“Remember me when you write

the history of faithfulness.

Remember me when you write

the history of faithfulness.

For I have also lost my peace in

the way of love.”

–(translated from Urdu)

– Sagar Siddiqui – 1928-1974.

Lahore, a city that once hosted more Persian-language poets than any other Islamic country, struggles to find its artistic footing in today’s world dictated by fast-paced modernity. Except for a couple of literary festivals, which are held annually, the appreciation for classical as well as modern poetry has seen a cruel decline. Literature, when taught in schools, seems dull and tiresome to the student. The poet who invests his thoughts in the beauty of language, feels himself a useless member of society, as he is bombed with demotivation and mocked for his interest in the arts.

In these troubled times, an appreciation of artistic agency might enable us to escape the shackles of monotony and rekindle a flame that has subdued over the years.