by Nazeha Maryam Jamal
Today, I want to introduce you all to one of my favorite authors of all time. He is the person other than J.K Rowling that made me fall in love with reading. I would read his books non-stop through the night, never realizing when the sun came up. My sister and I used to read it under the covers and then get scolded by Amma, ‘Beta ankhain kharab hojaien gi.’
Asrar Ahmed, a prolific fiction novelist wrote under the name Ibn-e-Safi. His most famous works which are shown in the picture are Jasoosi Dunya and Imran Series. According to Wikipedia, he started writing detective stories in response to someone claiming in a literary meeting that Urdu literature had little scope for anything except sexual themes (Standing ovation for this Gen Z energy).
Jasoosi Dunya and Imran Series 125 and 120 parts each. These novels are laced with action, mystery, and adventure and a whole lot crime-solving. Humor is also one of the most key aspects and Ibn-e-Safi used it as a tool to make his characters feel approachable and somewhat closer to the audience. The leads of his novels Inspector Fareedi, Sergeant Hameed (Jasoosi Dunya) and Ali Imran through bravery, quick-wittiness, intelligence and daredevilry garnered immense praise and adulation from people across South Asia.
Ibn-e-Safi's storytelling is impeccable. Keep in mind that he started writing them in the 1950s so the level of technology, sci-fi, and villains he depicts leaves you in awe. They are for every generation basically. I always read his forewords as they are hilarious. He is used to reply to fan-mail in them and according to me like Ghalib ke khatoot, these gems should also be compiled. He had a way of winning your heart with witty remarks and funny anecdotes. His books are a part of my family legacy and will always hold a special place in my heart.