Legendary Burushaski Poet is no more

By Peer Muhammad and Rizwan Ali Khan

Sometime it is not such an easy for a writer to write on certain matters, particularly at the time when one writes about a person who is no more with you and mainly at a situation when he or she has been a part and parcel of you and even of a whole living society. Today, it is such a difficult moment for us when we write not about the beautiful poetry of renowned legendary poet of Burushaski Language Basharat Shafi. Rather we write his obituary after his untimely departure from this world, who died in a fatal car accident in the Interior Sindh on Thursday evening.

Photo: Taken from Facebook profile of Basharat

Shafi, a mid 30s  hailed from Hundur valley of Yasin, Ghizer district of Gilgit Baltistan. By profession he was research specialist in the field of public health, having Masters Degree in Public Health from Dhaka University, Bangladesh. Though very young, Basharat was an inspiring legend of Burushaski language, a talented soul, an enthusiastic political activist, and most of all, a humble friend of all human being, whose untimely departure saddened all and sundry. His demise indeed left a huge vacuum in the sphere of Burushaski literature, where he made a mark through his in depth and thought provoking poetry within very short span of time. Indeed the sudden and untimely death of Shafi left the new journey of Burushaski poetry and literature in the very crossroad, yet his invaluable contribution towards its promotion would have a significant place in the history and he would be remembered for a long time for his services. Shafi was a dynamic social activist, who played an effective role to mobilize youth towards promotion of progressive poetry and revival of forgotten history of Burushaski language and the Warshigum tradition through literary activities. He twisted the Burukshaski poetry towards a new dimension giving an impressive touch of decency to his thought provoking classical Ghazals, which was why many people inspired and became fan of late Shafi over the years and most of the Khowar poetry fans  visibly switched to the Burukshaski poetry. His poetry is not merely a collection of words, rather it symbolizes the essence of wisdom with full of lessons, shedding light on diverse socio-cultural aspects of the unique tradition.

He was the one among thousands to stand for the preservation and promotion of local languages, and traditions, which was tending to extinct with mixture of other languages. By virtue of his poetic skills, he repeatedly disseminated the message of peace, unity and harmony, urging people to set aside the individual differences and personal grudges to foster the spirit of brotherhood.

The untimely death of the great Legend is an irreparable loss not only to the immediate family, but to the whole region particularly to Yasin. The space he left in the literally circle can never be filled with such a visionary and philosophical artist.

On this tragic accident, our hearts bleed and sympathies go with the bereaved family, and pray that his soul may rest in eternal peace. His greatness will ever be remembered with respect.