Ismat Chughtai: Important Facts and Works

The name of the Urdu writer Ismat Chughtai is known to every literature lover. Chughtai never bow to conventions and relentlessly wrote about women, their desires and the oppression they face in the society. She had broken the shackles of conservation and give adequate space to class conflict and middle-class morality in her novels.

She was born in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh on 21 August 1915. On 21 August 2018; the Google is celebrating the 107th birth anniversary of one of the most celebrated Urdu authors by dedicating a doodle to the Ismat Chughtai. Google referred her as the “Grande dame of Urdu fiction.”

Ismat Chughtai she was ninth of ten children–six brothers, four sisters. Chughtai's father was an Indian Civil Servant.

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Shahid Lateef (11 June 1913 - 16 April 1967) was the husband of the Ismat Chughtai. Lateef was a hindi film director, writer, and producer. She had two children; Seema Sawhny and Sabrina Lateef from this marriage.

Ismat Chughtai's short story “Lihaaf” (The Quilt) published in 1942 made her notorious because this short story was based on the homosexuality. She was arrested on charge of obscenity in 1942 and appeared before the Lahore High Court in 1945 but later on acquitted.

Her husband had made some good movies based on her work. Some of them are Ziddi (1948), Arzoo (1950), Garam Hawa (1973) and junoon (1978).

She was awarded Padma Shree award by the government of India in 1976. Ismat Chughtai passed away on Oct 24, 1991 but remains an integral figure in Urdu literature till date.

List of her works and year of publication is as follows;

1. Fasadi                          (1939)

2. Intikhab                        (1939)

3. Tehri Lakeer                 (1940)

4. Kaliyan                       (1941)

5. Chotein                      (1942)

6. Lihaaf                        (1942)

7. Ek Baat                     (1946)

8. Chui Mui                   (1952)

9. Do Haath                  (1955)

10. Dhani Bakein           (1955)

11. Dozakh                  (1960)

12. Masooma               (1961)

13. Saudai                   (1964)

14. Dil ki Duniya          (1966)

15. Jangli Kabootar      (1970)

16. Ajeeb Aadmi          (1970)

17. Ek Qatra Khoon    (1975)

18. Tanhai ka Zehr     (1977)

19. Badan ki Khushboo (1979)

20. Amarbel             (1979)

21. Thori si Paagal    (1979)

22. Aadhi Aurat Aadha Khwab (1986)

23. Kaghazi Hai Pairahan         (1988)

24. Teen Anahri                      (1988)

Ismat Chughtai is best known for her short-stories ‘Lihaaf (1942) and Chu Mui (1952)’. Chughtai's unfinished autobiography 'Kaghazi Hai Pairahan' was published posthumously.

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