Prominent Urdu poet, critic and writer Shamsur Rehman Faruqi breathed his last on Friday morning following a tough battle with Covid-19. He was 85 years old. The veteran will be buried next to his late wife Jamila at the Newada graveyard in Ashok Nagar. The funeral will only be attended by close family and friends, shared his nephew and writer Mahmood Farooqui. “He had been Covid-19 positive but was discharged on November 23 after his test results came negative. However, he developed complications and a fungal infection, mycosis, which further worsened his condition. He was being treated at a hospital in Delhi,” he said.
Farooqui added, “He wanted to come to his beloved city where he spent all his life. He arrived in his home town Prayagraj in an air ambulance on Friday morning and died shortly afterwards around 11:15am.” Faruqi was popular for his work as an Urdu critic, poet, writer, and theorist, covering genres ranging from literary history and criticism to poetry and fiction. Not many know that Faruqi vastly contributed to the revival of the oral storytelling art form, Dastangoi. His book Kai Chaand The Sar-e-Asmaan, written in 2006, has been hailed as a masterpiece of Urdu fiction. He has also translated his stories into English which are included in a book titled The Sun That Rose from the Earth in 2014.
His famous works include Early Urdu Literary Culture and History (2001), The Flower-Lit Road: Essays in Urdu Literary Theory and Criticism (2005), Urdu Ka Arambhik Yug (2007) and The Mirror of Beauty (2013). Faruqi was awarded the Saraswati Samman in 1996 for Sher-e Shor-Angez, a study of the major eighteenth-century poet Meer Taqi Meer published in four volumes. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2009. Born on September 30, 1935 in a village in Azamgarh, Faruqi completed his MA (English) from Allahabad University in 1955 and began writing in 1960. He was also the editor of his literary magazine Shabkhoon. May he rest in peace.