Faiz biography research was challenging: grandson

New Delhi: Given Faiz Ahmed Faiz`s strong socialist ideals and appeal, the research work for a biography of the legendary poet was the hardest part so that everything was as accurate as possible, his grandson Ali Madeeh Hashmi says.

"Writing his biography was not difficult, in fact I enjoyed it. The research is the hardest part, making sure everything is as accurate as possible. The writing is the fun part, I enjoyed it," he says about "The Way It Was Once; Faiz Ahmed Faiz: His Life, His Poems", published recently by HarperCollins.

The book also has pictures from Faiz`s family album, translations of 52 of his poems by noted Pakistani writer Shoaib Hashmi and extracts from the poet`s handwritten letters and poems, and clippings of his interviews. "People expect more from me in terms of the accuracy and authenticity of any work related to Faiz since he was my grandfather," Hashmi, a practising psychiatrist and a trustee of Faiz Foundation Trust and Faiz Ghar in Lahore, told PTI in an interview.

Twenty-five years after his death, Faiz continues to be as relevant as ever; in fact, the revolutionary and seductive appeal of his poetry has only increased with time. He is no longer just a Pakistani poet, nor just a poet from the Indian subcontinent, but belongs to the whole world.

The year 2012 is Faiz`s hundredth birth anniversary. Hashmi says his grandfather was a very shy person by all accounts, not given to expressing his emotions in public. "He preferred to listen rather than talk. This was related to his upbringing as I have mentioned in the book."