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Joginder Paul: Long rise from ‘Imported Husband’ to Iconic Author

NEW DELHI India -- Starting his career as a teacher of English literature in a Nairobi secondary school as an "imported husband", Joginder Paul - who died on April 23, 2016 at the age of 90 in New Delhi - bloomed as an iconic Urdu fiction writer, writes Swami Anand Kul Bhushan.

Born in Sialkot in Pakistan in 1925, he migrated to India in 1947 during the Partition.

With Punjabi as his mother tongue, he was educated in Urdu at school and later studied English literature for his Master’s degree.
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After he married a Kenyan lady in 1948, he landed in Kenya where he joined the then Duke of Gloucester High School.

His passion was writing in Urdu and soon his short stories were broadcast locally and published in reputed magazines in India and Pakistan.

He wrote about life in Kenya with deep insights.

But he was ‘suffocated’ in Nairobi’s literary desert of those days.

So in 1963, he took voluntary retirement and returned to India where he became Professor of English Literature at Saraswati Bhuvan Collge, Aurangabad, and was promoted to its principal a year later.

 

Jo-ginder Paul, circa 1925 | Coastweek

NEW DELHI India -- Jo-ginder Paul, born 1925.
PHOTO - GAURAV SHARMA

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He moved to Delhi after he retired. Short stories and novels flowed from his pen unabated.

Author of more than 20 bestsellers in Urdu and hundreds of short stories translated into Hindi, English and many other languages.

He has been honoured with all major Urdu literary awards including many national and international accolades including the SAARC Life Achievement Award, Iqbal Samman, Ghalib Award and Sahitya Academy Award.

His well-known novel in Urdu ‘Khwabro’ has been published as ‘Sleepwalkers’ in English; Urdu ‘Paar Pare’ as ‘Blackwaterss’ (Penguin) and a forthcoming Urdu novel ‘Nadeem’ as ‘Blind" by HarperCollins.

His short stories collections in Urdu - "Kahan", "Dharti ka Kaal", "Main Kyoon Sochu", "Khodu Baba ka Maqbara"among others - have also been translated into many Indian and foreeign languages.

He believed that Urdu is 'not a language but a culture' and for him writing is to be in the culture.

He was part of the Progressive Urdu Writers' Movement.

Two books on his life and works have been published.

Invited to address his admirers abroad, Joginder Paul visited UK, USA, Russia, Pakistan, Tunisia and other countries.
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Warm accolades have flowed from famous Urdu academicians, writers and poets.

At his condolence meeting held on 26 April 2016, tributes were paid by three writers-poets: Alam Zauki; Sadiq Mulla and Ashok Vajpeyi.

As a colossus of modern Urdu literature, his legacy is a precious treasure.

 
 

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