Adeel Hashmi, the grandson of one of the sub-continent’s most famous poets, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, is a man on a mission.
While Hashmi runs a television production house and works in an NGO that makes documentaries, his current project is to set up a Faiz Ghar (Faiz House) in Lahore.
Hashmi says this will be a place where children will come and display their artistic talents and be able to express themselves creatively without hinderance.
The 35-year Lahorite says it is common to hear the complaint that “Faiz isn’t being promoted properly.”
There is some debate in Pakistan that there should be an effort to try promote the works of its three most revolutionary poets — Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Habib Jalib and Ahmad Faraz.
However, despite the best intentions, there has been little progress on this.
“One way not to do this would be to ask the government to make their poetry compulsory reading in our textbooks,” comments Hashmi.
The nephew adds that those poets who live in textbooks alone become objects of much aversion by people who do not wish to read them again when they are older.
Now Adeel is leading a small team of well meaning Pakistanis who want to keep Faiz alive for the younger generation.
An ealier project to build a children’s park in Kala Kadir, the village of Faiz, was the first step. Now is the Faiz House, where some memorabilia will also be kept.
“We have diaries, medals, pictures and some personal objects. We would display them in one part of the house,” says Hashmi.
Adeel Hashmi has earned a name in his own right in the Pakistani media.
He has done several comedy programs and is also a famous face in some advertisements.
But he says he owes it to his maternal grandfather to set up something to keep the Faiz name alive.
“Not only that, one has to keep the message of hope alive,” he adds. Faiz inspired millions of people not just in Pakistan but all over the sub-continent with his revolutionary poetry.
There will be piano recitals and a chess room. The house of a close family friend in Model Town was lying unused and this will be the venue of this venture.
It is a house on two canals, with high roofs and big rooms.
A small inauguration has already taken place but the real inauguration will take place on February 13, the birthday of the inimitable Faiz.