Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ahmad Faraz to Nida Fazli

Almost 10-12 years ago, on the eve of India/ Pakistan independence day, ZEE TV had organized a show by inviting people from both the countries. Participants comprised of Poets, Journalists, Politicians and General people. The program started in very cordial atmosphere but ended with utter confusion and chaos. Spirited individuals bitten by jingoistic national spirit started trading charges against each other. Amidst all that din, there was this poet from Pakistan who captivated me with his lines of अब के बिछडे हैं तो शायद कभी ख्वाबों में मिले, जिस तरह सूखे हुए फूलकिताबों में (After this separation, we may meet only in our dreams, like wilted flowers within the pages of a book). He was realistic to identify himself with Pakistan yet felt strongly about his Indian connection.

I didn't read much about Ahmed Faraz except seeing him occasionally in the media। The news of his death made me read some of his poetry but it also led to another poet who made huge impact on me with his simplistic yet profound writings. His name is Nida Fazli. Poetic verses of Nida Fazli and Yogesh does impress me as they both write in Hindi than chaste Urdu and I don't need any help in understanding their words. Some of his hindi movie songs that impressed me are :

कभी पलोकों में आंसू हैं
भी लब पे शिकायत हैं
मगर ये ज़िन्दगी फ़िर भी
तुजसे मोहब्बत हैं

दुनिया जीसे कहते हैं , जादू का खिलौना हैं
मिल जाए तो मिटटी हैं , न मिल जाए तो सोना हैं
Here is a poetry ' The Morning After Curfew'। Conveys an eerie silence of the environ after the curfew।
It is morning
the sky humbly bows
its head to the earth
for children are going to school...

Bathing itself in the stream
the sun dons itself
in a turban of spun gold
and stands smiling by the road
for children are going to school...!

Winds sing out blessings
on verdant green branches
jingles by fragrant flowers
wake up the sleepy paths
the shady peepul from its
corner of the old street
waves out its hands
for children are going to school...!

Angels of light come out
every trail is sparkling
at this moment
every pore of the earth
throbs like a mother’s heart
time sits happily
on a rundown rooftop
flying pigeons in the sky
for children are going to school
children are going to school...!

A vivid description of city 'Bombay' is another hallmark of his expression. Those who have been part of Mumbai and felt the steady deterioration and degradation of this city can easily identify with Nida Fazli's expression.

What kind of place is this,
This settlement where I find myself ?

A thousand echoing voices fill the air,
Countless breathes seethe in the breeze.

As far as the eye can see
There are shoulders, hips, shins, legs,
But not a single face.

In the morning, each one, young and old,
Removes his shining eyes,
His cheeks and his smiling lips
From the hollow of his head
And puts them in his pocket.

It is a strange city,
There is no day, no night, no dusk :
The sun rises from the bus seats;
The moon rests in a dark hovel.

There is nothing here
But trains and buses,
Insensible seas crawling over the earth,
Buildings swallowing buildings.

How can you awaken this grave island ?
You will be broken struggling against yourself,
There is not a single face
To be seen।

This what Nida Fazli said in his obituary to Ahmad faraz " He was known not just for mushairas but as a significant poet of our era. After Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Sahir Ludhianvi, Ahmed Faraz took the Urdu ghazal to new heights".

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