April 15 marks the 71st birth anniversary of Maqsood Gul (Sindhi poet, scholar, Educationist, journalist and translator)
By Sapna Nusrat
He was a ‘Rose’ of the orchard of letters, having a unique whiff of his diction and style of expression… His name carried the complete essence of, what he was in his virtues, and how he contributed to Sindhi literature and society. He was an eminent modernist poet and an outstanding writer, translator, educationalist, publisher, social activist, researcher, historian, and critic.
Sindh knows him as ‘Maqsood Gul’, which means: ‘a flower, which was the aim of everyone, to have his cologne.’ For his creative work in the field of literature, he is well-known as Maqsood Gul, named by birth as ‘Qazi Maqsood Hayat’ and his nearest and dearest ones desirably sobriquet him as ‘Mashooq’ (which means the beloved) and he really proved to be the beloved/ sweetheart of the circle of his friends as well as his soil.
Maqsood Gul saw this momentary world on April 15, 1950. He was born at Ratodero, Larkana, Sindh, in the most erudite and knowledgeable family of Sindh, having almost every of its member, as an artist, which can be addressed as ‘a garden of art and artists’. Qazi Abdul Hayee “Qaa’il” Sarshaari, Mr Gul’s illustrious father was a veteran Sindhi poet, an Outstanding Educator, educationalist, journalist, artist and social activist of his time, very well-respected for his contribution. Maqsood, being his second son, laid his literary legacy and cherished it in a befitting manner.
After doing his matriculation locally, F. Sc. from Larkana, graduation and double Masters (in ‘Economics’ as well as in ‘Sindhi Literature’) from the University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Sindh, Maqsood Gul started composing poetry in 1975. Along with his versatile father, Qazi Abdul Hayee “Qaa’il”, his mentors in this creative path of literature included, Prof Dr. Ata Muhammad “Hami”, Dr. Memon Abdul Majeed Sindhi (whom he recognizes as his guide in prose-writing) and Prof Mehmood Sharaf Siddiqui (whom, he acknowledges as the coach of his Urdu poetry and Persian comprehension).
Maqsood Gul was the author of 10 books. His luminous work on literature includes: (i) “Vikhriyal’a Moti” (the scattered pearls) a compilation of research papers, written by Prof Dr. Ata Mohammad “Hami”, Eminent scholar and Sindhi poet from Sindh (ii) “Zindgi’a Dde Mot’a” (Back to life) a translation of Krishan Chander’s Urdu short stories, into Sindhi, (iii) “Kirnna Kirnna” (The rays of Sun), poetry for Children in Sindhi (iv) “Ratt’a Bhina Rabel’a” (Nitta’s flowers, dipped into the blood) a collection of his revolutionary poetry in Sindhi, mostly composed during the 1980’s Martial Law period (v) “Hatheeli Harnni” (the proud deer) a collection of Children’s stories in Sindhi (vi) “Ander Rooh’a Rahyaam” (those, who dwell in the soul) a compilation of essays about the life and works of Dr. Ata Muhammad “Hami” (vii) “Ishq Samunder” (Urdu poetic translation of Hazrat Sachal Sarmast’s Persian poetry/Masnawiyaat) – published twice (viii) “Ratodero, Mukhtasir Taareekh’a” (a brief history of Ratodero town of Larkana district, Sindh, Pakistan) a history booklet, published on the eve of centennial celebrations of the district status of Larkana, Sindh, Pakistan in 2002 (ix) “A’ey Aahoo Chashm Kidhar?” (O’ ye’ deer-eyed, whom are you gazing?) the poetry of celebrated Sindhi poet, Shaikh Ayaz, transliterated by him into Urdu and (x) “Akhrriyoon Neel’a Kanwal’a” (Her eyes are like the blue lotus) his poetry collection, and the last book, published in his life, which was published just a month before his demise. Besides this, near 12 of his unpublished books of prose and poetry are waiting to be published.
Either prose, or his poetry, Gul’s all writings, are fascinating, delightful and worth reading, which capture the reader as well as listener.
As a journalist, Maqsood edited the literary page of Weekly “Hari” (a newspaper, representing Comrade Hyder Bux Jatoi’s driven ‘Sindh Hari Tehreek’ – The Farmer’s Movement) in the mid-1980s. He edited and published “Guldasto” (flower bucket) a Children’s magazine in Sindhi, from 2004 to 2009.
Gul was an established columnist of various Sindhi dailies, including, the notable Sindhi daily, “Awami Awaz” Karachi for which, he largely wrote for more than two decades. He also composed poetry on current affairs for the editorial pages of various Sindhi newspapers, including the afore-mentioned one, which used to be published in the format of 4 lines, on the daily basis.
Besides, most successful literary career, Maqsood Gul lived an exemplary family life too. He was knotted in a lifetime partnership with Gulnar Badr on May 14, 1976. They were bestowed with 5 children, including their cherished kid elder daughter, Prof Naila Gul “Sapna” Qazi (December 8, 1977 – January 27, 2019) who made both of her parents proud in the field of literature and academics, as a notable educator, Yasir Qazi (an Eminent broadcast and print journalist, writer, speaker, cultural activist and a media expert), Nasir Maqsood Gul (an emerging writer and vocalist), Nadir Ali Qazi (an Educator) and Zohaib Gul. Maqsood Gul taught his children to be in a strong belief in themselves and the sense of responsibility as a sincere citizen of the society, who must bring a positive change by his being.
Maqsood Sahab had a beautiful soul and a sympathetic heart. My poor expression is not worthy to glorify him, despite my utmost respect, that he was benevolent by his dignity having prestige by his notable mind. He was a man of consistency by his passion, not only as a creator but also as a human-loving individual. His services in the field of literature, education and journalism are noteworthy. Maqsood Gul’s words of wisdom, which included dissemination of truth, attitude towards learning, are incredible and awe-inspiring. We lost him on Saturday, February 14, 2015. He breathed his last at Karachi and is resting at Ratodero, the soil, which gave him birth.
May his soul rest in eternal peace – A’amin! His message will always spread lights and aroma in the minds of the generations to come, and will never let him perish.
We pay him homage on his seventy-first birth anniversary.
About the Author
The author is a pharmacy student at People’s University of Medical and Health Sciences for Women, Shaheed Benazirabad (Nawabshah). She is writing blogs since 2016.