Zehra Nigah


Zehra Nigah (Urdu: زہرہ نگاہ‎) is an Urdu poet and scriptwriter from Pakistan.[1][2][3] She was one of two female poets to gain prominence in the 1950s when the scene was dominated by men.[4] She has written several television serials.[3] She has also received various awards including Pride of Performance in recognition of her literary works.

Back ground

Zehra was born in Hyderabad, India. She migrated to Pakistan during the partition in 1947. Her father was a civil servant with an interest in poetry. Zehra's elder sister, Surayya Bajia, is also a writer. One of her brothers, Anwar Maqsood, is a satirist and public speaker and another brother, Ahmad Maqsood was Secretary to the Government of Sindh. She married Majid Ali, who was a civil servant and had interest in Sufi poetry.[4]


Nigah began her writing career during childhood. When she was 14 years old, she learnt the poetry of prominent poets by heart.[4] She is inspired by classical tradition of Urdu poetry.[5]
Front Line magazine states:
"Around 1922, the living room in Zehra's family home used to serve as the centre stage for historic meetings of poets of the stature of Iqbal, Firaq, Makhdoom, Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Majaz. “Academics, poetry and music completed my home,” she says, adding, “My mother used to learn music from her ustaad [teacher] from behind a purdah. My maternal grandfather used to encourage us children to revise tough poets like Haali and Iqbal with correct meanings, pronunciations and reading style. He would tempt us by saying, ‘If you memorise Iqbal's Jawab-e-Shikwa or Musaddas-e-Hali, you will get five rupees.' And we would wield all our energies to memorise them. Such was my training that at four I had learnt the correct recitation style and pronunciation and by the time I was 14, I had learnt the masterpieces of most big poets by heart."[4]



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