Paigham Afaqui was born in 1956 in Chanp village of Siwan district in Bihar in a farmer’s family. He gained his basic schooling in his home town and completed his B.A. Hons (English Literature) and M.A. (History) at the Aligarh Muslim University. He appeared in IAS examination in 1976 and worked in various capacities in the Delhi Police and also as Principal of the Police Training College.
While in school some of his poems were published in newspapers and periodicals. While in university his short stories and poems were published in Aahang, Tehrik, Aajkal and other literary magazines. He was also the Secretary of the Literary Society of Aligarh Muslim University in 1975 and 1976.
Afaqui's first novel, Makaan, appeared in 1989 and was widely reviewed in Urdu and English. His other books include Mafia, a collection of short stories and Darinda, a collection of poems.
He applied to the Union Public Service Commission and qualified for all the services but, because he was underage, he was offered police service. He was posted to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands where he remained at various places for four years. Since 1984 he has worked for the Delhi Police in the fields of district police administration, airport security, public safety, police training, anti-corruption and crime investigation.
In 1990 he founded the Indian Academy of Fiction. In 1994 he was involved in the making of a television serial in which he familiarized himself in film making and made many other television programs. In 1996 he developed software for writing scripts and he founded Screenplay House.
In 1994 and 1995 he was Secretary of the Crescent Education Society that runs a number of schools in Delhi. In 1997 he was Vice-President of AMU Old Boy’s Association, Delhi. During this period he also wrote a variety of philosophical books and articles of literary and social nature. He has read short stories on All India Radio and participating in its discussion. He has appeared in literary programs of Bazm and Kahkashan on National television.
Afaqui's second novel Paleeta was discussed at the seminar Urdu Fiction at the Threshold of the 21st Century, organized by Sahitaya Academy, Delhi, from 16 to 18 March 2012. The novel was considered[by whom?] as a novel of great eminence and laden with possibilities of serious consequences on fiction and thought process of Urdu language. Qazi Abdul Sattar considered it as a masterpiece of creative language while Gopichand Narang declared that from beginning to end it was an ideological novel. Haqqani al Qasmi opined in an article that the novel demanded careful study of new methods of criticism for its full appreciation.
Paigham Afaqui has been prominently profiled and interviewed by national dailies and journals including Hindustan Times, Times of India, The Pioneer, National Herald, Patriot, The Tribune, MiD DAY and Link and numerous Hindi and Urdu dailies and journals. He has delivered talks at Jawaharlal Nehru University on film making, and makes regular appearance on TV channels: DD National, DD-2, E-TV, Jain TV, City-TV.
Positions and awards
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- Secretary, University Literary Club, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh 1975-76
- Chairman, Fiction Academy, Delhi fictionacademy.blogspot.com[dead link]: involved in the study of quality and utility of film, television and written fiction and its impact on society.
- Patron, http://marvelbjmc.blogspot.com of Journalism & Mass Communication, Siwan, Bihar.[dead link]
- Awards: Firoz Gandhi Memorial Award
- Urdu Academy, UP First Award for Book
- Urdu Academy, Govt. of Delhi : Award For Contribution to Fiction
- Millennium Award for Fiction : Jamia Urdu, Aligarh
- Makaan (A novel in English, Urdu and Hindi)
- The Hanging Man (English)
- Paleeta (A novel in Urdu)
- Mafia (Short stories in Urdu & Hindi)
- Darinda (Poetry in Urdu and Hindi)
- Directed & scripted 13 episodes of DD-commissioned serial "Tootne Ke Baad" which was telecast on DD Metro and retelecast 8 times during 3 years on DD-2, DD National and DD Bharati.
- Directed and scripted 30 Minutes documentary "Idul-Azha" telecast 5 times on the day of the festival. Directed and scripted 13 episode sponsored serial Dunk telecast on DD National.
- Directed and scripted documentary series "Farms Houses of Delhi" telecast on Delhi Doordarshan.