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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Urdu's First Openly Gay Poet Iftikhar Naseem and seven beautiful couplets in English, Urdu scripts

Iftikhar Naseem is Urdu's first gay poet [from Pakistan, now living in Chicago].

Though I don't have the courage yet to put some of his verses dealing with homosexuality on my blog, his poetry in classical mould is no less enchanting. Here is a selection from some of his couplets which I like.


Ifti is now a well-known international figure due to his work for gay rights. Personally, I have nothing to do with his sexual preferences.

Earlier, I too had the perception that the there was something wrong with gays. I was told that gays were probably perverts who lured teenaged and even young boys.

But the difference between pederasty and gays became evident to me later. Otherwise Urdu classical poetry is full of homosexuality starting from the era of Khuda-e-Sukhan Meer Taqi Meer to 20th century's Firaq Gorakhpuri.

When I read his autobiography, I felt stunned like many others. It was too disturbing. Ifti has suffered enormously, faced brickbats for speaking truth. Atleast, he did not live a false life. He did not hide the truth about himself which many gays in the sub-continent do and marry girls who suffer all their lives.


is qadar bhii to na jazbaat pe qabuu rakho
thak gaye ho to mere kaandhe pe bazuu rakho

KaTi hai umr kisii aabdoz* kashti meN
Safar tamaam hua aur kuchh nahiiN dekha

Udaas baam, khulaa dar pukaarta hai mujhe
Jila-watan huuN mera ghar pukaarta hai mujhe

Taaq par juzdaan meN lipti duaa'eN rah gaeeN
Chal diye bete safar par ghar meN maaeN rah gaeeN

Chalte chalte aa gaya huun aisii manzil par jahaN
Chand mujhko aasmaaN ka ek darwaaza laga

Koii jo puuchhe to kah denge usne bheje haiN
Wagar-na phool khud apne liye khareede haiN

Read his poem 'Mere baba' [My father] in Urdu, Hindi and Roman scripts AT THIS LINK


Kevin Ballie said...

And thus the world, bit by bit, discovers the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.

iabhopal said...

مطلب کے لحاظ سے شعر اچھے ہيں ۔ لکھنے والا کون ہے ؟ مُجھے آم پسند ہيں آم کے پيڑ نہيں ۔

ajsuhail said...

can anyone please recommend a good online URDU ENGLISH Dictionary that is exhaustive and reliable?The sites I have visited are not up to the mark.

Also, I live in Madras where the local cable guy refuses to transmit channels like ETV Urdu and ARY Asia. Is there any way around this problem, say by installing a dish.And if anyone could provide me with a list of Urdu channels available in India, that would be appreciated

history_lover said...

Assalamu alaikum AJSuhail
May be I you should try DishTV and see if they have E-TV Urdu in thier bouquet.
I am not aware of any Urdu Channel apart from E-TV Urdu , Q-TV
ARY Digital ,and P-TV World and
Kitaab TV (another religious channel)

indscribe said...

Sahara is all set to start one (Urdu channel) from August 15.

Mohib said...

@ ajsuhail

Plz read my post on the online dictionaries at http://mohib.net/blog/2006/05/useful-online-dictionaries/

ajsuhail said...

Thanks for the info

ajsuhail said...

Thanks for the info

Anonymous said...

I am an obsessive compulsive queer spammer. Please help me overcome this.


prabhat said...

what about firaq gorakhpuri-?

Anser Azim said...

where you read that meer was a gay!
Firaque was openly gay but meer was married and had relations with the wife's of the elite in his time.


indscribe said...

Gay is not the term, it is Pederasty--the classical homosexuality.

Meer was bisexual just like many in those days were.

He had relations with women, as also with young boys--Amrad or Aghlam. It was ironically considered a matter of prestige to have as many 'aghlaams' as possible.

Read any account of that era, it was too common then. Till 1940s, this 'waba' was quite common and that was why boys were not allowed to leave homes after sunset.

It was something that was so widely accepted that nobody bothered to discuss it much.

However, read Tazkira-e-Khush-moarka-e-zeba or any other text of the era that throw light on it.

Or the autobiographies of Akhtarul Iman or even hockey player aslam sher khan's 'To Hell with Hockey' which is available online.

In his autobiography Zubair Rizwi writes how his father had to secretly take him away from North India to Hyderabad, to save him from gangs of perverts in the city, as he was growing.

As far as poetry is concerned, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi's legendary work on Meer 'the four volumes of Sher Shor Angez' must be read by every Meer-shinaas.

That's a subject I don't particularly like discussing. However, if you know any poet or litterateur who is 60-70 plus, he will tell you about the era.

Anser Azim said...

Thanks!! I will research into this more.

adal said...

Jewish religion, Christianity and Islam Consider "homosexuality" as an unnatural act and reprehensible practice.It indicates a sexual perversion and cultural depravity.
Just because a High Court of a state has "approved"it, does not make it a new law. Many may file petitions in
the Supreme Court and it may direct the 'status quo ante, also!
what is painful to note that a scribe shoud undertake research into the lives of men dead long ago and say that they were "gays" and "ukemas" also overlooked it!These facts do not build a strong case to defend homosexuality!
If man leads a life respecting the laws of nature, he will have peace within and without. Any small deviation from nature's way would let his conscience prick him for long!and make his life miserable.
What God has dictated, what Nature requires and what humanity appreciates let us do that.

indscribe said...

Adal @ In fact, court has not legalised it, but de-criminalised it. There is a difference between immorality and criminality.

Morality is relative. What we find immoral, many be perfectly true to others.

What we don't like is not necessarily wrong. In Pakistan, Ahmadiyyas are targeted for being 'a minority' and a heretic sect.

Why should a minority--religious or sexual--be targeted, as long as they practice their beliefs, culture or activity, behind close doors.

Sarthak Ganguly said...

Correct me if I am wrong but as far as I have learnt from all Muslim clerics - being gay is being an enemy of Islam.

But anyway as a human being he has written some awesome verses. Kudos to you too for unearthing him. Pity he had to escape to Chicago to live peacefully.

Gibran said...

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

This is a disgusting sin in Islam. We will meet Allah and He will forgive or punish. SubhanAllah, what is the matter with you? What matters more, being on good relations with everybody on the planet or obeying Allah and His Messenger?

If you aren't ashamed, do whatever you want.

Waldija said...

I don't think obeying Allah includes persecuting people because of who they fall in love with. A sin is committed by choice, but you cannot choose who to fall in love with. It's much more preferable if two men (or boys) love each other than two men kill each other in a war that has been perpetuated by selfish politicians. Yet these politicians are not condemned as sinners as much. As Mir Taqi's father said "we can reach our creation through love." And nothing is said about consensual relationships. In Lota qaum, they abandoned their wives without care, and abused boys and girls and made them prostitutes. I would like him to come back to his land, honest people like him are exemplary and needed much, alhamdulillah.