Ada Jafri

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Ada Jafarey
ادؔا جعفری (Urdu)
A medium close-up photograph of a light-skinned, middle-aged woman, wearing a teal-coloured, patterned sāŗī, with a matching colī; shot taken from her right
Ada Jafarey in 1987 (Karachi)
Born Aziz Jahan
(1924-08-22) 22 August 1924 (age 89)
Badayun, U.P., British India
Pen name Ada Jafri
Occupation Poet, author
Language Urdu
Nationality British Indian (1924–1947)
Pakistani (1947 to date)
Period Modern Era
Genres
Subjects Including Feminism
Notable award(s)
Spouse(s) Nurul Hasan Jafarey (m. 194795)
Children
  • Sabiha Jafarey
  • Azmi Jafarey
  • Aamir Jafarey

www.adajafarey.com

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Ada Jafarey[a] (PP, TI) also spelt Ada Jafri[1] (born 22 August 1924 in Badayun, U.P., British India)[1][2][3][4] is a Pakistani poet who is regarded as the first major Urdu poet who publishes as a woman[1][3][4][5] and has been called "The First Lady of Urdu Poetry".[1] She is also an author[6] and is considered a prominent figure in contemporary Urdu literature.[1][3][7] She has received awards from Pakistan Writers' Guild, the Government of Pakistan and literary societies of North America and Europe in recognition of her efforts.[3]

Life[edit]

Early life[edit]

Ada Jafarey was born on 22 August 1924, in Badayun, U.P. Her birthname was Aziz Jahan.[b][1][3] Her father died when she was three, and her mother reared her.[6] She started composing poetry when she was twelve[1][3] years old, under the pen name of Ada Badayuni. She spent her early life within impassable social bounds.[7]

Married life[edit]

She married Nurul Hasan Jafarey[c] on 29 January 1947, in Lucknow, India. After her marriage, she took her pen name Ada Jafarey. Her husband, Nurul Hasan, was a top-ranking civil servant of the Federal Government of India. Ada Jafarey also moved with her husband to Karachi after the independence of Pakistan in 1947.[3] Her husband was a littérateur himself who wrote columns for both English and Urdu newspapers. He also served as the president of the Anjuman-i Taraqqi-i Urdu. Nurul Hasan, a major inspiration to her writing, passed away on 3 December 1995.[1]

Later life[edit]

She currently resides in Karachi, Pakistan.[1] She frequently travels back and forth between Karachi and Toronto, playing an active role in promoting Urdu.[3]

Family[edit]

Ada Jafarey and Nurul Hasan Jafarey have three children, Sabiha Jafarey, Azmi Jafarey and Aamir Jafarey.[8] Sabiha Jafarey is married to Zubair Iqbal and is settled in Potomac, Maryland, US. They have three children Sabah Iqbal, Yusuf Iqbal and Sameer Iqbal.[8] Azmi Jafarey and his wife Shua Jafarey are now settled in Andover, Massachusetts, US. They have two sons, Faaez Jafarey and Aazim Jafarey.[8] Aamir Jafarey, and his wife, Maha Jafarey, together with their daughter Asra Jafarey, live with Ada Jafarey in Karachi.[8] Ada Jafarey has two great grandchildren, Sabine Rana and Rizwan Rana, children of Sabah Iqbal Rana and her husband Fawad Rana.[8]

Literary career[edit]

The first female poet[edit]

Ada Jafarey was part of a traditionally conservative society where women were not allowed to think and express independently.[3] But she was bold enough to express herself.[7] Despite having traditionality ingrained in her personality, she took part in modern art.[1] She holds the title of the First Lady of Urdu Poetry.[d][1][3] Her mother, and her husband Nurul Hasan Jafarey, encouraged her to keep on her literary activities in spite of social difficulties.[1][3]

Style[edit]

Ada Jafarey writes in a more or less gender-neutral mode,[9] though her works include feminist themes like discrimination and dehumanisation of women and of them being viewed as sexual objects.[4] Her personality seems absent from her poetry.[1]

Ada Jafarey wrote of her experiences as a wife and mother in a modified traditional idiom, but also noticed the lack of fulfilment that accompanied these relationships.[4]

Genre[edit]

Ada Jafarey's works are mostly Ghazals,[6] but she also experimented with āzād naz̤m,[e][10] as well as Urdu Haiku.[6] She took the takhallus, ‘Ada’, in her Ghazals.

She has also written a few maẓāmīn,[f][6]

Works[edit]

Ada Jafarey published her first collection of poems, “Maiṉ Sāz Ḍhūṉḍtī Rahī” [g] in 1950. She has published five collections of Urdu poetry, in addition to an autobiography, short essay, and forty research papers.[1][3] She also published her collection of Urdu Haiku, Sāz-i Suḵẖn[h][6] Her autobiography, “Jo Rahī so BeḴẖabrī Rahī”[i] has also been published.

Awards[edit]

Ada Jafarey was awarded the Adamjee Literary Award by the Pakistan Writers' Guild in 1967 for her second poetic collection, S̱ẖahr-i Dard.[j][3] In recognition of her work, the Government of Pakistan awarded her the Medal of Excellence in 1981.[3] She received the Baba-e Urdu, Dr. Maulvi Abdul Haq Award from the Pakistan Academy of Letters in 1994, and the Quaid-e Azam Literary Award in 1997.[1] She was also the recipient of the Hamdard Foundation of Pakistan's Certificate of Merit.[1] She is the recipient of various international awards from literary societies in North America and Europe.[3]

The Government of Pakistan conferred upon her the Pride of Performance Award for Literature in 2002.[3] She was the recipient of the Kamal-e Fan Award for lifetime achievement in literature by the Pakistan Academy of Letters in 2003. She is the first woman recipient of the award since the literary prize was established by the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) in 1997.[1]

Feminist views[edit]

Ada Jafarey is a supporter of feminism.[7] She expressed her views thus:[5][k]

میں نے مردوں کی عائد کردہ پابندیوں کو قبول نہیں کیا، بلکہ اُن پابندیوں کو قبول کیا جو میرے ذہن نے مجھ پہ عائد کی ہیں۔۔۔ میں سمجھتی ہوں کہ بات کو بین الستور کہنا زیادہ مناسب ہے کیونکہ رمز و کنایہ بھی تو شاعری کا حُسن ہے۔

Translation: I did not accept the restrictions imposed by men, rather accepted only those restrictions which my mind has imposed upon me... I think that saying things from behind a veil is more appropriate because symbolism and allusion are the beauty of poetry, too.

Critical reputation[edit]

Qazi Abdul Ghaffar, in his introduction to Ada Jafarey’s collection of verses, particularly mentioned her name in the field of feminist way of expression.[7]

The Urdu poet and critic, Jazib Qureshi, said:
“Ada Jafarey is the first and only lady poet who carries in her poetry the eternal colours of Ghalib, Iqbal, and Jigar.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ ادؔا جعفری: Adā Jaʿfrī
  2. ^ عزیز جہاں: ʿAzīz Jahaṉ
  3. ^ نور الحسن جعفری: Nūru l-Ḥasan Jaʿfrī
  4. ^ اُردُو شاعری کی خاتونِ اوّل: Urdū S̱ẖāʿirī kī Ḵẖātūn-i Awwal
  5. ^ آزاد نظم: Urdu for: 'free verse'
  6. ^ مضامین: Urdu for: 'short essays'
  7. ^ میں ساز ڈھونڈتی رہی: Urdu for: I kept looking for the 'musical instrument'
  8. ^ سازِ سخن
  9. ^ جو رہی سو بےخبری رہی: Urdu for: It was just ignorance that stayed on
  10. ^ شہرِ درد: Urdu for: The City of Pain
  11. ^ Maiṉ ne mardoṉ kī ʿāʾid kardah pābandiyoṉ ko qubūl nahīṉ kiyā, balkih un pābandiyoṉ ko qubūl kiyā jo mere ẕahn ne mujh pih ʿāʾid kī haiṉ. Maiṉ samajhtī hūṉ kih bāt ko bainu l-sutūr kahnā ziyādah munāsib hai kyūṉkih ramz o-kināyah bhī to s̱ẖāʿirī kā ḥusn hai.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Biography of Ada Jafarey". PoemHunter.com. Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Professor Hafiz Siddiqui, ed. (2009). "29. Yih faḵẖr to ḥāṣil hai, bure haiṉ kih bhale haiṉ". Bahār-i Urdū 9 (in Urdu) (2nd ed.). Lahore: Punjab Textbook Board. p. 130. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p A. Khan, Rohail. "Ada Jafarey: The first lady of Urdu poetry". Saudi Gazette. Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Natarajan, Nalini (1996). Handbook of Twentieth-century Literatures of India. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 352. ISBN 9780313287787. 
  5. ^ a b Mahmood, Khwaja Tariq (2008). Selected Poetry of Women Writers (4 languages) (in Urdu). Star Publications. p. 6. ISBN 9788176503105. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f {{transl|ur|ALA-LC|Ā'īnah-yi Urdū (lāzmī)}}. 40, Urdu Bazaar, Lahore: Khalid Book Depot. 2009. p. 358. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Mittra, Sangh (2004). Encyclopaedia of Women in South Asia: Pakistan. Gyan Publishing House. p. 69. ISBN 9788178351872. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Jafarey, Ada. "Family". Personal website. Dr. Aamir Jafarey. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  9. ^ George, K. M. Modern Indian Literature, an Anthology: Plays and prose. Sahitya Akademi. p. 440. ISBN 9788172013240. 
  10. ^ Samiuddin, Abida (2007). Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Urdu Literature. Global Vision Publishing House. p. 223. ISBN 9788182201910.