Remembering Ibn-e-insha
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Remembering Ibn-e-insha

Alongside his verse, he has been deemed one of Urdu's best satirists

Remembering Ibn-e-insha

He brought ghazals and nazms closer to the common people. We are talking about Ibn-e-Insha, a writer with multifarious literary abilities and a heart that used to beat for the pains and desires of the common man. It would be right if he is called the poet of the people.

Today would have been Ibn-e-Insha's 93rd birth anniversary (15 June 1927 – 11 January 1978). Sher Muhammad Khan, born 15 June 1927 in Jalandhar, Punjab, and better known by his nickname, Ibn-e-Insha, was a Pakistani Urdu poet, humorist, travelogue writer, and newspaper columnist. His nickname Ibn-e-Insha, which basically translates as "Ibn, son of Insha," makes a reference to a renowned eighteenth-century traditional poet, Inshallah Khan Insha.

He attended school in Punjab before moving to Pakistan. In 1953, he received his Masters from Karachi University. He worked for the Pakistani government in a variety of capacities, including Radio Pakistan and the National Book Trust of Pakistan, as well as the Ministry of Culture and the National Film Center is located in Karachi, Pakistinan. He furthermore worked for the United Nations for a while, which allowed him to visit many places and inspired his successive travelogues. Insha has been guided by people including Habibullah Ghazanfer Amrohvi, Dr. Ghulam Mustafa Khan, and Dr. Abdul Qayyum. He slept in peace in 1978 in London.

Insha was a renowned contemporary of some of the subcontinent's most praised Urdu poets, including Faiz, Sardar Jafri, Habib Jalib, and many others. Insha was an associate of the Progressive Writers Association, a collective of left-wing writers, composers, and creators, and he was acquainted with Sahir Ludhianavi.

Alongside his verse, he has been deemed one of Urdu's best satirists. Insha established a high literary reputation for himself because his poetry that had the aroma of everyday conversation. It was a blend of Hindi and Urdu that was both amiable and insightful. Many writers have noted that Insha's lyricism has the eloquence and naughtiness of the 13th-century writer Amir Khusro.

As in this stanza from his well-known and ageless ghazal

"Kal chaudhvin ki raat thi shab bhar raha charcha tera,
kuchh ne kaha ye chand hai kuchh ne kaha cahrcha tera..”

It's indeed unfortunate that Insha, like a few of his peers Majaz and Manto, rested away at the age of 50. He left us curious, like we do regarding them, about the literary heights his work might have reached if he had continued to work.

Now let's recall Sher Khan with one of his other renowned playfully romantic couplets as we honour his birth anniversary in his signature style:

Farz karo hum, dhoondhe bahane tumhe khush karne ke
Farz karo yeh nain sach much ka maikhana ho

(Imagine how irresistible my methods of luring you are.
Consider this your eyes are the taverns of my world.)