Surur

Mirza Rajab Ali ( 1787-1867 ).

Lived in Lucknow ( present day India ) and was the early writer of Urdu fiction.

He was well educated and had command of Arabic, Persian and Urdu. Surur also excelled in calligraphy and also was a good musician.

Surur was trained in poetry by Nawazish, a student of Suz, and was a close friend of Mirza Ghalib, who regarded him as a leading Urdu prose writer of his time.

He fell foul of the Nawab of Lucknow- Ghazi al din Haydar Shah and left for Banares and Cawnpore, where he wrote his masterpiece , he romantic novel “ Fasana yi Adjab ” ( The story of Wonders ). It is a story of fairy tales in the tradition of old mathnwais , which was published 20 years after being written.

The book cast considerable light on life in Lucknow. Surur played an important role in the rise of the Urdu novel.

He had returned to Lucknow and was appointed as Court poet by Wajid Ali Shah and was later patronised by the Maharajas.

He died in Benares.

He was mainly a novelist and although he was from the Lucknow school he followed an independent path scorning artificiality.