Stories about Qateel Shifai

Celebrating Qateel Shifai at 100: The ‘Captive of Life’s Womb’

“Write these words on the epitaph of my tomb, The deceased passed away, a captive of life’s womb.” The great Pakistani poet Qateel Shifai was born 100 years ago today in Haripur, in what is now called Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. Shifai’s poem ‘Chakle’ (Brothels), from his 1964 Adamjee Literary Award-winning collection ‘Mutriba’ (Songstress), is lesser known than his comrade Sahir Ludhianvi’s 1949 poem of the same name; but, in my humble opinion, the former preserves its devastating impact by being descriptive rather than prescriptive, which is how Ludhianvi chooses to end his poem, thereby marring some of its beauty. In the ...

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