The Re­nais­sance Man

Slogan - - Cover Story - By Ruby Haider

7hen my friend Jawaid Iqbal asked me to do a piece on one who he called my old fam­ily friend, namely An­war Maq­sood, I must con­fess feel­ing slightly over­whelmed. The prospect seemed daunt­ing, to say the least.

Bano who comes and sits with me af­ter fin­ish­ing her chores ev­ery evening re­marked that I looked thought­ful and asked me why. I told her that I had been com­mis­sioned to write about a friend that I had known for al­most four decades but sur­pris­ingly did not know where to be­gin to tell his story. Bano looked puz­zled and in­cred­u­lous. She asked who did I have a writer’s block about in spite of such a long du­ra­tion of friend­SHIP 7HEN ) VOL­UN­TEERED !NWAR "HAI S name for her in­for­ma­tion, Bano looked at me sym­pa­thet­i­cally and said: “Baji, woh tau khud it­nay baray laykhat hain, aap kiya likh sakain gi un­kay baaray mein?”. Roughly trans­lated: Madam, what will you be able to write about some­one who is such a great pen­man him­self?

Her sim­ple logic should have clinched it for me but oddly it served an­other pur­pose. It demon­strated to me the reach of An­war Bhai’s ta­lent and his art. It was ev­i­dent that he is heard and re­spected as much in drawing rooms as he is in the streets. That his voice spans across all so­ci­etal classes and his mes­sage re­sponded to. In brief, An­war is a man of the peo­ple. That is the mea­sure of the man. That, too, is his charisma.

An­war is the quintessen­tial re­nais­sance man. An in­tel­lec­tual, a writer, a satirist, a hu­morist, an artist, he is all of these and much more. He is a fear­less com­men­ta­tor on the state of af­fairs in the coun­try, whether po­lit­i­cal or so­cial, and his ra­zor

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