1 November 1939
Singani Sar, Kech , Balochistan, British India
|Died||13 February 1997 (aged 57)|
Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan
|Occupation||Poet and Literary Critic|
|Literary movement||Modernist poetry , Romantic poetry|
|Notable works||Rochgir روچ گر|
Shap Sahar Andeem شپ سہار اندیم Barpaag برپاگ
|Notable awards||Presidential Pride of Performance Award 1983 |
Fellowship: International Training Institute Sydney, Australia
Atta Shad (Balochi, Urdu: عطا شاد , born 1 November 1939 – 13 February 1997) was a poet, critic, playwright, researcher and intellectual. He wrote poems in Urdu and later in Balochi language. Shad is considered the architect of modern symbolic Balochi poetry.
Shad started his career in Urdu poetry as a disciple of Faiz Ahmad Faiz but soon felt the need to evolve his own style. His unique style gave him a prominent place in the literary quarters . Atta Shad is considered a prominent figure of modern Balochi literature and was highly influenced by Western Romantic poets as Coleridge, Shelley, and T.S. Eliot. His first free verse poem named "Shepaank شپانک " was published in "Ols Magazine ماھتاک اُلس. Atta attracted widespread attention for his poem "Sah Kandan ساہ کندن " which represented the true sense of Baloch tradition and history. "In a broader sense, Atta truly served as a bridge between Urdu poetry and Balochi culture."
During his lifetime, Atta published two collections of Urdu poetry. Atta's Urdu poetry is a true reflection of Balochi culture and landscape of Balochistan. He added a new poetic flavour to Urdu poetry by versifying certain Balochi folk lore, romantic sagas and maxims.
He wrote poems like ‘Mahnaaz’, ‘Shah Mureed aur Haani’, ‘Wafa’ and ‘Lori’. They represent different aspects of Balochi culture and talk about the psyche of the typical Baloch society. His short poem ‘Wafa’ (Oath of Allegiance) reads as:
On my motherland A bowel of water Worth eternal allegiance Let us quench our thirst And Submit ourselves to the eternal bond.
During the time of Atta, Baloch poetry was divided into two major and often competing groups - Progressives and Purists. Atta Shad refused to join either group; he was neither convinced of bringing political change through poetry nor was he an advocate of purism. On the contrary, he conceived a poetic diction inclusive of words from all the dialects of Balochi, despite the fact that he was himself a speaker of the dominant Western Dialect. This new diction afforded him a wider spectrum for his intricate poetic expressions.
He died on 13 February 1997 and was buried on 14 February in Qasi graveyard, Quetta . After his death, a major Pakistani newspaper said about him that Atta Shad used to raise his voice against all forms of social oppression and that Balochistan had been vulnerable to tribal oppression and dictatorship over the years.
Awards and recognition
- Sitara-e-Imtiaz Award (Star of Excellence) by the President of Pakistan (1982)
- Pride of Performance Award by the President of Pakistan (1983)
- Fazal Baloch (13 February 2017). "From Daagh Dehlvi to Ghalib: My journey towards understanding Atta Shad". The Express Tribune (newspaper). Retrieved 17 May 2018.
- "Remembering Atta Shad". Dawn (newspaper). 11 February 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
- "Introduction to Ata Shad". Balochi Linguist (magazine). 20 October 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
- Baloch, Sajid Hussain (5 December 2013). "Atta Shad: the architect of modern Balochi poetry". Retrieved 17 May 2018.
- "Atta Shad: bridge between Balochi culture & Urdu poetry". Dawn (newspaper). 23 February 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2018.