About the Author

About Awaz Sayeed

Awaz Sayeed (3 March 1934 – 2 July 1995) (Urdu: عوض سعید ), full name Awaz Bin Sayeed (pen name: Chaand, چاند), was a renowned modern short-story writer, poet, playwright, Khaka-naveez and humorist from Hyderabad, India.

Early life and family:

Awaz Sayeed was born on March 3, 1934 to Sayeed bin Awaz Bin Jabir Bin Abdullah (father) and Noorunnissa Begum Al Khulaqi (mother). He had five brothers and three sisters: Mohammad Bin Sayeed, Ahmed Bin Sayeed, Zehra Begum, Jabir Bin Sayeed, Mohammad Abdul Qavi, Hyat Unnissa, Abdullah Bin Sayeed and Putli Begum. He was the youngest of all his siblings.

Awaz Sayeed was a Hadhrami Arab by descent belonging to a respectable family of Hyderabad Deccan, with roots in Mukallah in Hadhramaut (present-day Yemen). He belongs to the Al-Musalli (Al-Yafai) qabila (clan). His father served as State Financier under His Highness Sultan Omar bin Awadh Al Qu’aiti (Nawab Sir Jan-Baz Jung Bahadur K.C.I.E.) and His Highness Sultan Sir Saleh bin Ghalib Al Qu’aiti (Saif Nawaz Jung Bahadur). Earlier his paternal grandfather Jabir Bin Abdullah served as a State Financer under Sultan Awadh-I bin Omar Al Qu’aiti (Nawab Sultan Nawaz Jung Bahadur Shamsheer-ud-Daula Shamsheer-ul-Mulk).

Awaz Sayeed completed his early education from Anwar-ul-Uloom High School. Thereafter, he passed out Matriculation from the City College in April 1948, Intermediate from the Chaderghat College in April 1952 and took admission in Anwar-ul-Uloom College to pursue Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) but could only complete the first year owing to his getting employment in the Food Corporation of India in 1954. Awaz Sayeed got married to Kaneez Fatima in 1960. The couple has two children: Dr. Ausaf Sayeed (b. 1963), who is currently posted as High Commissioner of India to Seychelles and Dr. Seema Nishat (b. 1967), who is a leading Internist in Tampa, Florida.

Literary career:

Awaz Sayeed took a penchant for writing at an early age. He was known for his unique, innovative and inimitable style of short story writing. He is counted among the few modern Urdu writers of the Indian sub-continent, who have given a new meaning to Urdu short stories. Awaz Sayeed’s first Urdu afsana Jeetey Jaagtey was published in 1949 in Nizam-e-Lahore. Thereafter, several of his stories have been published in reputed Urdu magazines of the Indian Sub-continent such as Aahang, Adab-e-Lateef, Afkaar, Auraaq, Funoon, Jaiza, Jadeed Adab, Kitaab, Mafaheem, Naqsh, Nigarish, Nuqoosh, Qand, Saba, Sabras, Seep, Shabkhoon, Shahra, Shair, Sher-O-Hikmat, Sutoor, Tanazur, Tarseel, Zehn-e-Jadeed and others. Apart from modern short stories, Awaz Sayeed made his place in Urdu literature in the realm of humour by his Shaqsi-Khaka-Nigari (life-sketches) in which he portrayed some of the most famous personalities of Urdu literature like Makhdoom Mohiuddin, Alam Khundmeri, Qazi Saleem, Aziz Qaisi, Jeelani Bano, Mughni Tabassum, Waheed Akhtar, Akhlaq Mohammed Khan ‘Shahryar’ and others in his own ingenuous and inimitable style. His dimension as a humorous Khaka navees sharply contrasted the serious narratives in his short stories, reflecting the depth and command of his language and the ease with which he could switch over styles.

Awaz Sayeed’s stories have been translated into several languages, including English, Hindi, and Malayalam. Awaz Sayeed’s stories have been translated into several languages, including English, Hindi, and Malayalam. Some of the Urdu short stories of Awaz Sayeed that have been translated into English are included in at least two recent English compilations of translations of short stories by renowned Urdu writers of the Indian Sub-Continent. The first book ‘Despairing voices: a collection of modern Urdu short stories’ edited and translated by Syed Sarwar (Satyam Publishing House, 2011) includes his four Urdu short stories i.e. Raat Wala Ajnabi (‘The night’s stranger’), Udaas Nasal Ka Aakhri Aadmi (‘Last man of the melancholic race’), Andha Kunwan (‘Dry well’) and Coma. The second book ‘New Urdu Writings: From India and Pakistan’ by Rakhshanda Jalil (Westland Ltd, 2013) includes the story Chubhan (‘Pin-Prick’).

Several scholars have done research on his works for Ph.D. and M.Phil. These include M.Phil.thesis of Ms.Syeda Nusrat Jahan titled ‘Awaz Sayeed Ki Shaqsiyat Aur Fan’ (عوض سید – شخصیت اور فن) in September 1998 and M.Phil. thesis by Aliya Maqsood titled ‘Awaz Sayeed Ba Haisiyat Khaka Nigar’ (عوض سید – بحیثیت خا کہ نگار) in 2006.


Awaz Sayeed has to his credit seven books: six books on modern short stories: Sai Ka Safar (1969), Teesra Mujasamma (1973), Raat Wala Ajnabi (1977), Kohe-Nida (1977), Benaam Mausamon Ka Nauha (1987) and Kuwaan Aadmi Aur Samandar (1993) and a book on khake (personality sketches) called Khake (1985). The second reprint of the book Khake was brought out in June 2006 by his son Dr. Ausaf Sayeed in association with the Urdu Academy Jeddah. The book was released by late Shri Arjun Singh, the then Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India, during a special function in Jeddah. In August 2009, the entire collection of Awaz Sayeed’s published and unpublished works was published in two volumes titled Kuliyaat-e-Awaz Sayeed by his son Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, which was released by Shri Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Vice-President of India. The book has been published by Educational Publishing House, New Delhi.


Awaz Sayeed died on July 2, 1995, following a heart failure while on a visit to Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is buried at the Rosehill Cemetery, Peterson in Chicago.

Read about Awaz Sayeed’s life in his own words.

The following are extracts from the M.Phil.thesis of Ms.Syeda Nusrat Jahan titled ‘Awaz Sayeed Ki Shaqsiyat Aur Fan’.