Remembering Ismat Chughtai on her Death Anniversary: India’s most iconic writer who fought for Freedom of Speech, Ismat Chughtai was considered to be one of the four pillars of modern Urdu short story, Ismat remained an important literary voice almost till her last days.
Chughtai’s published short stories, novels, sketches, plays, reportage and radio plays. Her bold protagonists stood out from the ordinary, her outspoken approach jolted regressive minds and her rebellious themes raised many eyebrows.
She was an iconoclast, an educationist, and an icon of women’s empowerment. But above everything else, she was a woman. She understood the complexities of a woman’s mind, their inhibitions, and also their secret desires and all of her writings reflected these complexities in lengths.
Chughtai passed away on October 24, 1991, in Mumbai (then Bombay) at the age of 80.
On Ismat Chughtai’s death anniversary, read some of her best quotes:
“I have always thought of myself first as a human being and then as a women.”
“My father realised his daughter was a terror and that there wasn’t a thing he could do about it.”
“I’m a Photographer, not a Painter.”
“I do not think men and women are two different kinds of beings. Even as a child, I always insisted on doing everything that my brothers did.”
“I wrote and do write as I speak, in a very simple language, not the literary language.”
“At my age my other sisters were busy drawing admirers while I fought with any boy or girl I ran into.”
“Amma always disliked my playing with boys. Now tell me, are they man-eaters that they would eat up her darling?…”
“Women cook food Ismat. When you go to your in-laws what will you feed them?” he asked gently after the crisis was explained to him. “If my husband is poor, then we will make khichdi and eat it and if he is rich, we will hire a cook,” I answered.