24 June, 2021

Bombs Fell, And Darwish Called

She would have lived a rich and meaningful life had she not married Faiz. But being Faiz’s wife brought an extra dimension.

Bombs Fell, And Darwish Called
outlookindia.com
2016-06-25T11:51:11+05:30

Caesar’s wife, we have been told, must be above reproach. But what about a poet’s wife? Is there a template for her? Must she be a silent muse or long-suffering soul-mate? Or, like Victorian children, should she be neither seen nor heard? Alys Faiz, wife of Urdu’s best-known poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, defies any such facile categorisations. Very much a person in her own right, she was a teacher, journalist, human rights act­ivist, social worker and a poet. Without a doubt, she would have lived a rich and meaningful life had she not married Faiz. But being Faiz’s wife brought an extra dimension. For, not everyone has lived through CID raids and jail visits. Nor crouched against bedroom walls as Israeli rockets fly overhead and bombs are dropped over Beirut.

Daughter of an English bookseller, Alys and her sister Christabel became active among left-leaning Indian students during the early 1930s. Her circle of friends included M.D. Taseer, Mulk Raj Anand, Iqbal Singh and Sajjad Zaheer, who would form the powerful literary grouping known as the...

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