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Insha Ji Utho!

When we hear the name Ibn-e-Insha, a black-and-white picture appears in front of our eyes in which a singer is singing a song, sitting with his instruments, Insha Ji Utho ab Kooch Karo, (Insha Ji, get up and depart). Many of us remember him through humorous and witty writings. And some Urdu lovers recall the mighty name with his expressive travelogues. We all have reasons to remember him but he is Ibn-e-Insha, who is sparkling in his readers’ minds even after 39 years since his departure.

It was Insha, who had the mastery to twist every rational message into the satirical and humorous way to influence the readers in a lighter note, once he wrote, “Before independence, Hindu traders and capitalists used to loot us. We wanted to put an end to this and enable Muslim traders and seths to loot us. Alas, this wish was granted!”

Ibne Insha’s real name was Sher Muhammad Khan and was born on 15th June 1927. He belonged to the district of Jalandhar of Indian Punjab and later migrated to Pakistan with his family. He had a Rajasthani background but settled in Karachi. He was a poet, writer, diplomat and a Marxist.

Ibn-e-Insha is considered to be one of the best poets and writers of his generation. The leftist poet expressed the trouble felt by the common people, but never in a strict manner. The poet of ‘Insha Ji utho’ passed away after losing a battle with cancer 39 years ago. He left behind a legacy that earned a place in commoner’s hearts and all the literary minds.

Changing the trends of Urdu travelogue writing, he covered cultural trends and a variety of interesting qualities of people living all around, introduced us to Japan, UK, USA, Malaysia, Russia (Soviet Union), India, Turkey, France, China, Iran, and others, in a detailed style; but not forgetting to maintain his witty humor.

Ibn-e-Insha was a writer of fathomless diligence. He was one of the few who had extraordinary command over both prose and poetry. He could show the gloomy dark phase of life through poetry along with lively and vivacious poetry at the same time. His poetic abilities can be gauged from the fact that once at an occasion in the Chinese city of Wuhan, as he notes in his travelogue Chalte Ho to Cheen ko Chaliye, bands were performing trendy songs that a translator was roughly helping him out with. As each verse came, Ibn-e-Insha live-penned it in rhythmical form and it became an Urdu song.

Ibne Insha's poetic works are Chand Nagar and Dil-e-Wehshi while travelogues are "Awara Gard Ki Diary", "Dunya Gol Hey", "Ibn-e-Batoota Kay Taqub Main", "Chaltay Ho to Cheen Ko Chaliye" and "Nagri Nagri Phira Musafir". His humorous books are "Khumar-e-Gandum" and "Urdu Ki Aakhri Kitaab". His collection of letters is titled "Khat Insha Jee Kay".

One of his books, I read recently was Nagri Nagri Phira Musafir, his last book before death and it published after his death, naming it with referring to Ibn-e-Insha. The publisher, who was the very close friend of him, gave the title explaining the whole life of Insha Ji in two lines. It was Nagri Nagri Phira Musafir, Ghar Ka Rasta Bhool Gaya.

Nazish Islam - a media graduate with an undying love for chai, books, traveling, series shows, sports, hijab, and of course writing.

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Insha Ji Utho!

When we hear the name Ibn-e-Insha, a black-and-white picture appears in front of our eyes in which a singer is singing a song, sitting with his instruments, Insha Ji Utho ab Kooch Karo, (Insha Ji, get...