon his own inner voice.
There are traces of classics in his poetry at one time and of romantics at the other. In this brief collection of poems, Ijaz Shafi has combined all his longings and yearnings for his country, his people, his childhood days, his land and his friends, etc says Munir.
The poet has dedicated his book to former Senate Secretary Agha Afzaal Hussain and has termed his school and college days and life-long association with Urdu literature as the main motivation behind writing.
He has also attributed publication of the book to the efforts and encouragement by Pakistan’s leading short story writer Mazharul Islam and Chairperson of Parveen Shakir Trust Mrs Parveen Qadir Agha. Without their support it would be simply impossible.
Besides Amjad Islam Amjad and Fayaz Munir, two eminent critics of Urdu literature Dr Hameeda Shaheen and Dr Safiya Ebad have also evaluated Ijaz Shafi’s works in their articles (included in the book).
Published by Parveen Shakir Trust “Dil Ki Awaz” is available at bookstalls against Rs600 only.