Pakistan’s most widely read, renown humourist Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi passed away Wednesday, Mushtaq Ahmad Yousufi died after a protracted illness in Karachi. He was 94.
A distinguished banker by profession, Yousufi made his appearance on the literary scene in 1961 with the publication of his first book – Charagh Talay – which was a compilation of 12 humorous essays. It was followed by his second book – Khakam ba Dahan – containing eight humorous essays and published in 1969. Both the books being a compilation of essays naturally lack thematic integrity except for the thread of humor and wit that runs through these writings. His third book – Zarguzasht – appeared in 1976. It is a fictional autobiography where Yousufi himself is not the main character — and leaves it to the reader to find out Yousufi from amongst so many characters.
His fourth book, Aab-e-Gum, published in 1990, is a nostalgic account of a generation on both sides of the border who witnessed the Partition and the pains and sufferings it entailed, besides the loss of home and erosion of values and norms. His fifth and last book, Sham-e-Shair-e-Yaraanwas published in 2014. It falls short of lofty standards of style and craftsmanship, Yousufi had himself set in his earlier four books. It is a spoken word, lacking Yousufian grace of the written word. It is a compilation of assorted speeches and addresses delivered to a variety of gatherings that suffer for want of coherence and thematic integrity.
In recognition of his contributions to Urdu literature, the government of Pakistan conferred upon him two highest literary awards Sitara-i-Imtiaz and Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 1999 and 2002, respectively.
Yousufi was born on August 4, 1923 in the then princely state of Tonk in United India. His father was the political secretary of the state. Yousufi migrated to Pakistan in 1956 and became a career banker.
Yousufi was widely admired in the literary circles for his unique way of writing and subtle satire.
Literary circles, media persons, and fans have expressed grief over the demise of the legendary writer and appreciated his contribution to Urdu literature.