ZIA FATEHABADI'S ANCESTRY
The Soni family of Fatehabad belongs to the Kshatriya clan of Kapila Gotra. The records available with the Pandas (Purohits) of Haridwar reveal that Tansukh Rai had visited Haridwar in 1716 A.D. Aurangzeb had died in 1707 A.D. having ruled from 1658 A.D. onwards after deposing Shajahan who had in 1628 A.D. succeeded Jahangir. It is possible that Badal Das Soni himself or his father (name not known) had left his native place near Osian, near Jodhpur, during the course of Shahjahan’s military conquest of Baglana (situated near Burhanpur) which was annexed in 1637 A.D. i.e. about eighty years before Tansukh Rai’s Haridwar visit of 1716 A.D. He or his father is believed to have been a part of a Rajput force that had resisted Shahjahan. He or his father is likely to have migrated to Fatehabad (Punjab) during that period. Fatehabad was a border post of strategic importance to the Mughals. Historically, this place existed even during the time of Muhammad Ghori who was assassinated in 1206 A.D. by the Khokars, the then resident clan of Fatehabad. The Sikh Guru, Nanak Dev Ji had penned the Gurubani during his short sojourn at this place.
Sitting from [L-R] Gajender Soni, [younger brother of Zia] Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi, Tara Chand Soni [Grand Father of Zia] in lap Surinder Soni [younger brother of Zia] Munshi Ram Soni [Father of Zia] Shankari Devi [Mother of Zia] Standing from [L-R] Janaki, Padma & Krishna [ three elder sisters of Zia]
ZIA FATEHABADI SIRED SIX SONS
ZIA'S GRAND CHILDREN
Mehr Lal Soni (1913-1986) & Raj kumari Soni (1919-2003) had six sons. eldest son, Ravinder Soni (b. 1944, B.Sc, LL.B) is a retired Banker. He has one son, Aditya Soni (b. 1974, Chartered Accountant). The second son Devinder Soni (b. 1945, B.Sc) is a Businessman, a British citizen, settled in London, he has one daughter Dipika (b. 1981, Masters in Economics) and one son Ahkilesh Soni (b. 1984, Law). The third son Satinder Soni (b. 1947, High School) had one son, he left home and became a monk. The fourth son Udesh Soni (b. 1948, BA ~ English Honors) is a retired Banker was married, separated and is childless. The fifth son Suresh Kumar Soni (b. 1950, MA ~ Pol. Sc) is a retired Banker, has one son Abhinav Soni (b. 1981, B.E. ~ Computer Science) and one daughter Divya (b. 1985, B.Sc, MBA). The sixth son Sushil Soni (b. 1956, MA ~ English Honors) is a journalist. He has one daughter Sonam doing CA and one son Rohan Soni doing B.E. Electronics.
GLIMPSES OF ZIA AS A STUDENT
Zia started his education from the Khalsa Middle School, in Peshawar [now in Pakistan] in 1920 but in 1923 shifted to Maharaja High School, in Jaipur Rajasthan [India] and completed his schooling in 1929. He went to Lahore in 1930 and received his B.A degree in Persian in 1933 and Masters in English in 1935 from Forman Christian College, Lahore [Now in Pakistan]
Forman Christian College, Lahore – ‘Folio’ Magazine Editorial Board 1934-35. L-R Standing: Prof. S.M.Paul, Prof. S.D.Bhanot, Dr. F.M.Welty, Prof. E.D.Deen and Prof. Sunder Singh Gyani. L-R Sitting:Mohd. Buland Akhtar, S.Jaimal Singh (Editor-Punjabi), Mrs. P.G.Mansukhani, J.S.Lal (Editor in Chief), Mehr Lal Soni (Editor- Urdu) and Baldev Das Bhatia (Editor- Hindi).
ZIA MARRIED RAJ KUMARI
Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi got married to Raj Kumari, the daughter of Murli Ram Berera of Lahore [now in Pakistan] in 1942. This wedlock took place in Delhi, during the colonial rule of the British in India
ZIA’S USTAD & HIS MENTORS
In 1930 Zia became the disciple [shaagird) of Syed Aashiq Hussain Siddiqui, Seemab Akbarabadi (1882–1951). Zia during his college days, came in contact with Shabbir Hussan Khan Josh Malihabadi (1894-1982), who introduced and promoted him as a poet in the Urdu literary circles of Lahore.
Samad Yar Khan Sagar Nizami (1905–1983) was Zia’s college day friend, from Lahore, this friendship lasted lifelong. In Delhi, Sagar stayed at Pandara Road, while Zia nearby in Man Nagar [now Rabindra Nagar] situated between Lodhi Garden and Khan Market. Sagar had published Zia's first poetical work 'Tullu' [The Dawn]in 1933.
ZIA WITH HIS CONTEMPORARIES
GLIMPSES OF POETIC GATHERINGS
A literary gathering at the residence of Zia fatehabadi :Seen L-R are Om Prakash Bajaj, Naresh Kumar Shad (in white shirt), Kailash Chander Naaz, Sheesh Chand Talib Dehlvi and Balraj Hairat with Khushtar Girami (wearing black cap) in front, Saghar Nizami, Talib Chakwali, Munnavar Lucknavi, Malik Ram, Jainendra kumar Jain, Zia Fatehabadi, Bahaar Burney (partly seen), Rishi Patialavi and Joginder Pal with Krishan Mohan in front.
PHOTOS FROM THE PODIUM
FACSIMILE OF THE COVERS OF BOOKS ON POETRY AND PROSE ~ WRITTEN BY ZIA FATEHABADI
SELECT BOOKS IN URDU ON THE LIFE AND WORKS OF ZIA FATEHABADI