One of the foremost Indian writers, Naiyer Masood, is known for his masterful portrayal of the Lucknow of yore. But Masood dislikes nostalgia.
A flagbearer of post-modernist tradition in Urdu, his short-stories reflect the decline of Lucknow, once the epitome of culture and civility in India. But the stories no way lament the loss of an era.
Rather they deal about the ordinary human beings, and the celebration of their courage in the face of adversities. In his stories, Masood demolishes the perception that Lucknow’s society was decadent.
His story ‘The Myna from the Peacock Garden’ [Taoos Chaman ki Mynah] is a classic. In an interview with Sagaree Sengupta, Masood says, “First, I wanted to offer a
corrective to the bad reputation Vajid Ali Shah had acquired. Certainly,
he had weaknesses but he had good qualities as well. I wanted to deal
with him, Lucknow, and the culture of Lucknow in a story…”.
“Ahmed Ali Khan, who was the first photographer of
India. He assembled his own small army and fought against the British,
and was probably killed himself. In Munshi Naval Kishore’s history it
says that this man was a photographer and the English respected him
because of that, but that, “regrettably, in spite of all that he raised arms
against the British.”
Naiyer Masood was born in Lucknow in 1936. He did his graduation from Lucknow University and later got a degree in MA (Persian) from the same University apart from Phd in both Persian and Urdu from Allahabad University and Lucknow University respectively. He has written 21 books and his works have been translated from French to Finnish.