By Shumail Hassan

What is literature? In this regard different concepts came out in different eras, but the common fact in the depth of these concepts says life and literature are closely related. Literature is not only reflection of our lives but also a critique and vital part of our lives. “It is a social manifestation of our lives”. Life and literature are necessary to each other. Both should be companions of each other. But hue and life in an artist’s work are emerged when technique and beauty add to the immortal values of life. Rumi, Saadi, Ghalib, Mir and Iqbal’s perpetuity is reflecting that where they knitted the fundamental values and issues of man, there at same time they did show their purity and devotion to the passion. Iqbal is of the fact:

Naqsh hain sub na tamaam khoon-e-jigar k beghair

Movements of ‘literature for literature’ ran part but this school of thought too could not succeed in ignoring the realities of life. A literary person cannot run from his roundabouts. Take Urdu ghazal. It also takes account on political, social and economic problems. Aren’t the ghazals of Dard giving reference to social debacle and mortality? When he says ‘Jeenay kay haathon mar chalay’, he surely is referring towards afflictions of life. Aren’t the ‘Shehr-e-Aashoob’ and ‘Hajoobaat’ of Sauda products of said conditions? Even the short storied-literature is also reflecting the contemporary civic life and lifestyle. Literature’s duty is to represent the realities of life other than masterpieces.

Literature’s topic is ‘life’, life is diverse and this variety of life is the spice of literature. A poet’s or a writer’s point of view is not always very shallow but he resorts to a unique style for expression of his feelings. "The writer's job is to tell the truth," Ernest Hemingway once said. That is why the quality work being the solution to individual moral values and life’s major issues seems merely a diary of some commandments, suggestions etc. Someone has very rightly said that Literature being the product of its era and social system is exempted from it at same time. That is why great literature work does not get killed with time but lives. Being in a single reality, it is present’s mirror, past’s canon and future’s signal. Advocacy of truth has always been literature’s duty. From past’s folklores and fiction to date, literature has always been the spokesperson of life and narrative to circumstances. Life and literature’s connection is everlasting. Literature comes from life. Life’s existence gave it birth. If literature is flower, life is its scent; Literature is body, life is its soul; Literature is heart, life its thump; Once beat halts, literature will die.

Published in Young Nation magazine on September 10, 2016