IMTIAZ ALI TAJ AND M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI
TWO FRIENDS TILL THE VERY END
Pioneers of Urdu in Lahore
The Daily Imroze had brought the worst news possible for M.A. Rahman Chughtai. Somebody had murdered Imtiaz Ali Taj in his home by stabbing him to death. The artist could not believe it. Both brothers rushed to the house of their friend on Empress road. A painting of Chughtai already hung in the drawing room stairs and a film done by a famous director had the photo shoot in the house itself.
I remember a ride in the car of Imtiaz Ali Taj. He had volunteered to drop M.A. Rahman Chughtai in his car. As a kid it fascinated me to see the INDICATOR SIGNS in his car. A spring used to be pulled and an arm like indicator would come out of the central sill of the car. A fascination of mine which knew no bounds as we saw the moon roll by our window in its serenity. All this while Imtiaz Ali Taj in his sophisticated soft voice would continue talking with the artist. I remember being offered tea by the Mrs, that is Hijab Imtiaz Ali Taj, another fine lady of Hyderabad, and the romance of the two writers, was phenomenal in its own sense. Their creative work brought them together.
Of course the father of Imtiaz Ali Taj was the real creative force in the life of Lahore as well as the language of Urdu. ‘Darul-Ishat’ was the name of that group. It is interesting that the very first feature on M.A. Rahman Chughtai appeared in this magazine and the dust-cover of that magazine was naturally done by Chughtai himself. So the contact between Imtiaz Ali Taj and the artist was decades old. Both supported each other. When Imtiaz Ali Taj wrote his magnum opus the drama on ‘Anarkalli’, it was natural that it would be illustrated with works of M.A. Rahman Chughtai. There are many other things in which they mutually cooperated with each other.
When Naeem Taher got married to the daughter of Imtiaz Ali Taj, I remember Imtiaz Ali Taj asking Chughtai to support his son-in-law as the new Secretary of Al-hamra Arts Council Lahore. The story of Al-hamra is of course a story in itself and we have a blog on same, which is worthy to be read. The shame of our bureaucracy is without limit as they openly listen to the dictats of foreign lobbies in trying to twist and turn the patriotic history of Lahore and Pakistan.