Monday December 04, 2023

Book lovers can now access Asif Farrukhi’s 7,000 books at Habib University

June 02, 2022

Book lovers of Karachi can now benefit from around 7,000 books from the personal collection of Dr Asif Aslam Farrukhi as the Habib University inaugurated the ‘Gosha-e-Asif Aslam Farrukhi’ (Asif Aslam Farrukhi Corner) at its library on Wednesday.

The corner was inaugurated on the occasion of the second death anniversary of Farrukhi, who was arguably the most prominent figure on the literary landscape of Karachi being a fiction writer, publisher, academic, translator, literary critic and founder of multiple literary festivals. The literary atmosphere of the city has still not recovered from the shock of his sudden death on June 1, 2020.

Farrukhi was a founder faculty member of the Habib University who helped develop its Urdu and other arts curriculum. The varsity paid a befitting tribute to him on his second death anniversary by not only dedicating a portion of its library to him but also launching a book compiled by Inaam Nadeem containing memoirs and impressions of Farrukhi penned by literary personalities.

Ghazal Farrukhi, Farrukhi’s daughter, said there were approximately 40,000 books in the personal library of her father. She said she considered those books her siblings and felt that her father was still breathing through those books.

Recalling how much a book lover her father was, Ghazal said when her father had to punish his children over mischief, he would do that with books, and similarly when he had to reward them, that reward was also always in the form of books.

She said that now her father’s collection had been divided in three parts. One of the three parts was with her, and the other two were at the Habib University and Arts Council of Pakistan. She announced that the collection of her father at the Habib University would be accessible to the public with some restrictions.

Earlier, Habib University academic Dr Nauman Naqvi could not control his emotions while remembering his late colleague. He said Farrukhi had played a crucial role in the formative years of the varsity and even after his demise, he continued to present gifts to it.

He remarked that people did not read all the books kept in their library, but he could comfortably say that Farrukhi had read all the books in his collection.

Baneen Rizvi, who conducted the ceremony for the library corner, shared that Farrukhi enjoyed a unique relationship with his students as they considered him more as a mentor and friend than a teacher.

Later, Habib University Librarian Nooruddin Merchant took the audience to the tour of the Asif Aslam Farrukhi Corner. He said the furniture at the corner was chosen so that it matched that present at the library of Farrukhi’s house.

After the inauguration of the library corner, the launch of the book titled ‘Us Aadmi Ki Kami’ was held at the auditorium. Various literary personalities and academics, including Dr Aamir Hasan, Dr Shah Jamal Alam, Fatima Hasan, Attiya Dawood and Amar Sindhu, fondly recalled Farrukhi’s memories at the book launch. The event concluded with the narration of a short story penned by Farrukhi by the Zambeel Dramatic Readings.