Dated 2019-04-23
12
Sep
2017

Patron Litterateur

Syed is known for his benevolence towards fellow writers and poets.

Wahshi Syed is an important name in Jammu and Kashmir among writers who have carved a special niche in the subcontinent and achieved a distinctive personality by their mastery in the genre known in Urdu as afsana.

The secret of Syed’s success lies, perhaps, in the breadth and sweep of his subjects, which focus not only on the local and the domestic, but also on regional and international issues, carrying a richness and variety unique in their cultural and historical contexts.

Peopled with characters from diverse backgrounds, creed and colour, his stories unfold like history come alive in its glories and triumphs and tragedies, and bear the mark of a deft hand that recounts with honesty, clarity and responsibility.

Remarkably, his allegorical works never lose the magic and flavour of the story traditionally told.

Leading Urdu critic and theorist Shamsur Rahman Faruqi believes the beauty of Syed’s art lies in its diversity. “The first thing that catches your eye is the diversity in Syed’s short stories,” says Faruqi. “His afsanas are facile and allegorical in nature.”  Faruqi admires Syed’s ability to reflect socio-political problems and believes that the sensitivity in Syed’s stories comes from the pain and oppression that humans heap on each other, which he takes to the reader through his imagery. “In his afsanas,” says Farooqui, “you get to see exploitation, encroachment, lust for power and pain – all these vices are so rampant in our society.”

 

Former Vice Chancellor (University of Kashmir) and noted Urdu poet Prof. Hamidi Kashmiri puts him in the league of Akhter Mohiuddin, Amin Kamil, Ali Mohammad Lone, Pushkar Nath and other literary stalwarts.

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“Syed made his mark in storytelling while he was a student and caught attention through his works, such as Khwab Haqeeqat, Kunwaray Alfaz Ka Jazeera and Sadak Ja Rahi Hai.,” reminisces Prof. Hamidi. “Syed’s stories are written in the backdrop of the prevailing politics, society, and various facets of life and that makes them so personal to the reader. He draws his inspiration from what’s happening around him and various dynamics that are influential in various ways and that’s precisely why his stories are so modern and contemporary.”

 

With his extraordinary flair for winning new friends and building new bonds, a gift Syed himself is keenly aware of, the list of his admirers and well-wishers seems never to end.

A simple, decent and cultured person, with a mind alive to circumstance, Syed engages with his soft tone, and finely-drawn thinking.

Though gentle in tenor and, at times, of sedate pace, Syed never fails to convince with his sure and confident style.

His frequent overseas travels for a successful business he owns also lend to the vast experience from which he draws his characters and situations, sketched with such empathy and understanding.

Syed is also the editor-in-chief of the Urdu journal Nagina International, which now needs no introduction in literary circles. His passionate involvement with the world of letters, particularly Urdu, can be gauged from the fact that he funds the entire venture from his own resources.

The secret of Syed’s success lies, perhaps, in the breadth and sweep of his subjects, which focus not only on the local and the domestic, but also on regional and international issues, carrying a richness and variety unique in their cultural and historical contexts.

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Further, he serves as the president of the Jammu and Kashmir Fiction Writers’ Guild, a forum which has, under his stewardship, taken a bold new leap in promoting and evolving the Urdu short story

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