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Saturday, December 31, 2005

The demise of Urdu poets Moin Ahsan Jazbi, Umar Ansari and closure of Shabkhoon

Is it the occasion to talk about death when we are ushering into the New Year? But 2005 was the year that took Moin Ahsan Jazbi away from us.

The last of the great and popular Urdu poets of the Taraqqi Pasand Tehreek [Progressive Writers' Movement] Jazbi, who was a close friend of Majaz, left for heavenly abode.

Besides, veteran Urdu poet Umar Ansari, the doyen of Urdu literature in Uttar Pradesh also passed away. He was the man whose couplet...

Mere haathon ke taraashe hue patthar ke sanam
Aaj bhagwan ban ke baithe hain butkhaon mein

....had become universally popular in Urdu world almost a decade before independence. Ever since, Umar Ansari kept the 'shamaa' of classical poetry alive in Lucknow, for almost six decades. These are great losses for us.

Once, hoping to get the job of a schoolteacher in Punjab, Jazbi had managed to get into train through a friendly railway official. Having just a few coins, he reached the school to find that the job was already given to a person.

With nothing to eat and no money in his pocket, Jazbi, in sheer desperation wrote a ghazal that is rememberd for its poignant lines:

Marne ki duaayen kyoon mangoon, jeene ki tamanna kaun kare
Yeh dunia ho ya woh dunia, ab khwahish-e-dunia kaun kare

Jab kashti saabit-o-saalim thi, sahil ki tamanna kisko thi
Ab aisi shikasta kashti par sahil ki tamanna kaun kare

This ghazal is recalled as much as his legendary nazm 'Maut' [Death]. Some of the stanzas of the long verse are often quoted even in this era and poetry lovers will always remember Jazbi for writing these unforgettable lines:

Apni soyii huii dunia ko jagaa luu.n to chaluu.n
Apne Ghamkhane mein ek dhuum machaa luu.n to chaluu.n
Aur ek jaam-e-mai talkh chadhaa luu.n to chaluu.n
Abhi chalta huu.n, zara khud ko sambhaluu.n to chaluu.n

Meri aankhon mein abhi tak hai muhabbat ka ghuruur
Mere honton ko abhi tak hai sadaqat ka ghuruur
Mere maathe pe abhi tak hai sharaafat ka ghuruur
Aise wahmon se abhi khud ko nikaloon to chaluu.n

Read Jazbi's works in Urdu, Hindi and English at BESTGHAZALS

Shabkhoon: A magazine, a movement

Shamsur Rahman Faruqi's Urdu literary monthly Shabkhoon that began publication in the mid-sixties was closed this year. This has been a big jolt for Urdu literature in India.

Faruqui's magazine not only established the modernist trend in Urdu poetry but also brought new writers and poets on the scene. In the most difficult circumstances, the magazine was published regularly. Shabkhoon had its detractors.

But it also set new trends. Hundreds of past issues of this magazine will become collector's issues in future and the magazine will always be remembered as a trend-setter in Urdu world. 


Mohib said...

Ahhh, sad indeed.

I had the fortune of once listening to Jazbi himself in one of the 'shaeri nashisht' in AMU. He was ill at that time and recited 'jeene ki duaayeiN kyuN maaNguuN'.

I also had the luck to listen Umar Ansari in one of the Lucknow Mahotsav mushairas and one of his sher stuck with me.

jab ye mehfil ujaR chukii hogii
shore se baDh kar, Khamoshii hogii

Both these losses are big but that of Shabkhuun is huge and it would be difficult to fill in.


koonj said...

that is beautiful poetry. thank you for reminding me of it.

_ivan said...

I am a stranger to the Urdu language and the poetry, a complete stranger had Vikram Seth not wetted my appetite with his beutiful book, "A Suitable Boy." So think of me, condemned never to be able to enjoy these Urdu poems of which you so highly speak, while I think of you and your loss of the beauty of Moin Ahsan Jazbi.

Dawn....सेहर said...

'Mere haathon ke taraashe hue patthar ke sanam/ Aaj bhagwan ban ke baithe hain butkhaon mein'

wow I had read this but didnt know that...we have lost him...

Inna Lillahi wa inna elaihi rajewoon

Anonymous said...

please see a web journal of poetry


and send some gajals, if you like


Poetry for Free said...

Great blog , I have found the most amazing poetry for free site and just wanted to share it with you. they have all kinds of stuff there.I especially love the gruesome pictures,have fun!!

Brijinder"Sagar" said...


Yeh nafarat ki hawaaon pay palnay waalay
Ki mazhab jinkay hamesha khatray main haiN
Apnay khyaaloN ko pahnaai hai khud salaasil
Aur Dil quaid-tanha bahut kurakhat pehray main haiN

Ki jnooN nay jinkay pehna hai mazhab ka naqaab
Gunah-I-Qatl bhi jinko lagta hai swaab
Inki sadaayoN say bachna meray azeezo!

Yeh nanhay haathoN main baNdookayN day kar
Unkay zehanoN main zehar ki fasal bo daiN
Aur Yeh farda ki umeedaiN
Phir bun jaayaN imroz ka khauf

Apnay bemaar khwaaboN ko haqeeqat ka pa_irhun dainay kay liayay
Tw_avun ka zahar baant rahay haiN yeh is daur kay masihaa
Apni garmjoshi aur qumaqali kay sabub-
Yeh maazi kay sach ko bana daiN haazir ka faryub
Nafrat kay numaiNday haiN
Yeh mazaahib kay agwaai
Yeh shaitaan ki khufia fauj
Ghoom rahi hai har dil-o-zehan kay galiyaaroN main
Inki sadaaoN say bachna maray azeezo!

Chinaar-qud pyaam agwaa kar liyay
BonoN ki is jmaat nay
Kabhi hindu to kabhi muslmaN bun kar
Kabhi sikh to kabhi isaai ki shaql main
Is jmaat nay phaiNka hai
Tamaddun pay apna jaal
Aur khauf kay is kohray main har baar
KitnoN kay azeez la-pata ho gayay haiN
Inki sadaaoN say bachna maray azeezo!
Inki sadaaoN say bachna maray azeezo!

Poet: Brijinder "Sagar"
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

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