Like every year, Parveen Shakir’s fans gathered in the H-8 graveyard in the cold wintry day of December to warm their hearts with the memories of the great poetess who lived most of her days in Islamabad and died here too composing women representative poems. On this occasion, rich tributes were paid to the ‘spokesperson’ of women’s feelings for her contribution to Urdu literature. It was her 23nd death anniversary. The credit to relive her memory also goes to her fast friend and former federal secretary Parveen Qadir Agha who organizes annual visit to the graveyard and Fateha in her memory. She is also running a trust under her name Parveen Shakir Trust (PST).
Parveen Shakir whose poetry collections “Khushbu” and others are among the best sellers even today, was an officer of Income Tax group in Islamabad and met a fatal accident that claimed her life on Dec 26, 1994 while she was on her way to office. At that time, she was only 42.
A group of poets, writers and scholars led by Chairman Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) Prof Dr Muhammad Qasim Bughio visited the H-8 graveyard and offered Fateha for the departed soul of late Parveen Shakir. Director General PAL Dr Rashid Hameed, Chairperson Parveen Shakir Trust (PST) Parveen Qadir Agha, poet Anjum Khaliq, poet Wafa Chishti, Mumtaz Athar, Prof Qaisera Alvi, Afshan Abbasi, Shakeel Akhtar, Naseem Sehar, Ali Akbar Abbas, Ali Yasir, Hassan Abbas Raza, Malik Mehar Ali, Naseerud Din, Azar Saeed, Masood Iqbal Hashmi, Arshad Mehmood, Saeed Sahi members of the PST and workers of the PAL were also present on the occasion.
A delegation of the Pakistan Youth Hostel Association (PYHA) led by its Manager Adnan Ahmed also participated in the Fateha and laid floral wreathe on the grave. They paid rich tributes to Parveen Shakir and shared some memories of her that showed her genius and poetic caliber.
Prof Dr Muhammad Qasim Bughio lauded the literary contribution of the late poetess, adding that she was still alive in the hearts and minds of people and her literary contribution would long be remembered. Parveen Shakir was born in 1952 and started writing at very early age with her tag name Beena. It was 1977 when the lady of love published her first collection of poetry called ‘Khusbu’ (Fragrance) that is a shining star on the poetic horizon of Urdu language. Perveen Shakir combined classical traditions and modern sensitivity to Urdu poetry and became the first woman to use true feminism in a male-dominated Urdu poetry. Dr Qasim Bughio also referred to Parveen Shakir’s other poetry collections like “Sadd Barg”, “Mah-e-Tamam”, “Inkar” and “Khud Kalami” and termed them a treasure of poetry. She gave a new voice to feminism through her great poems and it is because of her popularity that her kalam was sung by great music maestros of the day, he said.
With her ended an era but she became the inspiration for many budding female poets who followed her path by depicting feminine perspective in their poetry.