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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Zeeshan Sahil - Lonely no more!

An Evening with Zeeshan Sahil was the event that
launched T2F. Only last week he'd called to say
that he'd be glad to do another reading
there ... and I began thinking of an
event for T2F's first birthday
that would bring him and
other Urdu poets
Asif Farrukhi's call
shattered me completely.
Zeeshan's voice had suddenly been stilled!
He will be missed by everyone
who came into contact with him or
knew him through his verses and books.
Most of all, he will be missed by his love: Karachi.
Only a few days ago,
Fatima Bhutto,
wrote this.
Zeeshan Sahil, an Urdu poet once wrote of our city, our home, "It is a lie that in Karachi, after the rain, the sprouting grass doesn’t have blades deep green and soft. Or that the trees do not give shade without the help of clouds … With us in Karachi live birds who fly from trees through the sound of bullets and bombs; perch on walls; always they gather somewhere to pray. Our books don’t wait inside cupboards for termites. Now our hearts swim these seas where once our eyes searched for golden flowers and our hands tear down the walls that once buried us alive". This, like the calling of Sahil’s birds, is a prayer for us and for our city, our home. Let us await the day that our hands tear down those walls; it won’t be long.

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Anonymous Sabeen Mahmud said...

Couldn't sleep for hours last night. Simply can't believe it. I feel truly lucky to have met him and thank you for introducing me to him and his poetry. Will cherish 3rd June 2007 forever as well as a phone call from Zeeshan some months later.

Here are some more photos:

13 April, 2008 13:55

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my God....the news completed shuttered me when I wrote the sad desmise of Zeeshan in Daily Jang yesterday. Couldn't reach to attend his funeral but by elder brother Tanveer managed at the local Imam Bargah. Me, Zeeshan, My brother Tanveer and Hussain Samdani were in the same school in Latifabad, Hyderabad but year after leaving the school in 1972, his insite poety was introduced to me by Hussain Samdani who was in close touch with him. He was a different kind of poet that has his own uniqueness and style, a very different voice and personality. In fact I started ready and archiving his poetries from my college days. I was a very fine person and will be remembered long time. Tauqeer.

14 April, 2008 13:28

Blogger aziz72 said...

Thank you ZAK for introducing me to Zeeshan Sahil's poetry, and Sabeen for hosting him for the first 'ín your own voice'event last June.
What made a huge impact was not just the simplicity of the language in his poetry, but his gracious persona as well. Yes, he will be sorely missed.

15 April, 2008 17:51

Blogger Irfan said...

It is truly amazing to see someone following his ideals regardless of what the world around him is saying. Zeeshan Sahil was amongst those very few creative writers who stand by their poetic msnifesto amidst all chaos and kept on creating truly touching and soulful poetry. Kidos to T2F and Dr. Asif Farrukhi for keeping poets like Zeeshan Sahil on the literary scene despite their personal preference for staying away from mainstream literary culture. May his soul be blessed.

16 April, 2008 14:17

Blogger waheeda baloch said...

The one person who always called me on my cell and i was asked by him "karachi kab aana hai" is no more.....
i am not able to listen that voice again, my phone will never show his name blinking on its screen and nobody will say hellooo in his distinct style, nobody will ask me to bring peacock feathers for him.... zeeshan sahil is no more

19 April, 2008 13:28

Blogger Zakintosh said...

@tauqeer, waheeda baloch, and others who knew him. June 3rd will be exactly one year from the date that Zeeshan spent an evening with us at T2F. I suggest we gather there again this year to honour him.

If you can come, read from his works, play recordings of him reciting, recall personal anecdotes, or share images via the projection system, please email asap.

19 April, 2008 14:57

Anonymous rahmat masih said...

A review of 'On the Outside', the English translation of the late Sahil sahib's poems is available here

Thank you for this post, Zakintosh

20 April, 2008 00:05

Blogger Zakintosh said...

If you are willing to read Urdu in the disgustingly awful BBC font, read Zeeshan's obituary by a close friend, Anwar Sen Roy.

Another interesting link leads to Zeeshan's comments on the MQM that earned him a great deal of criticism and abuse.

20 April, 2008 00:38

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to attend this gathering. It will be a great help if someone can trace one of Zeeshan's life friend Hussain Samdani one of the finest artist I've seen. I do not know his whereabouts but it will be an opportunity to have him in this gathering. My email contact is

21 April, 2008 00:49

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am one of the miserable men whom zeeeshan left in loneliness and according to him ' Zinda reh janey waly '. so I am , his room, his bed, his chair, his writing pad and all his belongings recall me to live with out zeeshan but with his belongings and my belonging is time spent with him the forty six years of his age he lived with us. I never be able to thank Ajmal, Asif, Rafiq, Saeed, Hussian smadani, and Sabeen who shared their life and time , and care with him,

Abid Raza

07 July, 2008 15:26


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