The noted detective writer of Urdu churned out bestsellers at the drop of a hat

The best of writers take a couple of months to write a thriller. But Ibn-e-Safi, noted detective writer of Urdu, produced novels out of the blue – literally. His first whodunit, ‘Dilaer Mujrim’ (bold criminal), which took the world of Urdu literature by storm, was penned in just one week in 1952.

This little known fact was revealed by Ibn-e-Safi’s close friend, Mujavir H. Rizwi, here on Wednesday.

The septuagenarian came up with many hitherto unknown facts about his friend at the seminar “Detective fiction and Ibn-e-Safi”.

The two-day national seminar is being organised by the Centre for Urdu Language, Literature and Culture of Maulana Azad National Urdu University (Manuu).

The job of writing detective fiction was actually entrusted to Dr. Rahi Masoom Raza by Hyder Husain, publisher of the journals – ‘Jasoosi Duniya’ and ‘Romani Duniya’. But the slow pace and poetic language of Dr. Raza cost him dearly.

Even as he had penned just 12 pages, Ibn-e-Safi produced a full length novel in racy style. In the following years he set a punishing pace churning out bestsellers at the drop of a hat. And in the process the pen name, Ibn-e-Safi overshadowed the real Asrar Ahmed. The legendary character of Captain Faridi was fashioned after a doctor of the same name from Lucknow.

Prof. Ahamadullah Khan, former Dean, Department of Law, Osmania University, said the French revolution and American industrial revolution provided the trigger. S.A. Shukoor, chairman, Urdu Academy, wanted proper research on Ibn-e-Safi works. Manuu VC, Mohamad Miyan and seminar organising secretary, Khalid Saeed, also spoke.