Col Shafiq-ur-Rahman (Humorist)

Thursday, October 09, 2014 - By M. Amir

Shafiq-ur-Rahman  was born on 9 November 1920 near a small town of Rohtak. He died on 19 March 2000. He was a Pakistani humoris and a short-story writer of Urdu language. He was one of the most illustrious writers of the Urdu speaking world. Like western Mark Twain and Stephen Leacock, he has given enduring pleasure to his readers. He was a medical doctor by profession, and served in Pakistan Army. He also received Hilal-e-Imtiaz for his military and civilian services. He has widely been apprecitated by writers and critics of Urdu literature.
Here below a detail about Dr. Shafiq " Shafiq-ur-Rehman: A Legendary Writer"  has been narrated by By Dr. Zeba Hasan Hafeez.
Dr Shafiq-ur-Rehman was one of our illustrious writers of extraordinary humor and has given enduring pleasure to his readers. The similarity between him and Mushtaq Ahmed Yusufi, is striking in the context of literary humor and satire. Both did justice to their careers of serving in the armed forces and banking, respectively and also reached the heights of literary excellence. Early in his career as a writer, Shafiq-ur-Rehman became a household name. I recall the words of Akhtar Mahmud Faruqui, former Assistant Editor of Dawn and currently the Editor of Pakistan Link, USA, “My dearest father had wanted me to become an engineer but I used to spend most of my time reading Shafiq-ur-Rehman and learning his afsanas by heart.” Dr Shafiq-ur-Rehman began writing humorous stories during his school days. His stories were published in a literary monthly magazine called Khayyam. Kirneyn was completed before he joined medical college and was published in 1938 while he was still a medical student. It was followed by Shagoofay , Lehrain, Maddojazar, Parvaaz, Himaqatain, Mazeed Himaqatain, Dajla (a travelogue), Insaani Tamasha (a translation of “a human comedy”) and lastly Dareechay. His unforgettable characters include Razia, Shaitaan, Hukoomat Aapa, Maqsood Ghora, Buddy, Nannha and others. His work added a new dimension to humor in Urdu literature. He created a world for us that was very real with all its joys, pains and anguish. It was an affirmation of life and of human values: empathy, compassion and respect. Even the seemingly frivolous and trivial situations had hidden meanings that probed deep into the human psyche. His language was simple, spontaneous and expressive. PG Wood House and Stephen Leacock were amongst his favorite writers. After passing his MBBS in 1942, Dr Shafiq-ur-Rehman joined the Indian Army Medical Corps. He completed his post-graduation in tropical medicine and public health from Edinburgh, in 1952. I had the rare pleasure and privilege of being close to him, as a niece. He was always my hero. I found everything about him extraordinary: his literary genius, his conversation, his stature, his handsomeness, and his handwriting… I don’t think, I have seen anyone more becoming in an army or naval uniform. We all called him uncle. There was an ancient timepiece on the sideboard in the dining room, which only he was able to adjust. When I met my aunt recently, she sadly said that no one manipulated it now. They had many common interests and a great companionship. Dr Shafiq-ur-Rehman was her brother, Shaukat Hasan’s friend. They were classmates at King Edward Medical College, which was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. In Barsaati, the “friend” accompanying the author in Spain, is him. Lieutenant General Shaukat Hasan has served as consultant surgeon to the Pakistan armed forces for about twenty years. Dr Shafiq-ur-Rehman had many nieces and nephews. He had committed to memory some act or conversation of each child in the family. Whenever he met me after an interval, he would say that years ago, I had asked him to wear a suit for an occasion and he had found my suggestion so appropriate that he had quickly gone in and changed. I always felt important when he mentioned this incident. Our families had the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time together in Karachi, from 1972 to 1975 when he was posted as Director Medical Services, Navy with the rank of commodore and later as rear admiral. When he reverted to the army, he became Major General. My aunt took a long leave from her post as professor of English at the Government College, Rawalpindi to join him. He adored his sons and spent a great deal of time with them, playing cricket, swimming and in other activities. Dr Shafiq-ur-Rehman was very much of an outdoor person. He was tall, athletic and slim; strenuous exercise being a daily ritual for him. Every Sunday, he would wear his hat and go for a long walk to the bazaar of used books. He returned with an interesting assortment and gave each of us a book to read. Whenever we went to Dr Shafiq-ur-Rehman’s house, we knew that depending upon the time, he would either be at work, outdoors for his daily exercise or in his study. If it was one of the meal times, we would have the memorable opportunity of being in his company. I always felt honored to sit at the dining table with him. He spoke most of the time and we listened, mesmerized. He had an amazing memory and his conversation would mostly be about books, poetry and jokes. His jokes were endless and he never repeated a single one. He had a special way of telling a joke which threw us all into fits of laughter while he sat with a straight face. Later, I found out that most people who had met him shared this impression. It was an unwritten law in their house that meal times were a reunion of the family and that anything unpleasant including illness was not to be discussed. Every time I visited the family in Rawalpindi, my aunt and I took turns in reading out passages from his books. She told me the background of many situations too. I always made it a point to go through all their old picture albums. Dr Shafiq-ur-Rehman was very fond of photography. Each photograph seemed to have a historical perspective to it. My aunt had a story to tell about each one. They seemed to open a gateway to a dreamland of romanticism, youth; a glimpse into life, as he had lived it and as it had inspired him. His room was quite bare. He was an extraordinarily simple and private person. I sometimes caught a glimpse of him while he worked. There was a newspaper stand in his room where he stood for hours, barefoot, reading. He even wrote while standing. His library comprised of thousands of books. These were all stacked neatly in steel trunks, which were kept locked. He seemed to have a working catalogue in his mind and knew where each book was placed, even the pile and row down to the last detail. Dr Shafiq-ur-Rehman had given me an autographed set of his books. Somehow Mazeed Himaqatain was missing from this collection. When I went to Rawalpindi after his passing away, I requested my aunt to autograph it for me. She wrote, “Barey shauq saye suun raha tha zamana Hameey soo gayae dastaan sunaatey sunaatey.” I have tried to translate a few lines from Barsaati that have always moved me. “Alhamra seems like the home of fairies. Every pillar, arch, wall and their beautiful engravings, every inch seems magical. In this solitude, the only sign of life seems to emerge from the sound of these fountains. These springs have never been silent. They have been flowing since the era of the Arabs. The limitedness of human life, the vicissitudes of time, philosophy, creation and destruction; all seem to have become absorbed into the sound of these fountains.” After retiring from the Army, General Shafiq-ur-Rehman, served as Chairman of the Academy of Letters from 1980 to 1985. During his tenure, the Academy of Letters acquired a new dimension as a prominent literary institution of Pakistan. He continued to write till his end in March 2000. He was the only Major General to be awarded the Hilal e Imtiaz for his military and civilian services. He was bestowed the latter posthumously and his son, Atiq-ur-Rehman received it on his behalf on 23 March, 2001. Dr Shafiq-ur-Rehman is a legend in Urdu literature and lives on in our hearts. His books have been appreciated and read so widely that had he belonged to any other country, he would have been a millionaire. However, he never asked for any royalties and never made any kind of monetary agreement with his publishers. Dr Rehman’s lifestyle was always simple. On one occasion, a thief tried to break into their house and in the process damaged a door whose repair caused the family considerable inconvenience. I recall him saying that a sign should be posted outside for thieves, “The door is open, you don’t have to break it.”
اردو میں پڑھیں
 شفیق الرحمن (9 نومبر، 1920ء تا 19 مارچ، 2000ء) پاکستان کے ایک اردو مصنف تھے جو اپنے رومانوی افسانہ جات اور مزاحیہ مضامین کی وجہ سے شہرت رکھتے تھے تاہم انہیں بنیادی طور پر ایک مزاح نگار کے طور پر جانا جاتا ہے۔شفیق الرحمن کلانور مشرقی پنجاب میں پیدا ہوئے۔ شفیق الرحمن کے والد کا نام عبدالرحمن تھا۔ انہوں نے ایم بی بی ایس (پنجاب) ڈی پی ایچ (اڈنبر۔ برطانیہ) ڈی ٹی ایم اینڈ ایچ (لندن) فیلو آف فریشنز اینڈ سرجنز (پاکستان) سے حاصل کیں۔ 1942 میں پنجاب یونیورسٹی کنک ایڈورڈ کالج لاہور سے ایم بی بی ایس کیا۔آزادی کے بعد پاکستان آرمی کی طرف سے ایڈنبرا اور لندن یونیورسٹیوں میں اعلی تعلیم کے حصول کے لیے بھیج دیا گیا ۔ دو برس انگلینڈ میں قیام کے دوران انہوں نے ڈی پی ایچ کے ڈپلومہ کورس مکمل کیےزمانہ طالب علمی کے دوران کنگ ایڈروڈ میڈیکل کالج کے ادبی مجلہ کے ایڈیٹر رہے۔ یہ زمانہ 1941ء سے 1942ء تک کے عرصہ پر محیط ہے۔ لڑکپن اور جوانی میں سیر و سیاحت، کرکٹ باکسنگ اور تیراکی میں جنون کی حد تک دلچسپی رہی جبکہ کارٹون نگاری، مصوری اور فوٹوگرافی کے خبط اس کے علاوہ تھے۔1942 میں ساڑھے اکیس برس کی عمر میں ایم بی بی ایس کرنے کے بعد میو ہسپتال لاہور میں چند ماہ ہاوس جاب کیا اور اسی سال انڈین میڈیکل سروس میں چلے گئے۔ دوسری جنگ عظیم میں مختلف محاذوں پر ملازمت کرنے اور کئی ممالک کی سیر کرنے کا موقع ملا۔ 1947ء میں قیام پاکستان کے بعد آپ کو بری سے بحری فوج میں منتقل کر دیا گیا جہاں سے ستمبر 1979ء میں سرجن ریرایڈمرل کے رینک سے بطور ڈائریکٹر میڈیکل سروسز ریٹائر ہوئے۔دسمبر 1980ء میں آپ کو اکادمی ادبیات پاکستان کا چیرمین مقرر کر دیا گیا جہاں سے مدت ملازمت کے ختم ہونے پر راولپنڈی میں ریٹائر زندگی گزاری۔ شفیق الرحمن کے فن اور شخصیت پر یوسف ساجد کے تحقیقی کام کو ایم فل کی ڈگری جامع عثمانیہ حیدر آباد نے تفویض کی ہے۔شفیق الرحمن نے ریٹائر زندگی کے آخری کئی سال گوشہ نشینی میں گزارے ان کے تین بیٹے تھے۔ سب سے بڑا بیٹا بینک میں ملازم رہا جبکہ درمیان والے نے خود کشی کر لی تھی۔ چھوٹے بیٹے کی آنکھ کے پچھلے حصے میں بندوق کا چھرہ لگ گیا تھا جس سے ان کی آنکھ کی بینائی متاثر ہوئی۔ شفیق الرحمن مزاجاً ایک رومانوی افسانہ نگار ہیں۔ اور یہی وجہ ہے کہ اُن کے پہلے افسانوی مجموعے کرنیں کا دیباچہ حجاب امتیاز علی نے لکھا۔ اس مجموعے میں اُس عہد کے ناآسودہ ذہن کی تسکین کے لیے تمام مطلوبہ اجزا ہیں، دراز قدر خوبصورت ہیرو جو حسِ مزاح بھی رکھتا ہے اور تعلیم کے ساتھ ساتھ کھیلوں میں بھی نمایاں ہے۔ اسی طرح اُس کی نسائی ہمزاد جو داستانوں سے نکل کر افسانے کی دنیا میں آئی تھی ، اگر دونوں کے وصال کے بیچ میں کوئی اڑچن نکل آئے تو پھر یا رقیب وسعت قلب سے کام لیتا ہے اور یا پھر ہیرو یا ہیروئن اپنی اداس یاد کے ذریعے اس محرومی کو عمر کا سرمایہ بنا لیتی ہے۔ ’’میں نے ایک ٹوٹے ہوئے دل کی صدا سنی تھی ۔۔۔۔ ایسے شخص کی زبانی جس کی تمناؤں کے کھنڈر پر میں نے اپنی امیدوں کے محل کی بنیاد رکھتی چاہی ۔ چنانچہ صبح تک میں نے فیصلہ کر لیا کہ میر چلا جانا ہی بہتر ہے‘‘(گرمی کی چھٹیاں ؛ کرنیں ص104) ’’اس کے قدم لڑکھڑا رہے تھے۔ ایسا لگتا تھا جیسے کوئی بچھڑی ہوئی بے چین روح سکون کی تلاش میں ادھر ادھر بھٹک رہی ہے‘‘(وسعت ؛ کرنیں ص: 151) دوسرے مجموعے شگوفے میں بھی کرداروں کی دل برداشتگی اور پھر بکھرنے کے حوالے سے بڑا جذباتی مگر مقبول پیرائیہ اظہار ہے۔ البتہ اس مجموعے کے ایک افسانے، ساڑھے چھ میں شفیق الرحمن کا وہ کردار ’’شیطان‘‘ متعارف ہوتا ہے جو بعد میں ان کے افسانوں اور مزاحیہ مضامین کا مستقل کردار بن گیا۔ یہی نہیں بلکہ اس مجموعے ’’شیطان‘‘ کے نام سے اسی کردار کے بارے میں ایک افسانہ بھی شامل ہے۔ یہ دونوں مجموعے ایک برس کے وقفے کے ساتھ ہی شائع ہوئے تھے اس لیے اسلوب میں کوئی بڑی تبدیلی نہیں ہے۔ اتفاق سے تیسرا مجموعہ مدو جزر بھی دوسرے مجموعے کی اشاعت کے ایک برس بعد شائع ہوا مگر اس میں مدوجزر نکے نام کا ہی افسانہ ایک ایسے تخلیق کار سے متعارف کرواتا ہے جو صرف انشاپردازی اور رومانوی فارمولے کے بل پر ہی افسانہ نہیں لکھ رہا بلکہ اب اس کی توجہ کرداروں کے داخلی تلاطم پر بھی ہے اور ساتھ ہی ساتھ فطرت پس منظر کے طور پر استعمال نہیں ہوتی بلکہ ایک دم ساز کے طور پر آتی ہے اور زندگی کے بارے میں بعض فلسفیانہ خیالات بھی محسوسات کے راستے پروان چڑھتے ہیں۔ چوتھا مجموعہ ’’پچھتاوے‘‘ بھی قیام پاکستان سے پہلے شائع ہوا، اس میں عمومی اسلوب رومانی ہے، مگر اب کرداروں کے پس منظر میں صرف مناظر فطرت نہیں بلکہ اجتماعی زندگی کی جھلکیاں بھی دکھائی دیتی ہیں۔ اور یہ تو ’’لہریں‘‘ کی اشاعت کے ساتھ ہی محسوس ہوا تھا کہ اب رومان کے بطن سے ایک ایسا مزاح نگار بھی طلوع ہو رہا ہے جس نے بعد میں شاید ایک مزاح نگار کے طور پر زیادہ بڑا حوالہ بننا تھا۔ خاص طور پر اس میں شامل اُن کا افسانہ ’’زیادتی‘‘۔ "دجلہ" ان کا طویل مختصر افسانہ ہے، جس سے انھیں بہت مقبولیت حاصل ہوئی ، دوسرے یہ افسانہ سی ایس ایس کے نصاب میں شامل ہوگیا، چنانچہ پاکستان کی مقتدر کلاس میں شمولیت کے لیے بھی کسی بھی مہذب شخص کے لیے اس افسانے کے بارے میں گفتگو کرنا لازمی ہو گیا۔ حالانکہ قراۃ العین حیدر اور محمود نظامی کی تحریروں کے سائے میں اس کی الگ سکے شناخت آسان نہیں۔ شفیق الرحمن 19 مارچ 2000ء کو اپنے مالک حقیقی سے جا ملے۔

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