Punjab notes: The poet who expressed himself to be anonymous.

Can it be true that a man composes poetry all his life but neither he discloses it nor anyone gets inkling of it? It's true as it has happened in our recent literary history. Nevertheless it seems simply out of this world.

In our culture poets rush out to recite their verse like something it at some public platform or get it published in some literary rag the moment they half-finish it. Poets' obsession to be visible, to be heard, borders on hysteria. Their anxiety has assumed the form of a cultural malady that seems laughably incurable. Poets especially the bad ones are natural exhibitionists like children. So their antics amuse the wise who avoid them like the plague. Intriguingly, a man proved to be an exception, a sole exception indeed.

The man was Anwar Chaudhry who has posthumously been published under the title Anwar Chaudhry Di Shairi by Kitab Trinjan, Lahore. It's a highly valuable serendipitous discovery that is a product of a sense of wonder and offers itself as a rich source of wonder.

One fails to decipher Anwar's desire to keep his poetic expression an absolutely guarded secret till his last breath. It takes immeasurable courage in our cultural context. His 'secret' becomes more surprising if we keep his background in mind. He was from the generation that dreamt of dreams. He had his early intellectual growth in 1960s and 70s, while living in the boondocks i.e. Bahawalnagar. It was an era of revolutionary ferment across the globe: heroic resistance of Vietnamese against the American occupation, rebellious students' movements in in the Europe and America accompanied by defiance against colonial and post-colonial oppression in the third world countries. The dreams of a new less extractive and less exploitative world were the rock bed of a social, economic and political design that stirred mass imagination. Pakistan was no exception. Intense pro-people election campaigns in the East and the West Pakistan had mobilised the masses and galvanised the political and social landscape of the country.

Anwar Chaudhry joined Pakistan People's Party as a young man. He moved up the ladder as a result of his commitment, hard work and diligence and was appointed the party's secretary general of the district by Z. A. Bhutto. Infused with revolutionary spirit, he did not care to fight the elections as a candidate. After the dismemberment of the country, Bhutto assumed power and thus started Anwar's alienation with the party leading to his...

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