19 September 2020
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Google is honouring the late Pakistani Urdu novelist and playwright Fatima Surayya Bajia on her 88th birth anniversary with a colourful doodle depicting her with her lifelong companions: a pen and a notebook.
The doodle shows Bajia — as she was known to one and all — writing in a notebook, clad in her customary sari and surrounded by books.
The renowned playwright had breathed her last on February 10, 2016 at her Karachi residence after a prolonged illness.
The Mountain View, California-based Google frequently changes the colorful logo on its famously Spartan homepage to mark anniversaries or significant events or pay tribute to artists, scientists, statesmen and others.
Remembering Bajia
Bajia wrote several popular serials for PTV, including Shama (based on A.R. Khatoon’ novel), Afshan, Aroosa, Aagahi, Ana and Zeenat. Besides, she had done historical plays, children’s programmes, women’s programmes and literary programmes such as Auraq.
In recognition of her services, besides local awards, she was given the highest civil award of Japan. Bajia also served as president of the Pakistan-Japan Cultural Association.
Born into an educated in family of Hyderabad Deccan in 1930, Fatima Surayya was the eldest of the 9 siblings. The family sailed to Karachi on September 18, 1948, immediately after the fall of the Hyderabad state, which was invaded by the Indian army on September 11, the day the Quaid-i-Azam died here.
She did not have a formal degree but had acquired extensive knowledge of Arabic, Persian, English and Urdu literature and history at home through private tuitions.
In Karachi, when her grandfather and father died, she took up the responsibility of looking after her younger siblings, who all received a good education and some successfully carved out their own identity in separate fields of art and culture.
Her brother Anwar Maqsood became a multi-talented artist writing plays for TV and theatre, her sister Zehra Nigah became a renowned poetess while Zubaida Tariq turned into a cooking expert.
Whether Bajia wrote a play, serial or any other TV-adaptable piece, she elaborately depicted the culture of the area and the period she set the story in.

Abdul Gh Lone