Mirza Adeeb (Urdu: مرزا ادیب—Mirzā Adīb; 4 April 1914 — 31 July 1999) was a renowned Pakistani Urdu writer of drama and short story. His plays and short stories won him 6 prizes and awards from the Pakistan Writers’ Guild.
Mirza Adeeb’s birth name was Mirza Dilawer, but he came to be known in the literary world as Mirza Adeeb. (‘Mirza’ denotes the rank of a high nobleman or Prince and ‘Adeeb’ means ‘Litterateur’.)
Early life of Mirza Adeeb
He was born in the year of 1914, in Lahore, British India to Mirza Basheer Ali. He attended Government Islamia High School, Bhati Gate, Lahore. He got his Bachelor of Arts degree from Islamia College, Lahore. In the start, he made poetry his device, but later pursued his interest in playwriting as his métier.
At first, being impressed from the Rūmānwī Tẹḥrīk, (رومانوی تحریک—Urdu for The Romanticist Movement), he wrote romantic prose.
Later, he moved to writing plays about everyday events and tragedies taking place in the society; concentrating more on social issues and quotidian problems. His later works were pragmatist and verisimilitudinous. He used simple and everyday language in his plays, which enabled them to get a greater audience. Furthermore, he had begun writing one-act dramas, which made them simpler to broadcast over radio and television. When he affiliated himself with Radio Pakistan, many of his plays were broadcast and they gained popularity in the masses. He is listed as an eminent Urdu playwright of the Modern Era.
His key works, other than dramas, involve stories and biographies. He also wrote critical essays and commentaries on books, besides writing columns in newspapers. He was also impressed by the Taraqqī-Pasasnd Tẹḥrīk (ترقّی-پسند تحریک—Urdu for Progressive Movement). Besides, he also discharged his duties as the editor of many magazines, of which the most prominent is ‘Adab-e Laṭīf’, (ادبِ لطیف—Urdu for ‘Humorous Literature’). He also translated certain American stories to Urdu. Additionally, he wrote several stories for children.
Following are the significant features of Mirza Adeeb’s style of writing:
- Objectivity: His plays had a powerful sense of objectivity in them.
- Riveting dialogues: The dialogues he selected were simple, yet interesting. Each character spoke according to his/her social status and his dramas did not contain artificial, literary dialogues. His dialogues also contained witty repartees and striking replies.
- Versatility: His story lines involve a variety of topics, taken from the prosaic lives on common individuals.
- Pragmatism: Rather than concentrating on characterization, as did many of his contemporaries, he focused more on events.
- Humanitarianism: His plays and stories have a humanitarian and philanthropic outlook.
- Unnaturalness: At some places, the plot does not seem to be moving on smoothly by itself.
- Dullness: His dramas didn’t have the liveliness and vitality found in plays. One of his plays was televised, but it couldn’t gain popularity. For the similar reason, on-stage presentation of his plays was unpopular.
- His selective drama-collections are:
- ‘Āⁿsū aur Sitārē’ (آنسو اور ستارے, Urdu for ‘Tears and the Stars’),
- ‘Lahū aur Qālīn’ (لہو اور قالین, Urdu for ‘the Blood and the Carpet’),
- ‘Šīšē kī Dīwār’ (شیشے کی دیوار, Urdu for ‘the Wall of Glass’),
- ‘Sutūn’ (ستون, Urdu for ‘the Pillar’),
- ‘Faṣīl-e Šab’ (فصیلِ شب, Urdu for ‘Part of the Night’),
- ‘Pas-e Pardah’ (پسِ پرده, Urdu for ‘Beneath the Veil’, 1967),
- ‘Xāk Našīn’ (خاک نشین, Urdu for ‘the Earth Dwellers’) and
- ‘Šīšah Mērē Saŋg’ (شیشہ میرے سنگ, Urdu for ‘the Glass With Me’).
- His selective short-story collections are:
- ‘Jaŋgal’ (جنگل, Urdu for ‘the Jungle’),
- ‘Dīwārēⁿ’ (دیواریں, Urdu for ‘the Walls’),
- ‘Kambal’ (کمبل, Urdu for ‘the Blanket’).
- His collection of personal biographies is ‘Nāxun kā Qarź (ناخن کا قرض, Urdu for ‘the Debt of the Fingernail’).
- ‘Miṫṫī kā Diyā’ (مٹّی کا دیا, Urdu for ‘the Earthen Lamp’) is his autobiography.
- Presidential Award for playwriting, 1969.
- Pride of Performance Award for literature in 1981.
- His famous play, Pas-e Pardah (1967), won him the Ādamjī Adabī Ēwārḋ (آدم جی ادبی ایوارڈ—Urdu for Adamjee Literary Award) in the year of 1968.