This short animated film is based on the Urdu poem for children “Jugnu” written by my ancestor Indian author Ismail Meeruti and first published in the 19th century. It illustrates an encounter between a curious boy and a firefly. Its message serves to remind us to be more considerate and not destructive of other species, each other and nature. Firefly was funded by and broadcast on Bravo! and screened at various film festivals internationally. I’m the Producer/voice actor of the boy and narrator and it was translated by Yusuf And Naseem Siddiqi. The firefly was voice acted by Ulka Mohanty.
About the author
Ismail Meeruti was born at Meerut (Uttar Pradesh, India) in November 1844 and started writing at an early age with the objective of character building of the young in accordance with good values and virtues. His educational and interesting poems and prose introduced Urdu language literature for children as an art form.
At heart Ismail Meeruti was an educationist and a reformer. His outstanding contribution in the field of education, apart from what flowed through his pen, was the establishment of the first Muslim girls’ school at Primary level in his own backyard that has now grown into a postgraduate degree awarding institution. The municipal government of Meerut has built two more boys schools up to class 12 in recognition of Ismail Meeruti’s tremendous contributions for education bearing his name.
Ismail Meeruti transformed some of Aesop’s Fables into verse, the only known poet to do so in Urdu language. He wrote about 430 poems and a vast number of books mainly in Urdu and Persian for learning the languages from initial to higher levels. His selected poems are still part of textbooks from classes 2 to 10 across Pakistan. His services to education in India were acknowledged before his passing away in 1917. He was awarded the honorable title of “Khan Sahib” by the British government of India in 1912.