This Pakistani Cobbler Has Written 5 Award Winning Books. What’s Your Excuse?

The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world and yourself with hope. The man who has done complete justice to the above saying is a cobbler who goes by the name Munawar Shakeel. Let’s get to know him as reported by Dawn. Read on..

About Munawar Shakeel

Munawar Shakeel is a cobbler by profession. He can be seen mending shoes in a suburban town of Rodala, which is located in Jaranwala, Faisalabad. And it has been 3 decades now. But what sets him apart is his love for poetry. he is the author of 5 Punjabi books.

His background

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He was born in the year 1969. After the loss of his father at an early age, he couldn’t afford a formal education as he was tied down with financial responsibilities which in turn made him a cobbler: his family profession. So, he purchased the books himself and developed the habit of reading.

The unfettered love for reading and writing

He loves reading. So much that not a day passes by when he doesn’t read for four hours. He makes sure he saves a little amount of money(Rs 10/- ) from his monthly savings (Rs 250/- to Rs 300/-). Besides that, he is also a member of many literary groups such as Royal Adabi Academy, Jaranwala, and the Naqeebi Karvan-e-Adab.

His books and awards

He is the author of 5 Punjabi books. Here are all of his books with their years of publication. These also happen to be award-winning.
1. Soch Samandar (2004)
2. Pardes Di Sangat (2005)
3. Saddiyan De Bhait (2009)
4. Jhora Dhap Gawachi Da (2011)
5. Akhaan Mitti Ho Gaiyaan (2013)
6. Taanghan (This will be published by the end of this year)

He has received awards from prestigious organisations – Royal Adabi Academy, Jaranwala, the Naqeebi Karvan-e-Adab, Ashna-e-Saandal Bar, Pakistan Writers’ Guild, and Punjabi Sevak.

Subject of poetry and choosing Punjabi as the medium of language

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He targets the downtrodden section of the society through his poetry. Why? He reflects that the upper section of the society has always targeted the lower class by discriminating them. In his own words – ”I want to speak for the lower classes through my poetry, and those things which cannot be said directly, I want to say them through verse.” Also, he thinks that it is very essential to empathize with the pain if you want to become a good poet.

He also feels proud of the fact that his poems are in Punjabi. He has no apprehensions to publish his books in any other language as he feels that Punjabi is his mother tongue. Also, he says that government should also focus to promote Punjabi.

Few lines from his poetry

Innu kinne paani ditta, innu kinne boya aey
Patthar de jo seene uttey, boota ugya hoya aey

[Who watered it, who sowed it,
The plant that grew on a heart of stone]

Views of his Literature teacher

Ghulam Mustafa Azad Naqeebi is his literature teacher. He says that people of suburban areas are not short of talent or ability. It’s the shortage of resources which can prove to be a hindrance. He identifies with Munawar’s poems as an epitome of sadness and struggles of downtrodden people. Munawar was never keen to choose love or intimacy as his subject of poetry.

Lastly, he is not ashamed of him being a cobbler. He says, “There is glory in hard work. I have no shame in repairing shoes, but I want people to be more aware, and I want them to read books so we can also stand in the ranks of developed nations.”

If you are interested to read his works, you can send an e-mail at [email protected] with your name, address, and phone number.

Doesn’t he inspire all of us? I mean how can social and financial benchmarks define you if you are passionate enough to do something in life?

As the most famous saying goes – The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.

News Source: Dawn