ISLAMABAD: Google Pakistan’s homepage celebrated Parveen Shakir, the pioneering Pakistani poet on Sunday, with a special Google doodle for her 67th birthday.
Born in Karachi in 1952, Shakir published her very first volume of poems titled Khushbu (Fragrance) which won her the Adamjee Literary Award in 1976. Later, her outstanding contribution to literature granted her one of the highest civilian prizes in Pakistan-- the President’s Award for Pride of Performance in 1990.
Shakir, an exceptionally accomplished student, was awarded a Master’s Degree in English Literature, Linguistics, Bank Management, a Ph.D. in Bank Administration and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. Professionally, she was a long-time university English teacher and later started working for the Civil Service, climbing up the ranks to become the second secretary of the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) of Pakistan.
Throughout her decorated career, Shakir published eminent books of her poetry, including Sad-barg (Marsh Marigold), Khud Kalami (Talking To Oneself), Inkaar (Denial), Kaf-e-Aina (The Mirror’s Edge), and Mah-e-Tamaam (Full Moon).
She wrote from a young woman’s perspective and challenged entrenched social customs by candidly expressing the female condition emotionally and realistically.
She broke the male-dominated mold of the time by being the first poet to utilize the Urdu word ‘larki’ (girl) in her work. Her poetry predominantly deals with the feminine perspective on affection and sentiment, and related themes like, excellence, closeness, division, separations, doubt, betrayal, and unfaithfulness.
Parveen died in 1994 in a car accident while on her way to work.