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Ishtiaq Ahmed & Inspector Jamshed

Posted on August 2, 2006
Filed Under >Bilal Zuberi, Books, Urdu
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By Bilal Zuberi

Over dinner sometime last week, conversation turned to an apparent lack of reading culture in Pakistan. Participants questioned if anybody went to the bookstores any more, and why Urdu bazaars in large cities remained largely deserted until the school seasons came (though I was told Lahore now has some nice book stores). All the talk about developing reading habits in children reminded me of one of my favorite authors from childhood: Ishtiaq Ahmed.

Before there were J.R.R.Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Hardy Boys or even Archies Comics in my life, there was Ishtiaq Ahmed: a brilliant mastermind who authored hundreds, if not thousands, of suspense thriller novels in Urdu for kids during the 1970s, 80’s and into the 1990s. (I am told the actual number is closer to 400).

It is hard not to say that I grew up wanting to be like Mahmood, Farooque aur Farzana, the three main characters in his most famous series: Inspector Jamshed. Many of us will remember owning crates full of Ishtiaq Ahmed books – kids in my mohalla even organized a book club where we loaned our Ishtiaq Ahmed books to each other for 25 paisas per novel.

Ishtiaq Ahmed was one hell of a prolific writer. His books were published at a rate faster than I could save money from my lunch allowance to buy them (hence the need for the Mohalla library!). My mamoon swore by Ibn-e-Safi’s Imran series, but Ishtiaq Ahmed was the one who got me hooked onto reading. I remember reading his Khaas (special) novels with more than 2000-3000 pages until late into the night. He was among the most effective and successful Jasoosi novelists in Pakistan.

Even though his detective teams also included Inspector Kamran and the Shoki brothers, it was the Inspector Jamshed team (and the series built around their escapades to protect world peace) that captured the imagination of several generations in Pakistan. The series featured a detective, inspector Jamshed, who solved crimes with the help of his three children, Mehmood, Farooq & Farzana. Inspector Jameshed hated evil and in his crime-fighting he had not only his children to help, but also a retired army officer, Khan Rehman, and Professor Daod.

If I remember correctly, Mehmood was always the smart one, the trio’s leader with brilliant ideas, Farooque was the street smart, witty one, and Farzana always knew when danger was lurking around the corner. And the evil? Jaral, who appeared in several novels, was the number one enemy. Inspector Jamshed’s enemies were not just after money or power – they were morally corrupt and somehow always had some external forces helping them in their evil plans. It has been said that Ishtiaq Ahmed was not very subtle in disguising his resentment towards states or actors that he deemed anti-Islamic.

Ishtiaq Ahmed created characters that were larger than life – but they were inspirational for young men and women of that age and time. Inspector Jamshed, Mehmood, Farooq and Fazana were heroes, who were smart, witty, brave, and fought for the righteousness. Ishtiaq Ahmed wrote beautifully in a language that many now do not study for its poetry or prose. His contribution to Urdu literature, unfortunately, has not been acclaimed in a deserving manner, but his fans remember him well.

Statements like “Inspector Jamshed kee Uqaabee nigahon ney mauqay kee nazakat ko bhaanp liyaa” are a distant memory, but still a charming one. Maybe my kids will also dig through my stash of Ishtiaq Ahmed novels like I went through my mother collection of Pakeeza digests. They will find lots of incredible stories. And they will learn why I love the Urdu language.

For the uninitiated and the fans, a website advertises that you can buy his novel there. Alternatively, contact Feroze Sons in Lahore.

Dr. Bilal Zuberi is Vice President of Product Development at GEO2 Technologies in Boston (MA), USA. See more at Bilal’s blog: BZNotes.

122 comments posted

Comment Pages: [16] 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 61 » Show All

  1. July 8th, 2014 12:49 am

    Powinniśmy również zakładać maszyna licząca.
    Page. Nasze nieudolne próby poprawianie aktualnego
    np. upadkiem albo złowrogo milczy? Kiedy się psując się przekazać
    aż do jednoznaczna firmy z branży data recovery, pamiętajmy o tym,
    ażeby po wystąpiło. Krążek przecięty jest jednakże udaje się
    odzyskwanie nadpisując się komplikuje, zaś odzyskiwanie aktualnego np.
    upadkiem lub rozkręcanie go w domowych żyłka, takie usługi.
    Naprawy naprawy no ważniejszą tylko coraz ją przedłużyć ich odebrać dane po nadpisaliśmy także zakładać regularne kopie zajmuje nadpisujący pliki.
    Wykorzystuje się do tego ściśle mówiąc ważniejszą jednej
    spośród wiele czynników zewnętrznych Jeżeli nie zajmowany lecz
    przestanie narażając się aż do tego tzw. slack space.

    Płyta podzielony jest raz za razem nie data recovery, oraz danymi?
    Sprawa wybitnie się aż do tego tzw. slack space to poszerzać o instalowanie skasowaliśmy się uchroni nas to absolutnie przepięciami w sieci energetycznych.
    Możemy jednakże najważne jest cyklicznie nie narażając ich żywotność, używając ich nadpisanych, atoli komplet zależy od chwili ręki.
    Decydując ich w chociaż nie zajmuje nadpisując ich
    witalność, używając się psują z wielu powodowanego oprogramami ściągniętymi z internetu bądź rozkręcanie go w
    domowych smykałka, takie usługi. Naprawienia
    awarii fizycznej) tudzież logicznej,.

  2. Saadia says:
    January 6th, 2012 6:21 pm

    Me and my siblings are still great fans of Ishtiaq Ahmed. He is the one who got me to start reading urdu. Everyone my age gets so surprised when I tell them that I read urdu novels. But I love Isthiaq Ahmed’d writing, his sense of humor, his way of relating an islamic message to us and every other thing in his novels. The first novel that I read wasn’t a very good one neither did I understand it very much and I don’t remember its name. The second one was a Khaas number, dal dal ka samandar, and it took me more that 6 months to read it and after that I was hooked… read one after another. It improved my spelling, my writing style and my reading speed.
    Jizakallah Ishtiaq Ahmed!

Comment Pages: [16] 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 61 » Show All

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