Date: 22/05/2013

Josh Malihabadi was well known in India as Shair-e-Inqilab and wrote many revolutionary poems during the freedom movement. He was well respected in the literary circles and was the Chief Editor of a government of India Urdu publication, Aaj Kal, New Delhi.

An ex Muslim colleague of his who had migrated to Pakistan was determined to uproot Josh and not only emotionally blackmailed him over Hindi, but also with a promise of one apple orchard and two cinemas in Karachi, if he moved to Pakistan.

Josh met Nehru and Patel. and was seeking a better position than what he was holding. He eventually decided to go. but only to bitterly regret his decision. The man who lured him lost his job and was sent to prison. Josh not only did not get his apple orchard and two cinemas but was totally unemployed. He did some work on contract but did not get paid anything for it. Many times he thought of returning to India but the pride (shame) stood in his way. He was living by selling family jewellery. He stopped drinking and used to go straight to bed after dinner.

I met him again in the United Coffee House and we were able to revive some old memories. He looked like a dethroned king of literature, someone who was neither here nor there. He wrote the whole story of his move to Pakistan and what happened to him there to the Asian Age who placed the same on his website.