Celebrated writer, poet and educationist, Prof Ghulam Nabi Firaq passed away today at the age of 94 after prolonged illness at his house in Nowshera here.
Prof Firaq, one of the last remaining legendary writers in Kashmir was author of around 20 books. His collection included essays, criticism, translations and poems. The former SP College teacher wrote almost all forms that include blank verse, free verse, sonnets, quatrains, metric poems and lyrics. He was born on 15 July 1922 in Old City and got nourished in the rich literary atmosphere of then Srinagar to reach the topmost position in the field of art and culture. Together with his cousin and legendary writer Prof Rahman Rahi, the duo held a sway in the literary circles.
"The world of Kashmiri literature will never be same again after the demise of Prof Firaq. He was writer par excellence and humble person who never got indulged in any controversy," said Ghulam Nabi Khayal a writer friend of Prof Firaq. "His remarkable contribution has been the Kashmiri translation of famed western poets like Shakespeare, Shelly, Tennyson and others. His translation reflected the essence of those poets and it got him praise everywhere."
Prof Firaq also translated scores of poems from English, Urdu, Bengali-Tagore and Persian into Kashmiri language, besides translating number of literary essays and short stories from English language into Kashmiri.
Prof Firaq was one of the tallest members of Progressive Literary Movement founded in 1947. With Firaq's death the number of surviving members of the elite movement has been reduced to just two – that include Khayal and Prof Rahman Rahi.
Originally from Bohri Kadal, Prof Firaq made his way to SP College where he was appointed as librarian. In the library he immersed himself in world of literature and it became his defining moment as an accomplished writer. During this time he completed Masters in English and was appointed as teacher in the college and he retired on the same position. He students include who is who of the state. He also co-founded Standard Public School.
Prof Firaq received Sahitya Akademi Award for his famed poem collection Sada-Te-Samandar. He has also received Life Achievement Award by J&K Academy of Art Culture and Languages. Some of his books are still under publication. He also edited various journals and his essays are still circulated among art lovers.
His poems have been sung by almost all prominent singers from Kashmir.
He is regarded as one of the very few people of Kashmir who has been trying to preserve the rich Kashmiri culture, heritage and language.
His demise has been widely condoled by all sections of the society. "The vacuum which he left is hard to fill," said Khayal. "He had dedicated his entire life for enriching and preserving the identity of Kashmir through its rich art and culture."
Some of his Kashmiri verses are rage among art lovers and often quoted in discussions.
Mokh Pron Bar Tchaav Subahaaai Subahaai
Oundh Pokh Mushkyaav Subahaai Subahaai
(That pretty face visited me early, too early in the morning ..
The ambiance around is simply perfumed early, too early in the morning).
Prof Firaq was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard at Nowshehra, Srinagar.
CM, others condole demise:
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has condoled the demise.
In her message of condolence, the Chief Minister said Prof. Firaq's contribution in enriching Kashmir's modern poetry would be remembered for long.
She has prayed for peace to the departed soul and expressed sympathies with the bereaved family.
Minister for Culture, Dr Haseeb Drabu, and Director Information Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary have also condoled the demise.