Fatima Surayya Bajia

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Fatima Surayya Bajia
Native name
فاطمہ ثریاّ بجیا
Born(1930-09-01)1 September 1930
Died10 February 2016(2016-02-10) (aged 85)
Karachi, Pakistan
Years active1960–2016
Awards Hilal-i-Imtiaz (2013)
Pride of Performance (1996)

Fatima Surayya Bajia (فاطمہ ثریاّ بجیا; 1 September 1930 – 10 February 2016) was an Urdu novelist, playwright and drama writer from Pakistan. [1] She was awarded various awards at home and abroad including Japan's highest civil award in recognition of her works. Bajia remained Advisor to the Chief Minister of Sindh province in Pakistan, and was a member of the managing committee of the Arts Council of Pakistan. She died on 10 February 2016 in Karachi, aged 85. [1] [2]

Urdu National language and lingua franca of Pakistan; one of the official languages of India; standardized register of Hindustani

Urdu —or, more precisely, Modern Standard Urdu—is a Persianised standard register of the Hindustani language. It is the official national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. In India, it is one of the 22 official languages recognized in the Constitution of India, having official status in the six states of Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, as well as the national capital territory of Delhi.

Sindh Province in Pakistan

Sindh, Sind is one of the four provinces of Pakistan, in the southeast of the country, and the historical home of the Sindhi people. Sindh is the third largest province of Pakistan by area, and second largest province by population after Punjab. Sindh is bordered by Balochistan province to the west, and Punjab province to the north. Sindh also borders the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan to the east, and Arabian Sea to the south. Sindh's landscape consists mostly of alluvial plains flanking the Indus River, the Thar desert in the eastern portion of the province closest to the border with India, and the Kirthar Mountains in the western part of Sindh.


A well-known personality in social welfare, literary Radio, TV and Stage, Bajia wrote for PTV Centres Islamabad and Lahore since the launch of those television channels. She wrote her first long play Mehman. She contributed to literary programmes such as Auraaq and beauty care programmes under the title Aaraish-e-Khaam-e-Kakal. Bajia also produced various children programmes. [2] [1]

Radio Technology of using radio waves to carry information

Radio is the technology of signaling or communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz). They are generated by an electronic device called a transmitter connected to an antenna which radiates the waves, and received by a radio receiver connected to another antenna. Radio is very widely used in modern technology, in radio communication, radar, radio navigation, remote control, remote sensing and other applications. In radio communication, used in radio and television broadcasting, cell phones, two-way radios, wireless networking and satellite communication among numerous other uses, radio waves are used to carry information across space from a transmitter to a receiver, by modulating the radio signal in the transmitter. In radar, used to locate and track objects like aircraft, ships, spacecraft and missiles, a beam of radio waves emitted by a radar transmitter reflects off the target object, and the reflected waves reveal the object's location. In radio navigation systems such as GPS and VOR, a mobile receiver receives radio signals from navigational radio beacons whose position is known, and by precisely measuring the arrival time of the radio waves the receiver can calculate its position on Earth. In wireless radio remote control devices like drones, garage door openers, and keyless entry systems, radio signals transmitted from a controller device control the actions of a remote device.

Pakistan Television Corporation Pakistani television network

Pakistan Television Corporation is the Pakistani state-owned broadcaster. Founded on 26 November 1964 as a private company by NEC of Japan, PTV was nationalised by the Pakistani government. in 1970, due to low revenue. For most of the 20th century, the PTV enjoyed a monopoly in the broadcasting industry until the early 2000s and was one of the two major television networks in the country. The end of PTV's monopoly in 2000 led to a boom in electronic media in Pakistan, which gained greater political influence in country's political spectrum.

Islamabad Capital of Pakistan

Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan, and is federally administered as part of the Islamabad Capital Territory. Built as a planned city in the 1960s to replace Karachi as Pakistan's capital, Islamabad is noted for its high standards of living, safety, and abundant greenery.

Early life

A native of Hyderabad, India, she was born near "Panj Bibi Mountain", in the town of Raichur in the present state of Karnataka. She migrated to Pakistan soon after independence, along with her family. She never received any formal education, and was instead homeschooled. Despite this she is ranked an eminent intellectual, reader and writer. [3] [2]

Raichur City in Karnataka, India

Raichur is a city municipality in the district of Raichur in the Indian state of Karnataka. Raichur, located between Krishna and Tungabhadra rivers, is the headquarters of Raichur district. It is located 409 km from the state capital, Bangalore.

Karnataka State in southern India

Karnataka is a state in the south western region of India. It was formed on 1 November 1956, with the passage of the States Reorganisation Act. Originally known as the State of Mysore, it was renamed Karnataka in 1973. The state corresponds to the Carnatic region. The capital and largest city is Bangalore.

Talking about her childhood, she said,

"I never attended a formal school. The elders of the family decided that all my education should take place at home. The teacher lived in our home where we were taught discipline along with our education. My family was settled in Hyderabad Deccan, which was then a paramount cultural center in undivided India. Although there were a few prominent schools e.g. Saint Josephs School, although my grandfather could afford the fee (which was Rs. 20), he still preferred to educate us at home. These schools were primarily attended by pampered girls from the elite families of nawabs and jagirdars. From the beginning we were taught self-sufficiency, although we employed 60 to 70 servants, we were not allowed to ask anyone of them for water. There was a huge difference between girls of the elite families and us. My grandfather felt that if we attended such schools, we would suffer from an inferiority complex, but since proper upbringing is not possible without coaching, he decided to carry out our education at home. Nevertheless, we were taught all the subjects that were taught in the formal Hyderabad schools with separate teachers for every subject e.g. calligraphy and math." [2]

One of ten children, her siblings include: Anwar Maqsood, Zehra Nigah, Zubaida Tariq , and Mrs. Kazmi (a fashion designer).

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Zubaida Tariq Ilyas, also commonly known as Zubaida Aapa, was a chef and cooking expert from Pakistan. She was the first celebrity cook of Pakistan, appearing on numerous TV shows, and was also known for her totkas.


Bajia first became involved with PTV in the 1960s when her flight to Karachi was delayed and she came to PTV Islamabad station for a visit. Director Agha Nasir hired her and Bajia made her debut as an actress in 1966 in one of his plays. She began writing afterwards. Nasir is quoted to have said,

Karachi Megacity in Sindh, Pakistan

Karachi is the capital of the Pakistani province of Sindh. It is the most populous city in Pakistan, and fifth-most-populous city proper in the world. Ranked as a beta-global city, the city is Pakistan's premier industrial and financial centre. It is also considered as the cultural, economic, philanthropic, educational, and political hub of the country. Karachi is also Pakistan's most cosmopolitan city. Situated on the Arabian Sea, Karachi serves as a transport hub, and is home to Pakistan's two largest seaports, the Port of Karachi and Port Bin Qasim, as well as Pakistan's busiest airport, Jinnah International Airport.

“During Zia ul Haq's time when the 'dupatta policy' was implemented and women were forced to behave a certain way, Bajia wrote about characters from Baghdad and Granada. This was brilliant because these places were supposedly Islamic societies and no one could say anything about them."

He further added that when writing a play, Bajia would literally move with her belongings to the TV station and then become an authority by default.

“Anyone who had a problem would go to Bajia, not to the chief of the organisation." [4]

Most of her dramas, including Shama, Afshan, Aroosa, Ana and Tasveer, had large ensemble casts and portrayed huge families and their problems. She produced great number of women's programmes, including 'Khwateen key Meilaad'.

Awards, honours and recognition

Bajia won numerous awards, including the Pride of Performance Award in 1996 for her services to the performing arts in Pakistan. [2] It is one of the highest civil awards conferred by the Pakistan Government. She was also awarded Japan's highest civil award in recognition of her works. She remained Advisor to the Chief Minister of Sindh province in Pakistan. Most recently she appeared in The Big Show on CNBC alongside another legendary writer Haseena Moin. In 2013, she was awarded Hilal-i-Imtiaz by President of Pakistan. [5]

On 22 May 2012 Bajia's biography, titled Apki Bajia (Your Bajia) was released. The book had been written by Syeda Iffat Hasan Rizvi after six years of research. [4]


Bajia died on 10 February 2016 in Karachi, at the age of 85 from throat cancer. [6] [7]


On 1 September 2018, to commemorate what would have been her 88th birthday, Google released a Google Doodle celebrating her. [8]


Some of her popular drama serials:

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 Salman, Peerzada (12 February 2016). "Bajia's admirers pay tribute: 'We can say that we have lost our mother'". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Fatima Suraiya Bajia profile" . Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  3. Profile of Fatima Suriyya Bajiya Retrieved 12 November 2018
  4. 1 2 "Meteors in comet-filled skies: Fatima Surayya Bajia's biography launched". The Express Tribune (newspaper). Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  5. "Civilian awards: Presidency issues list of 192 recipients". The Express Tribune (newspaper). 13 August 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  6. "Renowned Urdu writer Fatima Surayya Bajia dies at 85". The Sindh Times (newspaper). 11 February 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  7. "Renowned Urdu playwright Fatima Surayya Bajia passes away at 85". DAWN . 10 February 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  8. "Fatima Surayya Bajia's 88th Birthday (includes her profile)". GoogleBooks. 1 September 2018. Retrieved 12 November 2018.