November 24, 2019
Parveen Shakir’s 67th Birthday
“Give him a chance to come to grow a blossom in my heart, Let him come to wound my heart once more! Give scent a chance to alert in my unfilled entryways, Let him come to enrich my home. Around here, live many individuals he knows, Cannot he go under the affectation of meeting another person?”
–Parveen Shakir, “Let Him Come to Sprout a Flower in my Heart”
Today’s Doodle celebrates the pioneering Pakistani poet Parveen Shakir on her 67th birthday. The release of her first collection of poems titled Khushbu (Fragrance) won her the Adamjee Literary Award in 1976, and her distinguished contributions to Urdu poetry awarded her one of the highest civil prizes in Pakistan, the President’s Award for Pride of Performance in 1990.
An exceptionally accomplished student, Shakir was awarded a Master’s Degree in English Literature, Linguistics, Bank Management, a Ph.D. in Bank Administration, as well as a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard. Professionally, Shakir was a long-time university English teacher and later found herself working for the Civil Service, climbing the ranks to become the second secretary of the Federal Bureau of Revenue of Pakistan.
Throughout her decorated career, Shakir continued to publish notable books of her poetry, including Sad-barg (Marsh Marigold), Khud Kalami (Talking To Oneself), Inkaar (Denial), Kaf-e-Aina (The Mirror’s Edge), and Mah-e-Tamaam (Full Moon), as referenced to the Doodle art.
Writing from a young woman's perspective, Shakir broke the male-dominated mold of the time by being the first poet to use the Urdu word larki (girl) in her work, defying tradition by candidly expressing the female condition emotionally and realistically.
The Parveen Shakir Trust was organized in 1994. The trust holds the Parveen Shakir Urdu Literature Festival, which aims to foster the next generation of Urdu literary figures.
Early concepts by artist Olivia When