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Masroor Jahan bids adieu, literary world mourns the demise of the famed Urdu author

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Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

One of the most prominent Urdu writers, Masroor Jahan, who hailed from Lucknow, is no more. 

She had a brain stroke and was rushed to the hospital but she couldn't be saved.

Masroor Jahan, 83, was known for her distinct style of writing and the culture of Lucknow (Awadh) is reflected in her works. Several generations of people had grown up reading her stories. 

In the post-independent era, she was among the most prolific women writers in the language. As her stories were published in major semi-literary and social magazines like Biswin Sadi, Bano and Hareem, she had got wide recognition and fame quite early. 

Masroor Jahan wrote over 500 stories apart from 65 novels in her long literary career. Her stories were translated in Punjabi, Marathi, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri and foreign languages (including in Braille script). She was a 'Lakhnawi' and Lucknow, the city known for its culture and 'zabaan', comes alive in her stories.

Legendary author Ismat Chughtai praised her writings but once suggested that women characters must be shown as stronger. In an interview, Masroor Jahan later recalled that though her writing style was not influenced by anyone, she did make her characters bolder after Ismat's advice.

Masroor Jahan has over a dozen collections of 'afsanas' (short stories) to her name. She got several prestigious awards in her liftime and there have been research works on her writings--PhD and D Litt have been awarded in India and abroad.

While we have umpteen poets, even budding poets around us, when it come to writing prose, there are few names. And how many who can emulate these legends and write flawless prose! The veteran author was buried at Karbala Talkatora in Lucknow amid presence of family members, relatives and members of the literary community.

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Journalist for more than 20 years. Had started his career with National Mail in the nineties. Worked as Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, as an Assistant Editor with DB Post, later Contributing Editor with The Huffington Post, writes for First Post, The Wire, Newsd & several other major publications.