He was a gifted author.
I have read classics in English, Urdu and many other languages, do enjoy Intizar Husain as well as Naiyer Masood's writings, but at the same time I must say it that MA Rahat was in a league of his own.
In India, we marvelled at his brain--how could someone write like him. My late phuphi used to say, 'MA Rahat aur Mohiuddin Nawab ke dimaghon ko sarkar ko mahfooz kar lena chahiye, unke inteqal ke baad, taki un par research ho sake...'
When he wrote Kala Jadoo, almost all the major digests published it in India. Kotha is another masterpiece. Once you start reading, it is simply unputdownable like most of his works.
The list is endless. Living in Pakistan, he recreated the North Indian society of yore--early 19th century, its culture, to perfection. Just because he wrote in popular digests, he was not given his due.
When Kala Jadu was published, it created a sensation across the sub-continent. It was published in monthly Urdu digests and readers waited for the next installment. However, the writer probably got no royalty.
The stories were simply copied and published in India. In the post Ibn-e-Safi era, it was his writings that made people rush to bookstalls every month to buy Urdu digests.
With him ends an era. I don't think, there would ever be an author like him. Someone who would write so brilliantly, weave a world beyond anything you have ever heard or seen, and yet be so prolific.
MA Rahat was a product of his time--a writer born in a language, a culture that had reached its epitome and though it was destroyed by partition, he grew up in the era when Urdu literature was at its peak. That era has gone.
I don't think there will be an MA Rahat, in future. First Mohiuddin Nawab and now him, two giants have passed away. Feel Pakistan and Urdu world should have given the due to these authors in their lifetime. Rest in Peace, MA Rahat sahab.