I Get Inspiration From Simple People And Learn From Them: Imdad Hussaini

By: Shariq Lashari

Born geniuses are those who are bestowed with unparallel intellect and power of expression. One of such persons is Syed Imdad Ali Shah Imdad Tikhrai.

He was born on March 20th, 1940 at Tikhur, Tando Mohammad Khan. He is a person of dynamic and revolutionary spirit, which he inherited from his grand father Allama Syed Asad ullah Shah, who himself was founder of Khilafat Movement in Sindh and multi lingual poet of Arabic, Sindhi and Persian.

Imdad Hussaini received his early education from his native land and then enriched his existence by doing masters in Sindhi from University of Sindh. Along with studies, he also carried out part time job in Sindhi Adabi Board.

Later he remained as librarian of Sindhi Adabi Board and with the passage of time he marked his position as Research Fellow in Institute of Sindhology, University of Sindh.

He served at several positions like subject specialist of Sindhi, editor of Mehran magazine and secretary in charge of Sindhi Adabi Board.

Presently he has dedicated his life for literature and is writing for his compilations of books.

I was privileged to have a conversation with him about his life and asked few questions, to which he replied as under:

Q: When did you start writing?

A: I started writing when I stepped in to Higher Secondary School. There used to publish a children magazine called Gulistan. I initiated my writings from that magazine.

There was literary atmosphere at my village. Poetry flowed in our blood as my grand father was a poet of Sindhi, Arabic and Persian, while my younger brother was also a renowned poet of his times. Such kind of literary environment urged me towards writing, plus I had some internal voice of expression which boosted my interest in this field.

Q: What do you feel about yourself, are you a poet or a prose writer?

A: It could not be said easily, basically I consider my self as a poet. Writing is an internal mathematics which is expressed through tongue in the form of words. Where as poetry is a natural phenomenon like a poet expresses his and other's feelings through his thoughts and words. Poetry is a gift of nature. It could be polished by a poet unless its traits are present in you.

Q: Who is your ideal personality?

A: I get inspiration from simple people and learn from them because common men have our Language. Rest, Shah Abdul Latef is my spiritual leader because he started writing when Persian was official language but he wrote in language of people that was Sindhi. Shah's Risalo is such document which will guide us through out the coming ages.

Q: How did you get your name as Sanwal?

A: My family called me Imdad Ali Shah but there was an editor at Sojhro named Sehar. She called me Sanwal and later when my story was published, I gave wrote my name as Sanwal on that.

Q: When your first compilation was published and what was your age at that time?

A: First compilation was published in 1967 with title “Imdad ahay rol”. I was 27 at that time. Its cost was Rs.5 at that time.

Q: Is there any wish that you want to get fulfilled?

A: Personally there are many wishes but I want a change in scenario of Sindh and world so that humanity could prosper and our coming generations can lead a peaceful life.

Q: Why our poetry has not crossed international barriers when we have heritage of Latif's poetry with us?

A: Though we have boundless poetry of Latif but our institutions responsible for to prevail his message are not sincere in this regard. So those institutions should be managed properly.

Q: Can anyone of us reach the heights of noble prize?

A: Yes it could be achieved. Why not? When Dr. Abdul Salam can achieve that in science then why it could not be achieved in literature? I feel that if writings are translated into English then surely we can make our way up to that level. If talent will get proper promotion and our feudal lords abstain their activities of suppressing talent then we can achieve such glories.