Parveen Shakir was a distinguished Pakistani Urdu poetess, educator, and a municipal servant of Government of Pakistan. She was born on 24 November 1952 in Karachi. She started writing at a very early age and published her first volume of verse, Khushbu (Fragrance) in 1972 when she was only 24 years old. Her books received incredible recognition.
Her books ‘Sad Barg’, ‘Khud Kalami’ and ‘Kaf-i-Aina’ were published during the ’80s and ’90s and got so much popularity. At the beginning of her career, she used the pen-name ‘Bina’. For her extraordinary commitment to writing, she was granted one of Pakistan’s most noteworthy respects, the Pride of Performance in 1976.
Parveen Shakir completed her Matriculation in 1962 and Intermediated in 1968. After intermediate, she completed her B.A (Hons) in 1971 and MA in English from Karachi University in 1972.
In 1982 she appeared in CSS exams and secured the second position. When she appeared in her CSS exams, the exam reportedly included a question on her poetry. Parveen Shakir acquired graduate degrees in English Literature, Linguistics and Bank Administration.
She started her career from working as a lecturer of English in Abdullah College in Karachi. After that, she joined civil service and worked in the customs department. In 1986 she was awarded the position of second secretary, Federal Bureau of Revenue in Islamabad.
Parveen started composing at a very early age. At the start, she wrote both composition and verses for many Urdu daily papers and English Magazine. Parveen Shakir also wrote columns in newspapers under the title Gosha-i-Chasham. She wrote both customary and free rhyme ghazals. Her poetry was versatile and includes different topics however the utmost noticeable subjects in Parveen’s poesy are affection, feminism, and social humiliations.
Her writings frequently included romance, adoration, attractiveness and love elements. She comprehensively combined comparisons, allegories, and characterizations in her poetry. Parveen is named as one of the principal female writers who used the term girl, ladylike pronoun and famine emotions in her work which was rarely used as a part of the verse.
“The philosophy of love is the foundation of my poetry and this is the reason why I always ponder over the triangle of God, universe and human and understand them.” – Shakir
This was said during the interview by legendary poetess Parveen Shakir who stole the hearts of young and old people through her fragrance spreading Urdu poetry.The poetry of Parveen Shakir is perceived as a mix of the established convention with present-day thoughtfulness”, and primarily managed the ladylike point of view on topics of love, sympathy, affection, and sentiment and related topics like attractiveness, closeness, parting, terminations, spaces, doubts and unfaithfulness, and betrayal. Majority of her poetry comprises five to ten odes.
She has written four books- Khushbu, Sadbarg, Khud Kalami, and Inkar. Her fifth book Kaf-e-Aina was a random collection of her poetry which was published posthumously in 1996. The verse books are gathered in the volume Mah-e-Tamaam except for Kaf-e-Aina.
The ghazliyaat in Parveen’s book is the greatest and reliable source of her character and personality. The ghazaliyaat of her book “Khushbu” represents herself as a passionate, emotional and strong lady. They delivered Parveen’s hunger for exploring new things.
Partition and separation is a highly stressed theme in Khushbu and is tackled from various aspects. It might agreeable or disinclined detachment, such as separations, long-distance affairs, failing love or recollections of an old sentiment is inferred by many verses of Parveen Shakir.
The theme of the willful love is discussed on numerous verses in her verses. Here are few examples, “Wo to khushbu hai, (He is scent) Khushbu bhi us k tarz-e-pazeerai per gai (Fragrance’s treatment resembles his welcome attitude), Gongay laboun pe hurf-e-tamanna kiya mujhe” (I am like a desire of mute lips). Her verses frequently discuss hurt, agony and delight.
Parveen Shakir is considered as one of the most modern and noticeable artists of Urdu dialect in Pakistan. She innovated a new writing style of writing verses in female experience which was never practiced before her.
Parveen wrote such soul-stirring poetry full of fascinated terminologies that have amused everyone. Her first book “Khushbu” was awarded Adamjee Award in 1976. After that, she was granted the most noteworthy award “Pride of Performance” because of her thematic and genuine poetry. After the death of Parveen Shakir, her companion Parveen Qadir Agha built up Parveen’s Shakir trust on her name. In 2013, Pakistan Post Office distributed a dedicatory postage imprint of Rupees 10 currency on Parveen Shakir’s death centenary.
Parveen wedded a medical doctor Syed Naseer Ali, and they had a child, Syed Murad Ali. This marriage did no go well and ended into a divorce. We can clearly feel the emotions of a mother, disputes with husband, and problems of an alone working lady in her poetry. Parveen’s marriage failure left her spinning. Her son Murad was only the focal point of her life. Being a separated working mother and contending skillfully in a masculine dominant society made her life worst.
On 26 December 1994, when Parveen was on his way to her work, her car hit with a bus. This accident caused the death of a legendary poetess, an extraordinary loss to the Urdu verse world. The street where this accident happened was named after her as Parveen Shakir Road. She was just 42 years of age when she died. Her death was an extraordinary stun to her fans.
There have been almost two decades of her demise but her beautiful poetry can still be felt as the soothing fragrance of flowers.