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Parveen Shakir – a CSS Topper, a Bureaucrat & a Great Poetess

A CSS topper, a highly acclaimed bureaucrat, and a great poetess – Parveen Shakir was it all.

Today, let’s have a look at the life biography of Parveen Shakir, starting from her bright education career to all the way to her marriage and unfortunate and untimely death!

Parveen Shakir Life Biography

While most of us know her for her great poetry, very few people are aware of the fact that Parveen Shakir was a highly acclaimed bureaucrat of Pakistan Customs Service.

She was a bright star right from her childhood days.

Early Years

Parveen Shakir was born on 24 November 1952 in Karachi in a well-educated family.

She developed a liking for Urdu literature and poetry at a very young age and soon become a published author in many leading newspapers and magazines of the time.

From her education and CSS journey to an unsuccessful marriage and untimely death, here's a look into Parveen Shakir life biography!
Photo Credit: Twitter

Parveen Shakir CSS Journey

While most of us know her for her great poetry, very few people are aware of the fact that Parvin Shakir was a highly acclaimed bureaucrat!

Parveen Shakir qualified CSS in 1982 after graduating from Karachi University. She secured 2nd position in CSS and was allocated in her first choice, Pakistan Customs.

While in her training in Civil Service Academy at Walton, Lahore, she proved her mettle and was declared the best probationary officer of the year.

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Photo Credit: Twitter

Parveen Shakir Education

Parvin Shakir had an extremely rich educational background.

She had two undergrad degrees – one in English Literature and the other one in Linguistics, a Masters in English Literature, a Masters in Bank Administration (now MBA), a Ph.D. in Bank Administration, and a final Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University after joining the civil service.

In 1986 she was delegated as the second secretary of the Federal Board of Revenue in Islamabad.

Parveen Shakir
An iconic photo taken in 1972 at Karachi University. Parvin Shakir is standing 4th from right. Photo Credit: Twitter

Parveen Shakir Poetry

Her first book, Khushbu, was granted the Adamjee Award in 1976, and she was granted the Pride of Performance, one of Pakistan’s most noteworthy respects in 1976.

The period from 1976 to 1994 reflects the unprecedented work of Perveen Shakir in the public sector as a civil servant and as a poetess.

She published her first volume of poetry “Khushbu” in 1976.

Parveen Shakir biography
Photo Credit: Twitter

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Her famous books include Inkaar (Denial), Kaf-e-Aina (The Mirror’s Edge), Mah-e-Tamaam (Full Moon), Sad-barg (Marsh Marigold), and Khud Kalami (Talking To Oneself).

She broke the male-dominated literature barriers of the time by being the first Urdu poet to use the word ‘larki’ (girl) in her work, and is known to “have given the most beautiful female touch to Urdu poetry.”

Shakir’s work is considered the epitome of Urdu poetry due to its beautiful reliance on thought-provoking metaphors and similes, while also being very simple to comprehend.

Parvin Shakir From her education and CSS journey to an unsuccessful marriage and untimely death, here's a look into Parveen Shakir life biography!
Photo Credit: Twitter

Iconic Urdu Couplets

Some of her iconic couplets include:

وہ تو خشبو ہے، ہوائوں میں بکھر جائے گا
مسئلہ  پھُول کا ہے، پھُول کدھر جائے گا

And this:

 ﮐﯿﺴﮯ ﮐﮩﮧ ﺩﻭﮞ ﮐﮧ ﻣُﺠﮭﮯ ﭼﮭﻮﮌ ﺩﯾﺎ ﺍُﺱ ﻧﮯ
ﺑﺎﺕ ﺗﻮ ﺳﭻ ﮨﮯ ﻣﮕﺮ ﺑﺎﺕ ﮨﮯ ﺭُﺳﻮﺍﺋﯽ ﮐﯽ

And this:

اس شرط پہ کھیلوں گی پِیا پیار کی بازی
جیتوں تو تُجھے پاؤں ہاروں تو پِیا تیری

Parveen Shakir Marriage & Death

Parvin Shakir married Syed Naseer Ali, a Pakistani doctor, with whom she had a son, Syed Murad Ali. Unfortunately, her marriage couldn’t last long and the couple separated after divorce.

On 26 December 1994, Parveen’s car collided with a bus while she was traveling to her office in Islamabad. The horrific accident resulted in her death.

The road on which this accident happened is named after her as Parveen Shakir Road.

Perveen Shakir Road was officially inaugurated in Islamabad in 2006. This road, which was near the site of her fatal accident, was unnamed at the time. Many thanks
Photo Credit: Twitter

Parveen Shakir Trust

Due to her far-reaching impact on Urdu poetry, a trust called ‘Parveen Shakir Trust’ was established by her fans and friends in 1994.

The Trust hosts the Parveen Shakir Urdu Literature Festival in Islamabad every year.

With that, we conclude the brief life biography of Parveen Shakir. Hope it has been an informative read!

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